Close friends will know that I’m a bit of a walker. In fact, a few years ago I did start to put down tentative plans for a walk across the African continent, but a Fellowship at Stanford put pay to that. I rarely use public transport when I’m on the road, preferring to remain above-ground and on-foot to get a better sense of where I’m staying. And although I’ll sometimes carry my camera with me, I almost always carry my iPod.
Most of my thinking is done while I walk, and most of my blog posts take shape that way, too. I carry a note pad a lot of the time, stopping often to jot down ideas. This post came together while I was listening to music, walking through Cambridge earlier this year. That walk witnessed the birth of the “Ultimate Music Awareness App”, and Apple’s announcement of iCloud this week prompted me to dig it out again.
So, what would my app do? Well, it’s quite simple really.
- It would have an option to plays songs written on that day’s date, or which reference that day’s date
- It would be location-aware, and create an auto-playlist of songs written about the place I’m walking through, or with name-connections
- It would play songs by artists who were either born, or lived, in the area
- There would be an option to play songs based on that day’s news headlines (for example, if a study found annual rents were increasing – or decreasing – then it would play “Rent” by the Pet Shop Boys). A summary of the news story in question would also be displayed on-screen for context
- All of the playlists would be compiled in real-time, and streamed/buffered from the web
- Playlists could be uploaded and shared on-line (and mapped) for other music lovers/walkers
If anyone ever developed this, I know I’d buy it. After all, it would be my ultimate music awareness app.