Thursday, April 29, 2010

Version 1.2 Being Approved

I am really excited about where OnSong is going. The first two version of the software were very rough, primarily because it was rushed in both cases to get a version out to everyone.  Version 1.2 has been tested by a handful of dedicated beta testers who gave great input and put the software through real-world tests.  I continue to get plenty of feature requests and the occasional usability issue, but it is making progress.  Here's what one beta tester had to say:

I used OnSong tonight for the first time with the team for a service. I will now not use anything else because of the progress you have made with the updates. I'm still learning things and have a major suggestion that I think will be very easy to implement.

My team members are all moving to iPads. I've sold all my Freehand MusicPad's except one that is still on eBay for auction.  I've kept my team in the loop with OnSong and they are excited about it.

The new features and bug fixes are numerous and I can't wait to get it into the hands of everyone.  I will need to update the tutorial section to highlight the new features.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

OnSong version 1.1 has been approved!

The latest version of OnSong has just been approved by Apple so you should be getting an update soon.  This one is very stable and usable from what I have found so far. I was also able to send it out to some early adopters and have had great feedback.  Now on to the next version.

Note: it sometimes times up to a day for the version to become available so be patient!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PDF Generation On The Way

I just successfully generated a PDF document from the song set.  This means that soon, emailing the set will contain a PDF document that will retain the formatting found in OnSong.  I'm still working on getting the generated guitar tablature displaying, but otherwise it's all there including fonts, size and highlight colors.  I chose not to print the sticky notes in the PDF.

One thing to note with this update (when it becomes available), is that it changes the way font sizes are interpreted.  The original version of OnSong really didn't respect point size versus pixel size.  In order to normalize the print version and screen version, the font sizes had to be adapted to work better.  This means that when the update is installed, the fonts in your songs may be bigger than you want.  I think that's a small price to pay for being able to send PDFs.

The Blog Is Live

We just launched a blog to keep everyone up-to-date with development efforts for OnSong.  We will keep you up to speed with how things are progressing, how to make the most out of OnSong, and how others are having success.  Stay tuned for more!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Version 1.1 Submitted to the App Store

Version 1.1 has finally been submitted to the App Store for approval. I had a version up over the weekend that had gotten rejected due to breaking some user interface guidelines. This version fixes all of that. Please keep it in prayer that it will be approved as soon as possible. I hope to begin a bigger marketing push one it's approved.

So what does version 1.1 do exactly? Here's a general overview:

* Fixed a ton of bugs including the app crash when picking songs
* Fixed transposition and made it much faster, including all key signatures
* Major navigational improvements including touch zones for scrolling
* Added help on the initial screen and when you touch the title
* Added guitar tablature option to view tabs on the page
* Improved the editor with a chord builder
* Added sound effects for auditory feedback
* Settings panel for setting default visual options
* Import multiple songs at once
* Add songs directly to the song set
* Rearranged the toolbar to make more sense
* The ability to load songs from a URL

I am dedicated to making this the best app possible for worship leaders. Please continue to give me feedback, issues, features and ideas and I will work on getting them in the next release.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Working Hard: Next Release

First of all, I want to send a big thank you to those who have downloaded OnSong and are beginning to use it for their worship sets. There has been a lot of feedback and an outpouring of support. But I've also learned that there is a lot of work to do to make OnSong the best possible app for live musicians.

One thing that is apparent is that the original release is buggy. It was difficult trying to build an application in little more than a week for a device that didn't even exist yet for an audience that hadn't really used such a device. After having this version out in the "wild", I have been able to see more clearly what needs to be done.

To those who have OnSong currently: I will not let you down. I know you have paid good money for this product. Please rest assured that an update is coming that will fix the initial release. In fact, I'm adding a lot of new features too that you early adopters have suggested! I love all of you and am dedicated to you.

To those who haven't purchased OnSong: now that the current version is buggy and I'd wait until version 1.1. If you do happen to buy it, don't worry, you'll upgrade to the next version just fine. I just want you to have the very bet experiences.

Again, thanks to everyone for the outpouring of support and seeing the potential of this app. I think it will soon be a hit.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Song Conversion Service Update

The most requested feature for OnSong has been to convert your existing library of worship music into OnSong. It seems you all have text, HTML, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages and PDF documents that you want to put into OnSong. The question for all of you is "when". The question for me is "how"!

The way I want to accomplish this is pretty simple. You would visit a web site on the computer that contains all the files. Then you would upload a ZIP file of your documents to convert. The OnSong server wold then extract the files, convert them to text, translate them into the OnSong format and email you a link. You would thence able to tap that link on your iPad to automatically import them into your library. Makes sense right?

Many of you have sent me sample chord sheets. The trouble is, they are all various formats. I think I can convert most to text. Detecting chords is not a problem, but the text conversion tool does not respect spacing in those documents which means the chords end up as just a line of chords.

Another issue I have found is that PDF files printed from SongSelect tend to not contain any text. They are more like a picture of the chords! This means that the OnSong service would have to offer an OCR translation of the page. I think I have a solution for that, but again, the issue is more that the chords are not positioned correctly.

I think one option is to do my best for the server to interpret the song content, and then provide an easy-to-use interface for quickly altering those songs on the desktop computer. Then, once you have saved your changes, let you email the link to yourself.

Version 1.1 will have the ability to import songs for this service, but the actual service will take some work. Please be patient!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Been Approved

OnSong version 1.0 has been approved on the App Store. Please check it out! There are so many features that are possible and this is just the beginning folks. Thank you to everyone for the encouragement and for finally seeing this project come to light.