Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New OnSong Feature - Quick Pick

Being able to change or update your set list on the fly makes for an exciting set.  What better way to respond to the crowd than to throw in a song that you never planned on performing? Now with the new Quick Pick feature, you can find songs and view them in as few as three taps of the screen - making it so you never even miss a beat!  

Simply tap on a song title in the heads-up display area of the menubar and the Quick Pick screen will open.  In the Quick Pick screen, type a word from the title of the song.  As you type, OnSong will find matches in your library that contain that word in the title of the song. If you are unsure if the song is the one you are looking for, tap on the magnifying glass icon on the right to preview it.

Once you have found a song you’d like to play, tap to pick it.  If you are currently viewing a set, the song is automatically added to the set as the next song. If you are viewing a single song from your OnSong library, tapping on the song will display the song immediately. 

Watch the Video Tutorial or Read the Users Manual

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fix Available: iOS 9 Crash with No Internet Connection

The Problem

We've had a number of users tell us that OnSong will begin to start and then shutdown to the home screen when no Internet connection is available. We have confirmed this a bug in iOS 9 on iPads, potentially only those with cellular data. iPhone models do not appear to be effected. The crash is caused when OnSong attempts to find nearby peers via OnCue using the original version of OnCue which triggers an exception in iOS 9's networking libraries.

The Synopsis

New installations of OnSong will automatically select the new version OnCue and not the original. The original version of OnCue uses an Apple framework that has been deprecated by Apple since iOS 7, but remains available in OnSong for backwards compatibility with iOS 5 and iOS 6 devices. Until iOS 8.4, this framework has continued to work. Current versions of iOS have caused bugs in the framework that will likely not be fixed by Apple due to their deprecated status. If you had this version of OnCue set in your preferences, it will continue to be used in iOS 9 which is what is causing the issue.

The Fix

Luckily the fix appears to be simple. Go into the Settings app from your device's home screen and choose OnSong on the left. Scroll to the Menu Settings section on the right and open the Sharing option. Under the OnCue section, change OnCue Version to "New" instead of "Original". Close out of the settings screen and open OnSong.

The Solution

We have changed OnSong 1.999 to automatically switch to the new version of OnCue if it was already set. We are planning allow an override of this in case Apple fixes this bug in the future.

We are working hard to finalize OnSong 1.999 to correct this an other found issues. We thank you for your patience as we work to ensure stability on the best app for musicians!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The State of iOS 9

Upgrading to iOS 9 is on the minds of our users and we want to share what we know so you can make an informed decision.

Please Backup Your Library!

No matter what, always make sure that you have a backup of your library in case a problem arises. We've had users that experience issues when upgrading their iOS and have lost the information on their device. It's easy to make a backup file. Safety first!

What do we know?

  • OnSong 1.999 provides fixes to iOS 9 bugs

    Keep in mind that there are some issues with iOS 9 when running the current version of OnSong such as the date picker in the set editor and light text on menus when sorting or performing actions. We are aware of these issues and have them fixed in the upcoming OnSong 1.999 release.

    Thank you for your patience as we work to research all reported issues and finalize our testing. We should launch OnSong 1.999 in mid-October.

  • Apple continues to release minor updates to address bugs

    Apple has released iOS 9.0.1 within a week of the initial launch and has released iOS 9.0.2 today. That means there are still many issues they are working to resolve. iOS 9.1 is also in progress and being sent to beta testers.

  • 40% of our active users are running iOS 9

    When there are problems, we hear about them. However, we have received no further reported issues. Most users are reporting good results.

    Here's the iOS breakdown over the past week: iOS 9: 40%, iOS 8: 50%, iOS 7: 8%, iOS 6: 1% and iOS 5: 1%.

  • Hardware vendors are urging customers to hold off on upgrading to iOS 9

    AirTurn is urging customers to not update to iOS 9 due to Bluetooth connection problems. We have tested OnSong with AirTurn pedals under iOS 9 and it appears OnSong is behaving properly. Pairing pedals in the iOS 9 Bluetooth settings screen appears to be the issue. Some users have reported Bluetooth devices disconnecting.

  • iOS 9 fixes some longstanding iOS 8 bugs

    Shortly after iOS 8 launched, OnSong reported major issues to Apple. We have worked together with Apple and have confirmed these issues have been addressed. If you have had crashing issues when using stage monitor mode on Lightning port devices, or have poor formatting in Microsoft Word documents, iOS 9 will correct this.

  • WiFi and Bluetooth has been overhauled in iOS 9

    iOS 8 has been a nightmare for many users in regards to WiFi performance and peer-to-peer communication. If you use OnCue, you may be familiar with this. iOS 9 has reverted back to using the same networking services as iOS 7. Our tests and reports confirm this as iOS 9 can communicate wirelessly with all iOS versions except iOS 8.

    If you use OnCue, make sure you are running the same version of OnSong and iOS on all of your devices. We strongly urge you to use OnSong Connect for live use since it does not rely on Apple's frameworks and is more robust.

  • Some users are reporting that WiFi with an Internet Connection is required to use OnSong

    We have some users claiming that OnSong is requiring an Internet connection in order to launch. If an Internet connection is not available, it is causing OnSong to crash. We have been working to replicate this scenario and unfortunately have not been able to. We do recommend resetting network settings to correct network-related issues. You can do this by going into the Settings app on your home screen and choosing General, Reset and then Reset Network Settings. This will remove your WiFi passwords so you will need to enter your passwords again.

  • Some users are reporting performance issues in iOS 9

    This is a mixed bag. Some users are having performance problems after updating to iOS 9 while others report improvements. One user claims that iOS 9 has breathed new life into their iPad 2. Another user reports serious lag on iPad 4. We have experienced user interface lagging when opening the camera app or using the home screen on our iPhone 6 devices. Even iPhone 6s users are reporting problems.

Should You Upgrade?

We are still recommending not updating to iOS 9 for production devices because of these reports. We also want to work around the issues presented by iOS 9 in OnSong 1.999. iOS 9 does fix a number of issues and has not drastically effected 40% of our users.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

OnSong and iOS 9 Update

iOS 9 Update

It's been almost a week since iOS 9 was launched and we wanted to address your questions about the iOS 9 update and the status of our upcoming OnSong 1.999 release. We are still advising to hold off on updating to iOS 9 on production devices until we fully address all known iOS 9 issues. However, if you are willing to load iOS 9 and give us input on OnSong running on those devices, it will help us to be certain that we've addressed all known issues.

We have discovered and fixed two bugs that are caused by iOS 9:

  • The date picker control in the set editor does not appear in iOS 9. This is caused by a change late in the iOS development cycle that was not found until the final version. While we believe this is a bug in iOS 9, we have been able to workaround the issue in the upcoming OnSong 1.999 release.
  • Text in menus used for sorting and editing items shows as white text on a light grey background. This has been fixed in the upcoming OnSong 1.999.

We are getting the following reports that we are researching further, but have not been able to independently replicate:

  • Reports of users having issues with OnSong freezing or crashing. Some users report this is caused by WiFi being disabled. Resetting network settings or reinstalling OnSong seems to correct this issue.
  • Reports of wireless sharing not functioning with other devices. Apple has completely swapped out the Multicast DNS (Bonjour) service from a faulty product used in iOS 8. OnSong relies on Apple frameworks and multicast DNS for peer discovery. If you are using OnCue we recommend using the same versions of iOS and OnSong and strongly recommend using OnSong Connect instead which is built from the ground up to be cross-platform and not reliant on Apple's frameworks which are limiting in nature.

While many users have reported good results with iOS 9, others are reporting general performance issues as well as battery drain. This tends to happen with new iOS releases and is normally corrected by resetting network settings or through an update from Apple. Again, we believe it's important to not update if you are actively using your devices for live, production use.

Why Should I Upgrade?

iOS 9 has a number of great new features so it's no wonder that it's the fastest installed iOS update ever. Aside from the typical update woes, this looks to be a solid product. Issues that we have mentioned above should be worked out in a about a month.

iOS 9 has also fixed a number of outstanding bugs in iOS 8 that may effect some users. Upgrade if you have one of the following issues:

  • If you are experiencing hard system crashes when using stage monitor mode over a Lightning port video adapter.
  • If you are having problems with WiFi performance or Bluetooth disconnection.
  • If you use Microsoft Word documents and are experiencing incorrect formatting.

OnSong 1.999

OnSong 1.999 is a huge release and will be our last update for a period of time as we turn our attention towards OnSong 2.0 completion. That's why we are taking our time with the release of this build. Once we are certain it is "gold", we will release. Our goal is to make something that will last for a few months as we continue to reinvent how music is organized.

To celebrate OnSong 1.999 on iOS 9, we are releasing nine new features we think you'll like.

  • Spotify Integration lets you link streamed audio tracks to songs in your library.
  • Automatic Backup now lets you configure where to backup your library and how often if gets backed up.
  • Organizer Menu lets you mark the current song icons, place in sets and quickly add to books.
  • Improved Sliders are not made available in many menus to make selecting styles and keys faster.
  • Bluetooth MIDI is now supported for devices like the Quicco mi.1.
  • Quick Pick lets you quickly find songs from your library with a single tap of the menubar.
  • Playback Heads-Up Display lets you toggle playback, scrub to different track position, adjust volume and pan and audio routing – all from the menubar.
  • Timer Heads-Up Display lets you keep track of the elapsed time, or a countdown for both songs and sets.
  • Separate Styles for Books lets you keep a different key, capo, styles, notes and more for a song in each book.

For full details on this upcoming release, please view the release notes.

OnSong 2.0

We get a lot of questions about OnSong 2.0 and why it's taking so long to launch. The truth is that since we've announced OnSong 2.0, many of the features that we had on our list have been added into OnSong. Just this year we have added 100 features from our OnSong 2.0 list into OnSong 1.9x. On average OnSong is updated once a month and unlike other apps, we cram more functionality, features and fixes into 1/100 of a point than many do in a major version release. Be sure to review our list of releases notes to see what we've added.

Much of OnSong 2.0 has already been completed and now must be integrated into the OnSong 1.9x codebase. You've seen some of this added in the Color Picker component as well as Improved Sliders coming in OnSong 1.999.

Our Focus

Our primary focus has always been to serve our customers and keep OnSong working its best with as many versions of iOS and devices as possible. This has often times put our production schedule for OnSong 2.0 on pause. Our goal is to make OnSong 1.999 the best release yet so we can focus our attention on OnSong 2.0.

Thank You

Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve any upgrading issues and for your continued use of OnSong. Stay tuned for updates as we move forward with our vision for transforming music.

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