I recently posted information about a low cost metronome from Lidl. This got me thinking about a number of other metronome devices I have used in the past. As a peripatetic music teacher I need to have a metronome with me all the time as many schools do not have one built into the piano. The most obvious option to save on carrying a seperate ‘black box’ unit around with me to perform the important metronome function is one integrated into a mobile phone, something most of us carry around wherever and whenever.
The option I have used for the past few months is Beats Metronome, a freeware application for Windows smartphone which is a very small download performing the basic function of a numeric keypad in which you enter the ‘beats per minute’ tempo you require then press start.
Prior to that I have used K Metronome for the duration of the trial period but found it to be a little over complicated and too fussy for what I needed and what I imagine most people would need. A nicer looking one for which I went as far as purchasing the license when the trial period was over was the Vito Metronome which is nice looking with a selection of skins and choice of time signatures. However when I needed to upgrade the ROM on the smartphone and reinstall Windows Mobile, the application would not accept the regestration key I had paid for and an email to the russian customer support service was fruitless.
Prior to owning a windows smartphone, I used a java metronome application on my Nokia 6230 from op111 productions. This works on any mobile phone which supports java applications (which is most modern mobile phones). It is feature rich but not over complicated like the K metronome mentioned earlier. However after the first three free uses the application costs 12.95 Euros, comparable if a little cheaper than a stand alone metronome device however once it’s installed on your old phone then as far as I know it is not possible to then transfer it if you upgrade your mobile phone without downloading and registering another copy of the application.
A further java option for mobile phones which I have not personally tested is available from metronomeonline.com though this seems to represent better value at only $5.99.
If you happen to have a standard web browser open and available while you are teaching/rehearsing then the flash web metronome at metronomeonline.com that looks and functions very much like a traditional stand alone Seiko metronome only it sits insde your web browser.
For apple Itouch or Ipod users, a nifty metronome application called Orfeo has recently been released by Chromatic Bytes. Having tried this out on a friend’s Itouch, I could certainly recommend it as it is very easy to use and features a chromatic tuner/pitch pipe and tap tempo sensing as well as ‘beats per minute’ entry, all for a reasonable (given the current £ to $ exchange rate) $9.99 from Apple Itunes Store.