By Carolyn Heneghan
You remember the excitement—even giddiness—you used to feel at the music store, flipping through rows and rows of wild and colorful CD and record album covers. Album art was king, and likely influenced many an impulse buy.
In the digital age, that same browsing now takes place on a computer screen, where we navigate through grey lines of text and dollar signs, and album art is reduced to a mere thumbnail. Luckily, the nostalgia has not been lost on Revolutionary Concepts, developers of the MUSaIC app for iOS devices.
What stands out most about this new music app is the full-screen, HD retina-display album cover collage—or MUSaIC—that guides the music experience. Heralded as the first “no buttons” music player, most of the controls indeed involve simple taps and swipes, centering around the homepage’s musical medley.
The app’s gesture controls include tapping an album cover to start playing, swiping to the left or right to change tracks, and two-finger swiping to change albums. If you hold and drag different sides of the screen, you can control the volume and perform quick searches while you’re listening. You can also hold the center of the screen to find out information about the song currently playing.
Tap an album cover to “flip” it over and view track listings as well as other suggested albums and tracks. Greyed out with their price in a red box, these recommendations can be purchased from iTunes with a single tap directly from inside the app. This is a handy way to uncover and preview older albums from your favorite artist that you might have missed, or to find their latest releases.
If sections of your music library didn’t come with album covers, the app will also download replacement or missing album art. Now all of your ripped CDs and downloaded tracks will be just as vibrant and clickable as the rest of your collection.
Overall, the interface is very convenient and user-friendly, perfect even for those with little tech knowledge or experience. The swipe-centric controls allow for easy one-handed use, making your iPhone or iPad a great musical companion for walking, running, driving, working out, cooking, and of course, sitting.
The MUSaIC app presents a unique way to rediscover and enliven your music library, finding songs and albums you’d long forgotten about amidst the dreary lines of computer track listings. It may not replace the physical feeling of album-flipping in the music store, but it will bring back memories of the album art of your past, as well as introduce you to the lesser known covers of newer albums.
Dubbed “This Week’s Must Have iOS App” by the blog Cult of Mac, the MUSaIC app is available for $1.99 in iTunes—a reasonable price for music buffs in search of a new innovative player for their massive collections.
Watch MUSaIC’s demonstration video below: