Click to download: Festive iPod app from Weezer

Chris Salmon tries his hand at Weezer's festive iPod app

In the last few months, big-name artists like Pink, Akon and Snow Patrol have launched their own applications, or "apps", for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch viaiTunes. That might sound terribly cutting edge, but the apps often offer little more than the content you'd be able to see on the acts' websites via the internet browser on those devices anyway. However, the bar has been raised by a new app that combines six exclusive new Christmas songs by Weezer with Tap Tap Revenge, a popular Guitar Heroesque game (of which a dance music version featuring existing tunes by Daft Punk, Justice and Chemical Brothers has also just been released). Christmas With Weezer does cost £2.99, where many artist apps are free, but the band's powerpop reworkings of Christmas hymns are worth the fee alone, with their stirring version of O Holy Night a particular treat. In fact, the only slight pity is that they're not available as audio tracks without all the manic tapping.

This column has probably covered Radiohead more than any other act, but that's mainly because they keep associating themselves with terrific online innovations. The latest one has just been launched by Japanese TV channel Wowow, to drum up interest in the station's forthcoming broadcast of Radiohead's recent Tokyo show. Go to and you can create your own video of the band playing In Rainbows opener 15 Step, by flicking between 12 colour-coded camera angles of a typically impressive (if rather pixellated) performance. Once you've done it, you can then watch your video back, marvelling at your directorial nous. You can also check out the "rainbows" of angles selected by several thousand other users and view graphs of the most popular angles for each part of the song. Very nifty indeed.

The pay-what-you-want model introduced by Radiohead continues to flourish on, which bills itself as a site for "fair trade music". Artists pay $250 to set up an account with the site, which covers the cost of facilitating 20,000 downloads of their album or EP. Those of us who want to download that music are given the option of either paying our desired amount, starting from $1, or getting the album for free if we provide five friends' email addresses. The artist thus either receives revenue (90% of whatever's paid) or the viral buzz and increased mailing list of the free option. It's a smart idea, impressively realised. The site currently features several decent Christmas albums on its front page, including a mix of traditional songs and originals from Wilco-inspired Chicago folkster So Elated and the indie-folk Advent Songs collection from Louisville's Sojourn Community Church.

The GuardianTramp

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