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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame showcases legendary exhibit via mobile app

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. has launched its first application for Apple?s iPad and iPhone to showcase the ?Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll? interactive exhibit.

The museum tapped Sideways Inc., which specializes in translating books, magazines and other publications for mobile devices, to create the multimedia app. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame app features more than 600 songs and includes a slide show that users can browse to listen to the music from a specific decade between 1920 and 2006.

?Our sole mission is to tell the world the significance of rock and roll music as a social force,? said Todd Mesek, vice president of marketing and communications for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, OH. ?The app simply gives us a new channel to tell that story.

?The genesis of it was an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, originally titled the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, compiled by Rock Hall curators and a number of rock critics and historians,? he said. ?This is the crux of what we do here: collecting, preserving and interpreting the story of rock, why it matters and how it intersects with our world.

?Over time, the exhibit and the list of songs has expanded?we wanted to use this app as a new channel for telling the story.?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a nonprofit organization focusing on educating visitors, fans and scholars about the history of rock and roll music.

Sideways? team of developers, designers, artists and editors creates applications for the Apple?s iOS and Google?s Android platforms.

Rock for smartphones and tablets
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame app is available for purchase in the iTunes App Store for $1.99.

Selected by the museum?s curatorial staff, education staff and a number of rock critics and historians, the songs are some of rock and roll?s most influential recordings. The list includes a variety of songs from artists and genres illustrating the evolution of rock and roll since the 1920s.

Once a decade is selected, the app features an album cover slideshow to scroll through and select music. Users can then play the song sample from iTunes, purchase the song or add it to a custom play list contained within the app.

The multimedia capabilities of the iPad and iPhone make them suited to an audio experience that is married to visuals and information, per Sideways.

The target demographic of the app is a difficult question for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to answer.

?Every day, we see teenagers coming into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sporting t-shirts of the Doors, the Rolling Stones, the Who or the Clash?and right next to them, you?ll see a baby-boomer,? Mr. Mesek said. ?At the same time, you?ll see a plumber standing next to a CEO and they?re both tapping their feet to the same song.

?It?s a marketer?s nightmare, but everyone loves this music and it?s arguably the first time in history that the youth have embraced their parents? art, so we?re offering this to everyone who?s a fan, who loves rock and roll and wants to learn more about the songs they love,? he said. ?It?s also an opportunity for us to introduce people to songs they should know.

?They don?t have to like all the songs in the app, but they need to understand that they?re significant in their impact.?

App users can download songs from iTunes

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame claims to have an extensive network of members, friends and people who engage with us via social networks. Social is its first channel, per Mr. Masek.

?We think it?s an app that people are going to want to know about, so between traditional media, digital media, social media and word-of-mouth, our hope is that people will immerse themselves in this app and share it with their friends,? Mr. Masek said.

?We will work within the app guidelines to provide easy mechanisms for people to learn more about visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, supporting our mission and otherwise engaging in what we do to collect, preserve and teach people about how rock and roll changed our world and why it?s important,? he said.

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