We’re still buzzing from the excitement of getting the KCRW Music Mine iPad app out into the wild. The app exemplifies our desire to bring public media to mobile and tablets in new and amazing ways. Mark Ramsey says it well in this review.
With the launch flurry settling down, we’ve had some time to reflect on how the app came about. It was quite a process. Head over to the PRX Labs blog for an interview with Matt MacDonald, PRX’s Director of Project Management, on the concept and design, where he says things like:
One goal for us was to encourage musical exploration and delight so some of our interaction decisions basically force you to try out music that you might not be familiar with. We made sure to encourage that by not adding features like search or sorting and filtering tools.
Read Exploring The Depths Of Music Mine on PRX Labs.
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of KCRW Music Mine, an iPad app that gives you a unique, exciting way to discover new music.
Music Mine is the product of a close partnership between PRX and KCRW, with design by Roundarch and music intelligence powered by The Echo Nest. Nearly a year in the making, the app developed from lengthy brainstorming sessions about what a next-generation station experience on the iPad should — and could — be.
KCRW excels at a lot of things — music, news, local Los Angeles culture, food, arts, film. But rather than attempt to recreate the KCRW.com website, or duplicate the station’s existing iPhone app on the iPad, we went further. We chose a focused concept that spotlights KCRW’s expertise in music discovery and pushes the limits of the iPad user experience.
PRX and KCRW certainly weren’t the first to come up with an app that lets you listen to music or even radio programs about music. So we pushed further, drawing upon the formidable design talents of digital agency Roundarch to wield user experience and graphic design to truly set this app apart. The Echo Nest was also brought in for their “music intelligence platform” which gathers music news and multimedia content from across the web.
The result is stunning. This video gives you an idea:
The app is beautiful and appealing. But we weren’t just going for beauty. We wanted to transform the music discovery experience from simply tapping a Play button and getting what you’re given (though that’s plenty great, too) into something much more active. With KCRW Music Mine, you want to pay attention. You want to explore, with the knowledge that KCRW DJs will make sure you only find good stuff. You can use the app simply to discover new music to like, or you can choose to go deeper to learn more about the artist and their work.
Or, you can just tap a Play button and get what KCRW’s Eclectic24 gives you.
Not only do we think Music Mine reshapes the music discovery experience, we think it exemplifies the kind of mobile/tablet presence public media should aspire to. At PRX, we believe that new platforms are opening up great possibility for fresh new expressions — not just reflections — of stations and programs.
KCRW Music Mine is a perfect incarnation of PRX’s mobile goals: To partner with innovative entities to create cutting-edge mobile experiences for public media.
This post was crossposted from the PRX Blog.
You’ve always been able to listen to This American Life, one of public radio’s most popular shows, on the Public Radio Player. It’s been there since the Player first launched. But some shows make you want to dive in for a more complete experience – full archives, fun extras. That’s why lots of you also have the dedicated This American Life app for iPhone, developed by PRX.
When the iPad came along, the folks at This American Life saw they could invite you in even deeper, by taking advantage of the tablet’s unique user experience possibilities. So PRX partnered with them again… and voilà! An iPad app that truly befits a marvelous show and a marvelous device.
April 7th, 2010 → 1:48 pm @ josh // Comments Off
Yesterday, the PRX development team got their hands on an Apple iPad and immediately installed the Public Radio Player to see how it looks on the new device. Overall, we’re quite pleased with the display and performance of the app on the iPad (we have not yet customized the Player in any way for the iPad). One nice feature is the ability to bump up the size of apps designed for the iPhone to better fit the iPad’s larger screen. Even nicer is that the Player looks pretty good at the larger size. Here’s a screenshot comparing the Player’s native size on the iPad with the larger 2x resolution. Moving forward, we plan to look into the iPad SDK (software development kit) to see how we might fine-tune the Player for the tablet experience. iPad users, feel free to tell us you’d want. But even in its current state, the Public Radio Player is up-and-running on the iPad, and all you early adopters should download the free app and enjoy the best of public radio on your shiny new toy.