Some time back I wrote about why I didn't own an iPod. That situation has recently changed with the purchase of a 4th-generation iPod Touch.
Ironically, I didn't buy it as an audio device - I was actually in the market for an eReader to replace a 10-year-old PDA that I'd become accustomed to using for that purpose. When comparing all the choices - another PDA, a dedicated eReader, or a media device - the iPod fit my needs perfectly.
One particularly appealing aspect was the huge - and growing - number of apps available for it (and its iDevice cousins, the iPhone and iPad). These not only included eReader apps that could handle virtually any ebook format, but countless other apps for every purpose imaginable, including games, utilities, productivity tools and social networking to name just a few.
And it should come as no surprise that there's no shortage of audio-related apps available as well. Here are just a few examples that I've run across so far - a tiny fraction of what's available I'm sure - in the short time I've had my device:
Music making apps abound, of course, from virtual instruments like 50in1 Piano, Seline Music Instrument and OMGuitar to composing and production tools like Music Studio and AmpliTube. There are synthesizer apps too, such as GyroSynth - a gesture-driven music synthesizer - and SynthBot, a simple monophonic synthesizer. And of course who can forget the vuvuzela (Vuvuzela 2010)?
Audio and sound test & measurement apps aren't in short supply either. For example, Audio Tool provides a collection of audio tools, including a decibel meter, microphone, test tones, and recording timer. Decibel Meter and SoundMeter are other apps that turn your device into a handheld sound level meter, while Spectrogram Pro offers a real-time spectral analysis of sounds, and Oscillator is a simple audio generator. Other apps like Active Sonar and Sonar Ruler use sound generated from your device to measure distances.
Useful audio utility apps include equalizers like EQu and Equalizer, MicMonitor (which allows you to take the input from your iPhone's microphone and output it through the headphone jack), and Awareness! The Headphone App, which allows you to "listen to music and the outside world at the same time." Audiophiles may also be interested in the Golden Ear lossless music player and Burn in earphone, which allows "pros and rookies to burn-in their new headphones."
While audio of some sort is almost always an integral part of any game or entertainment app, in some cases it takes front and center stage - no more so than in the game Papa Sangre, which is audio only (albeit 3D audio). Other audio-centric entertainment apps include Audio Puzzle - which breaks the songs on your device into jigsaw pieces that you have to reassemble - and 3D Audio Illusions, which offers examples of binaural recordings.
Finally, in the miscellaneous category, are music recognition tools like Shazam and SoundHound, and an app that offers users "the classic McIntosh experience" on their iDevice - the McIntosh AP1 Audio Player.
Comments, questions or suggestions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why I don't own an iPod
What's the iPad missing as an audio device?
Audio illusions that will fool your ear (and brain)