Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview with Shane Johnson, the mind behind Amp.i.Am

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1- Hello, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a software engineer with an immense passion for all things audio. I studied in the United States where I majored in computer science and engineering. After tenure with Apple, I returned back to Australia and held several positions before finally deciding to join hands with an industrial engineer and start Magtunes.

2- What are your focus areas and why?
My partner and I started Magtunes and we are about building premium audio products that are accessible to everyone.

3- How do you describe “Amp.i.Am” in few words?
A small headphone amplifier for your iPhone, iPad and iPod devices and fits unnoticed into the coin pocket of your jeans. It is light, weighs only 7 grams, small and battery-free.
Amp.i.Am is an Amplifier that is made specifically for the i-devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod that makes the sound on any headphones sound Amazing. Amp.i.Am is for everyone. It works with all headphones on the market.

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4- Where do you think you are making an impact?
We have been working very hard to strike a balance between high-quality products that is within reach of everyone while offering unique or combined features that add value to our products and thus challenging the status quo that good quality music comes with a high price tag.

5- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
We design things from a User perspective and focus on User experience along with functionalities and ease of use. It may take us months sometimes putting together the functional specifications and features of a proposed device before we start on the technical aspect of it. Being an engineer is not enough. My job requires some command in business principles including procurement, cost accounting, and project management.

6- The music industry or even accessories is a very changing, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
We will have a lot of listener control in the coming years. We’re going to see a continued shift from ownership of music to access to music delivered to us quickly and ushering in a new era of sharing, discovery and social connectivity around our music and friends. Devices will need to get even smarter, better and more versatile than ever before.

 7- What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on “Amp.i.Am”?
Apple strict compliance requirements while keeping the device small, light and battery-free.

8- What are you most excited about at the moment?
1.We wanted to capture that premium sound you get from hi-end audio equipment and make it available on every i-Device without the complications, terrible interfaces, or exorbitant costs. We managed just that.
2. We are launching Amp.i.Am just in time for the iPhone 7 and if rumours have it that the biggest hardware revisions of the iPhone 7 are predicted to centre on the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack and future iPhones are released with just a Lightning port, Amp.i.Am would allow everyone to continue to use their favourite headphones and great sounding music by simply adding Amp.i.Am

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9- What can you tell young people who are pursuing their dreams?
The moment you believe you can’t do it, everything else begins to crumble. Never stop believing.

10- The last Word or final thoughts?
The high quality components in Amp.i.Am will give your music a greater sense of space, enabling you to hear more clearly the separate instruments, voices and melodies. Detail is greater, so the subtle nuances in vocal intonation or the way a note is played can be heard more easily.
Grip on the lower frequencies will also be better, so bass notes should sound more tuneful, driving their own rhythm, rather than just being heavy and loud.
All of this leads to a more emotionally engaging, and therefore enjoyable experience.

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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