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Apparently the Mayor likes The Smiths as much as I do

TechCrunch reported on a pretty cool little announcement yesterday:

Universal Music Group (UMG) has struck a deal with Conduit Labs, a startup that creates musical social games, to provide users with access to UMG’s library of licensed music from the record label’s artists such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and others. The partnership will extend to all 1 million users of Conduit Labs’ games, including Music Pets, Super Dance and Loudcrowd, to access the tracks.

Forgive my lack of eloquence but… Conduit Labs FTW! The previously mentioned Loudcrowd is a very cool social gaming site where users could play DDR-esque dances for each other to an electro-heavy soundtrack featuring the likes of Justice and Chromeo. I posted about the game last year on this blog and was very excited about what they were offering. Still, with limited music distribution rights the game limits its demographic. Whether or not Conduit Labs will introduce their new tracks to Loudcrowd remains to be seen, as it might be a betrayal of the niche, but they’ve already made their way into the company’s latest project Music Pets.

This is where I digress for a moment and gush about Music Pets. It is a social game/virtual world Facebook app that lets users take care of a pet whose sole motivation in life is to jam out to tunes, eat food and then keep jamming out to more tunes. You can train your pet through an awesome mini-game to acquire your music taste, and then have it fetch new tracks for you to listen and share with your friends. Gaming, music discovery, sociability… it’s all there and it’s all awesome. The UMG deal has opened up a large plethora of options for Music Pets – my pet was able to jam to everything from The Smiths to Burt Bacharach to La Roux.

Thus far I’ve stayed far the hell away from most Facebook apps, including Farmville, but the attraction and playability of Music Pets is undeniable. The 1 million other users who signed up in the first month agree.

Is this the gamification of music discovery? Or is the musicification of social gaming? I kid, I kid… but this new deal with UMG makes a game like Music Pets a serious competitor to a music discovery platform like Pandora. The social game doesn’t have near the depth of selection offerings you’ll see in Pandora – but if this proves to be a success you can expect to see the spectrum widen immensely. We’ve seen major record labels partner with virtual worlds and social gaming before (Planet Cazmo) and UMG’s agreement shows a continued interest in pursuing these spheres as viable marketing tools.

Oh, and did you notice my Music Pets animal is an adorable freaking panda bear? Music, virtual worlds and pandas: there are few things better in this life.


At this point I am trying my hardest to detach myself from any desire to own an iPad. However, after reading this article from Create Digital Music the drool is starting to escape from my mouth.

Thus far I’ve been disappointed with the music app offerings on the iPhone, except for RjDj. RjDj is “reactive music” software. It changes and moves with the listener, picking up elements of the environment that adjust the music you’re listening to. It is one of, if not the, most innovative music program to come to Apple’s hardware – pointing to the future of how we will listen to and interact with music.

Here’s the great news – RjDj is coming to the iPad and has apparently been given steroids. Check this shiz out:

Now that is a whole helluva lot cooler than screwing around with an 808 kit on your touch screen. There has been a lot of buzz about the possibilities of music software on the iPad and this release is a good indication that developers will be able to do a lot more on this platform than they were able to do on the iPhone.


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