An update on the new update, and Happy Holidays!

First things first, I’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday, whichever one you celebrate!

I apologize for the radio silence in the past month, I’ve been coding non-stop to get the next update as polished as possible before release. Now that the end is in sight, here’s the low down:

First, to avoid any confusion, this is a 3.0.5 update, not 3.1, but it contains many of the things that were on the slate for 3.1. There simply wasn’t enough time to get 3.1 completely finished in time, so it made sense to release all of the features that are finished rather than making everyone wait another couple months.

Really the only major features that did not make the cut for this release are the video support, the revamped playlist system, and the update to the look and feel. Those will be coming in 3.1 sometime early next year.

Here’s what did make the cut:

  • New audio engine based on BASS
  • Native support for MP3, AAC, AAC+, ALAC, OGG, and FLAC files
  • Gapless playback of all supported file formats
  • Parametric equalizer with full 2-axis control with as many EQ points as you want. Includes presets and you can create and save your own.
  • Song info and album art on lock screen and bluetooth receivers
  • Skipping within songs working for all supported file formats
  • Song progress bar and skipping more accurate
  • Skip forward/back 30 seconds buttons
  • HTTP Basic Auth supported
  • HTTPS on non-standard port supported
  • Major internal rewrite to make it a lot easier to fix bugs, add functionality, and port to OS X and other platforms in the future.

So even though it’s a point release, this is still a beefy update! And as soon as this gets out the door, I’ll be focusing 100% on adding iOS video streaming support to Subsonic to enable video streaming in iSub 3.1.

I don’t want to give any hard dates on when either update will be released because I seem to have a 0% accuracy rate on release predictions. What I can say is that all major features have been implemented, and the app is now in the final testing phase, mopping up all the final issues and finishing the skinning of the new interfaces.

Some pictures will be up in a post as soon as the skinning is complete, at the moment they are feature complete but still beta-y looking.

34 Responses to “An update on the new update, and Happy Holidays!”

  1. Zolern December 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Happy holidays, Ben. I wish you be health and happy and only good things to happen throughout the 2012, every day. You made my days, every day, your music player created with so much love made my days. Thank you for this and – I am sure – 2012 will be even better… 3.0.5’s features looking damned goooooood :)


  2. gdayppl December 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Woot!! Thanks so much. Merry belated Christmas and happy new year to you! :)

  3. germain December 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Think you so much Ben ! New stuff seems to be really cool!

    Do you have submitted the new version on the app store or is it in testing?

    Happy holidays to yo !

  4. Tokki Ito December 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi Ben!

    Great news!

    When can we expect the release on App Store for my iPhone?

  5. Steve December 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Thanks so much for everything. This app is amazing, can’t wait for the update!

  6. billa December 29, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Awesome work! I use iSub all the time and really looking forward to gapless playback and the new features! Thanks!

  7. Ben Baron December 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    This update is still in testing right now. Trying to make sure it’s as stable as possible before submission since so much internal code changed. Finally getting to the point where there aren’t dozens of new bug tickets for every beta version, so that’s a good sign that the end is near. 😉

  8. Ben Baron December 29, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    I can’t give an ETA (mainly because my ETAs are wrong every time 😛 ), but it’s getting close to finished. I’ll have more information posted as more progress is made. The holidays set me back a bit because I had family in town, then went out of town to see family, then had more family in town, but in a few days it all goes back to normal and I can get the final things done to get this ready for submission.

  9. Ben Baron December 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Thanks for all the kind wishes everybody! I’ll have more blog posts up soon with screenshots and status updates.

  10. Ben Baron December 29, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Wow thank you so much, that really means a lot. I love knowing that people enjoy what I put so many hundreds of hours into!

  11. Ben Baron December 29, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Thank you! Happy new year to you as well!

  12. Ben Baron December 29, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Thanks! Really soon now, plus hundreds of small and big features planned for next year :)

  13. Ben Baron December 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Thanks! 2012 is going to be a great year for iSub, and this update is just the beginning!

  14. Blake B. December 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    This update sounds amazing. You continue to make my #1 most used app even better. I really appreciate all of your hard work on this, I look forward to each point release as they happen.

    Thank you soooooo much for this!

  15. Ben Baron January 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Thank you for the comment, I really enjoy hearing from people that love iSub as much as I do :)

  16. Elliott January 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Ben, thanks for all your hard work. I already love this app, but 3.0.5 makes it way better. I’m most excited about lock screen artwork.
    I didn’t know about the hardware decoding. Does this mean previous versions of iSub have been using the CPU to decode MP3s? Sounds like a great improvement for battery life.
    The only real problem with this app from my perspective is AT&T’s 2GB monthly cap :-)

  17. Ben Baron January 5, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    Actually iSub has always used hardware decoding.

    With BASS, when playing any format natively supported by iOS (mp3, aac, he-aac, alac) it will still use hardware decoding. Only when playing ogg and flac will software decoding be used.

    However, it only uses about 15% CPU to do it which isn’t too bad. Also, using the equalizer uses about the same CPU as playing ogg/flac files, but interestingly when using the EQ while playing ogg/flac it doesn’t use more CPU.

    So if you’re streaming just mp3 or aac files and not using the EQ, you should not notice any difference in battery life between the new and old versions of iSub, and even if you use the EQ it shouldn’t be a huge difference. Well worth spending some battery to have a full parametric eq in my opinion.

  18. Mr. Make Believe January 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm #


    Great news, Ben I can’t thank you enough for bringing gapless playback to iSub! Can’t wait to check it out.

    Keep up te great work!

  19. Stephen January 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Thanks for the clarification on the EQ & CPU. Can’t wait for this update. This is the #1 most used app on my phone. I wish I could replace the default music app with it. Can’t wait for these updates, I’d been wanting an EQ and the lock screen art.

  20. Andrea January 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi! How’s work progressing? I can’t wait to get this update. Gapless playback it’s like a long standing holy grail for me. To have it in a streaming app, even more so.

    I hope in the future you’ll be able to pull off crossfading, that would be the icing on the cake. We’ve already discussed replaygain and I know it’s in your radar (Apple Soundcheck is totally inept at handling normal use patterns, since in albums it’s terrible).

  21. Mylle January 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Any progress on this amazing app :)


  22. Steffen January 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    Any news of the release of the 3.0.5 version? We’re waiting impatiently! :-)

  23. Ben Baron January 18, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I’ve personally wanted this feature since I made the first iSub version. I DJ and listen to a lot of electronic music mixes, and it’s annoying having to keep an untracked version just so I can have it gapless. The BASS library is really awesome! Gapless playback is just the tip of the iceberg of what this thing can do :)

  24. Ben Baron January 18, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Besides EQ and lock screen art, are there any other features keeping you from completely replacing the default music app?

  25. Ben Baron January 18, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Work is coming along good. Had a few last show stopper bugs to iron out, but I finally addressed those today. Still have 16 tickets left to work through, though it seems like somehow every time I close two, one more pops up. I’ll make another post when I get to the release candidate stage.

    I’m still looking into how to best handle replaygain. I’ve got a ticket open for the 3.1 release after this one.

    Also, crossfading is actually super easy now that I’m using BASS. The only downside is that in order to have access to crossfading, I have to use the mixer plugin. That plugin uses an extra 10-15% of the CPU the last time I was testing it. That’s why I didn’t go that route as the default (the mixer supports gapless playback too, and it was one of the first avenues I explored for that). I’m planning on having it as an option though at some point. Most likely in 3.1. I’ll be adding support for a bunch of the other effects BASS supports, so you’ll really be able to tweak your music to exactly the way you want it (as long as you don’t mind some extra battery drain when you do that).

  26. Ben Baron January 18, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Getting close to the release candidate. Fixed a couple of show stoppers today, so we’re getting there!

  27. Ben Baron January 18, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Getting closer. Fixed a couple big bugs today, so we’re in sight of a release candidate. Can’t give an ETA though, I gave up trying to estimate things :)

    Just know that I won’t release it unless it’s working well. I’d rather have it be late and stable, than early and buggy!

  28. S January 18, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Yeah – I agree! Really looking forward to this new version! Especially the gap less feature, the equalizer feature and the bluetooth info feature!

  29. Alsaya January 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    It’s a real breakthrough – gapless playback. I’m transforming all my cds to flac and now I’ll play them like before

    Thanks a lot, Ben

  30. Ben Baron January 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    No problem! I want to make iSub head and shoulders above everything else. Gapless playback is just scratching the surface of what the new audio engine is capable of. Expect good things in 2012 :)

  31. Shawn January 27, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    You guys are gonna love 3.0.5

    I do <3

  32. Ben Baron January 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Haha don’t tease everyone 😛

    Btw, only 4 tickets left in Trac, only one of which is a bug. Finishing up the GUI for the equalizer, and should have a “very close to release candidate” beta this weekend.

  33. JordanRules February 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Are we there yet? I’m so eagerly looking forward to 3.0.5. Between last christmas and this I probably gifted this app to 20-25 people. Love the app and thanks for all the effort you’ve put in.

  34. Ben Baron February 1, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Thanks for all the support! Getting really close. Finally on the “clean up the UI stage” and am very close to release candidate. Just have a few more smaller issues to take care of. As soon as the UI stuff is done, I’ll have a new blog post up with screenshots and info.

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