App Review: Circular Breathing by Walter Beasley

There are a TON of Apps available for iOS. One app, Circular Breathing by Walter Beasley caught my eye after I read about it on a website I subscribe to in my RSS feeds.

Ok, lets get the good stuff out of the way before I start tearing the “App” apart. It’s a fairly good tutorial/demo of how to circular breathe.

Now, the bad stuff. And there is a lot. First, there is this FREAKING ANNOYING intro music for everything. It was cool the first time. But the start of EVERY VIDEO has it. The start of the App has it. Seriously Walter…..it is annoying as all hell.

Second, the App is just basically a shell with some videos that are chapter-ized. The there are three buttons and a “home” icon. The home icon takes you to Walter’s website….how thoughtful. The Video takes you to the videos. The Bio presents you with a scrollable text of Walter’s bio. And the More button takes you to a page where he’s pawning his other “App” Sound Production For Saxophone, his Facebook, Twitter, “Home” (website link) and YouTube videos.

Beasley1

Third, the App does not remember where you were. And it does not orientate. And it doesn’t really support iPad (you have to scale it).

 

So, is it worth the $1.99? I guess….I think Walter should have included higher quality video with it (for iPad). But I think he could have just released this as a paid video for $1.99 instead.

I give it 5/10. You can easily find tutorials about circular breathing on YouTube for free that are as informative if not more. And they don’t have the annoying intro.

Superscope Elevation (Stay away…..zombies!)

So I get the Jamey Aebersold jazzbooks emails. In their latest “Economic Stimulus Sale!” one, at the bottom something got my interest. Elevation Software play-along offer. Hmm…sounded interesting. So I decided to go to the site, www.superscopetechnologies.com and check it out. Downloaded the demo for Mac…..and then the disappointment happened.

$149 for this piece of crap? That is all I can really think of after using the demo. Let me list the disappointment for you shall I?

1. Drag and Drop works….but not for AAC (m4a files) formatted files. So, anything that you get off of iTunes or perhaps have already ripped into AAC format (which is BETTER than mp3) won’t work with the program.
2. The IMPORT dialogue box is NOT mac like at all. I dunno where they got it, but it looks like a Linux box. So, I don’t have access to my sidebar favorites, nor can I use my Default Folder program to navigate to my files.
3. The program crashes like it is in a demolition derby. I mean, I maybe got it to work twice correctly. And I’m still on 10.6.8.

So, why would I spend this much money when programs like The Amazing Slowdowner, or Transcribe! can do what this program does at half the price. And they don’t CRASH! And support AAC files.

People, avoid this software at all costs. AT ALL COSTS. DO NOT GET IT. STAY AWAY. Imagine it is Zombie-fied and going to eat your brains if you download it.

On a side note, I kind of wish Jamey Aebersold would release his play-alongs in a APP format that includes the books and a way to slowdown/speed up, record, and put the songs in other keys. I think Aebersold is missing and/or has missed the boat in this. Instead of selling physical CDs and books, embrace technology. Make an iPad app that has say volume 1, with the tunes, with a metronome. That perhaps you can drop out the piano and bass or whatever. That you can change the pitch and speed of. That sells for the same price in the App store. You’d sell more, and you would ditch the printing and cd costs. The 30% or something Apple would take is easily less than what it actually costs to make the books, cds, and do the packaging.

Peterson iStrobe is now $0.99

By far my favorite tuner App, now for a buck.

“For a limited time, we have reduced our price on iStroboSoft to 99 cents! No promotion code needed. Visit the App Store to purchase.

Peterson Strobe Tuners popular StroboSoft tuning application for the iPod touch and iPhone. iStroboSoft™ offers the unmatched accuracy of a mechanical strobe tuner for the highest degree of precision available in a software tuning application.
Plug in and tune your electrics and acoustics quickly and easily with 1/10th cent accuracy. (External mic required for iPod touch.)

Peterson Tuners has offered tuning solutions for over 60 years and is the only company specializing in hardware and software tuning products for all levels of musicians.”

Want better Relative Pitch? There’s an App for that.

Yes, the iPhone/iTouch is amazing. 100,000+ Apps. A lot for free. There are a few diamonds in the ruff, and this one is looking like another find.

RelativePitch is an an iTouch/iPhone app that will drill you on intervals. There is a lite version of it as well. The interface is OK, but I have a few complaints about it. The application does not, at least in the lite version, allow you to vary the root note. Maybe the full version does this, I dunno. Second, the intervals are always UP, as in root then the note above. Down would be a great thing to have in this app as well. Perhaps the full version does it. It would be simple enough to add in an update.

The price? $7.99. Forget that. If the developer knocked it down to $1.99, maybe. You’d be better off searching the web for various free trainers, like http://www.trainear.com/. Hopefully someone will do a better version for the iTouch/iPhone soon. Or a cheaper version. $7.99. Come on people!