I don't hate iTunes as much as a lot of people I know, but I will admit that it's pretty damn ugly. Audio equipment used to be beautiful, but where there were once chunky knobs and mesmerising VU-needles now all we have is a dense block text and tiny, cursor-sized playback buttons. Stereolizer brings the pretty back.
What is it?
Stereolizer, $2.49, iPad. There was perhaps a kernal of truth in Jon Bon Jovi's curmudgeonly complaints about digital music, and along with that first encounter of a new album's cover jacket another ritual that has been lost to time is the painstaking assembly of the cassette mixtape. Stereolizer turns your iPad into an old-school stereo, giving you 10,000 radio stations from around the world to listen to and supplying you with endless digital cassettes for recording songs that you're into. Then you can label your songs with a nice handwritten-y note and rearrange them into the perfect playlist.
Who's it good for?
People who miss that big chunky volume knobs; people who like letting the radio DJ every now and then.
Why's it better than alternatives?
It's got a nice interface that might put you at odds with whatever plastic clock/radio is sitting on your nightstand, and it's a novel, nostalgic take on the art of mixtape making.
How could it be even better?
10,000 radio stations sounds like a lot, but compared to some of the more serious radio apps, like TuneIn Radio, this selection is kinda paltry. And Icame across a few kinks - there was seemingly no way to set presets 2 and 3; I couldn't change volume while recording a song, etc.