Earlier this week, I finished a longer post about a new iphone app that streams concert recordings from the Live Music Archive and included an interview I did with the app’s developers:
A couple weeks back, a new iPhone app called Music Archive was released on the iTunes App Store that streams concert recordings from the Live Music Archive. I was pretty excited to see this at that time, and I know that many of our readers will also be interested in this app if they haven’t already heard about it.
I’ve not yet posted about it because I decided that I wanted to dig a bit deeper into its development. One of the things that struck me was that the developers are offering it as a paid app, but what they’re tapping into is a database of non-commercial content offered by a non-profit organization (archive.org). Not only that, when I first checked it out, I noticed that they hadn’t directly addressed the issue on their website or in the iTunes store. As such, I not only wanted to get a bit more background on how the project came together, but I also wanted to explore some of the underlying issues related to using the LMA’s non-commercial content for a more commercial enterprise like an iTunes app.
Since reaching out the developers — Josh Bergen and Brett Erpel — they not only answered some of my questions but they also gave me a free demo copy of the app. I’ve had a few days to give it a test-run. Although it isn’t perfect, it nicely taps into the LMA’s database of available MP3s and puts them at your fingertips with a slick interface. It’s pretty damn cool to have so many concert recordings at your fingertips. I’m sure they’ll continue to make useful tweaks and nicely improve the app in future versions.
I’ve been really pleased with the reaction to the post so far, as it has generated some great commentary. What’s also interesting about this is that the app directly hits on what I was referring to in my recent post on music streaming services and their lack of live music tracks: Music from the Cloud? A Live Music Fan’s Take on the New Music Streaming Services . In this post, I touched on the fact that there are a plethora of free sources for live music on the web, but that there aren’t really any mainstream music streaming services making use of them or serving the live music fan in a direct way. The Music Archive app is just a start and a bit more limited than my original vision, but it’s still very cool to see such a well-timed example of where I was going with that post.
Of course, if this kind of live music geekery is of any interest, then please also check out my Univ. of Chicago Master’s Thesis, as it touches on a lot of similar topics: “When we’re finished with it, they can have it”: Jamband Tape-Trading Culture.