The last few months at OPUS — Recap
OPUS has seen a lot of progress over the last couple of months, so we decided to write up a brief recap that summarizes everything we have done in terms of the development of the platform since February 2019.
The shortest summary of our progress is that we have been focusing on fixing and improving existing features, and overhauling the design of the interface. The interface is crucial because that is precisely what users interact with directly, so if it is not intuitive or buggy then the platform as a whole is not ready for public use — the redesign was one of our top priorities in this period of time.
Furthermore, we have been putting great emphasis on collecting feedback from our community. This feedback is incredibly valuable to us as our team only has a limited number of devices to scan the platform for bugs. Our community, with all the different devices, operating systems, and priorities, has the power to thoroughly look through every single button, menu, and option on the player and let us know what is and what is not working. The best way for users to submit the errors they find is via Freshdesk, which can be done by clicking here.
Now that we got this summary out the way, we can move on to a detailed description of our progress, including some interesting statistics.
Our API has seen a lot of progress since February. The most important changes are as follows:
- API redesign — the redesign of the platform came with some added challenges with the API (it was not a purely cosmetic change). Some of the new methods we needed were saving and retrieving information from the database regarding the last opened tracks, albums, and playlists by a given user.
- Mailing system — OPUS sends out its fair share of automated emails to confirm accounts, change passwords, inform users of next steps, and so on. This has now been made significantly more efficient, and the server no longer fails us when the number of e-mails to send out simultaneously is very large, as it sometimes did before these changes were implemented.
- Security — we have increased the security of passwords and filtering of data.
- Downloading — one frequently reported issue was that when downloading multiple songs at once, the server would suddenly freeze and the user was unable to complete the download. We investigated this issue and have now managed to fix it, so downloading is now much smoother than previously.
- Minor fixes — besides these big fixes, we also worked on the smaller issues, such as modifying the automatic responses, smaller bugs, etc.
Android, iOS, and Web
The Android, iOS and Web apps underwent a major redesign of the interface and all its features. While the core of the app still functions the same (albeit with many improvements), it looks very different that it used to. The redesign can be seen on most of the screens, images, content, and sizing for different screens.
The iOS and Web apps are currently undergoing various tests before being fully rolled out, while the Android app is going through more significant changes.
Moreover, we also made some other changes to the Android app:
- User session s— a widely reported issue was that users were unable to log out of their account if there was a problem with the token, and that sessions were not being properly refreshed by the program. This was a challenge to fix but it is now operating smoothly.
- Speed — we have also worked on increasing the speed at which the platform runs. This was especially visible in places that were geographically distant from our servers, but it has been fixed since then. Fans can now log in and play songs instantly without waiting too long for them to load.
- Offline functionality — this point concerns downloading tracks for offline use. We have included a progress bar that shows how much is already downloaded and how much is left, especially useful if someone is in a hurry and needs to know how much time is left on the download.
- Various cosmetic changes and minor bug fixes here and there. Individually they may be quite insignificant but as a whole they make the whole app run a lot more smoothly.
As promised, we will be including some interesting statistics that shed more light on both our progress and what areas we still need to work on.
As of today, we have:
- 131 artists
- 355 songs
- 112 albums
- 85,685 plays
While we are pleased to have seen interest in the platform, these statistics also provide insight into what our focus should be from now. We have been working very hard on the technical side of the platform to provide a seamless experience for users (both artists and their fans), and now that that part is nearing completion, we will be shifting our focus towards recruiting more artists and uploading more tracks.
Our platform is only as strong as our community, and so our success hinges on attracting artists to the platform, who will in turn attract their fans. We are certain that the platform is user-friendly enough and provides good financial incentive to attract artists, so now it is time for the outreach.
Some more statistics that we have found to be very useful is a monthly breakdown of how many different tracks were played and how many plays there were in total (the difference is subtle — the first statistic is about individual tracks and the second statistic includes multiple plays of the same track).
- 144 individual tracks opened
- 1,046 total plays
- 127 individual tracks opened
- 828 total plays
- 168 individual tracks opened
- 994 total plays
- 213 individual tracks opened
- 2,328 total plays
- 142 individual tracks opened
- 682 total plays
We will be closely monitoring these statistics, especially after the redesign of the platform, to reflect on how the changes we are implementing are being received by our community. Naturally, direct feedback via our various channels of communication (especially our Telegram) is always highly encouraged, and is a great tool for us to keep improving the platform.
Ultimately, we are very happy with the progress we have made so far this year but we also recognize where we need to make even progress over the next few months. We will continue following our roadmap, outlined in one of our previous articles, to deliver a perfectly working platform with a vast library of diverse music.
Our team will keep you updated on our progress, stay tuned for more news!