Times Internet* has launched Gaana+, a premium subscription service, currently available only on iOS devices, as well as the new version of Gaana app for iOS users, that includes features such as My Zone, Multi-bit rate streaming support, among other features. The company says Gaana has crossed 1 million mobile downloads across all smartphone platforms, and will be launching Gaana+ for Android users soon. Gaana has applications for Android, iOS, Blackberry, Blackberry 10, and J2ME devices.

Gaana+ is a premium subscription service that allows users to cache songs and playlists on their phone, and also removes ads on the website and application. Subscription plans are priced at Rs 170 per month and Times Internet is currently offering 15 day free trial. Currently, the app allows users to make a Payments via Apple iTunes Store only, however, Satyan Gajwani CEO at Times Internet told MediaNama that they plan to announce more payment options soon.

Recently, Gaana competitor Saavn also launched a similar service that allows Saavn users to cache songs for offline listening. Saavn’s monthly subscription service starts at Rs 220 per month, making it costlier than Gaana. However, note that currently Saavn is offering a three month free trial for the service. Most of the Saavn Pro users still might be using the free service, which allows Saavn to tweak its monthly subscription cost now that Gaana has launched its paid service. Gaana also competes with other music streaming companies such as Dhingana and Hungama.

Trying Out Gaana+

The new Gaana app on the iPhone includes features such as My Zone, which allows quicker access to users favorite music across devices. The company also claims that it has improved search on its app. If you check Gaana’s iTunes reviews, a lot of users had complained about the poor search feature. When we tried the search on the new app, we got satisfying results. Apart from that, the new Gaana app now supports multi-bit rate streaming – 32kbps, 64kbps and 128kbps.

To access Gaana+ on iPhone, users need to subscribe to Gaana+ from within the app and then activate Offline mode in settings. Playlists can be created in My Zone, which allows users to then cache playlists for offline listening. Users can also choose multiple bit rate (64kbps, 128 kbps and 320kbps) for caching the songs.

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In Offline mode settings, there’s also an option of switching on Offline mode. Note that when you turn on the offline mode, only playlists that a user has created for offline listening are available. Search and features won’t work, which means the app essentially switches off internet connectivity from the app. Any time a user needs to switch from offline mode to online mode, they need to change settings again. The usability of this feature is not entirely clear to us. In our opinion, Saavn which offers similar service handles the offline listening mode better without having users to mess around with settings.

 

 Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with Medianama