by Erik Wallace
November 15, 2009
OverviewEveryone sings along to their favorite music. Whether they do that in public or private singing along almost always goes in tandem to listening to music; especially pop music. I am T-pain allows you not only to sing along to T-Pain songs but to sound just like him. I am T-pain is a karaoke app that auto-tunes your voice for a mere $2.99. The creators smule and of course T-Pain bring you this innovative app that exceeds pure novelty and adds a whole new dimension of entertainment to the iPhone and iPod touch.
FeaturesThe key to becoming T-Pain is to have your voice auto-tuned to a large degree. Singing into the microphone on your headphones allows the app to auto-tune your voice and play it back to you in realtime. This enables you to sing along to instrumental tracks. These tracks of course are popular T-pain songs along with unreleased tracks of his. Five T-pain songs come with the app but you can buy more T-pain songs and even sing duets with T-pain for an addition $1.99 to $.99 per track. Singing into the app though is only half of the fun. The app automatically saves your recordings and if you sign up for a smule account you can upload your songs to their servers. This enables you to post your songs to Facebook and myspace or to email them directly to your friends and family. The most understated feature of the app is the ability to customize the auto-tuner. You can select which key you'd like to tune toward and you can save up to four different keys so while recording you can change your key quickly. This feature is really nice for those who are aware of which keys they have a hard time singing in.
The Good:Sounding like T-pain has never been so easy and this app puts a personal auto-tuner in the pocket of anyone with an iPhone or iPod touch. The technology used to auto-tune your voice is highly impressive. Smule, who has had great success making musical apps with, Ocarina and Leaf Trombone: World Stage, has done a great job of making it simple and intuitive to auto-tune yourself. This app is a perfect example of how technology can create new media outlets for aging industries. Any fan of T-pain, even if its just that one song, can find some pleasure out of this auto-tuning Karaoke app. Even if you are not a fan of T-pain one is struck with awe at the auto-tuning feature.
The Bad:At first I found it hard to find things wrong with such a well put together app. It's gotten rave reviews from many news publications and many famous people have commented on how much they enjoyed it. So whats wrong with it? Well there are a couple things that are missing that would make this app perfect. Currently there is no way to skip to a part of a previous recording. If you want to play a specific part of a recording you have to listen to the song all the way up into that point. If you found something extremely funny about your recoding and wanted to go back and hear it again you have to go back to the beginning of the song. This is a small feature, but a basic one, and anyone who's used a music playing device before will notice that its missing. The app allows you to publish to Facebook and Myspace or email links to your songs directly but there is no way to export the file so you can do other things with your recording. You can not add your recordings to your personal iTunes library or use them in home videos because the music is uploaded to Smule's servers and there is no legit way of extracting it for your own personal use.
The VerdictIf you're a fan of Hip-hop music, specifically T-pain's music, this app will have unlimited fun for you. Even if you purchase all of the additional songs you will not spend more than the amount of a CD. Having a personal auto-tuner in your pocket is well worth the price regardless of taste in music. Plus, the developer has sent to apple an update that will allow you to use music on your ipod within the app. This app is vastly entertaining and a fine example of what the music industry can do to re-engage their evolving customer. The price is well worth the experience.
Leaf Trombone: World Stage