Why do so many mobile music projects fail?

Last week I wrote a post on these two music apps that never got anywhere. This one was originally a MIDI controller.

And this was to be a whole new music app.

Neither saw the light of day, which is a real shame. I'm guessing that these are not the only projects that never got off the ground.

So I was thinking, why is this the case? Why are there so many good software developers out there who start projects and then can't finish them.

It made me remember a comment by Pete Cole of Intermorphic (ex Tao Group) who said that mobile music apps where the most complex things to do. I can believe that, but it is still a real shame even so.

I wish we could set up somewhere where developers could store the projects they've decided to shelve so that someone else could take them on if they wanted to at a later date. At least that way there might be some hope for some of these excellent ideas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Pete here from intermorphic.

The comments you're looking for are here: http://intermorphic.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=61

Reproduced below... the problem still stand, hence we're still focused on creating generative tools for desktop. :) If the market ever changes, then sure we'd look at it again. Hoping this helps! Pete


You might be interested to hear that I consider it very hard (if not impossible!) to make money out of creating applications for mobile devices. This makes it difficult to justify putting large amounts of effort into investing a lot of time and/or money into creating them. The reasons are many, and include:
- the huge range of mobile platforms and wide range of capabilities and operating systems
- the fact that many devices are closed (and are therefore completely unreachable) or require specially signed applications (and can therefore be prohibitively expensive to support)
- the very fast churn of mobile operating systems that is even faster than in the desktop world
- the low price that consumers are willing to pay for mobile applications; this is despite the very high cost of most of the devices!
- the large margins that need to be lost to the distribution channels
- the huge variety of different display form factors (width/height/colour depth and layout - portrait/landscape)
- the enormous inconsistencies between user interfaces, soft menus, keyboards and touch interaction
- in general, very poor support for real-time debugging of software for mobile devices
- for audio applications: the lack of low-latency device drivers, the lack of MIDI i/o, the fact that few devices offer full-duplex audio (e.g. Symbian!), the lack of any ease of integration with desktop audio software toolchain, lack of support for multithreaded apps in Brew etc. etc.

I speak with considerable personal experience of creating mobile audio applications. Smile