Marx Runner Helps to Motivate You with Music

Price: $0.99
Marx Runner: Written iPhone App Review

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

iPhones and exercise seem to go hand-in-hand nowadays, and there’s no shortage of apps which seek to incorporate your device into your workout routine. Whether it’s mapping your distance and speed or keeping track of push-up reps, almost all of these apps have something in common; the ability to listen to music.

Marx Runner, developed by Mark Blum, takes the idea of music motivation and flips it on its head. The app is able to create music while you’re running based on your speed.

Blum, an Air Force vet and former physical training leader, sought to create a program which would motivate people beyond their physical limitations through the use of music with variable speeds.  The result is a great app which is sure to hit a high note with exercise enthusiasts.

Concept and Functionality: [Rating: 4/5]

While most fitness apps that log your activities allow you to access music on your device, Marx Runner adds a brand-new twist by creating music right on the spot. The whole idea is for the music to motivate and push you while you’re running. The faster you go, the higher the BPM (beats per minute) of the song.

Marx Runner is very simple to use and you won’t find yourself spending a huge amount of time programming the app before your run. Simply press the “Shuffle All” button until you find a song you like. You can customize the song by enabling or disabling parts such as vocals, sound effects, instrumentals, and drums.

One of the things I like the most about Marx Runner is that everything you need to see is on the main screen. To me, this is a huge safety plus because you won’t spend nearly as much time with your face in your phone.

Along with creating music, you can also keep track of the duration of your run, total distance you’ve traveled, and your average speed. If you’re a social butterfly, you can share your stats via Facebook or Twitter. This is an excellent option for people who are part of exercise groups and are used to sharing personal stats.

Something I noticed about the app is it disables screen autolock. Plus, you need to keep the app open in order for it to work properly. This means that if you go out for a run with anything less than a fully charged battery, you run the very high risk of draining it before you’re finished.

Reviewed by Sarah Hanlon

Features: [Rating: 4.5/5]

The apps most touted feature is “Speed Motivator”. When the option is on, all sounds play simultaneously in the BPM rate of the song increases. If you disable “Speed Motivator”, individual sound categories will be enabled instead. Basically this means that as you go faster, new musical elements are added to the song instead of increasing the BPM rate.

Not a huge fan of fast songs? There is a setting for that. The Main screen includes a BPM slider which allows you to adjust the rate based on preference so long as the “Speed Motivator” option is disabled. If you enable it, you can still fine-tune BPM rates via the “Mode” box. Here are three settings to choose from: slow, medium, or fast.

According to the app’s website, a new feature is in the works that will allow you to save your custom songs from your workout and share them via Facebook and Twitter.

Value: [Rating: 4.5/5]

If you’re tired of typical exercise apps which put more emphasis on stats and push music to the side, I definitely suggest looking into Marx Runner. However, if you’re like me and you find it almost impossible to listen to anything except what you’re accustomed to, this might not be the running app for you. You can’t go wrong with the $.99 price tag, though, and many people have given it positive reviews in the App Store.

Marx Runner is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

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