This morning I tried out Aweditorium, a pretty sick music discovery app for the iPad. You start panning over a huge grid of dimmed out artist thumbnails. In the top left you can see dots representing other users, showing you where they are located on the grid in real-time. To start listening to a song, you tab the thumbnail.
Once you’re listening to a song you can view real-time song lyrics, share on Facebook and Twitter, view video interviews, and watch full-screen music videos for the songs. You can always watch Pop-Up-Video style factoids about the artists while you listen. In just a few minutes I had fallen in love with a couple groups I had never heard before.
Aweditorium combines a novel interface with rich media and tons of information about what you’re listening to. It’s a fun and rewarding experience.
This is a beautiful example of the Canon 5D MarkII‘s video capabilities. Nine Inch Nails is posting several HD videos of their live performances up on Vimeo on their official account. Below is footage of Burn performed in Melborne. The effect you see from the strobes has to do with the 5D’s rolling shutter, but apparently plagues many other video cameras, and isn’t necessarily a major point against the 5D. The effect actually grew on me as I watched the video… it reminded me of having old film come out of sync with the shutter, and it matches the industrial grunge asthetic of NIN.
I’ve got a pretty solid idea of what I want my next camera to be.
This may be old news to some, but it dawned on me to check for this a few minutes ago, and I was excited to see that it works exactly as I had hoped.
The [amazing] music site Last.fm has an events calendar system. Each artist page has an events listing, showing you when they’re playing where. There’s a great social networking mechanism where you can say that you plan to attend an event. You can see other users who are going, and there’s a message board for posting notes about the event. There’s even a unique Flickr tag for each event, and photos posted with that tag will automatically show up on that event’s page on Last.fm. As a user, you get an events calendar on the Last.fm site, but you’re planned events aren’t stuck there.
At the top of your events page there’s a iCal sync link. Click that link will add a subscription to your iCal that will auto update your calendar with your planned events. This is killer, the exact type of information freedom that we’ve come to expect from cutting edge sites. I recently found that it is possible to export Facebook events into iCal, but it looks like a one-time syncronization, and will have to be repeated as you add new events in Facebook. Last.fm, however, will automatically update your calendar, which makes the whole transaction seamless to the user.
What other sites with “event” tools have this level of syncing?
[Update] Listen was quickly shut down by Sony. Since iPhone OS 2.0 came out, and the App Store has been launched, the best (in my experience) song identification app is now Shazam. [/Update]
Erica (you may see her posts over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog) is at it again… she has hacked together Listen, a native app that records a snippet of audio from the iPhone’s built-in speaker, and then goes online to identify the song. It’s in early development, but so far it has given me perfect results, and I’m subjecting it to more than Top 40. I’d LOVE to see Sam Steele integrate this into his MobileScrobbler app, so that you could grab a sample of a song around you and be at the song’s Last.fm page in seconds. Here’s a quick video I did to show the application in action.
There are quite a few other phones that have been able to do this for a while, I’m sure you’ve seen the Verizon commercials. However, I’m completely impressed by the community of developers hacking away at the iPhone and iPod Touch. They have been the only reason that the extremely bland (when stock) iPhone has become such an interesting device. I hope the official Apple Mobile OSX SDK gives developers easy access to the hardware. I know they’ve stated that it will be limited, but I’m hoping the limits aren’t too tight to allow this type of development.
[Update]: A couple Digg users have taken a look inside the application and found that it’s piggy-backing on Sony’s sound identification service for its own cell phones. It will be interesting to see how long the app can stay alive.
I was alerted about MobileScrobbler in a Twitter post by Wayne Sutton tonight. Ever since the day I got my iPhone, I felt like the always-on data connection could be put to some great music logging use. I’ve been using Last.fm to track my music listening habits for almost three years now, but whenever I leave the house my music goes unmonitored. I thought, could someone write an application to monitor music played on the iPhone and then report it to Last.fm with Edge or Wifi?
This is exactly what Sam Steele has done with MobileScrobbler. In my initial testing (just a few songs so far) the application reports songs instantly over both Wifi and Edge. The app will even work great for Touch users, as it currently stores 250 songs in the submission queue, so your play counts will be updated whenever you get to an open Wifi connection.
I don’t know if Last.fm tracking software exists for other media-centric phones, PalmOS, Windows Mobile, or Symbian systems. If not, I hope MobileScrobbler encourages the development of some. I love the fact that now my Last.fm profile is going to be so much more representational of what I’m listening to while away from home. Unfortunately, though, it’s another reason to leave my 60gig iPod at home and instead carry an 8gig sub-set of my music library. Audioscrobbler has the ability to log music listened to on your iPod using ‘Recently Played’, but it never works for me… must be something about how I mix computer listening and iPod listening time before syncing.