Boasting an impressive 22 million track database, Bloom.fm is quickly soaring to the top of its game, joining other music-streaming giants such as Pandora and Spotify. The application is designed for iOS and Android – and what a design it is! The user interface on Bloom is a tranquil environment, staying loyal to its theme of nature – hence the name!

When first accessed, you are greeted with an adorably animated bee hovering amongst 4 ‘flower-encapsulated’ genres. You may choose one of the four suggestions, or go browsing yourself.

Once you’ve chosen a genre, Bloom will select the appropriate radio and fill your ears with all the right tunes. However, when using these radios on Bloom you can skip only 6 times per half hour, enduring a 30 second advert in between every 3 songs. If you’re a person who despises ad breaks and their ability to vaporise the mood, then whip out that bankcard!

Bloom.fm has 4 subscriptions to choose from. ‘Bloom zero’ is the basic and free option, but this subjects you to frequent ads, no ability to skip through songs, and does not allow you to stream songs. However, if you decide to spend £1 or more a month, you can use the ‘borrow’ feature that Bloom is known for. (Remember, their deals are cheaper when bought through the website, rather than the app). This means you can download a certain amount of songs, changing them as you go whenever you want, provided you ‘borrow’ within the limits of your subscription.

One thing in particular that really excited me is the ‘search by barcode’ feature. Suddenly Bloom has become yet even more personalised! You can point the camera of your phone at a CD barcode, and the album list will automatically appear on Bloom’s screen.

Unlike its competitors, Bloom.fm does not yet have a ranking system, making it hard to decide what songs you’d like to borrow. It also doesn’t allow you to skip through songs, which can create similar complications. However, hosting an excellently designed interface, a surprisingly vast music library, and some great new concepts that could change the way we share and stream music, I can confidently say that Bloom.fm is well on its way to a long and successful relationship with its audience.

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Written by Brendan O’Connor

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