Monday, July 20, 2015

The Swell Conference - Come See Us!!

Hey everyone!

We wanted to let you all know that we will be attending a conference in Middletown, PA!  There will be teams using OnSong, staff on site at a booth and an OnSong workshop.

The Swell Conference is being held at Fountain of Life Ministries and focuses on worshippers, media techs and the creative arts (dance and art).  It will be a time to grow in passion while in an intimate setting and receive one-on-one training, ministry and practical tools that you can use to minister in your local church.  This 2 day conference will be packed with general sessions and workshops that will renew and equip each individual and team.

With guest speakers including Rita Springer, Doug Gould (WorshipMD), Jason Kichline (President of OnSong) and more, any worshipper, musician, sound tech, dancer or artist will be sure to find workshop topics to be challenged and encouraged in your gift.

For more information including schedules, workshop details, speaker information and registration, please go to

Hope to see you there!
The OnSong Team

Friday, May 15, 2015

What Happened To Internet Search?

At OnSong, our utmost goal is to make the best app for musicians possible. It all started with a crazy idea to make an app to help make the lives of musicians easier. It was a simple idea: get rid of paper and keep it organized in a digital library and then provide tools to let you transpose music. But we didn't just stop there. We've listened to thousands of musicians to continue to evolve OnSong into an app to meet the needs of musicians everywhere. It's that modus operandi that is baked into the very culture of our small company.

In the early days of OnSong, we had many requests to make it easier to import chord charts found on the Internet. It seemed like a simple request and we were up for the technical challenge. After all, our goal is to meet the needs of musicians. We soon realized that we had stepped into a very shady and uncharted space.

You see, we never intended to step into the fray of the music publishing industry, piracy, terms of use agreements or the finer points of copyright law. We are not a media conglomerate nor lawyers. We are designers and programmers who want to work with any and all available content. As we navigated this new territory, we decided that the Internet search feature should be limited to search only one website. Since configuring this website could mean a lot of work, we defaulted to a website that allows publishers to have their content removed if it is found to infringe on copyrights. We reasoned that this was a fair stance to take, especially because we believe that every musician deserves to be paid and rewarded for their creativity and hard work. Simply put, we desire a healthy, creative music ecosystem.

Over the past few years we've learned that our stance on Internet content was flawed and was raising the ire of prominent figures in the music industry. We had made it a little too easy to search and acquire content from questionable sources. To complicate things, our users were never made aware of the terms of use of this content. In essence, we bypassed a lot these headaches to make things easy by abstracting all those concerns away. We shielded our users from the legal questionability of the content they were consuming.

In early 2015, we realized we needed to make a change. Not only did this go against our ethics and principals, but it was also standing in the way of us making an app with legitimate content. So we did the unthinkable and removed a feature. If there's one thing we've learned in the five years we've been working on OnSong, it's that people don't like change. To help with this transition, we've built a new feature called the Add To OnSong Safari Extension and worked to communicate these changes to our users ahead of the launch of OnSong 1.993. We know that we have angered and upset many of you and we do apologize for that. But we also have a moral, legal and ethical position that we need to take on this. We needed to change as much as we didn't want to upset you.

Many users have questioned our motives on this switch. Some think that we are getting some kind of financial benefit out of this arrangement. That's not the case. In fact, the lower ratings we are receiving on the App Store has drastically dropped our downloads. Since that is the only way we make money, it means that we need to cut back on our free customer support and slow down some of our plans for OnSong on other platforms or features that you have requested.

But what many people don't recognize is the number of benefits that removing the Internet Search and switching to the Add To OnSong Safari Extension has provided. First, we are now in good standing with publishers. That means we and our partners can negotiate deals that benefit our users. In addition, you are no longer limited to content from one website. You can now import content from any website. In addition, the Add To OnSong Safari Extension is not just limited to chord charts, but can also import PDF files and audio content was well! Many worship bands make their chord charts, backing tracks and loops freely available and you can import them using the Add To OnSong extension. This also works with other paid and subscription services as well outside of OnSong. Lastly, it means that you are in control of the content you import. Just check the terms of use on the content you use and then use it.

We are continuing to invest into the Add To OnSong Safari Extension to allow it to do much more than the Internet Search in OnSong could ever do. We are also working with content partners to bring the best chord chart content available to you in a way that doesn't lock you into a specific app or content vendor. Lastly, we are still, if not more so, focused on meeting the needs of musicians around the world and can't want to bring you new OnSong apps and services to make your life easier and to spread music throughout the world.

Jason Kichline, President of OnSong

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Apple Released iOS 8.0.1 - Pulled

Fixes Issues - Breaks Cell Service and Touch ID

Apple today released iOS 8.0.1 and quickly pulled the release as their was widespread issues with loss of cellular connectivity as well as Touch ID. This update fixed one critical issues in iOS 8.0.0 that effected OnSong users. Here are our findings:

  • Apple HAS fixed the issue with 30-pin to HDMI adapters that would cause them to become non-functional on iOS 8.0.0.
  • Apple HAS NOT fixed the issue where RTF files cannot be displayed in the built-in web viewer.
  • Apple HAS NOT fixed the issue where Word DOCX files are rendered incorrectly.

iOS Update Release Notes

Apple has the following listed as bugs fixed in this release:

  • Fixes a bug so HealthKit apps can now be made available on the App Store
  • Addresses an issue where 3rd party keyboards could become deselected when a user enters their passcode
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from accessing photos from the Photo Library
  • Improves the reliability of the Reachability feature on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
  • Fixes an issue that could cause unexpected cellular data usage when receiving SMS/MMS messages
  • Better support of Ask To Buy for Family Sharing for In-App Purchases
  • Fixes an issue where ringtones were sometimes not restored from iCloud backups
  • Fixes a bug that prevented uploading photos and videos from Safari

How Do I Undo?

If you've installed iOS 8.0.1 and lost cellular connectivity, or if you have lost TouchID functionality, your only recourse is to back out of iOS 8.0.1 to iOS 8.0.0. This can be done by restoring your device using iTunes. There are no reported workarounds to restore these two services such as rebooting the device or resetting network settings. The only known solution is to restore to iOS 8.0.0.

Here's an article that details how to restore iOS 8.0.0 if you are effected by the iOS 8.0.1 version.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Updating to iOS 8

iOS 8 is now available and we have had a number of users ask, "Is it safe to upgrade?".

While we are still urging caution with iOS 8, most users have reported it is working well. We are not currently in panic mode. We do suggest installing iOS 8 on a non-critical device first and make sure it works with your particular setup. There are some scenarios for users that may cause issues. Here are some issues that we are aware of:

  • Action menus appear as a white background with white text. This has been corrected in OnSong 1.992 which was released on September 28, 2014.
  • Viewing RTF files in the new iOS 8 viewer in nonfunctional and is a known issue with iOS 8. Update: This has been corrected in iOS 8.1 beta so we are confident that this will be corrected for most users as soon as iOS 8.1 is released.
  • There are issues with the text in the song editor being scrolled out of range when initially opening longer songs. We have replicated this and are troubleshooting. It appears to be widespread in other apps as well but does not seriously inhibit editing aside from an extra swipe gesture. This also appears to be corrected in iOS 8.1.
  • We are tracking issues with iOS 8 and external video adapters (but not AirPlay). We receive a hard, iOS-level crash when autoscrolling. We have notified Apple of this bug. Update: Still crashing in iOS 8.0.2 and iOS 8.1 beta. To prevent this crash, lower the resolution of the video output under OnSong Settings » Live Settings » External Video » Screen Resolution.
  • While the 30-pin to HDMI adapter was not working in iOS 8.0.0, this functionality has returned in iOS 8.0.2.
  • One user has reported a hard crash/kernel panic of iOS 8 when using AirPlay to an AppleTV.
  • Two users are reporting issues with Microsoft Word files rendering incorrectly. This is controlled by iOS 8 and nothing that OnSong can fix. We have submitted a bug report to Apple. Update: Still experiencing rendering issues in iOS 8.0.2.
  • One user reported performance issues that are also occurring in other apps such as periodic freezes. We are working to isolate this issue.
  • One user is reporting issues with the metronome stopping backing track audio. We have replicated this issue but it appears to be caused by setting "None" as the audio for the metronome and not specific to iOS 8.
  • Users are experiencing issues with Internet connectivity when using apps under iOS 8. We are working to replicate this issue.

Always remember to have a backup of your OnSong library in case something goes awry. Here's a backup and restore video tutorial to help keep your songs and sets safe during the transition.

Hope that helps with your decision making!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

OnSong 1.991 is on the way

I want to thank everyone for their patience on this one. We've had a number of technical issues this week and we have been able to get OnSong 1.991 out to you. Please update to let us know if that corrects any issues you were experiencing. It may take a an hour or two to become available on your App Store. Here's a link to the OnSong 1.991 release notes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Critical Issue When Using Spaces in Chords

At OnSong, our top-most priority is our users. We are working around the clock to address some issues that some of our users are reporting.

First, we are hearing reports and experiencing issues ourselves with the App Store. This appears to be due to changes Apple is making in preparation for iOS 8. While we've heard users having issues with the update process in the past, we are seeing an influx of installation and provisioning problems. We are trying to get in touch with Apple about these issues but have not heard back after repeated attempts.

Second, there is a crash condition happening in OnSong 1.99 caused by improperly formatted chords that include spaces in square brackets. We were able to turn around an update with an Apple-approved fix in less than 24 hours, but due to these App Store issues, the update has yet to be made available. We released the update on 9/11/2014 and it was being "Processed for the App Store" for more than 24 hours. After repeated unaddressed contacts with Apple to correct this issue, the status has been changed to "Waiting for Review", essentially starting the approval process over. We are continuing to fight for this update to be released ASAP.

View OnSong 1.991 Release Notes

If you are experiencing a crash, go into the Settings app on your device and choose OnSong under Applications. Turn on "Forget Last Song" under the Debug menu and restart OnSong. You can edit your chord charts by going into the Songs menu, tapping "Edit" and then tapping on the name of the song to "Edit Song". This will open the song editor without viewing the song. The crash is occurring if a chord in square brackets contains a space like this:

[Am on G]

Correct these errors and save. This should get you back up and running.

If the Forget Last Song option does not open OnSong, it's likely that you've received a bad installation from the App Store update process and may need to reinstall. Be sure you have a backup of your OnSong library. If not, please contact support for assistance.

We are working around the clock to resolve these issues, answer your support inquiries and do what we can to keep everyone up and running despite these challenges.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OnSong Console Tutorial

OnSong Console is a big edition to OnSong and is really, an app in itself. We've basically built the OnSong rendering engine in a web browser! Since it's so new, we've put together this ten minute tutorial video to give you a leg up on how OnSong Console works and what you can do with it. Remember, this is the first version of this great product and we hope to add more features in the near future.

The console is an in-app purchase of $9.99 USD.