Fed up with the nasty sound of your traditional alarm clock? That annoying beeping that rouses you in the middle of the night and does not really help to start a day in a good fashion?
Why not use what you’ve already got? The music in your iTunes library, Spotify or other music services combined with your Mac? Sleepytime lets you set exactly the song you want to hear when you go to sleep or wake up.
Pick Your Favorite Service With Sleepytime
Before we go into all the possible settings of the app, let’s first take a look at the sources Sleepytime can draw music from.
By default, it’s set to iTunes since that’s what is available on every Mac, naturally.
But Sleepytime communicates with far more services than just this one. If you’re not an iTunes fan, you can chose to have your music played from
- Ecoute http://www.pixiapps.com/ecoute/
- Pulsar http://www.rogueamoeba.com/pulsar/
- Rdio http://www.rdio.com/
- Spotify http://www.spotify.com/int/
In order to use any of those, you need to have the service’s app installed on your Mac. Sleepytime will automatically recognize it when you pick it from the dropdown menu.
As you can see in the app’s interface, you can control the music playback right from within Sleepytime – skipping ahead, shuffling, repeating songs and adjusting the volume.
The app also comes with a beautiful animation of the currently playing song – the song name and the artist juggling gently in the upper part of the app window.
If you choose to use Sleepytime in full screen mode, you can select other compositions from the settings menu and enjoy the gentle animations until the sleep timer runs down. Or after the alarm clock woke you up.
Since Sleepytime has just been released in version 2, there are no user contributed compositions available yet, but you can create you own (this is described in a tutorial on the developer’s website).
Set Up The Sleep Timer
One of Sleepytime’s interesting features is to lull you to sleep listening to your music. You can set a duration for the music to play and thereby set a countdown after which Sleepytime will stop the playback.
More than that, you can even chose to have the music fade out slowly so the transition is gradual and won’t rouse you again.
You can’t set a specific song or playlist from the app’s window, but only because Sleepytime assumes that as long as you’re awake, you’ll pick the music you want to listen to within the app of your choice.
Depending if you just want to nap or hibernate you can have Sleepytime put your Mac to sleep, shut down or perform other functions.
Be aware that once you put your Mac to sleep, you can’t use the alarm clock function anymore. Due to limitations to apps distributed through the Mac App Store, Sleepytime cannot access the information needed to wake your Mac.
Set Up The Alarm Clock
Sleepytime can not only lull you to sleep but also wake you up gently (or roughly, if that’s more up your alley).
Setting up a waking time is as easy as simply typing in your preferred time. As with the sleep timer, you can set a fading effect, only this time the music will gradually fade in (become louder). Again, you can set any length you like for the fading effect.
Then you can choose if Sleepytime should play any music from iTunes (or any of the above mentioned services) or from a specific playlist which you can select in a dropdown.
To make matters easier, Sleepytime even lets you set up a waking schedule. If you don’t get up at the same time every day, you can set a separate time for each day of the week.
Weather, Remote and Snooze
Next to the basic functions expected of a sleep timer and alarm clock, Sleepytime brings some other nice features.
It works with your Apple Remote, which lets you snooze the alarm (isn’t it nice to just turn around at least once after the alarm sounded and get some additional zzzzzzzz’s?).
Sleepytime also lets you utilize the many old and new voices which come with OSX Lion. When you snooze the alarm, you can have the time announced to you (to make sure you don’t loose track of time) and/or a sentence of your choosing (maybe something inspirational to get you out of bed eventually?).
What I like most though is the app’s ability to display my local weather after I finally stopped the alarm. So, when I creep out of bed, I know immediately if I should start searching for my umbrella or sun screen.
Sleepytime’s ease of use is impressive. There’s no need to read documentation or even the help, you can just start using it right away (even though I always recommend at least skimming through a help text to discover not-so-obvious features of an app).
The integration with different music services will appeal to many users, especially those who are not so keen on iTunes and have suffered from the lack of support for their favorite player from other alarm apps. Sleepytime continuously expands its support for other services and the developer encourages users to send their wishes and suggestions to him.
The only “downside,” if you can call it that, is the need to keep your Mac running the entire time of your sleep if you want to use the alarm clock feature. I know that there are many, many users who never shut down their Mac simply because you don’t have to. But having it run the entire length of time will draw on the battery or consume power (electricity), which isn’t very environmental friendly. I know this is not the app’s fault but rather a limitation imposed by Apple and I hope that in the future there will be a way around that.
Independently of that, Sleepytime is a very thought-through, user friendly sleep timer and alarm clock with which just might help you fall asleep faster and get up more easily. Give it a try, you family and coworkers might just praise on your more relaxed attitude in the morning.