Ocarina: Musical Instrument Built for the iPhone

Ok, I’m loving the way the platform for the iPhone is constantly expanding. Holding up the device to a radio and using an app (Shazam) to identify the song, artist and offer the ability to buy that song… well that’s just cool. It works pretty well, I had it on my iPhone for awhile.

(I took it off to make room for more apps I wanted to test. I don’t really NEED to know a song that often, but it’s cool to have when I do.)

Being able to scan a barcode and look up the product online, complete with price comparisons to get the best deal… that’s a great concept as well (It’s on my list of apps to try, but I’ve not done this one yet — I’ve heard it still needs a bit of work). I’ll wait for the next version.

One that I did recently download (a paid app) that is uber cool is called the Ocarina by smule. This has GOT to be one of the coolest expansions of the different parts of this device for a completely new purpose.

The mic is used as a “reed” to blow into in order to play the instrument. The touch screen offers combinations of four virtual “buttons” to make a multitude of tones and sounds. And if having a little instrument in your pocket isn’t cool enough… they’ve also taken the social networking aspect to a new level by broadcasting (with your permission, of course) the music of all players all over the world.

So you can watch on a globe of the earth as someone far away struggles with those beginning chords of amazing grace, or triumphs over the final chords of Greensleeves. If you get tired of listening to one new-iphone-age artist, you can hit the next button and the globe spins and picks up another player somewhere else in the world.  Hit the heart emblem to give props to those you like — everyone has their own username.

Yeah, I know that the iPhone has had mini-piano programs (I got the free one to play) and drums and guitars, and some that are a whole band in your pocket… but this is different. This is something completely new.

It’s an instrument FOR the iPhone and it’s worth the 99 cents just to play with the expansion on this smartphone’s overall concept and what it can do. Very cool. Try it.

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