I wasn’t planning on my two year old working as my exclusive tester for the StoryChimes SongBook but I really had no other choice. Once the app started she wouldn’t give it back. The SongBook has illustrated, animated, interactive, catchy songs and she was enamored. It’s a free initial download and comes with the song 123 Count With Me. Each screen has so many things to touch and explore. I was able to borrow the iPad for a moment and tried to download another song for her but she was too impatient and we only got halfway through the purchase process before she shut it down and had us back on Count With Me. The Frog Song would have to wait.
Songs come with the interactive version that I mentioned. Each song features both a piano and karaoke mode. The piano mode has an interactive keyboard for your child to play. The piano keys are highlighted and your child can follow along and play the song. In Karaoke mode the song lyrics appear at the bottom of the screen so your child can sing along. They can choose to sing with optional vocal accompaniment. StoryChimes promises a new song each month. One of the nifty things about this app is that it introduces children to songs by John Lennon & Paul McCartney. Sung by others but their classics all the same. SongBook currently features “Let It Be”, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, Hello, Goodbye” and “Let It Be”. More McCartney-Lennon songs are on their way.
The only trouble I ran into came when I was purchasing and downloading a new song. I’m not sure if it’s because Miss J exited the purchase mid-download or if we didn’t wait for the app to completely load before we tried our download. For whatever reason it got stuck and then I couldn’t play the Count With Me Song because I was in a download that wouldn’t finish. Even shutting down, restarting and deleting/reinstalling the app wouldn’t work. My recommendation is that you start up the app and let everything, all the sample content, load before you give your device to your child. With this app the chances are VERY good if they’re young they’ll be tapping the screen and you don’t want to lock things up. Hopefully I’m just an isolated case of a toddler with quick fingers and an impatient temperament creating the perfect error. *I came back a few hours later and restarted the app. The download picked up and finished fine.*
One last note, the purchase buttons are easily accessible in this app so I’d advise enabling restrictions and shutting down in-app purchases if you haven’t already done so. Just in case.
Overall, I was impressed with both the fun factor and quality of the animations and interactions for the songs. My toddler was instantly mesmerized, almost to the point of obsession.
Price When Reviewed: FREE with additional in-app purchases
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Seller: Siena Entertainment, LLC
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.