About a month ago I was perusing various software and apps, and got to thinking, man, they have an app for everything these days. Then suddenly I realized that, hey, maybe there is some kind of app or program related to pipe smoking? So a quick Google search with the phrase “pipe smoking software” brought me to Pipe Smoker Unleashed, an amazing and very affordable app that has tools specifically designed with the tobacco enthusiast in mind. With Pipe Smoker Unleashed, you can organize your pipe collection, tobacco cellar, accessories, tobacconists, and thoughts, all within one very useful application.
Now, I do not smoke cigars often, so I didn’t pay the extra $5 for the Cigar add on, but I will probably purchase it in the future just to review it. The PSU app is only about $15- less than the cost of two tins of pipe tobacco. As already stated, the Cigar upgrade is just five dollars more. Here are some screenshots and a description of some of the features from my copy of the app (click the pics for a larger image):
This is the main screen that you see after opening the app, which defaults to your Pipe Collection. As you can see, I have quite the collection! I have had so many other pipes that, through my inexperience and stupidity, were mostly broken or lost over the years, from just idiotic things like knocking them against a wall to remove the dottle, eventually breaking the shank, or being too zealous with a poker, breaking the shank (I break a lot of shanks). One pipe, I pushed a poker right through the side of the bowl while cleaning- apparently there was a spot that was burning through, and I never knew it. This is why so far I only buy relatively cheap pipes, and I recommend any new smoker do the same until they have learned to properly appreciate and care for their pipes. Why on earth spend hundreds of dollars on a pipe that you are going to break or lose after a less than a year of use?
Anyways, as you can see, the Pipes tab is where you keep track of your pipe collection. Adding a new pipe is as easy as clicking a button and entering all the known info into the form that pops up.
As you can see, any information that you can think of about your pipe, as well as some you might not know, is able to be entered here. The manufacturer, model and series, country of origin, shape and dimensions, purchase price and date, place of purchase, material, filter, and notes can all be entered from this screen, and you can also add a photo of your own, or upload one from the internet. Want the pipe but don’t have it? Enter all known info and check the “Add This Pipe To Wish List” box. Once you have entered all the info, just press “Save New Pipe” and voila, the pipe now shows up on the Pipes screen. The next tab is the Tobacco screen, where you keep track of all your tobaccos.
Those two “brands” that are blocked out are just my surname; I’ve been playing with blending the past couple of months. Now, I just assume several things when entering info on this screen. For instance, under “Strength”, I assume it means Nicotine content, and so that’s what I rate here, but it could mean mouth feel or bite, whatever. In the same way, under “Type”, I put the main tobacco type(s), but it might just be asking for English, Aromatic, etc. Regardless, you can enter your info any way you wish. And yes, you see that right- Alsbo Gold is one of my favorite tobaccos of all time! It is my everyday smoke; cool, flavorful and mild. Plus I have never met a single person that did not absolutely love the smell, so I can smoke it just about anywhere. Now, adding a new tobacco to your inventory is as easy as adding a new pipe- just click a button and enter all your info on the screen that pops up.
This is the Add New Tobacco screen. As you can see, just like for pipes, there are only a few required fields, but you can add a lot of info about your tobacco, including an image from your hard drive or the internet, a rating, strength, flavor, room note, etc. The “Amount Remaining” column is not customized from this screen, but rather when adding tobacco to your cellar. To save time, the programmer(s) has added a cool feature that, when you click “Save New Tobacco Blend,” a popup appears asking if you would also like to add some to your Cellar. The cellar is where you keep track of your cellared tobacco, as distinguished from the stuff you actually plan to smoke anytime soon.
If you choose to add some tobacco to your cellar, whether through the Cellar tab or the popup that appears after you add a tobacco blend to the Tobacco tab, this is where it will show up. As you can see, I’m running pretty low! I’ve been back in college for the last three years and have gone from quite comfortable to nearly starving, but that’s another story. Now, the only complaint I have about adding to your cellar, is that you can only enter numbers in the “weight” and “amount remaining” fields, so you have to choose a unit and remember that you are using that unit. Most people would probably use grams as that’s how most pipe tobacco is sold, but since I do conversions all the time for school and work, I just use ounces, and do a quick approximate conversion in my head from grams to ounces when adding any tobaccos. So instead of 150 grams I would enter 5.25 ounces- close enough. There definitely does need to be added the ability to choose your weight units, though, or at least enter letters into the fields.
Got accessories? The Accessories tab is where you will keep track of these. As with other screens there are many options, including the accessory brand and type, manufacturer, place of purchase and price. It is great to be able to track your accessory purchases, as the costs of Czech tools, reamers, cleaners, stands, etc. all add up.
There is also a Journal tab, where you can keep a personal journal. Since I have yet to use it, I didn’t include a screenshot, just because it’s a blank screen.
Not sure what you want to smoke today? The “Pick Pipe and Tobacco” feature is just what you need! Just click the button and Pipe Smoker Unleashed will randomly choose a pipe and tobacco combination from your collection. You can re-roll, as it were, for a new combination. When you decide on a smoke, you then have the option to add the smoking experience to your Smoking Log. The Smoking Log lets you basically review your smoking experience. You can add notes as you smoke, anything from how the pack and light went, whether you had to relight, what you might have done to better enjoy your smoke, or whatever. Reviewing your Smoking Log entries later might help you find whether a certain pipe/tobacco combination simply will not work, or when is the best time to enjoy that certain blend, or how you need to pack that one stubborn bowl, etc.
When adding your pipes and tobaccos, you have the option to upload pictures from either your hard drive or the internet, and these images are all automatically placed in your Gallery. The gallery tab allows you to peruse your gallery or even see a slideshow of it. Just another cool feature of Pipe Smoker unleashed!
Here is my pathetic gallery of my pathetic collection!
Pipe Smoker Unleashed also features an Address Book feature, where you can keep track of your favorite tobacconists. As I do 90% of my purchasing from just one supplier, I do not have many entries.
Finally, you have the ability to generate multiple reports concerning your collection. Here’s a shot of the report screen where you can choose to print a list of pipes by Maker, Model, Country, Supplier, or Purchase date, and a few more options. You access this by clicking “Print Pipe List” in the menu. I have never actually used this feature as I only have five pipes, but for those with large collections (most pipe smokers I have met!), this is a great feature.
So, if you are a luxury tobacco enthusiast, I highly recommend purchasing this awesome software. Just fifteen bucks for the main program, and an extra five for the Cigar add on, makes Pipe Smoker Unleashed a great value- once you register it, you can re-download and use the application even if it gets deleted from your computer somehow. Your purchase entitles you to a lifetime of enjoyment of this application. Pipe Smoker Unleashed will give you hours of enjoyment and help save time and money by keeping track of your collection, cellar, and purchases.
I hope you enjoyed this review, and that you will enjoy the Pipe Smoker Unleashed app as much as I am. I have not been paid or compensated for this review in any manner- I just want to share my experience! Thanks and enjoy!