There’s a reason that music fans still collect and talk about vinyl records. Few people lament the death of the 8-track or the cassette tape, but the specific sound quality of a record is hard to beat. It’s not surprising to see another app, in this case VinylLove Pocket, try to recreate some of that nostalgia and apply it to your existing iTunes collection. In many ways Vinyl Love Pocket’s efforts are successful, but not where it really counts – sound quality.
Visually, VinylLove Pocket is a treat from start to finish. Instead of slapping on an iTunes style album display onto a supposedly vintage app, VinylLove Pocket gives you the nostalgia show right from the get-go, offering up all of your albums in crates where you can flip through each album cover like so many collectors do today. It’s a really cool visual touch.
The same goes for actually putting the needle on the record when you are selecting a track from the album you picked out. There’s a very enjoyable monotony to the whole activity, and the fact that it actually takes more than a split second to play a song is almost a joy in the fast paced world we’re all living in.
But there are things are the digital age we take for granted, and VinylLove Pocket reminds you of them quickly. You can scratch the needle on these records to your hearts content, but you can’t skip forward or backward on a track at all. If you’ve picked a song you can either listen to it or go to another tune, but there’s no searching for a specific section of a song here.
And that sort of trouble is worth it when the sound quality is as pristine as you’d get from a real vinyl record. But that’s not the case here, of course. VinylLove Pocket can’t improve the sound of the audio that comes out of the tiny iPhone speakers.
There are certainly worse ways to spend a dollar, and visually, VinylLove Pocket has a few neat tricks. I especially admire its adherence to a vintage look and feel. But all it’s really doing is putting a new cover on your same old iPod. I’ll stick to real records, myself.