3.0.5 Release Candidate Almost Ready!

Alright everybody, 3.0.5 is nearing completion so I have some pretty screenshots to share of some of the UI enhancements coming in this version, as well as some information on some additional features I didn’t mention last time.

First, I want to make it clear that these are still in flux, and based on feedback from you guys and the infamous iSub beta team, these will be very likely look a little different at release time.

Now with that said, on to the screenshots!

Finally added the album art and info previews when browsing folders that’s existed in the iPad version for a while now to the iPhone. Also, you can tap the album art thumbnail to see the art full screen.

But the biggest changes are in the player

First off, the interface has been shuffled around a bit to get the seek bar visible all the time. No longer will you have to flip the album art just to see the song progress!

Now that the song info panel is actually only used to display song file info, the shuffle, repeat, and bookmark buttons got moved to a new location.

Also, by popular request, the playlist panel is now the first panel shown when you flip the album art. This should really increase the usability of the player. No more unnecessary flipping and sliding to do the most frequently used actions.

Now on to the entirely new area, the graphical equalizer

There is full 2-axis EQ control including built in and custom presets, plus a gain boost slider for those low gain podcasts and other recordings that just can’t seem to get loud enough even on full volume.

There are also 4 different audio visualizers currently included so that you can visualize the EQ changes you’re making on the fly!

Flip your iPhone sideways to get a full screen visualizer view. There’s even a visualizer mode to view hidden audio pictures like the ones in a few Aphex Twin songs.

On top of that, there are a few additional features that made it in to the new release.

  1. By default, only the first portion of the upcoming song is automatically pre-cached. That way you can get all the benefits of gapless playback and quick song start times without burning extra bandwidth if you end up skipping past the next song.

  2. The code for sliding to reveal the cache and queue buttons has been completely rewritten to prevent accidental taps. This has been a real annoyance for a while, and should be completely eliminated going forward.

  3. And on top of that, it’s now also possible to tap and hold to show the cache and queue buttons. So if you’re not a fan of sliding, there’s another option.

  4. You can now enter the cache size you want in settings directly with the keyboard instead of relying on the slider to do it. On large capacity iOS devices that could be a real pain. Now you can just type 400mb or 1.4 gb, etc to set the maximum/minimum cache size.

  5. The tab that displays songs currently playing on the server is actually useful now! You can cache or queue any songs displayed there by swiping or tap-n-hold. And selecting a song will load that entire album into the player.

  6. For all newly created bookmarks, opening the bookmark will load the entire album folder into the playlist. That’s been an often requested feature. Please note, make sure to update to the latest Subsonic release so that it sends down the information needed for this to work.

  7. Thanks to Crittercism, there’s now a support forum built right into the app! I always strive to give the best support possible, but many people don’t know that they can contact me for help. Hopefully, having a support forum available front and center will help more people get the best experience from iSub.

    The Crittercism plugin even detects when crashes happen so that the next time iSub is open there will be a helpful link to the built in forum and to the iSub support email address so everyone can get immediate help with any issues.



The 3.0.5 update is getting very close to release candidate quality. There’s still some UI work to be done for the iPad version, and a few bugs to fix, but overall it’s coming together quite well. As per usual, I can’t give a solid ETA because I’m always wrong, but if all goes well, I’m hoping to submit this weekend or next week at the latest when it’s ready (man I need to stop breaking my no ETAs rule :P).

I’ll have more information and screenshots posted as soon as the first official release candidate is christened. Until then, if you have any suggestions or comments, please post below, in the forum, or send me an email at support@isubapp.com

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your patience waiting for this update and for all of the fantastic emails I’ve received from iSub users!! :)

35 Responses to “3.0.5 Release Candidate Almost Ready!”

  1. Dan February 8, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!! Thanks so much for this! I found myself manually ping into the app store solely to see if there are any updates on your app. Haha much appreciation for your dedication and your love for the app and also for listening to user’s feedback. I hope your app stays the best :)

    Oh. Btw. Until now when you add songs to your playlist that you’ve already put in the playlist it adds a second instance of the song. Has that been addressed? I think I mentioned few months ago about, when the playlist is shuffled its really difficult to find a song I want to listen to and sometimes forget that the song is in there or just because I cant find the song I re-add the song to the playlist.

    I know it’s really late in the game but if it’s not TOO difficult, may I suggest Two things?

    First, when playlist is shuffled, the physical playlist is not shuffled but the ordinals on the left hand side reflect the order the playlist will play? (if representing the order of the songs is important)

    Second, when searching songs to add to the playlist, maybe on the track display some sort of icon that tells the user the song is already added in the playlist. I guess this only applies if iSub still adds songs that are currently in the playlist.

    If this needs a total rewrite, don’t worry about it haha

    God bless!

  2. BillA February 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Ben, Fantastic work! Can’t wait to download it when it goes live. Thanks so much for your dedication to making iSub the best player/streamer for the iphone/ipad!

  3. Ben Baron February 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    I hadn’t really thought of that playlist behavior as a bug, though I can see why it would be preferred to not add the same song twice. It would certainly be possible to check first and pop a warning to ask if you really want to add it. I’ll make an enhancement ticket for that.

    Re: the other two suggestions:

    1. Interesting, I’ll have to see what that would take to do. What’s the main reason you’d prefer it to work that way? In my mind it would be more confusing because you couldn’t easily see what song is next without scrolling up and down, which would be near impossible on a long playlist…

    2. As far as displaying an icon, would that just show that it’s in the current playlist, not all saved/server playlists? Because it’s relatively simple to show an icon denoting that the song is already on the play queue (only one table to cross reference), but to check all playlists would be prohibitively expensive time wise.

  4. Ben Baron February 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Thanks! Still ironing out some UI quirks and fixing some lingering bugs, but the release is getting much more stable and much closer to release ready. So close I can taste it!!

  5. Dan February 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Hey Ben,
    Thanks for the reply.

    1. I probably wanted the feature because I had hard time finding the song that I want to play next. I know it’s shuffled but sometimes I want to play a specific song, you know? And this is what brought me about the issue of adding the song twice. Since I can’t find the song in the playlist, I manually find it in the folder to play the song but that inherently adds a second instance of the song. I guess this can all be resolved by maybe having a search box at the top of the playlist? Or if search box is not feasible when I find the song in the folder, would it be possible to see if the song is in the current playlist and if so, just play the song?

    Which leads us to the 2. point

    2. I was just referring to the current playlist. And since you mention it won’t be that expensive maybe the application could have 2 way of finding/playing a specific song? First is the search box, and the second is to either have the icon OR just simply play the song, letting the user know that the song is in the playlist (Icon may work better since you have less clicking and the icon will ALREADY mean the song is in the playlist and by pressing on the song, it will play the song)

    I hope this isn’t too confusing :)

    As you can see, I love iSub….. Hahaha

  6. Ben Baron February 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Gotcha, that makes sense. The whole playlist system is getting an overhaul for the 3.1 update (the next big update after 3.0.5). I’ll make a note about adding a search box to the playlist. That sounds like a good idea.

    Can you explain more about what you mean in #2?

  7. Dan February 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Morning Ben,

    I figured it might need more explanation.

    First, is the icon approach. Icon would be visible if the song is in the current queue/playlist; not including the offline/server ones. Icon can be displayed as is displayed, maybe as an overlay over the whole item (I just made a mockup and I would like to send it to you but don’t know how to..)

    Secondly, if the icon is going to make it too clunky, if the song is tapped to cache/queue, it will popup a dialog to say the song is already in the playlist. And the buttons might be ‘Ok’ or ‘Play this song’. I don’t know if that happens, you want to behavior to erase all the queued songs and play the selected song or simply play the song from the queue. Maybe a third button ‘Play from queue’? I think it becomes a little hairy at that point. Haha

    I think displaying the icon and when the user clicks that item it should just play the song from the current playlist/queue

    Ps. Am I right in using the word playlist(current) and queue interchangeably? Because queue is simply adding a song to the current playlist, correct?

    Cheers!

  8. Dan February 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Here you go! Of course, rough but you get the idea.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17421025/IMG_0510.jpg

    ps. I’m sorry for replying the other comment on the other thread :(

  9. Ben Baron February 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Ahh ok gotcha. Makes sense, and I like the concept screenshot.

    I’ll add all this to my notes on possible additions for the playlist overhaul.

    Btw I tend to refer to the current list of playing songs as the current playlist. Only because I use the word queue when referring to the cache queue. But ya the current playlist is really the play queue, so it doesn’t really matter which one it’s called.

  10. Rez February 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Looks amazing!! Love the spectrum analysers and the UI changes!

    Didn’t realise aphex twin used the frequency/time distribution to make pictures what a mad bastard!!

  11. Ken Powers February 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    I can’t wait! Finally a player with all the functionality I have been waiting for. EQ is going to be awesome! Thanks for the hard work!

  12. Ben Baron February 13, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    Ya he’s as crazy as his music 😛

  13. Ben Baron February 13, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Thanks! I’m personally stoked about the gapless playback, then the EQ is icing on the cake for me :)

  14. barto28 February 21, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I just bought your app on the app after testing it somewhere.
    I have to say that your app is way better than Z-Subsonic, very impressive !

    The other thing that made me buy it : Your blog. It shows that your are very active in the development of your application and improving your product :)

    I cant wait for little things like the cover art in the lock screen.

    Thank you.

    Bertrand from France.

  15. Ben Baron February 22, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    I’m glad to hear that you like the app! And good to know the blog is serving it’s purpose :)

    I’ve made quite a lot of progress with the new update over the last week, so I should have a new blog post up soon with more screenshots, and new details.

  16. Andrea February 23, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Please make caching completely the next sono an option. 3G networks are too often unreliable.

  17. Ben Baron February 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Yep, there’s an option to turn off partial pre-caching in settings. I’ve made partial pre-caching the default to save bandwidth, but you can turn it off easily.

  18. Mark February 24, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Hi Ben,

    What a great app this is, looking forward to the next update. This is now my Apple music app permanent replacement, well worth the investment.

    With regards to the next track pre-caching on 3G, would it be possible to add a feature to set pre-caching of a custom amount of upcoming tracks, i.e. three or more?

    On my commute to work my phone switches between 3G and 2G coverage multiple times, I find with the current two songs being cached I am able to listen uninterrupted if the songs are 6-7 minutes or longer, however with shorter tracks end up getting cut off.

    If the option was there to pre-cache three or more tracks then I suspect my listening experience would largely be interrupted (3G is very fast when I have it, songs cache quite quick).

    Thanks a lot :)

  19. Andrea February 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Great! Thank you!

    Are you planning to ever fully support the headphones remote? It currently handles volume and play/pause, it could allow previous track, next track, fast forward and rewind.

  20. Ben Baron February 25, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Part of the rewrite that went into 3.0.5 laid the groundwork for this to be possible, but the implementation isn’t done yet. At some point there will be an option for this, assuming the Apple review people let me do it.

  21. Ben Baron February 25, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Also, I know this isn’t a real solution, but in the meantime, if you have a particular album you’re in the mood for before you leave for work, you can cache it manually before you leave by sliding to the right on the artist/album/song and hitting cache.

  22. Ben Baron February 25, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    Hmm, the headphone remote should be fully supported, since it’s the same code that makes the multitasking tray controls work. I don’t have a pair of headphones with a remote control to test myself, but I remember having some people say it worked for them.

    Which headphones do you have? If they’re reasonably priced, I can buy a pair to test.

  23. Steve February 25, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    Man, I can hardly stand it! I check for this new update at least 3 times a day. Your app is the best iPhone music app ever! Please release thing already. Seriously though, keep up the great work.

  24. Ben Baron February 26, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    I do sincerely apologize for the delays, it just seems like every time I fix something and think it’s close to ready, the testers find something else 😛

    I’ll have a new blog post up in the near future with some screenshots of the finalized interface for the player and the all new iPad interface. When it gets ready for submission time, I’ll post another one with more information.

  25. Ben Baron February 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    This started as a small bug fix update and then ballooned into almost a completely rewrite. So much has been rewritten that there has been a lot more testing needed than usual. But the end is in sight and just a few more showstoppers to fix (assuming no new ones are found of course!).

  26. BillA February 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    I can verify that headphone controls work on my Apple In-Ear Headphones and Apple Standard Headphones with iSub on my iPhone 4s.

    Volume Up and Down work. 1 click in the middle for pause, 2 clicks for song advance and 3 clicks for previous song.

    -Bill

  27. Rez February 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Hey Ben I have a ‘pure’ standalone iPod DA dock box like this:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-iPhone-Hi-Fi-Quality-Output/dp/B0049MOK92/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1330376061&sr=1-1

    I have the same experience with the remote that comes with it. Play/pause works but track forward and back don’t had any effect. Not sure what Apple make available for that kind of stuff but if there was an easy way to fix this it’d be great!
    I
    Thanks!!!

  28. Mark February 28, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Perfect, appreciate that thanks a lot. Manual caching is working very well around this.

  29. Mark February 28, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Hang in there.. it’s way better to delay and release a stable piece of software instead of releasing buggy code prone to crash :)

  30. Mark February 28, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I have this issue too with my kitsound boomdock, only play/pause and volume controls working from the dock remote.

    Would be nice to see this working in iSub :)

  31. Andrea March 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Ben, this the remote I’m using. Play, pause and volume work. Nothing else.

    http://www.amazon.it/Belkin-Adattatore-cuffie-iPhone-microfono/dp/B0042YQ4IC/ref=sr_1_75?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1331036726&sr=1-75

  32. Ben Baron March 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Sorry I missed those last messages guys, sounds like something isn’t working as it should, though I’m not sure why since the forward and back buttons work in the multitasking tray.

    I just ordered this headphone remote to do some testing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RL9WE0/ref=ox_ya_os_product

  33. Ben Baron March 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    I got the headphone remote control in today to test (it’s an iLuv iEA15 headphone remote control). At least on my iPhone 4S on iOS 5.1, the forward and back functions are working for me in both iSub 3.0.4 and 3.0.5. I’m not sure why some other controllers aren’t working, but the support is there in iSub.

  34. Ben Baron March 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    I got the headphone remote control in today to test (it’s an iLuv iEA15 headphone remote control). On my iPhone 4S on iOS 5.1, the forward and back functions are working for me in both iSub 3.0.4 and 3.0.5. I’m not sure why some other controllers aren’t working, but the support is there in iSub.

  35. Andrea March 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Ben, the app is out now. And I’m having problems with caching manually albums. It appears that only the first track is correctly transferred, then everything stays on a loop and doesn’t progress. On the server, the Lame task stays at maximum CPU occupation (50% in my case, since it’s a dual core machine).

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