MooCowMusic ... in the Media

MooCowMusic has received some great press over the years. We have been featured in USA Today, The Independent, The Mail On Sunday, Fox News, Rolling Stone, T3, Sound on Sound, MacFormat, PC Magazine, and by the major tech blogs Ars Technica, Gizmodo, Wired, and Engadget.

This article in The Telegraph told our small part in the new App economy.

Do you want to get rich working from home, hours to suit yourself, minimum investment required? Mark Terry did. In September 2007, after 15 years in the computer industry, Terry was designing websites for insurance companies. He had spent a number of years working for games companies, but had grown tired of doing late nights with no overtime. He had just bought himself a shiny new iPod touch, the cheaper version of Apple’s revolutionary iPhone. It had an innovative touch screen, which allows you to control its functions without buttons. Unlike the iPhone, the iPod touch didn’t work as a mobile, so you didn’t need a phone contract to get one, but it connected to the internet, allowing users to download and play music and videos. It was basically a minicomputer.

Terry soon found himself attracted to a little web community of hackers who had decrypted the software inside the iPhone and worked out how to write their own applications for it. Terry had never hacked a mobile device before – it’s known as 'jailbreaking’ – but he was intrigued, even though it meant the possibility of breaking his new toy. 'If anything went wrong, it wasn’t under contract,’ he says. Using a PC, he created a program for the device that would allow it to be used as a piano, with animated keys that looked as if they were being pressed. The application could be downloaded and used on any jailbroken iPhone.

Terry, 37, lives in Southampton with his wife, Natasha, and their two young children, and created the application in the evenings after work. 'It was pretty crazy,’ he says, 'doing a full day job, coming back, putting the kids to bed, then working again between 10 and midnight.’

It was just for fun, at first, though Terry’s Pianist application generated some enthusiastic feedback. Then, in February 2008, three young Austrian musicians calling themselves iBand created a video of themselves playing a song using mobile devices – including Pianist – and posted it on YouTube, where it received millions of hits. Terry emailed iBand and said, 'You probably need a drumming application, too, don’t you?’

A month later, Apple announced that it was creating an online shop – the App Store – so that iPhone users could download applications – apps – exclusively from Apple. Terry, calling himself MooCowMusic, continued to make apps for nothing, posting them on unofficial iPhone sites such as, from where they could be downloaded. He made Drummer, then Guitarist – internet videos showed it being used, inevitably, to play Stairway to Heaven – and a month before the App Store opened, he released Band, which also included a bass guitar and a blues simulator. The jailbreak community loved it.

Then came the invitation that changed Terry’s status overnight from rebel hacker to entrepreneur-in-waiting. 'Apple phoned me up and said, “We’d really like it if you could send us a demo.’’ A few weeks later, he was demonstrating Band in front of thousands of developers at an Apple conference. He was sworn to secrecy. 'I had to talk to my boss and say, “I can’t tell you why but I really need to take this time off.”

Band took its place among more than 500 approved apps in the newly opened App Store in July 2008, selling initially for $10 a time (70 per cent goes to the developer, 30 per cent to Apple). Terry says the money has changed his life. 'I’ve not bought a new car or a new house,’ he says, 'but it’s given me enough funds to keep doing this for the next few years.’ He gave up his day job to develop full-time, and has spent the past four months producing a sophisticated recording suite application called Loop Studio.

Terry was there at the start of a new gold rush. Stories began to emerge of individuals who had earned hundreds of thousands of dollars by creating iPhone apps.

Mark Terry still believes that the phenomenon owes a huge debt to the original hackers. 'I think the reason the App Store exists is because Apple saw what people were doing really early on,’ he says. 'It was an indication to them that there was more to be had from the iPhone.’ Quite a lot more, as it turned out.

The New York Times has held a special interest in us, featuring MooCowMusic in no less than six articles to date.

“Stoking a Music Fan's Fancy With Apps That Rock”
“From Pocket to Stage, Music in the Key of iPhone”
“With software and an iBand, there’s no need for roadies”
“Too Strike Just the Right Chord, Pick the Right Guitar App”
“With Select Apps, iPad is more than a pretty face”
“Tapping your Inner Clapton”

We have not only featured in traditional print media. Here is CNet reporting on our appearance at the Steve Jobs Keynote at the Apple WWDC 2008.