Let's Play with Tardigrain

humbleTUNE has been developing humble little apps for years, but Tardigrain eschews humbleness to be epic! This granular synth is soaring and, unlike many previous granular apps, can be quite smooth. I had a lot of fun exploring some wild tones in here for this Let's Play!

I joked on Monday that I'd have to increase the end credits by 5 seconds to thank all of the new patrons, but I actually had to extend it by 10 seconds to fit everyone in! Thank you once again to each and every one of you!

Video Description:

This year iOS got three great new granular synths! I'm going to explore them all starting with Tardigrain from humbleTUNE. This one is extremely smooth with a lot of modulation available in a simple, performance-oriented, interface.

If you've enjoyed this series please consider supporting it 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 (Patrons of both campaigns get the same benefits, including Ad Free viewing on the site!)

Evil Mega-Corporation's Plot Thwarted by Indie Developers

I am so grateful to everyone that stepped up over the weekend to save discchord. So many new advertisers have signed up to make sure Apple's sudden policy change will not leave the site (and me) unfunded.

Thank You!

Thanks so much to Fortamento, Audio Damage Inc, KV331 Audio, Aleksandar Mlazev, AuDSPR, Oliver Greschke, and Coffeeshopped! And of course thanks to all of my existing advertisers!

Additionally many more of you guys joined the Patreon campaign! I'm going to have to extend the outro credits on the Let's Plays by at least 5 seconds to fit in everyone's names!

You did it! The site will survive! I love what I do here, and I'm so overjoyed to see so many people are willing to financially support it. This community is now self-sustaining, and I get to keep doing what I love! Thank you all!

Developers: You're My Only Hope - Apple Remains Silent

After a week of outrage from communities all across the iOS ecosystem, Apple remains silent following their declaration that they will end the affiliate program for apps. I have an executive contact at iTunes. He's been a great help over the years; sorting out issues that have cropped up with the affiliate program. We've even spoken on the phone. Now I can't get him to return an email.

Last Friday many of you stepped up to help out with Patreon pledges. I'm rarely humble, but I am humbled by those of you that have demonstrated your support by giving me your hard-earned money. To show my gratitude I've added a new section on the site that lists and thanks the active Patrons and advertisers.

Unfortunately your contributions cannot offset the huge deficit I face when Apple stops paying me a commission on app sales. Without additional funding, I'll be working for less than minimum wage. I'm willing to take a pay cut to keep the site going, but this is unsustainable. This site requires 3-4 hours every day to maintain, so seeking additional employment jeopardizes the site's future.

We've seen that before in the loss of nearly every other site that's catered to our small niche. There have been so many before. First to go was Touch Sound, then iOS Musician, and iOS Mars. Alex got a new job and shuttered iDesignSound. Doug Woods and Jakob Haq combined forces for a short lived thesoundtestroom site. iOS Music & You has been off-and-on for several years, with Chip too busy at his day job. Palm Sounds was closed when Ashley began to write for CDM. And this year John stopped updating Music App Blog to pursue other opportunities. discchord has outlived them all, but for how much longer?

I need to find new funding for the site to continue to be worthwhile for me. I've looked at how other sites generate revenue and given them all their due consideration.

Sell Out

I get a lot of offers from super shady people who want to do "native advertising" or guest posts. They offer money to post their garbage here with links back to whatever it is they are trying to sell. Obviously this isn't going to fly. Besides being unscrupulous, this a dumb move. Any site doing this will quickly lose all credibility.

Sell Supplements

Alex Jones has also had an unfortunate week too, but despite being banned from YouTube he's still going to be making a lot of money for himself by selling supplements. These range from the purely nonsensical to the "if that actually worked it would be illegal" varieties.

My dietary supplementation is much more modest. I started working out last year and dabbled a bit with supplements, but I only tried those with actual science to back them up. Then I only kept the ones that seemed to do anything. Lately I only take Creatine and L-Citrulline DL-Malate. I've found them both to be helpful in getting my "pump" on. I find I have the raw power to keep going even when I'm feeling fatigued.

I can whole heartily recommend that everyone should get into lifting. And while you're at it, buy those supplements from my Amazon affiliate links. Your results may vary. You may or may not look like a badass cyberpunk when you lift.

Sell Advertising

While my call for support was heard by many of you, I have not gotten a lot of additional support from developers. I sold 0 new ads. This is disheartening. I hear from so many developers telling me they sell more apps from discchord than anywhere else, but none of them stepped up to help keep discchord going.

I'd like to encourage every developer to take a look at their iTunes Connect account and look at referral traffic. If discchord is how you sell the most apps, please consider keeping discchord around! I only need about 4 more advertisers at either of the $100 slots, or 8 at the $50 slot, or some combination there of! Really I'm just looking for about $400 more per month so I don't feel like my time is poorly rewarded. Surely discchord is a better investment than having to pay Apple to compete on search results.

I'm not looking for people who just want to advertise for a month or two. I'm looking for developers who believe discchord is of value to the community and its continued existence will ensure their own future sales. To that end I need advertisers who will stick with me for the long haul. I need more people like White Noise Audio, who has been with me since day 1. Secret Base Design was with me for 4 years. Jam Maestro has been with me for the last 5. These guys invest in the future of iOS music and the community that supports it.

We've been hitting record views for the last 3 months. This isn't a charity, this is a symbiotic relationship.

Russia & Apple Murder Independent Journalism

Three Russian journalists were killed this week while investigating a Russian mercenary company in the Central African Republic. These are just the latest in a long list of journalists murdered by Putin's government.

In related news: Apple killed discchord this week. All iTunes affiliates received the following email:

Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.

This month discchord will be celebrating its 7th year, but this short email from Apple puts a pall over that.

For those of you unfamiliar with how the affiliate program works, it has been Apple's way of compensating people who help them sell apps. For every dollar you spend on the App Store, Apple takes $0.30. If you bought that app after clicking on my links, or links from your favorite YouTubers, we would get a few cents from those $0.30. (I'm not actually allowed to say the exact number.) That might not sound like a lot, but it added up!

Throughout the past 7 years, the iTunes affiliate program has been the backbone of my personal income. Some of you may feel indifferent to the affiliate program. I've seen some people express resentment at YouTubers and bloggers making money off app sales. But that tiny commission is what's kept the lights on here, by keeping me out of a full-time job. iTunes commissions account for 47% of my income so far this year.

In one sentence Apple have pulled the rug out from under me. I've seen some baffling statements of quasi-support from people saying, "I hope that doesn't affect [their favorite affiliate site] too much." Imagine Apple shows up and takes away 47% of your income without explanation. It affects me like that. For sites like AppShopper this is probably closer to 100% of their income. TouchArcade is likewise reeling from the news.


I haven't been sitting on my thumbs over here. I knew I had a good thing going, and I didn't want to sit around waiting for it to disappear. I'm always on the look out for my Next Big Thing. If you've listened to my recent podcast appearance you heard how I've been trying to improve my skillset. After re-writing the site I'm now an expert at Python and modern JavaScript frameworks. I'm also quite knowledgeable about apps. About 4 months ago I decided to combine these fields of expertise by making a better AppShopper.

If you're a casual AppShopper user you might not notice that it is quite bad at keeping up with new apps. Just today they finally spotted MyCity MySounds, which I reported on back in June. They rely entirely on the iTunes API for all of their information, but the iTunes API is notoriously spotty. Half of my work on discchord has been on ways to compensate for how bad the iTunes API is. So I built a network of web crawlers that watch sites like Twitter and Reddit to find new apps; based on what people are talking about. As you read this I have 7 servers all over the world that are busy crawling around with my code. Once I got that part done, I began working on the front-end. I'm about 2 months from having it completed, but now I'm not sure what to do. Without iTunes affiliate commissions the site will have to rely on advertising... but ad blocking is so prevalent that this seems like an unlikely way to recoup the costs of all these servers and my time.

My time is an important factor here. The new site was going to run itself with automation. Any other enterprise threatens to take time away from discchord, which requires about 4 hours every day. Now all of the afternoons and evenings I've poured into the new site over the last 4 months have been for nothing. I could have spent that time doing literally anything else and it would have been more productive.


Yesterday Apple became a trillion dollar company, while casually killing off one of the smallest. I'm not actually likening my plight to the victims of Putin, but damn. This is brutal. I was happy making pennies on the dollar. I've been truly proud of my work providing independent tech journalism. Then Apple wanted all the pennies.

We're a tiny community. We're a niche of a niche. Musicians are a small portion of the population, and musicians enthusiastic about iOS apps are an even smaller portion of those. I've tried everything to make advertising work here; including the Google ads you see now. It doesn't matter. There just aren't enough people. With over 700,000 monthly views here, I only make around $250 per month from Google.

My native ads don't get many buyers either. Developers don't make much money themselves, so I'm extremely grateful to all of the developers who have parted with their money to advertise here. I genuinely appreciate the hell out of every single dollar Patreon Patrons throw at me. This shortfall from iTunes is many many hundreds of dollars and I can't reasonably expect Patrons to make up the difference, but I invite you to try.

While Apple were taking a victory lap yesterday, I was looking pretty hard at my own finances. If I can't get the site to start generating a lot more money in the next month, I'm going to have to update my resume and shutter the site. There is a petition on Change.org, but I'm not getting my hopes up for Apple to change their mind.

If any developers out there feel discchord is of value to them and their business, now would be a great time to consider advertising on the site before it's too late. That's basically what I need at this point: BIG Patrons.

Let's Play with Patterning 2

Patterning 2 adds a lot of features that let you get creative with your drum patterns. For this Let's Play I take the most generic House pattern and turn it into something lively, using those new features!

Video Description:

Patterning is my favorite drum machine on iOS, so I was excited to get a preview of Patterning 2! In this Let's Play I show off how the new features can turn a boring drum pattern into an evolving and complex pattern! Patterning 2 is available on iTunes: https://goo.gl/j1FB5n

If you've enjoyed this series please consider supporting it 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 (Patrons of both campaigns get the same benefits, including Ad Free viewing on the site!)

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