It's no surprise to hear that the new free iPhone app Shuttersong, which lets you easily match up photos from your smartphone with music or other audio and then share it, came from the mind of a marketing veteran. After all, this startup has one of those cool backstories that every journalist begs for when writing up a new company.
Here's the tale, according to CEO William Agush, who during 30 years in corporate marketing has been with a number of companies familiar to those of us in the networking industry for a while: PictureTel, Gomez (bought by Compuware) and going way back, Prime Computer. Agush, who runs the business for now from his hometown of Wellesley, Mass., says last year he stumbled across a 1995 photo of his then 5-year-old son Zachary that was in a frame featuring a button that when pushed triggered a recording of the boy's voice back then. Emotions took over, and the Shuttersong concept was born.
Shuttersong's goal is to make pairing photos taken with your smartphone camera to 15 seconds of music or recorded audio and then sharing the concoction even more simply than you can with a video. The app's interface is wordless, so it takes a little poking around to get oriented, but it is easy enough to use that even I was able to produce this piece: a photo of my phone accompanied by a clip from Pete Shelley's classic "Telephone Operator." I used one of Shuttersong's Instagram-like filters to convert my photo from color to artsy black and white.
According to Agush, in a statement: “Shuttersong uniquely fills the white space between three exploding trends: shareable photography, short-form video and sound. Using patent-pending technology, we’ve accomplished what no-one else has been able to do: creating single JPEG files that combine high-quality photographic images with sound.” Shuttersong users can share their creations via email and social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
According to the Boston Business Journal, Agush has raised $800K in seed funding from angel investors and is looking for an additional $2M to $3M. Shuttersong is largely a one-man show for now, but Agush is looking to build his staff to 10 people by year end, according to the report.