Audibly — An innovative way to turn your iPhone to a surround sound system

3 students attending schools in different cities in the United States met in the Apple funded WWDC scholarship Programme, and have now come up with an app that converts an iPhone effectively as wireless surround sound system. The app, Audibly,uses multiple iOS devices nearby through sync services and makes it ready for high intensity music for a moderately sized gathering or function.

Nick Frey from Iowa, Veeral Patel from New Jersey, and Chris Galzerano from Pittsburg took part in WWDC — the annual meet of scholarship awardees shortlisted by Apple. Sitting through a session on peer to peer connectivity, the trio came up with the brilliant idea right away. In fact by the time they were through with the conference, they had already had a mockup in mind with a little help from Apple team of coders in the WWDC labs.

How does it work?

At a very high level, imagine a small party. With good speakers missing in action, users can resort to using the Audibly app, sync songs to several iPhones and iPads and use this arrangement as an attractive alternative to audio speakers. The result? Immediate and wire-free music blasting away with help of the surround sound system just created by the Audibly app.

While initially the co-founders thought of sharing the music file among all the nearby iOS devices, they found that this took a lot of time. As an alternative (and as per the finalized design), the person having the song file can now stream the file using the Audibly app. This can be done when the other people in the vicinity tap on the “Broadcast” button within the app. While the method is still to be refined, it does work beautifully in its very own limited capacity using the peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network.

Some features of the app

  1. You have the flexibility to create customized playlists
  2. You can manage the volume across all connected devices
  3. You can customize the pitch/depth of the song/music
  4. Since music can be streamed over peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network, the app store page claims that no Internet connection will be required
  5. Works only on iOS 7 and above
  6. Works well across maximum of 6 devices though the founders claim it can work on more

While this is an interesting development for music aficionados, post app release reviews haven’t exactly been mind-blowing. It has had a mixed bag of responses so far. The most common problem has been the failure to sync the nearby devices properly or keep the sync connection going for long duration. Audibly’sco-founder Veeral Patel too has admitted that the system relies on multi-peer Wi-Fi network and hence its functionality will be as good as the signal strength. Also stress-testing on the distance between two or more synced devices is still to be carried out although Patel does feel that it should work accurately inside a room.

The app can be downloaded absolutely free from iTunes Store —

Originally published at: MobDevApp

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