In case you haven't heard, MySpace is back and they've got Justin Timberlake! No, don't check the calendar, it's not the first of April and this is no joke. The "new" MySpace is here, but it remains to be seen what that will mean for users.
Apple's default Music app has always served my listening needs well enough; it's easy to navigate, looks good, and offers fantastic control over my iTunes Match-stored library. But since I downloaded Ecoute, I've been singing a different tune. PixiApps' offering manages to cram an incredible amount of features onto a 4-inch screen without making things feel cramped. A heavy reliance on gestures helps keep the interface clean, and an emphasis on artwork makes my music library come alive.
Audio editing applications come and go like the seasons — Bias Peak and Apple’s Soundtrack Pro are now history, and while GarageBand, Logic, and Adobe Audition all vie for attention (along with Audacity and a few others), Sony has finally brought the popular Windows editor Sound Forge Pro to the Mac. While this should warm the hearts of Mac musicians and audio engineers, the fact is that this first version has enough rough spots to give us some pause in considering it ready for prime time.
Despite sharing the name and much of the content from one of the year's most prominent Nintendo 3DS games, the iOS version of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is not quite the same experience. Rather than serve up a smattering of classic songs from the entire core Final Fantasy role-playing series, complete with story elements and familiar cinematic clips, the App Store release pairs the tap-and-swipe rhythm formula with a free-to-play shell that lets you pick and pay for exactly the tracks and characters your want. But trying to compare the two directly proves a losing proposition both for players and creator Square Enix.
Despite being a month late, iTunes 11 didn’t disappoint. Version 11 has been completely overhauled, reimagined from the ground up, and we love the new features. It’s fully integrated with iCloud to make it easy to find all your purchased music and videos, and all the music you have stored in iTunes Match. The new interface is a huge change from the old iTunes look and feel, but we can help you get comfortable in no time. Kick off your shoes and settle into your new digital living room. And don’t forget to turn your speakers up.
There are drum machines, there are beatboxes, and then there’s Impaktor, an entirely original iOS drum synthesizer that uses your fingers and a tabletop to make the rhythm happen. It’s an odd approach, but one that really works for quickly making some nice beats, so long as you have headphones as well. It’s totally fun, but there’s also some real audio-sculpting depth under the hood.
Flea Symphony is the new iOS game from The Odd Gentlemen, which previously developed the Victorian-styled Xbox Live Arcade puzzler, The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Like Winterbottom, Flea Symphony seems delightfully preoccupied with a bygone era, but its gameplay feels surprisingly fresh. In each level, you need to save the fleas flying out of the bells of musical horns by catching them in basket. The trick is figuring out how to do it in time to a set percussion beat.
Produced by the same creative geniuses behind the wildly popular ThumbJam app, DrumJam is a fully-featured iOS beatbox and drum sample collection, which includes a wide variety of programmed rhythm styles that span a range of world music. It also features an interface that provides both instant gratification and loads of musically useful results, which can then be used in actual music-making endeavors.
Plex is easily one of our most-used apps, and with good reason -- it works across iOS, Android, Mac, PC and now even the web itself. With the latest version of the free Plex Media Server, you can now enjoy your photos, video or music from just about anywhere.
While iTunes 11 is running a little late, it is expected to drop on us this month. When it arrives, it will be the single biggest change to iTunes since the introduction of the iTunes Music Store. To prepare for this large update, you may want to prepare your iTunes library, adding album artwork, correcting album titles, and getting rid of duplicates. By cleaning up, you’ll have a better experience when iTunes 11 is released and installed on your Mac.