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How do you take a mature and complex Desktop App and make its most valuable, in-demand functions work in website browsers across mobile devices? What’s more, how do you retain the multi-faceted key qualities of the original app, while making it user-friendly, efficient, reliable and accessible to the widest audience possible?

That’s the challenge Rising Software set the Digital Bridge team.

Background

Rising Software is a developer and publisher of market-leading software for music education. Their two class-leading music education programs are:

  • Auralia: the most comprehensive ear training software available, covering all the fundamentals; including pitch, intervals, chords, scales, tuning and rhythm. Progress through cadences, rhythm dictation, harmony, jazz progressions and melodic transcription.
  • Musition: a music theory tuition tool which covers music notation, time and key signatures, intervals, playing and notating rhythms, chords and musical terms for beginners through to advanced students.

Universities and schools throughout the world (and particularly in Australia and the US) rely on Rising Software’s music education programs because they offer:

  • A huge depth of content
  • Sophisticated student assessment and tracking tools 
  • A clean and simple interface that’s easy-to-use for music students of all ages

And much more.

The company was keen to extend its offering to provide a cloud-based service which enables clients to run their ear training and music theory tools directly through their browsers, without the need to download and run additional software. They also wanted clients to be able to access these tools across multiple platforms, like Android phones and iPhones, Android tablets and iPads and Chromebooks. In other words, they were committed to delivering the ultimate music education experience across the widest range of devices, including those where the Desktop application could not be installed.

Having started work on a RESTful API, Rising Software engaged Digital Bridge to build a powerful browser based UI (User Interface), capable of displaying interactive notation, playing back audio, and capturing tapped rhythms. 

Approach

Digital Bridge provided the web development expertise to:

  • Source, test and identify the most appropriate and reliable technologies to successfully deliver our clients vision and the best user-experience. The review of the options was extensive and rigorous. In consultation with Rising Software, a decision was made to use a pure JavaScript solution - Vue.js
  • Create and design lightweight responsive templates which work across multiple devices while delivering high quality audio playback and notation rendering every time.
  • Continually test, refine and further improve the Rising Software cloud service and user experience. This was done using project management tools and a shared code repository between both companies.

A specific list of the most important and in-demand topics was identified for stage one launch. 

Result

The first release of this new cloud-based music education software launched in February 2017. 

Three key capabilities include:

  • The ability for students to practise topics, complete with custom syllabus support.
  • Take tests for the most in-demand topics through their browsers
  • Enjoy MusicFirst Online Classroom integration

Students now enjoy:

  • A smooth, seamless user experience thanks to geographically located hosting that sends and receives data faster.
  • Quick, direct and painless login to specific tasks in their personal window within the ‘Learning Management System’.
  • Performing practise drills on any available topic.
  • Completing graded tasks set by their teachers.
  • Timely, convenient communication with teachers via a friendly desktop messaging app, received in their browsers.

Vue.js is an open-source progressive JavaScript framework. It makes user interfaces that are super-fast and very efficient. This means Rising Software’s customers (students, tutors and academic establishments) experience a highly optimised app thanks to dynamically loading resources. Put simply, resources are only loaded as and when needed. The result? Faster screen-loading—and fewer frustrations.

Rising Software now have their class-leading software available across multiple devices and browsers. Their user-experience is not only flexible but fast, while delivering high quality playback and notation. Now, their products are delivered to an even broader audience in the classroom, at home and on-the-go.  As those new audiences bring new business direct to their door, Rising Software’s outlook is…rising fast.

Digital Bridge designs, develops and manages powerful websites and web-based applications for businesses. We are based in the heart of Fitzroy, Melbourne.

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