September 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Bob Dylan Busts Out Perfectly Intelligible (Yet Elusive) iPhone App

bob dylan sound graffiti

The idea behind Bob Dylan’s new app, Sound Graffiti, makes a lot of sense. We just can’t understand what it’s trying to say, because we’re not in the right place.

According to DW, and judging from what we can tell from the web page, Sound Graffiti lets you unlock songs from the legendary Bob Dylan’s new album, The Tempest by locating yourself at one of the spots in the app, which were apparently chosen by Sony and some of which are of importance to Dylan himself.

However, you have to be in exactly the right place in order for these songs, which are randomly chosen from the album, to play. For example, I am writing this from a partially-undisclosed location on Union Street, Brooklyn that’s about six blocks from one of the treasure spots on the map, at 484 Union St. However, I can’t unlock the song because I’m a few blocks away.

bob dylan iphone appHaving tested out apps like this before, I expected to be close enough for the song to play on our iPhone — or, at the very least, to be able to play the songs on my computer by visiting

Instead, when I fired up the app, I was presented with a black screen. As with any mobile web app, Bob Dylan’s Sound Graffiti can be installed it as an “app” icon on your phone’s home screen. Before it faded to black, the app did recommend that I do that, so I did.

This time, I got a little farther; I was presented with Safari’s dialog box asking us if it was okay to use my location. It was. But that was as far as I got. The app abandoned me at the screen to the right.

A collaboration between Bob Dylan and Roman Grandinetti of CNNCTD+, this Sound Graffiti app has integrity: If you’re not at the spot where it wants you to be, you won’t hear anything.

Still, Dylan fans are biting. According to DW, over 10,000 people have already managed to locate themselves precisely at these spots to unlock the songs, which were available before The Tempest was released yesterday. It might be easier to buy the album now that it’s available, but perhaps not as fun.

(DW via BuzzSonic)