Planetary, Day 2

Our first iPad app Planetary launched yesterday and can be downloaded for free from the App Store. We had a great day responding to feedback and requests from our first users and watching the waves of positive responses roll in on Twitter and elsewhere. We’re both humbled and proud to be getting all this attention, especially on such a busy news day.

CNET kicked things off for us yesterday with an IM interview with Ben, a good insight into some of the thinking that’s gone into the app. Gizmodo granted us a coveted App of the Day badge with a lovely video review. We’ve also received welcome mainstream coverage from the New York Times, Time and Wired, specialist reportage from TUAW, AppAdvice and Creative Applications as well as reports from our three favorite visualization blogs Infosthetics, Flowing Data and

Our friends at Laughing Squid were among several blogs to use our introductory video from video. It takes a village to produce a video and we couldn’t have done it without Scott Schiller, Tomas Apodaca, Owen Granich-Young and Yoz Grahame. We had great fun making it so here it is again for those who haven’t had a chance to catch it yet:

The video is also a great opportunity to showcase the music of Zoë Keating. Robert is lucky enough to have collaborated with Zoë in live performances such as last year’s In The Trees from Zer01 San Jose. If you like what you hear in our video then be sure to try the full album.

20 Comments on “Planetary, Day 2”

  1. D Chapman says:

    Love Planetary, thank you so much! I love it to the point that I want it on OSX iTunes as the visualizer so I can use playlists and “shuffle.” Playlists could be galaxies… just sayin’. ;-) I’d pay 10 dollars for it, and I’m not kidding. Thanks again for a beautiful app!

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hi D – Planetary currently inherits shuffle settings from the built-in iPod player app. If you disable shuffle there and then tap the first moon/track orbiting a planet/album then everything should play in order. Good luck!

  2. JeffG says:

    So did you guys use Cinder to create this?

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hey JeffG, that’s right, Planetary was made with Cinder for iOS. That should make it easier to port to other platforms in the future, though the music access is quite closely tied to the ipod library at the moment so it might take us a while to sort everything out.

  3. Carl says:

    Love this. I’ve shown it to everyone in the office with iPads today. Quick question though? Is there a simple way to play an album in track order?

  4. Brian says:

    Per some of the other requests here, I have a suggestion. I’d really like to have a “navigate by” mode. (The current mode being “filter by”.) In “navigate by” mode, when I get to a planet I see all the tracks on that album. I have a lot of soundtracks in my collection and this would be really helpful.

    It would be even better if I could “warp” to the solar system for the artist of the selected moon in that scenario. ;)

    Really great app. Congrats! I’m rediscovering tracks I’ve ignored for a long time.

  5. Erik O says:

    Looks amazing! but what about those of us who don’t have an ipad? will you be offering a version for our imac desktop or iphone??

    • Tom Carden says:


      We’d like to bring Planetary to other platforms soon but we haven’t done it yet! Our use of the Cinder framework should make our code easy to port when we do. For now Planetary is quite closely tied to the ipod library code and designed for gesture input on a tablet-sized display. Each new version will need adjusting carefully to meet expectations set by the platform and our first iPad version. We definitely want to do it, we just need some time to make sure we do it right!

  6. Travis says:

    I agree, what about the soundtracks????

  7. [...] si legge sul blog della Bloom, già al secondo giorno dal lancio dell’applicazione, l’entusiasmo è enorme, ed i [...]

  8. Heneken says:

    I would really love this as a musicplayer windows, are you thinking about doing a pc version?

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hi Heneken – see my earlier response to Erik. We hope to support other platforms in future but only if we can do it right. We’re focused on the iPad at the moment.

  9. Michael Kindt says:

    I’ve just started playing with the app and it look great and has me very excited.

    I immediately wonder though if there are plans to tie Planetary into more sophisticated networks for analyzing and exploring music? Alphabetical constellations seem so terribly limited. I would love to see constellations based upon the links between various groups and musicians, something more akin to but visual.

    For example, in my library Planetary made a link between Alec Empire and Alec Empire vs Merzbow, but there is no direct link between Alec Empire and his band Atari Teenage Riot.

    The old music network maps and visualizations seem like a fantastic direction to take Planetary helping users to find connections they may not have realized within their own music libraries and pointing them toward new starts and constellations outside their direct library.

  10. Sarah Newton says:

    Hi guys,

    Awesome stuff you’re doing – very excited to see how you go in the whole field of web data visualization and navigation, not just music.

    Any thoughts of an IPO? I’m in! ;-)



  11. O-Boy says:

    Please release Planetary on Iphone!! I triyn 1 week to convert this free app for my iphone but crashing at the intro…

    Com’on I want it on my iphone instead of the Ipod player that is obsolete next to your achievement…

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hey O-Boy, we’re working on getting things right on iPad first but we definitely plan to support more platforms in future – watch this space. Thanks for the enthusiasm!

  12. Rados says:

    Hi , I seem to be having a problem with planetary. It cannot find music on my ipad even tho I have about 10 songs . Any way i can make it work ?

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hey Rados – try doing a full sync with iTunes, or try restarting your iPad. We’ve also heard that Planetary won’t work on jailbroken iPads, sorry if that affects you. Failing that please email us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks!

  13. Bass0r says:

    How about the playing moon trail showing a reasonable facsimile of the plying wave form?

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hey Bass0r – it’s tricky to get the music data out of iPad music player code but we’re looking into it – definitely something we’d like to support in future!


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