Version Reviewed: 0.1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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The stock music playing app on the iPhone really isn't that great to look at. Sure it'll do the basics, but there's little sense of style there. It's all looking a bit dated and cumbersome. Stereo is an app that won't overwhelm its users with options, but does take music playing back to its simplistic roots. Assuming it recognises all of one's music, it's a handy solution.
Starting out with the app, it might be surprising how little direction there is. That's because there's no real need for a tutorial - everything is fairly intuitive. The albums available are listed with their name and album art and it's all just a matter of tapping on what one wants to listen to. An immediate issue emerged for me though: Stereo doesn't actually list all the music on my iPhone. It lists the full albums that I have on there, as well as one separate song from the same artist, but that's it. It fails to list all the individual tracks I have from different bands and singers. The latest update promised to include such things but that's not the case here.
That's a shame as Stereo works pretty well otherwise. Adapting to one's perspective with the layout changing depending on if the iPhone is placed at a portrait or landscape position ensures everything remains clear, plus it's possible to zoom in on album art. Most importantly, the albums play easily enough (although there's no shuffle function) and it's good to see such a focus placed on the album art. Not showing all my music is a big frustration though, and one that I failed to fix.
As the version number shows, it's early days for Stereo and the groundwork is there. Once it more accurately caters for individual tracks, not just full albums, it'll be a very attractive solution for those wanting a minimalistic music playing app. For now though, this is for completionists rather than those, like me, who pick and choose individual tracks from different artists.