‘Planetary’ Is a Celestial iPad Music Player

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Someone didn’t tell the folks at Bloom Studio that music players are supposed to be boring, because Planetary for iPad is something entirely different.

The free app visualizes your music library as a massive galaxy, floating in deep space. Artists are represented as solar systems, their albums are planets, and each song is a moon, orbiting in time with track length. Dragging a finger in any direction spins the universe around, and pinching zooms out to a higher level of the music library. Animations are like butter.

As it stands, Planetary is more of an impressive tech demo than a fully-functional app. You can only choose one song at a time — tapping on planet-albums accomplishes nothing — and there’s no way to create playlists or load existing ones. (How about representing them as black holes, or something?)

But I like the idea of representing information as stars, planets and moons — or for that matter, as anything other than a cover flow or simple list. Bloom Studio says it’s just getting started, promising new visualizations in the coming months for social networks, video streaming services and location-based applications. “We’re building new ways to see and communicate,” the developers say on Planetary’s iTunes page. I’m excited to see more.

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