I'm too lazy to make playlists. Plus, I like to experience albums in their entirety. For times when I want to listen to a mix of songs, I typically pick a genre in my iTunes library and hit shuffle (or use Pandora or Spotify's radio feature). Given my playlist aversion, I was excited to put Couch Music Player to the test, a new music app for the iPad whose chief purpose is to make the playlist creation process so easy that even lazy people like me will undertake it.
Couch Music Player costs $1.99. It features a two-column view that works in either landscape or portrait mode. The left column lists the music you have stored locally on your iPad. You can view by artist, album, or by song, and there is also a search function. On the right are your playlists, or queues as Couch Music Player calls them. (An apt term since, in its aim for simplicity, the app doesn't let you name these playlists.)
Tap the "+" button on the right to create a new queue. To add a track to a queue, you can either drag and drop it or simply give it a tap. You can drag tracks around within a queue to reorder them, and you can drag a track off to the right to remove it from a queue. If you drag a track to the left, the app lists the album it came from in the left column, making it easy to grab other tracks from that album. Above the "+" button on the right are two buttons to clear a queue and another to see a thumbnail view to browse your various queues. You can also see this thumbnail view of your queues by pinching.
Along the bottom are play controls, including a shuffle button. If you tap on the thumbnail of the album cover of the track currently playing to the left of the play controls, you enter full-screen mode that lets you swipe from album cover to album cover of the songs in your queue, while tapping on the screen to play and pause.
For my music-listening habits, Couch Music Player almost converted me. It makes creating playlists an intuitive and enjoyable process, but it doesn't support Home Sharing, which I use to stream music on my iPad from my iTunes library on my MacBook. This isn't the fault of Couch Music Player; Apple has not opened its API for Home Sharing to third parties. According to the developer, however, Couch Music Player supports iTunes Match.