#161) Apps I’ve paid for #3: Amazing Slow Downer

As a boomer stuck in a Generation X body, I’m not a huge fan of smart phone apps. Sure, some of them are useful, but many of them seem to exist solely to use data, gather information and slow down processor speed, all to line the pockets of the dev…

Ok, boomer, let’s get focused here.

With hundreds of thousands of free apps available, why would anyone pay for one? That’s the focus of this series, in which I spotlight apps I have paid for and the process that made me decide to pull the trigger. In previous editions of “Apps I’ve Paid For” I broke down my decisions to buy the Prince of Persia and Modern Hiker apps – both of which cost $2 in 2013 (shows you how often I pay for apps.)

Today, we will look at why I decided to buy the “Amazing Slow Downer” app for…dun dun DUN…TEN dollars!

Short story: it was a word of mouth recommendation.

Long story: the idea that word of mouth is the best possible marketing is not exactly an earth-shaking concept, but how do you GET it?

I learned about the Amazing Slow Downer from Maureen, a violinist in my community orchestra. She overheard me and the other bassist talking about how the music was kicking our ass and suggested the app to us. Being able to slow down recordings to practice along with them was helpful to her and more enjoyable than just playing with a metronome, or struggling to keep up with the music when it was played on CD or Youtube. Technology that slows down music without altering the pitch has been around for a while, but being able to conveniently do it on one’s phone was a selling point. Four days later (a nearly instantaneous response to a suggestion by my standards) I bought it.

In Malcolm Gladwell terms, Maureen would be an example of a “connector” – someone who has contact with many people and can spread the word quickly. As a member of an orchestra, she sees dozens of people each week at rehearsal and even if she’s not particularly close friends with all of them, they all have music in common and are all potential customers for a helpful music-related product.

Another thing Maureen is is a boomer, or at least close to it. Though I don’t know her well enough to ask her age or be able to derive it from casual conversation, I would guess that she is closer to Boomerdom than Generation X-ness (or certainly Millenniality). While Roni Music, creators of the Amazing Slow Downer, might not have consciously been marketing to boomers/Gen X., their product was intuitive enough for someone like Maureen who probably did not grow up with a home computer to figure out. Seeing someone who is (likely) older than me using scary new technology makes it…well, less scary, and suddenly the idea of joining the 21st century isn’t so intimidating.

In the past two editions of “Apps I’ve Paid For” I noted that neither of the two apps has a free counterpart. There are probably free apps that do basically the same thing as the Amazing Slow Downer, but based on Maureen’s recommendation, I decided it would be better to plunk down $10 and save myself the hassle of browsing Google Play (something that I find about as appealing as going to the DMV) and possibly wasting my time on a free but inferior app. Thus, $10 isn’t just an investment in the Amazing Slow Downer; it’s buying myself time.

So…yeah, word of mouth.


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