Apps are quickly becoming a part of our everyday lives, especially if you're a home theater enthusiast with an HDTV or Blu-ray player manufactured within the last 24 months. However, one facet of the CE space where Apps seem to be scarce is in the high-end, audiophile space. Well McIntosh, arguably one of the oldest and most storied audiophile brands, has decided, in order to keep with the times, what their customers and potential future customers needed was an App. Enter the McIntosh AP1 Audio Player App from McIntosh, an iPod like, McIntosh styled portable music interface that is currently free to download via the Apple App Store.
Sporting McIntosh's trademark blue meter and green back lit controls, the AP1 Audio Player is essentially a "skin" for your iPod, iPad or iPhone's music interface. The player features controls for track skip, play/pause, level (volume), library, shuffle and repeat. You can access your music through the AP1's interface without leaving the app and throughout all the various levels of control and interaction the McIntosh visual style remains constant. Even the blue output meter dances in near unison with dynamic peaks in the music, though if you listen to loudly the meter becomes tired and simply holds on zero, which isn't nearly as cool.
In terms of sound quality the AP1 does nothing to alter or improve your iPod, iPad or iPhone's sound. It is merely a cosmetic enhancement meant to indoctrinate a potential new horde of young McIntosh fans and give those who are already considered among the faithful a bit of McIntosh flare for their digital music collection. Either way, for a free app the AP1 is fun, though potential new fans will undoubtedly suffer sticker shock when they realize the next nearest McIntosh product in terms of price is $2,000 more than free.
Read more about the high points and low points of the McIntosh AP1 app on Page 2.
• The McIntosh AP1 Audio Player is a fun, stylish way to jazz up your iPod, iPad or iPhone's otherwise drab music interface.
• The McIntosh AP1 Audio Player is easy to use and live with on the go,
in fact many of the controls are more easily located and usable
compared to the iTunes mobile interface-not to mention they're labeled
in plain English too.
• Turn your iPod, Apple's iPad or iPhone sideways and the blue meter takes up almost the whole screen, which is far more McIntosh like.
• For free-ninety-nine (free) the AP1 Audio Player is meant to be fun and in that regard I believe McIntosh has succeeded.
• It's hard to argue with free but the AP1 doesn't offer any sonic
benefits over the mobile iTunes interface or sound quality, the latter
I'm sure is going to upset some of the McIntosh faithful.
• The AP1 Audio Player does not support video of any kind.
• As I said earlier the AP1 Audio Player is a great way to introduce
younger audiences to the McIntosh brand though the fact that McIntosh
offers nothing in the iPod/iPad/iPhone price range for their newly
acquired fans to buy is a mistake. McIntosh could learn a thing or two
from Bowers & Wilkins who have become exceedingly successful at
selling their brand and computer based products, be it speakers or
headphones, to the Apple crowd for some time now.
For a free app meant to spice up your portable entertainment experience
on your iPod or iPhone the AP1 Audio Player app from McIntosh succeeds.
Though once the novelty of its dancing blue meter and green touch
controls wears off I'm afraid all you're left with is another app that
merely "skins" your already familiar iPod/iTunes interface, which is
kind of a shame given McIntosh's reputation for high-end sound
reproduction - something that is missing from the AP1's feature set.
Still, from a branding standpoint I applaud McIntosh for not being
to stuck in their old ways and for making the app in the first place, I
just hope that they'll also start making affordable products for the
new fans they're sure to garner as a result of its creation.
Funny, no mention of the fact that this is a Apple music pusher, although none of the internet product pushers doing reviews, actually mention that this does not work with Spotify...they just knowingly say that it works with our iphones music interface...which isn't really honest...