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This Day In Pink Floyd - iPod/iPad/iPhone app Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Sunday, 13 November 2011

This Day In Pink FloydOn Monday, November 14th, Apple's iStore will host a brand new app designed for all the various flavours of iThings - iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone. This Day In Pink Floyd is an official application which brings together a number of different aspects, all designed to help when one is ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, and it gives the owner a fresh chunk of Floyd every day.

Clearly the result of a lot of work over a significant period of time, the app has a number of sections, which we'll talk about in detail below in our exclusive first review. As a side note, BD has asked about the likelihood of the app being ported over to the increasingly popular Android platform, and it seems if the app does well enough on Apple's devices, we could see it being converted for those who have gone down this alternative route on their smartphones and tablets, which is promising news.

The application looks and works the same on the smaller form factor iPod and iPhone, as it does on the iPad, albeit that makes use of the larger screen real estate. You'll not, therefore, miss out on anything on the more pocketable devices. On launching the app, you are presented with the brief splash screen, then the main menu, which includes a healthy blast of Shine On You Crazy Diamond while you deliberate which option to pick.

First up is "Pink Floyd On This Day", the headline section, which gives a very well populated, calendar driven look through the band's history. An impressive amount of detail can be found here, and each day features a different image alongside the first of the day's entries, and at the bottom of the screen too. Some of the images relate to the included facts for that date, and all of them can be touched to launch a large version as a separate entity. Some exhaustive work has been done to ferret out facts for each day, and it would be interesting to see what sources have been used. On a random dive around the calendar, some fascinating facts - some expected, others not - are presented, even for days when one would not expect anything (such as December 25th, Christmas Day).

Next up, "Pink Floyd Trivia". This presents a fact on each page, and a swipe gives you a new one, accompanied by the Shine On four-note guitar motif (although, every sixth factoid has part of the Another Brick In The Wall, part two, solo). Interestingly, these facts seem very much up to date, as one of the first I saw related to the pig flying over the Capital Records tower in Los Angeles, including the nugget of information that the morse code beamed from the aerial on top, which for many years had spelt out H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D, was changed to P-I-N-K-F-L-O-Y-D to mark the very special occasion. There's seems to be loads of these bits of trivia, some of them insights into the original recordings, and others just a bit of fun. They appear to be presented in a random fashion, and are dedicated not just to group facts and trivia, but solo releases, cover versions, and personnel connected to the band. Some fascinating nuggets on offer, and some of them prove useful in the next section, which is the "Pink Floyd Quiz".

In this, you are given ten questions, and your knowledge of all things Floyd is tested out. Some questions are very straightforward, others can be pretty obscure. A correct answer gives an Echoes "ping" sound, and if incorrect, the elevator door/machinery sound from Welcome To The Machine. Your resulting score gives an apt message and piece of music (which is a nice touch). Again, there seem to be loads of questions included, which gives it a good sense of longevity.

One of the most impressive sections is up next: "Pink Floyd Song Notes". This is split album by album, and also includes Relics, single-only releases, and Zabriskie Point tracks. Drilling down into each album, the text gives background to the creation of the album, and tapping on each song title moves to a dedicated page for that track, full of information behind it. Additionally, in the top right corner, next to the track name, it will either give you a loudspeaker symbol or a "buy" button. The app will search your device to find if you have the track (either originally from the iStore OR if you've stuck in a CD and got iTunes to rip it to your device - it works either way) and if you have, you can tap the button and play it immediately. Missing the track? Tap and you can download immediately from the iStore. A neat way of handling things, and well implemented.

One thing I would have liked to have seen (and maybe this is something they can build into updates of the application) is an A-Z of tracks, to help those who are interested in finding out more about a song, but not sure which album it is from.

The next section is "Pink Floyd Videos" and whilst it does feature the restored Point Me At The Sky, with some nice background detail on this promo, it's (currently) the only video to be included with the app. There is a button linking off to the Pink Floyd Youtube Channel but this of course relies on an active internet connection. It would be nice to get other videos included - maybe some of the others from the Pink Floyd Miscellany recently broadcast on the BBC in the UK - as part of the application.

"Pink Floyd Store" gives a page of links to online retailers - iTunes, Amazon, merchandise, etc.. Curiously, there's a link to the Floyd's Facebook page in this section, which seems a little misplaced.

Finally, you have "Pink Floyd Extras", which gives links to the band and solo members' websites, has an "about this app" credits page, and of principal use to iPhone owners, a free Shine On ringtone and a couple of iThing wallpapers. One wonders if updates to this will give further ringtones and/or wallpapers?

This app should be well worth your consideration and since this review was written, is now available from this link at iTunes. Nicely put together, there's plenty to enjoy on the app, and it will be interesting to see if enhancements and additions are made to it as time goes on. ThisDayInMusicApps.com gives more info on the app, and the following is the official promo video for the app, which gives a quick journey through the various sections:

 
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