Music history and movie locations in the palm of your hand – that's the promise of a couple of iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps I've been playing with recently.
One is new – Rock Music Landmarks of London, from Musicroom – while the other – British Film Locations, from VisitBritain/ETV – has been around a while, but I've been meaning to write about it for almost as long.
The premise is simple: both apps let you browse prominent locations, whether for recent films or legendary London music events, or even search for what happened near to wherever you happen to be.
You can then read up on some history or information, or even send friends chosen locations by email.
The Rock Music Landmarks app has no shortage of nuggets for the music fan, from the route taken by the Beatles in A Hard Day's Night at Marylebone Station or Harry Nilsson's flat, where both Mama Cass and Moon the Loon shuffled off their respective mortal coils.
You can even find out where Led Zep predated the antics of The KLF by burning a stack of cash.
Once you get to the location in question, there's a choice of reading on-screen and seeing pictures, or listening to a narration by Whispering Bob Harris, just to keep the classic rock vibe going.
And whether you're a born and bred Londoner with your finger on the pulse of rock history, or a visitor to the Smoke looking to do a bit more than just join the hordes of Far Eastern tourists on the Abbey Road zebra crossing, there'll be something to get your attention.
Meanwhile those of us of a certain age will be getting all wistful while staring at the church now occupying the legendary Rainbow in Finsbury Park (below), or the narrow alley leading down to what once was the short-lived Ealing Club, frequented by the likes of Clapton, Keith Richards and Paul Jones.
We'd like the app to extend out beyond the main London postcodes: for example, in our neck of the woods, there's the Bull boozer opposite the station in Richmond where the Stones played early gigs.
Or, not so far away, the site of the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone where Pete Townshend embarked on a career of guitar-smashing with The Who.
Maybe in the next update…?
But for those wanting to cover a lot of rock history in a short stay in London, or Londoners wanting an easy day or two exploring, this app is a snip at £1.19 from the iTunes store.
The remit of the British Film Locations app is even wider, and even better it's free!
Again you can search for locations near you – right now I'm within a short drive of location of films as diverse as Robin Hood, Gladiator (OK, not that diverse, then!), The Omen, Emma, Chariots of Fire and Lock, Stock… – but the app covers the whole of the UK.
So you can visit that famous Brief Encounter railway station, spot locations for The Italian Job, follow in the footsteps of the Carry On team up the Khyber Pass (which turns out to be a path in Snowdonia), or plan a visit to Suffolk based on the locations for Witchfinder General.
When you get there, you can take pictures or video using your phone's camera, and upload them to social networking sites – just the thing to record a movie tour.