There are “betas,” and then there are betas.
Google’s Gmail, which was available in perfectly-functional “beta” mode for years, is a famous of the former. The online recording studio AudioSauna is an example of the latter sense of the word: not ready for prime time.
We were impressed by AudioSauna’s nicely-laid-out menu screen and long list of features, and the Flash-based app, developed in Finland by Naïve Solutions, generally runs well. As such, it has a lot of potential to be a real competitor to more established online recording studios (like Aviary’s Myna, and Burnstudio’s Audiotool).
Potential is just that though, the chance to wow us as a more fully featured version at some point in the future. The list of available features (filters, synth effects, synth presets, etc.) remains frustratingly outweighed by all that is missing. You can’t add extra tracks beyond the basic eight, share tracks to social networks, or record using a MIDI input device — instead, you have to add notes on a piano roll, an on-screen keyboard, or your computer keyboard. (Only the piano roll mode lets you play without noticeable latency.)
Naïve Solutions explained to Evolver.fm that all these features are coming soon. Social network integration, for example, is “very natural and important for an online creation tool like Audiosauna,” according to a company spokesman.
Perhaps the company should have waited. As things stand today, AudioSauna is an amusing way to compose and produce music in a web browser, but it’s a promise rather than a fully-fledged player in this burgeoning field.