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Vision Pro App Spotlight: Longplay Adds Immersive Album Listening

The music experience on the Apple Vision Pro is excellent. It starts with the device’s built-in headphones and spatial audio, which work hand-in-hand with the visual components of spatial computing. Apple has already shown off the potential for immersive experiences like Alicia Keys: Rehearsal Room, but the music experience goes deeper than that, thanks to third-party developers.

I’ve already covered Juno, Christian Selig’s YouTube player app, which is great for watching music videos and other content, and NowPlaying, which supplements Apple Music with editorial content, lyrics, and more. Today, though, I want to focus on Longplay, Adrian Schönig’s album-oriented playback app for Apple Music.

Longplay 2.0 was released last August. It was a big update that I reviewed at the time and have been enjoying ever since. The app is available on the Vision Pro now too, complete with an immersive mode that I love.

Longplay's default visionOS view.

Longplay’s default visionOS view.

Longplay is immediately familiar on the Vision Pro. The main window displays a grid of album art that can be sorted and sized using a variety of pre-defined filters and scrolled. There are also controls for searching your library, accessing settings, and picking your music source along the top of the window.

Longplay's smaller, playback-only view.

Longplay’s smaller, playback-only view.

Along the bottom is a toolbar with playback controls, a button to toggle infinite playback on and off, now playing information, and an ‘Immersive’ button. If you tap on the now playing section of the toolbar, the grid of album covers disappears, replaced with a smaller playback view for the current album. The design of both of these views is excellent, making great use of native visionOS elements.

Soaking in your music library is fun.

Soaking in your music library is fun.

The coolest feature, though, is that Immersive button. Tap it, and you’re surrounded by a 29x10 grid of album covers that wrap around you in a semicircular arrangement. In the center of it all is the playback window for the current album, with controls to change the grid behind the player and more. Behind the huge grid of 290 albums is darkness, which is incredibly effective for focusing on the album you’re listening to and nothing else. The immersive effect can be turned down to about 60%, but no further. That way, the entire grid of album art remains visible at all times.

One downside to Longplay that I ran into, which is a limitation of visionOS, is that when you first launch the app, it’s going to take a while for the album art to load if you have a big music collection. I resorted to scrolling slowly through every album in my library to load them, which wasn’t fun but was a one-time thing that means that I now have a wonderful immersive grid of albums from which to pick. I also crashed the app a couple of times, switching between immersive views of my collection while music was playing.

Aside from those issues, though, I absolutely love listening to albums in Longplay’s immersive environment. As the current album plays immediately in front of me, I can browse a big part of my collection in the background, stacking up albums to enjoy. Longplay’s immersive experience is a fantastic way to sit back, relax, and enjoy your music.

Longplay is available on the App Store as a Universal Purchase for $5.99.

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