Harken — A Great Music Player for iOS

I’ve been disappointed with the state of music apps on iOS for a while now. Ecoute was what I was using, but it has been way too buggy and still has performance issues. I’ve really missed Track 8 after it was basically removed from sale. Most of my complete disillusion resulted from Apple completely ruining the Music.app with the launch of Apple Music. If you buy music digitally, the stock app on iOS devices is more painful to use than anything out there. I can’t believe the absolute broken state the app is in for people who buy music. We all know Apple was late to the party with streaming, but why punish millions of customers who buy or use their own music by shoehorning a subpar streaming service into a basic music app instead of releasing a separate app?

Over the last month or so, I’ve had the pleasure of using two music apps that have shown me some hope. One of them is Harken by Ben Thomas. Harken is a great app to listen to your offline music with a pleasing interface across iPhone and iPad. Well, for the most part.

Harken makes heavy use of blurring for styling the interface based on the album art and has a subtle purple theme throughout. You can view your music by albums, artists, or genres. Tapping an image for either of the aforementioned categories will start playing an album immediately. There’s an update in the works that lets you tap and hold an album to bring up a track selector if you aren’t a fan of listening to an album from start to finish. The actual player looks great with the blurred theme throughout and an option to switch between a light and dark theme for the rest of the interface. I’d love it if the app remembered what theme I use for a particular album.

Music dock users also have the option of disabling screen time out so you can have your screen with gorgeous album art stay on for as long as you want. The app is full of gestures to dismiss and switch between views. My only real complaint with the interface is how the player looks in landscape on the iPad.

If you are just looking for an app that plays your music without making you pull your hair out and one that looks great and runs great, look no further than Harken. Harken is available as a Universal app for iOS for $3.99 on the App Store.

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