Our customer came to us directly from Italy with an idea to create an innovative music platform that could connect niche music artists to a broader audience. The project was launched when other online music platforms weren't so giant in Europe yet. The whole concept was based on a mechanism of purchasing digital albums or songs via a mobile QR code scanner. It allowed artists to advertise their albums at concerts, in bars, studios, or any other place that allowed them to hang a printed version of their CD bar code. The bar codes were generated internally and distributed among music artists. The customer could download a Rippler application, scan the visible bar code, and purchase and access a music album stored on a secured mobile application.
Rippler was an Italian Startup, run by two young entrepreneurs focused on creating an innovative software products. Seeing the market being taken only by the big fish with unfavorable margins, they wanted to give everyone, especially the smaller artists, the opportunity to turn their passion into a lucrative job.
The aim was to create an easy-to-use lightweight, secure mobile application. We chose PhoneGap back when Windows Phone was present on the market. It allowed us to develop seamlessly one application for three platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Phone), simultaneously decreasing the costs for our customer. The challenge lay in securing the application in a way that will protect music artists from illegal redistribution of their songs. A lot of time was also spent designing the foundation for the project – the conceptual designs, wireframes, and graphics.
The most severe difficulty laid in creating the mechanism of generating the bar codes. Our customer forced a challenging idea that the bar codes must have been round, not squared. We had to create a way of displaying them so that the scanner could read them without any problems. What helped us was the Code-128 standard that allowed us to stretch the bars and make them round (in a CD-type format). On top of that, we needed to secure the music files against any illegal attempts of copying them and redistributing them with a unique security mechanism. After dealing with that, we had to find out how not to lose hours generating thousands of bar codes in printable pdf files for each partner. It was necessary to generate a lightweight file instantly. The answer laid in vector graphic and PDF background optimization, which allowed for an easy cut for a printing house.