Smule’s Amazing, Magical New ‘Strum’ App: The New Instagram? [Daily Freebie]

Ever since 2008, when its first smash-hit, Ocarina — an app that turns your iPhone into a playable flute — debuted, Smule has proved itself over and over again as a magical outfit guaranteed to drop jaws with every release. Their newest app, Strum, is out today, and it’s no less wondrous an app than any of their previous efforts. But there is one very big difference: Instead of sticking to their musical background (one of Smule’s founder is, after all, an assistant professor of computer music at Stanford), they’ve taken their music fairy dust and sprinkled it on the world of video.

Just like most of Smule’s apps, Strum is inordinately simple. You shoot a short, 15-second video, and pick a filter; then the app applies Smule’s secret sauce to create a music video of sorts, based on the filter you picked. The filters not only add video effects (which you can preview before saving), but also — and here’s the real wizardry — adds music and effects that somehow dynamically fit whatever is happening in the video. Those familiar with Smule’s AutoRap app and Khush’s LaDiDa and Songify apps (Smule swallowed Khush last year) will recognize the effects, because technology from those apps is baked into Strum.

All of this is cool — but add a social media twist and one of the cleanest, best-looking interfaces we’ve ever seen and you’ve got an app that may take the world by storm. Or Strum.

  • Andrew_X_Thomas

    Seriously? Smule? A couple years ago I bought their MadPad… worked great on iOS 4 then upgraded to version 5 and later 6 and it still crashes. Numerous emails to Smule from tons of people complaining about the same issues and its still not fixed. Not even an attempt to update it. I received only a form email sayin that they were “working on the issue.” That was over a year ago. I would never buy another product from them nor would I even download anything of theirs if it was free. Caveat emptor!

  • Atienne

    Just downloaded this. Very cool little app. The kids love it.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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