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New App Gives iPhone that ‘AM Sound’

Retro-Fi puts static in your digital tunes

If you’ve ever grown tired of the clarity of digital music, with its pristine audio quality, there is an app for you.

Radio Survivor co-founder and technology editor Paul Riismandel writes about a new app from Onyx Apps called Retro-Fi, which simulates the fuzzy, crackling sounds commonly associated with AM radio. Using adjustable parameters labeled “ambiance” and “static noise” users can control how listenable their digital music is, or is not.

Riismandel says Retro-Fi may be trying to fit in with the retro-chic popularity of apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic, which turn your iPhone into a vintage Kodak camera.

At the same time, Riismandel says photographers have been playing with effects for years to achieve a dated look, while there probably aren’t many audiophiles working late nights to make their music harder to listen to.

“Perhaps I’m just being a curmudgeon,” he says in a blog post. “If [you like] the idea of making your indie rock playlist sound like it might have been played by Wolfman Jack on a border blaster station, it will only cost you a buck.”