When Harmonix (the makers of Rock Band and Dance Central) first announced it was creating a brand new iOS app, I was looking forward to a brand new music game of some kind. But the company surprised us all with VidRhythm, now available on the App Store for US$1.99. It's not really a game, really; it's a casual (and fun) remixing tool and music video maker.
The game has a bunch of tracks (mostly original, though there are a few classical songs in the mix as well) that are assembled out of little hits of sound, everything from bass drums and high-hat hits to various other beats and samples. Your job as the music video maker is to replace those samples with your own audio and video. The app tells you exactly what to do (like "say Bom"), and you can then record video of you or some gullible friends doing just that. Record all the samples, choose a video style, hit Go, and voila: almost instantly you have an original music video, made up of your own video recordings and audio mix.
It's wild to see in action. There's no actual game to play, but it is a lot of fun to play with, and Harmonix has done a great job of hiding all of the video and audio processing that must go on behind the scenes to make something like this. You can see some examples of the videos on YouTube, but until you actually dive in and make one yourself, it's hard to tell just how magical the app really is.
Essentially, VidRhythm is a cool toy, not to mention a fun creative tool. I'm a little disappointed that we didn't get a full game from Harmonix, but this is nice, too, and I look forward to seeing the kind of videos people end up creating with it.