December 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm

MacPaw Listen: A Music App for Drivers, Preoccupied People

macpaw listenMusic accompanies lots of things in our lives, from group road trips on the highway to lonely cardio sessions at the gym. This means we’re often pawing at a music app on a smartphone when our eyes should be on the road or somewhere else.

We’ve been testing Listen: The Gesture Music Player on and off for a few days now. Now that the app has been released in iTunes, anyone can try it, for free. We found that it works great for your local music, although it won’t play anything that streams, be it from iTunes Match, Spotify, Pandora, or anywhere else.

So this is only for the folks who download music onto their actual phones, in the style of an iPod user circa 2003, rather than an iPhone user circa 2013.

Still, for whatever music you do have stored locally, we’re hard-pressed to think of a music app that would require the use of one’s eyes less than this one. As a song is playing, you can swipe left or right to rewind or fast forward, or swipe up to do something to a song (send to AirPlay, Like, and Share).

Once you get the hang of it, you can do all of this without looking at the phone, or at most with a quick glance — and either way, it’s better than futzing around with a regular music app while driving or doing something else that requires your attention. And if your eyes are free, they’ll be treated to neat animations, large icons, and other design niceties.

Listen: The Gesture Music Player, whose latest major version was released today, is free for iOS.