Apps and Music

It seems like there’s been a flurry of interest by music entities (bands, artists, etc.) in music apps in the last couple weeks.

I’ve taken a few minutes to get familiar with some of the most recent releases:

Jimi Hendrix: The Complete Experience – This app has received some great reviews and it’s easy to see why. It features an not only intuitive navigation, which is simple (left to right), but multi-layered, as well as great resources including streaming video and integration with iTunes for song and album purchase. This is a very nice experience. Less reliance on a strict timeline to structure it, than the Sting 25 app, nevertheless, it still has a solid structure and feels really ‘together’.

Rolling Stone’s The Beatles – This is an album guide, kind of a coffee-table book with audio components. A little dustier and old school than others on this list, but with Rolling Stone (the magazine) behind it, there’s lots of good writing. There’s been some criticism that this is merely a coffee table book with links…

Sting 25 – Uses a timeline to connect his 25 year career. Streams a fair amount of video, but doesn’t try to do too much – provides clips of videos etc. instead of trying to provide everything internally. Provides a nice discography with link to iTunes.

One of the questions we at Giant Interactive consider when designing an app or talking with potential clients about apps is how the app experience will engage the user and expand or improve their relationship with the host or sponsor?

Each of these three music apps are great examples of doing just that. As a big Sting fan from back in the day, I was pleased to discover songs and remixes I didn’t even know existed. In fact, I discovered an entire album from Sting’s oeuvre which I’d somehow missed — which prompted an iTunes shopping spree. I learned more about Jimi Hendrix in 20 min than I had in a lifetime of listening to classic rock radio. And I gained an greater appreciation for The Beatles through the app experience than I’d never had before.

Each of these brought a new experience to me, which is precisely what I want my tablet to do — free me from the constraints of old-skool media like dusty coffee table books or CDs and liner notes… If nothing else, they’ve inspired me to thinking bigger, taller, broader as we develop app concepts.

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