Audioboo & @bobbyllew’s Carpool
When we launched Audioboo – March 2009 – we launched on the iPhone because we already had excellent in house Mac OSX development skills, which transitioned nicely into the iPhone development environment.
But we always saw audioboo as a sound platform spanning any device – mobile, web, radio and whatever else we could find. To that end, we’ve been working on wrapping up our playback and recording code into frameworks that any developer can use to integrate audio into their app.
That’s a big task for a small and over committed team but we’ve taken a small step towards it today with the release of the Carpool app for the iPhone/iPod Touch.
Carpool is the work of the talented UK media artist (he does so much it’s hard to settle on a term that accurately describes him) Robert Llewellyn. Best known for his TV work in the UK (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge etc), he’s also a prodigious voice over artist and dabbler in the art of what used to be called multimedia when he was young but I guess is now just called digital.
Carpool has a simple premise. Find someone interesting, drive them to where they want to go and video the whole thing whilst driving and chatting away to your hearts content. It has a massive cult following worldwide and Robert does new ones faster than we can keep up.
Robert was onto audioboo very soon after launch (listen to his
first second boo). We met with him last year (and last week actually, as you can hear in this boo) and he agreed to become a kind of mad beta lab for us to test how simple and successful it would be to embed our functionality within a completely separate app. Now, we have an API that allows developers to build integration from the ground up into their websites or applications, but this was a slightly different different approach. We knocked together a very primitive packaging of our code frameworks and dropped them into a very simple app that contained Robert’s carpool video’s, tweets, blog posts and, of course his audioboo’s.
Few things behind this. Is it functionality that people, brands and companies would want within their app? Does it push up listens? Is it any good? The answers are beginning to come. 3 days after launch, Robert’s 3 most recent boos are in the top 5 most popular list. That begins to suggest to us that the ability to provide integration of in app listening for particular users might be a feature we offer in the future. We’ll keep you updated on our thinking on this.
Anyway, the app is now live and you can get it from iTunes for the excellent price of nothing at all. The video is delivered from Blip.tv, so needs a fairly robust wifi connection to play properly and we have yet to implement the recording frameworks so that people can send boos back to Robert from their iPhone. Sure he’ll enjoy that. But it’s a good start. And it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.