Bus passengers get musical soundtrack as they travel through Montreal

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MONTREAL - The musical soundtrack accompanying some of Montreal's bus routes is generating some positive buzz.

Audiosphere is a free iPhone app that was launched in May during the city's Mutek digital arts festival.

Local musicians composed original work inspired by neighbourhoods along the 55 (Saint-Laurent) and 80 (du Parc) bus lines. As well, mixes were produced for other lines: 18 (Beaubien), 24 (Sherbrooke) and 165 (Cote-des-Neiges).

Tnooz, a website devoted to travel technology, calls Audiosphere "ground-breaking," saying it can "drop an aural layer on a typically mundane experience for Montreal's citizens and visitors."

The app uses GPS to determine what bus route the user is on "and delivers geo-targeted, specifically curated music to match the trip," says the website.

"It is the first in an expected series of apps to tie music curation to physical exploration of space."

Developer 2XM Interactive of Montreal won a "best smart city mobile app" award for Audiosphere at a U.S. event highlighting innovative mobile technology.

STM, the city's public transit provider, calls the app "a singular way to become acquainted or reacquainted with Montreal's charms."

Prune Lieutier, Mutek's director of development, said she hopes to add new musical content to Audiosphere in September or October and more Montreal bus routes at the beginning of 2013.

Online: http://tinyurl.com/audiosphere

Organizations: Audiosphere, Mutek

Geographic location: Montreal, U.S.

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