App aids songsmiths

SongCatcher founder Christopher Bull has designed an app to help the creative process of songwriting. Supplied photo
SongCatcher founder Christopher Bull has designed an app to help the creative process of songwriting. Supplied photo

A former Dunedin student has released an app to help musicians write music.

The application, called SongCatcher, allows musicians to get online feedback about their songs from peers.

Users upload their songs using the application and then send invitations to people they want to listen to their work. These people then post comments about the work and how it could be improved.

SongCatcher makes it easy to continually upload versions of the song as constructive comments are taken on board and changes are made. Users pay a $40 annual subscription to use the app.

SongCatcher founder Christopher Bull came up with the idea while he was studying music, communications and commerce at the University of Otago.

''I was writing a lot [of songs] and I wanted to get feedback on what what I was doing,'' he said.

Traditionally musicians used sites such as Megaupload, or applications like email or Dropbox to garner feedback but the process was not easy.

Mr Bull focused on developing SongCatcher in September last year and it was released in November.

Since then he has made several improvements to the application and has invited local musicians to test it.

While there were many services available to musicians to promote their music once it was complete, SongCatcher focused on helping during the creative process, Mr Bull said.

At this stage, the app was very much a tool.

Mr Bull said he had received positive feedback from musicians who found SongCatcher useful even before he improved it.

While he was in the final years of his course, Mr Bull became involved in the Distiller, a cluster of Dunedin technology entrepreneurs, which he heard about through the Audacious student business advisory group.

Being surrounded by a group of creative people working on ideas was helpful for him when developing his own ideas, he said.

- by Jonathan Chilton-Towle