Niall Byrne: Irish music apps are shining
Ireland has not had much focus on digital music so far save for the exception of music video site MUZU. But a trio of new projects are looking to make a name for themselves in the digital music and mobile spheres.
My Artists is an Irish-based app taking on the ubiquity of Apple's iPod with a much better solution. Developed by Oisin Prendiville, My Artists recently got a 2.0 upgrade that takes it far beyond the default iPod program. While that app has simple lists of artists and functionality, My Artists (myartistsapp.com) adds multimedia to your music player with individual images and biographies pulled from Last.fm for each artist, so you can learn and get context about them and their discographies as you listen.
For Last.fm-chart nuts like me, scrobbling can be updated in real-time. Not only that, but you can get recommendations for similar artists and browse YouTube playlists. The biggest draw for me is the ability for the app to take advantage of mobile data and listen to internet radio mixes from 8tracks.com and iTunes previews for albums you don't have from that artist. The app comes in lite and full versions that are free and €1.59 respectively.
Over in Galway, a startup called App Sandwich has turned its attention to the social music space with a new app called Muud.io (€2.99 in the App Store). The company were previously responsible for Eirtext -- a popular text messaging app developed by Vinny Coyne. Muud.io for iPhone and iPod Touch, however, is a totally different proposition.
Like iTunes' in-built Genius function, Muud.io scans your music library and recommends playlists based on your pre-selected mood. The difference between Genius and Muud.io is that the playlists are built using ratings from the community, Last.fm and you, meaning that a real human may have had input into your playlist whatever the occasion. It's another example of the kind of social-music application that's so in fashion at the moment.
Back on the web, Boost The Music (boostthemusic.com) is aiming to become "the best place to support the music you love". Taking a local-first approach, the site has launched in Dublin, Cork, Meath, Belfast, Waterford and Galway as a place for bands and fans to solidify the music scenes that exist in those places.
By giving bands, artists and fans a place to share ideas and chat about their local music, Boost The Music is hoping to enable the promotion and social activity around those artists. Artists can build profiles that have a social capital BTM score, which is calculated depending on the number of Last.fm listeners, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and activity on the site from fans of the band.
Additionally, Boost The Music is offering bands a unique way to make money through 'virchandise' stores which can include virtual T-shirts, mini polaroid and tangible music that could be used to finance recordings and offer a much-needed alternative revenue stream for your favourite bands.
Check dayandnightmag.ie for a limited number of My Artists and Muud.io promo-codes so you can try them out for free.
Day & Night