Timbre is the Best Live Music Discovery App… But the Best is Yet to Come

Timbre: “The simple way to find live music”

eric lindell in atlanta

Eric Lindell at Vinyl? Hmm…

When I started Nine Local, my goal was to become a place where all live music fans could go to find local shows in their city. At the time, I struggled to find a blog, online magazine or mobile app that gave me exactly what I was looking for: accurate and up-to-date information on all the live music events in my city, including my favorite local venues and local artists. But I wanted this blog and/or mobile app to also offer quality and excellence in regards to design and marketing. With a little experience blogging and zero experience developing anything outside of basic HTML, I figured I would just start writing. Read the first blog post for an introduction to Nine LocalAs I shared new music and recommended shows in Atlanta, I continued using mobile apps that just didn’t cut it. Then came Timbre…

TIMBRE SAYS:

“Timbre is a location-based live music discovery app that enables users to find live shows in their area… Timbre also offers the ability to play music samples (and full tracks for Spotify Premium users) from the artists, purchase tickets, and share with friends – all directly from the app, within three taps.” – timbreapp.com

OTHERS SAY:

“Nothing we’ve seen makes it this easy to use your ears to find music to see live, wherever you happen to be on the globe… it’s a play button with a purpose.” – Eliot Van Buskirk, Evolver.fm

“I have a feeling Timbre is going to live on my iPhone for a long time, if only because it’s such a delight to use.” – Matt Peckham, TIME

“Music services often try to pack a lot of features into tiny apps… By comparison, Timbre feels shockingly spartan.” – Christina Chaey, Fast Company

I SAY:

Timbre, a Cambridge, Massachusetts startup, is the best live music discovery app out there. The design is clean and simple and the features are spot on, especially the iOS Calendar integration, the music samples from iTunes and the full tracks from Spotify. Other perks include the Timbre blog which features recommended shows by local bloggers from other cities and occasional ticket giveaways! It was also nice to see Timbre add Twitter handles for social engagement in Boston and New York.

However, Timbre is not perfect…

What Timbre lacks are the same things ALL live music discovery apps lack: updated data on cancelled shows, sold out shows, venue changes, lineup changes, time changes, broken ticket links, etc. And while local artists who may not be included on the app are allowed to submit their show schedules, they either do not take the time to do it or they simply do not know Timbre exists. In my opinion, bad data = bad user experience.

Timbre in Atlanta

Two shows listed above never happened. Is this a good user experience?

Unlike Natalie Robehmed who praised the mobile app in Forbes, “figuring out Friday night…” was not “…so much easier.” Last Friday, I checked to see who was playing in Atlanta but the first and third shows listed were artists that had cancelled weeks before. I’m assuming they were still listed because the information on SeatGeek (the data provider used by Timbre) had not been updated. These errors can send excited fans on a wild goose chase searching for tickets that don’t exist. Unfortunately, inaccurate data can be found on Timbre on a daily basis. The app (data) should be current because most of the time the venues and artists don’t take the time to update their concert calendars and/or notify “ticket search engines” like SeatGeek.

It seems the only solution is for Timbre to become its own data provider or to have someone local in every major city who can manage and update this information (i.e. a Timbre “street team”). When a live music discovery app figures out how to scale this process and eliminate errors, concert goes will surely notice the difference.

Disclaimer: The intent of this blog post is to encourage Timbre to continue being awesome. I’m excited for the future of this company and I’m in no way affiliated with any of its competitors.

Image source: Timbre | Featured artist: Eric Lindell (ranked #1 on Nine Local’s blog last February!)

Atlanta, We’re Back… and We Invited Our Friends

Hello live music fans!

In August of 2012, Nine Local began as a resource for live music fans in Atlanta. This concept was not an original idea, but as a fan, I just couldn’t find a blog, magazine, mobile app or local source of information that satisfied my hunger for relevant and accurate live music discovery. So I decided to become that source. Read the first blog post for an introduction to Nine Local. After 9 months of recommending shows and a 5 month hiatus, I’m back to continue my pursuit of finding or becoming every fan’s source for live music discovery.

As far as existing mobile apps go, I’ve moved away from JamBase and started using Timbre on a daily basis. Both are good for finding shows in your city, but both could use some improvements (blog post to follow regarding my thoughts on that).

During my time away from active blogging, I decided to incorporate more than just live music. With the help of guest bloggers and a community of local influencers, Nine Local will begin sharing other exciting things going on in the Atlanta area (details to follow).

I hope you’ll join us in sharing what you enjoy about our great city. But most of all, I hope you’ll continue supporting live music!

See you at the show,

Reagan (@reaganhines)

Tonight’s Award Show is Irrelevant, Overrated and Not “fun.”

I won’t mention its name, but tonight’s award show is hard to ignore.  The event will dominate social media for the next 24 hours and if Twitter matches its numbers from last year, there will be up to 160,000 related tweets per minute during the telecast.  Award winners and losers, live performers, Rihanna’s wardrobe and Taylor Swift’s “surprised face” will all be trending at some point.  Even Chris Brown, who is not performing live and should not win, will somehow be trending before the end of the night.  As for me, you won’t find me live-tweeting.  I think I’ll go out and support some live music.  But I’d love to wake up tomorrow and see the twittersphere disrupted again by another #whoisarcadefire or #whoisboniver.

They’re irrelevant

After Pearl Jam won in 1996, Eddie Vedder told the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, “I don’t know what this means. I don’t think it means anything.”  According to Steve Stoute, it doesn’t mean anything to most people.  Stoute published an open letter to the governing body of the awards in 2011, claiming they had “clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture.”

They’re overrated

With advertisers spending $800,000 per 30 seconds in 2012, this “super bowl of music” is all hype and the live performances are rarely entertaining.  In 2002, Maynard James Keenan did not attend the ceremony when his band, Tool, won an award.  On NYRock.com, he said “they feed the masses. They don’t honor the arts or the artist for what he created. It’s the music business celebrating itself.”

They’re not “fun.”

No, I’m not quoting Kelly Clarkson, who told ABC News this week the award show was “painful” and “not fun.”  I’m saying the target of my pun just doesn’t “set [my] world on fire.”

Oh, and they’re confusing!  What’s the difference in “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year.”  Why was 2009’s “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons nominated in 2012?  And why didn’t it win?  Despite my contempt for the awards (all 78 of them), there are plenty of nominees that deserve recognition.  Here are a few that matter:

Nominated in 5 categories, Miguel should win at least 1 for “Adorn”

Nominated in 3 categories, Jack White should win Best Rock Song for “Freedom at 21”

Also nominated in 3 categories, Alabama Shakes should win Best New Artist

Welcome to Nine Local, Your New Source for Live Music in Atlanta

Nine Local is here to bring you the most up-to-date, relevant information about the live music scene in Atlanta.  From funk to folktronica to flamenco and every genre imaginable, our city is full of venues that give music lovers plenty of options every week.  Follow @NineLocal on Twitter and you’ll never miss out on music news, concert and festival information, new album releases and our personal recommendations for live and local music.

Before the 1st of September (and before the 1st of each month), we’ll also give you Nine Local live music shows to go see during that month.

Until then, rock out to My Morning Jacket’s “One Big Holiday” from Bonnaroo 2004.  The band will be in Atlanta this Friday, playing at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre with Band of Horses.  get tickets! (or win a pair from Yeah! Burger on Facebook*)

*Update: Yeah! Burger contest ended at 12:00 AM 8/21/12