App of the Week: Muzio

Credit: Muzio

App Name: Muzio

Available Platforms: iOS, Desktop


What does this app do?: Reshma Chamberlin and Elizabeth Buchanan share a lot in common. They worked together as software interface designers before they co-founded B&C Designers, a boutique creative firm, they like to travel, and they believe in inspiring people by coupling impeccable design with compelling stories.

In 2011, these longtime friends and business partners decided it was time to create a simple way for people to put together and share moments that best capture the essence of an experience for others to enjoy. They created Muzio, a multi-media sharing app recently released in the iTunes store.

The iOS app's fundamental purpose is to help users curate and share elements such as audio, video, photos and text from the events and memories people most want to convey, such as a jaw-dropping visit to another country, a first birthday filled with smiles, or a hilarious afternoon loaded with laughter with friends. "It's a way to create a story or a feeling you were there," said Buchanan.

The inspiration for Muzio came when Buchanan returned from a road trip that took her from St. Lois, MO to Cape Cod, MA with over 200 photos to share, but with no concise manner by which to do so. An album on Facebook, or posting them individually to Pinterest or Instagram were some of her obvious choices, but for Buchanan the usual avenues were not good enough.

Chamberlin agreed.

"It got us thinking," said Chamberlin, whose family lives in India and Dubai and says although her mother checks Pinterest and email it's still difficult to see what each other is doing.

Since Chamberlin and Buchanan are both designers, it follows they paid close attention to the feel and layout of the app. "We got the name Muzio from the word museum because we wanted the memories to stand out," said Chamberlin.

In order to accomplish this, they created a black and white design, which allows each narrative a user creates to stand out on its own depending on the elements they add. To create a narrative, or "muze," tap on the plus sign to add media, such as a photo or video. Use the "Notes" feature to include tiny descriptions, or add "Tags" for your text to appear centered. The app provides some simple editing tools as well; tap on an element to replace or delete it, or use your thumb and pointer finger to spread apart two pieces of media in order to add another in between. Users can keep their muzes private or share their creations across Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and email.

For travelers, the app provides an added bonus; users can create muzes on the go without racking up data charges as long as they are logged into Muzio before they switch to airplane mode or wander into an area without a wireless connection. The app will sync up with the host server once you return so you can enjoy the narratives you created from your adventures.

Muzio is free, but Chamberlin and Buchanan are working on generating revenue through something they call Exclusive Muzes. "We are looking for brands with great stories that we can share as a Muze as a way to inspire others to use the app," said Chamberlin. Currently, Muzio's website hosts an example of an Exclusive Muze by yurbuds, a brand of sports performance headphones.

Is it easy to install?: Yes. Once you download Muzio, log into the app with a Facebook or email account.

Should I try it?: There are a lot of apps that let you create mini-movies or photo books as a way to chronicle and share events-Vine, Qwiki, and Snapchat are a few that come to mind. Still, Muzio provides a comprehensive solution; from images and audio to three different text treatments, including Quotes, Tags and Notes, the app aims to give users all of the tools to tell a multi-media narrative in a simple, stylish manner. While at first the app may seem like another Pinterest or Instagram, Buchanan and Chattaram assure users that's not their goal.

"We don't want to be another social networking platform," said Chamberlin. Instead, they remain focused on finding the best way for users to translate an experience through the media they collect. "It's a way to put these things together," said Chamberlin, "a way to translate the essence of a trip with someone that's not there with you."

For now, the app is only available for iOS, but Buchanan and Chamberlin said they would like to release a version for Android. And although the editing tools are limited to removing, replacing or splicing elements in between each other, they are working on adding features such as drag and drop and a more robust integration with Instagram.