Playlist Alarm Clock FAQ

We’re getting more technical support issues with P.A.C than we normally do which is probably a combination of it being slightly more complex than most of our our other Apps and issues with power handling in OS 3.0. Anyway, here’s a quick roundup of the most common issues.

Playlist Alarm Clock FAQs

Playlist Alarm Clock FAQs

Volume control

In order to automatically fade the volume down, P.A.C has to take control. This means that you can’t manually adjust the volume while P.A.C is playing. This one falls into the category of ‘it’s not a bug, it’s a feature!’ but we understand that lots of you want to listen to loud music quietly at night so as of version 1.1, we’ve added separate volume controls for both Sleep & Wake.

Alarm doesn’t go off

As of version 1.4 we think we’ve resolved all the issues with the alarm not sounding in the morning. Now as long as the app is running the alarm should go off regardless of whether the phone is on charge or not and the screen can be on, dim or off.  If the screen is off please be aware that the snooze function won’t work as intended – you’ll have to unlock the screen first and then press snooze – sorry, that’s just the way it is.

The screen doesn’t stay on

Some people are reporting that the screen turns itself off even if the phone is on charge. This seems to be related to a ‘bug’ in OS 3.0 that cause the phone to ‘forget’ that it’s meant to be keeping the screen on when a song starts playing. If this happens, try turning the screen back on and it should stay on. We’re pretty confident that we’ve found a workaround to this in the next version (1.3) which will be out shortly…

Managing and editing playlists

Apple seem to give us the capability to create playlists but not edit them directly. We’re looking into a workaround at the moment but in the meantime it’s easier to create a couple of playlists in iTunes and sync them to your phone. Edit them in iTunes and import them into P.A.C using the ‘Add All Songs’ option when you choose your songs.

P.A.C doesn’t have direct access to the playlists on your iPod. When you add songs they are added to P.A.C’s internal playlist but not linked directly to the song as they would be in your iPod eg. if you delete a song in iTunes it will be removed from your iPhone and won’t show up in any of your playlists but it will still be in P.A.C’s internal playlist and this can cause problems.

Because of this, editing the contents of a playlist in iTunes will not automatically update P.A.C’s playlist.

Freezing at startup

Related to the above point. If you remove some of the songs that are in P.A.C’s playlist from your iPhone (or if they’re in a smart playlist and get removed automatically) then P.A.C wont be able to find them at startup and this might cause it to freeze. If this happens and you know that you’ve removed certain songs, putting them back on the iPhone should help. If not or you can’t remember which songs they were, try deleting P.A.C and re-installing it. This will also delete it’s internal playlists.

Large playlists cause slowdown

Some people are adding hundreds of songs to a playlist and finding that this slows the App down. This is because P.A.C can’t access the playlist directly so has to make a copy of it to use internally – the more songs the longer it takes to copy and display etc… The solution to this one is simple – use fewer songs in your playlist. You don’t really need 100s of songs to drift off to sleep to after all… and the more songs you have in your playlist the more chance there is that some of them won’t be there when P.A.C tries to find them.

Podcasts

When Apple bought out OS 3.1 they changed something in the background and P.A.C can no longer find podcasts. We’re looking into this and hope it’s something we can fix rather than waiting for OS 3.2.

Crashing when you try to set up the Wake playlist

Some users were experiencing a crash when they clicked on the wake window to set up Wake playlists. The issue seemed to be linked to the region format on their iPhones – Setting General > International > Region Format to United Kingdom solved the problem and they were able to switch back to their chosen region without any further issues. If you’re experiencing the same problem anywhere else in the world, please let us know.

Any other issues that you want to let us know about?

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49 Responses to “Playlist Alarm Clock FAQ”

  1. Ago Says:

    Just bought your PAC app but am crashing every time I try to launch the wake panel options. Have restarted the iphone but no difference. Any solution?

    • chillix Says:

      We’ve emailed these questions to you but just in case, could you let us know:

      iPhone or iPod touch? which model?

      which version of the OS are you running?

      is your device jailbroken?

      P.A.C related questions – is there an artist and song listed in the sleep panel?

      Can you give also tell us what your Settings > General > International and Settings > General > Date & Time are please so we can try and track it down

      Sorry to ask so many questions but we’d love to know what’s causing the problem

      • chillix Says:

        As you know, we traced the problem to your Region Format settings and resolved the issue. We’re looking into what might have caused it in the first place – does anybody know anything unique or unusual about the Irish date/time format?

  2. Steve Says:

    I love this app. The one feature I would like to see is playlist shuffle capability. Right now I keep waking up to the same song every morning and rarely listen past song #3 on the list before getting up. I would be great to wake up to different songs in different order in the playlist.
    Thanks!

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Steve

      Don’t worry we’re adding Shuffle mode very soon. Unfortunately it takes Apple a lot longer to approve updates than it does for us to do them. Keep watching the blog for more info.

  3. nk Says:

    I recently bought this PAC app, my problem is when my iphone is in power save mode(meaning the screen is off),
    the wake up alaram does not go off. any ideas?
    works only when I am using the iphone.

    Also will be nice to have ipod alaram features like setting to different playlist based on weekday or weekend or any specific day of week.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi nk

      I think we covered this in point 2 in the FAQs – the alarm only goes off in the morning if your phone is on charge. We’re looking into this at the moment and will release an update as soon as we can.

      Nice idea about the multiple playlists – we’ll add that to the pile of requested features we’re working through!

  4. Ben Says:

    I think the app is great, alot better than the competion.
    The idea of shuffling the wake up tunes sounds a good addition, also the volume control. I’ll wait for the update. My 1 suggestion for any next updates would be possibly changing the app picture a little to remove the time, as it’s a bit decieving at a quick glance. But all in all probably one of the best apps I’ve purchased. Well done chaps.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Ben

      Thanks for the kind words! Not sure what you mean by ‘removing the time from the app picture’… do you mean the icon or the App Store description? Deceiving – how so?

      No offence taken – we’re just trying to work out what you mean :)

  5. Ben Says:

    Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was the time on the app icon,
    at a quick glance at my phone I am naturally drawn to look at the time on the clearest clock. Namely the app icon. So I always instantly think it’s 12.34 (maybe it’s just me). Sorry, I guess decieving is the wrong word. Is it possible to have the icon showing the correct time? (like the iPhones calendar) just a suggestion. As I said, I don’t mean to be picking faults, I think the app is great.

    • chillix Says:

      No problem. I wish we could use the real time on the icon but Apple reserve that little trick for the Calendar icon – actually I’m surprised they don’t do it some of the other icons – stocks could be red or green, the weather icon could update…

      We’ll probably leave the time on the icon though as it does give a relatively good idea of what the app does to casual viewers – sorry :)

  6. Ben Says:

    No problem, I wasn’t complaining… Just an idea.
    I’ll wait for the update to utilize the shuffle facility and full volume. Once again thanks, great app.

  7. goofy Says:

    “To be honest we were envisioning that most people would leave their phone on charge with the screen switched on so that P.A.C can double as a bedside clock (night mode is coming soon). ”

    How do I leave the screen switched on? My ipod touch turns itself off after about 2 minutes. I’ve tried to test Playlist Alarm Clock by setting a wake time and just waiting. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi goofy

      You choose how long your screen stays on for by selecting a time in Settings > General > AutoLock. Applications like P.A.C should be able to override this setting. Our other apps manage this quite successfully but P.A.C seems to be having a few teething problems – other developers who are trying to keep the screen on before/during/after playing music seem to be experiencing the same thing so it might be a bit of a bug in OS 3.0.

      If your phone is plugged into the mains and you are playing music and the screen goes off, turn it back on (press the home button and slide the on-screen slider) and it should stay on after that. We’re trying to work this one out as it seems a bit random at the moment.

  8. Guillaume Says:

    I understand the restrictions about managing and editing playlists and I sure hope you’ll find a workaround. In the meantime, it would be great to have the ability to clear P.A.C.’s internal playlists. That way it would be possible (although a bit tedious) to manually resync P.A.C.’s playlists with updated iTunes playlists (clear all songs, then add all songs).

    Also, not sure if it’s a bug but I’ve noticed that when adding songs there is no alphabetical bar on the right side of the screen to speed up browsing the music library.

    Out of curiosity: why does the music stops playing on exiting the app? Is it an OS restriction or is it by design on your end? If it’s by design, would it be possible to implement an option to let the music play on exit?

    Finally, I know it’s in the works, but let me second the request for a shuffle function.

    Thanks in advance for your help and thanks for an already great app.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Guillaume

      Thanks for the feedback and kind words – I’ll answer your questions one at a time:

      Not quite sure what you’re asking here – the playlist is cleared every time you edit it. So, in your example, you don’t need to clear all songs before you add all songs – the act of adding new songs, clears the old ones. This is the default behavior that Apple have built into OS 3.0 but we’re looking at ways of enhancing this…

      A-Z bar – again you’d think that would be there by default, but it isn’t and we’re looking into finding out how to put it in.

      We have deliberately coded the app to stop playing music on but I imagine Apple wouldn’t allow it as it would be considered ‘running in the background’ which they only let their apps do. In the case I can see why – if they let apps leave music playing in the background, which app would then control that music, iTunes or your app or both? You can see, it might get confusing…

      Request noted – shuffle is coming. As soon as Apple release the first update, we’ll put the second one up.

      Hope this helps

  9. Guillaume Says:

    I’ll answer back one at a time as well.

    Ooops. I thought that adding songs would just add songs to the already existing internal playlist. Now I’m curious, once songs are cleared from the internal playlists, what happens to the corresponding files if they are not found in any iTunes playlist?

    Good luck with the A-Z bar, I personally don’t care that much about it since I’m using iTunes playlists for P.A.C. instead of selecting individual songs to add.

    I guess I didn’t get the fact that P.A.C. did not only have its own internal playlists but also its own internal music player. That would explain. I’m curious to see what would happen when backgrounding P.A.C. on a jailbroken iPhone.

    Oh, what’s coming in the first update? Is there a blog post about that?

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Guillaume

      P.A.C just references a link to a file in it’s playlist – so deleting a playlist won’t affect any of the files on the iPhone. Because P.A.C doesn’t control the music sync with iTunes it can’t pull in files that aren’t in any other iTunes playlist ie. the link not a dynamic one. Currently, this can cause problems if the files you add to P.A.C’s playlist are then removed from your phone – P.A.C will try and find them on launch and may become very slow or crash. That’s why we recommend setting up two dedicated playlists specially for it.

      The first update adds volume controls – http://chillix.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/playlist-alarm-clock-volume-update/

      Should be out any time now (please, Apple)

      • Guillaume Says:

        Yep, P.A.C. Is now crashing on start up because of the playlist issue. Any way to fix this other than wait for a bug fix in a forthcoming update?

  10. William Says:

    Hi

    Should fade work on an speaker dock? Phone on airplane mode? Playlist works, as does Alarm however fade doesn’t work at all. Just stays same level throughout and alarm starts on full level. I assume this has something to do with the dock connector as fade works through iPhone’s speaker. The fadeout feature in Ambience works with my speaker, so not sure If the problem is my dock?

    Thanks in advance.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi William

      Currently it seems to depend on the actual speaker dock used – the rule seems to be that if you run the iPod app on your phone and then dock it and the on-screen volume controls disappear then the fade won’t work.

      We’re looking into it (thanks for the tip about Ambience) and will try and get it sorted (I want it to work with my JBL OnStage)

  11. William Says:

    Thanks for the response, I look forward to being able to use your app as it was intended.

    All the best.

  12. KlausK Says:

    Hi William,

    theoretically a wonderful app. But starting with the wake crash bug the realization is not quite as good as the idea.

    Since the last update (with shuffle) it doesn’t fade out or in anymore. Pity…

    Regards, Klaus

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Klaus

      Sorry to hear you’re having problems with the fade out and in. So far nobody else has mentioned this and it certainly seems to be working on all our test devices (I use it every night without any problem).

      Can you just double check that none of your settings have changed since the 1.3 upgrade – ie. that fade times and volume levels are what you think they should be and get back to us with your findings.

      Thanks.

  13. Peter Viccari Says:

    Bought PAC. Great App.

    The night view ‘dimmed screen’ view is a great idea but still to bright for my wife and at night the only thing I need to see is the time itself. Any chance of an option for just the time numerals on black? This would probably conserve battery too.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Peter

      Thanks for the feedback. A couple of people have asked for an even darker night option so we’ll see what we can do. One thing to bear in mind though is that even a black screen gives off light in a dark room – we can’t control how black your black in, that’s down to the phone’s brightness setting.

  14. Stephen Says:

    What a great app! Any way of having the night screen dimmer or off
    completely, and then lighting up with a single tap??
    Just a thought.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Stephen

      Thanks for the suggestion – we could add an extra step to our dimmer toggle where we black out the whole screen but that wouldn’t be quite the same as turning the screen off. Even a totally black screen emits light depending on your hardware brightness settings. I don’t think there’s any way we can turn the screen ‘off’ ie. totally black that wouldn’t require you to unlock it…

  15. Shaun Says:

    Since apples 3.1 update the podcasts are no longer accesable.

    • chillix Says:

      Well spotted, Shaun. We hadn’t noticed that yet ourselves. Apple must have changed something in the background :(

      We’ll look into it and see if it’s fixable by us or if we’ll have to wait for them to change it back.

  16. Marco Says:

    This app is not 3.1 compatible; the most important function (WAKE) no longer works with OS 3.1.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Marco

      Sorry to hear that you’re having problems – as far as we know P.A.C still works exactly as it did before the 3.1 update.

      We’ll contact you via email and see if we can get to the bottom of it for you.

  17. PE Says:

    Hi there, could you email me when the update comes out that fixes the morning alarm coming on even with the phone locked (not totally off but you know what I mean) and not on charge. As someone who’s energy conscious (and to be fair we probably all should be) I don’t charge my phone until it needs it and often don’t have it plugged in overnight (a charge probably takes around 2 to 3 hours so for an 8 hour sleep that’s 5 hours waste right there), but would like to wake to my music. As for using it as a night clock to allow the alarm to function, to be fair the difference to me between tapping the screen with my finger or just pressing the top button is nothing. Hope that wasn’t too much of a rant, just was quite pleased when I found the app and now quite disappointed that it doesn’t work.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi PE

      The next version of P.A.C has been submitted to Apple and does have that feature. As far as we can tell the alarm will now go off under any condition – screen on, screen off, screen dim, on charge or off charge – as long as the app is running.

      It will (hopefully) be available in a few days.

  18. Candace Pallone Says:

    This is a great app. Way better than “Night Stand”. The only thing missing for me (other than shuffle which I understand is coming soon) is the ability to set multiple alarms and for different days, similar to the standard “Clock” feature that comes with the iphone/itouch. Keep up the great work!

  19. chillix Says:

    Hi Candace

    Thanks for the feedback! I just thought I’d let you know the shuffle feature is already out (as of version 1.3) – perhaps you missed that update? You can find out more here:

    http://chillix.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/playlist-alarm-clock-1-3/

    As for your other request – it’s on the list!

  20. Updated Playlist Alarm Clock FAQs « Chilli X Blog Says:

    [...] it’s been done now – click here to read the updated FAQs and let us know if you’re having any other problems that aren’t covered [...]

  21. Greywulf2112 Says:

    The app is listed as $0.99 but is supposed to be free during the birthday celebration. Will I be charged for the app? I realize it’s only a buck, but a buck saved is a buck saved.

  22. Zsolt Says:

    Hello,

    My name is Zsolt from Hungary. I bought the P.A.C, but i have a prob.
    Cause when I would like to change the time (wake me at: ) and I push the change button, the app close and junp out to the main menu screen.

    Pls help me.

    Regards,

    Zsolt

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Zsolt

      I’m pretty sure the last point in the FAQs will be what’s causing your problem:

      We’ll email you with details and you can get back to us if it doesn’t work

  23. Mar Says:

    My alam has not gone off for the two days. Do I need to turn the app on before I go to sleep (just by clicking on the app) and then it will work?
    Sorry for the dense question.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Mar

      Yes, I’m afraid the app has to be running in order for the alarm to go off. Apple don’t allow apps (other than their own) to run in the background. The best thing to do is to charge your phone overnight and keep P.A.C running – even listen to some quiet music to go to sleep.

  24. Ralf Krause Says:

    Hi
    I have a question about your app PAC
    What snooze times can I adjust.
    I whish, that I can choost up to 45 minutes, instead of these normally 5 minutes.
    With kind regards
    Ralf Krause

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Ralph

      P.A.C lets you choose snooze times of 5, 10, 15 & 30 minutes.

      Anything above 30 minutes is just plain lazy :)

  25. Joel Says:

    So I am a little confused, Is there a way to remove songs that I have selected to wake me?

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Joel

      Just choose some new ones – your new playlist will overwrite the old one. Sorry for any confusion…

  26. Ben Says:

    Hi again,
    Ive been using P.A.C. for a long time now and i still think its a great app. Probably the most used app on my iphone.
    One question/suggestion I have is in the sleep settings, why is it not possible to set the fade out option to off? I have noticed that other alarm apps have this function which i think is a good extra choice as by the time its faded down im not normally asleep. I dont want to use any other app as I really like P.A.C. but this missing option annoys me. Hope it can be added and im not too late for any additional updates.
    Can you reply to my email so i know what the outcome may be.
    Many thanks
    Ben

  27. Ben Says:

    As per the previous post, if no more updates are in the pipeline is it a possibility I could be instructed on how to adjust any file that would stop the fading effect? (ie. The app still looks exactly the same, just doesn’t fade) or possibly send me an edited file I could replace in the app to stop fading on sleep mode.

    Please don’t think I am complaining,
    many thanks for the hard work on the app.

    Ben

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