Every once in a while (but more and more lately), the hustle of the busy and stressful city life, and especially – work, starts getting to you. And in these moments you long for a quiet moment somewhere nice, preferably on a deserted beach with nothing but the calm rumble of the sea to draw your attention. Unfortunately most of you, like me, are stuck several thousand kilometers from such a magical place. The only place you can turn to are the various ambient nature sound collections, and among those, one of the best is Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep.
Naturespace provides high-quality tracks with various ambient nature (and not only nature) sounds to sooth the overworked nervous system. The base application is free and comes with 6 pre-loaded tracks including a couple of my personal favourites – Infinite Shoreline and Riverwind Dreaming. Additional tracks can be bought via in-App Purchases and vary from $0.99 to $2.99. The store itself is split into categories, that allow you to easily find the tracks you’re looking for. On the downside some tracks, especially from the Thunderstorm category, have quite vague descriptions, making buying the tracks a bit of a hit-or-miss.
But the size of the library (or at least the potential size) is nearly not enough to distinguish Naturespace from the hordes of similar apps on the AppStore. The sound quality, however, is. The developers, Holographic Audio Theater, seriously must be some kind of magicians. In addition to the standard mode (which works well for both the built-in iPhone speaker and conventional headphones) they have implemented some clever ear-bud optimization algorithm, making even the crappy stock Apple headphones convey a complete sense of presence. You can easily distinguish individual sounds around you and even locate them. Closing your eyes you could easily imagine truly being there.
Technically Naturespace leaves a mixed feeling. The sound quality is truly amazing. The interface on the hand on, could be better, with beautiful Retina quality logos for each track, but it’s simplistic and a bit awkward on other fronts. Once you download the tracks the only way of organizing them is dragging the logo up/down the list. Some kind of categories/folders and (ideally) coverflow support would not be a bad idea, especially if a good number of tracks has been purchased. On the other hand Naturespace has full support for iOS4, including multitasking and using the iPod controls found in the multitasking tray to take charge of playback. And if it strikes your fancy – you can use the built-in timer to leave the app playing as you go to sleep, dreaming of the beach or listening to the sound of rain.
After several months of usage, Naturespace has earned a special place in my heart with countless millions of nerve cells saved. The superb sound quality gives a sense of presence I have not experienced in any other similar app I’ve tested. And the ability to check it out for free with very nice tracks bundled right off the bat definitely makes it a must have for anyone looking to put some rest and relaxation into their life. While the additional tracks are a bit on the pricey side and the interface could use some brushing up, those are just minor annoyances compared to amazing experience that is Naturespace.
With this I declare Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep officially touched!
|Title:||Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep||Developer:||Holographic Audio Theater|
|Reviewed Ver:||2.2||Min OS Req:||3.1.2|