updated 01:00 am EST, Wed November 16, 2011
Interactive 'docu-apps' go behind the scenes
Two titans of late 20th-century music have released new apps for iOS devices that showcase not the latest music from the performers, but rather analysis and information, interviews, song lyrics and other tidbits from across their respective long careers. Pink Floyd, who first emerged in the psychedelic late 60s, offer a trivia-laden app called This Day in Pink Floyd, while Police frontman Sting celebrates 25 years as a solo artist.
The This Day in Pink Floyd app ($3, for all iOS devices running 4.0 or later) features a lengthy guide offering analysis and inside info on each of the band's 167 studio tracks over the past 40 years, and includes a free ringtone (Shine On You Crazy Diamond), wallpaper images, a 200-question quiz and rarely-seen photos and footage of the band. The app also acts as a front-end to the iTunes Library, able to play any Pink Floyd songs the user already owns (or offering to take you to the iTunes Store to buy more Pink Floyd tracks). Each day is noted with a different fact related to the band, and features links to the official website and other sites.
Sting (real name Gordon Sumner) first rose to prominence as the bassist and lead singer for The Police in the late 1970s, part of the "New Wave" movement that followed the collapse of punk. Since then, Sting has also established himself as an actor, activist and solo artist, though he has recently reunited with his bandmates in The Police for tours.
The Sting 25 app (free, iPad only) sports hours of interviews, music videos, live footage and more, and acts as a user-controlled "appumentary" overview of his solo career as well as coinciding with his recent 60th birthday. The app features exclusive footage from Sting's birthday concert for the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City, which featured a number of music celebrities including Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock and Branford Marsalis among others.
The app also features music videos from across Sting's solo albums, QTVR photos of his signature guitars and other instruments and samples from his albums, along with the ability to buy songs via iTunes or play the Sting songs already in the users' iTunes library. The app sports dual-screen Airplay, allowing users to watch concert footage or videos on an HDTV while still being able to access other content on the iPad.
Sting appeared on Monday at the Upper West Side Apple store in New York City to debut the app, and dedicated a song called "Fragile" to Steve Jobs, crediting him with helping "to create our future." The app, which is sponsored by Chevrolet and American Express, is dedicated to Jobs' memory.