Synchstep is a native iPhone application with an interesting concept. Synchstep for the iPhone plays songs from your music library in a way they claim connects the music in your head to the music in your body.
As developer Greg Elliot puts it "use synchstep when you don’t know what you want to listen to, when you don’t care, or when you just want something good. let go of some control. let your feet pick the beat."
Greg Elliot of Poke has ported his PersonalSoundtrack app to the iPhone and renamed the iPhone version as Synchstep which selects songs from your iPhone’s music library based on your walking pace. He has been able to achieve this thanks to the iPhone’s hardware (read the accelerometer).
Here is some experts from Greg Elliot’s site to understand his philosophy behind developing Synchstep:
"We are forced to compensate and learn how to convince dumb machines to do what we want them to do. Only recently has the burden of interaction design been placed as much on the designers, programmers and engineers as on a system’s participants. SynchStep is an exercise in drastically altering these roles, allowing people to enter into a symbiotic relationship with a machine. The person influences the system dynamics as much as the machine does, and in this way each plays off the other continuously and simultaneously.
This device adapts to its user, performing a task based upon embodied, natural, and situated movement. The person walks as they normally do, and SynchStep adapts to their movement.
Synchstep celebrates the differences in our walking styles, adapting to all and requiring very little in return. It turns the tables, so that the person simply does what he/she wants to do, and the machine bends and contorts itself around the user."
Interesting, so how about the application?
Brett Terpstra over at Tuaw played around with Synchstep for the iPhone had this to say: "The app has a simple, good-looking interface. I couldn’t get it to work very well, though, after about 20 minutes of building and analyzing, playlists followed by many carefully paced steps."
You will need a jailbroken iPhone to install Synchstep. You can check out one of these iPhone software on how to jailbreak your iPhone: ZiPhone 3.0 – New version of Popular tool to JailBreak and Unlock iPhone or iLiberty: Easy to use Application to JailBreak, Activate and Unlock iPhone. ZiPhone or Liberty will also install the Installer App as part of the jailbreaking process. Synchstep can then be installed via the Installer App.
You then need to make an iTunes playlist of your favorite songs (with a strong beat like Stayin’ Alive etc) in which the songs are tagged with accurate BPM (beats per minute) values. You can do this by installing a special version of beaTunes which will also prep your playlist (if your songs are already tagged with accurate BPM values, you just need to prep your songs for which you will need to download SynchStep Prep instead). Unfortunately both these apps are currently available only for Windows users only.
Sync your iPhone with this latest playlist, then launch the Synchstep app from your iPhone’s homescreen, slip iPhone in the front pocket of my pants and you should be ready to go to listen to some real-time playlist.
I like the concept and would love to see this work as it could be the perfect companion on the treadmill, so why don’t you give it a try and let us know if it works for you.
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