Hardstyle.com Launches their Official iPhone App #Hscomapp
Since their launch in 2009, Hardstyle.com has grown to be an authority portal for high-quality Hardstyle downloads. While many music platforms today fall short of meeting both the labels expectations and the consumer’s needs, Hardstyle.com has done a great job satisfying both ends.
Earlier this month, we came across their new iPhone app developed by the young company pikzelz, who specialize in apps catered towards the dance music industry. After tinkering around with the app for a bit, we were pleased by its straight-forward interface and wanted to review it for our Hardstyle lovers.
The developers did an awesome job transitioning the Hardstyle.com web platform into a mobile app by focusing on a few primary functions in which they based their navigation. Users can check out the latest releases and the top charting releases, as well as browse through the database by artist or label.
Finding Tracks and Purchasing
Under the “New” tab users view the most recent releases and are able to filter by various hard dance genres. There is also the option to view singles only or albums only. The second menu option, “Top 100″, displays the current Hardstyle.com Top 100 releases. Because this chart is automated and synced through their online portal, it provides a non-biased metric for today’s top Hardstyle tracks.
Streaming tracks is pretty straight forward using their built-in media player. There is not an in-depth “detail view” or “album info” for the releases, which was most likely a design choice, keeping the interface minimal. While browsing or previewing tracks, the user can tap “Buy” to add the designated track to their cart. The file formats offered for each release are 192kbps, 320kbps and .WAV.
Purchases work on a “credit” system. Credit bundles are purchased directly in-app using your Apple ID, which can then be used to buy tracks. This eliminates having to enter any credit card information, however, it also limits payment options (no Paypal, etc.) which is a limitation posed by Apple. I believe you may get around this by creating a wishlist that can be purchased online, however, I was unable to get the wishlist functionality to process correctly.
Tracks are available immediately after purchasing and they’ve provided a download queue system, making it easy to process multiple downloads. All downloads are stored on the account where they can be streamed any time and it’s nice to see that you can re-download any tracks/albums from your previous orders. Another nice touch is the ability to use other apps while tracks are streaming from the Hardstyle.com media player. Connecting a Twitter or Facebook account allows the user to share what they’re listening to.
Browsing Artists & Labels
Aside from browsing and streaming releases, the user can quickly navigate through the vast index of Artists and Labels featured on Hardstyle.com. Selecting one gives you the option to check out their latest releases or “favorite” the artist/label to be bookmarked under “Your Favorites.” In addition, there is a bi-directional relationship for each artist and label. This allows you to view all the artists on a selected label or on the other hand, to view all the labels a certain artist has released under. Those looking to find a specific release/artist/album may use their “Advanced Search” option located under the “More” tab.
Design and Performance
Going hand-in-hand with its functionality, the design aspects of the app are kept very simple and sleek providing a seamless experience. Using a minimalist color palette, the display is easy on the eyes and the content is always at focus. No “chrome.” Nothing extra.
I did notice a slight display error where the media player did not accurately reset the track scrubbing after starting a new track. In addition, there is no numerical display of the track duration, which may be something to add in a future update. Overall, the app was pretty responsive without noticeable lag. The app did crash on me during one of my checkouts, though, this is typical for a newly launched app. They’ve been quick to respond to issues and have already released an update fixing previous bugs.
- Fast, easy-to-use interface optimized for functionality
- Sleek design places focus on content and nothing extra
- Browse, preview, and purchase releases in just a few taps
- Orders can be re-downloaded either in-app or online
- Minimum credit bundle of €25 (~$34) may be steep for a consumer looking to purchase just a few tracks
- Currencies displayed only in Euros — Would be nice if displayed based on location or account setting
- Currently not offered on Android devices
Hardstyle.com did a wonderful job transforming their online hub into a sleek, easy-to-use, iPhone app. Their minimalist approach provides DJs, producers, and any Hardstyle enthusiast with an easy and mobile way to keep up with the latest tunes. Through this app, they’ve further established themselves as an authority source for the harder styles and without question, this is a must-have app for any avid Hardstyle fan!
-Review courtesy of RL for @edm
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