We doubt it's going to erase the sea of smartphones you find at every concert nowadays, but Soundhalo is a new app with huge potential for music lovers. As a concert progresses, it gives fans the opportunity to download a video of each song featuring professionally mixed audio. Launched in beta on Thursday, there's only one artist on board thus far: Alt-J. But even the small sample size has us excited about how Soundhalo could change live music. No longer will you have an excuse to clumsily wield your phone throughout a show and watch the concert happening before you through a screen. Instead, you'll be able to enjoy the moment (and your company), later purchasing a better keepsake than your iPhone 5 or Lumia 920 could have ever captured.
Better than any video your phone can take
Minutes after a song's conclusion, a production team pairs video with audio pulled directly from the soundboard. Everything's properly mastered before the final product is uploaded to the cloud, so you won't have to worry about dealing with a harsh audio mix. Each song (at least from Alt-J) is $1.50. An entire, 16-song set is $9.00, though we'd expect this price to fluctuate depending on how long each individual show lasts. The Android app itself is executed extraordinarily well, with Holo design principles on full display. Songs can be downloaded to your device for offline playback, and you can even download copies to your laptop or PC through Soundhalo's website.
Unfortunately, at least for right now, if you're not a fan of Alt-J this app isn't of much use to you. But it's one of those situations where it only takes a few minutes of using it to realize, "oh, this is the way things are supposed to be." It's impossible to know what level of adoption Soundhalo will see among major acts (and whether record labels would be filling to put their live DVD / Blu-ray sales at risk), but the app is already an impressive showing out of the gate.