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Popular app is just music to their ears

Two brothers from Melbourne pulled big crowds at the South by Southwest festival with a novel app that lets anyone create a song just by crooning into a smartphone.

Jam, released eight weeks ago for Apple's iPhone, was developed by Joe and Sam Russell, members of a musical family who took the concept behind social media photography and reinvented it for music. ''You sing into your phone and it creates a song around what you've sung,'' Joe Russell said.

Jam users can then add backing instruments and post the results for others to see and hear. ''You don't need to play an instrument or even sing all that well,'' he said. ''You just have to sing into your phone and pick a [musical] style and it will create a song in that style, an original song.''

Users can upload their recordings onto Jam, just as Instagram or Hipstamatic photographers can do with their shots, and the most popular tunes can wind up on Jam's hit parade.

More than 260,000 users, mostly in the US, had downloaded Jam from the iTunes store. The Russells said work was under way on Japanese and Chinese versions.

Agence France-Presse