SongVoo controls iPhone music with simple gestures

Similar to SafePlay, SongVoo skins the music player in your iPhone or iPod Touch, letting you control playback with broad gestures. You can even update your Facebook status from it.

If you listen to music on your iPhone or iPod Touch while you're driving, you probably don't exercise much control over your playlist--skipping and pausing songs without looking down at the screen is almost impossible. Fortunately, there are apps for that.

One of many background and font choices that come with SongVoo.

SongVoo, which released version 1.1 last week, is my latest discovery in this realm. It's similar to PlaySafe in that it places a skin on top of your iPhone's music player, superimposing the artist, song, and album name in large letters, and lets you control music playback with simple hand gestures that don't require you to look at the screen--in the case of SongVoo, you touch anywhere on the screen to pause, touch twice to fast-forward to the next song, and touch three times to reverse.

It has several advantages over PlaySafe, however. With PlaySafe, you have to choose songs or playlists and add them to the app before you can start using it, and it can take a little while for PlaySafe to index them. With SongVoo, this process is much more efficient--it added all 800-plus songs on my iPhone in under five seconds.

Alternately, you can begin playing your music from the normal iPod music app and then open SongVoo to superimpose SongVoo's skin on top of it. SongVoo also offers tons of backgrounds and fonts, and lets you switch among them simply by shaking the device. There are also smaller finger-buttons for setting your playlist to shuffle, to loop songs or the entire playlist, and to see detailed song information.

Version 1.1 of the app adds a couple of features that seem geared toward the attention-deficit-disorder set. You can preset the app to skip the intro and/or outro of every song (you set it by time length, such as 25 seconds), and post updates to your Facebook page simply by drawing a "W" on the screen with your finger. (By default, it posts "I am dancing to..." and the name of the song and artist, but you can change the message to something cheekier if you like.) Useful, fun, and only $0.99.

About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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