Title: House Band
Developer: Jumping Pages
Compatibility: iPad // iOS 4.3
Size: 42.9 MB
Description: I have a lot of "crazy animated figures make music" apps on my iOS devices -- it's the occupational hazard of reviewing music-related iOS apps. One of the funkiest in both sound and design is Jumping Pages' "House Band," a spinoff from their The House That Went on Strike app. Much like Toca Band, you get the option of selecting various non-traditional "instruments" set to play loops that all fit with one another. Unlike Toca Band, these loops were designed by Vernon Reid (whom parents of a certain age may remember from his band Living Colour). They're funky, eclectic, and not necessarily related to the "instrument" selected (the bespectacled iron is a simple bass line). These are loops that parents would enjoy every bit as much as the kids.
While the music is pretty cool, the user interface, while lovely (and every bit as funky and handmade as Reid's loops), is not totally intuitive (or at least, not as intuitive as Toca Boca's). You can record the songs and e-mail them, but I'm still not entirely sure I've done it correctly. (I wish the help screen had more written directions to go along with the pictures.)
In summary, I liked the sounds that Jumping Pages produced, probably more than any similar app -- I just wish it was easier to share those sounds with others.
Age Range: 3 through 9
Note: I was given a copy of the app for possible review.