Review: Bloom by Opal Limited

This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Pool, Puzzle, Music + Slots Games. Additional details may be found in the original article.

The other music app we look at today is Bloom ($4). Developed by musicians Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers as Opal Limited, it was launched last week with some hype as a “generative music player,” on “endless music machine, a music box for the 21st century.” It’s not a game.

Review: Bloom by Opal Limited

It’s not really a music creator, either, unless you believe that a bird randomly pecking keys on a soft synthesizer is making “music.” Hide that bird behind a colored circle generator and you have Bloom.

You load the app, hit “listen,” and various synthesized drones create a layer of background noise; on top of this, you hear the pinging of synthesizer keys at random. Each key generates an expanding bubble on the screen, and if you go into “create” mode, you can touch the screen to make sounds and bubbles, too. Both the sounds and bubbles fade, only to be replaced by more, echoing what you’ve touched before.

The app offers nine different “moods,” which are basically color swaps for the bubbles and backgrounds, either individually selectable or picked at random.


Review: Bloom by Opal Limited

To call Bloom pointless would be a mistake: music apps needn’t have a point to be interesting. But for $4, Bloom just strikes us as a waste of money; some people may fawn over its pedigree, but people were giving away apps better than this in the first week the App Store was open. It’s a demo, nothing more.