Creation 5 Media App for the iPhone & iPad

How would you like to be able to stream FLAC and AAC files from your NAS, play Internet radio stations, Rdio content, and YouTube videos all from the same app on your iPhone or iPad? How about using the same app to play music through your DLNA compatible network player? Well Creation has an app for you.
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!

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.

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.

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:

Free iPhone app
Free iPad App
Pro iPhone
Pro iPad

COMMENTS
johnnya's picture

Hi Michael,

As you realize, of course, you have many of us drooling over the Creation 5. What  is your suggestion or recommendation, if any, for those of us who have all our music files in Itunes on a plain old external drive?  Is there an analogue to this device, or a 'work-around' that you would suggest or, evem recommend?

Thanks for the article and in advance for your advice/recommendation.

Best.

John

 

.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I would just use the free Remote app from Apple.

dmormerod's picture

If you have a Synology NAS you can use the AudioStream app which in it's latest version is awesome.  

johnnya's picture

Thanks for your responses:  Michael and dmormerod.

john

CraigS's picture

A few questions:

1. Can you browse by folder? I have a lot of collection albums (e.g., the Atlantic R&B collection) and browsing by artist can be a pain.

2. I've noticed that quite a few DLNA apps play the songs of an album in the alphabetical order of the track name tags instead of in the order of the track number tags or the actual file name (01-name.flac, 02-name.flac, etc.) How is Creation 5 on this issue? The 8Player app deals with this by letting the use browse by folder and turn off sorting.

3. Does Creation 5 down sample 24/96, or can you get 24/96 out by way of the apple CCK to a DAC?

Thanks, and keep up the good work.

  

Michael Lavorgna's picture

1. This option does not appear on either version.

2. The app is reading the track number metadata with Twonky server.

3. The app appears to pass 24/96 data but I have not tried this with the CCK/DAC.

Creation5's picture

Hi Michael

firstly, a big thank you for taking the time to review the Creation5 App, we really appreciate it. I wanted to respond to a few of the questions posted by CraigS;

1. It is possible to view content by folder, simply go to the 'settings' function on the iPad/iPhone and scroll to the Creation app, turn the DLNA filter to 'off' - this removes the filter and enables all of the folders to be displayed inside the App

2. The tracks are displayed in the original order they are recorded in, this ensures live music tracks etc., are played back in the correct order

3. The only format we cannot currently support is WMA Lossless, however we hope to have a solution for this in a future rerelease

Thank you again for posting the review and please contact us directly if you need any further information for your reviews. 

Robert Hallam - Creation Products

popcrisps's picture

Is this only for Iphone and Ipad? Thanks.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

iPhone, iPad & iPod.

paulsimong's picture

I would be directly suggest http://appmerge.com/ for mobile apps integration if you are looking for a bigger audience online, im referring for musicians.

attilahun's picture

So this looks great for home wifi streaming.
Would it work walking around town via cellular?
How about at a friend's house via wifi (or cell)?

Trying to find a streaming app that will let me listen anywhere.....

Many thanks!

Suffolk Richard's picture

Hi Michael,
Apologies if these are dumb questions but I am new to this stuff. I have recently acquired a WD NAS drive and I am in the process of ripping CDs in flac format. I can then access these throughout the house using a couple of media players.
Can I use this Creation 5 App to play the flac files on my iPhone without actually transferring the flac files to the phone?
Secondly, can I then do this remotely? I can access the flac files from my phone, but will this app allow me to listen to them over the internet?
Richard

Chris Hollweg's picture

Hey attilahun and Richard,
I have the Creation 5 PRO app and can answer a few of your questions.

attilahun- You can use the Netradio, Rdio and YouTube features when you're out and about - DLNA only works on a wifi network, though you can download your music / videos from your NAS drive onto your device for when you leave the house.

Richard - You can stream FLAC files directly off your NAS drive without having to download them on your iPhone. You can then also stream them to whatever sound system or TV you have as well.

You can't access your DLNA devices if they aren't connected to the same network - so no, you can't access them remotely. See above about downloading them, though.

Chris :)

X