How does FitBeat work? Do I have to enter my speed manually?
No. FitBeat does it's job automatically. At the core of FitBeat are three sophicsticated processes that make all the magic happen. First, we analyze your music and determine the tempo of each song using our proprietary beat detection algorithm, which has been highly optimized for mobile devices. We try to do this in the background while other songs are playing, when possible, so you don't have to wait (background analysis requires iPhone 4 or later). Then, we use the motion sensors in your iOS device to accurately determine the cadence, or tempo, of your physical motion. Finally, we use a studio-quality audio stretching process to your music to make it perfectly fit your tempo. As you speed up and slow down, FitBeat will automatically track those changes and adapt your music to match with zero input from you!
What kind of exercises does FitBeat work with?
Pretty much any kind of exercise that involves regular, repetetive motion. We include settings for running, walking, aerobics, stairsteppers, elliptical, inline skating, and swimming (of course, we recommend an arm-mounted waterproof case and headphones for the latter). However, these options are primarily for calculating your caloric burn rate. FitBeat can certainly work with other exercises too. FitBeat isn't recommended for exercises where the timing of your movements constantly changes, such as lifting weights.
Where do I put my mobile device?
Normally, you shouldn't need to do anything out of the ordinary with your iPhone or iPod Touch. FitBeat can typically sense your cadence accurately if you hold your device in your hand, put it in a pocket (as long as its not too loose) or strap it on to your body. The only requirement is that it's secure and located on a part of your body that's moving regularly. For optimal results, we recommend a strap-on case of some sort. Cyclists please note that the device should to be strapped to a leg rather than placed in a rear jersey pocket.
Why doesn't every mobile media player do this?
Good question. Probably because it's really difficult to do right. Please contact your favorite mobile media player companies and ask them to license FitBeat technology.
What kind of music does FitBeat work best with?
Any music that has a constant tempo and solid beat will work well, which is to say most popular music. FitBeat's beat detection feature is optimized for music with tempos in the range of 60-180 BPM (beats per minute), but we recommend the range of 110-180 for most exercises. Runners will typically want to shoot for the high end of that range for maximum efficiency. Because there's not a lot of popular music at those fast tempos this is where FitBeat really shines. Just let it speed up your favorite up-beat tunes to match your stride rate.
Will FitBeat make my music sound like chipmunks, or demons?
No. It won't make your songs sound higher or lower in pitch. Our audio stretching algorithm is the best in the audio industry. It's been used extensively in broadcasting and studio recording. We bet you can't hear an appreciable quality difference between our audio and the original recording.
Will FitBeat play DRM-protected songs?
No. Because FitBeat has to access the audio stream directly, Apple prevents us from playing songs that use Digital Rights Managment, such as iTunes FairPlay. However, as of March 2009 all songs available from the iTunes store are DRM-free. FitBeat can display your entire music library, including DRM-protected songs if you choose. Protected songs will be displayed grayed-out.
Sometimes it feels like FitBeat is pushing me. Why is that?
There are a few possible reasons for this:
- Your music has tempo variations in it that prevent FitBeat from accurately identifying a single tempo value for the song.
- Your iOS device is not effectively detecting your exercise cadence, probably because it's bouncing around in a loose pocket, or because the exercise you are doing is too irregular in its motion.
- Commonly, there is a psychological interaction between FitBeat and its users. The music is following you, but your brain is trying to follow the music. This can cause subtle "chase" effects if you get off the beat. If you get out of sync, its best to just let yourself miss a beat and let yourself gradually sync back up rather than trying to rush to catch up. Rushing will just make the music play faster.
What kind of exercise stats can FitBeat display?
In addition to elapsed time, we use your mobile device's wireless GPS (or WiFi, if available) capabilities to determine your distance, average speed, maximum speed, pace and elevation gain. When you enter your user profile information, including exercise type, we can also accurately calculate your caloric burn rate as well.
Why does FitBeat show my distance and pace incorrectly changing when I'm at the gym?
Most of the stats are calculated from GPS readings. When you're on the treadmill, ellipticall or other stationary equipment, the distance, speed and pace stats will be inaccurate. However, they may still change periodically, especially when FitBeat is initially started or when signal strength fluctuates. FitBeat can't tell when you're really moving or when the phone just thinks you're moving.