10 Essential Apps for the Touring Band
Aren’t we just so lucky to be living in a decade where there’s an app for everything? Thank you, Stevie, Bill, and the rest of the gang. How truly comfortable our lives are today compared to the beeper and walkie-talkie days. You want to play the piano but you have no piano on the bus? BAM! There’s an app for that. Want to find the nearest diner? There’s no need to ask a random stranger because BAM! There’s an app for that. Yes folks, we’re in the app generation and aren’t we just too darn lucky!
I can’t imagine how stressful bands of decades ago must have been when they’re on tour. Just not having a cellular phone while on a tour is tough enough. So aside from the must-bring band merch and other essentials, here are the smart phone apps you should have when you’re on tour:
ON THE ROAD APPS
The most comprehensive road travel app of them all, Road Trip allows you to track mileage, fuel prices, graph out trip expenses, and even export the data to CSV.
The application locates and maps the iPhone user’s current location and is updated continuously as they travel. They receive vibration and audio alerts as they enter into areas that have been identified as areas that could present a potential risk to their personal safety or property security. Now you can make informed decisions regarding travel stops for gas, meals and groceries while in your hometown or when traveling in unfamiliar areas.
Collects data from thousands of users to warn you of impending speed traps, red-light cameras, and checkpoints to let you know what’s coming up. To make sure the reports are accurate, Trapster gives more weight to reports confirmed by multiple users, and you can set the level of reliability you want to respond to. Trapster runs on most phones except Treos.
This app doesn’t give any more information than the Weather Channel web site, but it’s great to have such information at your fingertip while on the go. The map feature of this app uses Google Maps with a live update of radar, clouds, temperature, precipitation and UV index.
FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT
Once you’re at a destination, use this fun app to discover all the dining choices around you. You can either check out a list of what’s on offer (searching by location, type of cuisine, or price range), or use the fun “shake” option to have Urbanspoon choose for you. With this fun feature, the Urbanspoon “slot machine” will randomly land on a suggestion — great if you (like me) are very indecisive!
Chances are, if you’re on a road trip, you’re planning to stop off at at least a few quirky roadside attractions. Whether it’s a town dedicated to Santa, a graveyard for cars, or some funky museum, the Roadside America app will give you plenty of suggestions. You can search based on a nearby city, your current location, or just a theme. It even has some extra features, too, such as letting you know what time the sun is due to set wherever you happen to be. The only downside to this app is that the $2.99 price only buys you access to one of 6 “regions.” To have access to the whole U.S., it’s another $5.99 annually. However, if you’re really into roadside attractions, 9 bucks is probably worth it.
This is a great app for quickly and easily updating both your Twitter and Facebook statuses at the same time. When you want to update your fan base with what you’re doing, insider info, or, well, just about anything this is the easiest way to sync both accounts.
Need to write a message to your blog directly from your phone and include pictures? WordPress is by far the most popular blog platform, and this application integrates seamlessly with it.
Taking lots of video and photos with your phone, and need an application that integrates and uploads media to virtually every service on the net? Thought so. Pixelpipe easily integrates with just about every major service out there and is great for publishing on the go.
POLISHING YOUR SKILLS
This is great for tuning your stringed instruments along with brass, woodwinds, tympani and other instrument that can sustain a tone.the uniquie note wheel interfaces allows you to quickly find the desired pitch, pairing with a highly responsive fine-tuning meter for the perfect tune.
Beat Maker is a high end iPhone music app which calls itself the “mobile music creation studio”. It provides a number of advanced tools and effects to help you create an intuitive composition. You can pick up audio samples, record them and use them in your composition. Other features include trigger pads, sequencing tools, advanced audio effects and more. And all this comes at a price – $19.99.
Imagine you’re on tour and you just thought about how cool it would be to document your journey for your next music video. Too bad you’re in the middle of nowhere and you’ve been eating off the dollar menu every day. Chances are you’re not going to be able to afford a video camera, if you can even find one. With ReelDirector you can edit videos (must have video recording ability) right on your iPhone. The video shows just how easily it is to assemble clips, add transitions, and import your music to use as the soundtrack.
What other apps do you find necessary during a band tour?
photo credit: Gibson
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