Presto Music needs to evolve with new technology
Presto Music is a leading seller of classical and jazz music recordings. Starting with physical recording sales in the late 1980s, the company has successfully evolved in line with changing consumer preferences, moving to online sales in the early 2000s, to digital downloads a decade ago. Now they wish to add a high-quality music streaming service to their range of products.
Serving Presto Music’s enormous content library via a high quality user experience
Because of Presto Music’s decades as a music industry leader, it already owned an extensive content database which included an enormous digital music library, and thousands of written articles about every composer and major musician on their catalogue. They needed a highly-polished, scalable app which provides their customers with seamless access to their content on any mobile device, online or offline.
De-risking the project by eliminating unknowns early
Presto Music’s extensive content library provided a great opportunity to build a first-in-class streaming application, but it also presented the Rocketmakers team with several challenges that were difficult to quantify. The recording library was already playable on the Presto Music website, using technology provided by a third party. It wasn’t immediately clear how well the previous system would work on a smartphone app, or how long it would take to produce an app that would provide the high level of quality Presto Music expected.
To de-risk the project, the Rocketmakers team listed the issues with unknown variables, and tackled them first in order of potential risk. This required reordering the standard Agile development process, but the client agreed that this was the best way to ensure a successful project.
An app that needed to work just as well offline as online
One feature Presto Music customers would expect is the ability to stream music in just as high a quality format offline as online. This created a serious challenge - the normal web-based code that would work best online would not work at all offline.
Instead of relying on online access to play, files would need to be written to in two different ways - one that would work offline on native Android devices, and one that would work offline on native iOS devices. Presto Music also wanted a web version of the streaming app, but for security reasons, needed to only play music when online. This meant a third version of the app, without offline capability, had to be created as well.
Another challenge that had to be addressed early was getting Presto Music’s music library to stream on a smartphone app. The system used to play music on the Presto Music website was discovered to be incompatible and a new API would need to be built.
Lastly, Presto Music’s extensive library of written content is a key selling point for its highly-knowledgeable user base. Ensuring users could seamlessly access written content while streaming was identified as a high-priority objective.
Happy Presto Music customers enjoying high quality audio
Since the launch of the Presto Music streaming app in early February 2023, it has been downloaded by over 6 thousand users, with nearly a thousand active users per day.
Despite the complex job of creating an app that would work on all phones whether online or offline, the app has been extremely stable and relatively crash free.
Presto Music have asked Rocketmakers to provide ongoing support to the app, with a goal of adding improvements over time.
‘Our customers have very high expectations, and we knew we were asking Rocketmakers to take on a difficult task when we asked them to help us move into the music streaming market. I really appreciated how their first goal was to de-risk the project as much as possible - this ended up being a huge benefit, but was also very reassuring. The communication was excellent, we always knew why Rocketmakers wanted to do something a certain way, and they got our buy-in at every step of the process.’