Where am I?

Shadowclan? Riverclan? Grassclan?

September 29, 2009 at 08:43 PM | categories: home | View Comments

Evangelina continues to be a star on this intarweb thing (see these cat clans linking to images here). She is flattered by the copious praise for her fighting and hunting prowess (sadly nonexistent unless you count insect kills), but she does wish they'd learn how to tell a tom from a moggie, and what color her eyes really are. And if those riverclan people are implying that she's fat... well!

I'd add that some of the writers might benefit from further acquaintance with the humble comma. And what about "rouges"? Do they mean "rogues", perhaps?

Read and Post Comments

AlbumMixer and the search for "album shuffle"

September 28, 2009 at 08:00 PM | categories: iOS | View Comments

Apple finally responded to one of my numerous iTunes Connect inquiries. I keep asking them why AlbumMixer, despite having keywords "album,shuffle" can't be found by searching for "album shuffle" in the app store. Until now I've heard no response whatsoever.

But today there was a reply via email in my inbox: "If you do not see a resolution within 3 business days, please let us know." Apparently they're responding to my most recent inquiry, of 26 September. I wonder if that means all my previous messages were lost? Or ignored? Or are they just being terse?

Today's search for "album shuffle" still doesn't match my app. I'll give them until 2 October, as requested (that's really a full week from my latest report, and close to four weeks since I first reported the problem). In the meantime maybe they'll approve AlbumMixer 1.2: I'm still hoping that changing the app store name to "Album Mixer - Shuffle by Album" will fix the problem. Either way is fine with me: I have this crazy idea that there are lots of iPhone users out there who want album shuffle, and it's frustrating to think that they can't find my app.

Read and Post Comments

AlbumMixer 1.1

September 22, 2009 at 08:21 PM | categories: iOS | View Comments

AlbumMixer 1.0 has been doing reasonably well - especially considering that Apple still hasn't indexed the keywords, or responded to my inquiries via iTunes Connect. But the feedback from users has been good, and I've fixed a couple of bugs in the new 1.1 release. The release after that, 1.2, will add some fun new features.

Did I mention that the keywords I supplied aren't searchable? The 1.0 keywords were "iPod,album,shuffle,album shuffle,music". But searching for "album shuffle" wouldn't match my app. Searching for "album mixer" would, which implies that Apple is doing some word-splitting on app names - interesting. I was worried about the reference to "iPod", so for 1.1 I changed the keywords to "album,shuffle,random,music". The description isn't supposed to be searchable, but I removed "iPod" from that too. That did something: a few hours after 1.1 went live I was able to find it using "random album".

But searching for "album shuffle" still doesn't work. I suspect that Apple is silently ignoring keywords that match existing app names: there's a "Shuffle" and a "Shuffle!" in the app store. So in 1.2 I'm trying to change the app store name to "Album Mixer - Shuffle by Album", while leaving the display name alone so that it fits on the Springboard icon. I hope that will get the term "shuffle" through the hypothetical keyword filter. We shall see.

Given the lack of app store search keywords, I think most of my traffic so far has been coming from Apple's discussion forums (and Google searches matching those forums). I've been collecting threads there, and posting to them when possible. In no particular order.... I also posted a reply to this question.

Read and Post Comments

AlbumMixer 1.0

September 12, 2009 at 05:29 PM | categories: iOS | View Comments

AlbumMixer 1.0 is now available, bringing album shuffle to the iPhone. This was my favorite feature from the iPod classic, and I signed up for the iPhone developer program specifically so I could re-implement it (Album Shuffle is interesting, but despite the name it doesn't really shuffle the albums in my music library). I hope it's useful to other iPhone owners: let me know if you run into problems or have ideas for improvements. The application page is here (for now, please report any problems or make suggestions by commenting on this post).

It took Apple almost exactly 14 days to approve the application, just as they predicted, and it was approved on a Saturday. I'm impressed that they're working so hard to keep up with the massive influx of new iPhone apps.

I'm less impressed that searching for "album shuffle" in the iTunes App Store doesn't match AlbumMixer, even though searching for "album mixer" does match. After some digging, I found a FAQ in which Apple states that it can take up to 24 hours for the app store to index new keywords. That's too bad: I could sell them a better solution.

[Follow-up: 6 days later, keyword search still isn't working. I've attempted to contact Apple via iTunes Connect, but so far I haven't even seen an acknowledgment.]

Read and Post Comments