News

Preparing Voltra for Public Beta

For the last 10 months we have been working on our first product — a desktop music player. Our first big milestone: a basic desktop player that plays most media types and has the features you’d expect a music player to have. We wanted it to be simplistic in design and usability, but functionally complex enough to cover most use cases.

Over the next few months we will steadily be releasing significant features as they come out of private beta testing. This will include a store and portal for artists to add their music, and many other feature additions and goodies.

That’s what’s coming, and here’s what’s new in this release.

New Artist Bios

Artist pages have been updated to include Last.fm data for biographies and photos instead of Wikipedia. Our beta testers were getting some hilarious non-music results when we were querying Wikipedia for bios! It was definitely entertaining, but now the bios are more accurate. We also moved the expanded bio to a pop-up dialog for easier reading.

New artist bios from Last.fm, New queue Icon (bottom right)

New artist bios from Last.fm, New queue Icon (bottom right)

Queue Improvements

First, we added a queue icon back to the control bar to make the queue easier to discover. We also tested out a few different behaviors for the Play interaction (clicking the play button on an album or track). The new behavior will now clear the queue whenever you play something, unless you add it to the queue explicitly with Play Next or Add to Queue. Then, the queue will build up a list of tracks for you to listen to.

Voltra remembers where you put stuff

If you prefer to use the mini or micro modes to listen to your music, Voltra player now remembers where you like to keep them on your screen.

Resetting Data Restarts

Now when you reset your Voltra data (a beta feature), the app restarts instead of just quitting immediately. We briefly overlooked the fact that an “instant quit” feels like a crash.

New Electron Version

Voltra has updated to the new version of Electron. Key improvements include a reduction in energy usage and better battery life.

Ignores Irrelevant Files

Voltra doesn’t crash very often, but when it does, it usually happens during import — the very first step. We’ve been trying to improve the errors we get while parsing your files, and we’ve made some major headway in detecting files that interfere. For example, .appledouble files (the duplicate files apple makes when it doesn’t feel like storing all the metadata) were sometimes causing crashes. For now, we’re ignoring those files, which has improved import for large iTunes collections. We may address them again later for a special iTunes import feature.

Pop-up artist bios

Pop-up artist bios

Pop-up artist bios

Thanks for supporting us, and we appreciate all of the constructive and thoughtful feedback we have been getting from the people in our beta program.

If you’re in our private beta and you’d like to be more involved, join our beta Slack channel: voltra.co/slack

And if you’re not in our private beta and you want to be, sign up here: voltra.co/signup