Tag Archive: technology


How to Use Twitter #Music

Twitter's new music app / Twitpic
Twitter‘s new music app / Twitpic

The micro-news behemoth has jumped into the music game. So, what’s in it for you?

Today, Twitter finally rolled out its new music app, which is called Twitter #music. The company’s ambitions are predictably grand, calling the app “a new service that will change the way people find music, based on Twitter.” As a streaming songs and discovery service, they are entering a crowded and growing field, one that leaves users with various similar options. Let’s try and figure out how Twitter #music differentiates itself.

How does Twitter #music work?

Twitter #music has five tabs for exploration: “Popular,” which collects music that is trending on Twitter; “Emerging,” which promises “hidden talent found in the tweets”; “Suggested,” which uses an algorithm to offer music it thinks you might be into; “#NowPlaying,” which displays music currently tweeted by people you follow, using that hashtag; and “Me,” which simply displays music by artists you follow. Clicking on a tile will play an artist’s song, and offer you more music to listen to, either by that specific artist or other similar artists.

Where can I get Twitter #music?

Twitter music is currently available on iPhones via the App Store, and mobile is where Twitter is really hoping their music service explodes. But there is also a web-based app, available atmusic.twitter.com. Twitter says that an Android app will be rolled out soon.

How is Twitter #music different than something like Spotify?

Twitter is smartly trying to put the information it collects from its massive database of 200 million users to work, and for that reason Twitter #music is more discovery-based than Spotify or Rdio. Twitter wants you to click around its app and discover new artists and songs — be it a song so popular you feel stupid for not knowing it, or an artist you’ve never heard of — which will allow it to hone its suggestions to you and users like you. It wants you to get lost in the app even if you weren’t searching for anything specific.

Is Twitter #music in competition with other services?

Listen to new song from Black Sabbath here: http://go.spin.com/10lLOF8

Not yet, at least. Twitter #music plays previews of songs via iTunes as its default setting, but Spotify or Rdio users can link with Twitter #music to hear full tracks through those services in the Twitter #music app.

Will Twitter #music actually help me discover new music?

That depends. It’s a service that is primarily geared to the casual listener, so music nerds may find less worth in it. It suggests artists like Fabolous, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill — major rap stars who have likely been heard by anyone with an interest in rap music — but also artists like Kilo Kish, Kano, and Little Dragon, who are not exactly underground, but at least a bit more unknown. Absolutely voracious music fans will probably still find themselves plumbing the depths of something like Spotify.

Which of Twitter #music’s features holds the most potential?

Either the “Suggested” or “Emerging” tabs, which do the most to expose users to artists or songs they may not have heard. Both have their biases — “Suggested” could go much deeper than it does, while “Emerging” currently offers mostly white people with guitars, even ones like the Appleseed Cast and the Pastels, who have long since “emerged” from wherever they came.

What’s wrong with the other features?

Well, the “Popular” tab barely varies from something like the popular charts on iTunes or Spotify, though acts such as Azealia Banks, Robin Thicke, and Little Mix manage to slip in amongst the usual suspects Pitbull and Taylor Swift. Otherwise, Twitter #music is highly dependent on active engagement with musicians on Twitter by you and the people you follow. If you only follow 20 musicians on Twitter or don’t have friends that actively tweet about what they’re listening to, the “#NowPlaying” and “Me” tabs will be very limited.

If I follow a musician on Twitter, why do I need an app to discover their music?

This is probably the most obvious piece of evidence that reveals Twitter #music as an app for Twitter users that aren’t voracious music listeners. If you follow a musician on Twitter and keep up with their work, or are aware of artists similar to those you follow on Twitter, than the app will hold less appeal to you than to others.

Does Twitter #music have potential?

Sure. If musicians begin to release music consistently via tweets, the “Me” tab could become a useful clearinghouse for new music you want to check for. The “Popular” tab also does attempt to quantify exactly which artists are the most popular on Twitter, which beforehand was a process that was decidedly more arduous. Also, as more people use Twitter #music, the app’s algorithms will improve.

written by Jordan Sargent. 

 

Dropbox acquires Mailbox – battle for the mobile cloud begins

Fast moving cloud player Dropbox revealed a new acquisition that indicates its destiny lies in the direction of the mobile cloud with the purchase of mobile mail startup Mailbox. This is in addition to other recent acquisitions that include mobile cloud music service Audiogalaxy, tablet advertising platform TapEngage and photo service Snapjoy.

Dropbox, which counts over 100m users worldwide and which plans to create up to 40 new jobs in Dublin is assembling many of the components it needs to become a next generation IT giant.

Dropbox is a free cloud service that lets users bring all photos, docs and videos into a folder that can be accessed on any PC, Mac, iOS, BlackBerry or Android device and across a variety of web browsers.

MIT graduates Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi began work on Dropbox in 2007, as a Y Combinator start-up. It emerged in April last year that U2’s Bono and the Edge took part in a US$250m second-round funding of Dropbox. Read more here: http://bit.ly/15aOFgq

The mobile cloud is the cloud

Writing in the Dropbox blog, founders Houston and Ferdowsi said not had they fallen in love with the Mailbox app, they said they felt it actually was one of the few mail apps to actually deliver on the promise of helping users with their overflowing inboxes.

They said that Dropbox and Mailbox were a natural fit.

“We all quickly realised that together we could save millions of people a lot of pain.

“Dropbox doesn’t replace your folders or your hard drive: it makes them better. The same is true with Mailbox. It doesn’t replace your email: it makes it better. Whether it’s your Dropbox or your Mailbox, we want to find ways to simplify your life.

“We’re all looking forward to making Mailbox even better and getting it into as many people’s hands as possible. There’s so much to do and we’re excited to get started,” Houston and Ferdowsi wrote.

 

Regardless if you’re a musician or music consumer, your music life is about to change. Slowly but surely digital music distribution has been evolving from downloads to streaming, but that transition has been really picking up speed over the last 12 months. With Spotify leading the way thanks to reams of publicity, more and more consumers are finding that the joy of renting music beats owning it by a long shot.

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While it’s been long rumored that Apple has their own streaming service up their sleeve, several developments reveal the change that is about to come.

First is the fact that Jimmy Iovine’s Daisy project (named after the first computer generated song) just received a $60 million injection from the likes of Warner Music Group’s owner Len BlavatnikFort Worth billionaire Lee Bass and Australian financier James Packer. This is a serious investment by some deep pockets that know what they’re doing and don’t like to lose. Then comes word that Apple’s Tim Cook recently took a meeting with Iovine to be briefed on the project. Does that mean a collaboration? We don’t know, but at the very least, Apple has a good working relationship with Iovine, since he was one of the first to sign Universal Music onto iTunes back in 2001. Together they’d be a powerhouse, a true 1200 pound gorilla. Chances are that Apple will chose to go it alone and just stay at 800 pounds though. It doesn’t need a partner, but if there’s something there worth buying, they have lots of money.

Then comes word that Google has been quietly making deals with all the major labels for their own YouTube-based subscription streaming service to be launched later in the year.

If all this were happening a couple of years ago we would’ve looked to only one of these prospective services to be left standing at some point, with the others falling by the wayside. But this is a different time, with the streaming business far more mature thanks to the likes of Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Slacker, et al. It’s now probably possible that all of these new services survive if they’re at least half-way decent in their user operation and offerings.

This is definitely going to be a big win for consumers, with nearly an unlimited selection of songs available for a relatively small monthly fee (not sure what the price point will end up being, but $9.95 keeps being mentioned). Consumers are quickly seeing the advantages of renting their music.

It will be a different story for artists and songwriters however. By now everyone knows how little the royalty can be from a stream, with stories abounding about income lost by the writer and artist. Although a full transition to streaming will be a godsend for the labels, with steady monthly income actually bolstering their bottom line, you can bet that not much of that will trickle down to the artists – at least at first.

It’s not going to happen overnight, but within a matter of time, you’ll see the entirety of the management and law categories of the music business devise a better way to get paid, and eventually force the labels to fall in line. And when that happens, it will trickle down to the DIYers who insist on doing it their way. To what degree this all takes place, we’ll have to wait and see.

While we’re currently in the era of Music 3.0, we’re about to see the next stage of the music business. Welcome to Music 3.5! Read more here: http://bit.ly/X6Yx7o

Google In Talks For Music Streaming Service
 Warner Music Group has struck a licensing deal with Google for two music services the technology giant is launching later this summer, according to executives familiar with the agreement. Google will offer two distinct subscription services – one through its YouTube online video property and another via its Google Play platform.

Executives at Warner, which is the first record label to commit to Google’s proposed music service, declined to comment. A YouTube spokesman issued the following statement: “While we don’t comment on rumor or speculation, there are some content creators that think they would benefit from a subscription revenue stream in addition to ads, so we’re looking at that.”

Google is also in deep negotiations with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and other labels to nail down an agreement similar to the one it now has with Warner.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/15waxVi

Google will be jumping into a fiercely fought market for on-demand music streaming. Spotify, Rhapsody, Muve Music, Slacker, Samsung Music Hub, Sony Music Unlimited and Rdio are among the current players slugging it out for dominance. And later this summer, Beats Electronics will re-launch a revamped MOG service, branded as Beats Music.

Google, however, will be coming to the party with several formidable advantages – YouTube and Android.

Its YouTube platform attracts 800 million unique viewers a month. That’s vastly more than the tens of millions of people worldwide who are estimated to be using on-demand streaming music services — both free and paid. In addition, Google’s Android operating system powered 68.4% of all smartphones shipped globally in 2012, compared with 19.4% for Apple’s iOS, according to Strategy Analytics.

 

In Rainbows

Thom Yorke, the ethereal-voiced lead singer of the music group Radiohead, isn’t a fan of what Apple, Google, and other technology companies are doing to media. In an interview with UK-publication The Guardian, Yorke lamented what he said were attempts by tech companies to turn songs into commodities.

“They have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up,” Yorke said. “But in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless in order to make their billions. And this is what we want? I still think it will be undermined in some way.”

Five years ago, Yorke and Radiohead became Internet heroes when they self released the album In Rainbows over the Web and told fans to pay what they wanted for the work. In the interview, Yorke sounded more skeptical about that kind of distribution now. http://bit.ly/YXV1j4

 

Computers Laptops iPads - H 2012

Regulatory body issues first report aimed at curbing the streaming and downloading of copyrighted content.

PARIS: Already home to some of the strictest anti-piracy laws for users, France’s Internet Authority (HADOPI) has  issued a new report examining ways to curb usage of streaming and direct download sites.

Looking to stop piracy at the source, the report suggests a combination of techniques including site blocking or domain seizures if operators do not comply.

The authority suggests the implementation of content recognition by site owners, including digital fingerprinting technology. These systems could be used to remove content upon the request of copyright holders, similar to YouTube or DailyMotion, or restrict user access based on location.

If site operators are unwilling to add these mechanisms or if illegal content reappears on the site, the report suggests initial steps such as search engine de-listings. If sites fail to comply with the warnings, HADOPI suggests it could also resort to involving the the courts in order to seize or permanently block the domains.

The agency would also seek to target the finances of any sites subject to the copyright alerts, taking steps to block PayPal accounts, the use of credit cards and third party advertising. Again looking to the courts, HADOPI suggests that if financial partners refused to cooperate, it would seek legal action.

Read more about the story here: http://bit.ly/149BUlC

The HADOPI report will be reviewed further before the agency decides on any action.

 

Sony Building Tokyo P

The conglomerate will book proceeds of $445 million in its current quarter for the sale of its Sony City Osaki building, following a similar deal for its U.S. headquarters.

TOKYO – Sony will book proceeds of $445 million (41 billion yen) for the current financial quarter after the sale of its Sony City Osaki office building in central Tokyo, the company said Thursday.

The electronics and entertainment giant sold the 25-story building to a Japanese property fund and institutional investor for $1.2 billion (111.1 billion yen) but will stay in the premises under a lease — an arrangement similar to the company’s recent sale of its New York headquarters.

The building currently houses approximately 5,000 employees, including the company’s crucial, but loss-making, TV division. Plans to sell the building, the second-largest of its properties in Japan after its HQ, were announced last month.

Also last month, Sony sold off part of its stake in internet medical-services company M3 to Deutsche Securities.

Sony has also been investing: it became the largest shareholder in Olympus Corp last week after increasing its stake in the troubled camera and medical equipment maker to 11.5 percent.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/YDUpx2

Sony shares have risen more than 50 percent since December when they hit a multi-decade low.

 

 

Listening limited to 40 hours per month via mobile devices

Pandora Begins Limiting Free Service

Pandora, the music streaming service, will begin to restrict its formerly unlimited free services, as The New York Times reports. Starting this week, users who use the free version of Pandora on mobile devices will now have access only to 40 hours of free music per month.

The changes come due to increasing royalty costs that Pandora is required to pay each time a song is streamed on the service, according to a blog post by Pandora’s founder Tim Westergren. Though only fractions of cents per play, those costs have risen 25% over the past three years and will increase an additional 16% over the next two years, according to Westergren.

But as The Times points out, also contributing to Pandora’s decision are advertising rates and revenues, which are lower for mobile apps than the desktop service, which will remain free and unlimited. Read more here: http://bit.ly/YDO2dh

If you hit the limit, you can either listen on the computer rather than your phone, pay 99 cents for unlimited listening for the rest of the month, or opt into Pandora’s paid service, which costs $36 per year for unlimited, ad-free music.

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Maybe music executives can finally stop singing the blues. Music piracy is on the decline, analysts say, while an industry group said digital music sales in 2012 drove global music industry revenues up for the first time since 1999.

It’s not a very big gain for the music industry — just 0.3 percent to $16.5 billion — but even that small uptick may be a sign that digital music has finally put the industry on the path to recovery. Digital music and services, the report said, grew 9 percent in the past year. That comprises digital downloads, as well as newer subscription services such as Spotify and ad-supported services including Pandora.

“No doubt, this is welcome news,” said Recording Industry Association of America spokesman Jonathan Lamy, who said over half of the industry’s revenues come from digital services now. “We are starting to turn the corner, and that’s great news for the business and fans.”Not only have free or low-priced streaming services given music lovers easy access to their favorite tunes, the NPD Group found in a separate study that broader access to music is also driving fewer people to download songs illegally. These services have gained some industry support because they allow consumers to get the music they want while still supporting artists, record labels and others in the industry.

In its annual music study, the analysis group found that consumers are sharing less illegal music across the board. Not only is the volume of illegally downloaded music files over file-sharing networks down 26 percent compared to the previous year, so is the number of people who burn and rip CDs, swap music files on hard drives and download music from digital lockers.

Read more here: http://wapo.st/XjH7pZ

image from: www.publicknowledge.org

Apple - iPhone4S - 2

Lauren Maffeo from thenextweb.com suggest 30 apps for Android, iPhone and iPad to get your fingers moving. You may read here for complete reviews http://tnw.co/XdUF7m

Android

Audiotool Sketch

From drum machines to bass lines, this sound sequencing app emulates three various devices. Tempo changes and pattern switches aid the multi-touch ability to control each device’s output signal. And since Audiotool Sketch is built around the same audio engine as Audiotool, full power audio’s a given. ($3.99)

Sketch 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

AutoRap

Autorap 220x272 30 top apps for making music on your mobile deviceDoes your inner Hova need a hug? AutoRap corrects bad rapping by matching spoken syllables to any beat, using Smule’s “rappification” technology to let you create your own original raps or AutoRap from a Premium Songs Catalogue including Tupac and the Beastie Boys. Visualizations match the beat of your raps, and sharing capabilities via email, Facebook and Twitter let you share your glory with the world. (Free)

Beat Maker App Download

A programmable, customized drum machine, ability to create beats while playing with songs live and pattern based music composition let you set drum instrumentals to a rap, rock or hip hop beat. ($3.99)

unnamed 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Electric Drum Machine/Sampler

Real time playback and editing features erase the need to wait for sound prior to editing.  Ability to save and load custom drumkits also makes this beat composer ideal for live performances or solo samplers. ($3.99)

unnamed1 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Magic Piano

A catalogue of ivory ticklers-updated daily-guides you through the notes, rhythm and tempo of each piece while giving you ultimate control by touching beams of light. Sharing capabilities on platforms including Facebook and Google+ mean your personal rendition of “Ave Maria” or “Call me Maybe” could soon be the world’s to hear. (Free)

unnamed2 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Music Matrix

Inspired by Yamaha Tenori On, this integrated cloud-based sharing system offers 8 pages of 16×16 music sequencer matrix. Various lead instruments and flexible Scale & Key alterations let you merge notes with various instruments and percussions to design your very own music and ringtones. And if you want to sell the app with your name and company logo included, give them a ring! ($1.26)

unnamed3 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device

Poweramp Music Player

unnamed4 220x366 30 top apps for making music on your mobile deviceThis comprehensive music player supports files including MP3, WAV, WMA and more, while key features such as crossfade, lyrics/files support and mono mixing make it THE Android music player.

($3.99)

Ringtone Maker

unnamed6 220x366 30 top apps for making music on your mobile device“Drag-n-drop” editing controls, fine-tuning options and support by audio formats such as MP3 allow anyone to create a custom ringtone up to 40 seconds long. An upgrade to Ringtone Maker Pro costs $0.99 cents and removes adverts.

Facing facts, there are loads of these ringtone creation apps on Google Play. But Ringtone Maker is one of the old stalwarts on the block and it’s been tearing up the charts for ages. It has already crossed the 40 million install mark. Reviews say that it’s still one of the best out there, though a recent update appears to have removed the ability to fade out the end of a track.

(Free)

Songify

Life is like a song — at least with Songify.

Simply speaking into the app currently downloaded by 9 million worldwide users enables Smule-invented technology that turns speech into music. This official app of famed auto tuners the Gregory Brothers (known for auto-tuning already viral videos into such musical art as “Backin Up Song (feat. Diana)” and “Bed Intruder Song”) allows you to make your own kind of music-even if nobody else sings along. (Free)

Ultimate Guitar Tabs

With a collection of 400,000 tabs to choose from-the world’s largest database-you can learn and practice your favorite songs on the go. Adding tabs to your Favorites makes them available for offline browsing, while various Top 100 Tabs lists help you organize by bass, chords and more. In-app bonus: Tab Note, an add-on, offers access to more than 150,000 interactive tabs. ($2.99; Tab Pro available in-app for $3.99)

iPhone

BeatMaker 2

If 128 trigger pads aren’t enough, the chop lab, “live” modes and mixer console may pique your interest. Version 2.4.2 includes added iTunes file sharing and has fixed the note repeat feature. ($19.99)

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FingerPiano

No score? No worries. Scrolling guides across the screen offer 88 pieces of famous music to try, with songs designated for play either with one or both hands. ($1.99)

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GarageBand

GarageBand turns iOS collections into full recording studios, whether you’re a pro or have never played a note. The multi-touch keyboard, acoustic and electronic drum kits and instrument creation from the sounds made on your keyboard all let you play your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch like a literal instrument. A stroke of the finger on Smart Strings lets you conduct a string orchestra, and you can use your iOS device to play or record music live with up to three friends. ($1.29)

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Gigbaby!

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Even rehearsal’s gone digital. Whether karaoke or remixes fit your taste, Gigbaby! uses network sharing to exchange audio tracks with anyone-even if the tracks are incomplete. Each group member can record their own tracks, then swap them to compose a whole song.

It’s a bit of a play along how producers have shared partial tracks with each other for years. Whether they use something like AOL Instant Messenger, Skype or even Soundcloud, the collaboration methods have led to some of the greatest tracks in history.

($0.99)

MusiXmatch Lyrics

Missing a lyric? This database of lyrics for more than six million songs will keep you up to speed. You can also browse UK/US hits and watch their videos on YouTube. Bonus for Windows 8 lovers: MusiXmatch is offered on this system, as well as on Android. (Free)

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NanoStudio

Virtual analogue synthesizer? Sample trigger pads? When musical genius strikes, these features and more make NanoStudio a gem to have on the go. Compose and arrange your music in real time, then share it on SoundCloud on or away from your desktop. A “16 Instrument” in-app purchase enhances the experience for newer devices, while highly optimized chorus and bitcrusher effects let you run several at once. ($14.99)

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Figure by Propellerhead 

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The morning commute livens when you can play drums with your fingers. Those drums, (powered by Reason’s Kong drum machine), plus bass and lead parts that use Reason’s Thor synthesizer, make music with ease on the iPhone4 or higher.

Propellerhead is a long-time name in the music industry. The included drum samples are second to none, and the ability to record your samples then mix them with other tracks when you get back home is a great selling point.

($0.99)

TableDrum

Augmented reality will be big in years to come. In the world of music apps, TableDrum leads the way now. Syncing the sound of any object offers a real time response of drum sounds, which then link to your choice of high quality drum sounds. For a bridge between digital/physical worlds, this one’s a winner. ($0.99)

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Voice Jam

Many musical apps are renowned for instrumentals; this one makes your voice the instrument. A powerful audio looper records sounds while playing them back in a repeating loop. And since VoiceJam was designed as a live performance tool, you can harmonize, add rhythms with your voice and perform/record a whole song from scratch. ($6.99)

Yamaha TNR-i

mzl.jzjhwguw.320x480 75 220x330 30 top apps for making music on your mobile deviceAn app that combines rhythm melody on the grid, Yamaha TNR-1 musically and visually “places” sounds based on intuition. Users can also play 16 tones simultaneously, and six different performance modes per layer (including Push Mode to change tones while performing and Draw Mode to play songs in response to your fingers) leave options open.

TNR-i is based off of an older instrument from Yamaha called the TENORI-ON. But with a new, multi-screen interface,  you can do much more with the digital version than the hardware would ever have allowed.

($19.99)

iPad

bleep!BOX

Samples? Not on this app. A custom iPad interface generates every sound in realtime, and offers 50+ synthesizers, eight waveforms and live performance modes. Also available on iPhone, you can load patterns made on your mobile and upload them to desktop via bleep!BOX Plugin. ($5.99)

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FL Studio Mobile HD

A virtual piano, 99 track sequencer and simultaneous 8 channel recording make this app ideal for creating and saving multi-track projects. Added bonus: ability to load FL Studio Mobile projects into the (sold separately) FL Studio Desktop PC version. ($19.99)

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Glitchamaphone

Feeling animated? Glitchamaphone lets you create and edit your own compositions using up to five animated characters playing various fun instruments. Various features, including animations and environmental effects, change in response to your musical style, while three varied settings/environments each offer their own sound. ($1.99, normally $2.99)

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IK Multimedia DJ Rig for iPad 

Music Radar’s Si Truss calls it one of the best iOS DJ apps out there. For professionals, this can’t be beat; multiple deck modes and controls, three crossfader curves and professional pitch control for BPM adjustments make this one a must. ($19.99).

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KORG iMS-20

A complete music production app, Korg MS-20 analog synth with patching capability works alongside a 16-step analog sequencer based on Korg’s SQ-10. iMS-20 offers dual Kaoss Pads that create music with one stroke, while a seven channel mixer creates 14 different master effects. ($29.99)

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Morphwiz

The second app from Jordan Rudess has earned accolades from Keyboard Magazine and the Billboard Music App Awards-and it’s not hard to see why. Users can assign audio waveforms, round note pitches and control octave shifts, amongst other features. And its basis on the Haken Continuum Fingerboard will satisfy experienced users on platforms from iOS to Windows 8. ($9.99)

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ReBirth for iPad

The Roland TB-303 bass synth, Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines all in one app? Three key devices in the dance and rap music spheres use FX sequences, fully featured pattern sequencers, a Tempo-synced digital delay and more to create tracks so good, the built in sharing features will be a must. ($9.99)

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Scape

Bloom Creators Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers use Scape to make various sounds, processes and compositional rules react to one another, creating new music. 15 original scapes can be saved to a gallery, added to a playlist or shared by email. Call it the thinking man’s music maker. ($5.99)

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Studio Track

This app does for en route musicians what DJ Rid does for on-the-go DJs. WiFi synching, file import/export capabilities via email, stereo output meters and more make song recording away from your desktop a dream. ($19.99 for a limited time)

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touchABLE

Thinking about buying a controller for Live? Consider this app, where your finger navigates a live set and automaps tracks as well as parameters. No midi-mappings needed-toucABLE uses LiveOSC to communicate with the LiveAPI. And Dual-User-Mode lets you tweak the same set with two iPads. ($24.99)

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