Media Magazine a New Music App That Rocks

Posted on the 10 October 2012 by Themarioblog @garciainteract a new music app that rocks
Purchase the book on the iBookstore

iPad Design Lab” trailer on Vimeo.

The EPUB book alert:

To all of those who are writing to let us know that you can’t buy The iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet, in your countries, or for your tablet, the good news is that we have completed the EPUB version and it should be ready to download as soon as this week.  We will keep you informed.

TAKEAWAY: The new app combines music, storytelling, gaming and some cool avatars, too.  We give you the behind the scenes for the making of this visually stunning, entertaining app.

Watch a short video of the app

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Here is an app that takes The iPad Lab to the next level: think musicians creating in their garages, transferring their new music to big markets, recording in a real studio and instantly getting fans across the globe.

It is the app which premiered Oct. 9 after almost a year in the making.  We at Garcia Media are honored to have been a part of the process of creating this app. is a global content creation and distribution network that connects talented, emerging bands with audiences around the world through live HD video music performances.

First, let me say—-as I know many of you regular readers of TheMarioBlog are already thinking it—-this is the type of app that we are not usually associated with, which made the process more challenging, energizing and demanding, for sure.

We were also assigned to redesign the already existing, website, a task that was directed by Mario Garcia Jr., working closely with the team.

By the time we met with BAMM for the first time, their young brand already had character and unique voice in their space. The key was capturing the same character and voice and translating it in the website so that users would get the virtual experience, while finding it easy to find videos of emerging independent bands in a community-like environment.

When Nick Hansen, president and co-founder of, first approached me about us getting involved, I confess that I had some doubts: this is not a media app as such, and it is about music and musicians, not necessarily the audience with which we are most in contact.

But Nick had his own ideas:

You are a storyteller, Mario,’ he told me.  “That is what you have done during a long career; you are also a designer, and this app, as we envision it must be about telling stories in a well designed package.

That was good enough for me, and so the next step was to put together a team so that we could get going with a first creative workshop.

I remember telling some of my colleagues in the industry that working on the app required “a village”.  How true.  Talk about team effort. The making of this app was a high level trapeze act with several high flying artists who knew they had to work together so that one would hold on to the other after the jump.

Our artists did not fall.  Holding the act together was Reed Reibstein, whom I named project leader for the app.  From his den in New York City, Reed managed to coordinate Skype phone/video conferences that sometimes involved five different time zones: from New York and San Francisco to London and Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

IIf there was one person who knew what was happening at all times, it was Reed, who by the way, also assisted us with the typographic and storytelling aspects of the app. He recommended Dizajn Designs Dezen Pro for branding, which appears throughout the app and website.

Reed had to deal with the entire “village”—led by Nick and Chris Hansen of, Joe Zeff and Ed Gabel of Joe Zeff Design, GMD Three, and Jody Haneke of Haneke Design.

Now, the app is here, and for many musicians globally, it is their forum to launch their music and their careers.  Why this app?

Independent music is no longer a niche,” Chris Hansen, CEO and co-founder of, said. “We began the business because of our experiences as musicians who had to deal with an incredibly challenging environment in the music industry. We set out to prove that there’s a better way to do things, that there is a huge opportunity in creating straightforward and transparent agreements with independent artists that bypass the major label system. Our iPad app is’s introduction to music fans, as well as an expression of our fundamentally different approach to the business of music.

The challenges

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Here is screenshot from the app as it appears today

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One early sketch for app, emphasizing story structures for storytelling

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Early sketch is our first approach to navigation, visuals and storytelling on the same screen

For us at Garcia Media, the app presented challenges beyond dealing with a new subject—-music.  In addition, both Chris and Nick Hansen wanted a game to be an integral part of the app.
Avatars were created, inspired by real people at the studio in San Francisco, which I visited, much to my delight. That visit represented a key point in the creation of the app, as I moved about the studio, met the people, saw them editing music on real time.  I wanted to stay there beyond the scope of my one day visit.

The avatars and much of the environment were created by the artist known as GMD Three—that is his name and the only name we have for this mega-talented man who does his great work from New York City.
GMD captured the essence of each of the real people of whom app users will greet and meet upon entering the app.

It’s all about fun user experience

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Mario visits the headquarters in San Francisco: a fun day with some of the most creative people I ever met

The app is a real innovation in user experience and is unrivaled in its ability to communicate knowledge about the bands without breaking the user’s experience,” Nick Hansen,said. “The intrinsic interactivity of the app encourages engagement and, in return, it will reward you for the effort. was built to introduce music fans to a vast library of professional-quality content that is not encumbered by the major label licensing system. is part of a new generation of innovative companies that understand the importance of rewarding their audience for engaging directly with their product,” said Kris Duggan, CEO of Badgeville. “We are thrilled to be the gamification platform selected to power’s modern gamification program enabling users to unlock exclusive content and earn status in the community natively within the iPad application experience.“

Of related interest:

Joe Zeff Design Blog: Launches iPad App to Encourage Music Discovery

Today’s Best Apps: Real Soccer 2013, Riddle Pic,….. launches an Immersive iPad app for fans of live, indie music

Garcia Media: Two new projects with promise

Availability and Requirements

The iPad app is available to download for free via the App Store anywhere on the world. It is written in native iOS and is compatible with all versions of iPad. You can download the app here:

About curates, produces and distributes broadcast-quality live performance video content from emerging music artists and indie labels through a global network of world-class distribution partners. Built by musicians who have dealt with the music industry’s hurdles themselves, takes a fresh and transparent approach to music industry licensing that puts the promotion and development of artists at the center. content creation factory” employs a highly efficient process for producing, distributing and monetizing content for mobile apps, TV and the Web. provides HD video and audio production at no cost to the artist in exchange for global distribution rights to the content. Net profits are split 50/50 with the artist. has several monetization business models via a global network of distribution partners (including Samsung, Mozilla, Chunghwa Telecom and many others). To date, has 12 distribution partnerships reaching 150 countries. was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with a subsidiary in London. For more information, email [email protected] and visit

For more information:

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

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1st Middle East News Design Conference

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It promises to be a great program, and a historic one, too: the first SND Middle East gathering. Put it on your calendars: November 8 & 9, in Beirut, Lebanon. Sponsored by An-Nahar and SND.

For more information:

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