June 6, 2011 at 11:45 am

Songpier Lets Anyone Make a Music App in Minutes

pierlane songpierApps might be the flavor of the minute, but they’re no passing fad. If you think it’s nuts that your phone, tablet, and soon car and television will run apps, just wait until your refrigerator and air conditioner get in on the action.

Every song can and should be an app. Now, it can, for free — no app designers required.

If you’re in a band (or even if you’re not but have managed to record some music) it’s now possible for you to create an app in minutes that anyone can install on their phone or tablet.

Pierlane’s Songpier, released for public beta on Monday, walks even the most Luddite of drummers through the process of creating a web-based app for Apple iOS or Android. (Songpier also works with other smartphones, but was designed specifically with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets in mind.)

Artists can sell records, T-shirts, and other merchandise by entering simple titles and URLs.

Songpier apps are web apps, as opposed to apps in the traditional sense of being downloaded from the iTunes or Android app stores. However, users can access these apps same way they access other apps: by tapping a neat-looking icon on their home screens, and they feel just like regular apps. They load fast, perform responsively, and include an artist’s song, pictures, events, merchandise, a link to their website, and more — just about everything you would expect from a standard music app from a band.

The main exception to that rule: They’re about as easy to build as a MySpace page, and most bands are clearly capable of that.

Artists can add lyrics for their Songpier songs as well.

We know this because we just made one this morning. You just enter the elements (songs, buy links, your label, description, genre, release date, influences, album art/title, background image, and so on), previewing them on a mocked-up smartphone or tablet to see how the end result will look.

The resulting app works in regular or landscape mode, and you even get to upload your own app icon, to which SongPier adds the trademark rounded corners, so that it looks great on the user’s homescreen. Although, because the resulting app is a web app that runs within the browser, rather than a native iOS or Android app, users will have to create a bookmark on their homescreens in order to tap on the icon to launch it.

Luckily, the app instructs the user on how to do this the first time they visit your app’s web location (screenshot to the below left), but it’s not as seamless as installing the app from the iTunes or Android app store.

The first time a user visits a Songpier app, they're encouraged to add a bookmark to their home screen so that it loads just like a "normal" app.

If the artist wants it to, a SongPier app can integrate with Facebook and Twitter so that when they enter news, pictures, and tour dates, it can automatically tweet them out or post them on a Facebook wall in addition to pushing them out to whoever has the app installed. In that regard, SongPier can act as an artist’s “post once view everywhere” social media hub.

In case you missed it, here’s the app I made for my old side project, Planet Vegas. To view it on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer, visit http://songpier.com/planet–vegas/ or scan the QR code to the right.

See? It works — and again, I made this in minutes (sorry, Mobile Roadie).

Pierlane will soon announce “a partnership with a major US company” in the coming month, according to what Pierland spokesman Wolfgang Senges told Evolver.fm. He added to the mystery by suggesting that it’s not a label or Apple.

Any guesses on what this mystery company could be? Send them our way.