Music Control While Driving
iPod. iPhone. iTunes. These words come to mind when you think "Music Player" these days. Who really burns many CDs anymore? When you talk music player, you pretty much mean your iDevice (Especially if you are reading this). So what do we do when we want to listen to music in our cars, but we don't want to crash into something while we fiddle with the controls? Hitting the treadmill but can't focus on the arm bobbing up and down to hit that tiny "skip" button? Ahhh... This brings us to another AppGuide. (Side Note: These work best with a car dock such as the "All Kit" that can be found on Amazon. It is not recommended you use these apps with a regular cord from the headphone jack to your lap, as that defeats the purpose of "hand and eye free music playing".)
FlickTunes Music Player — Gesture Controls for Car & Gym
At the price of a new single from your favorite artist, you have hands-down the best way to listen to your music and navigate through your playlist blind simply by using finger gestures. That's right, no eyes needed. This app is crazy fast and plays seamlessly with whatever you already have coming out of your phone. If you have nothing coming out, it will quickly add whatever you tell it to (before you embark on your drive of course) or the default playlist you selected. Out of the box its default controls are perfect, but they made it fully customizable down to every single gesture (all ten of them). Flick to play, pause, increase or decrease volume, next, previous, etc, etc etc. Ever listen to a podcast and in come the embedded ads? Well, there is a gesture for skipping ahead 30 seconds too. They thought of everything, you just get to fine tune it. After a few minutes of tweaking, you won’t have to look at it at all, just swipe your way through to the next one hit wonder and drive on.
Another fully customizable gesture app. This one comes with a sleep timer, dimmer settings and a proximity sensor so if you drop it in your pocket, the screen goes off. I’d say this is at least on par with FlickTunes and would almost be a toss up if put against each other. I put it in notable only because the dimmer settings don’t actually dim the screen as the app says, it merely “blacks it out” which is ok, but doesn’t save battery life.
Yet ANOTHER fully customizable gesture controlled music player. This one allows you to put in your own custom backgrounds or you can choose one of the pre-made ones. It also has YouTube search capabilities, but you wouldn't want that while driving. One thing LeechTunes has over its competitors is that it is universal, which is a nice plus for people who own both an iPhone/iPod touch AND an iPad -- just buy the app once and use it on both devices. Also, you can try the free version (linked below), though it lacks the full version's programmability.
CarTunes Music Player
Here is another nice app that lets you set up playlists ahead of time and then flick through your music without taking your eyes off the road. A simple tap turns the music on or off. Tap and spin to control volume. Customize your gestures to take advantage of the features you use most. Fast forward or rewind thirty seconds. Swipe to restart or skip songs. You'll find many of the same features found in the other apps here, in addition to different themes, fonts, clock, and album artwork for visual interest (when you're NOT driving, of course). CarTunes Music Player is another app very worthy of your consideration. Only the price keeps me from putting it above FlickTunes.
songvoo - See what you are listening to
This App goes above and beyond what we are looking for here, but I added it with a nudge towards people who use these players to work out. It's much like the previously mentioned players except this one has a ridiculous amount of ways to fill your social networking void like Tweeting/Facebook Updating your song automatically for you if you so choose. Beware if you're on a long drive, because you’ll be spamming your friends every 3 and a half minutes with what you're listening to. Anyway, as many of you are junkies for the social networks, plus the addition of this app's custom backgrounds, custom opacity, intro-outro skip, lyrics, find the artist on myspace/google/itunes/amazon, etc, etc, etc. It's a very robust music player with a spit shine, as you’d expect from a $3.99 app, but not something you’d want to use specifically while driving. It lost points for being more complicated and more expensive then needs be for this AppGuide, but it deserves a plug for its customization and uses for a more stationary endeavor.
Swiper Music Player
A bare bones solution for driving and controlling music. No customization, but it will “black the screen out” if you’d like it to. Try the free version (linked below) if you prefer.
A free version with no customization. Swipe Left/Right to Go Back/Skip, Up and Down to change volume and double click to Play/Pause. For the people tightening their belts who don’t need the bells and whistles of these other apps.