Ocarina

App review by
Carla Thornton, Common Sense Media
Ocarina App Poster Image
Blowing into a mic makes music but takes practice.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

First graders can learn to read Ocarina notation, which consists of simple visual diagrams. There are just four "holes" for fingers to cover in various combinations. Producing an even flow of breath against the iPhone's mic to sustain the notes is the hardest part. If kids can't finger and blow at the same time you can set the app to touch mode, which does not require breath to produce sound.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this amazing app turns the iPhone into a modern-day version of the flute-like ocarina. Just purse your lips and blow into the mic. Kids as young as 6 can learn the fingering but younger ones will be frustrated and limited.

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Is it any good?

Ocarina is one of those iPhone apps that sounds crazy. But it works and it's magic. When fingers touch different spots indicated on the screen, the iPhone emits sweet flutelike tones. Sheet music for a wide variety of familiar songs is available. Unfortunately, you can't record your performance, only save a link to the developer's website. Brag e-mails direct family and friends to listen at the site.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad
  • Price: $0.99
  • Release date: March 23, 2010
  • Category: Music
  • Publisher: Smule
  • Version: 1.3.3

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