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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's the iPad for? Music Apps Prove Surprisingly Popular

Posted By on Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge Music apps are among the most popular of all paid apps for the iPad - NIELSEN.COM
  • Music apps are among the most popular of all paid apps for the iPad
Music-related apps are the third-most popular paid apps for the iPad, and come second on a list of frequently used apps for both iPad and iPhone, according to a new study from Nielsen research.

This is somewhat surprising: While the iPad offers potentially revolutionary capabilities for making music (see our exploration of that very subject), it's interesting to see those and other music apps proving more popular than news, magazines, and other uses for the iPad. Only books and games top music in popularity on the iPad.

Of course, there are may kinds of music apps for the iPad: the device can serve as a musical instrument, a giant MP3 player, a viewer for new HTML5-optimized albums, and even a component of your home theater system.

Over at -- a new website dedicated to covering music apps -- Eliot Van Buskirk offers a possible explanation for the popularity of music apps on the iPad:

Interactive, music creation, and music gaming apps in particular tend to do well on the iPad, and its integration with Apple AirPlay means that any iPad music app can be played over a home entertainment system through an Apple TV. When done right, it makes the iPad feels like the most luxurious remote control ever, connected to a phantom hi-fi set-up. But even when connected directly to a stereo or headphones, rather than through AirPlay, the iPad makes a great home audio player in many situations in my experience, which is backed up by this study to an extent.

Also, as many musicians told me, having a large multi-touch screen connected to a computer (for a relatively low price) offers a wealth of music-making possibilities. Judging from the excitement over the device among makers of computer music -- and the quality of the music apps available -- it's possible that many app-inclined iPad buyers are simply musicians looking for a new tool.

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Ian S. Port


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