Pondering Creativity, Reviews/Opinion

At last an alarm you don’t want to snooze – An opinion on the Dawn Chorus smartphone app!

What is your most unfavorite sound of a morning? Isn’t it that punishing sound of your alarm going off abruptly while you are still enjoying your sweet early morning sleep?

From trying different melodious alarm tones, putting your alarm to a high volume, keeping it far away from your bed, to setting your alarm at hundreds of different experimental times – you must have tried everything to break the habit of hitting that snooze button again & again! :)

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What if I tell you that since last 4-5 months I have not snoozed my alarm, even once, and that as soon as my alarm wakes me up, it makes me smile too?

Not on all occasions I wake up immediately after my alarm goes off though, sometimes I just prefer to lie awake in bed with closed eyes for 5-6 minutes more, but, WITHOUT snoozing the alarm! I just let it play further, enjoy listening to it and on some good days, even sing along the sounds I hear from it ! :)

Let me share with you my secret…a classy looking and sweet sounding smartphone alarm app that I discovered some time back. An app that I am absolutely in love with. It’s called “Dawn Chorus”, and it’s free to download for both Android and Apple phones.

When you hear gentle & soothing chirping of some sweet song birds during the beautiful daybreak hours, you don’t feel anything forceful or unnatural happening.

If you know how nature awakes every morning, you would be well aware of this phenomenon – a large number of birds starts making calls, just before dawn. And, you most probably want to keep listening to that.

Thanks to the creative combination of technology and nature in this app, you don’t need to be fortunate enough to be living in some secluded farm house in country for getting woken up by birds! :)

This unique alarm app is a collaboration between Carnegie Museum of Natural History, BirdSafe Pittsburgh, and the Innovation Studio at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh…the parchment paper like background of the app gives away that sophisticated, historical and intellectual vibes of a museum! :)

The app features 20 different birds to choose from in order to design your own alarm. You can mix and match various bird songs as you please to listen to and actually create your own chorus with your favorite birds.

Browse through artfully illustrated birds and when you select a bird, you can see its photo, a brief description about it, and can take a listen to its actual song recorded in the wild. All birds in the app were studied at the museum which is also an active research institution with an environmental research center.

Apart from its subtle and earthy aesthetics, elegant illustrations and a beautifully simple user interface, what I loved most about this app was obviously the incredibly calming bird sounds they have selected to use for the app.

The bird songs are absolutely pure and natural, meaning, there is no add-on music or any man-made sounds – I think that is the key why you don’t feel irritation towards the alarm when it wakes you up from that beloved sleep.

Also, the sounds start in a very delicate fashion, with any one bird starting to call. Gradually other birds join one by one building this amazing melody!

Even when after sometime the alarm reaches to its peak, the sounds never become chaotic or over the top, maintaining the initial controlled & graceful attempt to get you out of bed, throughout. Snoozing (which of course I never do with this app, ) is very simple too, just shake your mobile!

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Source: Carnegie Museum of Natural History

If you are a bird nerd too, you would like to know that these birds sing in the Dawn Chorus –

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Tennessee Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, Pine Siskin, Ovenbird, Red-eyed Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush, Tufted Titmouse, Swainson’s Thrush, Song Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, Wood Thrush, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker & Blue Jay.

I am quite a bird watcher, and I especially enjoy the challenge of identifying different birds with their songs. So for me, having those 20 odd songs of birds handy (most of them are native to North America, and many of them come to my personal bird feeder) is truly a joy!

And, whether I am dreaming about a forest or not, in my head, I wake up in woods listening to some of my beloved birds! :)

If you happen to be using Dawn Chorus too or if you try it now, I would love to know YOUR thoughts on the app, please do express your views in the comments section! :)

“If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.”  – Chinese Proverb. 

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© 2018 Gyaneshwari Dave

2 thoughts on “At last an alarm you don’t want to snooze – An opinion on the Dawn Chorus smartphone app!”

    1. Haha, that’s probably the case for all of us!

      Yes, you don’t feel like going back to sleep once you hear those cute songs… :)

What do you think? Write your comments below! :)