Evil Blogger Attacks Defenseless Transnational Megacorp

Ever since the release of the New™ iPad Pro models I've been receiving bug reports from readers experiencing odd headphone audio latency in music apps. This latency starts off small, and grows rapidly over time into a debilitating delay! This coincides with an odd digital noise from the headphone output on the new iPad Pros.

Apple Doesn't Care About Music Apps

Some adventurous members of the community updated to the iOS 11 beta and reported that this had solved their problems. So I didn't bother reporting on it; partly because I hoped iOS 11 would solve the problem for everyone, but mostly because me reporting on anything Apple is doing is like pissing into an oncoming wave and expecting that to stop the tsunami. In September, with the release of iOS 11, we discovered that this it did not fix the problem. So here I stand on firm ground with my fly open.

In addition to the latest iPad Pro models, we are now getting reports that iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus models are also affected by the noise issue... which is surprising since they don't even have a built-in headphone jack!

You can read through the horror stories on the Audiobus forum, and also on Apple's User Discussion forum. Lots of people have tried a lot of different "fixes" but these tend not to be a full solution for all users. Several users reported that they have less noise on hardware interfaces if they change the samplerate from 48k to 44.1k in their apps. And some users report this also fixes the noise issue on the headphone jack.

It Just Works

This has been an ongoing issue, with reports from users dating back to July, but Apple has yet to make any official statement on the matter. This despite some big names weighing in on the official Apple forum, like YouTuber Cuckoo. I would say that their silence was disappointing, but that would imply that I held some other expectation. After living in Apple's world for the last 6+ years, I have no such expectation. "It just works..." except when it doesn't. Then you're just fucked.

Let's Keep Kicking the Can Down the Road

iOS 11.1 beta 2 reportedly fixes these issues, at least on new iPad Pros. From the patch notes:


Resolved Issues

  • Fixed an occasionally occurring issue with audio latency or distortion on iPad Pro (12.9- inch) (2nd generation) and iPad Pro (10.5-inch). (33844393)

So perhaps we'll finally see a solution whenever iOS 11.1 arrives... Let's just hope it also fixes any iPhone 8/X issues while it's at it.

Let's Play with SynthScaper

I think I finally pronounced Igor Vasiliev correctly in this week's Let's Play! I'm so proud of this one... I mean the video itself is good, but I'm really proud of getting his name right. I hate it when my fellow Americans casually butcher other peoples' names. That's not cool. With the MidiFire tutorial below, this is a Tim Double Feature!

Video Description:

SoundScaper is one of my favorite "experimental" sound design apps, and SynthScaper builds that into a more practical synth app! If you've enjoyed this series please consider making a gift by becoming a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com

Apple iPhone X Announced

Today's Apple iPhone announcement brought several new additions to their lineup, but nothing that hadn't already been leaked. In fact it is amazing how many rumors were correct. This made all of the false rumors somewhat disappointing. Literally everything Apple announced today had been known for months, so all they were doing was revealing which rumored features that didn't make the cut.

Apple Watch 3

They began the show with a new Apple Watch Series 3 that includes a built-in cellular chip. This makes the device much more independent! Unfortunately it is still a giant brick strapped to your wrist, and at a premium $400 price for the cellular version. There were a lot of rumors that this new Apple Watch was going to include non-invasive blood sugar monitoring, but alas that is not yet available. I've been on a fitness kick this year, and glucose monitoring would have finally gotten me to buy one of these. They talked about some heart rate research for early alerts on Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), but it is all still research and not yet FDA approved.

Apple TV: Still a Thing

Apple reminded us all that they have a TV set-top-box, and this will now support 4K content. They tried pretty hard to convince us that this time the Apple TV was definitely going to be a gaming console.

No one was convinced.

iPhone 8

This year's iPhone would ordinarily be the S model, so you might have been expecting an iPhone 7S today. But once again the rumors nailed this and it is in fact being dubbed an iPhone 8. Bigger, faster, yada yada. They rolled out some impressive sounding stuff for photography, but the only big upgrade between the iPhone 7 and 8 is Bluetooth 5.0 and Qi wireless charging. The lowest-cost model gets a bump up from 32GB to 64GB on both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus.

iPhone X

The iPhone X (pronounced: aɪˌfəʊn tɛn) announcement was equal parts exciting and disappointing. The new 10th Anniversary iPhone drops the iconic Home Button, and features an elaborate multi-sensor 3D-InfraRed camera on the front. This allows you to unlock the phone simply by looking at it. And you will want to look at it quite a lot, because it is the first iPhone with an OLED display. This is big news! If any of your friends or family have a Samsung phone, you might have been wondering why their screen looks so much better when Apple is telling you that you have this amazing Retina Display.

The secret sauce for Samsung has been OLED since 2011, introduced on the Galaxy S2. Now Apple customers can get the same display in what Apple are unapologetically calling Super Retina. The importance of OLED cannot be understated. The difference in display quality is probably enough to get me to pop for this over the iPhone 8, and at $1,000 for the base model that is a big pop.

There were rumors many months ago, started by Robert Scoble with the insistence that he had insider information from Apple, that the iPhone X would be transparent. Fuck Robert Scoble. He's an annoyingly arrogant ass at his best, and now at his worst he made today's announcement a lot less impressive.

Apple didn't need help making the announcement any more lackluster, because it arrived with nothing new to show. They actually rolled out the same exact AR game demo they used at WWDC. I still have high hopes for AR, especially in the creative realm, but instead of doing anything interesting with it they played the same game demo and then animated shit emojis. Seriously. They spent 10 minutes animating emojis with their faces. I've never yawned so much in a single press conference.

While the iPhone 8 will be available for preorders this Friday, shipping on the 22nd, the iPhone X will not be available for another month. Apple will be taking iPhone X preorders on the 27th of October and they will begin shipping November 3rd.

If you thought you were going to make it through this day without punching a baby, then Jony Ive has some condescendingly smug words for you.

Apple iPhone Event 2017: The Rumor Mill

Today Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, as well as an ultra model being dubbed the iPhone X. At something like $1,200 the iPhone X is expected to have features unavailable on the more modest, but still really fucking expensive, iPhone 8. These features are expected to include edge-to-edge bevel-less display, and no home button. In place of the home button will be something like the Touch Bar found on MacBook Pro. The already large iPhone 7 is expected to grow even more in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X according to peripheral and case manufacturers.

Or at least those are the rumors. There are a hell of a lot of those this year!

We'll know for sure in about an hour at 10 A.M. California time. This gives us some time to make up our own rumors because that's what Apple coverage is all about! Comment here with your own outlandish schemes and see if you can outdo Apple at their own game.

discchord v3.1: Preset Sharing... Now with more downloading!

I thought the preset uploading was going to be the hard part, but actually downloading the presets presented some challenges that I was unprepared for! Safari and Chrome on iOS simply would not download preset files, instead displaying them like text files. This is a somewhat understandable security precaution, Apple don't want you downloading random nonsense on iOS, but it's a bit overzealous and annoying for our purposes!

The Dilemma

If you haven't been following the discussion of this problem in the comments section, there were a couple of workarounds. The easiest (for me) was for people to simply use different browsers. Puffin lets you "Download to Dropbox" where you can then "Open In..." the files with their appropriate app. iCab Mobile doesn't give a fuck and will let you download anything you want. Both of these solutions require the use of paid apps though, and I didn't want to force everyone to do that. Also, if you like your browser I don't want you to have to switch just to use discchord.

These are mobile presets, so you should be able to easily download them on your mobile device! One workaround on my end would be to either require, or force, all uploads to be .zipped. You could then open the zipped file in AudioShare, and then import presets from there. This was a pretty good idea, because I'm sure 90% of you already have AudioShare, and the other 10% of you probably should. But... I still didn't like the idea of forcing you to pay for an app to use the presets here.

This is where I'm really glad I spent most of 2016 writing discchord v3 from the ground up. Not only can I add site-specific features like preset sharing, I can write entirely new code libraries to make them work. So I did!

Dropbox Mirroring

Now whenever someone uploads a preset to the site, my code will immediately mirror it to Dropbox. So the file exists both here on the discchord server cluster as well as inside of Dropbox's cloud. When you press the Download Preset button, one of two things happens. If you're coming to the site on anything other than an iOS device you will download the file as normal. This will also happen if you spoof your OS user-agent, so if you're an iCab Mobile Power User and just want raw downloads you can do that. But if you are on your iOS device; instead of downloading the file you will be redirected to a Shared Download Link on Dropbox.

Now the only app you need to have installed on your iOS device is Dropbox! And Dropbox is free!

You'll notice I've also tweaked the way iTunes links are displayed. Now you can see an app's Discchord Reader Rating, Comments on the AppDB, as well as a number showing how many presets have been uploaded for it. Dropbox is kind of a poor example of that, so here are the ones with presets available now. Clicking on the preset number, or icon, will take you directly to the presets page for that app.

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