Review: Tune your instrument digitally with inTone for iPad | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Tune your instrument digitally with inTone for iPad

Tune your instrument and play along with this useful but overstuffed music app.

The iPad is a very useful tool for aspiring musicians. It provides a large screen, small form factor, and dozens of apps that allow you to easily play along, record, tune instruments, or learn new songs. inTone is one such app, providing a bevy of tools that are at times very useful and at other times frustrating and cluttered. For some, this may be a very useful app, but how can you know if it's a good fit for you?

When you first open inTone, a simulation will play on the screen. It's hard to determine how to actually turn this simulation off. As it turns out, the fingerboard package, note sheet package, and a handful of other features that would play in this space are all in-app purchases. So they will continue to play in the background until you either unlock them or turn them off. There are other tools available for free, however. You can slide the screen at the top to show notes and frequencies, check your instrument against theirs (the app has three instrument types and more than a dozen total instruments), or run a metronome while playing. Unfortunately, the active samples, unclear labeling of what's available and what's an upgrade, and messy interface make it very hard to use the app in a functional way for free.

There are quite a few tools available in inTone. The problem is that they are often locked, hard to find, or not clearly labeled. With in-app purchase points ranging between $1.99 and $3.99 and simulations taking up a lot of screen space whenever you open the app, it can be frustrating. If you find these tools useful, however--even just the free metronomes and basic tuning tools provided--inTone can be an exceptionally powerful app.

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