Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Tempo Magic App

I was so excited to try out my new Tempo Magic Pro app last week at our dance intensive tap classes (see previous post here).  I will admit that every time I see it on my iPhone screen I cannot resist the urge to say "tempo MAGIC" while wiggling my jazz hands with a magician-like flair.  Try it with me now... tempo MAAAAGIC!


Moving on.

The app is pretty straight forward.  The first thing you have to do is add the songs you want to slow down.  Tap the playlist button.

To add songs, tap the plus sign next to each song (in the order you want - important for fitness instructors or teachers who want a specific order).  On the bottom you can select by playlist, artist or album if you don't want to go through your whole library.

And please... pass no judgment on me for having an iCarly song on my iPhone.  I swear I only use it for dance class... never for jamming out in my car...

Once you've added your songs, tap "Done" and you are returned to the main screen.  Your song is listed on the bottom and tempo magic (MAAAGIC!) determines the BPM of the song (in this case I Want You Back by Colbie Caillat - using this for a tap solo this year - love it!).

If the magic fails and cannot determine the tempo (I found it had trouble with classical music), you can set it yourself by tapping on the BPM...

..and selecting from the choices.

Once you have your BPM, you are ready to change the tempo!  Drag the slider down to slow the music or slide up to increase the speed (or tap the arrows instead to change 1 BPM).  You can increase or decrease by +/- 12%.

For super tempo magic (MAAAAAGIC!) tap "ULTRA SHIFT" to go to +/- 24% tempo change.

To quickly get back to 0%, you can tap "Reset".

So how did it work?

Splendidly? Amazingly?  Magically?

Well.. not quite.

The best part is that the app alters the tempo without noticeably affecting pitch - no chipmunk voices here!

You can also "lock" down a BPM or % to maintain throughout your playlist and tempo magic (MAGIC!) will change it automatically. I could see this being useful for consistent warm-ups or fitness uses (running?).

The worst, and possibly deal-breaking flaw is there is no way to fast-forward or rewind through a song.  You can skip to a different song, or restart, but you cannot skim through or rewind 10 seconds.  So when using it to teach choreography, I had to start the music from the beginning each time.  It was fine in the beginning, but I grew frustrated and switched back to my regular iPod app by the end of the week.

Bottom Line:  I will be using this app for warm-up, but it is not as "MAGIC" or as permanent of a replacement for my trusty tempo-changing CD players as I was hoping for.  However, it is a handy tool  that other dance or fitness instructors or fitness instructors might find indispensable.

You can buy Tempo Magic Pro in the iTunes app store.

Full Disclosure: I am writing this review on my own behalf.  I paid, downloaded and tested the app on my iPhone. Tempo Pro or lolofit did not sponsor this post nor am I getting compensated in any way for this post.


  1. I tried it as soon as I heard about it from you! Found it great for tap exercises and across the floor combinations. My other issue was that my remote, which controls my ipod, would not control the music inside the app so I had to walk back and forth to the stereo. Oh well, it is a step in the right direction! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Thanks for the comment Jessica - I hadn't thought about using it with the remote... good to know. Hopefully they'll come out with an updated version with new features. :)

  3. Great review! After spending some time with this app, I definitely think it has more use as a tempo tester-outer (for permanent editing later like Morriss suggested). It would be nice to find something to replace the old stereo tempo adjustment knob, which my ballet teachers always liked to use liberally and can really come in handy when you want to boost or slow down an exercise.

    Will have my ear to the ground for something that might really be a replacement for that and maybe Tempo Magic will be able to add this feature. In the meantime, when I finally get my iPhone app post ready, I'll be sure to link to your review!


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