December 3, 2011

The App So Nice I Made It Twice...

by Chris Randall

So way back in April, TASCAM approached me with this idea of "re-skinning" the PortaStudio app I'd already made them to make it act like one of their handheld recorders. I said "hmmm..." because the cassette paradigm really didn't match a handheld concept but what the hell, it was an easy job. So I told 'em "sure" and banged out a new skin and changed the functionality a bit to match. Took me a week or so. Frankly, it wasn't very fun, but it did what they asked.

Then it got to their QA department in Japan. Their QA department was apparently unaware of (a) what had been specced to me, and (b) the program upon which what they were using was based. (It's also worth noting that they are apparently unaware that dB is a relative measure, not an absolute one, but that comes later.) Now, when I say I'm gonna do something, I do it, so this put me in a bit of a bind.

[Trauma, heartache, and despair redacted.]

No harm no foul, we call that one done, and they ask me what would be involved in making one that was direct-to-disk recording (PortaStudio works with RAM) etc. So I spec out some features and a price, everyone agrees, and we go to town.

[Further sadness and existential crisis redacted.]

Now, keeping in mind that Audio Damage takes most of my workday, I was doing this largely on the weekends. Every weekend. 16 hours a day. Since April. I lost my entire summer to this app. It actually would have been done two months ago, but again, their QA team, who are (to greatly understate the matter) sticklers, have me going up a dB here, down one there, can you move this one pixel to the left, Chris-san? And features. Features. Features. Let's add this, change this, move that, put that in here.

Adam told me that a friend of his said that only the very stupid or the very smart do fixed-rate contracts. I am of the considered opinion that I fall squarely in the former category in this particular instance.

In any case, PCMRecorder is now done and in the app store. It is free, and is Universal Binary. It essentially duplicates the TASCAM DR-2d. It is ostensibly for use with the new TASCAM iM-Z and iM2, but will work with any CoreAudio-compatible iPhone mics. Enjoy! I KNOW I DID!!!!

EDIT: The first person that posts in this thread with a bug or feature request is getting banned for life, and you're lucky if I don't come to your house and teach you some manners. I honestly lack the ability to put in to words how little the fuck I give is at this juncture.


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Dec.03.2011 @ 7:43 PM
I've heard those rumors too, @boobs, but I don't see how Apple could do that without throwing away the high end of their product line. What is the point of buying a quad-core MBP or one of the towers if you can only have nine browser tabs or one full screen app?

At the very least, Apple needs the traditional machines so that developers can run XCode. And if they are going to support XCode, they might as well continue to support the rest of the pro users of those machines.

Dec.03.2011 @ 8:09 PM
no argument from me here.. i just think their long term goal is one OS for everything. i imagine it'll be somewhere between OSX and iOS

Dec.03.2011 @ 8:26 PM
There will end up being a two tiered OS system, with just about everybody running what is ostensibly iOS on their phones/pads/mac-minis/iMac-all-in-one-thingamabobs and a few of us in the "Developer" and "Pro" camps running what would be some kind of product roughly equivalent to the OSX Server package. It would basically be a $50 upgrade to get a file system. At least that's my guess...


Dec.03.2011 @ 9:24 PM
Art Gillespie, of Bitshift/Glaresoft? Weird, this has happened to me several times this week. I was thinking last night "What did that guy do after he sold the company?" but couldn't remember who it was.

I wish someone would spruce up idrum a little bit. I still use it.

Dec.03.2011 @ 9:54 PM
Chris Randall
I'm pretty much with William on this one. I think he's exactly right. It's no secret whatsoever that Apple is trying to do away with consumer access to the filesystem. They proved it could work with iOS devices; now they just have to wean normal computer users off it.

@bongo_x: Yes, the same Art. He owns TapSquare now, which is an iOS dev shop down in Tucson. He's the one you can blame directly for "I Am T-Pain." Other than, well, T-Pain, I guess. But right now he's on a boat. Probably.


Dec.03.2011 @ 11:00 PM
@wgparham - that sounds more probable.

Dec.03.2011 @ 11:35 PM
Chris Randall
The epiphany for me came at Jobs' last keynote, when he was demonstrating GarageBand for iPad, and he said "and this is totally pro. You can make a song with this."

My LOL at the time was to hide my initial thought: dude, there's no such thing as a "pro" app. There are professionals, and there are nubs. The professionals are willing to spend more on better tools. The nubs use GarageBand.

But that said, it brings another point to light: Apple makes _WAY_ more off iOS shit than their Pro App division could ever hope to accomplish in 10 lifetimes. I mean, honestly. A company's gotta do what a company's gotta do. Look at Audio Damage. We've done 4 major upgrades to Discord, and none to 914. That's because we can do basic math. I'm sure Apple can, as well. The Pro Apps division is a vanity project at this point.


Dec.04.2011 @ 1:34 AM
@CR - yeah.. their income from ipods/phones/pads crushes their computer income

the other rumor is apple giving up on the mac pro and making some kind of expanded mac mini

but they have to make computers still to tie it all together i think.. _until_ the cloud is embraced by enough people anyway.. download stuff directly to the device..back ups stored remotely for a fee. who needs a back up drive?

then i guess as said.. computers with file systems will be for developers/professionals.. which means all the apps will get shoe horned through the app store? or will they allow people to download from 3rd parties?

didn't Jobs say something about "we'll always make the mac pro. It is apple" or something like that?

my shit works now and i'm having no trouble making music with it. i only just got an intel mac a year ago and just got an iphone a few months ago after replacing my nearly 4 year old shitty flip phone.

Dec.04.2011 @ 10:37 AM
I'm with boobs.

Dec.04.2011 @ 11:56 AM
Congrats, Chris.

I'm all out of SHIPPED, BITCHES! t-shirts, but I'll hook you up on the re-order.

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