Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Mobile First, Web Much Later: Smule Gives Its Karaoke Community a Home Online

Like Flipboard and Instagram before it, the popular mobile app Smule is, after years, heading to the Web. That’s because the company, which makes many music-creation apps that have been downloaded 125 million times and used to create one billion songs, is turning its focus to its Sing Karaoke app, which allows people to create duets and group performances from afar, by layering their singing together.

Smule singers can join open calls to do duets with each other.

Smule singers can join open calls to do duets with each other.

Sing, which has 12 million installs over the past year on iOS and Android, has about three million monthly users, some of whom take the platform really seriously, and group themselves into bands that regularly record together (well, not together; each vocal track is recorded separately, but can then be combined with as many other people as submit their own). Here’s a recording of Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb” with 630 singers.

The website, however, will be somewhat limited, in that users can only listen online; they will need a mobile app to record themselves. Internally referred to as Smule Nation, the site will be a place to play tracks created with Smule’s other apps, too.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work