HottMix – So Hot Right Now

HottMix

For anyone who enjoys electronic music the ‘Soundcloud’ website is a great place to discover new material. Producers, record labels, DJ’s and fans use the site to upload music that they have either created or found. Every track or DJ set on the website can be streamed and some are also available to download.
‘Hottmix’ by Rocudo attempts to bring the ‘streaming’ element to your Android device therefore offering the potential of thousands of new songs for you to check out whilst on the move.
It’s main feature is the ‘HottMix’ key which initiates a playlist of the 50 hottest rated tracks on Soundcloud. It’s a great idea and I found all kinds of good music that caught my interest. The ‘now playing’ screen is pleasant enough with a good use of cover artwork and song information. The standard play controls are clearly laid out along the bottom along with a useful ‘add to playlist’ key that allows you to bookmark any favourite songs for easy access at a later time.

The 'Now Playing' screen does the job nicely.

If you’d rather find music yourself there’s also the search function where you can use normal search terms as well as more specific factors such as song tempo or date. It’s a pretty good tool which can come up with some great results.
Streaming over 3G works pretty well although the sound quality may not be to a good enough standard for any serious audiophiles out there.
Sadly despite all the good points there’s also a few things that let that app down, mainly when the app is used on 3G. Within the first 15 minutes of using HottMix I counted at least 7 occasions of the app hanging and Android stepping in to save the situation. The app is also occasionally slow and unresponsive, skipping onto another track in the ‘now playing’ screen can result in an awkward wait before anything happens. As soon as I was on a Wi-fi connection these problems went away.
Navigating the app isn’t the most intuitive process either. Ideally with a media player you’ll generally want easy access to the controls no matter where you are in the app. In HottMix the controls live solely on the ‘now playing’ screen and annoyingly there’s no option to jump straight there.

You'll be seeing this screen a LOT whilst using HottMix on your 3G connection.

HottMix is both 50% excellent and 50% infuriating. It looks great and in terms of what it can do it’s excellent for picking up on music I would otherwise not come across. Sadly it’s flaky stability when mobile and non-intuitive UI puts it some way behind other Android media players. App makers Rocuda are looking to add all kinds of fancy functions in future updates but I would happily trade all of that for some solid basic functionality.

Links : HottMix on Android Market

Hottmix on AppBrain

Bottom Line : An excellent music discovery tool that’s badly let down by force close issues, occasional unresponsiveness and a lacklustre UI. If these are fixed in future updates then HottMix would easily become an essential app.

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