App Review: Cadence

Recently I was contacted by the people who created the app Cadence for the iPhone and iPod Touch, asking if I wanted to give it a shot. I looked at their web site and saw that it was a training app that is supposed to use BPM to help a runner pace themselves. When I saw that, I said, “Yes… yes I do want to try that.”

I downloaded the app and created a couple BPM smart playlists on iTunes. I have a VERY LARGE digital music library, but only about a quarter of it is tagged with BPM right now. So by creating smart playlists that looked for songs in a certain BPM range, I was not quite sure what kind of list I would end up with!

According to the Cadence site there are a few BPM ranges that correlate to typical paces. For example, a 10-minute pace is typically inline with 146-151 BPM, a 9-minute pace is 153-158… You can view their whole chart of BPM/Paces on their special page for runners.

When I downloaded it and saw the metronome, I thought I would be able to hear the metronome in the background with the music. And this was something I was really excited about, since using a metronome for training drills can help with cadence and foot turnover (remind me to talk about that sometime, if you’re at all interested!). I had downloaded a metronome app at one point, but it’s kind of painful to listen to ONLY the ticking of the metronome.

Unfortunately, this app didn’t have the option to hear the metronome ticking. It’s only used to dictate which of your playlists it will start playing, you set the metronome upon opening the app to match the pace you want to run that day. You can choose to shuffle through your BPM list, so that’s what I have elected to do for my test runs.

It was fun having a bizarre mix of music. And it was definitely a MIX, an assortment that I would never have thought to put together, but it kind of made for a fun run, never quite knowing what was going to come on next. I heard old Mariah Carey, Devo, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Flogging Molly, Interpol, Bloc Party, Avril Lavigne… very eclectic. I did have to skip when Guns ‘n’ Roses “November Rain” came on, it brings up memories of high school dances, not in a good way. I even ended up with a movie clip that came from the Brady Bunch movie… random.

But it all seemed to be pretty well matched in terms of beat to keep me moving.

It’s simple enough to use and I think if it gets a few more features it will be a fun addition to any iPhone/iPod Touch runner’s assortment. Some complaints are that it seems a little too limited for the price right now. And when I got a call while running, the app shut off and I had to start it up again. Not a huge deal, but still a little annoyance. My iTunes library will pause when I get a call and then pick itself up again… Just saying!

If you have a Mac, they also offer a desktop program to help scan your library to collect BPM counts. They are planning on offering a PC version later this year. They offer several options for Windows downloads if you wanted to scan your library and still use the app.

If you’ve got an iPhone or iPod Touch and are interested in trying it out, I’ve got a spare discount code I could give away. Just leave a comment!

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10 comments

  1. I am just wondering what advantage this software has over making a smart playlist based upon BPM? My problem is that I don’t have the BPM on my songs.

    • Yeah, that’s kind of the problem with the app itself right now… the same functionality can be achieved by making a smart playlist in iTunes. The desktop software can help people find BPM, so that’s useful. But the app is rather limited right now.

    • Thanks for the review! To answer your question about the advantage of just creating a BPM playlist, its the metronome and the slider. The metronome is used to find the speed you are running at. You run while the metronome is playing and make sure your are in sync and thats the speed you want. Then when you let go , the Music of that BPM will begin to play. The slider allows for easy navigation from BPM to BPM , this way you have full access with one slide to any BPM you want to select. We will be releasing a few more features that I’m sure you will find helpful in the near future, one of these will be used to help you with intervals.

      Thanks again for your feedback , the more we get , the better we can make it.

  2. Man, I am so behind the times! I must be the only person I know without an i-phone or i-touch! But stuff like this really makes me want to get one. Maybe when I’m employed again, that will be my first purchase? At any rate, thanks for the review! Very interesting stuff!

  3. Sounds interesting. I don’t run with my iPhone often, but sometimes I do. I usually run w/my shuffle (smaller, lighter) instead (yeah, I know, how may music devices can a person have?).

    I’d be interested in the desktop version, but the iPhone version sounds interesting as well.

  4. I don’t run with my phone because I have the clear case and it makes the phone pretty heavy but I wouldn’t mind trying out the desktop version. If only I could make the phone smaller!

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