I need your help to find an app

Hello, techinmusiced readers! I have tweeted about this subject in the past, but would like to add a post about it as well.

I am looking for an iOS app, iPad is best, that would allow my students to download and play mp3s that I put in a shared Google Drive folder.

Additionally, I would like them to be be able to take an audio file that I upload and have them record an additional track (i.e. Their singing), and the save the resulting combined track in a Google Drive folder that they have shared with me. Think of it as Google Drive karaoke for the sake of assessment and creating a portfolio.

Free would be good, too (my school has no budget for apps, but if there is a paid app that can do what I am looking for, I'd love to know about it).

Google Drive doesn't seem to handle audio well, and the iPad is a world of hurt when it comes to importing music. iOS does not allow for saving of audio. I'm sure this is a remnant of DRM with audio files, and perhaps part of an agreement with the music recording industry to allow DRM-free music in iTunes. I am frustrated that I cannot have students download audio (which I have created, nonetheless) so that my students can practice with those audio tracks and then record themselves with those audio tracks.

You might ask, “Can't you just do this on a SmartMusic and upload a self-created assignment?” Yes, you can, but not on the iPad (at least not yet), and even if it could, you would have to either have a subscription or pin a SmartMusic account to the iPad. As you can see earlier, my school doesn't really have the funds for a true SmartMusic effort. Don't get me wrong…I love SmartMusic and I can't wait to use it on the iPad, but we are going to need some in-house tools as well.

GarageBand could certainly do what I need to be done, but you cannot import an audio track directly on an iPad so that it can be opened and used as a background track. If you want to import audio, you need to sync with a computer or buy from iTunes, neither which are options for me.

So…readers of techinmusiced, do you have any recommendations for me? I will leave comments open for this post.


4 responses to “I need your help to find an app

  • Katie

    Hi Chris,
    I think Hokusai might work. The free version has annoying ads and you might want to check them for age-appropriateness with your students, but it allows you to import audio directly from Dropbox or email (Google Drive doesn’t seem to be an option). You can then record audio over the top of the imported track.
    It’s pretty limited otherwise and I find it quite frustrating to use (it’s not anywhere as user-friendly as GarageBand), but it might do the trick if that’s all you want to do.
    – Katie

  • Steve

    How about video? You could judge their posture then too.

  • Ken Pendergrass

    Check out Multi Track Song Recorder in the App store on your ipad. It’s a bare bones multi track recorder and it allows you to email .aiff files from the program. Not sure how you could get that into Google Drive on the iPad but maybe an email export option would work.

  • Will Daines

    I use Evernote to share audio files. I make a folder and share it. Then on iPads you could create a shortcut to the home screen for easy access for the students. I use it to share improv background tracks and recordings I make for private students. It works really well for playback. The students can stream it or download it. The Evernote web clipper might work well for moving audio files from google drive to Evernote. Or you could just drag the file into the Evernote desktop app. Hope you find something that works for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s