Technology has changed a lot of things the last few centuries.  The other day, Kimberly Seena Moore had a guest post by Michael Springman on her site that was a quick history of music formats.  This was a really interesting overview and it got me thinking: if the format of how we listen to music have changed so significantly over the last hundred and fifty years or so, shouldn’t the way we incorporate music into our lives evolve too?

Well, yes.  It turns out that music blended with cutting edge technology and a little ingenuity is a combination that provides stunning tools for our everyday use.  We’ve already seen some of the great uses music therapists have found with technology…now the challenge was to find the tools that show a better adaptation to modern life.  It didn’t take too long to search out some nifty modern inventions.

Like many many people, I like to wake up to music.  However, waking up can itself be a jarring process and there just had to be a way to make this a more natural, holistic process.  Ta-da, there is!  The Sleep Cycle app is such a novel idea and well-designed product, I can’t believe it hasn’t been invented before now!  Rather than waking you up at a specific time, the Sleep Cycle app charts your sleep phases and chooses the optimal time (from a set 30 minute window) and wakes you up when you’re in the lightest sleep phase.  The benefits are surprisingly impactful: better rested, more peaceful start to the day, and, since you finish out your REM cycles, no pesky wisps of half remembered dreams.  And all the alarm ringer options are fantastic.  Peaceful, pretty little tunes to start off the day, much better than any of the standard alarms that came on my iPhone.

Walk into the nearest gym and you will hear music blaring over the intercom and at least 2/3 of the patrons will be drowning it out with their own tunes pumping through their personal iPods.  There are tons of apps for workout enthusiasts…so many, in fact, it is hard to pick a favorite.  There are apps to track mileage, calories burned, route taken.  However, I think the Synch Step app does something none of the others do – uses music to boost and enhance your workouts.  Since workout buffs are using music already, why not optimize the impact?

What other apps have you found that have the possibility of greatly influencing your life for the better?  What other music technologies should we be aware of?

Thanks to phonogalerie and Joi for use of their pictures!

~Laura