A new iPad app called Groovebug just launched. It uses your iTunes music collection to create "an iPad magazine tailored to your musical tastes." The familiarities to Flipboard seem a little forced. You do use the swiping motion to go from one page to another but, outside of that, it doesn't feel much like a magazine experience. Also, Flipboard is more sophisticated about how it embeds external content. Although I did like how Groovebug embeds YouTube videos.
That's not to say that Groovebug doesn't have a lot of potential. I think they're onto something in regards to bringing the Flipboard experience to music. The personalized (through your iTunes) aggregation is a good start, but I'd like Groovebug to help me discover more music and media content about music too.
Groovebug is powered by The Echo Nest, YouTube, and a custom aggregation engine. The Echo Nest is an increasingly popular music intelligence platform - Spotify and Rdio have both launched Echo Nest-powered features this year.
I really like the concept of Groovebug, as explained in the company's press release:
"There is incredible access to artists now through all of these yet lack the cohesive experience of the past (sitting with album art and packaging and reading liner note, looking at photos, reading their thank you lists, seeing where it was recorded and how, etc). Groovebug offers a unique flip through of all things related to an artist in simple swipes of the iPad eliminating the need to go search several sites or possibly missing information by skipping a crucial site."
Indeed, there is a great opportunity for someone to create a cohesive album-like Internet experience. Musicians such as Arcade Fire and more recently Bjork have come up with artist-focused creative solutions. But there's room for a media app like Groovebug to offer a solution that's based around the user's needs - rather than the artist.
That's what Groovebug aims to do. "Personalization is one of our guiding principals," according to Groovebug co-founder and CEO Jeremiah Seraphine.
Groovebug hasn't quite nailed it yet, but I'll be keeping an eye on this one.