You can buy a camera that doubles as a phone and music player, as if your smartphone weren’t already amazing enough for enjoying music on the go. In the home, Apple AirPlay has delivered unity of speaker and app on the cheap, even with Android — and if that’s not enough for you, there are plenty of other boxes to choose from that can zap music from all over the world onto your speakers.
Two out of three ain’t bad.
The third main area of music listening — the car — has lagged for a number of reasons, including that it can take years to implement a new car dashboard, and that mobile data plans aren’t as robust or unlimited as the ones we enjoy in our homes.
However, progress is happening on the car/music front, as every major vehicle manufacturer touts a way to control some of the music apps on your (usually iOS) phone using your regular car controls.
That’s fairly pedestrian, common-sense stuff — the natural evolution of the in-dash iPod dock connector — which is why we’re so impressed by the next-level quality of Alpine’s TuneIt app, announced this week for use with supported Alpine car stereos.
This is not your typical Bass or Treble setup. You get multiple parametric EQs and other recording-studio-ninja-type controls to mess around with. Lots of people who care about sound quality leave these settings alone in good aural environments, but cars don’t always qualify — not only due to road noise, but to weird speaker placement, the design of the cabin, and other factors.
Alpine TuneIt lets you fine-tune your car’s sound with a crazy degree of detail — perhaps too crazy.
That’s why we appreciate the feature pictured to the left, for downloading other people’s presets (or uploading your own). This lets you look for someone with the same car as you, and see which preset they’ve created, with the ability to try it before you download and apply it. You can also save multiple audio settings within the app, making them easy to skip between based on the number of people in the car, the genre you’re listening to, and so on.
When the internet of things happens, we’ll apparently be able to download dishwasher programs optimized for the hardness of our water, brand of detergent, and so on. It’s nice to know that at least one company is trying to do the same for music.