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Ducking the Music

Today, updates to Run 5k, Run 10k, and RunQuest 21k are available on the App Store. These updates bring back the feature where your music or other background audio would be ducked when a voice cue comes on.

Major Bug in Sound Studio 4.6.7 (32-bit mode)

In my rush to get an update to Sound Studio out, I submitted version 4.6.7 of Sound Studio with a fairly major bug: if you run it in 32-bit mode, you cannot delete or do similar kinds of edits to any audio file. I’m sorry that this bug got out, and it’s because I had a last-minute bug fix for an issue with opening multiple files simultaneously which I never tested in 32-bit mode.

The app runs fine in 64-bit mode, so if you have this problem, you can use the Finder’s Get Info and uncheck the 32-bit mode checkbox, and relaunch the app.

There’s a version 4.6.8 on our web site, and we’ve submitted the update to the Mac App Store today.

-L

Tuna Pitch iOS 7 Microphone Privacy Setting

I got an email a few hours ago from a user, Ross Koning, who could not get Tuna Pitch to work after upgrading iOS 7. It turns out that there’s a new Privacy setting in the system Settings app that needs to be enabled for Tuna Pitch. Go to the Settings app, tap on Privacy, then on Microphone, and then turn on Microphone access for Tuna Pitch. It seems like it defaults to off if you upgrade, so try turning it on if you don’t get any audio input in Tuna Pitch.

The Gold Rush is Over

I think the iOS app market is maturing, with the novelty of apps wearing off, and most every need is already covered. I also think that the future of app development is with teams. What I’ve been seeing over the past 5 years that the App Store has existed is constant change. In the first few years, one person working over a couple of weeks can make a hit. Those days are over.

What I’m seeing when I go to conferences and meetups is that most apps are made by teams at startups or agencies. What I’m seeing in my own apps, which are mostly paid apps, is my revenue has dropped by 30% in the past year. I’m seeing on Twitter that other developers with paid apps reporting similar declines.

The gold rush is over, but people still don’t get the memo. Too many people are trying to hop on the App Store gold rush of 5 years ago, and there will still people just getting on the bandwagon years from now. There’s a glut of new apps, and even if most of the them are crappy, almost every idea and every need is covered five times over. That means you need to stand out from the crowd in some way, with a better app or better marketing.

Even after the gold rush is over, there’s still gold in the hills. It’s just harder to make a successful app that gets noticed, and requires teams with the specializations and experience to quickly and efficiently release one, the same way that the remaining gold requires geologists who know the land and heavy machinery to get to it.

It used to be that you needed to know a little bit of everything to make a successful app on the App Store. You had to be a designer, programmer, marketer, and all-around businessperson. Now there are services and agencies which can fill in for design, programming, or marketing. There are now agencies which will do everything for you, for a price. All you need is an idea and money, for which there are many funded startups and corporate brands.

And on a team, you can have specialists as well as generalists. The designers can keep up with the latest UI fashions and quickly make mockups that the programmers, who can focus on just the latest APIs and capabilities of the latest iPhone. And the people overseeing the entire process can look at different ways to make money with the app, whether paid up front, in-app purchase, subscriptions, or something else.

There are still some bright spots for the independent developer. The Mac App Store was never as big as the iOS App Store, and the Mac developers I’ve talked to say that sales are about the same. I’ve also talked to iOS developers who make a living from niche areas where you can charge $20 or up for an app. And there are individuals and teams who do contract work to make enough money to work on their own ideas and products at a loss.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to the ideal of being independent and living off of your own products in the App Store, instead of having to pitch your idea to venture capitalists, or to work for some corporate brand. I do know we need to adapt to change. Free with in-app purchase or subscription pricing looks more sustainable than paid apps. We may need to form ourselves into small teams, because being independent doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. I see this as a challenge to figure out what’s next.

-Lucius

Sound Studio and a little WAV file bug

We will hopefully be releasing Sound Studio 4.6.6 later today in the Mac App Store, and it fixes a rather small but pesky bug with opening WAV files that are not in the integer PCM (uncompressed, vanilla) format. These are sometimes in floating-point PCM format, and sometimes compressed with MP3 within a WAV file wrapper. This update of Sound Studio will allow you to open those files, with the caveat that certain of these files will still not open, and you will see Sound Studio show a progress window stuck at 0% for opening that file. The app is still responsive, but it’s just waiting for the system to decompress the audio data. I think it’s a bug with the Apple-provided API for dealing with the data, and for now, this is the best solution we have. (When I do a stack trace of where it’s stuck, it’s in the system code.)

The new update will also fix a bug users have been reporting about using audio playthrough with the Blue Snowfiake microphone. Turns out, mono microphones weren’t working well with the playthrough code, but that’s been fixed now.

Guide for saving as MP3 in Sound Studio

We created a step-by-step guide for adding the ability to save as MP3 in Sound Studio. This guide is applicable to users who’ve purchased or intend to purchase Sound Studio from the Mac App Store.

Steps to add the ability to save as MP3:

  1. If you haven’t already, first purchase and install Sound Studio 4 from the Mac App Store. Click on the “Download on the Mac App Store” button in the top right corner of the Sound Studio [Downloads page] (http://felttip.com/ss/downloads.html”). screenshot1

  2. Launch Sound Studio to make sure that it was properly installed on your computer. This step is important to ensure that this process works correctly.

  3. Download and install LAME, a free MP3 encoder, available from the Sound Studio [Downloads page] (http://felttip.com/ss/downloads.html”).
    screenshot2

  4. Download a second copy of Sound Studio 4 from the [Downloads page] (http://felttip.com/ss/downloads.html”). Do not save over the copy of Sound Studio you purchased and downloaded from the Mac App Store.
    screenshot3

  5. Launch this copy of Sound Studio downloaded from the Felt Tip website. Check File > Save As for the option to save as MP3.
    screenshot5
    screenshot6

  6. Delete the version of Sound Studio downloaded from the Mac App Store to avoid any confusion. From now on, you can use the activated version of Sound Studio from the Felt Tip website and get updates through the app.

Troubleshooting

How do I install the LAME MP3 encoder?

  1. Download the ZIP file from the Felt Tip website Downloads page.
  2. Double-click to unzip the file, and then double-click on the LAME.dmg file.
  3. Look on your Desktop or in Finder for the LAME disk image. Double-click on the disk image.
  4. Run the LAME Universal Installer. It should automatically install LAME in the appropriate folder on your computer.

Sound Studio shows up as a trial version with some number of launches left. What do I do?

Try a fresh install of Sound Studio by deleting all copies of Sound Studio on your computer and then running through the steps above.

A window in Sound Studio indicates that I have zero launches left and that I am running a trial version of the app. What do I do?

Please email us at ss@felttip.com with a copy of your Sound Studio 4 iTunes receipt or a screenshot of the “0 Launches Left” window in Sound Studio. Let us know that you’re requesting a license code to activate Sound Studio 4.


More Sound Studio resources: FAQ page - How To Guide - User Manual

Today we launched our new 7 Minute Fit Workout app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Using the popular 7-minute scientific workout described in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal, the 7 Minute Fit app guides you with voice cues, sharp images, and a timer through the 12 exercises.

This workout is perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time to work out, but want to stay fit. You can do this workout anywhere using only your body weight, a chair, and a wall. Doing this 7-minute workout two or three times in one session is equal to a long run and weight training at the gym.

This app was created by Lucius Kwok and Agnes Chan. Made in NYC.

Features:
* Voice cues and vibrations guide you through each 30-second exercise and 10-second rest period.
* Gives a three-second countdown to each exercise and rest.
* Illustrations show you the current exercise and help you prepare for the next exercise during the rest period.
* Pause, rewind, or fast-forward if you get interrupted or need to change things up.
* Set the number of times you want to do this workout for an optimal fitness session.
* Keeps a record of your workout history.
* Splits the side plank so that you get 15 seconds for each side.

Today we launched our new 7 Minute Fit Workout app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Using the popular 7-minute scientific workout described in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal, the 7 Minute Fit app guides you with voice cues, sharp images, and a timer through the 12 exercises.

This workout is perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time to work out, but want to stay fit. You can do this workout anywhere using only your body weight, a chair, and a wall. Doing this 7-minute workout two or three times in one session is equal to a long run and weight training at the gym.

This app was created by Lucius Kwok and Agnes Chan. Made in NYC.

Features: * Voice cues and vibrations guide you through each 30-second exercise and 10-second rest period. * Gives a three-second countdown to each exercise and rest. * Illustrations show you the current exercise and help you prepare for the next exercise during the rest period. * Pause, rewind, or fast-forward if you get interrupted or need to change things up. * Set the number of times you want to do this workout for an optimal fitness session. * Keeps a record of your workout history. * Splits the side plank so that you get 15 seconds for each side.

I’ve made a Status Board widget that takes real-time data from the MTA’s NYC Subway Status feed. You’ll need to have Status Board by Panic to use it. This was my first real Python app and my first time using Google App Engine.

I’ve made a Status Board widget that takes real-time data from the MTA’s NYC Subway Status feed. You’ll need to have Status Board by Panic to use it. This was my first real Python app and my first time using Google App Engine.

Wahoo Blue HR support added to Run apps

I’ve added support for the Wahoo Blue HR Bluetooth heart rate monitor to Run 5k, Run 10k, and Run Half Marathon. The apps should connect with any Wahoo Fitness Bluetooth LE sensor, but currently the only one that I know of is the Blue HR. ANT+ sensors and ones from other companies are currently not supported, and that’s mostly because I only have the Blue HR to test with. Run 5k and Run 10k updates are available on the App Store now, and Half Marathon should be updated soon.

To use the Blue HR, you don’t need to pair it in the Settings app. You just need to make sure you’re wearing it, and that it’s transmitting a signal. You can use the Wahoo Fitness app to verify that it works. Then when you start a workout in the Run apps, it should automatically connect with the sensor. If it gets a valid heart rate reading from the sensor, the app will show a number next to the heart icon in the bottom right of the screen in Run 5k and Run 10k.

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