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discchord v3.2: Never Forget!

With the release of discchord v3.1 over the summer I got some great feature suggestions from you guys for discchord v3.2! I wrote every single one of them down. Then threw them all out because Apple's new App Store broke the shit out of their iTunes API. This site relies heavily upon the iTunes API for both the AppDB and news aggregation. With the iTunes API going wonky, I misreported a couple of updates as "news" when they were actually old updates that iTunes was erroneously reporting with new dates.

To prevent this from ever happening again, I completely rewrote huge sections of the site's backend to track app history independently from iTunes. This includes all price changes, updates, and if an app was pulled.

Rather than hide all of that good data in my administrative tools, I've made it a part of the AppDB! Now you can see which apps are being updated regularly and which apps are price bouncing.

What's new in discchord v3.2:

  • App History!
  • Wishlist
  • Price Alerts for sales on Wishlist
  • User Profile Tweaks
  • A fucking mountain of backend stuff

App History

The new App History may look familiar to AppShopper users. This is because Step 1 of the App History implementation was to scrape the hell out of AppShopper for all of their app history data. There are over 1,700 in the AppDB, and all of the iOS and macOS apps now have histories going back to 2010. Now whenever you go to any app in the AppDB you'll see the last 20 historical events.

While I was at it, I also stole AppShopper's idea for displaying other apps by a developer.

Wishlist

While you're on those AppDB pages you'll also notice a new Wishlist button in the top right for every app. This new feature will help you keep track of the apps you want, but aren't necessarily ready to buy. If an app on your Wishlist goes on sale the site will automatically email you to let you know! This is going to be super handy as we roll into Black Friday sales!

To make these price alerts work the site needs to actually know your email address. If you signed up for the site with Facebook or Twitter then the site doesn't know where to reach you. To fix that I've updated the profile page to let you change or add an email. Only you and I can see your email, no one else can or ever will!

User Profile Changes

While I was at it, I made some other improvements to the user profile pages. Previously you'd only see the last 10 comments and posts from a user, but I've now made that limitless. If you are viewing your own profile you'll also see any @Mentions as well as your Wishlist. This is a convenient place to manage your wishlist. You can unwish... dewish... you can remove apps here. Any apps that are currently on sale will be at the top of the list.

The site might get a little bumpy this weekend as I finalize some other secret stuff in the background. I've taken the price alert email thingy offline for just a couple days while I tweak that to make it pretty... and make sure it won't spam the shit out of anyone. But you can start adding apps to your wishlists now!

Update: The price alerts email thing is now live. Please report any screw-ups immediately! It has been extremely hard to test it off-line. I'm 99% sure it won't go crazy and spam people! Seriously. Let me know!

Help Me, Help You

I might actually end up losing money on this whole deal. A large portion of the site's income is through iTunes affiliate links. I get a fixed percentage of every sale. So when you buy apps on sale instead of full price that share is smaller. I'm also toying with the idea of spooling up a third server to help run the site backend stuff. This would make the price alerts much more timely because it could check more frequently. So to help me offset costs and losses, please consider becoming a Patron!

Patrons get a nice ad free experience on the site, and genuinely help me stay afloat! Win-win!

Reader Comments 27

That's great! Thanks for all of your hard work and bringing us all of this news and content. It is very appreciated.
November 17, 2017  | person Sonakinesis
Excellent work.

Hopefully you're doing due diligence on the CYA front though: Cupertino lawyers have been known to trifle over less.
November 17, 2017  | person Nonny Moose
Great work! Thank you!
Outstanding. You’re an awesome resource.
November 17, 2017  | favorite_border Koenig
On November 17, 2017 - @Nonny Moose said:
Hopefully you're doing due diligence on the CYA front though: Cupertino lawyers have been known to trifle over less.
Yes... I'm pretty flagrant with a lot of EULAs and TOSes. I live by the creed, "Warranties were made to be voided!" But I do not mess with Texas, nor Apple!

On November 17, 2017 - @Koenig said:
Outstanding. You’re an awesome resource.
And thank you for helping me find a bug! It was a nasty one affecting nearly half of all users, so I'm glad we caught that quickly! You should now be able to add apps to your wishlist!
Thanks for all of your hard work Tim. Lots of folks were disappointed with the new AppStore since the app wish list is gone (other’s were relieved thinking it would help them save money...). Anyway, everything you’ve done to the site sounds good and I fully intend to make use of the user features.

I always appreciate the timely news and features. Long live Discchord!!!
On November 17, 2017 - @Tim Webb said:
And thank you for helping me find a bug! It was a nasty one affecting nearly half of all users, so I'm glad we caught that quickly! You should now be able to add apps to your wishlist!

LOL. You were able to find and assassinate that bug just by tracking my clicking actions? well played.
November 17, 2017  | favorite_border Koenig
@Koenig: It isn't as creepy as "tracking clicking actions" LOL! I just have really good logs.

As soon as the site detects a critical error it grabs everything that's been happening and who it was happening to, then it lets me know. It showed me effectively:

Koenig hit this error....
Koenig hit this error....
Koenig hit this error....
Koenig hit this error....
Koenig hit this error....
Koenig hit this error....

and I was able to figure it out from there.
Nice work, Tim!
November 17, 2017  | person_outline Will
This is cool Tim. About the funding though... I'm not wild about asking for Patreon subscriptions myself, because I don't create content regularly... and, I know a lot of people don't feel great about an auto billed monthly on their credit card.

I've asked Patreon if it was possible to offer a monthly AND have paid posts. They it's either one or the other. Or, you can have two accounts, one paid post and the other monthly. I wanted them both in one account so that monthly subscribers could see paid posts too.

Anyway... I bet many more would feel comfortable to be able to do a one-off every now and then on a paid post. That way, they can support your efforts AND don't have to worry about the monthly commitment.

I'm mentioning it because it appear you likely have the coding skills to blend 2 accounts into one on your own. If so, I think you could get more sporadic support... in addition to the monthly and affiliate stuff.

Just a thought, and thanks for all you do! I've already got my wish list started :)
November 18, 2017  | person skiphunt
Great update, Tim!
November 18, 2017  | person Drunken Master
This is awesome. Thanks for the great work Tim!
November 18, 2017  | person Yak Nepper
@skiphunt: That's kind of what I've been doing. There are two Patreon accounts. One for videos, which is "per video", and one for the site which is monthly. Both are tied into the site's backend to give Patron status to Patreons from both campaigns.

Videos: https://patreon.com/discchord
Site: https://patreon.com/discchord_com

Both get hooked up here with no ads and Patron flair on comments.
@Tim Ah, sorry. Yes, that is exactly what you’ve been doing. For some reason I thought the paid videos were part of your monthly. I vaguely remember you telling me parts of this before. It’s coming back to me now. ;) Sooo, never mind... thx & keep on keeping on.
November 18, 2017  | person skiphunt
A little OT... But... Speaking of "never forget"

I have just gotten updates in my appstore dating back to 2015...

The apps are already running at the version number the app store wants to push to me again.. (And the date is 2015 on these updates)

The "old" apps in question are:
Play by ear
Reforge
Steel guitar
Pixi visor
Nave

-> all these apps just popped up as updates in my appstore - they are already installed and the update date is 2015.
-> other info: ipad air2 ios 9.3.3

Anybody else experience this strangeness?

Anywho, couldnt find any info online so i hope this post helps someone/thing somewhere- if only to be in solidarity with others who have noticed this...

Thats all- and - thx tim:)
November 18, 2017  | person_outline Spaced Invader
On November 18, 2017 - @Spaced Invader said:
A little OT... But... Speaking of "never forget"

I have just gotten updates in my appstore dating back to 2015...

The apps are already running at the version number the app store wants to push to me again.. (And the date is 2015 on these updates)

The "old" apps in question are:
Play by ear
Reforge
Steel guitar
Pixi visor
Nave

-> all these apps just popped up as updates in my appstore - they are already installed and the update date is 2015.
-> other info: ipad air2 ios 9.3.3

Anybody else experience this strangeness?

Anywho, couldnt find any info online so i hope this post helps someone/thing somewhere- if only to be in solidarity with others who have noticed this...

Thats all- and - thx tim:)

I sent a screen cap to Tim with basically the exact same list of apps looking to update backwards for 2015. I'm not really sure how to deal with my appstore now but hopefully this site will do it. Thank you, Tim!

Unbelievable that Apple has chosen that date. It could mean that this date might hold some special significance, being the temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum! Other than that it could just be an amazing coincidence.
November 18, 2017  | person MikeV
Pls, Mike...

We musn't speak of temporal anomalies, quantum realities or "the field" in public... :p

- but - good to see another traveller traversing this domain;) enjoy your journey:)
November 18, 2017  | person_outline Spaced Invader
On November 18, 2017 - @MikeV said:
Unbelievable that Apple has chosen that date. It could mean that this date might hold some special significance, being the temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum! Other than that it could just be an amazing coincidence.
They are trying to take us back to 2015 to stop Brexit and Trump! Apple are certainly arrogant enough to meddle with time travel.
:p

Attack drums and tc performer have joined "the list"
November 18, 2017  | person_outline Spaced Invader
A flux capacitor with no buttons or headphone jack.
November 18, 2017  | person MikeV
On November 18, 2017 - @Spaced Invader said:
:p

Attack drums and tc performer have joined "the list"

If you aren't logged in it isn't adding to the list. Did you not get a message alerting you that you need to login?

I just tested it myself in a separate browser and it was giving me the "You must be logged in..." message.
On November 18, 2017 - @Spaced Invader said:
A little OT... But... Speaking of "never forget"

I have just gotten updates in my appstore dating back to 2015...

The apps are already running at the version number the app store wants to push to me again.. (And the date is 2015 on these updates
I’ve got 15 late 2015 app update notices and they keeping coming. They are also noted on the old version of iTunes (I did not update it). They were there on iOS 10 AppStore, going to 11 didn’t change it. I am hoping they go away, but I may have too just update to get them off the list and hope that doesn’t screw the apps up.
November 19, 2017  | person Laarz
On November 19, 2017 - @Laarz said:
I’ve got 15 late 2015 app update notices and they keeping coming. They are also noted on the old version of iTunes (I did not update it). They were there on iOS 10 AppStore, going to 11 didn’t change it. I am hoping they go away, but I may have too just update to get them off the list and hope that doesn’t screw the apps up.

You might want to avoid that! Some of the updates iTunes has been resurfacing are actually previous versions. That could really screw up things for you if you don't have a way to get the latest version.
Yeah, even more are popping up ...

I will not update the "already updated" apps from the appstore either...

Seems there is a worm in the apple..?
November 19, 2017  | person_outline Spaced Invader
Update:

Still waiting on apple to email me for 100% confirmation, but i have discovered this information online (which is probably true) :

-> Apple is re-signing some apps with new certificates. This means older apps are being pushed through the update process again.
.

I will keep you updated.
November 20, 2017  | person_outline Spaced Invader
I just realized that the wishlist in the AppStore is gone since iOS 11, so I’m very very thankful that you’ve put it into your site!! Thanks a lot for all the good work you’re doing!
November 21, 2017  | person Ornette
On November 20, 2017 - @Spaced Invader said:
Update:

Still waiting on apple to email me for 100% confirmation, but i have discovered this information online (which is probably true) :

-> Apple is re-signing some apps with new certificates. This means older apps are being pushed through the update process again.
.

I will keep you updated.
Hey Space Invader, any response from Apple? Have you updated the old updates?
November 23, 2017  | person Laarz
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