CompetitiveAnalysis-DavidZeng

From CS 160 User Interfaces Sp10

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

iGroup's idea

The iGroup has proposed an application that will allow dancers to splice and mark music, allowing for faster isolation and synthesis of music tracks.

Link to group's Group Brainstorm page: http://vis.berkeley.edu/courses/cs160-sp10/wiki/index.php/GroupBrainstorm-Group:iGroup

List of related applications

  1. Poddio/Poddio-Lite: Apptism Information
  2. BeatMaker: Features and Screenshots
  3. Ringdroid: Reviews and Video
  4. Touch DJ: Official Site
  5. Minisynth: Yonac Software site
  6. FLYP'T: iTunes Site
  7. Audacity: Source Code & Info
  8. Looptastic Producer: iTune's Store
  9. Everyday Looper: Mancing Dolecules
  10. iSample: WayOutWare Site

Analysis

Poddio/Poddio-Lite

Poddio is a music editor and recorder program. Its target audience seems to be music enthusiasts who don't have access to powerful music editing software. It's claim that everyone is able to learn and use Poddio with ease supports this idea.

Poddio allows for a full environment to record, edit, cut, splice and put together music sections. It utilizes the built in microphone to in order to record, and then has 16 different buttons to perform commands to edit the recorded track. You can perform anything from trimming unwanted sections, to taking 2 separate sections and putting them back together. The completely version also allows for file sharing and FTP transfer if you would like to send the music files to another place. Our product shares many ideas of Poddio, including the simple edit, cut, paste and trimming abilities. However, we currently don't plan to display the full waveform or any editing.

The reduced functionality of our product will actually help the user learn the interface that much quicker. By focusing their attention on the music length rather than form, our product allows the intended audience (choreographers and dancers) to concentrate on the immediate task, which is to mark music. Despite these differences, Poddio is a very intuitive application to use. Just from various pictures, it is obvious what kinds of actions you must perform and it's broad range of abilities in music editing make it perfect for beginning music enthusiasts.

BeatMaker

BeatMaker is a music creation studio for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Its primary audience seem to be DJ's and hip hop producers. While this audience differs from our own target audience, there are many similar features that this application has with our own.

BeatMaker's primary interface seems to be a 16 button touch pad which has different prerecorded sounds. By listening to a beat, you can touch these pads to create different beats, and from there, you can append different patterns to the beat you have created. There are much more advanced features ranging from velocity to pitching editing which will allow accomplished users to create very detailed and precise tracks. These advanced features make it seem that a music newbie will not be able to get the hang of this application very easily.

Although our application will be similar in it's music editing capabilities, such as adding and synthesizing music, it's overall goal is different from BeatMaker's. BeatMaker seeks to have users create their own music with their knowledge, and requires some level of musical knowledge to successfully use. Our own product will have a much simpler interface and will be accessible to users of all levels, but have reduced detail in editing tracks.

Ringdroid

Ringdroid is an android app that allows people to create their own ringtones. Its target audience seems to be anyone who wants to customize their phone. While the Ringdroid has a much broader target audience, its basic functionality is very similar to our design.

The Ringdroid allows for the user to take a track, see its waveform and then use the touch interface to mark a section of music and save it. Later the user can set these music parts to the ringtone of a specified contact. This basic idea of cutting out a section of music is very similar to our own idea. However, our application will be a little more advanced, allowing its users to save multiple music pieces together and then select the appropriate one.

The Ringdroid itself has a very basic and simple interface, which will allow a large user base to be able to successfully use it. I hope to be able to emulate this design, but incorporate a little bit more functionality.

Touch DJ

Touch DJ is a music mixing application. Its target audience (as implied) are DJ's and other people who like to mix music. This is another niche in the music community that differs from our own target audience.

The Touch DJ boasts to provide all the standard DJing tools without the equipment. Users can mix without headphones using something called visual mixing. It also supports other standard DJing tools such as spinning, scratching, pitch adjustment and the speed of the music. It solves the problem of volume differences between tracks by normalizing between songs. The Touch DJ boasts a variety of features that our own app does not have due to the difference in target users.

The Touch DJ's own interface seems to be complex, but takes into consideration the many needs of it's own user groups. Our app will hopefully emulate this and fully address the needs of its niche users.

Minisynth

Minisynth is a music synthesizer whose target audience seems to be music producers and enthusiasts. It replicates many of the features that a real synthesizer has.

Minisynth acts like a real synthesizer by providing many of the real tools a synthesizer will have such as sound filters, oscillators and tuners. It also allows for music imports and exports so that people will create their own tracks. I do not myself understand the full logistics of the tool, but from reviews, it seems that it's functionality cannot quite replicate a real snyth as its filters are not powerful enough. Given the limitations in hardware, this is expected.

Despite hardware limitations, the interface itself of the synth is rather simple for the variety of features that it boasts. Its success is its simple interface, something that we will hope to achieve. Music importing and export is a feature that will also be helpful to have.

FLYP'T

FLYP'T is a music app that allows the user to customize their music by adding sounds and effects in addition to the lyrics. Its target user group is similar to previous apps, targeting music enthusiasts and potential DJ's. Like before, this is a different niche in the music community than we are targeting.

FLYP'T provides an interface for users to add additional sounds, as well as change around phrases and lyrical sections in the music. It allows the user to save it in real time. Lastly, it allows users to share their musical creations online. For our app, it would be useful to able to implement similar functionality to the phrase and section moving. We also hope that people will be able to post to a single source, so that their creations can be shared with other people, allowing for a community to build.

FlYP'T interface is very clean and users will be able to interact with it quite easily. The best part would be the real time editing, which would be a great addition to our app. Our app will be a bit simpler in overall design, thus allowing users to focus on the music splicing, rather than editing.

Audacity

Audacity is actually an open-source project to record and edit music. It's not on a mobile platform, but is supposed to be very powerful. It's target audience is broad, allowing for musicians, DJ's, producers and even beginnings who are just playing around to use the software.

Audacity is very powerful and has a giant list of features. Besides its ability to record music, it can edit, splice and cut music. For the more advanced users, it can adjust pitch, tempo and even add/remove effect such as background music or humming. Users can even see the frequencies of the music with a full graph. This is clearly much more advanced than our app will implement. Like mentioned before, reduced functionality will allow the user to concentrate his efforts on the task at hand.

Audacity's interface seems very clean, with not a lot of clutter and a good visualization of what is being done to the music. This visualization is something that could be potentially good to take away.

Looptastic Producer

This app is a music editor and like many other apps acts as a digital audio workstation. It's target userbase are those that seek to create original tracks, often DJ's and music producers.

The functionality is similar to many others described. It creates the music by appending different parts of songs (loops), and is able to create a much larger sound file from the combined parts. It also supports pitch and tempo adjustment like many other apps.

One thing we can take away from this app is its ability to combine parts from different songs, something that I had not previously considered. While this may be leading us to making a music maker, than an editor, further thought might lead to something more interesting.

Everyday Looper

The Everyday Looper is a music combiner that allows people to record their own music by looping (repeating) the same parts and editing it to create a musical track. Its target audience seems to be amateur musicians who cannot play multiple parts at the same time. This is similar to our user base in that our users also cannot keep track of multiple music parts at the same time, and thus we provide a way to organize or combine music fragments for later use.

The way to use this seems to be to plug something in and record as you go, allowing for real time recording. It allows you to change the beat at which you record and by using your fingers, you can change which parts are being played. It allows people to create a very cool acapella-like track. AWESOME

One challenge I see in this interface is the real time recording, forcing people to maybe record multiple times in order to get it correct. All the edits are real time too, which may be difficult for some people. Our app won't suffer from this problem, as people can do the music editing before they play. Like before though, it would be good to have real time cutting and splicing, preferably with only hand motions.

iSample

iSample is yet another pocket studio app. Its target group and functionality are all fairly similar to previous ones described. One thing that differs from previous apps, is that that it has 6 different engines to record 6 different tracks, but only up to 30 seconds in length. The music creation is done by overlaying the different tracks in a repeated fashion. One limit I see to this besides the 30 second limit, is the ability to only layer 6 things, with specified start and stop times. However, the editor interface is very good for zooming in and getting the exact part which is wanted. This is a feature that I hope to see emulated in our app.

Summary

After an extensive search on possible music splicing technology on the iPhone, it seems that there is no product that matches our product design and target users. While there are many digital audio workstations that allow you to make, splice, and cut music, theses applications are mostly dedicated towards DJ's and amateur music producers. The niche of people that make/mix music is very sufficiently covered. However, applications that to the group of people that dance or use music to do other arts are not explored. I believe that our application will be able to fill in current hole that is the lack of applications targeted to dancers/choreographers. Since the iPhone often acts like a music player, there is no reason that it cannot be adapted to a variety of uses when music is played for dancing or singing.

Within the variety of existing applications, the standard interface applications that relate to any type of music editing/splicing is very well defined and has been done in a variety of different ways. I have seen complex applications with complex controls (IFLYP'T and Minisynth) to simple applications with intuitive controls (Ringdroid and Everyday Looper). From these, we can gain an idea of what type of controls work best with our application. With a bit more work and study on what users want, we could be potentially building an app that serves a growing population and begin a trend of music apps tailored for other artists.



[add comment]
Personal tools