Strum is a new music-themed software toy and social network from Smule, creators of Magic Piano, Ocarina and the official Glee app. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store.
Strum’s basic setup is similar to something like Instagram, but the focus is on video rather than photography. The app allows users to shoot a short (15 second) video clip, apply various Instagram-esque filters to it and then share the result online for others to view, like, comment on and share. The twist here is that each of the image filters also comes with a related musical filter that automatically edits and autotunes the video to make it look as if the subject is singing and/or rapping. The results are remarkably effective, and the community in the app has already been making good use of it in various creative ways — a particular highlight so far has been a rapping dog called Mishka. The quality of the output is very high — processing is done quickly, the way the footage is edited is surprisingly fitting for the various music styles, and the results are frequently hilarious.
Upon viewing a video, users are able to “love,” comment on or share it. Sharing may be done via email, iMessage, Twitter or Facebook, and this feature also carries the ability to report inappropriate content — a feature than many mobile-social app producers forget to include, and one which is particularly important in something that allows for the sharing of video content. The sharing via email and message means that all content produced in the app has an associated Web link, which means that even users who do not have a compatible device with which to make their own Strum videos are able to enjoy the creations of others.
Users may discover new people to follow either by connecting their social network accounts to the app — which will follow people automatically — or using the app’s Popular tab to uncover featured content. It’s easy to find new people, and users who know each others’ usernames may add each other directly that way if they desire.
Strum is little more than a bit of fun and has very little in the way of practical, “useful” functionality, but it is frequently hilarious to use, and a very entertaining way of sharing short videos with friends. It would perhaps be nice to have a little more control over the filters — maybe providing the option to just use the visual filters on clips, not the automatic music video production. As it stands, however, Strum is an excellent addition to Smule’s strong lineup of music-themed, highly social apps that are designed to make creating and sharing content a huge amount of fun. Smule doesn’t appear to be under any illusions that what it is doing is the slightest bit “useful” but their apps are consistently well designed, fun to use and produce highly entertaining output. These qualities will, in turn, ensure that more and more people check out the apps and potentially purchase the premium content — in this case, additional filters and themed styles of music.
Strum is currently ranked at No. 35 in Top Free Apps, No. 34 in Top Free iPad Apps, NO. 5 in Top Free Photography Apps and No. 2 in Top Free iPad Photography Apps. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.