Creation 5 Media App for the iPhone & iPad
Creation 5 is the first app in the world to bring together Music, Radio, Video, Music Streaming, Social Sharing, DLNA and Airplay features. All in one app, using the same luxurious interface. No switching apps. Ever!I downloaded both Pro versions, the iPhone ($16.99) and iPad ($16.99) apps, and had them up and playing music in minutes. There are also free versions that provide limited functionality but I did not spend any time with them since they do not provide the DLNA compatibility piece which strikes me as a must-have feature. I also do not have a subscription to Rdio and the free mobile version only plays pieces of tracks. Bummer.
Originally designed for the Bang & Oulfsen Beosound 5 and Playmaker and first released in 2012, Creation 5 has already gained a reputation as the “must have” music app. Easy to use and made to enjoy, Creation 5 is a luxury app that gives you the most amazing user experience for musical pleasure. Without any advertisements, even in the free version.
The Creation 5 Pro app auto-discovers DLNA-compatible NAS devices via your wi-fi network and all you need to do is tap on "Select Source", then tap on your NAS to see its contents. You can then browse by Album, All Tracks, Artist, or Genre. It also discovers and can play back music stored on your iPhone or iPad. You can also stream Internet radio, I set up WFMU and WPRB as favorites with a few taps, or see if there's a YouTube video associated with the current song that's playing by clicking on the Video icon that appears below the track info. And there's a big volume control arc on the bottom of the screen. Nice! & easy.
The Creation 5 app also allows it to work as a Control Point/User Interface (in UPnP parlance or it works as a remote in English) for a UPnP Media Renderer. For example, I was able to play through my Squeezebox Touch using my iPhone/Creation 5 app as a remote. This functionality should work with any DLNA compatible player and each network-attached DLNA device shows up as a "room" in the Creation 5 app. To change rooms in the iPhone app, just turn your iPhone horizontally and the available rooms show will show up. In the iPad version just tap on the "Select Room" menu item.
Another cool feature is the Artist Search under Internet Radio which returns all stations that are currently playing whoever you search for. In the mood for Miles? Messaien? Mississippi Fred McDowell? Search and tap and you're streaming away in minutes. It's a great way to discover new stations although I did get a number of null results for less popular artists. You mean to tell me no one is playing Nick Cave on the entire Internet? [I went back later, searched again, and am happy to report that Dark Mother Media was in fact playing Nick Cave].
I can also see people using their Apple Camera Connection Kit (see review) with their iPad to stream their NAS-based music and Internet radio through their DAC of choice to the hi-fi. And the perfect companion to vacuuming is some headphones, your iPhone, and the Creation 5 app streaming your tunes from your NAS. You do vacuum, right? So you must have a vacuuming playlist, right? Or maybe there's a vacuuming radio station...
There's also a social media aspect to the Creation 5 app that allows you to share stuff you're listening to and looking at on Facebook. While I'm sure there are many people who find this useful, I'm not one of them.
The iPad app with its concentric circle layout is really pretty slick. But "luxurious"? It would have to feel like velvet for it to qualify as luxurious, imo of course. You can set the wallpaper to randomly flip through your album covers, display the cover art for what's currently playing, or an image from your photo library. The app is also very responsive and I found scrolling through my library to be a pleasant, luxuriant experience.
For a purchase price of $16.99, the Creation 5 Pro app solves a specific set of problems very well. Namely if you have lots of FLAC files sitting on a NAS and an iPhone or iPad and you want to play with them together, the Creation 5 delivers. It can also turn your iPhone or iPad into a remote for your DLNA network player and let's not leave out Internet radio which is a great way to discover new music from around the globe, literally, all within the same app. Nice!
For more information, check out the Creation website.
And here's the links for the Creation 5 Media apps: