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Apple releases new Music Memos app for capturing and organizing beats on iPhone

Apple on Wednesday unveiled a surprise addition to its iOS lineup with a new Music Memos app, designed specifically to help musicians and songwriters craft new musical ideas on the go.

Apple says it took inspiration from the existing Voice Memos app when crafting Music Memos, adding features that would make musicians' workflow much easier. The iPhone's built-in microphone can be used to record instruments in a lossless format, and the resulting recordings can be analyzed for rhythm and chords.

The app can then add instant drums and a bass line to help flesh out the song, and it will also provide a basic notation view. Music Memos are synchronized via iCloud and can be opened directly in GarageBand or Logic Pro X.

"Musicians around the world, from the biggest artists to aspiring students, use Apple devices to create amazing music; the innovative new Music Memos app will help them quickly capture their ideas on iPhone and iPad whenever inspiration strikes," Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said in a release.

Music Memos launched with support from some big-name artists, including singer-songwriter Ryan Adams.

"Sometimes ideas come faster than I can get them into my notebook so I've used Voice Memos and Notes to quickly capture songs before they're lost. Music Memos is like if those two apps came together to form some kind of superpower for songs," Adams said. "It quite literally blew my mind how Music Memos could transform a single guitar idea into a whole composition with a virtual drummer loose enough that it felt like you were having your mind read by some A.I. musician and a choice of stand-up or electric bass accompaniments."

Music Memos is still rolling out through iTunes, but will be available as a free download from the App Store.