Radiobones iPhone app useless, but mildly entertaining

Jun 9, 2010
Music

The Radiobones iPhone app is useless. It even says so in its description on the iTunes App Store. But is watching a weird skeleton dance to Christian Acapella mildly entertaining?  Yes. Did I take pleasure in selecting the dance radio station right as a speedy techno number came on, and then turning the skeleton’s sensitivity up while he danced the Happy Hopper? Most […]

The Radiobones iPhone app is useless. It even says so in its description on the iTunes App Store. But is watching a weird skeleton dance to Christian Acapella mildly entertaining?  Yes. Did I take pleasure in selecting the dance radio station right as a speedy techno number came on, and then turning the skeleton’s sensitivity up while he danced the Happy Hopper? Most definitely.

The way this app works is that you pick a radio station from an eclectic yet somewhat random assortment—Swiss Groove, RastaMusic.com, and Bluegrass Community, to name a few—you choose a dance for the skeleton to do—either the Jazzy JeePee, the Jolly Jumper, or the Happy Hopper—and then you select a level of sensitivity for your pal. You can make it so he dances super fast, sluggishly slow, or somewhere in between. The directions page suggests you can set the background color, as well; though my visions of pink, orange, and purple were quickly shattered when I realized they meant I could simply fade the color from black to gray to lighter gray.

Still, the pressing question is, how long can you watch a cartoon skeleton dance for (Even if “Dancing in the Dark” by Bruce Springsteen is playing)? Not long, especially because the radio isn’t an extremely visual activity, and that’s not just a coincidence. There is a reason for that. Radios are for your listening pleasure; so are iPhones/Pods, nevermind the combination of the two.

Listening to the radio on your iPhone/Pod is something you do when walking to a concert, waiting for the train, or traveling on the bus. But not when you’re sitting at a coffee shop, in your living room, or hanging out with your friend. This is not to say the Radiobones app can’t be enjoyed, but the skeleton alone is not going to reel you in and keep you there.

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Jesse Sposato

Jesse Sposato is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, and one of the founders and editors of Sadie Magazine, an online counter-culture magazine for young women.

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