The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on August 24, 2008

Music community Koblo needs to show some soul

Music community Koblo needs to show some soul
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

Sometimes I look back at the good ol’ days of Magix Music Maker 6. I used to spent hours in my bedroom, creating cheesy dance songs. The software so rich and incredibly complex, at least that’s what I thought back then. Little did I know that a decade later, tools like Magix Music Maker would’ve found their ways to the web. Some are even more sophisticated than the hobby-minded music tool. Remember the incredible audio tool from Hobnox? This morning I received a tip about another music editing tool called Koblo.

Technology caught up with a vision

The Aarhus, Denmark-based developers have enriched their desktop software (which dates from 1998) with an online community.t Founder Max Gronlund looks back the days of ’98: “Big stars had teams of experts and sophisticated working groups to produce their music. I wondered how could technology be used to do that for all musicians. I wanted to create tools that connect people to music and musicians to each other. Technology has now caught up with that vision. With the advances in web applications and computing in the cloud, we can now collaborate globally in a way that really works. Enabling groups of people to work together in an efficient fashion.””

What does Koblo add?

KobloThis is also the thought behind Berlin-based start-ups Hobnox and Soundcloud, although the latter doesn’t provides audiotools. The people behind these companies told me that both music start-ups are doing pretty good. Is Koblo too late? Or does this Danish service adds something Hobnox and Soundcloud don’t?

Apart from my Magix Music Mixer glory days, I don’t have any experience mixing and recording music. So I have to leave the mixing comparison between Hobnox and Koblo up to the experts. I can say that an advantage of Hobnox is that musicians can do everything online. Moreover, Hobnox is free. Koblo charges money for several plugins. On the other hand, their software is open source.

Sell those tracks

But there is definitely one thing which gives Koblo added value in the online music world (once again, maybe their editing tool does as well, but I can’t be the judge), musicians can sell their tracks on the marketplace. In the ideal situation, a vibrant community emerges which will share and comment on each other’s tracks. Just like on SoundCloud. But while at Soundcloud it all revolves around indirect advantages, Koblo wants to give it users the possibility to make some money out of it as well.

Where’s the soul?

I’m not sure whether this approach will work, since a large and active community is a necessary condition. If I were Koblo, I’d take another look at competitor SoundCloud, which seems like an expert in making feel their users welcome and part of something (both online as offline). Koblo will have to show some more soul, so that their website becomes a more welcome environment. It looks a bit cold now. If Koblo succeeds in this, it might grow out to be an enrichment of the online music world.