Business Technology

Thursday 18 September 2014

Music apps for runners match song beats to step counts

Natasha Baker

Published 12/05/2014 | 16:43

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***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** 
Samsung Night Run, Dublin City 27/4/2014
CORK VS. DUBLIN!
THOUSANDS TAKE TO THE STREETS OF CORK AND DUBLIN FOR THE SAMSUNG NIGHT RUN
Almost 8,000 runners took to the traffic-free streets of Dublin and Cork city centres tonight to participate in the Samsung Night Run, organised in partnership with Dublin and Cork City Councils respectively. The two 10k events took place simultaneously at 9pm, with one city crowned champion, based on the total average finishing time in each city.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Orla Molloy/Norman Pratt, Weber Shandwick Shandwick PR
Tel:  +353 1 6798600                      
Norman: 086 151 8921 
Orla: 087 770 5108
Competitors cross the National Covention Centre during the Samsung Night Run
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Samsung Night Run, Dublin City 27/4/2014 Competitors cross the National Covention Centre during the Samsung Night Run Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** 
Samsung Night Run, Cork City 27/4/2014
CORK VS. DUBLIN!
THOUSANDS TAKE TO THE STREETS OF CORK AND DUBLIN FOR THE SAMSUNG NIGHT RUN
Almost 8,000 runners took to the traffic-free streets of Dublin and Cork city centres tonight to participate in the Samsung Night Run, organised in partnership with Dublin and Cork City Councils respectively. The two 10k events took place simultaneously at 9pm, with one city crowned champion, based on the total average finishing time in each city.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Orla Molloy/Norman Pratt, Weber Shandwick Shandwick PR
Tel:  +353 1 6798600                      
Norman: 086 151 8921 
Orla: 087 770 5108
Competitors start the race on Patrick's Street
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Samsung Night Run, Cork City 27/4/2014 Competitors start the race on Patrick's Street Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Runners who listen to music while exercising can turn to new apps that match the beats to their steps, which app makers claim can increase enjoyment of the sport.

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More than 45 million smartphone users in the United States use fitness and health apps, an 18 percent increase since last year, according to global information company Nielsen.

Although runners often turn to apps to track distance traveled, calories burned, or to set goals, new apps aim simply to increase enjoyment of running by matching the tempo of the music with the runner's stride.

RockMyRun, a free app for the iPhone, provides playlists that change tempo to match the pace of the runner, slowing down and speeding up as they do.

"We want to help people enjoy running more and perform better, because those are the keys to getting them to do that activity again," said Adam Riggs-Zeigen, co-founder of San Diego-based Rock My World Inc, which developed the app.

The app uses the device's sensors to detect the runner's steps per minute and then automatically adjusts the music's beats per minute to match the step count.

"Music that is matched to the pace of the runner can increase the length people are willing to run, and create more positive emotions associated with the activity," said Riggs-Zeigen.

Playlists within the app, which is available worldwide, are curated by professional DJs.

TempoRun, for iPhone, and DjRun, for Android, are also designed to make running more enjoyable by matching the tempo of music to a runner's pace. Both apps are free and scan through music on a runner's smartphone to figure out whether the songs are faster- or slower-paced.

TempoRun categorizes all songs into levels based on their tempos, between level 1 for walking and level 10 for sprinting. Users can also stream music through the app and track their progress including calories burned and distance.

DjRun adjusts the music to the runner's stride and can curate the next song based on the person's current pace.

While apps may make running more enjoyable, new research suggests that consumers should be cautious if they expect a health or fitness app to change suddenly their habits and exercise routines.

"There's so much promise in mobile health for changing people's behaviors and reducing healthcare impact on the country, but it's not clear that hype will turn into reality," said David Conroy, a professor at Penn State who led a study that looked at 167 health and fitness apps and whether they incorporated recognized behavior-change techniques.

He suggested that more app developers work collaboratively with behavior scientists.

"A lot of apps are driven and developed around what looks good or what people would like to see. There's a chance to inform apps with the science of behavior change by not only putting in features users want but also which science shows changes behavior in desirable ways."

Reuters

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