Time to make some music…..

finger on a tablet computer screenIf you are a subscriber to the blog’s weekly email newsletter then you might well already be aware that, this week, I’ve finally had to make a somewhat difficult (well, ‘difficult’ at one level; actually, both easy and welcome at another) work-based decision.

For those not on the email list, by way of background, over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been undertaking more music production work. This has been a long-held ambition and was, in a large part, a reason that underpinned me gradually extracting myself from my previous ‘day job’ (in UK HE) over a number of years, enabling my relocation to France about three years ago, and building myself a compact (but very useable) personal project studio space which has now been fully-functional for about 18 months.

That recent music work has been going well. Indeed, well enough that there is now a lot more of the same to come over at least the next 6 to 9 months. This does, however, mean I’m finally going to have to address an on-going dilemma that this extra music production work brings; which other work do I stop doing to spend more time on music production?

I suspect many of you can already see where this conversation might be leading…. For the last few years, my working life has been made up of a combination of freelance/self-employed stuff. This has consisted of music production work (production/library music work is not glamorous but it provides musical variety, deadline flexibility and, eventually, an income) and music technology journalism (a combination of freelance writing work for Sound On Sound magazine and the blog). I enjoy all aspects of this work and each appeals to different parts of the musical geek in me. However, given the choice between actually writing music or writing about the technology used for writing music, like most musicians I guess, I’ll favour the former over the latter as a way of earning a crust.

So, while it is with a somewhat heavy heart, I’m finally having to admit to myself – and to the site’s readership – that in order to fully capitalise on these new music production opportunities, I’m going to have very little by way of time to spend on the blog.

So what’s to happen to the blog and the email list? I could just close the site…. but, frankly, it costs little to keep it up and I know that lots of readers dip into the older material (particularly the app reviews) so I guess it will continue to be a useful resource for a while yet even without regular updates. Equally, iOS is totally integrated into my own music production workflow so I’ll be keeping on top of what’s going on.  I might also see if I can persuade one of the editorial team at SOS to commission a series on iOS music production for the magazine at some stage….

I’m also never one to say ‘never’ (doh!)….  At present, therefore, I plan to leave the site ‘live’ and keep the email list open. If something new in iOS music tech occasionally piques my interest – and time permits – then I’ll gladly share my thoughts (although whether anyone will still be around to hear them is another matter!). For those on the newsletter email list, feel free to stay subscribed if you wish. I’ll not be closing it down and I’m still more than happy to get the occasional email from folks that’s iOS related. Again, I might also send out the occasional message if there is something that I think is worth sharing….   but I’ll back off from the regular weekly emails while the blog itself remains in its ‘hibernation’ mode.

I’ve been running the Music App Blog for around six years and it has been a big part of my daily routine. I’m sure I’ll miss that…. just as I’ll miss the regular interaction I’ve had with both the developer and user community through the site (although some have now become firm friends outside the confines of iOS itself). However, iOS remains a wonderful environment for the creation of music and a particularly brilliant platform to be introduced to music technology. When I can, I’ll be more than happy to continue to spread that word.

Anyway, be happy this week and beyond…   and wish me luck as I’m now off to follow the usual advice I offer as a newsletter sign-off…. and going to get some music made :-)

Best wishes,


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    1. Cuscolima says:

      Thank you John for all the interesting articles you have published. Wish you all the best with your music projects and will miss a lot my daily dose of musicappblog

    2. all the best, john. will miss your insight but fully understand. please, let us faithful know about some of your finished work so we can check out your new venture.

    3. If you’re still accepting app promocodes for your own personal enjoyment you’ve certainly earned a lifetime subscription to my app releases ;-)

    4. Tim Harman says:

      Well, musicians should make music and not burn ALL their time on the internet (as I frequently tell myself as I fall down YouTube gear review rabbit holes and spend way too much time in a guitar forum). So I can’t fault the motivation or the decision here.

      And, btw, slightly envious congratulations: living in France, fully functional project studio, making a living with guitar, synths, and production gear AND doing original music (even if partly cut to someone else’s pattern). Sounds like living the dream.

      All THAT said, sure gonna miss getting my daily digest of iOS music developments, free of hype, canned press releases, and snark. It’s not like my iPad isn’t full of more brilliant apps than I could fully appreciate in a lifetime of dedicated music-making, or that I’ll ever exhaust the potential of what’s already here – but that won’t stop me from being curious about new stuff, and wanting a fix of New Synth.

      From a purely practical (if personal and selfish) perspective, where can I turn now for guidance? The other sources of iOS music info I’ve dipped into seem much more commercial, arbitrarily opionated, less positive and fair, long on canned press releases from developers, short on under-the-hood evaluation, and full of forum sniping and contention.

      This site has been an oasis of calm, rational, fair, and honest information. Hate to see it languish. John, can you recommend a site closer in tone and content to this where we can go for coverage of what’s new?

    5. Good luck and a lot of fun with making music, John. Thank you for your good written articles.
      I‘ve spent a lot of money on music apps, I think.

    6. Thanks for everything John. Your thoughtful deep reviews were invaluable to me discovering ios music making, and made making music fun for me again. I do most of my composing and beatmaking on the ipad pro now, though I do final mixing and mastering in Logic. Hope you have an amazing and enriching full time career as a musician.

    7. This site has been amazing during these years. I’ll miss it but I wish you good luck in your adventure.

    8. Thanks for everything, John!
      Keep it up with your music and I wish you all the best for everything that is yet to come.
      This blog has been my trusted reference point to what was going on in the IOS music world and I always appreciated the in depth reviews as well as personal-point-of-view writings from app dvelopers, bloggers and musicians.
      I will miss it, but since writing, producing and performing music is my work and lifelong love, I can fully understand your position.
      So, let’s enjoy that!


    9. All the very best on this journey. Thank you so much for everything John.

    10. smackeroo says:

      Music app blog really has been great, but fair play to you – and all good things must come to an end. I wonder if you considered passing the reins to anyone else? Saying that, I’m not sure there’d be anyone else with the experience, dedication and ability to maintain the blog’s high standards. Anyway very best of luck in your new musical ventures and big thanks for your weighty contribution to this underrepresented scene.

    11. I just quit Facebook to do the same thing… compose :)

      I wish you well on your musical journey
      & thanks for all you’ve done for us iDevice musicians.

    12. Sad to hear this news, but thanks for all your great posts and good luck in the future!

    13. David hart says:

      Thank you john and enjoy the creative time.
      Best wishes.

    14. Thank you for your dedication to iOS music production.
      I’ve learned a lot from you.
      Good luck, Music is the best !


    15. Congratulations! This blog has been so helpful in helping me sort out iOS music production. I’m so grateful!

    16. I Wish you John the best in your new musical endeavours.

      As others have said it was a great blog with detailed reviews – up to date news on apps and of course will be missed.

      Thanks for all your work on it

    17. Dear John,

      To put it simply, it’s difficult to say goodbye to my favorite blog… But I wish you all the best. Thank you very much for all the useful and very interesting articles about iOS and music technology.

    18. Yaaa! John!
      You must follow your dream. It is the right decision.
      Good adventures to you!


    19. Thank you very much for all the invaluable guidance you’ve given John, and thank you for introducing me to the work of so many great app developers. I actually stopped buying Sound On Sound regularly after many years entirely BECAUSE of their lack of focus on iOS music production, so I sincerely hope your efforts to persuade the editors to include it are successful. Meanwhile, I wish you the very best for your future career and especially your music making. I’m 71, I’m working on tracks in Auria today and I have a gig tomorrow night; it’s what we do! Rock on!

    20. Yours is one of the few newsletters I have stayed subscribed to and one of the handful of sites I visit regularly. I’m sorry it has taken me this long to say it, but THANK YOU! What you have created here is a real service to musicians everywhere and while I’m sure you haven’t gotten the financial recompense you deserve for the hours spent and the quality of the material produced please know that your hard work has meant a lot to me.

      I hope that you may consider posting sometime in the future, when the time is right, about how your iOS set up or approach has changed. Perhaps even a yearly round up of what you have in your toolkit would represent something that is not as burdensome to produce, but maintain a connection with your loyal fans out here. In any case, truly good luck in all your future endeavors and I for one would love to hear more about what you are doing through the newsletter so that I can go and support you in any way I can.

    21. Hey John, thanks again for maintaining this blog for all these years…have learned tons of new info from it. Good luck on your new adventures. David

    22. Tim Harman says:

      Oh, and while musing in my earlier post about the bleak prospects for getting iOS music info in the future, I guess I didn’t explicitly say thanks in my earlier post.

      So, yes, absolutely, thanks for everything you’ve given iOS musicians over the past 6 years. It’s not too much to say you’ve helped bring the tech to maturity by championing it and growing the community of adopters, thus surely encouraging developers to follow their inspiration and bring us so many great creative apps.

      Wouldn’t-a been the same without your efforts – and thank you.

    23. Alistair M says:

      We will miss you. But we are happy for you.
      Great Blog – check it every day.

    24. Grandpa Ramo says:

      Thank you for your time and work. Your site is one of the few favorited on my iPad. Your (near daily)iOS input will be missed.

    25. I will miss your in depth quality app reviews.

    26. Dear All…. thanks so much for (a) the very kind words and (b) the very positive support for what I’m doing. It is, of course, much appreciated…. and, as I suggested above, for those that still pop by the site, I do intend to cough up the occasional new post when something grabs my attention and time permits…. Anyway, again…. thank you…. and wishing you all the best with your own musical endeavours, iOS or otherwise…. Very best wishes, John

    27. Yes as all have said before many many thanks you have seen a great help over the years. I will retain the link just in case you ever feel like doing a quarterly summary? ☺️
      Any way best of luck in all of your endevours!

    28. Oh John – the internet is a desert without you. Giving me the blues, will try to put them to creative purpose. Thanks for all your brilliant time and effort on this blog.

    29. Charles Phillips says:

      Thank you for offering us so many insights into the IOS world. All the best in your future endeavours.

    30. Thanks John. Really loved both your in depth and objectives reviews over the years. Your site was a ‘must visit’ at least 1-2 times per week. So a simple thankyou. Great work.

      That said, it would be a pity to completely ‘let it go’ given the credibility and time/effort you put in here. You do realise you could always either employ someone else knowledgeable to run/monetise the site or subcontract it out to ‘external digital & music’ media, or simple just sell it possibly for a,tidy sum. Options abound. Always keep them open vs just let things wither.

      All the best in France

    31. Hi John
      I’m one of your readers, i read you for many years, I’m 53 years old , into music yes, damn reading you stop the blog is a shock, a real bad one, and reading it’s for music sake , is lightening my day. I wish you good luck and hope you can manage someday both. There is no ther site reviewing apps with the honesty you have. I miss you already. Marc

    32. Thanks for a great music blog and all the great reviews.
      Keep on living the dream!

      All the best,

    33. Its a true shame apple doesnt just cut you and the other folks like Tim a monthly check for your real very real contributions to apples profits. But As a fav ol song goes” time flies, airplanes crash” we dont have endless time in this precious life. As artists we must become and remain experts at choosing our time and energy investments carefully and mindfully.

      Thank you so very much for your work here as it has helped to drive the ios music production platform forward and created a valuable resource that often out does the adspeak in the app ad itself in depth and quality. I hope this site is at least preserved but it would be awesome to see it at least kept up or bought up by folks such as SOS, its a complete nobrainer anyone discussing music prod should no doubt have a Mobile music production section , i mean c’mon its almost 2020. Anyhow thanks and goooood luck with future projects, I hope to see updates !

    34. This is a good blog and thank you for your persistence which bring us great music. I hope you’re getting better at the music business.

    35. Life’s for living, right? Go and live yours dude. Thanks for your work here. May you have peace and joy (and tons of music) along the way!

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