Here’s the more-than-horrifying process of a musician’s typical instrument repair: damage instrument, worry, call repair shop, drop off instrument for repair, wait an indefinitely, leave a handful of messages for the repairer and, finally, pick up instrument.
Because musical instruments under warranty must often be sent back to manufacturers for repairs, music shops face the unenviable task of serving as the liaison between the instrument owner and the manufacturer. With many instruments out for repair at the same time, and no industry standards on repair tracking (or even how long a repair will take), there’s plenty of room for frustration.
Cue Stephen Cook, who’s experienced this problem many times as the owner of Cook Instrument Repair
. After years of headaches, he tackled the problem himself, launching InstrumentLife
and its eponymous app, which connects instrument owners to their maintenance records, and provides a link between repairers and worried instrument owners.
The program is accessible online, where musicians can log-in, upload sales receipts, find retailers or repair shops and even play a game. Retailers and repair shops can log-in to the same interface, and create listings. And each instrument is assigned an identification number, so that repair and maintenance can be tracked over time. "InstrumentLife
addresses some current inefficiencies in the industry by allowing shops to track instruments as they move through the repair process," Cook says.
More social functions are on the way, including a game and a platform which allows musicians to upload gig information. "What we’re tyring to do is make playing music cool again," Cook explains. "We’re trying to create an environment that makes playing music fun again and cool, so students get to celebrate their experience with the instrument."
The app is mobile-friendly; it’s currently compatible with the Android operating system and iPhones.
By Robin Donovan