Creative Block? Try Moodstream

The world’s largest stock imagery company, Getty Images, this week released a new mashup that leans on the company’s vast stock image and audio assets. The flash app called Moodstream draws on Getty’s photo, video, and audio collections to create what the company calls a “powerful brainstorming tool designed to take you in inspiring, unexpected directions.” The mashup debuted earlier this week at the Webby Award Film and Video Awards after party in New York.

Moodstream adjusts its output based on settings users input via sliders that describe their state of mind. Happy to Sad, Humorous to Serious, etc. Users can also control the type of transitions between image assets, the amount of color vs. black and white imagery, and the type of music. The app comes with 6 preset moods as well. Once you’ve entered your mood settings, the application delivers a steady stream of video clips and still images set to short snippets of music.

If you see a picture or hear some music you like, you can add it to your “moodboard” and get additional information on purchasing it from Getty’s library. That’s a smart move that ties some brand and product marketing into an otherwise fun mashup.

Sheila Lennon of the Providence Journal writes that Moodstream might be “even better if you can port it to your big TV.” She might not be far off the type of use case that the app’s creators had it mind. From Rick Webb, of the Barbarian Group, who created Moodstream for Getty:

What is Moodstream? It’s a concepting tool. The modern version of the fireplace. An interactive art piece. TV for the future. It’s a website we created for and with Getty Images to showcase all of their offerings – still, video and sound – and inspire interactive creatives. And it’s really, really fun to use.

He’s certainly right about the last part. I’ve had Moodstream running in the background all morning as I’ve been reading blogs and catching up with last night’s news, and I keep finding myself switching back to it to check what sort of visual and auditory treats it has for me. It is easy to see how designers could find inspiration while staring at Moodstream’s interactive slideshow.

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