Earlier this week Nine Inch Nails released NIN: Access [iTunes link], an official iPhone app for the band's website. Although releasing an official band-branded mobile application isn't an entirely new idea -- Death Cab for Cutie [iTunes link] released an app earlier this year and Snow Patrol [iTunes link] released an interactive booklet for their latest album back in October -- NIN: Access goes a step further by bringing the community experience of the nin.com website into the mobile app.
A few weeks ago, Wired previewed the app and interviewed Trent Reznor and his long-time collaborator Rob Sheridan about its development.
Playing with the app (check out our gallery), it's clear how much focus was put into not only integrating the app with the existing nin.com site, but also enhancing and building features that make for a satisfying mobile experience.
Users (you can either sign-in with an existing account or create an account directly from the app) can access music, videos, wallpaper and images from the vast official archives or fan-uploaded content. Thanks to a GPS and Wi-Fi locating tool, fans can communicate with other fans using Nearby, which is like Twitter but localized to the Nine Inch Nails network. Think of it like Twinkle but for NIN fans.
Uses can also access the forums and read the latest news of of the official NIN news channel.
Although I had a few instances where the app crashed on me (and I'm using an iPod touch 2G 32 GB, I'd imagine crashing is even more common for iPhone and iPhone 3G users), the overall feel was solid and the interface was top notch.
Videos load in the external YouTube app, while songs and fan and official remixes play within the app itself. Playback was just fine over WiFi, but support over 3G may vary.
All in all, Trent Reznor and Co. have really gone the extra mile in creating a community-branded official application. If you're a fan of NIN, this free app is most definitely worth checking out.
NIN: Access is free and available in the App Store.