VinylLove™ ($4.99) by Color Monkey is an app that turns your iPad into a good old fashioned vinyl record player. Kind of.
Do you remember the good old days of playing music on vinyl? I know that there are some that will probably read this and wonder what I'm talking about. Before digital downloads, before CDs, there was the vinyl record. For those that miss those days, there's now a digital solution to bring you back - VinylLove.
VinylLove is pretty much a player for your iPod.app library that has the skin of a record player on it. There will be a place on the screen for your "vinyl" record on top of a brushed metal player. There's even the a very realistic needle to pick up and place on a record when you start playing. A switch to toggle pause/play is hard to miss as well.
Now, to start the player, you'll have to pick something to play first. A tap of the top of the screen will bring up the option to browse your records. This takes you to a screen with bins and record sleeves of whatever you have in your iPod library. You can flick through these records just like you would with a real record collection. Think of it as Cover Flow but from a top-down perspective.
Once a record is selected, it will be placed on the player and the needle will start the music. To add to the record player effect, there will be a slight little popping noise before the track starts playing. It really takes you back to the real thing.
The player can be zoomed in or out. When zoomed out, you can have access to the pause/play switch. When zoomed in, you can see the time elapsed of a track (this is not shown if zoomed out).
Even though this app is beautiful and does add to the realistic feeling of having an actual record player, it does have a few issues. First, you'll have to have the app constantly on to play music. When you exit the app, the music stops. I'm not sure why they won't allow you to keep the music playing, though I guess that would defeat the purpose of the record player feel. With this in mind, the app is more just a novelty than anything. Still, multitasking would be nice regardless.
The second gripe is that if you touch the playing record and spin it around, you'll just get a generic scratching noise that has nothing to do with the song itself. It's a bit disappointing, and you can't really tell if you're rewinding it or not. It would even be nice if you could pick the needle up and select any point in the song to play from, but at this point, you can't.
And for being a record player app, the needle does not reset after a song. It would add more to the "authentic" feeling if the developers make the needle do this action.
Not a huge deal, but seeing different turntable themes would be nice. Not all record players out there look the same, and the same should be said for this app. A couple of different skins would be nice to see in the future.
It's still a 1.0 app with a lot of potential. I'm not sure about the price though, it seems $5 is a bit much for what the app currently features. But if you love the feeling of vinyl, then this is one to consider checking out.