Fans of iconic jazz label Blue Note Records have a new way to browse its back catalogue this morning: an iPad app from parent company EMI called Blue Note by Groovebug.

The app is free to download, offering a guide to the Blue Note catalogue, including artist biographies, liner notes, photo galleries and newspaper articles.

The music comes as 30-second preview clips, but the app uses Apple’s subscription billing to offer more. Users who pay $1.99 / £1.49 a month get access to more than 1,000 streaming tracks from Blue Note, with more promised in the coming weeks and months.

The app was developed by US startup Groovebug, whose standalone Flipboard-for-music magazine-style app we covered in September 2011. The company hooked up with EMI through the label’s OpenEMI initiative, which included a Blue Note ‘sandbox’ for developers to experiment with.

EMI’s Neil Tinegate showed a work-in-progress version of the app at Music Ally’s Music Apps: Beyond the Hype conference in March 2012, describing it as a “living box set”.

Under the terms of OpenEMI, 60% of the Blue Note app’s subscription revenues will go to rightsholders, with the remaining 40% split between Groovebug and technology partner The Echo Nest.

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