I haven't released an official major update to the site in a year. In fact, and completely by coincidence, the last major update was exactly one year ago tomorrow. I've been preoccupied with my other coding projects, but that does not mean that I've been neglecting discchord. I've learned a lot from the other projects, and I've been applying what I learn here.
This 3.3 update to the site includes a lot of fixes that I've been slowly trickling into the code base, along with a number of performance improvements. Some of these fixes include some boneheaded mistakes on my part. I had to unban over 50 IPs today because I found my anti-hacking code was being a bit agro if you approached the login page at a weird angle.
There are also some substantive changes I wanted to get done ahead of Black Friday Week.
Music App Sales
Astute readers will note that the side menu now includes Music App Sales under the Music App Guide. This is a feature the site could always do, but hasn't out of respect for other sites. A lot of other sites in the music app community have given me space here to cover the news. A few of them have been covering app sales exclusively. They were deliberately avoiding my toes, so I tried not to step on theirs and their app sale commissions. Since Apple has ended app sale commissions I've decided to include that service here.
Here you can quickly find the latest app sales, because they're all sorted in order of most recent. As in the Music App Guide, you can further sort by device and category. If you are looking for a DAW on iPad you can find just those sales here!
What you will not find on this list is Price Bouncers!
I've hated Price Bouncers since the very early days of the site. These are the guys that are constantly jumping around in price because sites like AppShopper would list their "sales" in among the recently updated apps. It is a lazy way of getting attention for your app, without having to do all that tedious updating. This is unfair to other developers who get pushed out of the way by their antics. It is unfair to consumers who might purchase it at the high point of the price bounce. And it really really pissed me off because I have to double-check every single sale I've ever posted here to make sure it is a genuine sale and not this nonsense.
The App History pictured on the right here is from StompBox, which has been price bouncing for months now. It spends most of its time at $8, but if you're unlucky you could buy it on a day it is $15. To help prevent people from making this sort of mistake I've been tracking all the apps on the App Store to develop an algorithm that will flag these apps. Now when you see a link here for an app, it might have a Price Bouncer tag added to it. Like this:
If you hover your mouse over the words Price Bouncer you get a short description explaining that the app has a lot of frequent price fluctuations.
I'm still tweaking the algorithm so if anyone feels it is being too aggressive in flagging apps, you can let me know. It seems good so far. In the last 3 months it has only flagged a few... most of them from 4Pockets.
I tried to make the algorithm fairly conservative. Apps like Scythe have had a lot of price activity, but that's mostly them just trying to find the right price for their app. That's fine. The algorithm has not flagged it yet, so developers shouldn't worry too much about this! As long as you're not bouncing every month you'll probably avoid being flagged.
Apps that are flagged as Bouncers can become unflagged over time, simply by cutting that shit out. All Price Bouncers are omitted from the new Music App Sales page.
One of the many new things I've learned in the last year is how to make emails show up nicely on most email clients. If you've used the Wishlist feature of the site you've probably had a 50/50 chance of getting an oddly formatted email. I've finally fixed that so that most email clients will render them nicely. Except Outlook, which uses an insane HTML renderer from Microsoft Word, so fuck those guys.
I really wanted to get this done ahead of all the sales that will be happening next week! And I did. So now we can both rest easily knowing that all of the sales emails you get from here will look pretty!