April 29, 2011 at 5:22 pm

FlickTunes Car Music Player Packs Sophisticated Gesture Controls

flicktunes now playingFlickTunes is a fairly barebones car music player with customizable gesture controls. The price is right, but the app is mired by some strange choices by its developer.

The controls in SoGeeky Software’s FlickTunes ($1) differ from those in similar apps; swiping up or down handles play and pause, while two fingers up or down handles volume.

Some of the app’s gesture controls — such as fast-forwarding within a song, which is a handy feature for audiobook enthusiasts and other habitues of large audio files – require swiping three fingers and then holding them. The developer somehow neglected to assign anything to a simple tap, which strikes us as odd, but you can configure gestures however you want, for one, two, or three fingers (including the missing tap control). This gives youquite a bit of flexibility, assuming you can remember the controls you’ve set.

Swiping left or right to skip songs results in a nifty flip-style animation, but you’re not going to see that, because you’re driving.

Accessing artists, playlists, songs, albums, audiobooks, podcasts and so on requires dealing with tiny buttons that offer no improvement over the iPhone’s native iPod player, so as with many other car music apps, you’ll need to decide what to listen to before driving.

You can rate songs as they play — a relative rarity among car music apps — but that involves tapping a tiny menu and scrolling down within a menu, so there’s no safe way to do it while driving.

This app only costs a buck. If you want as many  gesture controls as possible, it could be a good choice, but otherwise we’d recommend looking elsewhere for an app that either lets you choose new music while driving or provides simpler controls.