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Let me preface this by saying that I am not looking to set music in the built-in iOS Clock app. I have tried that and I had problems with it. I usually keep all sounds muted, so it won't work. I also tried Alarm Clock HD, which plays music as an alarm but it won't work for me as I needed to be running in the background. I am also using an iPod touch, so bmike's suggestion isn't feasible.
Here's what I'm looking for: an app that will allow me to a set a song for an alarm and will play that song even if the app is in the background. Alarm Clock HD also had a nice volume feature, which automatically turned up the volume all the way (which is really nice). Is there an iOS app that will do this?

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Arrange a callback service and a custom ringtone so that you can get a wake up call perhaps? –  bmike Nov 9 '12 at 17:38
    
Oops, sorry @bmike this is an iPod touch... –  daviesgeek Nov 9 '12 at 17:55
    
Edit the question a bit - list the device. Also, it's not clear what free app you tried - why not link to it or just use it. I think there are several details you didn't convey in writing on this question. –  bmike Nov 9 '12 at 18:08
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1 Answer

I use Alarmed and it can have any file in the music library set as an alarm. Unfortunately I think you have to pay for the "full" version ($2 USD) to access that feature, otherwise you have to use the included audio files. It's worth noting that I bought the full version simply because I liked the application so much—it's easily one of the top three most used apps on my iPod Touch.

It does behave differently if you leave it running in the background, but it still works for me (iOS 5 and later).

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So even if it's still in the background, it still turns on the music? –  daviesgeek Nov 11 '12 at 17:38
    
I just tested it (I've never used that particular feature). Unfortunately it appears that it will not play from your iTunes library unless it is in the foreground; it just plays its default sound when the alarm triggers and the app is in the background. –  Heptite Nov 11 '12 at 19:10
    
Okay...This may just be a limitation of iOS, but I really want it to be able to play in the background (so I don't have to open up the app before I go to bed at night, nor do I have to turn off Do Not Disturb, which will wake me up with incoming emails) –  daviesgeek Nov 11 '12 at 19:13
    
If I'm reading the documentation to Alarmed correctly, this is indeed an iOS limitation. At least Alarmed still makes some kind of alert sound even if it's in the background. It has worked well for me as an alarm clock. I use its other features too; timers, to-do list reminders, etc. –  Heptite Nov 11 '12 at 21:05
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