The mystery surrounding Overture, an app that showed up in the Magic Leap World app store along with the latest Lumin software release, has been cleared up.
When I first discovered Overture earlier this week, before the official update announcement, I tried using it. And while the app fully launches when you select it, no music appears as an available option to use in conjunction with the app. Now I have more details on precisely what Magic Leap has planned for the app.
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Although the standalone app suggested that a music app might be on the way, Overture is actually just a part of Lumin OS's new Background Music Service (BMS). The BMS allows developers to integrate cross-application audio functionality into their apps.
If an app's developer has enabled BMS and you try using another app simultaneously, you can listen to the audio of the first while you're using the second. Using this dynamic, you could, for example, launch a Magic Leap podcast or music app, and keep that going while you dive into a separate app like Avatar Chat or Helio.
"We've already incorporated digital music into our lifestyles with music and media. Music is essential to the human condition and incorporating music into spatial computing promises to add new dimensions to our users' experiences," according to a statement from Magic Leap regarding the tool. BMS first appeared in the Lumin SDK 0.97. "Our hope is that BMS will unlock new possibilities and inspire apps that entertain, delight, and transform."
Right now, as far as I can see, Magic Leap has no media-centric apps like Pandora, Spotify, or Soundcloud. When media apps do come to the platform, Overture will function as a spatial computing remote control, allowing you to pause, shuffle, or play such audio without missing a beat.
A future version of Overture will have music built into the Lumin OS to allow for standalone music app usage, even if a developer hasn't integrated BMS into their app. But for now, developers can use the BMS SDK to create music apps in Unity, Unreal, or via the Lumin Runtime.
If you've never tried the Magic Leap One, you might wonder why this is important. Well, it is. Once you become comfortable working within the device's augmented reality environment, the ability to play music or podcasts while you work, directly within the device, could help you become even more efficient in your use of the Magic Leap One.
Streaming music and podcasts are two of the biggest growth areas in digital media, so we can probably expect some app announcements that harness the power of Overture in the near future.