iPhone Life magazine

Apps: Music

Review: Pocket Tunes…also Last Day to Win a Free Version!

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 I’m a radio-aholic. I have XM satellite radio in my car, and stream Pandora at work. I stream FM Radio from a receiver in the upstairs of my house, I'm so geekified! With the major bump in bandwidth many households now enjoy via high-speed internet access, streaming is an easy way to enjoy the latest tunes, TV, or video all via your computer (or iPhone/iPod as it were).



TUTORIAL: listen to Commodore 64 (SID) music on your iPhone!

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So far, I didn’t want to write a full article on listening to the music clips (SID files) of the legendary Commodore 64 home computer (dedicated Wiki page HERE). Now that the latest, just-released (brand new) version of the dedicated player, Sid Player Pro has greatly (!!!) reduced the power consumption and become pretty much usable on previous-generation iDevices (iPhone 2G/3G and iPod Touch G1/G2) as well, I find it necessary to, at last, dedicate a full article to the question.

There are several ways of listening to C64 music on the iPhone. Your choice should depend on the following factors:


An Instructional App for Clarinetists

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Clarinet in Reach was created by Anthony McGill, the principal Clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The app includes fingering charts and a dictionary of musical terms, as well as audio and video files, all related to the clarinet. 



iTunes App Store undergoing subtle but significant changes... with some difficulty

 If you've been paying close attention, as most developers do, to the App Store, you may have noticed some changes.

  1. New Releases only show BRAND NEW apps, i.e. version 1.0
  2. Updates are not included in the New Releases

This is potentially a good thing for users but there are some downsides.

The good news is, you won't have to search through old apps to find new gems.  It might also discourage developers from submitting minor updates just to be featured on the New Releases page.  That will also cut down on approval time as fewer apps need to be reviewed.



Great new app for musicians

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Sorry but I haven’t posted lately as I’ve been preparing my materials for tenure review here at West Chester University of PA.

But, after attending a recent conference hosted by the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (atmionline.org) I have some great new apps to share with you. I’ll roll them out over the next few weeks. Here’s the first.



A Developer's View on In-App Purchases for Free Apps

 Apple recently announced a major shift in how they treat free apps and I have been mulling over what it means to developers, in addition to end users.

In the past, "In-App Purchases", or the ability to add features to an app, were only available for paid apps.  Free apps could not be upgraded, short of purchasing the paid version separately.  Now, users of these free apps can purchase upgrades.

On one hand, more choices are a good thing.  But I have some concerns.



Wunder Radio

WunderRadioWunder Radio is one of the best streaming radio apps available. It’s great to have when you’re traveling or at work and want to listen to a live match. Wunder Radio boasts over 30,000 radio stations worldwide. It allows you to search by location and genre, and then build a list of your favorite stations. When I typed in “soccer,” it turned up 6 results. But when I searched on “football” (what the rest of the world calls the sport), it listed over 30 international radio stations.

iTSfv

iTSfvThe name of this program stands for iTunes Store File Validator, and its principal use is to standardize all the metadata in your tracks according to the iTunes file standard. It has many other features, including automatic genre tagging from Last.fm, exporting iTunes Store artwork, and downloading lyrics from LyricsWiki. It also gives an automatic rating according to how often a track is played, creates statistics for your music library, and more. Like many open source applications, iTSfv has a lot of features, but they’re not always easy to find.

MetaX

MetaX MacWhile much of the discussion above is related to cleaning up the metadata associated with MP3 files, similar utilities exist for cleaning up MP4 metadata, which is very useful if you have a lot of music videos, TV shows, and movies in iTunes. In particular, iTunes tends to classify music videos as movies and leaves out metadata such as the artist and album. MetaX can fix this as well as do a host of other things. For example, it lets you grab a frame from the video to serve as the poster, and automatically searches for posters online.

Fetch Art for iTunes

FetchArtThis application has nearly 300,000 downloads on VersionTracker alone, and many more on other sites, so it certainly must be one of the more widely used for retrieving album art. You control it using the Script menu in iTunes. Simply select one or more songs in iTunes, select Fetch Art from the script menu, and it searches Amazon.com for the album art. As with other add-ons, Fetch Art only works well if the music’s metadata is accurate, so use one of the add-ons mentioned above before you use it.

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