iSub iPhone Client - Version 2.0 Released

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iSub iPhone Client - Version 2.0 Released

Postby einsteinx2 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:20 am

iSub 2.0 released!

Just got the approval email guys. :D This release is PACKED with new features:
    - Built in demo account for new installs. Now you can try out iSub's features before installing Subsonic.
    - Support for multiple servers. Add as many as you want.
    - View all albums with the ability to search for albums
    - View all songs with the ability to search for songs
    - Shuffle all songs when you play a song from the "All Songs" view
    - Shuffle all song search results when you play a song when doing a search
    - Support for playlists stored on your Subsonic server (support for on-the-go playlists coming soon)
    - View what other users on your Subsonic server are listening to
    - Artists, albums, and songs pages load in the background so if you have a very large collection, you can start listening to music right away by accessing a Subsonic playlist or when resuming a song after a call interruption. (coming soon, artists, albums, and songs lists will save between app sessions)
    - Optimized the audio buffer to prevent skipping when on a slow connection while keeping song start time the same or faster
    - Full 3G support as was originally intended :D :D

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Postby wraithdu » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:53 am

Great release! I've been looking forward to this all week to smooth out 3G streaming while driving (which I will thoroughly test out tomorrow). Regarding this, have you implemented any sort of caching while streaming, similar to the Android app or Simplify where it will download songs at full speed?

Also congrats on getting 3G streaming reapproved. I have 3G Unrestrictor anyway, but it's great regardless.

So one bug(?) and one request:

1) What is the 'Playing' tab for? It always says 'Nothing Playing' even when I'm playing an album from the Album view.
2) I know on-the-go playlists are coming, but it would still be nice to have a view on the now playing screen in addition to art and transport controls that would show the current song list with the ability to jump straight to a particular song.

Keep up the great work!
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Postby einsteinx2 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:25 am

wraithdu wrote:Regarding this, have you implemented any sort of caching while streaming, similar to the Android app or Simplify where it will download songs at full speed?

The new buffer is set up exactly that way. It's a much larger buffer than before, about 300KB rather than 16KB, but it's set to start a song as soon as the first 16KB is loaded which is why it still loads at the same speed. It then downloads the next 300KB of the song continuously until it's over, at full speed. That should be a full 15 seconds or so. If I made the buffer any larger than that, it took longer to empty at the end of the stream (so going to the next track was slower) and it made skipping within tracks MUCH slower because of the hacky way I had to make that work (usually you can only skip to a part that you've cached in streaming players).

wraithdu wrote:1) What is the 'Playing' tab for? It always says 'Nothing Playing' even when I'm playing an album from the Album view.

That page shows the same thing that is on the right sidebar in Subsonic's web view. I'm not sure why nothing is showing up there for you. Is there anything in the now playing section on your Subsonic website?

wraithdu wrote:2) I know on-the-go playlists are coming, but it would still be nice to have a view on the now playing screen in addition to art and transport controls that would show the current song list with the ability to jump straight to a particular song.

Yes that's actually next on my list along with a few other smaller features for version 2.1.
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Postby utopian » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:29 pm

upgraded earlier today..looking good..:)
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Postby bob1029 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:30 pm

Looks like I'm getting an eternal "loading" on the songs tab button. Granted I do have a massive collection, but I let it load for a very long time and its got nothing. Artists and Albums tabs work though.

Edit: Disregard above, it DID finally finish loading. Took 20 minutes lol.

Also, it would be super nice to have a "play all" button at the top of album or artist lists, so that I can play all tracks of a specified artist. :wink:
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Postby einsteinx2 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:17 am

bob1029 wrote:Looks like I'm getting an eternal "loading" on the songs tab button. Granted I do have a massive collection, but I let it load for a very long time and its got nothing. Artists and Albums tabs work though.

Edit: Disregard above, it DID finally finish loading. Took 20 minutes lol.

Heh ya that can take a while for a massive collection. It's basically doing searches with no parameters and a limit of 1000 results over and over until all songs are grabbed. For the next update, the default behavior will be to save the all songs/albums/artists list between app uses so for people like you, you can load it just once and only reload when you know you added more music to subsonic. That should make that page a bit more usable for people with collections like yours.

bob1029 wrote:Also, it would be super nice to have a "play all" button at the top of album or artist lists, so that I can play all tracks of a specified artist. :wink:

That's a great idea, I'll put that in the next version as well.
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Postby wraithdu » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:53 am

So now that I've tested for the last few days... streaming is better than the last version for sure. However I'm still getting fairly frequent underruns. I cannot tell exactly what's going on however. While this is happening I still have 3-5 3G bars.

Might I make some suggestions for an update:

- Include some kind of technical info / debug window where we can see some helpful information such as the current download speed, the state of the buffer (size and how full it is). I simply find it hard to believe that with a 300K (15 second) buffer that while driving around in good signal areas I'm getting skips.

- I still think that the Simplify Media streaming / caching scenario is the best solution - FULLY download and cache the current and next songs in the playlist at full download speed (similar to how the Android app works). Then when the next song plays, fully download the following song (and so on, etc.). This way even if I drive through a dead area for a minute or more, assuming I have 2 songs cached, I'd never know the difference. This would also allow you to implement persistent caching like the Android app and Z-Subsonic (a real bandwidth saver when replaying an already cached album).
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Postby einsteinx2 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:32 pm

wraithdu wrote:So now that I've tested for the last few days... streaming is better than the last version for sure. However I'm still getting fairly frequent underruns. I cannot tell exactly what's going on however. While this is happening I still have 3-5 3G bars.

Might I make some suggestions for an update:

- Include some kind of technical info / debug window where we can see some helpful information such as the current download speed, the state of the buffer (size and how full it is). I simply find it hard to believe that with a 300K (15 second) buffer that while driving around in good signal areas I'm getting skips.

- I still think that the Simplify Media streaming / caching scenario is the best solution - FULLY download and cache the current and next songs in the playlist at full download speed (similar to how the Android app works). Then when the next song plays, fully download the following song (and so on, etc.). This way even if I drive through a dead area for a minute or more, assuming I have 2 songs cached, I'd never know the difference. This would also allow you to implement persistent caching like the Android app and Z-Subsonic (a real bandwidth saver when replaying an already cached album).


I took a long drive last night and played iSub the whole time and also noticed some dropouts which doesn't make sense given the size of the buffer. I agree about switching the way song caching works, and am working now to rewrite the streaming player code to make that possible. However, it's a fairly big change, so it may take a few point releases before that's ready. For now, I'm going to keep trying to play with the buffer size to at least alleviate the problem somewhat until that new code is ready.

I think a debug window is a great idea, I'll try to add it in version 2.1 (at least a minimal debug window with buffer info). As of right now, the main updates to 2.1 include saving albums, artists, and songs lists between sessions, a play all button on the top of album lists (which will also make it possible to shuffle songs between all of an artists albums), and a view in the now playing screen to see the current playing album/playlist and pick a track from there without having to browse for it in the other views (similar to the overlay the ipod app has).



Also, I posted this in another thread but I feel it has more place here so I'm copying it over:

flacflac wrote:@Einsteinx2: does your app work with SSL servers as well?

Not in it's current version, but it's on my shortlist for features to add along with redoing the streaming player code to allow for full song caching. I've been getting a lot of requests for those features. At the moment though, I don't think Z-Subsonic supports SSL either (please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to be spreading misinformation about his app), so unfortunately for now iPhone/iTouch users are out of luck for SSL support. :(

On a side note, I'm downloading iPhone OS 4.0 beta today to put on my dev iphone so that iSub will have extra 4.0 features like running in the background (like the real ipod app) from day 1 of 4.0 being public. Also, I have an 3G iPad on pre-order right now, so in the next month or so iSub will also be a full scale iPad app along with iPhone/iTouch support of course, all from the same binary. So stay tuned guys, lots more coming... I'm really loving working on this app :D
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Postby einsteinx2 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:10 pm

Plea to happy iSub users

Unfortunately due to Apple initially not allowing me to include 3G support in my app (which I had coded in from day one), I've racked up some bad reviews in the app store because of that deficiency. Right now in the US app store anyway, I have only a 3 star rating, mostly because of a 1 star rating from someone saying it was worthless without 3G. Now of course I do have 3G support, but the ratings still stand.

So, I make a plea to all satisfied iSub users from any country, if you are enjoying the app please do me a HUGE favor and leave me a review or at least a rating.

I have almost 200 sales so far, but only a few reviews and ratings (mostly from version 1.0). Even if just a small percentage of happy users leave me a review, it would really do a lot to bring my rating up to where I think it belongs and will paint a more accurate picture of the quality of the app to potential new users.

Thanks in advance to anyone that takes the time to do this!
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Postby einsteinx2 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:00 pm

einsteinx2 wrote:Also, I posted this in another thread but I feel it has more place here so I'm copying it over:

flacflac wrote:@Einsteinx2: does your app work with SSL servers as well?

Not in it's current version, but it's on my shortlist for features to add along with redoing the streaming player code to allow for full song caching. I've been getting a lot of requests for those features. At the moment though, I don't think Z-Subsonic supports SSL either (please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't want to be spreading misinformation about his app), so unfortunately for now iPhone/iTouch users are out of luck for SSL support. :(

Update on SSL Support:
Just added SSL support to my code and it's working great. Turns out all it took was changing 2 lines of code! One to tell it to allow self signed certificates, and another to allow addresses with https:// at the beginning to be inputted. I'll be releasing version 2.1 early next week with SSL included, so you guys won't have to wait much longer for it. Also, it looks like Sola is including SSL support in his next version of Z-Subsonic as well, so big win for iPhone owners using https!
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Postby k-dub » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:51 am

After a few minor headaches configuring my router everything is up and running with the App.

Awesome, many thanks for your help getting me started.

Currently listening on my phone while using 3G. :D
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90% happy

Postby sog1971 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:39 am

OK. Great app with iSub (most of the features I needed) so I purchased tonight.

But the version I just purchased is not switching/refrshing album art when the song changes. All of the other Metadata seems to be updating OK...But the album art stays the same. If I go back a screen and then click the music icon in the top right to go back to "now playing" it will then refresh the album art just fine.

Also....The "remaining time" always stops around "-0:19" (i.e. -- never gets to zero....strange -- but not a show stopper like the album art not updating).

That being said....features are great. Love "Shuffle" that is the main reason I dumped iAmpache (free)/Ampache for iSub ($$$)/Subsonic.....Something as simple as "shuffle". Now only if the album art would update when the song changes I would be 100% happy -- and would you sing you praises all over the interwebs. :D
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Re: 90% happy

Postby einsteinx2 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:56 pm

sog1971 wrote:OK. Great app with iSub (most of the features I needed) so I purchased tonight.

But the version I just purchased is not switching/refrshing album art when the song changes. All of the other Metadata seems to be updating OK...But the album art stays the same. If I go back a screen and then click the music icon in the top right to go back to "now playing" it will then refresh the album art just fine.

Also....The "remaining time" always stops around "-0:19" (i.e. -- never gets to zero....strange -- but not a show stopper like the album art not updating).

That being said....features are great. Love "Shuffle" that is the main reason I dumped iAmpache (free)/Ampache for iSub ($$$)/Subsonic.....Something as simple as "shuffle". Now only if the album art would update when the song changes I would be 100% happy -- and would you sing you praises all over the interwebs. :D


The album art updating problem was a tiny bug that got introduced in 2.0. This has already been fixed for 2.1 which will be submitted early this upcoming week.

That's strange about the remaining time, I only see it show up incorrectly like that when you do a lot of skipping around in a track because it's kind of guessing. May I ask what type of files you have in your Subsonic server? MP3 or some other format being transcoded? I'll look into this, but it's hard to fix something I can't reproduce myself. If you are willing to make me a test account on your server, I'd be more than happy see what I can do.
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Re: 90% happy

Postby sog1971 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:18 pm

einsteinx2 wrote:The album art updating problem was a tiny bug that got introduced in 2.0. This has already been fixed for 2.1 which will be submitted early this upcoming week.

That's strange about the remaining time, I only see it show up incorrectly like that when you do a lot of skipping around in a track because it's kind of guessing. May I ask what type of files you have in your Subsonic server? MP3 or some other format being transcoded? I'll look into this, but it's hard to fix something I can't reproduce myself. If you are willing to make me a test account on your server, I'd be more than happy see what I can do.


I will setup the test account for you and shoot you a PM. I have 99% 128K MP3's at a constant bitrate with about 1% varaible bit rate 128K. No big deal on the timer for me, once the album art fix is in I will be a very happy customer. Great program by the way.
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Rock on!

Postby kabula98 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:49 am

Tried out the 2.0 version. Works great!

Please work on the features mentioned einstein2x, this is an awesome app. I am telling all my iphone capable friends about it.

-3g streaming (pandora works really well over 3g, if you could get similar behavior you would make my year!)

-caching of tracks (it would be nice if one could hop on an airplane and play the cached tracks while not having access to data plan). I'm not how sure this would work, but some sort of offline mode and customizable cache say 10GB would be very cool.

Nice app, keep up the good work!
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