March 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Introducing The First Music App of All Time


First, a disclaimer: We appreciate that the above headline is begging to be proven wrong. One of the classic journalistic mistakes is to declare anything to be the “first,” “best,” or any other superlative. It’s a big world out there, with many things in it.

But having already written about the first MP3 players, it only seems right to do the same for the world’s first music app, now that music players have turned into ones and zeros, the same way music did over a decade ago.

Allow us to introduce what we believe to be the first music app — here, that being tightly defined as a small software application that runs on a pocket-sized music player that is capable of delivering music from afar.

Podcast Ready, available in 2006, was a way-too-far-ahead-of-its-time app that ran on iPods, USB sticks, or any other portable object with some free storage and a USB connector.

Its executable program would suck down new podcasts from wherever you wished — music shows, talk shows, or anything other audio program with an RSS feed. In order to use it, you had to configure your device to be recognized as an external hard drive by your computer, whose internet connection the app would use to grab new content.

Podcast Ready was clunky. Almost nobody used it — especially actual, you know, users.

Still, all the essentials were there: It was an application running on iDevices (and other hardware) that could pull down fresh content for your listening pleasure. Although iPods lacked the internet connections we now take for granted via WiFi and cellular towers, it essentially worked the same way that today’s music apps do, attracting a cease-and-desist letter from none other than Apple, which claimed ownership of the word “pod.” (The app is still around, sort of; the site appears to be down today.)

Podcast Ready was definitely an audio app, and in some cases, a music app.

The world’s first music app.

(Top image courtesy of Flickr/HannahWebb)