Archive for the ‘P.A.C’ Category

P.A.C – Everyone’s a Winner Baby

August 19, 2009

Well done to everyone that entered the Playlist Alarm Clock competition that we posted a couple of weeks ago – your promo codes should be with you by now – any problems let us know.

Thanks for the entries – we discovered some cool new music to wake up and go to sleep to, most notably, Crazy Baby by Akasha, Dark Matter by Porcupine Tree and Tiad by Cicada. All well worth checking out. We’ll do some more competitions and giveaways soon – watch this space.

Playlist Alarm Clock 1.2 out now

August 14, 2009

The latest version of P.A.C has (finally) gone live. This version adds screen dimming which makes it much better as a bedside clock.

...dim the screen

Tap the time display to dim the screen

The next version is more exciting as it adds random playback (on either playlist), podcast support and fixes an issue that some users were experiencing where their display was turning itself off – let’s hope it gets through Apple’s approval process faster than this one!

Playlist Alarm Clock update

August 12, 2009

The latest update to Playlist Alarm Clock is taking an unusually long time to go live (10 days and counting…)

This update (1.2) adds screen dimming functionality, but the next version (1.3) is also ready and adds random play as well as fixing a bug that was causing some users screens to switch off. The dilemma for developers in this situation is:

a) pull the current version that’s in review even though it might go live any minute (there’s no way of knowing) and jump to the back of the queue again or

b) wait for the release of the current version and delay the next version even more…

I wish there was a way of lining up releases and checking on their status (a little progress bar would be nice). Come on Apple, you’re good at this stuff, you should be able to design a much better experience for developers…

Playlist Alarm Clock FAQ

August 12, 2009

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?

Playlist Alarm Clock screen dimming

August 5, 2009

We’re expecting the latest version of P.A.C (1.2) our Playlist Alarm Clock for the iPhone & iPod touch, to go live any day now.

This is just a quick release to give you a feature that lots of you have been requesting – screen dimming. Now you can leave the screen on at night without a distracting glow.

P.A.C screen on full. Tap the large time display to...

P.A.C screen on full. Tap the large time display to...

...dim the screen

...dim the screen

The main time display window (7.25 in the example above) acts as a toggle for the dimmer – tap once and the dimmer comes on, tap again and the dimmer goes off.

We’ve discovered that we can’t dim the status bar at the top of the screen – what do you think, is this a big issue? Should we remove the status bar altogether or is it useful to see any of that info whilst you’re using P.A.C? Let us know what you think…

Playlist Alarm Clock Competition

August 3, 2009

The recent TUAW Playlist Alarm Clock competition created lots of interest so we thought, why not do another one?

P.A.C. go to sleep and wake up listening to your favorite tunes

P.A.C. go to sleep and wake up listening to your favorite tunes

This time it’s just for our own readers. In case you don’t already know, Playlist Alarm Clock is our alarm clock app for the iPhone and iPod touch and it does pretty much what it says on the tin. You can set up a playlist of your favorite songs to wake you up at a pre-determined time. That’s cool enough but there’s more! You can also set up a second playlist of songs to listen to as you go to sleep.

We’re currently drifting off to sleep to the laid back sounds of All India Radio and Hammock (check them out in iTunes) and waking to Dave Stewart’s Heart of Stone and Michael Jackson’s Beat It.

So that’s the basic idea – slow laid back stuff to send you to sleep and something more energetic to get you going in the morning. We’ve got 10 copies of P.A.C to give away to the people that come up with the best playlists – one for sleep and one for wake. We’d love to discover some great new music so don’t just pick all the obvious ones.

Unfortunately the competition is only open to US residents (don’t blame us – Apple’s promo codes only work in the States) and don’t worry if you’ve already bought P.A.C – you can still enter and we’ll give you a promo code for another one of our apps instead…

Just post a reply with your suggestions and we’ll announce the winners next week.

P.A.C update out now

July 28, 2009

Playlist Alarm Clock v1.1, the first update to our iPhone app is available now.

This update gives you the ability to choose separate volumes for each playlist – quiet to go to sleep and loud to wake up.

P.A.C's new settings screen

One of P.A.C's new settings screen with added volume control

Let us know what you think. More updates coming soon (well as soon as Apple approves them).

TUAW competition winners

July 24, 2009

TUAW logo

TUAW have just announced the 10 lucky winners of their perfect playlists competition.

Head over there now to see what the winners chose as their perfect playlists to drift off to sleep and wake up to. If you’re one of the winners, we’ll be getting sending out those promo codes very shortly:)

Playlist Alarm Clock Volume – update

July 20, 2009

As promised, we’ve just uploaded version 1.1 of P.A.C which allows you to set independent volume levels for sleep and wake.

We thought most people would choose to listen to quiet, chilled music at bedtime and something punchier in the morning but it seems a lot of you want to listen to loud shouty stuff at night but quietly… The new version let’s you choose both the volume you want P.A.C to fade down from at night and the volume to fade up to in the morning.

The screengrabs below should let you see what we’re talking about. They only show the settings for Sleep but the same functionality is mirrored in Wake.

P.A.C's new settings screen

P.A.C's new Sleep settings screen...

Set the volume you want to sleep to

...with Volume Control

We’re really committed to making Playlist Alarm Clock the best alarm clock in the App Store and have got lots of features in the pipeline including screen dimming and shuffle playback amongst others. Let us know what features you’d like to see…

Playlist Alarm Clock volume issues

July 19, 2009
Well P.A.C has only been on sale a couple of days but we’re already getting lots of feedback, most of it positive, so thanks guys!
But nothing’s perfect and some of you have some issues mostly concerning volume:
A few people have commented about a perceived bug in that they can’t change the volume while P.A.C is playing or just that it’s too loud. It’s not so much a bug as a consequence of P.A.C having to take control of the volume in order to fade it automatically. Currently P.A.C starts playing the music at a preset volume and then about half way through your chosen time starts to fade down to silence.
What do you think would be the best solution? An option to switch off autofade so that you can manually adjust the volume while you listen? That would impact on the wake up volume… Different volume settings for Sleep and Wake modes?
We’ll be releasing an update asap but in the meantime let us know your thoughts…

Well P.A.C has only been on sale a couple of days but we’re already getting lots of feedback, most of it positive, so thanks guys!

Volume - auto fade or manual control?

Volume - auto fade or manual control?

But nothing’s perfect and some of you have some issues mostly concerning volume:

A few people have commented about a perceived bug in that they can’t change the volume while P.A.C is playing or just that it’s too loud. It’s not so much a bug as a consequence of P.A.C having to take control of the volume in order to fade it automatically. Currently P.A.C starts playing the music at a preset volume and then about half way through your chosen time starts to fade down to silence.

What do you think would be the best solution? An option to switch off autofade so that you can manually adjust the volume while you listen? That would impact on the wake up volume… Different volume settings for Sleep and Wake modes?

We’ll be releasing an update asap but in the meantime let us know your thoughts…