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Let’s review some Apps…(2)

Hi there! As I stated yesterday, I’ll start a series of reviewing Apps
for iDevices Today I am showing the next category on my iPhone,
called “Media”. This deals with Apps that work with Media files,
such as Audio or Video. Simple as that.

But also Audio Enhancers and song recognition is stored in this category.

You may also want to read the other posts I’ve made, so here’s an overview of what has been blogged so far in this series:

Table of Content:

Let’s review some Apps…(1)
Let’s review some Apps…(2)
Let’s review some Apps…(3)
Let’s review some Apps…(4)
Let’s review some Apps…(5)
Let’s review some Apps…(6)

So let’s begin the review with a popular Song recognition program;

SoundHound ∞

Well-known and in some cases it beats Shazam which refuses to recognize even common chart songs. So what makes SoundHound better than Shazam? At first, there’s to say that the recognition process may start earlier when the App thinks, the recorded sound snippet is enough to do some precise song recognition. If the App is unsure, it waits the full cycle and ten tries to find the song. Recognition record length is equal to Shazam but as I noticed a tad more accurate than Shazam. What’s also fine is that SoundHound warns you if you have a slow network connection that may delay the result procession (i.e. it takes very long to upload the recorded sound bit for recognition). If there’s no network at all, it keeps(!) the soundbits stored on your iDevice and allows you to resume the search later when you’re back in a zone with stronger network or WLAN.

+ Good recognition rate
+ most songs regonized really fast, even remixes!
+ Lets you store searchbits for later recognition
+ bandwidth-saving
+ Sound preview function (audio) – good to check if it’s really the song just heard
+ Lyrics support
+ No Ads
+ Unlimited search requests

– May report slow network even if you have 3G with 40% signal strength / 2 Bars)
– Price raised from $4.99 to $6.99
– Free Lite version without the “∞” allows only 5 searches per day and has ads

Overall-Rating: ★★★★★ – $6.99



ECU, IQ, What the…? Nope, the App has a real short name and stands for Equalizer. But not just an equalizer, I think, the best equalizer the iDevices may have seen so far. Whereas the built-in equlaizer has basic features, EQu goes one step further. It allows you to adjust the Equalizer based on a frequency curve shape and thus allows much more control as the usual built-in Equalizer would. Also it connects to your music gallery and lets you playback songs from just within. Handy and functional (and also necessary because EQu cannot access the sound settings / sound stream from the iDevice. So you can see EQu as a very well designed media player that offers you full control over the sound. the spectrometer is a nice visualization, which is also customizable. Be advised: This needs some experimenting to get your desired result! However: Best 3 bucks ever spent on an App!

+ Once you get settled to the mechanism how it works, it shows it’s true power!
+ Media Player integration
+ Allows Raise of volume Level with only minimum distortion.
+ Optical feedback upon clipping
+ Shows visualization. Eye candy!
+ Prefs can be saved into profiles for quick access.

– Control of the frequency points and the curve shape is a bit icky…

Overall-Rating: ★★★★★ – $2.99


Decibel Ultra

Well, this is an App to measure the loudness of an environment. Of yourse it can’t compare with a real professional SPL meter but the results are close to each other when compared. So when you’re in a location and concerned about loudness, you can get a quick overview with this app. As this App is free of chargem just give it a try. However think of this: Due to technical limitations, the iDevice microphone cannot record over 100dB.  Only with mike boost or offset change, the values may jump over 100dB. So if you’re trying to measure the loudness of a jet starting in your near, simply forget it ;)

+ Fairly configurable
+ Fairly accurate
+ Looks more professional than other Decibel Meters which show a decibel scale
+ Fast sampling rate (20 measures per second)
+ Graph view for the last 30 seconds

– Has Ads

Overall-Rating: ★★★☆☆ – Free


Professional dB (SPL) Meter

This is a similar App to the above Decibel Ultra. Igave it a try when it was free and it resided on my iDevice till today. It additionally allows calibration thru external microphone (haven’t tried yet…).

+ Accurate
+ Seems a bit more professional than simple Decibel meters

– Minimalistic GUI

Overall-Rating: ★★★☆☆ – $0.99


iPro Recorder

In search for a good dictaphone that allows simple export or sharing, I found iPro Recorder. It is the only App that records audio at full sampling rate (44.1kHz) and allows basic editing. Also you can save your recordings to files and send them via Wireless or eMail. It comes in handy  when you need to record something in a beter quality and edit it prior to sending. Unkike other reviews (mainly in the europeal iTunes store) with only one star where Users report crashes or icky steering behaviour, I haven’t spotted any of these glitches. However the programmer suggests that you uninstall old versions first before you update them.

+ Share records via WiFi or eMail
+ best sound quality amongst many sound recorders
+ Dictaphone style
+ No record time limit

– No info about remaining record time
– A bit wicked interface that may result in misoperations of the control (rarely!)

Overall-Rating: ★★★☆☆ – $0.99 (SALE this weekend) – $4.99


Teleboy TV

This App is especially for swiss people and those who spend holidays in switzerland and want to watch the swiss TV programme. It allows live streaming of the current running shows and also acts as a TV guide as you can get information about upcoming tv shows. However you’ll need a stable and fast connection with your iDevice. But then it’s really great stuff and best of all, it’s free! Although the High quality mode is only available when you’re in a WLAN, the Standard quality is already good and no eyekiller. It allows watching the german and swiss programme. Also you can check up what’s running in local cinemas. I can’t remember anymore if it needs an account (free) created to habe login but so far I have not been nagged with a login prompt.

+ No ads shown before streaming
+ Good quality over 3G already
+ Best quality over WLAN
+ Free of charge!
+ multilanguage GUI: DE/FR/IT/EN

– Application may not work ouside europe!

Overall-Rating: ★★★★★ – Free



I think I have nothing more to say about Zattoo as Teleboy TV is a similar service. The advantages of Zattoo over Teleboy TV are: Much more TV stations to select from (worldwide!) and a recording function, but this needs an abonnement!

+ more TV stations
+ High Quality streams also over 3G (but requires good signal strength!)
+ You can save tv shows and watch them later on

– Additional features need an abonnement!
– Ads in streams and in the GUI!
– Application may not work ouside europe!

Abonnement prices:
1 month: $5.99
3 months: $14.99
1 year: $44.99

Overall-Rating: ★★★★☆ – Free


djay for iPhone / djay for iPad

Ever thought of mixing your songs and make a party just a tad better? This App may help you with this although it cannot replace a real good DJ set such as 2 CDJ-900 and a DJM-2000 from Pioneer. However this App lets you do the basic stuff and if you own an iPad it makes handling even easier. So far it’s the only known App that allows sleek crossfading between two similar playing music sources. Also this App doesn’t crash as other Mixing Apps. As the controls are clearly marked, one could start mixing right out of the box. But only the iPad version allows much more control over the mixing progress and has adaptive synching to bpm. Essential when you try to mix a slightly faster track into the currently playing track. I can only make a verdict on the iPhone version and what you get here for a buck is just outstanding. the iPad version however charges you twenty bucks but comes with a whole lotta bunch more functions and supports prelistening gear (i.e. you want to mix track 2 into track 1 and need to listen to track 2 silently with your headphones).

Pros (iPhone):
+ Runs stable
+ good crossfading/automixing
+ nice GUI
+ Easy handling
+ Flawless change between landscape and portait view
+ Absolute fair price!

Cons (iPhone):
– No support of additional gear (such as prelistening)
– No bpm sync support

iPhone: Overall-Rating: ★★★★★ – $0.99
iPad: Overall-Rating: ★★★★★ – $19.99

Okay, that’s it for today, pals. Tomorrow I’ll let you have a look at my networking tools…

Update April 12th, 2019:

All links lead to a 404 error but most of these apps can be manually found. Sorry for the inconvenience!

March 1, 2012 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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