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App of the week: Tamber Shows

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JULY 18, 2013

Name: Tamber Shows

Price: Free

Platform: iOS

Mission: The best local concerts, carefully matched to you!

Sometimes, an amazing interface is all you need to be successful as an app. In combining that with an streamlined procedure and intuitive design, Alexi Robbins has created quite a revolutionary app.

Tamber takes the hunt out of live music. Sorting through myriads of labyrinthine websites to uncover half the information you need about a concert isn’t necessarily efficient. Neither is attempting to cross-reference all your possible options with the intangible likability of the artist and showtimes or locations. Not only does Tamber do all of that for you, but it also makes a decision for you — a rather accurate decision, as opposed to the decision-making search engine Bing.

“We use open-data,” claims Robbins, allowing expansion of the database. This brings us to a point that makes Tamber invaluable — the prevalence of up-and-coming artists in their system. The average music listener tends to follow at least one or two artists who aren’t (yet) recognized by the mainstream media, and Tamber gives the opportunity to find these artists and those similar to them. In essence, it gives life to then-best-new-artist Tyler, the Creator’s advice to “eff the system” to find new and upcoming talent that you might enjoy.

Presenting the first show suggestion engine. Robbins, the founder, uses a rather apt analogy, “Tamber recommends concerts like Pandora recommends music,” with some critical points of divergence. Instead of simply using the iTunes Genius formula of compiling all the artists that you like and suggesting shows from only those, the app focuses on your taste holistically. Each factor — your location tracked by GPS, your overall preference in timing and your song-perusing habits — contributes something to your taste, which is what Tamber takes into account. When it’s suggesting that you attend a Lil Wayne concert on Monday at 8 a.m. in Seattle — if any of those facets seem attractive to you in the slightest — it’s not necessarily pointing to mediocre rappers or early times early in the week in faraway cities. It’s fusing all those together and treating all of them as a singular entity, which its algorithm believes you would prefer — or so it would if it were capable of sentient emotion.

“By looking at people as individuals, not just a couple songs or artists they like,” Robbins continues, “I thought we could make a better suggestion engine by prioritizing artists who are smaller, but show good growth.”

A heart of gold makes for a pretty-looking app. “Geoff [the co-founder] showed me how to play that awesome bass line on piano,” Robbins reports, referencing the classic Neil Young song. He has since gone into songwriting and working with synthesizers, all of which collectively show his passion for music. He says, “music has always been a huge deal to me, and I wanted to have a better way to discover it.” It shines through in how intuitively the app seems to function. The suggested show screen has a metro feel, with an artist’s name and concert information overlaying a semitransparent artist picture in a scrollable format. Upon clicking one of these, you can listen to songs right through the app and see all of the relevant show information, including pricing and distance. Tickets can be bought with but a few clicks, and you can share the information with anyone — even those who don’t have the app — easily through text, email, Facebook or Twitter. Clicking the venue will redirect to the map and provide directions, showing how well it’s integrated. Any artists who are featured are listed at the bottom in the same metro format, and you’re a simple tap away from viewing all their information as well.

We at the Clog may be tough at times, but in this case we’re giving a 5/5 — and it’s well deserved.

Contact Uday Mehta at [email protected].

JULY 18, 2013

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