Phase enables iPod-owning Guitar Hero addicts

This week, the team at Harmonix, who created the first couple of Guitar Hero games before defecting to create Rock Band, released a new game called Phase for the iPod (NOTE: only the new iPod nano, the new iPod classic and the older 5G iPod are supported) that lets you take the GH experience on the road.Phase for iPod

The game is controlled using the iPod's Click Wheel and features 3 "strings" instead of Guitar Hero's usual 5. Even with these simplified controls, the game is a lot of fun to play. In addition to just clicking buttons, Harmonix added sweeps that require you to slide your finger around the Click Wheel to execute.

The coolest thing about Phase is that you can use any song in your existing music library in the game.

The game can be downloaded from the iTunes music store for $4.99. However, you will have to upgrade iTunes to version 7.5 before you can actually purchase the game. iTunes 7.5 is what gives you the ability to convert your existing tracks into Phase-compatible tracks. Even if you just want to use the handful of free songs included with the game, iTunes will not let you buy the game until you have installed 7.5.

Once iTunes 7.5 is installed and you've downloaded the game (it is a 67MB download), getting tracks into Phase is very simple. Just drag and drop the songs you want to play into the "Phase music" playlist that is created when you purchase the game. Once you've got all of the tracks converted (it takes a few seconds per track), resync your iPod and let the rocking begin!

Phase in action 1

Phase in action 2