Immediate Fruit Preserve: Instant Jam

Whoa, oh-oh, oh-oh. My sex is on fire. My doctor gave me these creams.

What if I were to tell you that you could play Guitar Hero, for free, on your PC, using your own music, right now. Maybe you’d call me a liar, and you’d be way out of line because Facebook application Instant Jam is basically that, and it’s currently in open beta and you could be playing it in the time the program takes it to scan your music collection. Details, thoughts and a video after the jump.

Instant Jam is actually the work of Westwood co-founder Louis Castle (meaning he created Command & Conquer), who’s since become CEO of GarageGames, a Las Vegas-based casual game company. GarageGames developed InstantAction, a fairly spiffy web application for 3D gaming, and that’s what InstantJam uses.

As for InstantJam itself, it’s a kind of Guitar Hero lite (and perfectly compatible with any USB guitar controllers you have lying around), but with a huge music database of more than 2,000 tracks playable over 4 difficulty levels. Play songs, level up, and maybe (maybe!) spend some real-world money unlocking some pretend virtual unlockables. Though perhaps “using your own music” is something of a misnomer. Out of the 53GB of music on my PC, InstantJam recognised 11 tracks, thus making me feel like a tremendous asshole.


It’s largely interesting as a showcase of both Facebook integration and this InstantAction tech, but hey! I played some songs and had fun, too.

Interested? Here‘s that link again. Really, really interested? Here’s a video of Louis and some of his colleagues chatting about the game.


  1. SquareWheel says:

    Guitar Hero is boring anyway, but it’s good to see all these clones popping up.

  2. chokoladenudlen says:

    I have been playin on for a while. They have shown me some awesome new indie songs, and it supposedly also has the ability for you to upload your own songs to rock out with.

    Standing there, rockin’ with my wireless keyboard, I am hardly discernible from a bona fide rockstar. Well apart from the fact that I am in fact sitting, not standing. And the only rockstars I resemble is Tenacious D…

    I remember having read about a whole free “rock-band” game for Linux, but my bookmark has disappeared. Anyone knows if they have made i Windows version yet?

    • megaman says:

      Did you try frets on fire? It’s not Rockband, but it’s all Guitar Heroes combined and more :)

  3. Devenger says:

    0 songs matched… hmm? Pretty sure I have something mainstream on here.

    • Devenger says:

      Clarification: ‘mainstream’ as in ‘something some people listen to’, not some derogatory music elitism. I love much music.

    • Devenger says:

      Ah, seems to be searching from no locations, and the ‘add music location’ option simply doesn’t work. Probably because I’m running Vista. Hope this really is a ‘beta’ test, for their sake.

    • Marcin says:

      You can try searching for bands and adding songs manually, that works. The scan location thing is in fact wonky right now.

  4. panther says:

    I’m a sucker for games that let me integrate my own music in the gameplay

    • panther says:

      only liked 14 of my 6k or so song :(

    • DrWiley says:

      We’re adding new content each week so hopefully we’ll get more matches for you in the future.

      However, if you know you have a song that we have in our database something could’ve gone wrong in the matching process. You can always select a song manually from your library to play against the note chart.

  5. Alexander Norris says:

    Is the actual game particularly large? It’s been stuck on the loading screen for at least five minutes, and the only progress bar on screen is one that is touting “75% completion” and presumably wants me to spam my friends with the app by “Like”ing it to get the final 25%.

    Surely it’s not refusing to load until I’ve spammed the people on my contact list, right?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s been 25mn and it still hasn’t loaded so I’m guessing it does refuse to load unless you spam people. No thanks; app uninstalled.

    • Archonsod says:

      Works fine without the like for me. Might want to check your Java version.

      Hmm, out of over 35 Gb of music, it matched one song.

    • psyk says:

      Was doing the same for me until I unblocked “facebook connect” works instantly now.

    • Marcin says:

      No, the 75% “progress” thing is purely social network stuff. It’s not required for running the game. It is misleading in how it’s presented as install completion, I’ll grant you that …

      I’d check Java version and FB Connect settings, as mentioned above.

  6. 12kill4 says:

    Is playing my way though the latest RPS podcast a possibility here?

    • Quintin Smith says:

      You have given me a horrible vision of a world where the only music RPS fans will enjoy or dance to is the monotone mumbling of our podcasts.

    • Brumisator says:

      You can probably do that with audiosurf.

    • Xercies says:

      I don’t think it would make a very interesting audisurf level since theres not many peaks…except if you count Kierons voice…

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Thanks for inspiring my new name.

  7. Spacewalk says:

    I’m not even going to try because I know exactly how many of the songs I listen to will come up as matches.

  8. Ziv says:

    2k songs- 0 matches.
    I’m guessing that it doesn’t read the about 50% of my library that is FLAC?

  9. Donkeyfumbler says:

    I’ll have to wait and see if it works with my PS3 Guitar Hero guitar, but it looks promising having checked out one song on the keyboard. I like FOFix a lot but it’s not the easiest thing to configure and get up and running, and it still seems to have frame-rate issues on even the most powerful rigs for some bizarre reason.

    The more places to rock out with my plastic axe (with the curtains drawn of course) the better.

    • DrWiley says:

      We currently support most USB guitars. It should be as simple as plug in and play. If you do run into trouble we’d love to hear so we can get the guitar supported asap.

  10. Oneironaut says:

    I’ve been having a lot of fun with the game Rhythm Zone that was released on Steam a few weeks ago. It’s not exactly like guitar hero, but It’s the closest thing to it that analyzes your songs and can use a guitar hero controller.

  11. lolfang says:

    I played this game since some weeks ago. A very, very quck review here:

    The game IS fun. And the songs are REALLY FUCKING HARD, if you play on Expert difficulty. I’m a mostly-metal listener, so I tuned in some Black Label Society, Dream Theater, Megadeth and so on. And oh fuck, they have the latest Megadeth record tracked and it’s SO hard to play with keyboard (for the record, I finished Guitar Hero: World Tour on Expert, and got stuck in the middle of Guitar Hero III, also on Expert).

    So, if you really really want to Pro at this game, get a guitar controller. It’s really fun with keyboard, but since there is no “strumming” key in the game, you will get ridiculously low scores and CTS on your left hand.

    Anyways, this game kicks any Jam Legend, Rhythm Zone or Frets on Fire’s ass anytime.

    I really hate this game it’s not Opera Browser compatible.

    • Urthman says:

      First you say there is no “strumming” key in the game

      then you say this game kicks … Frets on Fire’s ass anytime

      Those two statements don’t seem to make sense together. Frets on Fire uses a strumming key and it ends up being an excellent implementation of the Guitar Hero gameplay. I haven’t tried Instant Jam, but nothing in your comment offers me any reason to believe it’s better than Frets on Fire.

  12. the wiseass says:

    Yeah sure, as if I’d let some random facebook app scan my music collection…

    • psyk says:

      Someones music collection is all pirated.

    • megaman says:

      Not that Facebook would be able to discern that by only looking at the files, but anyway it’s still a breach of privacy to let some software lose on your harddisk contents. But since you got a facebook account, what’s privacy to you anyway? ;)

    • the wiseass says:

      @Psyk: Thanks for jumping to conclusions, thankfully megaman said it all already.

    • psyk says:

      How it a breach of privacy for an app to scan the folders you choose for music? It’s not like it’s scanning your whole pc for music soon as it starts.

    • DrWiley says:

      I’d also like to point out that we don’t collect any information about your system or the files you have. We’re simply scanning to match fingerprints against our database of note charts. We don’t collect any information about where or how you got your music. We do encourage you to find new music by browsing our complete playlist and support the music industry by linking to Amazon and iTunes so you can buy new music for the game and personal use.

    • the wiseass says:

      Most Facebook apps are an invitation to third party data mining and therefore represent a serious threat to your privacy.

      Instant Jam is requesting permission to do the following:
      Access my basic information Includes name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, list of friends and any other information I’ve shared with everyone.

      @DrWiley: I’m sorry but reading your privacy policy it’s really hard to believe you. It’s not that I’m afraid for my impeccable music collection, but I don’t like being screened for information in order to allow third-parties to bombard me with even more advertisement.

      – We may use standard Internet tools, such web beacons, which collect information that tracks your use of our Service and enables us to customize our services and advertisements.

      – We also may request information about your interests and activities, your gender and age, and other demographic information.

      – We may also periodically obtain both personal and non-personal information about you from our affiliates, business partners, contractors and other third parties and add it to our account information or other information we have collected. Examples of information that we may receive include: updated delivery and address information, purchase history, and additional demographic information.

      – In general. We may use information that we collect about you to perform research and analysis about your use of, or interest in, our products, services, or content, or products, services or content offered by others;

      link to

      I’ve read worse privacy policies but it’s pretty obvious that you will be using this “service” to facilitate advertisements for third party business partners and advertising companies. Well, you’re not getting any informations from me as I do not have a real Facebook account anyway, but it still annoys me.

      If you want us to play your game, just sell us a standalone version free from all that Facebook, networking, data mining crap. I’m a gamer, I play games not advertisements.

    • DrWiley says:

      @the wiseass – Fair enough. The first bit is true for pretty much any/all facebook games. However, I was speaking more to your comment regarding the actual game accessing your music files rather than any of the facebook mining.

      On another note, we will be releasing the game other places. While I haven’t heard anything about a standalone version, facebook is really the testbed for our beta as people are on facebook and games are fairly easy to find.

      We’re also going to allow embedding, so basically anyone can post the game anywhere.

  13. Mike M says:

    I also got 0 songs but it didn’t ask for a location or anything like that – and I’m not able to set my location in the settings.

    However I was able to add songs by going on ‘all songs’ then searching for songs I know I have then click ‘get’ then ‘browse’.. according to this file browser you can add OGG (!), mp3, mp4, m4a, m4p, aac but no FLAC.

    Apart from that almost everything is great fun (It even lets you remap the keys so you can hold they keyboard Frets on Fire styley) Would be nice to have support.

    • DrWiley says:

      The location setting features is currently broken and we’re working to resolve that issue.

      FLAC support is coming soon.

      Glad you dig the game so far. I’ll pass on your info regarding support.

  14. Sagan says:

    There’s also Rhythm Zone which will let you put in any mp3. (as long as it’s not too long) And it works quite well, too.

  15. Vandelay says:

    Does anyone know about a game called Guitar Rising? It supposed to basically be a Guitar hero-esque game, except you play it with a real guitar instead of a glorified rhythm and action game controller. Sounded like a great idea to get people playing a real instrument instead of pretending to.

    Alas, a quick glance at their website seems to suggest that it was supposed to be released in 2009. I’m guessing it’s vapourware.

    link to

  16. KOuri says:

    Seconded, game is NOT kicking fofix’s ass. NO DRUMS!

  17. DrWiley says:

    We’re using a fingerprinting system so you may have different versions of songs we have in the game (which would cause non-exact matches).

    We’re adding new content every week and would love to hear your requests on our forums

  18. Duck says:



    Okay, I think the fuel for my angrytank is running low, I’m starting to lose the rage I feel when people have never heard of Frets on Fire.

    Seriously Quinns, how CAN YOU NOT HAVE HEARD OF FRETS ON FIRE?!?!?!?!?

    Gah, I guess I had more fuel than I thought.

  19. chaav says:

    well love this game. its koool, only problem is that out of the hundreds of songs i have , i only found 19 songs…i mean 19 songs … out of like 1000 songs
    and it doesnt add the new songs, but since it in beta testing ill let it go, but if u cud fix that, it wud be greaat!