Retired - 01/01/2019
Version 4.0 - 07/10/2015


Cycle Music Timer
by Stewart French

Need an app to help manage your music in a Cycle Class?
Want to easily see how much time is left in a playlist and a song?
Want to add work out drills to each song?
Want to easily control the playback even when you're sweaty and have to stretch across the room?

See the Cycle Music Timer in the App Store on iTunes !

CycleTimer Version 4.0 is an iOS 8 app that runs on iPhones 4, 5, 6, 6+, or iPad. CycleTimer displays playlists, tracks, and a music player that are easily read from a stationary bike when the iPad or iPhone is over on the stereo stack. The large time display counts down from the track's maximum duration to zero. On an iPhone, CycleTimer runs in portrait orientation. On an iPad, CycleTimer runs in landscape.

The app displays the playlists from the iOS device's music library. Choose a playlist and the app shows the tracks within that playlist. Each track has a time, in blue, showing the remaining minutes and seconds in the playlist, counting this track. Choose a track and the app shows the music player.

The music player shows the artist, track title, controls for pause, play, skip backward and forward, and a very large countdown timer. There are buttons to skip backward and forward 15 seconds, and a slider to increase and decrease the speed of playback.

Beneath the countdown timer there is a large area where you can edit and save exercise drill notes. The drill notes can be copied and pasted into other tracks drill notes using standard iOS touch editing methods.

A drill note can be associated with a track. By default a track will have the same drill note even if it appears in several playlists. While editing a drill note you can set a switch to make the track's drill note only apply in the current playlist. Using this switch you can have the same track appear in several playlists with different drill notes for each.

Drills can be imported and exported using the iOS device's mailer. It must be properly configured to send and receive mail for the import/export to work correctly.

Preparing the Playlists and Tracks

CycleTimer relies on Apple's iOS device music library to provide the playlists and tracks within the playlists. You will need to load music onto your iPhone or iPad either with the iTunes Store or by syncing your iPhone or iPad to iTunes on your Mac or PC computers, then transferring the music from your Mac or PC iTunes library to your iOS device. The tracks will need to have been assembled into playlists using iTunes on a Mac or PC, or the iOS device's Music Player.

Device Setup

You will probably want to modify your device Settings to disable Auto-Lock so the device doesn't "go dark" and auto-lock while exercising.

Settings > General > Auto-Lock == Never

You will probably also want to turn on "Airplane Mode" to prevent notifications from pinging you, and "Do Not Disturb" to silence incoming FaceTime calls and alerts.

Settings > Airplane Mode == green (1, on)
Settings > Do Not Disturb > Manual == green (1, on)

If your stereo has a standard iPhone connection, with a 3.5mm (1/8") stereo plug or a dock connector, then you can connect right up without any extra cabling. If not, you may need a special setup.

For example, if your stereo only has a single 1/4" mono plug input available, to accomodate a microphone, then you could use the cabling and mixer shown in the photos below.

Here's what you need (full details are in the table below the photos) :

  • Stereo Audio Cable - to connect from the iPhone/iPad to the mixer.
  • Mixer : A mono mixer to combine the microphone audio and the iPhone/iPad audio.
  • Plug Adapter : The Behringer mixer shown is not stereo, so a plug is required to convert from the iPhone/iPad 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo plug to a 1/4" mono plug.
  • Instrument Cable : to connect from the microphone box to the mixer.

For the example, you would :

  1. Completely turn down the volume of all the inputs on the mixer and to the stereo.
  2. Unplug the 1/4" cable from the back of the microphone box and plug it directly into the mixer's OUTPUT (Out to Stereo).
  3. Connect the 1/4" Instrument Cable between the microphone box and the mixer's Input 1.
  4. Insert the Plug Adapter into the mixer's Input 2.
  5. Connect the iPhone/iPad to the Plug Adapter using the Stereo Audio Cable.
  6. Using the wall wart, connect the mixer to power. The little green light should come on.
Volume Control
Set the iPad/iPhone volume to max, set the stereo volume to somewhere in the midpoint, then use the mixer to adjust the volumes of the mic and music.

Behringer MICROMIX MX400
4-Channel MONO Mixer
Amazon $ 19.00
Mr. Dj CQQ-6
1/4" to 1/4" Straight Mono
Instrument Cable (6 feet)
Amazon $ 7.15
3.5mm Male To Male Stereo
Audio Cable (4 Feet)
Amazon $ 7.15
1/8" Stereo Jack to 1/4" Mono Plug Adapter
Model: 274-348 | Catalog #: 274-348
Radio Shack $6.99


Any unauthorized broadcasting, public performance, copying or re-recording may constitute an infringement of copyright. Please be sure to respect the copyright of any music that you play and conform to any legal restrictions. If you use this app for cycle classes please work with your club to respect copyrights.

Special thanks to :
Michele Carey - For the original idea, beta testing, and many comments and suggestions
Cindee Purtle - For her awesome photo
Shelly Cronin - For the loan of her old iPhone 4s
Anne French - For her encouragement, tech ideas, and proof reading