The Music App Map, Part Two

Music apps' greatest hits (so far…)
  • AmpliTube
  • Gibson Learn & Master Guitar
  • StudioApp
February 10, 2011 -- 10:50 am PST
By Antony Bruno /

(The Recording Academy will host the Social Media Rock Stars Summit on Friday, Feb. 11 in Los Angeles, featuring a discussion regarding relevant issues concerning music and the mobile platform. Participants will include Adam Lambert and Chamillionaire, and social media pioneers representing Facebook, Foursquare and Pandora. As a complement to the event, we offer our exploration of today’s most noteworthy music apps. Be sure to download The Recording Academy's MusicMapper app, and create, map and share your personal musical journey. And tune in to our live stream of the Social Media Rock Stars Summit live on Feb. 11 starting at 2 p.m. GRAMMY Live.)

How popular are mobile apps? According to 2009 data released by Apple, maker of the iconic iPhone, more than 7 billion apps (free and paid) had been downloaded from the iTunes App Store since it launched in July 2008. A recent Nielsen study found the average smart phone owner has 27 different apps on his/her device at any given time. While games, weather, maps/navigation/search, and social networking apps made up the most popular types of apps downloaded, music apps ranked fifth. Analysts project the app market will continue to grow, predicting approximately 50 billion apps will be downloaded across all smart phone platforms by 2012 and driving revenue of $17.5 billion worldwide.

In part two of "The Music App Map," we take a look at some of the mobile music apps making waves in the category of Professional Tools. 

Professional Tools

(IK Multimedia)
Platforms Supported: iPhone
Price: $19.99

AmpliTube's guitar- and bass-tone software app brings computer-based recording capabilities to the smart phone. Guitarists plugging their instrument into an iPhone through the iRig interface adapter (sold separately for $39.99) can access virtual amplifiers and effects, a digital tuner, a metronome, and multiple presets, turning their phone into a mobile practice tool. The app includes five amplifiers, 11 stomp box effects, five speaker cabinets, and two microphones (a free version of the app with fewer features is also available). Users can import and play with songs or backing tracks and create, save and recall up to 36 presets. A 4-track recorder in-app is also available for purchase, transforming the app into a mobile demo studio.

Gibson Learn & Master Guitar

(Gibson, Legacy Learning Systems)
Platforms Supported: iPhone
Price: Free

Gibson and Legacy Learning Systems teamed up on this app, which won Billboard's Best Branded App. Designed as a resource for guitarists, it features a professional-quality chromatic tuner, a metronome with multiple time signatures and a tap tempo function, and on-screen chord library. It also includes full-length video lessons for all levels of guitarists, links to printable resources and access to Since its launch, the app has been downloaded nearly 2 million times.


Platforms Supported: iPhone
Price: $4.99

This 4-track recorder gives artists and hobbyists alike access to a mobile recording studio. Users can record multiple layers of audio over default or imported instrumentals. The bounce feature lets users layer even more tracks for infinite combinations with no limit on track length or the number of tracks that can be created. Completed songs can be exported to users' computers or the developer's website via a SoundCloud account to share with others. It also includes a lyric feature, audio store and ability to add cover art. A free version of the app, StudioApp lite, is also available. 


Others Of Interest: BMS Recorder, FourTrack, iWriteMusic, Rehearsal Assistant

(Antony Bruno is the executive director of digital/mobile content & programming for Billboard magazine. He previously worked for the mobile industry trade publication RCR Wireless News, and served as assistant VP of wireless Internet development for CTIA — The Wireless Association.)

Come back to tomorrow for part three of our feature as we provide an overview of the apps making waves in the categories of Music Consumption and Discovery And Engagement. Meanwhile, download The Recording Academy's MusicMapper app, and create, map and share your personal musical journey.

Tune in to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy's social networks on Twitter and Facebook

The Music Mapp App: Part One, Part Three, Part Four

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