Pairing the old with the new, Blue Note Records, established in 1939, has launched an app for iPad developed by Groovebug.

Blue Note was founded in America to make recordings of traditional jazz and has since become one of the best known jazz labels in the world, encompassing many more styles within the genre. The label is currently owned by EMI and is a part of the OpenEMI project that allows developers to create new apps for music.

The Blue Note App is the first to be commercially released through OpenEMI. This initiative was launched last year in partnership with The Echo Nest and it aims to streamline the licensing process for developers. The platform provides tools for developers for recommendation, discovery and revenue sharing.

blue note 2 520x390 OpenEMI and Groovebug release Blue Note Records App for jazz fans
The Blue Note app provides a way for users to explore classic jazz recordings from artistes like Wayne Shorter, Art Blakey and Dexter Gordon. It’s free to download the app with 30 second clips from the initial catalog which includes over one thousand songs.

For a monthly subscription ($1.99/£1.49) all of the songs can be listened to in full. The app also offers featured playlists curated by jazz experts, new audio each month and the option to dedicate songs to friends on Facebook. Detailed liner notes and album information is also available so at least a little of the joy of physical music formats can be indulged.

For the uninitiated, jazz newbies can find an artist they do know and then search for similar sounds to broaden their tastes.

bluenote 1 520x390 OpenEMI and Groovebug release Blue Note Records App for jazz fans

Opening up music history

OpenEMI offers ‘sandboxes’ for developers to experiment with digital content. There are thousands of tracks and other material from the EMI catalog as well as specific sandboxes for particular artists like Professor Green, AIR, Gorillaz and others.

According to OpenEMI, hundreds of developers have signed up already, which means we should be seeing a whole bunch of games, remix tools, streaming applications and other ideas explored as the work comes to fruition.

EMI (Electrical Music Industries) was founded in 1931, through a merger of companies that have a history back to the origins of recorded sound. That’s one heck of a back catalog. Every single track might not be available, but a huge selection of works collected through the years is a substantial set of data for developers to consider.

As the recording industry rides through its rocky patch of digital upgrades and IP battles, it’s possible that opening up catlogs for the creation of innovative apps might provide better ways to make money instead of earning from lawsuits over piracy. Opening up music with fresh apps seems like a step in the right direction for putting music in people’s hands so they might not need to find illegal ways to find what they want to hear.

➤ Blue Note by Groovebug

Image credit: Martin Cathrae