(3 out of 5)
The Fray are a rock band from Denver, Colorado, they have such hits as “Over My Head (Cable Car), “How To Save A Life” and “You Found Me.” So you may be asking, what does this have to do with the iPhone and the application store? The Fray are doing something that is new for bands, but I guarantee will catch on in a very short time. They have created their very own application for fans of theirs to keep track of all that is The Fray. I’m not just talking a fun little biography with a few facts about the band. No, this is packed with extras for all of their fans to take in.
When you first open the application, you are set to the home screen. You are viewing a backdrop with the Fray in lights on a wall. No big deal, you move the iPhone and it’s actually an animated backdrop with the lights flickering on and off. Okay, I know this is sounding pretty dull for an application, but hang in there, we’re just getting started.
You have four more tabs to explore: live, music, video and more. By far, the most impressive tab is the live tab. When you click on it, you can upload live photos, see tour dates a live visualizer and The Fray live. The live photo uploader and tour dates are pretty self-explanatory. I was a little unsure what the live visualizer did, until I made a sound. It picks up noises and animates to the sound, iluminating the backdrop almost like a strobe light to a cool picture. Now the bread and butter here is The Fray live. They have live performances that you can watch, and I’m not just talking about some hit they played on a late night show. This is a full fledged concert, in great quality too. For example, the Webster Hall concert sits at just under an hour and a half. They upload them occassionally, and the version I had, only had one concert uploaded, but there were four slots with a “coming soon” title.
As we move on to the music tab, you will find the entire discography of the band, complete with samples and lyrics. So you can listen to samples of every song they have, and if you like it, you can purchase it, or buy the entire album. You also get all of the album credits, producers, lyrics, engineers and so on.
Continue to the video tab and here you will find music videos, acoustic sessions and even video blogs from the band. The final tab, the more tab, is where all of the common information can be found. You have news, images, bio and their website address.
So, if you’re not a fan of The Fray, then this seems like a complete waste of money, I can’t say I’m anything more than a casual fan, but for a $1.99, you are at least getting a free concert and then some.
This isn’t the whole story though, what it shows is how bands are starting to take advantage of mobile markets of downloadable content. The Fray are the first big name to really take advantage of this technology, but I will not be surprised to see bands and artists begin to do the same thing. It will bring things that one would normally have to look on MySpace music for, to your mobile device, with a much cleaner and faster result.
So bottom line, I love this application, because it opens the door for so many bands to not only promote and give fans their own content, but to earn revenue in a time when record sales are plummeting. This is a well put together application in the end, fans of The Fray will greatly appreciate this, and for $1.99 it’s a great deal. It would have been nice if they put a few songs in that were in their entirety, instead of just samples, but I guess that’s how you earn sales.
The Fray is a paid application that can be purchased from the iTunes application store. It runs for $1.99.