Jon Bon Jovi earlier this month made headlines by saying digital music is ruining fans ability to interact with their music like they could with vinyl records of yore. Emerging to bring that same experience to the digital realm is ROBA Interactive, a startup founded by several digital music vets created to design multi-media applications for new tablet devices, including both the iPad and tablets using the Android operating system.
Principles include CEO Larry Miller, co-founder of AT&T's early digital download service a2b Music and independent record label Or Music; Chairman Larry Rosen, co-founder of GRP Records and head of Internet music commerce firm N2K Inc.; and producer Phil Ramone.
The company aims to make interactive albums for tablet devices, utilizing their touch screen, multi-media capabilities, and rich graphics to create a sort of 21st century album. It's an intriguing idea, and we've already seen much momentum in this space with efforts by individual labels such as Universal Music Group and EMI just last week.
While Apple started down this road with its iTunes LP format, that format surprisingly was not made compatible with the iPad. Apple may someday fix that, but until then there is no standard template for creating feature-rich album apps for the iPad or other tablet devices.
The company's first release will be "An Evening With Dave Grusin," on April 26. That's because the founders were working on a CD and Blu-ray release of the concert already when they came up with the idea for ROBA Interactive.