Apple first launched the iPhone in 2007. In addition to giving users the future of smartphones, they gave them a new way to view their music in the form of cover flow. Being able to swipe through a visual representation on one’s music was a novel experience that is curiously left out of the iPad’s music app. Imre Katai’s app Album Flow is one of several apps hoping to correct this and it is be available for free for today only.
Album Flow adds several new features to a Cover Flow-style experience. These features include information like a play counter and the last time a song was played, a full screen song list, and the ability to easily create new playlists. Users can also personalize the app’s look with various color options, the ability to import background images as well round or square off album art for easier viewing.
Album Flow usually costs $2.99. However, in celebration of the launch of iTunes Match, it is available on the App Store for free today.
The Iclandic superstar’s upcoming Biophilia is the first full album released as a universal app (though it won’t be the last, we’re sure). Originally envisaged by Björk as a house that would contain a song per room, the new iPad app boasts “interactive art and games, music notation which can be used to sing along karaoke-style, abstract animations, lyrics, and essays that explore Björk’s inspirations for the track.”
The app is organized around a two dimensional map reminiscent of a star chart. Each node int he map takes users to the music and interactive art associated with it. The intro is narrated by none other than David Attenborough, the voice we’ve all heard on countless hours of nature shows over the past couple of decades. Here it is, below, right from the official Björk YouTube channel:
The album will eventually have 10 album tracks, each with their own interactive game or art piece. There is currently only one song available with the free download (not including the theme song for the album, Cosmogeny), with future tracks to be priced at $1.99 apiece. The album will also be released as a more traditional audio-only album, with a music video for the first single, Crystalline, directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), will debut this coming week, as well.
We applaud Björk and other artists to come, in their attempt to reinvigorate an industry that bemoans its own relevance in the world of instant downloads and file sharing technologies. Creating a work of art around a new album is not only the beginning of a new era, but will help justify the retail cost of such an album, perhaps putting to rest some of the industry’s own fears and, perhaps, arrogance.