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discchord v3.1: The Roll-out Begins with new Contest Mode

The new site has been running quite smoothly since the launch back in October! I'm seriously relieved to see it doing so well. Developing the new CMS basically meant sacrificing 2016 from my life, but from what I gather I didn't miss much. All of that work has been worth it though, and that is reflected in how much more you guys are coming to the site! Monthly views have tripled since launch!

We were at a constant 200,000, but that soared to 600,000 in March. Here are the raw numbers:

Who Sponsors the Sponsors

With views this high I'm able to offer advertising at an extremely low rate that I hope will be attractive to sponsors. I've taken all of the old prices and cut them in half! Previously each slot had 50,000 guaranteed views, but now they each get 100,000 minimum. That's twice the views for half the price!

Blocking AdBlock

AdBlock does not block my in-house ads, but it does block all AdSense ads. I get it. Many of those AdSense ads suck. But this site is supported by advertising revenue. This is my job. So I've added some nags for people that are running AdBlocker. For those of you who aren't running an AdBlocker, or have whitelisted discchord, thank you!

For those of you that absolutely do not want to see any ads, become a Patron! Patreon patrons get a completely ad free experience; including in-house ads.

This is true for both site Patrons and Let's Play Patrons.

What's new in discchord v3.1:

Since the launch in October I've been working on minor tweaks and bug fixes, as well as performance boosts. Once I had all of that taken care of I started setting my sights on the next big thing. Discchord v3.1!

Here are some of the key features coming in discchord v3.1:

  • Preset Sharing (ETA August) - This has been a frequent request. I like the idea of sharing app presets here so we're doing it! I've been thinking a lot on how to implement it, and think I should be able to pull it off. I want to get this done in time for the site's 6th Anniversary.
  • Tweaks to App Voting (ETA June-July) - I want to streamline the process of voting Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down on the Music App DB. The "Discchord Reader Rating" is only useful if lots of people are voting for apps, so I want to make that process as easy as possible.
  • Contest Mode (ETA Today!) - Doing giveaways on Twitter and Facebook limit those giveaways to just people using those services. Instead I want to offer giveaways to people who use discchord!

Comment for a chance to Win Audulus for iOS!

In fact, this post is a contest! Everyone who comments on this post has a chance to win a copy of Audulus!

To make that work, and to make sure people aren't just commenting over and over again to increase their chances, I've had to limit contests to registered users. I'm sorry to all the anonymous posters here, I really do try hard to include you, but pulling this off requires registration.

You can comment here with whatever you'd like, but I'd be especially interested in hearing any suggestions you have for 3.2... or how to get you guys to use the forums you bugged me to make for years.

I have 5 copies of Audulus to give away, and will close the contest Monday morning. The site will then automatically email out the codes to all of the winners!

Contest Entries 42

Good luck with the site. I use it to check up on iOS news and generally buy my apps using your links.
May 12, 2017  | person Charlie
Great site as of now - reading it every day, and congrats with the positive view stats. Very well deserved indeed. And exciting goodies in the pipeline as well and great to see that the non facetwitters are not left out in the cold. Thanks Tim!
Site looks good and I like the new commenting functions. If I should be so lucky to win an Audulus code, I'll happily pass it on to someone who hasn't bought it yet. Now if only I could buckle down and use it instead of just intending to. :)
Congrats on the site's excellent performance and the high view numbers! I was going to comment anyway, but a contest? Heck yeah, I'd love to get Audulus for free.

The preset sharing sounds wonderful.

I really should take some time and do more app voting...so I will.
Good site and gets even better . For me it is always a daily evening routine to check the (iOS ) news here. Thanks for all,winning or not.
May 12, 2017  | person vasre
Great to see the site going from strength to strength! I'm a long time lurker and have benefited so much from the site - I have now finally signed up and whitelisted :)

+1 for preset sharing, that would be awesome
May 12, 2017  | person tehbri
Keep up the great work. Not sure how to get people to use forums. I will poke around and see whats out there.

Thank you very much for the daily iOS music app news! It is my pleasure to send a few bucks each month to you via patreon. I always look forward to what you have for us each and every day.

- Tony
I am new to the site. Just come across it. Enjoying what i have looked at so far. Good news and information.
The forums look a little light though. You asked for suggestions. I love good forums.
May 12, 2017  | person Zenke
great update! keeping my hopes up for an Audulus copy :)
Great work getting to V3.1 and looking forward to future updates!

One comment on the site - a couple of weeks ago, I was updating my AppList spreadsheet to align with your categorization in the Music App Guide and found quite a few that you haven't categorized. Is going back and tagging some of the older apps on your to-do list or is this something you just do going forward?

Also, I note a couple of what I would think are logical categories to be missing. For example, "Generative" and "Granular". There are a handful of generative apps (thinking things like MoodScaper, Arpeggionome, etc) and one or two truly granular apps (e.g. Borderlands). Any chance you could add these as separate categories?
I love the new site! I don't mind the ads at all. I think your layout makes it so the ads don't feel very intrusive. And anyway, I read plenty of news articles that are much worse. That's just the way the internet works. If you want free internet, you have to deal with ads. Honestly, if you decided to add a sponsors page so you could have more ads, I would visit it every now and then to help support you too. It's the least I could do.

I'm super excited about preset sharing options. I hope the community is active enough to make that possible. Especially for older apps that aren't getting as much love these days.

Keep up the good work!

May 12, 2017  | person Okgm2
I've loved the site for a long time and appreciate the constant source of news and humor that you provide! Congrats on the success! I think preset sharing sounds great, even if it starts the great "is using presets cheating debate". Even when I'm not using apps as much, I always come back for update news, reviews, and the great user videos. Thanks Tim!
May 12, 2017  | person bvsmv
This is one of the few sites I visit regularly. Count me in for the Audulus contest.
May 13, 2017  | stars Sereptie
Doh! I didn't realize there was a forum. Shows how much my brain filters out the links and stuff on the sides of the pages. I'm just coming here for news, but now I'll take a look at the forum.
would love to win a copy of audulus as i want expand my knowledge with iPad apps,been coming on here daily for a while now and its become a bit of an addiction and it very up to date with news
May 13, 2017  | person beast
Thanks for the awesome site.
How about a "keep me logged in" option to comment and use the forum more smoothly?
Maybe it is already there and i just missed it?

As a patron being ad free is nice, but I liked the in-house ads because they are usually relevant to me...normally being for iOS apps and synth patches, etc.

Also, you should realize that some of those ads play audio on some browsers. It is incompatible with a site that is devoted to music.

This ROLL out out has me feelin' good................I haven't had a ROLL out in a long time.

I have been up all night with this ROLL out. Good shit.
May 13, 2017  | person TBIRD
Congrats on what sounds like really good results. I've had a year of not being able to do as much music stuff as I'd like, but your site has been my first call whenever I dip into it, throughout.
May 13, 2017  | person milko
You and the Music App Blog are my bible for everything I do with iPad in the Music realm. Considering I use my iPad almost independently without my laptop, I NEED you guys, so thank you very much :)
Been meaning to register for some time now.
...So many passwords so little memory.

Kudos on the evolution of the site...beautiful!
May 13, 2017  | person MrJames
Nicely done! Looking forward to the new design.
May 13, 2017  | person MC
An interesting consequence to the contest mode is that we can't actually talk back and forth. I've limited it to just registered users being able to comment, and only allow them to comment once.

Developers and myself are allowed to comment an unlimited number of times because our comments don't count as contest entries. I should probably revisit that and let people talk as much as they want and just count them once. Because now I feel weird responding to people here who can't respond back!

Thank you very much to everyone for the continued support! It is cliched to say things like, "none of this would be possible without you", but that's the honest truth. There is no fucking way I'd ever work this hard on the site if it weren't for you guys!

@Toz Bourne: You found a really tricky bug with voting on Android apps! I was able to fix it thanks to your enthusiastic efforts to vote, and my detailed logging. That was seriously one of the weirder bugs I've seen. It was actually a bug in the database software, which I can't fix directly, but was able to make a solid workaround for.

@BDBaker1958: I tried to keep the AppDB categorization as broad as possible. So most of the "granular" apps were labeled "experimental" as a catch-all.

When I was first figuring out the design for the AppDB categories I had over-engineered it with tags that could be assigned to apps. So an app could have multiple tags to categorize it. This is the way most people do that sort of thing, but there were several usability problems with it. The biggest problem was in how I want the app ratings to work. If a super popular app like Animoog is in multiple categories, then it is going to steal the "#1 in category X" position from apps that might deserve it more in that specific tag.

The way I have it now is kind of a middle-ground between being too granular and being too broad. Or at least I hope it is!

I know there are a few apps that didn't get categorized. The categorization is about the only editorial control I exert, because I don't want to flood categories with sub-par apps. That is not to say that all non-categorized apps are necessarily sub-par. There are a lot that I've just missed! Let me look this up... there are 1563 apps in the DB, of those 1479 list music as their primary genre. If you have some suggestions for categorizing classic apps I've missed go ahead and email me or make a forum post!

@Yak Nepper: This is the only area in my life that the European Union has any direct impact. You know how a lot of sites have an annoying nag saying, "We're using cookies! Click to agree!" That's a requirement of the EU. Furthermore, that's a really stupid requirement of the EU... because the web relies on cookies for all persistence. So to avoid having to nag people about cookies, I'm using something called Sessions for login. Sessions are kind of like cookies that self-clean.

They're unfortunately super inconsistent about when they decide to clean themselves out of your browser. This inconsistency annoys me, so with your encouragement, I think I'll look into thumbing my nose at the EU... and just implement real cookies! Added it to my TODO list!
I'm visiting the site daily for the news.

Though, I wish it would be more functional for reference purpose. The current search results just show the full articles and are limited to a few results a page!
A Google style search results page would be great, also using categories and keywords filters might help.
May 13, 2017  | person Marcel
@Marcel: That's an interesting suggestion to give more results instead of the full articles. I'll have to think about that!
I finally became a patron. 'Bout time. I encourage others to do the same. It's not much and I visit this site all the time.

Oh look! Bling for my post!! Suh-weeeeet!
May 13, 2017  | stars stub
I very happy your site, I check nearly every day for news and buy apps through this site. Good luck with it!
May 13, 2017  | person Ornette
The only mobile music site that matters (to me). Cheers Tim.
Hi Tim,
great site, great work, thank you because i find a lot of ressources here.
It's funny it's my first comment ever here (i just registered) but i visit every day (some days several times) and often think about things to say when reading about apps.... Now the door is open and that's cool (ok i must admit the chance of winning a copy of Audulus kinda pushed me)
Sorry if this isn't all clear, i'm french.

à bientôt!

ps: great idea the bot trap, first time i see one.
May 13, 2017  | person Alesk
Hi Tim-

I appreciate that you post videos and albums of readers' music. It might be a good way to build more community to put a tab on the menu to display those posts for readers' music. If you don't want to add tags for all the past posts it could just be done going forward. And maybe give people an option to select from a few simple genre tags when they submit, (like EDM, experimental, prog, or what have you) to add a bit of filtering. I like that there are so many approaches that people take in their electronic music. I am hoping to get a video done so I can participate too.

It also is another showcase for the apps that are used, and of course again highlighting the links you provide for those apps. I make a point of clicking through this site when buying apps, even when it is not something music related, so this might encourage more of this type of support.

Thanks for all the good work! Oh, and more fake news too please.

@Alesk: Your English is better than some native speakers! Yes, the bot trap works wonders. That nails about 99.9% of spam, and the other anti-spam measures I have in place take care of the rest. It is amazing how many bots are running around trying to spam blogs.

@Laarz: That's a very interesting idea. I'm going to have to think hard about how/if to implement that. It's a good idea even if I can't pull it off though!
Thx for sharing tim, audulus would be welcome , greeetz
May 14, 2017  | person Obiwahn
I love this site, and appreciate everything you've been doing. This is one of my "check several times daily" sites. Thanks for your hard work!

May 14, 2017  | stars Dirtbeard
Great work on the new site! I'm here every day...
One idea that might be interesting would be a "Track Testing" part of the forum. (Probably needs a better name) I would especially be interested in comparing Effects apps. There could be a short, dry track of something (like guitar), and then there could be examples of what different apps can do to it. My main reason for wanting this is because many guitar effects reviews are done by really good guitarists, so never know what effect that app is having.

It might also be cool with short MIDI tracks, to then mess around with in different synth apps.

Thanks for the site, it's a daily visit for me.
Thanks for running this site and videos you make! A great resource, to be sure.

A place for posting presets would be fantastic - looking forward to that.

Regarding app ratings, I would only suggest something more granular than thumbs up / thumbs down. There are very few apps that I would actually give a thumbs down to, especially considering the prices involved. However, there are also very few apps that I would consider perfect. It would be great to be able to rate things more granularly.

It would also be nice to see a more compact viewing with more apps per page.
Thanks for running this site! Without discchord, I really doubt I would have come to learn a fraction of what I have learned about iOS synths. Cheers!
@Osidenick: That's an interesting idea. Can you think some more on that and email me with a proposal for how that would work out on a forum? I like the outline a lot though! That's a great way for the community to work together.

@ajp: Yes, stubs has also suggested a more compact layout. This is definitely going to be a key part of the new design!

The matter of scoring is something I've wrestled with for ages, dating back to the original Music App Guide. I don't like the way most scoring systems work, because America.

Literally, because America... but more specifically our schools. They taught us that 75% is a C, and that is average. Our schools are profoundly bad at math, because 50 would be the average on a 0-100 scale. This has had a pretty awful effect on all ratings. If you use a 5 star system, people automatically do the math to calculate out that 4 stars = 80% or, "slightly above average." But 80% is way better than average! So if I tell someone an app is 4 stars they're likely to think, "Bah, not that great huh?" When in reality I would mean that it is far better than the average app, because the more mundane apps would be 2-2.5!

This has been a real problem in video game reviews, which universally tend to fall between 7-9 on a 10 point scale. So a 7 is bad, and a 9 is great. That's not much more resolution than thumbs up or thumbs down. So I stole the idea from Steam, which uses the same system of thumbs up/thumbs down, and average that.
I've been a long time lurker here but I'm happy to register for a chance to win things :)

I'm looking forward to the preset sharing too. Keep up the good work.
May 15, 2017  | person tristan
I have been a patron for some months now. I also want to encourage others to do the same, especially if you visit daily as I do, always hoping for news about app releases.

I would visit the forum more often if there were topics, but nope. Maybe you could start discussions on newly released apps or app-updates, to take some of the commenting away from the news posts.
Maybe link to discussions from newsposts, and or links to discussions from items in the app guide

Lastly I do not own Audulus but I would like to ;)
I love the new site! This was a huge programming effort on your part and I'm very happy to see that it's paying off!

If you can, keep me out of the contest because I already own Audulus.


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