PLANET OF THE APPS: 5th July 2011
Glastonbury app news
100,000 people downloaded the official Glastonbury app according to Orange (who made it) - that could be 74% of everyone who bought a ticket. Orange also says that mobile data use at Glasto (use of apps, also facebook, twitter, mobile browsing etc) was up 377% on 2010 - more than 630GB of data was used over the weekend. There's also a useful 'friends finder' aspect to festival epps.
Burning Shapes QR code album
UK indie band Burning Shapes are doing a nifty marketing campaign for their new album. You can get the whole thing for free by scanning QR codes (barcodes plastered on posters at their gigs, their merchandise and on their social network profiles) with your smartphone. The album doesn't come out until October, so fans get it early as well as free. This demonstrates how QR codes are going to become more popular for musicians to do fun promotional stuff.
This is a serious app, not a novelty - they get you to take pictures of your moles and gives you a verdict on whether they might be cancerous. The science bit: "uses a proprietary mathematical algorithm to calculate the fractal dimension of the mole..."
Toby Snax by Kristin Hersh
When she's not playing gigs or recording, Kristin Hersh is writing and illustrating. Her latest is Toby Snax, which has an iPad app (plot: a shy bunny goes on a big trip with his mum, based on Kristin's own experience taking her kids on tour). The app includes lullabies performed by Hersh too.
It's finally out! Soulwax are doing a bunch of one-hour mix sets, which can be played online or within their iPhone / iPad app. The twist is that they come with visuals inspired by the songs' cover artwork. It's very nifty indeed - but also a good discussion point for how musicians and DJs are starting to get creatively involved with apps - new and exciting ways to get music out, rather than just marketing.
This is Yamaha's Tenori-On app - the iPad version of the instrument that Little Boots and Bjork have been playing, which costs £12 rather than £400 for the device itself. Another example of interesting music-making apps, and can segue into a talk about Bjork actually playing an iPad in her current live show.