iPhone App Review: Sonorasaurus

by Katie Morse

sonorasaurus iconSonorasaurus is an iPhone app I’ve been beta testing for a few weeks month or so.

From the website:

Sonorasaurus is an app being developed for the iPhone (and iPod Touch) that allows for advanced deejay functionality with MP3s. After all sometimes a simple playlist just won’t get the job done. In the near future we will begin to expand more on what the app does and how it looks, but for now we offer a quick snapshot.

Aside from the whole tech side of apps and iPhones, we will endeavor to expose people to good music and the occasional free download.

I haven’t DJ’d in a few years (about 5, actually), so the app has provided a welcome distraction on my subway rides – figuring out what I still know (and realizing what I don’t!).

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I’ve worked with one of the developers on a record label before, which is how I was selected for the beta test.

You can find out more about the app and the creators here, and I’ve included the tutorial video from their blog below.

I tweeted about the app a bit, and a few people came back with questions which I’ll make sure to answer in my review.

Sonorasaurus Pros

  • Intuitive controls – things do what you expect them to do, and they’re in the place you expect to look for them
  • Accurate response – This was the aspect I worried about most.  Would the controls respond the way I thought they should? Great answer; they did!  The jog, pitch control and crossfader all responded beautifully and exactly as I expected.
  • Easy Song Loading – It was really easy to pull songs off my computer and put them on my iPhone through their handy FTP site, and it supported both .wav and .MP3 file extensions
  • Fun Effects – I don’t use effects much, but I toyed around with them some and thought they were really well-done.
  • Pre-Loaded Songs – I liked the fact that Sonorasaurus came with pre-loaded songs. They were quite easy to mix and gave me something to mess around with while I learned the controls.

Cons

  • Button Size – While the controls responded perfectly, I found that the + and – signs on some of the controls were slightly too small, causing me to hit the wrong buttons and miss the ones I meant to press.  I have pretty small hands so I do anticipate this being a slight problem for those users with larger hands.
  • Headphone Cueing – This option isn’t available on the beta test version of the app, causing all mixing to be the equivalent of “leave the crossfader in the middle and hope for the best”.  It’s fine for practicing (as I do), but I don’t see this translating well for DJ’s in clubs unless they have their set and associated timings and pitch details down pat.

Both “Cons” were aspects people on Twitter asked about.

sonorasaurusConclusion

Overall, this is a great application (so say TUAW, as well!) and I’m looking forward to seeing the final product (it’s still under review by Apple).  I enjoy using the application to mess around with different mix timings and combination’s, and anticipate that many DJ’s will feel the same.

The developers have let me know that headphone cueing (and other features yet to be named) will be coming in a Pro version of the application.  Once this Pro version is introduced I see this app becoming even more valuable to DJ’s, and perhaps a great “on the go” tool to record mixes or even use in clubs/at house parties.

See anything you have questions about? Post ‘em in the comments and I’ll see if I can get them answered.

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  • http://candidkatie.com Katie Morse

    It was just released – you can find it in the iTunes store (yay!).

  • http://candidkatie.com Katie Morse

    Hey – thanks for the comment!

    I've been in contact with the developers and absolutely think this is a solid buy. I certainly think that there are a few things to update (check this blog post out for their answers to some FAQs – http://www.sonorasaurus.com/blog/1-0-and-beyond…), but I still really enjoy using this app and am looking forward to things to come.

    I'd be interested in knowing what you think about the differences between the two – feel free to comment again and let me know what you decide!

  • kepitemp

    It's out! It was released on Nov. 20th. No one has reviewed it yet and hopefully someone will as I'm eager to here reviews and feedback. On a fence between sonorasaurus and touch dj.

  • http://candidkatie.com Katie Morse

    It was just released – you can find it in the iTunes store (yay!).

  • http://candidkatie.com Katie Morse

    Hey – thanks for the comment!

    I've been in contact with the developers and absolutely think this is a solid buy. I certainly think that there are a few things to update (check this blog post out for their answers to some FAQs – http://www.sonorasaurus.com/blog/1-0-and-beyond…), but I still really enjoy using this app and am looking forward to things to come.

    I'd be interested in knowing what you think about the differences between the two – feel free to comment again and let me know what you decide!

  • kepitemp

    It's out! It was released on Nov. 20th. No on has reviewed it yet and hopefully someone will as I'm eager to here reviews and feedback. On a fence between sonorasaurus and touch dj.

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  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait for this. Looks more functional than touch DJ.

  • http://candidkatie.com Katie Morse

    They're still waiting on word from Apple, but I'll be sure to update when it's approved.

  • ansible

    Can't wait for this. Looks more functional than Touch DJ.

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