Music Trade Magazine Names GarageBand "Product of the Year"

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In its April 2005 issue, trade magazine The Music Trades named Apple Computeris GarageBand recording software "Product of the Year" for 2004. The magazine cited the softwareis potential to increase retention rates with beginning guitarists and other musicians, as well as the effect on recording peripheral sales that GarageBand could have on the market.

As with most trade publications, The Music Trades focuses on the busines side its industry, specifically the instrument and recording elements of the music indsutry. The April 2005 issue included the magazineis annual Top 125 report, which names the industryis Person of the Year, Company of the Year, and Product of the Year, among other categories.

GarageBand is a home recording package that is part of Appleis iLife suite. GarageBand 2 allows multitrack recording, mixing, and editing, and comes with software instruments, amp models, effects, and more than 1,000 royalty-free loops.

The Music Trades called all this, "a one-step recording solution that enables beginners to create their own music or serves as useful "sketch pad" for more accomplished players."

The radial effect that GarageBand could have on the industry by making recording music so easy is the central theme of The Music Tradesi decision to name the product its Product of the Year. For instance, the magazine said that two million guitars were sold to beginniner guitarists in 2004.

"Will GarageBand keep those instruments from ending up collecting dust in a closet? The jury is still out, but given that over four million GarageBand-equipped Macs were shipped last year, weill know soon enough. Even if GarageBand has only a nominal impact on retention rates, it still represents a major commercial opportunity," the magazine said.

In addition, the magazine noted that computer-related peripherals such as MIDI controllers, hardware mixing surfaces, speakers, microphones, and USB and FireWire audio interfaces are the fastest growing segment of the music industry.

"Not all of the four million Mac buyers are going to load up on these accessories," said the articleis author. "But then, given the scale of this industry, it only takes a small percentage of four million people to generate a significant increase in the [music] business."

In other words, Appleis tiny market share in the computing market is still large enough for the companyis inexpensive recording software solution to have a big effect on the music industry.

The Music Trades is a print-only publication, and the magazine does not publish its articles online. The Product of the Year article can be found in the April 2005 issue. A one-year subscription is priced at US$16.

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