Red Bull Music Academy is a "word-travelling series of music workshops and festivals":
Every year, 60 aspiring, inspiring music makers from all across globe, come together to swap musical experiences and visions during two fortnight-long ‘terms’. There are insightful interviews with the world's premier producers, songwriters, arrangers, instrumentalists, and mastering engineers on the infamous Academy couch. There are late night recording sessions. And then there are the endless nights out in the city’s best clubs and concert halls. It’s a unique experience that many alumni and tutors have described, without cringing, as life changing.
Red Bull Music Academy Radio, from where the app draws its content, describes itself as:
A web radio station that features hundreds and hundreds of exclusive live recordings, interviews, mixes, and documentary-style feature shows - with more uploaded each day. Launched as a spin-off of the Red Bull Music Academy workshop series in 2005, RBMA Radio has taken giant leaps over the past years, building a vast resource of content from more than 50 countries right across the globe.
The Windows Phone app provides instant access to much of RBMA back catalogue. Content is generally divided into a show that feature a specific artist or event and may include one or more pieces of music.
The app's opening panorama is divided into four pages: featured (highlighted content), channels (highlighted content divided by general area - House & Disco, Soul & Funk, Electronic, Indie, Hip Hop, Reggae, Jazz, Dubstep & Bass), browse (content lists by artist, genre, category and selections) and more (favourites, history, preferences, about).
Each piece of content get its own panorama (artist info, play list, related shows), from where you can kick off playback, add content to your favourites list or share it via social media (Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live, LinkedIn). Music playback integrates with the standard Windows Phone controls (mini controls from volume buttons) and with the built in Music+Videos app (history).
There's room for improvement in the Red Bull Music Academy app, for example, it would be good to see offline support added (similar to Nokia Music's Mix Radio), so that you could listen to tunes regardless of the connectivity status and there's a couple of careless spelling mistakes (including the name of the app itself). Even so the app, in its current form, still offers a great source of free music. What's particularly welcome is that it's the type of music that's hard to find elsewhere; its good to see this section of the music industry being represented in a mobile app.
While the RBMA may not have the same main stream appeal as the charts, but if you're into DJ mixes and live recording from clubs and festivals then this is the app for you.
Red Bull Music Academy Radio offers thousands of interviews, DJ mixes, and live recordings from the world’s best clubs and festivals. Browse this huge archive of cutting-edge sounds. Click through to special editorial picks. Or pop the 24/7 live stream with all the latest highlights. Tune in to the sounds of tomorrow!
Red Bull Music Academy is a free download from the Windows Phone Marketplace.