Later.fm is like Instapaper for music. And like Instapaper, it is beginning its life as a web-only app, although it works so well in Mobile Safari that you won’t care about the lack of an actual iOS app right now.
The free service works just like you’d expect. Create an account (do this in a desktop browser to make the next step easier) and drag the bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar. Then, next time you find some music you like the sound of, just click the bookmarklet (or tap it, on the iPhone or iPad) and it’ll be saved to your queue.
Later (of course) you can visit Later.fm and find all your new songs in a great-looking list. Tap the thumbnail of the album art to play and use the navigation controls at the top. As it’s a sound stream inside Safari, Later.fm plays well with AirPlay, letting you beam tunes to the speakers around your home.
You can also browse previously-saved music (tracks are automatically moved off the “unplayed” list when you listen to them) and favorite tracks. But best of all is the range of services it works with:
…and plain old HTML5 audio, with Vimeo, Official.fm, and Bandcamp support coming soon.
There are other apps around to do this, some of which integrate with Rdio and Spotify, but I like this one as it works with so many sources, and it is sped light weight. One thing I’d ask for is the ability to save the site as a proper web-app. As it is, you can save the bookmark to the iOS home screen, but tapping the new icon causes the app to relaunch inside Safari, resetting any music you were listening to.
Still, it’s free and does the job. It also has the kind of name that brings success. I’ll be watching this one.