Developer: lolo fit
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Folks who exercise a lot or teach aerobics classes know the importance of setting the right tone and maintaining intensity throughout their routine. For those who like to set their workouts to music, this can mean hours of finding just the right songs with perfect intensity and similar tempos. Tempo Magic attempts to circumvent this issue by allowing users to speed or slow the tempo of songs in a uniform manner, and at a base level it works. The downside is that a lack of options and a lot of technical shortcomings make the app mostly useless for all but the most devoted users.

The interface of Tempo Magic is extremely elegant, allowing you to add songs to your playlist with a couple of taps and control the BPM (beats per minute – a measure of tempo) of any song with a simple swipe of the slider in the middle of the screen. There are also options to lock all songs on the playlist at either the same BPM or the same percent speed increased or decreased. So If you want all your music played at 180 BPM that’s fine, or if you just want all your songs to be 8 percent faster the app can do that as well.

The big drawback comes in the fact that if the songs you choose to go in Tempo Magic don’t already share a similar speed then the resulting playback often turns into a mess. Setting a song that’s naturally 100 BPM to 160 or above often turns into a mash of undecipherable sound, while setting everything to be 5 percent faster than before means that slower songs will still be slow compared to more upbeat fare. This issue can be partially offset if you already have a workout mix or some other playlist of similarly paced songs, but if you don’t, then trying to find the right mix can be an exercise in trial-and-error. Another issue is the fact that the app doesn’t play well with some forms of DRM, so there’s no way of knowing which songs will work and which won’t until you try and add them and Tempo Magic tells you it can’t.

For exercise nuts, fitness instructors and even DJs, Tempo Magic is a neat app that might put a new spin on how they play their music. For more casual folks the app holds very little appeal and will likely be met with quizzical looks and a lot of misunderstanding. For these folks it’s a fun novelty, but not worth the $5 investment.

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