Mar 2, 2010
Attic ~ Music Controller for Forgotten Albums in Your iTunes Library
Price: $0.99 (introductory price)
Start it up, and you're shown the kind of wooden shelf an audiophile might have in his listening room. On this shelf sits a selection of 15 LP sleeves, complete with cover art just like the real things. Hold your finger over any album, and out pops a vinyl record into your hand, just like the real thing. Below, a player console your grandfather would declare 'modern', complete with clunking mechanical buttons, waits patiently for you to slide the disc in. Trés realistique! And if you let go of the record anywhere except directly over the slot in the player, the disc vanishes in a puff of white cartoony smoke – in the style of the Mac OS X desktop – just like it would in real life! What. The. Fuck.
After you finally manage to get an album playing, that's when it all starts to go a bit Pete Tong, to borrow the parlance of disc jockeys, turntablists, and people with chemically-induced brain defects. Buying Attic is in fact like hiring a well-meaning but slightly senile butler to manage your music collection. For example, he might come up to you in the middle of the afternoon and say, "Would Sir care to listen to Prince's superlative new album, Lotusflow3r (yes, he really does speak the way Prince spells), which Sir has neglected for the last 265 days?", even though you were just listening to Lotusflow3r over lunch. Sometimes you catch him leaving your records in the refrigerator. This is the same impeccably-dressed man who claimed during his job interview that he would pull out such forgotten favorites like The Velvet Underground and Nico and Marvin Gaye's I Want You, then showed up on the first day dancing to Akon in his underwear.
But now and then he gets it right, and you'll be listening to a great old album in your armchair when he sidles up and discreetly whispers in your ear, "Would Sir like to select another album for me to put on as soon as this marvelous last track ends?", and you're all like, "Oh wow, how thoughtful of you! Please play this after I am done reminiscing about the first kiss I had while this song played at the prom", except the crazy old coot dashes off and STOPS YOUR FIRST KISS SONG, STARTS PLAYING THE NEXT RECORD, AND HAS THE NERVE TO GIVE YOU A "YOU'RE WELCOME" SMILE.
This seriously happens. The website claims you may "add multiple albums to the rotation to create on-the-fly playlists", so they obviously come from that universe where "on-the-fly" means "interrupted-at-every-opportunity".
You may ask why I haven't fired his ass yet, and why I continue to employ this puttering fool in my giant mansion of forgotten music. It's simple, really. He means well, looks good for his age, and someday after brain surgery will probably get the hang of the job. Also, through some contractual misunderstanding, he's working for a one-time payment of 99 cents.
Positives: Superb design and fun atmosphere for the most part, has one-touch "magic wand" option to automatically build playlists. More satisfying experience than simply building an iTunes Smart Playlist of neglected songs.
Unpositives: Says I haven't heard some albums recently when I know I have, has a few usage quirks to be ironed out.
Rating: 3 / 5
Buy Attic in the iTunes App Store.