Strands gets a desktop client

Lifestreaming come music recommendations service Strands has released their first desktop client.

The new client, available for the Mac only (it’s not written in AIR) brings streaming from Strands itself to the desktop, and can read data from iTunes to allow users to share songs, and get music recommendations.

The desktop client keeps within the fresh look delivered to the Strands webpage (see our last post September), offering a visually pleasing, modern look that is immediately easy to read, and a cut above a long list of AIR applications from other providers.

It is a first release, and no doubt that improvements will be forthcoming, but we’d be remiss not to note what it lacks. The biggest issue with the desktop client is a complete lack of interactivity on the stream; users can’t comment on streams, vote on them…do anything really other than open them. The secondary problem was mentioned towards the end of the last sentence: you can only open entries…Strands entries, not the original source entry, so you’re forced to use the Strands website every time you see something on the stream. I understand this from a traffic perspective, but it sucks from a user perspective. For example, if I’m in FriendFeed via Twhirl, I can click straight through to a shared post or FriendFeed, Strands doesn’t give that option, at least yet.

The music recommendations service naturally links back into MyStrands (the originating service of Strands, and the music recommendations service) where you get basic information about the recommended song, but you’re unable to play it on the site. You can click on a Napster affiliate link and play it there, but not on the site. I understand the business angle, but it’s not great for usability. There’s lots of services out there that offer music playback on site now, some of them legally. Grooveshark would be an ideal partner here.

Overall: Solid start, but the app needs work.