Music streaming and discovery apps are so commonplace, it’s hard to know where to start. With all the big players diving into the space – including Samsung (who just announced “Milk,”) BeatsMusic, and Amazon – the market is becoming over-saturated.
We’re excited about a relatively new trend that is getting far less attention: apps that offer music or sound as an experience.
What’s the difference between discovery and experience? At Man Made Music, we have always seen music as a vehicle for creating an emotional experience. We’ve put together a list of some of the apps that prove music can be so much more than just pleasant sounds for your ears.
1. Mogees – Mogees, developed by British musician Bruno Zamborlin, is an app that works with an attached sensor to turn every day structures into musical instruments. Remember the guy next to you in history class who used to drum his fingers on the desk? Yeah, that guy. Mogees turns mundane thuds into beautiful music for anyone listening through the headphone jack.
The app, available for both iOS and Android devices, uses the sensor (a piezo-transducer) to transform nearby vibrations from tapping or hitting solid objects into a signal. The Mogees app uses that signal to produce sounds that have to be heard to be believed. Users can tap openly in “Free Mode” or along to their favorite songs in “Song Mode.”
Mogees has already reached its Kickstarter campaign goal of £50,000. If all goes well, the app won’t just be for adult musicians or music lovers – it could also be an educational tool, and the company plans to release “Junior Mogees” if they reach their stretch goal of £75,000 for that very purpose. Check out the video – we promise you’ll start to understand what we mean by “music as an experience.”
2. DynoMax Mobile Sound Lab – Fortune 500 company Tenneco, owner of the DynoMax brand, has developed a sound lab app (iPad) for auto enthusiasts. The app allows users to scroll through a variety of their mufflers to “hear” the sounds before they make a purchase.
“Performance enthusiasts ultimately want to know how the muffler is going to sound, and the DynoMax Mobile Sound Lab provides a true muffler sound experience that’s easily accessible on any iPad,” Sales & Marketing Manager Chris Gauss said in a statement.
While the app itself is not revolutionary, it’s the sonic version of “try before you buy.” This concept could easily be applied to other industries whose consumers are influenced or affected by sound, pleasant or otherwise (think household appliances).
3. Snippit – You share your photos on Facebook and Instagram, your thoughts on Twitter, and your sounds on SoundCloud. Snippit combines the social sharing aspects of those platforms with a focal point on short snips of music. Users can take 4 – 10 seconds worth of music for each post to express themselves not only through words and photos, but through sounds as well.
“Most music apps just show you what your friends are listening to, or allow you to share just a pre-set 30 second song preview,” Miguel Estrada of Snippitt told The Next Web. “Snippit gives users the ability to choose an exact verse or section of the song to share, and that creative control is very powerful and fun.”
So far, the Snippit team has raised $500,000 in funding and it’s currently free to download in the iTunes app store.
4. Pacemaker – The new Pacemaker DJ app for Spotify is the perfect marriage between sonic experience, music discovery and streaming.
Instead of using only local files as most DJ apps do, DJs can now choose from the catalog of over 20 million tracks that Spotify offers. It’s not the first to go the streaming route – the “edjing” app pulls from SoundCloud and Deezer – but Pacemaker is the only app to use Spotify as it’s source.
Pacemaker is being hailed as a game changer for the casual DJ. “We hope it’s accessible,” Pacemaker CEO Jonas Norberg said. “We believe that there is a bunch of people out there who want to do a little bit more than just passively consume music. They want to mess around with it.”
In other words, they want to be a part of the experience, not just consumers of the end result.