iDream is the third… and hopefully the last… “sound machine” to get reviewed here. The other two are aSleep and Ambiance.

The best thing I can say about iDream is that it isn’t terrible! That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but the reality is that it does basically the same thing as aSleep and Ambiance but slightly differently and with a much more limited sound catalog.

iDream comes equipped with ten sound loops, a timer, “visualizations”, and English, Spanish, German, and Russian translations. The sound loops are all good and seem to be longer and more layered than what you’d find in those other apps, and the timer goes up to 90 minutes which should be enough for most people… but the visualizations are laaaaaaame! Sorry Wirntec, I gotta call it like I see it.

I was imagining the visualizations would be something like what you’d find in iTunes or Windows Media Player, but it’s really just a screen that changes colors. iDream’s App Store description talks about “optical stimulation” and “phototherapy” but, call me crazy, this extra feature does nothing for me. It’s nice that you can adjust the color depth and speed, but I still don’t have much use for this feature unless I somehow find myself needing sound effects and a trippy flashlight at the same time.

The only way I see iDream competing with aSleep and Ambiance is if it (a) carves out a niche of awesome sound loops that you can’t get elsewhere, or (b) extends the list of sound loops to at least 30 or so. Or both? The sounds that are currently included really are pretty good… in any given sound there are probably five or six tracks playing at once, maybe more.

Visualizations are something else that could be a reason to buy, especially if they could go beyond a changing color screen. I may think they suck, but others might really get into that.

Again, iDream isn’t bad, it’s just limited when compared to the competition. When I’m using one of these “sound machine” apps to fall asleep I usually stick to the same three or four sound loops that I like, and I suspect a lot of people are the same way. It could totally be worth $.99 if you like outdoorsy-sounding nature noises which would describe most of the sounds included. If you’re not sure about whether to buy, iDream does have a “lite” version available which includes three sounds.

Here’s the full sound list in the current version:

  • Campfire (available in iDream Lite)
  • Country Meadow  (available in iDream Lite)
  • Gentle Ocean  (available in iDream Lite)
  • Log Cabin
  • Mountain Stream
  • Ocean Night
  • Rockie Mountains (contains burping and farting noises)
  • Severe Thunderstorm
  • Spiritual Sounds
  • Wolf Creek

Ok, the burping and farting in Rockie Mountains is probably from some exotic bird or frog. I just prefer the idea of falling asleep to a chorus of bodily functions.

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