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iPhone music app offers new way to annoy bandmates

Instead of becoming a human beatbox to suggest beats to the drummer, you'll be able to whip out your iPhone and play what you had in mind with Moo-Cow Music's Band.

I'll jump on the iPhone bandwagon, now that the price has dropped, and there's faster data transfer.

I can't wait to get rid of my Verizon Wireless service, which has deteriorated horribly in the last two months (nice timing, guys!), and my contract expires a convenient four days before the iPhone 3G goes on sale.

The 12-Bar Blues feature of the Band app for the iPhone will keep you on the I-IV-V. Moo-Cow Music

But exciting as it might have been for iPhone holdouts like me, today's keynotes at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference didn't have much music-related news. Steve Jobs did promise that the audio on the new iPhones would sound better than the current version, and Apple is finally getting rid of the weird recessed earphone jack that caused a lot of angst because it was hard to use with older peripherals. But that was about it--no big iTunes updates, for example.

One demonstration did catch my ear: Moo-Cow Music's Band, which was originally developed by a single programmer, Mark Terry, as a sort of fun hack. It is now being rewritten for the iPhone development platform and offered with Apple's blessing through the iTunes App Store. It allows you to tap out and program simple drum beats, add bass, piano, guitar, and vinyl-scratching noises, then mix them all together in a simple song.

I immediately thought of all those band rehearsals in which nondrummers attempt to describe a beat they have in mind to the drummer, and end up spitting and clicking like the sound effects guy in the Police Academy movies. Now they can whip out their iPhones and play exactly what they have in mind. Drummers love that!