Google’s whimsical homepage doodles give us the warm fuzzies, especially when they do something cool like let you play a Moog synthesizer. But Google outdid itself with a fully-fledged web app for playing online instruments, with friends if you so desire, and then sharing the results.
We shouldn’t be too surprised that it rules, because Jam With Chrome was spawned by Google Creative Lab, which also led to this 3D, steerable video and other neat stuff. Here are five reasons to love Jam With Chrome, even though in a way, it’s basically an advertisement for how well Google Chrome handles interactive web audio:
1. It is not a toy.
When we first caught wind of Jam With Chrome this morning, we figured it would probably be another bit of half-assed gimmickry, because lord knows, we’ve seen plenty of that over the years when it comes to apps that purport to let you make music. Even many of the native smartphone apps masquerading as instruments are fairly useless from a musical perspective, so how could a web app hope to do better? Jam With Chrome pulls that off just fine, as you know, if you’ve tried it.
2. Social music creation is a nice change of pace.
Do you read the papers, or what now constitutes “the papers?” If so, you know that we humans are now capable of little more than passively absorbing info-tainment, although we’re really, really good at that — and even better at making our info-tainment “social” by twitting it to our bookfacegramblrs.
Jam With Chrome takes a different approach to social music, by letting you play music with your friends. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not going to stop listening to music online just because now I have this new way to make music online, but it’s nice to have the option.
3. It doesn’t treat you like an idiot or a genius.
When it comes to apps for making music, they seem to fall into two camps: the super-easy ones that don’t let you do anything wrong, and the high-degree-of-difficulty ones that require extensive knowledge of remixing and music production if you want to use them the way they were intended. Jam With Chrome strikes a nice balance in that regard. If you understand a bit of music theory, you can get pretty granular with it — or if not, you can pick one of the pre-made patterns and manipulate that.
Jam with Chrome: http://www.jamwithchrome.com/