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discchord v3.3: I fixed it this time, guys!

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!

Bounce Out

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.

Pretty Emails

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!

Reader Comments 15

Thank you for your work, the Music App Sales page is very useful. But there's one quirk: the Next page link and the numbers next to it brings us away from the sales to the new apps news. So it's possible to see only one page of sales now.
November 16, 2018  | favorite_border eVr
On November 16, 2018 - @eVr said:
Thank you for your work, the Music App Sales page is very useful. But there's one quirk: the Next page link and the numbers next to it brings us away from the sales to the new apps news. So it's possible to see only one page of sales now.

Thanks for pointing that out! I've just uploaded a fix. You should now be able to see all of the sales!
Nice. No likely price bouncers.
November 17, 2018  | person Eddierandom
Thanks for making such a nice site, Tim!
I love it!

Think of it. Of the vastness of the internet. There are maybe a dozen sites I visit daily, and yours is one of them.
November 17, 2018  | favorite_border stub
Thank you for providing us with this information.
November 18, 2018  | person PLU Collective
I vote for setting the lowest price as the regular price for bouncers, and showing their mark-ups as Anti-Sales.

Also, a quick test of the App Sale search reveals a possible improvement: Being able to restrict the search to just the app name. Try finding the listing for Audiobus, for instance.
November 18, 2018  | person_outline Blaaaaarghonaut
Great job! I love how you're exposing price bouncers there ;-)
November 19, 2018  | person_outline Bram Bos
Thank you Tim
discchord is the kvr-audio for mobile music with its ever increasing functionality!

Love the price bouncer policing :)

Would it be possible to see more apps/page on the all apps setting.
Right now there 23 pages of apps on sale.

Thank you :)
November 20, 2018  | person_outline joe
On November 20, 2018 - @joe said:
Would it be possible to see more apps/page on the all apps setting.
Right now there 23 pages of apps on sale.

Yes! It works the same way as it does on the Music App Guide. At the top of the page there is a toggle button to switch from Detail to List view. In List View it shows... a lot per page. I think it is 20 per page or somewhere around there.
Thanks Tim!
Completely missed that toggle view button.
Perhaps it might be worthwhile making it more explicit, unless I'm the only one who didn't see it, that is, LOL ;)
November 21, 2018  | person_outline joe
@Tim,

your algorithm might need some tweaking :)

https://discchord.com/appDB/id864880531

btw, are there ways to make a once off donation?
and not related, do you accept cryptocurrencies?

You site is saving me lots of time and $ especially with the sales DB. Thank you!
November 22, 2018  | person_outline Joe
On November 22, 2018 - @Joe said:
@Tim,

your algorithm might need some tweaking :)

https://discchord.com/appDB/id864880531

btw, are there ways to make a once off donation?
and not related, do you accept cryptocurrencies?

You site is saving me lots of time and $ especially with the sales DB. Thank you!

Did that come up in a sales list? It is actually in the DB for debugging purposes. When I went through the sales myself I didn't see it, which is the way that is supposed to work.

I had a BitCoin thing up once many years ago, but no one donated via it... and I've long since forgotten how to access it.

If you want to throw money at me as just a one time thing you could pay pal me directly to my email address. If you don't have my email use the contact form and I'll reply from it. Or you could guess it: tim @ the first domain name that comes to mind. Sorry to be cryptic, but spammers crawl the web looking for email addresses.
Yeah it did.
https://discchord.com/sales?currentPage=5&category;=None&device;=None&sort;=&viewmode;=list

You also have some other random (or perhaps you have a purpose for them), apps like Architecture of Radio and Affinity Photo, in the db.

I don't use paypal, and it looks like I need an account to send $ to send to an individual as opposed to when one buys a product etc. ok, I'll throw $ at you one day somehow..
Sincerely thanks for the effort you make with the site :)
November 22, 2018  | person_outline Joe
Ahhh! That mention of Affinity Photo helped me track down the bug!

If you check out the page for that you'll see in the link: "iTunes API Error" where it would usually say "iPad" or "iOS Universal" or whatever.
https://discchord.com/appDB/id1117941080

You'll notice that there are no screenshots for it either. The iTunes API has been giving some weird partial results for some apps this week. I'm not sure what's going on, or why that is. It is giving some of the information, but not all of it... including the Genre ID. It is this Genre ID that the site uses to only show music apps in the sales page. If it can't find a Genre ID in the iTunes API it assumes that it is a music app and gives it a Genre ID of 6011. For Affinity photo it should actually be Photo & Video (iOS) 6008, and for Civilization Revolution 2 it should be 6014 Games (iOS).

If the API keeps giving these weird partial results I'll try to code around it! Thanks for letting me know this was happening.
Great, happy it was helpful.
A mini y2k bug of some sort is on its way out! :)
November 23, 2018  | person_outline joe
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