Music Collocator is a jailbreak app recently added to Cydia which plays tracks from your library simultaneously using what the developer calls ‘3D sound’. In this case, 3D sound means the app plays tracks together, shifting the stereo volume based on where the song is ‘located’ in 3D.
Since Music Collocator pulls tracks from your iTunes library, you have access to your favorite playlists, artists, albums, and genres. Unfortunately you can’t swap individual songs to Music Collocator arrangements à la carte. To get around this limitation, you’ll have to set a custom playlist with each track setup you want, and that’s not an ideal solution.
Once you have your tracks queued up, you can adjust the intensity of each song, skip forwards or backwards, or turn off filler tracks that you don’t want to listen to. There are also options for setting how many tracks are played simultaneously, the way in which the tracks are positioned in virtual 3D space, and the speed of the fast forward and rewind buttons. There’s also toggles for ‘repeat’ and ‘positional settings’.
While the app could be useful if you have a lot of white noise tracks in your library, say, if you want to set the mood with a song and also have rain sounds simultaneously playing from a speaker, Music Collocator feels more like a tech demo than a finished app.
The problem is Music Collocator has bugs and usability issues that are too dramatic to ignore: you can’t set specific tracks to loop, you can’t swap in individual tracks, and the in-app settings don’t work, though they can be modified through the plist file in MusicCollocator.app.
While the in-app settings weren’t working on my test rig, they were easy enough to change in iFile.
Since the app doesn’t feel finished, it’s hard not to feel insulted by the suggested ‘donation’ of of 10,000 yen for ad-free playback (that’s US$112).
It’s a shame that Music Collocator stumbles in terms of interface, because the underlying technology is there. With a few tweaks to the interface and the right speaker setup, Music Collocator could be a must-have app for those of us who like working with a little ambient sound in the background.
What do you use for playing background music? Share your thoughts in the comments section.