PlaySafe trouble-shooting (updated)

Hi Erik
The only thing I can think of that’s causing this is that some (or all) of the songs that were in PlaySafe’s playlist have been removed from the iPhone…
Apple haven’t implemented the song picking ability very elegantly in OS 3.0 – the way it works is like this: when a user creates a new playlist from within an app (other than the iPod app) it creates a fixed playlist rather than a dynamic one. By this I mean it’s impossible for a song to be listed in any of the iPod’s playlists if that song isn’t on the iPhone because the appearance of the song in the playlist is directly linked to the song on the iPhone.
However with other apps (likePlaySafe) it’s a one way link – the song stays in the list even though it’s not on the phone anymore. So when PlaySafe loads its playlist it gets confused to find something’s missing. Then it either, crashes, or takes ages to launch.
We’re still looking into a work around for this problem (which is why we tell people to avoid smart playlists and use dedicated wake and sleep lists)
Things to try:
Delete PlaySafe, sync your phone and then re-install it. When you delete the app you also delete the playlist so any inconsistencies or corruption should also be deleted. Once PlaySafe is re-istalled, choose some new songs for the lists and try again.
This should sort out the problem. Please let us know if it doesn’t and we’ll see what else we can try.
Until we can sort out a fix just try and be aware that the songs that are in PlaySafe’s playlist should remain on your phone
cheers
Dave

A couple of users have come back us with problems with PlaySafe working perfectly at first but then crashing when they try and run it later.

Make sure the songs in your playlist are on the phone

Make sure the songs in your playlist are on the phone

After some more feedback we’ve realised that there’s two problems here:

Missing songs

If some (or all) of the songs that are in PlaySafe’s playlist have been removed since it was last run PlaySafe might crash. Apple haven’t implemented the song picking ability very elegantly in OS 3.0 – the way it works is like this: when a user creates a new playlist from within an app (other than the iPod app) it creates a fixed playlist rather than a dynamic one. By this we mean it’s impossible for a song to be listed in any of the iPod’s playlists if that song isn’t on the iPhone because the appearance of the song in the playlist is directly linked to the song on the iPhone.

However with other apps (likePlaySafe) it’s a one way link – the song stays in the list even though it’s not on the phone anymore. So when PlaySafe loads its playlist it gets confused to find something’s missing. Then it either, crashes, or takes ages to launch.

Adding All Songs

Some users are choosing to create a playlist by simply adding all their songs to PlaySafe. Depending on the size of their music library and the free memory on their phone this might also cause a crash when PlaySafe is next launched. Basically, the larger the playlist, the bigger the file that has to be read in PlaySafe upon launch.

We hadn’t really envisioned that people would try to create really large playlists – the idea was more to just load up some songs for your journey (like picking a couple of CDs to take with you when you go for a drive…). Until we can see if there’s a fix for this we’d recommend that you don’t ‘Add All Songs’ – try and use smaller playlists instead – 200 songs seems to work fine and should be enough for most journeys :).

We’re still looking into a work around for these issues, but in the meantime, try this:

1. Delete PlaySafe

2. Sync your phone

3. Re-install PlaySafe

When you delete the app you also delete the playlist so any inconsistencies or corruption should also be deleted. Once PlaySafe is re-istalled, choose some new songs for the lists and try again.

This should sort out the problem. Please let us know if it doesn’t and we’ll see what else we can suggest.

Until we can sort out a fix just try and be aware that the songs that are in PlaySafe’s playlist should remain on your phone and don’t try and ‘Add All Songs’.

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6 Responses to “PlaySafe trouble-shooting (updated)”

  1. Joel Says:

    Put this on the all apps page, but figured I’d add it here too: How about making PlaySafe simply control iTunes, instead of having to make a playlist in the app? I would find it much easier to open iTunes, start a playlist, then switch to PlaySafe for control. Just a request/suggestion – And it would avoid the problems mentioned above 🙂

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Joel

      I see what you mean and it’s a nice idea. I’m not sure it’s feasible with the way that PlaySafe is coded at the moment as it would require iTunes to be able to write info to PlaySafe’s playlist, but we’ll certainly look into it.

  2. Jim Says:

    I have/had the problem of loading up a large amount of songs, it worked great the first time. After stopping and turning off my ipod touch PlaySafe wouldn’t work the second time and would crash out. I had to wait after I got back from my road trip to uninstall and reinstall PlaySafe. Using smaller amount of songs did work for me.

    After using PlaySafe for a few days I have a few suggestions that I would love to see.

    1. Having the ability to clear out the current PlaySafe playlist at the beginning of the program in case you load up too many songs causing a crash. You have the option to clear the list and start over. Saving you the need to reinstall and being connected to a computer (especially required if you have an ipod touch and no Wi-Fi access). Maybe having PlaySafe NOT automatically start playing music when you start it again would solve this problem. That way you can always pick the Tunes options and pick a smaller amount of songs.

    2. The option to have the screen to turn off and then wake after a touch to the screen. So I might have to touch the screen twice to skip, etc. Big deal as it saves my screen. I don’t want to waste my screen life on this program. Maybe a quick fix would be a brightness control.

    3. Volume control.

    4. When loading up new songs, having the ability to scroll faster through the large list with the alphabet list letters that are on the right side that the ipod already has when searching with the standard ipod menu.

    It is a great start though, keep up the good work. Looking forward to see what the next update will bring.

    • chillix Says:

      Hi Jim

      thanks for the feedback. We’ve just submitted an update to the App Store which should help but in the meantime here’s some answers to your points.

      1. The problem is that if your playlist is too big the app won’t be able launch and give you the option to clear it out. We can’t tell when you create a playlist if it’s going to be too big (there’s too many variables) the only time we find out is when you next launch and by then it’s too late!

      In the current version you can effectively create a new playlist very easily -just launch the app and click the ‘Tunes’ button – even though the music is playing you can create a new playlist which automatically clears the old one.

      The new version of PlaySafe warns you if it thinks your playlist is going to be too large.

      2. Are you concerned about battery or screen life? If it’s screen life I wouldn’t worry – I’ve not heard of iPhone screens burning out or anything and lots of apps are designed to keep running while the phone is in the dock etc. I have mine on most of the day running one or other of our apps 🙂

      All we could do is dim the screen – as soon as you turn it off you have to unlock it again which is exactly the sort of fiddly behaviour we’re trying to avoid in PlaySafe.

      3. We’re looking into volume control (up and down swipe) but in some cases this might not work as the iPhone’s volume control is overridden by the car’s system.

      4. Agree – we’re working on it. Can’t quite work out why Apple don’t have it is as default…

  3. Jim Says:

    I forgot to mention in my last post that it took me 4-5 times of uninstalling, reboot ipod touch, reinstall PlaySafe to get it to work again.

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