Friday, December 11, 2020

Apple Retiring Music Memos App

Juli Clover:

Apple is planning to retire its Music Memos app, which was first released in 2016 as an app designed to allow musicians and songwriters to capture song ideas on the fly. Since its launch, the app received few updates from Apple, and going forward, the app will receive no more updates.

According to an Apple Support document, Music Memos will no longer be available for download after March 1, 2021, but the app will still be available for use and can be downloaded from the App Store purchase history.

Update (2021-03-02): Tim Hardwick:

As noted by The 8-Bit, as of today Music Memos no longer shows up in App Store searches. Nevertheless, users who installed the app prior to March 2 can still use it and re-download the app if necessary using their App Store purchase history.


Exporting Music Memos to Voice Memos requires an iPhone with iOS 14 or an iPad with iPadOS 14, along with the latest versions of Voice Memos and Music Memos. Exported content will appear in Voice Memos in a folder titled “Music Memos.”

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

I'm sure Apple has data to show that "nobody" uses it, but surely some people get value from it, and it's a cool thing to show off. This app always seemed like some employee's personal project since it appeared out of the blue and is such a specific use case. I wonder if that person no longer works at Apple, and so nobody else cares about it? It's such a nice app and was one of those surprises that made me think that some small corner of Apple still cares about music creativity. Why not keep it going?

Exactly. Those are the obvious questions. Perhaps what surprises most is that if Apple had no plans to embrace it, why did they greenlight a pet project in the first place? (The Apple of today seems far less accommodating of fun and interesting individual efforts.)

Music Memos is a nice little app; the automatic chord annotations, bar delineation, and ad hoc bass/drum accompaniment were neat. I used it for sketches and riffs on an infrequent, but regular, basis.

Christina Warren

I was actually briefed by PR about this app — I think alongside some GarageBand updates, but the main thing was definitely this app — so if it was a personal project, it was someone important’s project (they don’t rent out hotel suites to brief media for every small app update or release). I just went back and read my original write up and they even managed to get a quote from Ryan Adams (this was before he was disgraced) to blurb the app.

It was a neat idea but they didn’t invest anything into it and to my knowledge, it wasn’t possible for it to be used alongside or with any of the other music apps out there. It had a built in tuner, which was a nice touch for a free app (guitar tuning apps cost a few dollars in early 2016). It also was designed to work with instruments you plugged into your phone — of course, that became a lot more complicated when the headphone jack went away nine months later.

It’s a shame they couldn’t fold this into GarageBand for iOS, heck make a widget for the “record Music Memo” feature and be done with it.

This app is incredibly useful for recording rehearsal demos. Yes, I could use garageband or whatever but, sometimes simplicity rules.

Paired with a lighting stereo mic or something the Rode lightning audio interface out of a mixer, you can use this to make quick and easy, GREAT SOUNDING recordings. It has the ability to auto-start/end and create new tracks. On the move, you can hum in a tune and it automatically transcribes notation for you. Heck, I even built an Automator workflow to download, rename, convert to MP3 and upload to Dropbox for the rest of the band members to review song ideas. All from a single FREE utility app.

I think if more people knew all it could do, there would be more interest in it - a shame, really.

That's a shame. I use several recording apps for different purposes, but Music Memos has always been my go-to place to save musical sketches. It will be missed.

Leave a Comment