Monthly Archives: September 2011

Fotopedia Turns Flipboard Into a Beautiful Photo Magazine

You know I love Flipboard and I love Fotopedia too. Fotopedia has beautiful photographs and Flipboard has a beautiful socially-influenced iPad magazine. Now the two are together and here the founder talks to me about that.

o add to the high-flow news day, today Fotopedia shipped a new, very beautiful, photography-centric magazine into Flipboard. Here founder Jean-Marie Hullot shows me the new magazine, and talks to me about some of the things he’s seeing. Fotopedia’s other apps have seen five million downloads, he told me, and Hullot was Apple’s and NeXT’s CTO for many years, so he has done some unique things in the industry and it’s great to get an update from him.

Join our Google+ discussion to discuss the features of this great new product.

Tonara: An iPad App for Musicians

Check out this video. iPad app listens to musicians and follows along, so you don’t need to switch sheet music. It does a lot more.

This is why the iPad is just so cool. Does your tablet do this?

Playing a musical instrument can be challenging, especially for beginners. Trying to follow along with sheet music and having to turn the pages while playing only adds to the difficulty. Tonara has developed an iPad app that helps eliminate this burden while providing additional innovative features to assist musicians.

“This technology is called acoustic polyphonic score following,” explains Yair Lavi, CEO of Tonara. “Score following is the ability, given the scores of a certain piece or song and the live performance of this piece, to follow with very high precision the exact location in the score of the performance. Acoustic means that it works with acoustic instruments like the piano or violin. It doesn’t have to have a digital connection. And polyphonic means that it works with polyphonic instruments. A polyphonic signal is a signal that is composed of several notes being played together. A piano is a polyphonic instrument, and several instruments being played together is a polyphonic setting.”

As a musician plays music from a score, a cursor follows his progress through the song and moves from page to page automatically. It works regardless of tempo and filters out external noise. There are currently 250 pieces of sheet music in the system, and Tonara is adding to the library at a rate of approximately 100 to 150 pieces per month.

Because it works well even for beginners, it can function as a great educational tool, showing progress from playing one page correctly, to two, to three and so on. In future versions, the software will be able to display the notes that were played correctly and those that were played incorrectly, so students will have a clear picture of where they need to improve.

Musicians can download each part of a piece of music but choose which part they want to synchronize on the screen. For example, the trumpet player might choose to sync only his part, while the pianist might choose to see everything. In addition to instrumental syncing, the app also works with vocalists.

“Tonara has the only polyphonic score following technology today,” says Lavi. “We actually developed it [over] a couple of years, even before the iPad. During the last year, we ported it into the iPad, and we plan to port it into different tablets. The tablet is the ideal platform for the musician, because they can place it on the piano or the music stand.”

Reposted with permission from Building 43.

Join the Tonara conversation over on our Google+ discussion.

Developers: Socialize Helps Make Your New App More Social

Mobile developers: make your apps social with Socialize.

Socialize helps developers make their apps social. Think about how to make your app have comments and likes, just like Instagram does. That’s what Socialize does, and here the execs show it to me and tell me about what their company and technology does. Plus you get really great analytics, too.

Participate in the Google+ discussion with us to discuss Socialize in-depth.

Shaker Brings New Interactivity to Facebook

The finalists at Techcrunch Disrupt are shaking… literally. In this video, I sit down with Shaker to give you a look at why I say this is going to be an important company in the social world. You’ll need a Facebook account to use this as it works in direct conjunction with the popular social site. I hung out for a while last night, shaking it on the bar and “buying” drinks for friends.

Shaker is a fun way to hang out with your friends and friends of friends. Make some new connections and chat with them one-on-one. There are a few features I’d like to see included in their next update, including a chat room of sorts. There needs to be a way to interact with everyone in the bar instead of only one person at a time. I’m hearing from my female friends that they would like to see customization options for their avatars. That’s not really as important to most guys, but women and teens will demand this option before they’ll embrace the service.

You can check out all of the companies who were the finalists for TechCrunch Disrupt and let me know who your favorite was.

Come join us over on the Google+ discussion to talk about Shaker in-depth and share your ideas for future iterations of the app.

RapidBiz: App Development Tool for Non-Developers

More and more companies are starting to realize that managing business processes using spreadsheets is a cumbersome and inefficient way of solving problems. However, hiring a software developer to create an application from scratch that replaces the spreadsheets can be costly and time consuming. RapidBiz is a tool that eliminates the time and cost associated with third-party development by allowing both developers and non-developers to create applications quickly and easily.

“When people want to have something done right now, they have a tool set that allows them to do it, and better yet, it deploys it immediately to the web,” explains Terry Bird, Founder, President and COO of VACAVA, maker of RapidBiz. “So if you want to get that information out to your customers, your suppliers, your team, you can do that literally in a matter of minutes or hours today with RapidBiz.”

The RapidBiz interface features a simple drag-and-drop methodology where users name fields, tie them to the appropriate field or column in the database, click save and create their app. In addition to stand-alone apps, users can create apps that serve as extensions of their existing ERP solution.

“I think we all understand that ERP is great and provides a wealth of features and functions around the process,” says Bird, “but it can’t do everything for everybody every time. That’s where RapidBiz really shines is if you need to extend an existing solution, whether it’s ERP, financial or anything, then RapidBiz can probably do that very easily.”

While the tool is designed to allow anyone to develop an app, RapidBiz has consultants on hand that will help you through the process should you need assistance, or they will develop the app for you using the tool. Apps are 100% web-delivered on standard IE and Firefox browsers, and users can link to any database to which a connection can be established. Customers have already used the tool to develop a wide variety of applications from a global quotation process to a sales support system to a global supply management system just to name a few. Once your app is developed, deploying it is as simple as clicking a button.

“When we developed it, we knew that you couldn’t just do it so I could develop it and then I’ve got to hand it off to a programmer, and then the programmer has to deploy it,” explains Bird. “We didn’t want that. Literally all you have to do is change a radio button from in development to deploy or active, and it is now available on the web. And it’s available to whoever you give the URL to and who’s authorized to actually go after the app.”

Come join the Google+ discussion to talk about RapidBiz in-depth with us.

Translate on Your iPhone in Real-Time using Vocre

Two killer travel apps launched at Techcrunch Disrupt

Check out these two new apps:

Vocre is a very cool new app which can help you do translations on your iPhone in real-time.

Trippy, read the Techcrunch report on that. We have a great Trippy discussion going on over on Google+ if you’re interested in joining us. If you’re interested in trying out the app for yourself, use beta code invite scobleizer to sign up.

Vocre translates from one language to the next. Watch the video and see how it works, quite cool.

Trippy helps you use your online friends to travel. It’s quite useful and I predict we’ll see more like it as the world moves toward social systems like Google+ and Facebook.

Two cool apps, what do you think?