Aviary, the free, web-based suite of image-editing apps, is hatching a new addition today: A free, web-based audio editor to rival GarageBand and its ilk.
The application, called Myna, will allow users to create and mix up to 15 tracks of up to 5 minutes in length, composed from Aviary's library of 3,000 loops and beats and/or user-recorded tracks. Obviously, this is leading to the next logical step: A free, online video editor.
To kick off the Myna launch, Aviary is staging a remix contest with band Major Lazer.
The project has been underway for about a year, according to cofounder and product development lead Michael Galpert, who spoke with us yesterday.
"We're excited to see what people will do with this," he said. "It's been a long time coming." The very fact that the app has been so long in development completely contradicts the "launch early, launch often" mindset; the result is a very polished product.
"A bunch of artists I've been talking to just want to give us their stuff," said Galpert, who also said he doesn't see the app replacing professional audio editors any time soon. "For record labels, they're interested in using our tools on their websites to engage fans."
In addition to pulling from the extensive Aviary library of loops, riffs, and fills, users can record audio of their own, a feature best suited to vocal tracks. And though there's currently no input for recording instruments, users can upload their own audio tracks in most standard formats.
The app also offers a limited but serviceable variety of audio effects, such as pitch shift and reverb.
Projects saved online are by design collaboration-friendly and make for great educational tools for students and hobbyists. Aviary sells $25 yearly subscriptions that allow for some privacy and IP protection; non-subscribers must save their audio projects publicly for other users to browse.
The app runs fairly lightweight, as well. "The file size itself ends up being small. Because of the storage, we built the technology to minimize the size and not kill the servers," said Galpert.
In addition to working on AIR-based desktop versions of all the Aviary apps, Galpert revealed that a video editing program is in the works.
"We plan on releasing a video editor," said Galpert. "But to get the video right, we needed to get the audio, as well. As Flash, memory, and browsers improve, we try to be at the front of that technological curve."