Music app co-created by student provides easier group listening

July 12, 2017

The Sounds Q home screen

A new app is music to a University of Wisconsin-Stout student’s ears. Nick Uthe, who is majoring in graphic communications, recently launched SoundsQ with a friend for beta testing.

“We came up with the idea because music is a huge part of both of our lives, and we wanted an easier solution to listening to music with friends,” Uthe said.

SoundsQ allows users to create playlists where multiple friends can add songs that will be played on audio devices via SoundCloud. Uthe said everyone can share songs quickly and get involved.

“The app is a perfect playlist solution that solves the dilemma of sharing a stereo with a group of friends in real time,” Uthe said. “You’re in the car, at your house or at a party and your friend says, ‘You should play this song.’”

Nick UtheUthe, of Eau Claire, said the app is self-funded and that the pair have put countless hours and lots of energy into the project. “What normally would have taken five to 10 developers, we've gotten it to a prototype stage with just one,” Uthe said. “We did it just like you hear about in movies, hard work and a custom basement office.”

The goal of the project was to brand the idea and show how serious they are about it. “Building a successful app is an extremely complex process so we knew we were going to need help. I think we're in a great spot for the next stages to occur,” he said.

Uthe’s business partner is Noah Butler.

Uthe will be running a focus group in the fall at UW-Stout before the official release of SoundsQ 1.0. It’s so the pair can figure out the best direction to take the user interface before it’s consumer ready. People can contact Uthe through the SoundsQ Facebook page to get involved.

“We have some investors interested, so if the focus group goes well, then we’ll have more confidence piling money and resources into this thing,” Uthe said.

The UW-Stout senior said the project relates to his major in several ways. “With the introduction of ever-changing social media, people want quick ways to learn about something, and the only way you’re going to be heard is by creating a campaign that is visually appealing,” Uthe said. “With SoundsQ, I want to engage a large audience, and my major does a great job showing how to utilize multiple channels to do just that.”

SoundsQ is currently free on the Android app store. Uthe said one of the next updates is to make it available for iOS devices.

The app isn’t the only thing the duo have going. Uthe and Butler already have their own company, Grand Taiga LLC, a content creation, marketing and media company.

We strive to inspire everyone we reach,” Uthe said. “We work with sporting goods and outdoor brands to create content for print, social media and digital platforms.”

As for the future, Uthe said he hopes to continue learning more about multimedia and wants to push himself to exceed his creative boundaries. “I have a lot of ideas, so hopefully I am able to execute them and positively influence the lives of others,” he said.

UW-Stout’s graphic communications major previously was called cross-media graphics management.



Top: The Sounds Q home screen

Bottom: Nick Uthe