User Friendly

Fun for DJs, but not so nice for invading lice

By Mark Baard
August 22, 2011

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iOS apps
Two interesting apps for Apple Inc.’s iOS were unveiled last week. One was for a download for real and would-be DJs, which will have you cutting and scratching on your iPad’s screen.

The other app will have you itching and scratching at bugs on your scalp, real or imagined.

The fun one, called djay for iPad, presents users with a magnificent image of two turntables, complete with mixer, equalizer, and other controls.

The app automatically analyzes songs in your iTunes playlist, calculating their beats per minute, for example. It presents you with a waveform display you can use to find the best transition points within a track.

You can also set djay for iPad to automatically enhance your scratches with various effects, according to its German developer, algoriddim GmbH.

The latest version of the app, djay for iPad 1.2, is meant to take better advantage of the iPad 2’s dual-core processor. For example, the app can change the speed of the song on each turntable without changing its pitch, and achieve better beat-matching between songs.

Djay for iPad 1.2 costs $19.99. Algoriddim also makes versions of the app for the iPhone and Mac.

Now for something completely different.

The lice outbreak tracker, the Facts of Lice, is a free promotional app for Fairy Tales Hair Care, which makes “lice prevention products.’’

Through the app, you can report and see reports of lice outbreaks in specific area codes. It might have been better to list outbreaks by school.

The Facts of Lice’s more useful features include guides to removing lice and nits once you have them.

If you are new to the school scene, there is enough in this app (including images of lice and nits), to let you know what you are in for when lice come your way.

Bluetooth devices

A better way to get radio in the car

Has anyone else noticed, while driving through Milton and Mattapan and Jamaica Plain, the pirate radio stations overlapping their favorite stations at the bottom of the dial?

Livio’s Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit (about $120) will help you get around the aggravation posed by interference and weak signals, by grabbing Internet streams of FM, AM, and online-only stations from your iPhone or Android smartphone.

The ET-looking device, whose digital display and play, pause, and skip buttons rest atop a gooseneck cable, also supports cloud-based services such as Grooveshark (my favorite). It can control non-Bluetooth devices via its auxiliary input.

To use the kit, you simply plug it into your car’s 12-volt outlet - formerly the home of the cigarette lighter - and pair it to your phone. The kit then relays your programs and songs to the car stereo via its built-in FM transmitter.

The kit, for which you will need to download a free app to your device, also has a built-in speakerphone and takes phone calls. Pushing the device’s green phone button initiates voice-dialing calls.