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Tech Review: Music apps to keep you in harmony with digital age

Mobile devices have revolutionized how we listen to music, but the ease and simplicity leave music enthusiasts who enjoy alphabetizing, categorizing and cataloging their physical record collections a bit cold. These offbeat apps can help current hipsters or former hippies live in harmony with the digital age.

Album Art Grabber

(Android; free)

Consider this scenario: You download the Pink Floyd song, "Money," but the cover art displayed is from the group's greatest hits album. Of course, you want the art to show the cover of the iconic "Dark Side of the Moon" album, where the song first appeared. This app lets you replace cover art for thousands of songs using its huge database of albums and artists.

WhoSampled

(iOS; $2.99)

You're listening to Jay Z and Kanye West's 2011 song, "Gotta Have It," and you swear you hear a fleeting second of James Brown circa 1974 singing the words "what you need." You're not crazy, the Godfather of Soul is there. Today's artists often "sample" older records as an homage to the all-time greats. This app, a spinoff of the popular whosampled.com, analyzes hundreds of thousands of songs and gives you the exact second when the sampling occurs. It can also scan your digital library to find samples and connections.

VinylDistrict

(iOS, Android; free)

While digital music is convenient, some hard-core music enthusiasts love the warmer sound of vinyl records, complete with the pops, buzzes and scratches. This app helps you find stores around the world that still sell LPs and 45s. Call before you begin your record hunt: The database hasn't been updated in a while, and some of the stores listed may have gone out of business or moved.

BandNamer

(iOS; $0.99)

Those who want to go beyond listening to music and perform their own tunes know the most contentious part of forming a band is often naming the band. This app, using a list of random words, suggests names any hipster band or group would be proud of. You won't get anything as classy or simple as Supremes or Beatles, but with the app's help you could take the stage as the Sweet Neon Tuxedoes or, perhaps, the Rowdy Drunk Kittens.


Tech bytes

ETA for GTA

Grand Theft Auto V will be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Nov. 18 and for Windows PCs in January, developer Rockstar Games said. When the game was first released a year ago, it racked up $1 billion in sales in its first three days on sale despite being playable only on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. Rockstar says the updated version features new weapons and vehicles.

-- PETER KING

LinkedIn launches job app

A new app from LinkedIn lets job searchers get notifications as soon as positions become available. Recommendations are based on saved searches, location and your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn says the app works "in total privacy" because those in your LinkedIn network won't be aware you are searching. The free app is for iOS only, but LinkedIn expects to release an Android version before year's end.-- PETER KING

Tag Heuer plans smartwatch

In the wake of the highly publicized unveiling of the Apple Watch, Swiss luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer said it plans to launch its own smartwatch next spring. Switzerland's watch industry is facing potentially intense competition from Apple, which has poached several top fashion designers to work on its watch line, including an executive from Tag Heuer.-- Reuters

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