Hitlantis, a radical way to explore new music for listeners with iPhones and iPads is available, at last. Yesterday saw official the release of this app, which we tested in a beta version in February.
Much of the interface and functionality of that early version remains the same, so that review is still worth a read if you're looking for a neat way to discover new bands to obsess over, although a few things have changed in this new version.
First, the central constellation model of bands circling a central Hitlantis sun remains the app's most interesting aspect, although we're happy to note that the on-screen busyness observed in the beta version has been reduced. For starters, viewing the Hitlantis cosmos from a greater distance (which do simply by pinching the touchscreen) now causes smaller, less popular bands' planets to fade, which makes the screen less crowded.
A couple of issues hurt this first official version though. Even with a WiFi-connected iPhone, load times for musical samples are quite long. The radio function has a new filtering option too, apparently intended to let listeners hear only the musical genre they choose. However, switching off all genres except for Reggae didn't produce the desired effect.
Even with these quibbles, Hitlantis remains a really clever way to discover new music, especially as a free app.
What is Hitlantis?
Hitlantis is a music community where everyone can come to discover new Music easier than ever before. Hitlantis inhabits Music Lovers and Artists. On the Hitlantis Map, Users may easily see the quantity of Artists per different musical genres. Also, The Map displays the popularity very well: the hotter the Artist is the closer to the center they are. Hitlantis offers very hot prizes and awards for the hottest Artists making the race worth while. And it is the Users who determine the respect and hottines of the Artists by performing different activities, like streaming music, voting for songs and purchasing downloads. All of these activities generate respect points to the Artists but also to the registered Users, which means also the Users will gain prestige within the community. Welcome to the Breakthrough!
How does Hitlantis work?
Hitlantis connects Artists with Music Fans and those looking for best new music in internet. Artists and Users both create profile pages, and land automatically onto the Map and begin enjoying new music and interacting with each other. Artists aim to get closer to the centre to win cool prices like live gigs and radio play, and Users are to help them to get there. The point is that the Users will ultimately share the success of their favourite Artists. Helping bands is done by performing several activities like streaming music, voting for songs and purchasing downloads. Each activity generates respect points to both Artist and Users.
Who is behind Hitlantis?
A bunch of people who love Music and visual browsing and want to help you discover the best, most exciting new Music in internet in a way you've never done before. Hitlantis is really about music and you, not us.
I do not live in Finland, can I participate?
Absolutely yes. Hitlantis is managed and operated from Finland, but just like internet, it is open to Artists and Music Lovers from everywhere in the world. Hitlantis will offer international live gig opportunities very soon.
Who can take part?
Practically everyone - only restriction is that Artists must be in 100% control of their own copyright and they upload their own original material only. So no cover songs, no published compositions and no copyright agencies for the moment.
Can I sell my songs on Hitlantis?
Absolutely yes. Selling songs is the ultimate way for your fans to help you win the great prizes. And the best part of it is that as long as the minimum prices are met, the fans may decide how much they are willing to pay for your music. The more they pay the more they help you win the prizes. And naturally there’s no additional middlemen involved meaning the Artists will get to keep 90% of the selling price (after PayPal costs and taxes).
Why should I become a fan of some bands?
Being a fan will pay off. First of all your profile ball will be visualised inside the bands ball making you part of the band in a way. It is your actions that really count meaning it makes a difference what you do to help the band. And eventually, you will share the success of your band.
Why should I subscribe to a Premium Artist Account?
Hitlantis Basic Artist account gives you presence on the map and your music can be listended to in the music player. But in order to participate in the competition of great live gigs and radio play opportunities the band needs to subscribe to a Premium Artist Account. It is only 5 euro per month and if you subscribe more than one month it'll be even more cheap.
In order to be able to use Hitlantis, you must register as either User or as an Artist. Registration and profile creation is free! Registering process is simple as it asks you to fill in your basic user info like name, email address, country of residence and password of your choice. Then you are ready to begin editing your profile by uploading pictures and music (Artists only are allowed to upload music files). The pictures must be either JPEG or PNG formats and best size would be around 120 x 120 but bigger ones are ok too (less than 4 megs, please!).
After registration, an Artist profile will automatically appear on the Hitlantis Map as an icon shaped as a ball, colour representing the musical genre chosen by the Artist. The beginners always land onto the outer skirts of the map.
Artists get hotness points and move towards to the Center from following activities:
Hotness is always calculated from the last 90 days, so place of an Artist tells how popular he/she has been "lately".
Using the Hitlantis Map
Hitlantis offers completely new experience to browse and discover musical content. The zoomable Hitlantis Map itself is divided into different musical genres with different colours and as every Artist has a coloured ball on the Map, you will easily see which genre has the most Artists. The colour legend is displayed on the left side of the map explaining which colour is which musical genre. Hitlantis is actually an action map showing visually what is going on. The closer to the Center the Artists are, the "hotter" they are as the Map shows the overall popularity by placing the Artists on the Map according to their "hotness" rate. The size of the ball represents the size of an artist meaning the nbr of fans, the revenue the band have generated and the amount of the material they’ve posted into the service. The recently joined new Hitlanders are all located on the outer skirts of the Map and begin their journey towards the Central Plaza from there. Pointing an Artist ball will show you the name and picture of that Artist. Clicking the ball opens up the Artist profile card, where you can see things like artist biography, list of their songs, pictures and you may leave comments etc. The pulsating artist ball on the Map shows what band is being currently played by the Hitlantis Music Player. You may also pan the Map by dragging it with your mouse. The zooming tool on the left hand side tells you visually where about the Map you currently are browsing and the plus/minus icons take you deeper to the Map and clicking the triangles will pan the map accordingly. The users may access their own profile by clicking "My Profile" icon on the black control bar.
Using the Music Player
Hitlantis Music Player is very simple to use: when you log in to the service, it plays random songs uploaded to the service. You have the following buttons to use: play/pause, next, and Thumbs up (generates points to you and the band). Again, listening to the music generates respect points for you and the particular Artist. And so does clicking the Love button. Should you have another band's profile open and you click the Play button there next to a song, it overrides the currently played song.
Premium Artist Account
Using Hitlantis Basic Artist Account is free. In order to join the competition of the live gigs and radio stations, artist should upgrade to Premium Artist Account. Upgrading is simple, just subscribe the Premium Artist Account service for the duration of your choice (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months). The subscription fee is 5€ per month and if you subscribe more than one month the price gets cheaper.
Becoming a Fan
Every official fan of a band will be visualised inside the band ball as a smaller Fan Ball (in the zoomed view). Mouse over these Fan Balls will pop up a label indicating the current fan’s name and activity points. The fans are also listed in the artist profile card.