Smule’s Leaf Trombone app for the iPhone is cute (and has some very, very smart interaction design), but Create Digital Music points out why the new collaborative features in Leaf Trombone are important in general: They signal the widespread start of network awareness for a lot of other activities.
I think these sort of networked features will increasingly become not only a game gimmick, but a necessity in music making. Why shouldn’t music devices instantly recognize the proximity of other music devices, automatically connect, and sync and share data, recordings, clock, and control messages? (One answer why not: because they’re reliving 1980s flashbacks by running MIDI. But that’s no reason software and DIY devices can’t lead the way.)
The parts are already sort of here, just not infrastructured and standardized in an open way yet. You can use something like the Comments feature in a weblog to discuss things with other people reading the same posts, or LibraryThing to talk to people in other places who read the same (or similar books). IDK if Kindle lets you know if there are people around you reading the same books, but it could (or, better, leverage Amazon’s or Netflix’s recommendation engine to find people who seem like you, but have interested differences that might benefit you both).