Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Gearoid Mullins, the Owner, Media Designer at Lax Weir Productions about Music Momentum
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
As a musician, I have always been interested in music-related projects. I undertook Mobile App Design as an elective module during my Postgraduate in Interactive Media at the University of Limerick. The mobile app module was overseen by Brenda Romero, a world-leading games designer in the gaming industry.
We were given the task of creating a new mobile app idea or to provide a solution to an issue people experience of an existing app. I liked the idea of creating something new so I began to think about it over a few days. One evening returning from University, I noticed people jogging and running while listening to music on their devices.
I started to think about how interesting it would be if there was an app that required the person to keep running at a certain speed and if they slowed down below this speed, the app would slow down their music. This means that the music would inform them that they are running too slow and need to accelerate their pace in order for their music to play at its correct playing speed. I immediately thought I need to research this further to see if such an app exists and if not, 'I've got my idea for a new mobile app'.
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
I hope to integrate with other apps so as to expand on the features available and eventually build versions of the app in several other languages.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
I think getting feedback from people saying how much they love it and that's really helped with their training. In one case somebody even told me that they used to be very self-conscious about going running in public, and would sometimes avoid it, but now they find the challenge of Music Momentum is a great distraction from worrying about that and is actually helping them overcome that self-conscious.
That was definitely the most rewarding aspect for me, as I had never even thought about the app being used in that way. It's one thing when people say it's helping them with their training but to learn that it's helping a person with some anxiety issues, that was a huge bonus for me.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
That's definitely the Slow-Mo feature as there's something about hearing your music starting to slow down, you get this boost or determination to get it back playing correctly. But there are other features in the app that allow you to create customised music playlists and see all of your session statistics. The stats are good as you can see all your different times, distance travelled for each session and how many times you triggered the 'music slow-mo' feature.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
Great question! There were many surprises along the way, some good and some not so good.
I was surprised at how much work was involved throughout the whole process. As much as I enjoyed it, a lot of work went into the app from the early design stages to the final submitting it to the app stores. But even it's published online, the work is far from over.
I think for anyone thinking about building an app should be aware that apps require continuous work. As softwares such as iOS update could result in a developer having to make adjustments to certain areas of their app in order to fit the new software. Marketing the product itself is challenging too and something that a lot of app designers/developers may underestimate. And then of course there's bug fixes, all of which take time. I think those have been the biggest surprises along the journey but there have been a lot of good surprises too.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
In terms of researching this type of app
- Map My Run
- Zombies, Run!
- Rock My Run
And Fitbit to name a few, but there are so many great (running) apps available. I think its more about finding the one that's the right one for you and what you're looking for from an app/tech in particular.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
Research the area thoroughly!! This is probably the single most important area of designing/developing a mobile app.
It will inform you:
- what's out there like it already?
- why your idea is different?
- how much demand is there for this sort of product?
- whos using these sort of apps? what age group do they belong to?
- how can the app be built?
- what might need to change in the early design stages etc...
Having an idea for an app is nice but answering these sort of questions are the foundations on which the app will be built.
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
I decided to release to both iOS and Google Play Store as my research suggested those were the best platforms to present the product on. There may be other platforms in the near future but for now those are the two platforms where Music Momentum is available.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
There are multiple running apps available on both the iOS and Android Stores that measure a users performance. I realised from my market research that a lot of the apps vary in the features offered as well as how feedback is presented to the user.
Music Momentum is a unique concept in that it's presenting its users with a new type of personal challenge, to see if they can keep running at a certain target speed or pace in order to keep their music playing correctly. The target speed is set by the user themselves so that they can find the speed that's right for them. It's sort of like setting a personal speed on a treadmill, in that you want the workout to be challenging but it's important that it feels comfortable to each individual user also.
This is the type of challenge Music Momentum offers each user. Just like a treadmill, they can easily adjust their target speed to suit their workout while they run. If things are becoming a bit too much and they fancy a break from the slow-mo feature, they can hit the 'pause session' button. This will give them a break from the slow-mo feature until they are ready to resume with the session and does not interfere with their music that's playing. This makes the app ideal for all types of runners, as each user sets a target speed that is comfortable for them with but challenging at the same time.
So whether people are new to running or are already experienced runners, Music Momentum helps them get a great workout by offering every user a personalised challenge through its unique features.
You can view Music Momentum here
For more information, visit: https://musicmomentum.com/