Nov 17

In Limbo Part 1.

Posted By Russell
Filed in: iPhone, iPod, Sonorasaurus

We have been very patient since submitting Sonorasaurus back in September. We have kept our calls and emails to a minimum. We have always been polite. And we have always been met with indifference, vague communication and mostly silence.

Here is an example. This past Friday we sent an email to Apple asking for some information or insight on this extended delay. We even outlined what we assumed may be issues and pointed out reasons why they should not be viewed that way. Our lengthy email was well written, courteous and informative. On Monday we received a ‘reply':

Thank you for the email.  We apologize for the delay.  Your application is still in review but is requiring unexpected additional time.  You will be updated with further status as soon as we are able.
We appreciated your continued patience.

Regards,
iPhone Developer Program

Same exact reply we have already received during past attempts. I would say it is just an auto responder if not for the delay receiving it.

Over the past few days we have noticed a lot more interest into the issue of DJ apps being held in review limbo. Multiple sites have started covering this issue in conjunction with the petition that was posted last week.

We figured that since more people were actively discussing this issue along with what could potentially be problematic about the applications we would outline our app a bit along with clearing up the ‘grey area’ issues.

Read on if you are interested about our features in depth, along with our methods for getting around Apple’s current device restrictions…

SONG USAGE & APPROVAL

We included 5 songs in version 1.0 of Sonorasaurus. We provided these songs as a way for new users to test out the App immediately after purchase since Apple would not allow us access to the iPhone iPod library. The songs would also change over time with future updates and be a means for us to work with labels and artists we liked in order to showcase their music to our users.

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Some Indulgence, Mystery (Ytre Rymden Dansskola Remix) and Ragazza were provided by Service Records.

Heart Strings and Wondering were provided by Melee Beats.

A potential issue that could arise from including these songs would be if we had used them without approval. They were not. The songs were approved and provided by the artist / label. Another problem would be that Apple could see this as a means to circumvent iTunes as a means to sell and distribute music. This we also addressed. These songs can only be used within the App. They can not be removed from the app / device for use elsewhere (iTunes on the desktop, burning to a CD, etc).

Other apps use included songs and music in a similar way. So is this a means for rejection? No.

MP3 TECHNOLOGY & PATENT RIGHTS

Another potential issue would be the use of MP3 technology. Most people are unaware that to use MP3s in electronic devices or software one must seek a license and approval from the patent holder in addition to paying royalties. We have done this. We spent weeks talking with the patent holders and outlining our software and intended use before ultimately being given permission to use MP3 decoding technology (which was not provided, we wrote it) on the iPhone.

Any reason to reject us when we have been approved to use this patented technology? No.

FILE HANDLING & MP3 LIBRARY

Since we are not allowed to use the iPod library the way we would need to for Sonorasaurus we have included a means for users to create their own library within Sonorasaurus for deejaying.

File Uploading

When a user has their computer and iPhone on the same network they can generate a unique IP address within Sonorasaurus. By plugging that address into a web browser on their computer they can then upload MP3s to Sonorasaurus.

We have noticed some commenters on sites saying that you need WIFI to run Sonorasaurus and access songs while deejaying. This is not the case. You only need WIFI to get the songs into the Sonorasaurus library. After transfer these songs stay on your device, accessible in Sonorasaurus, until you delete them. This method of file transfer and storage exists in numerous approved apps like Air Sharing.

Given that numerous file transfer applications exist and have been approved by apple is this a reason for Sonorasaurus to be rejected? No.

PROCESSING ISSUES / CPU TAXING

We have been extremely observant of processor use since the very early stages of development. We wanted to ensure that the app could be run smoothly for extended periods of time without being in conflict with any of the iPhone’s background processes.

This was a responsibility we carried across all the different iterations of the iPhone from EDGE to 3GS. Sure we could have focused on an optimized performance on the 3GS but then we would be ignoring countless other people that had not upgraded yet. So we made sacrifices in order to avoid over-taxing the CPU and facilitate all versions including iPod Touch.

An example of this is with one of the Effects. Some of the effects are expensive CPU wise. One particular case is Reverb. So for that particular effect we only allow it to be applied to one channel at a time. Aside from this case we were able to optimize most of Sonorasaurus’ features without restriction.

Given that we have been responsible for our keeping our software’s processing hunger in check should we be rejected? No.

Sonorasaurus

THIS APP HAS ALREADY BEEN APPROVED

In parts. Features and aspects of Sonorasaurus already exist in the iTunes App Store. Of which quite a few have been outlined above. Here are a few more quick examples.

Mixing:
Quixpin DJ allows a user to mix together two separate audio files that a user has uploaded to the device.

Packaged Songs:
Apps like Deadmau5 Mix contain music that a user can listen to and dynamically alter within the applications only.

File Uploading:
File uploading via HTTP and a browser already exists. An example of one of these apps is Air Sharing and of course there are many other apps like it.

DEVELOPERS ARE APPLE’S BEST CUSTOMERS.

Why? Just like the average iPhone user we own iphones. We have purchased the device, signed the contracts and pay monthly service fees. We buy apps continually to check out and research functionality in addition to seeing if something exists that may match our own idea too closely.

Beyond this we have also bought at least one Mac to do our development on. We have paid for Apple Care to ensure that our work machines will be taken care of in case of any malfunction. We pay the yearly fee to use the SDK and be iPhone Developers in addition to giving them 30% of our sales.

We do not just buy one iPhone. Most of us upgrade immediately and keep multiple versions (EDGE, 3G, 3GS) at hand for testing purposes. This also includes the iPod Touch.

So why are some of Apple’s best customers being treated this way?

COMING SOON

While we wait for news, approval or rejection from Apple we will continue to post more information about Sonorasaurus and answer some of the questions we have been getting. We would love to hear your thoughts and insight on these issues so jump into discussion on some of those existing articles or feel free to comment here.

Thanks for reading,
Pajamahouse Studios

  1. Great article. Strange that you have to wait so long.

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