What was the scope of their involvement?
We needed to create a tool that works within a browser—on Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, etc.—that can play a lot of music notes simultaneously with no gaps or no noticeable delays and without using Flash. Back then, we used Flash, but browsers stopped supporting that, and we needed to move to HTML5. Most companies we approached didn’t even want to dive into it because there weren’t many libraries of Open Source resources that we could use to create it. Arty Geek had to do extensive exploration. They were positive they could do it. Most other companies said it was too early to create this tool in HTML5. Arty Geek went through a month or so of exploration at their expense just to prove to me that they could do it. They created a very simple prototype that actually did what I wanted, then they moved on to creating the entire tool, which was quite complex.
The piano tool actually shows you how to play a specific tune. Let’s say you want to play Hey Jude by The Beatles. You see a piano in front of you, and when you press play, you can see which keys are being depressed. You can make the playback slow or fast, and you can show the name of the note on the keys. You can isolate the right or left hand if you want. You can see the actual notes on the screen while the song is being played, so it’s actually learning by imitation.
The tool is designed for people who don’t know how to play piano and don’t want to go through the struggle of learning notation, which takes years. We offer that as well, but it’s not a key focus. [In comparison,] [t]here are tons of YouTube videos that show you how to play songs. The backend is quite complex because it has to combine a lot of different files, including XML files, media files, and music notation files that need to be synced within the browser and not in a native app, which is very easy to do because it would rely on the power of the device.
How did you come to work with Arty Geek?
I work with freelancers from all over the world. I have family in Ukraine in the same city where Arty Geek is located. On a family vacation, I had some business meetings with local companies and tried to find partners for this project. I chose Arty Geek because they were so sure they could create the tool. I also looked at their reviews on Upwork, which were fantastic.
How much have you invested with Arty Geek?
We have spent around $50,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with them in October of 2015, and the project was completed in March of 2017. We’re still in touch.