D’Angelo’s quote says “Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.”. Mewbox have stuck to this principle with their foray into the digital music market, unleashing the first mp3 store for Google’s fledgling mobile platform, Android.
As the first in its class, Mewbox has a lot to live up to. Fear not, however; with DRM-free mp3s, an intuitive interface and a music blog on the sidelines, Mewbox delivers. The company tagline- “Music you can keep and share”- is infused into their ethos; to herald in the launch, the team have already offered up a free download pack of mp3s and a host of competitions.
The original application launched exclusively on Archos in mid September, whilst the Vanilla version arrived on December 3rd. I was on hand at the Vanilla launch party that night, held in the trendy Islington Metal Works; as well as organising a great line up of dance acts and DJ’s, Mewbox offered up Archos 5 Internet Tablets with which to test the application. Everything worked as expected, and the build offered some insight into the future of the application. Future releases should see Mewbox integrate some “Top 10” lists curated by tastemakers, as well as offering a host of podcasts from Mewbox live shows.
The application itself is a beautiful beast, with 7digital’s bespoke mp3 retail store disguised behind a flowery, efficient user interface. As we went to press, Mewbox offered 4 million mp3s from over 23000 labels, including the big four. Managing Director Neil McManus gave a statement at the launch:
“Mewbox aims to reconnect the experience value to digital music. The love that music fans feel towards vinyl, a CD or a live gig is missing in the digital space. By connecting with our users in the physical and digital worlds, offering free ticket to gigs and exclusive downloads via the app and our blog, and staging a series of top class live events, Mewbox will bridge the gap between listening to digital music and loving digital music.”
With Google’s official seal of approval, Mewbox looks set to take the Android market by storm. A wide variety of new Android phones arrive in the New Year, taking over from the disappointing G1 and essentially securing the future of this company. And who knows, maybe Mewbox will find its way forward as a desktop application in the near future? The same principle holds true: small company, big ambition. One to watch.