Review: Bernhoft Releases an HD Album App…

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HD360 is a new app-based release platform for iOS devices. The company recently released their first app, an audiovisual version of Bernhoft‘s album Islander.

The purpose of the app is to bring the feeling of physical packaging to modern technology. Bernhoft says:

“…I’ve come from the world of vinyl, to CDs, to file sharing, to streaming and then back to a vinyl focus… What we wanted to do with the app was to bring all this together and get the feeling of a gatefold sleeve into the digital world.”

The price of the app is a steep $19.99. Those who want “the feeling of a gatefold sleeve” might be better off spending that money on vinyl. Regardless, the app has some forward-thinking features.

The Islander app has48k 24bit HD album tracks. It also has 11 videos, stories, images, photos, a merch store, social media feeds, a loop station, and a mixing console.

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The 360 degree video is pretty cool. It features a panoramic view of five Bernhofts playing the song “Come Around With Me”.

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The studio feature has a digital eight track mixing console of the song “Come Around With Me”. Users can change the volume, panning, and reverb of the vocals and instruments. There’s also an empty track so users can record their own audio, adding it to the song.

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The looping station breaks the song “Wind You Up” into various parts. Users can create their own version of the song by triggering the loops.

The app may be expensive, but it’s incredibly fun to use and is well designed. This is a good investment for Bernhoft fans, but casual listeners probably won’t be willing to spend $20 on an app.

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Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

9 Responses

  1. jw

    This seems like a cool idea, but HD audio in an iOS app seems very fishy to me. The source files may be HD, but is that what’s actually getting to your headphones, after Apple’s DAC has it’s way with the signal? I would imagine that 90% of the people who would potentially buy this aren’t going to ever actually hear HD audio. It’s my understanding that you’re not going to get any HD audio out of any speakers through iOS without some tech savvy hacking. Not until iOS 8, anyways.

    And is it definitely “streaming” HD Audio? Honestly, you’re not getting portable FLAC files, I question whether or not it’s worth it.

    The rest of it seems v. interesting, although parts of it seem really novel (like the remix crap).

    • Nina Ulloa

      why is the remix part crap? i think it’s one of the most interesting parts of the app.

  2. X-Z-Y

    This is crap. The music writing is below amateur. The production is a joke. Nothing interesting. Just some money for PR, some photo shoots and that’s all…

      • Cynthia

        You’re gonna eat you’re words. This fellow has more talent than anyone I’ve seen in a long time. Can’t wait to see what he does next. He’s Norwegian, English a second language, amazing.


    Just to let you know.
    The music files are 24bit 48khz which is way above CD quality! It isnt streamed, the music files are embedded in the app. It is the first time Apple have allowed this!
    The phono jack on your Ipad or Iphone can only output at 16bit, however, you can attach an external DAC via the lightening/30 pin and listen at 24/48, its either that or carry your decks around with you!!!

    X-Z-Y – what do you mean the music writing is below amateur? Do you mean you don’t like the artist? Or you think the app hasn’t been coded well?

    • jw

      I figured as much. However, I couldn’t find this mentioned ANYWHERE in the marketing material. Consumers are going to buy this thinking they’re going to listen to HD audio, but what’s going to come out of their device is SD audio, & 99% of consumers will never even know they’re being duped. This seems very disingenuous to me, marketing HD audio for SD devices without explicitly mentioning this caveat.

      Also, attaching a DAC to an iPhone or iPod or iPad kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? What iOS lacks in power/features (compared to OSX), it makes up for in portability. Attaching a DAC to one of these devices reduces the portability, & you’re left with the worst of both worlds. I do all of my HD listening through my laptop… I don’t know why spending $20 on the app wouldn’t land you FLAC or AIFF audio files that people could listen to on their HD system. (That is to say that everyone I know who listens to HD audio would have to buy new equipment to listen to this audio, it wouldn’t be compatible with their existing HD setup.)

      It seems like they’re trying to build an iOS HD market, rather than marketing to the established OSX/PC HD market. And that seems like a bad idea to me.

      • studio engineer

        What a shame to come across another conspiracy theorist. This is obviously a very talented independent group of experts who appear to have created something amazing probably the best thing to happen to music since the LP in 1958. This Bernhoft album has been superbly produced by Paul Butler one of the best of a group of new and talented emerging Producers.
        In reference to Dac’s anyone NOT using a portable Dac to listen to music is missing out.
        There are dozens to choose from and anyone serious about music will allready have one, they are small, portable
        and convenient that’s what they are designed for, although with the emerging market for HD all portable devices will soon include them.
        I have purchased the app and the quality is amazing I can only assume that you have not.
        I have sat in my studio and played with the app while at the same time I have mirrored the screen to my 60 inch TV and streamed the Audio through the Studio speakers. And I think that is pretty cool!!!
        Wake up and smell the coffee