Coca-Cola My Beat Maker is yet another one of the many official Olympics 2012 apps to hit Google Play, and unlike most of them, which focus on accessing scores and event information, this one is entirely for fun.
Coca-Cola My Beat Maker lets users create their own custom tunes by mixing together various sound effects and beats. Up to six loops can be layered on top of one another, which are built by shaking your Android device when you want sounds to come in. A simple wheel lets users switch between a variety of different sports and instruments.
Considering there’s big Coca-Cola money behind the app, there’s no surprise that the app’s textures and UI animations are all really smooth and polished. There’s really only the one screen, so there’s not a lot to get lost in; a Beat Library window gives you access to saved creations and share them out to Facebook and an FAQs & info screen walks users through the paces.
On top of the obvious Coca-Cola branding, there are Samsung banner ads floating around too, which may be a bit of a turn-off, but some kind of advertising is to be expected in any free app, Coke-spoonsored or otherwise.
In terms of actually creating the music, users have to select which sound effect they want from a wheel, hold down the big red record button in the middle, and shake their device at the points they want the sound to kick in. As soon as the record button is let go, a loop of your recording is added to the mix. As simple as this may be in principle, the layers can get interesting, and changing the rhythm with any of the radials along the top can drastically change the mood of any beat.
Once beats are finalized, they can be saved locally or shared to Facebook. My only usability issue is that some of the sound clips don’t lend themselves well to short bursts, namely the audio tracks. Some tracks require you to shake the device indiscriminately and constantly to keep going, while others, like the table tennis, work particularly well for small bytes.
Stability is a bit of an issue, and judging from the Google Play reviews, I’m not alone. Crashes would happen when pulling up the FAQ section or loading up old beats, but there wasn’t any real consistent rhyme or reason to them.
- Polished UI
- Simple and fun
- Crashes occasionally
- Shaking is hard to do precisely
Coca-Cola My Beat Maker is only marginally related to any actual Olympics goings-on, and though I don’t see myself sharing my creations to Facebook anytime soon, the app may still hold some appeal to those that are interested in some casual DJing.
There's obviously not a ton of depth to an app like this, and the novelty is likely to wear off pretty quick for adults. That said, it may be just entertaining enough to keep the kids occupied for convenient bouts of time. For a free download, there’s really not much to lose.