I have been making a conscious effort to limit the amount of apps I load up on my iPod Touch. It’s not about spending the money. Sure, that would be a valid reason, but most apps on the iOS platform are cheap and supporting indie software developers gives me the warm fuzzies. It’s about reducing clutter and options. In some cases, Apple’s built-in apps are too simple and lack the feature set I need, so I’ll opt for one better alternative. For instance, I use Simplenote over Notes (don't get me started on the unchangeable market felt font for the Notes web app). If a feature set is good enough, though, like with Reminders, I don’t need to download additional software.
The exception to this is AirCassette. Do I need it over iTunes? Not at all. iTunes has the feature set that I need. Two things about AirCassette draw me in, though. First, is aesthetically, it’s really pleasing. Getting to pick the cassette design and watching the tape reel as you play through your mixes really lends something of the physical to a process that has become in some ways too abstracted. Secondly, the app is actually very utilitarian. The lock screen override and easy controls on the tape are really useful at work, when I may get interrupted five times during one song and I don’t want to have to hit too many combos to pause the music.
This app is now free for a limited time, so there’s really no excuse for not trying it out. Give it a spin and see if it brings you back to the good old days of cassettes without the tape hiss.