October 2022 Update: The Best Laid Plans…

Hello folks! Figured it was time for an update. (TL;DR: hard at work on re-releasing the new beta version with the new strumming patterns!)

On October 3rd, I released an update with the new strumming patterns (which have been, and still are, available on the beta website) to strummachine.com and in the mobile apps. Unfortunately, there was an unforeseen issue with the iOS app, which would become unresponsive in certain situations, and so I had to roll back that release. Because of the way Strum Machine is built, all platforms use the same version, which meant that I had to roll back the release on all platforms.

This was a big disappointment, to say the least—not just that there was this issue, but that I didn’t sufficiently test the iOS app before the release. My apologies to anyone who’s practice time was disrupted when the app was briefly broken!

Fixing the iOS issue has turned out to be quite a struggle. It turns out that the audio engine that is used in the iOS app, which we built in 2021 to address bugs in iOS 15) had to be totally scrapped, because Apple’s native iOS audio system (AVAudioEngine) is not capable of the increased demands that the new strumming patterns places on the audio system. I spent a couple of weeks looking for solutions or workarounds that would make AVAudioEngine work, but eventually I figured out that it was impossible to fix the issues in AVAudioEngine. :frowning_face:

Eventually, I stumbled on a solution: use a game audio library! I’m still in the process of integrating it into the iOS app, but I’ve verified that it solves all of the issues with the old iOS audio engine. :tada: As a bonus, it works on Android too and I suspect it will address the occasional Android audio system issues that I hear about.

The plan is to wrap up this integration (within the next couple of weeks), then address a few other shortcomings about the new version that were brought to my attention, before finally re-releasing the new version—hopefully before Thanksgiving but definitely by mid-December.

In other news, I’m interested in hiring some help with some non-programming efforts, especially marketing/outreach/promotion, starting in 2023. Hoping to hire someone who’s also a Strum Machine user themselves. :slightly_smiling_face: If you have experience in this area and would like some part-time work helping more people learn about Strum Machine, drop me a line!

Keep on pickin’,