Bluetooth For Your Home Stereo

While I work, I'm constantly testing JRT Studio's products. I'm a believer in using what you make. As such, I usually stream music via Bluetooth to some desktop speakers instead of plugging the phone in. This allows for testing Rocket Player's Bluetooth compatibility. The trouble is that these speakers are made to plug into your computer and don't have Bluetooth. So I've been using various Bluetooth receivers. My favorite has been the Sony MW600, as it shows you what song is playing. However, after years of use, the battery is now down to three or four hours tops before needing to be re-charged, as a result. So I ordered the newer Sony device, SBH52, however, it randomly disconnects which is completely unacceptable. So now it is on to device number three, the "Mpow", pictured above. This device is super cheap with great ratings on Amazon, so I'm really interested to see how it goes.

-Justin

Rocket Player And Samsung "Close All" Bug

After receiving some scattered reports, I finally figured out why some people are saying Rocket Player is unresponsive. The issue I've identified is with Samsung's task killer. If you use the "Close All" button or swipe Rocket Player away on Samsung devices running 6.0.1, I can confirm that Rocket Player may stop responding.

I don't currently have a timeline for a fix, but I'll be devoting most of my time to fixing this issue. However, Android Auto support is in beta and might hold up this fix. Right now, Google keeps flagging my Android Auto support, claiming that voice support does not work. However, it works great for me and they will not disclose how to reproduce the issue they are seeing. I won't be surprised if they reject the full update and continue to refuse to give details on the test they are doing that is failing.

Your best option to get this fix quickly is to join our beta program for Rocket Player.

Update: This Samsung issue is now worked around by the latest beta version. 4.3.38 and later has this fix.

Android Auto Beta Support

After being in the works for a couple of months, I'm proud to announce that Android Auto support for Rocket Player is here and available to test! This support is still in beta, and thus requires signing up for our beta. I'm hopeful that we'll find the bugs in this release quickly and can begin rolling this out to everyone! -Justin

Syncing Play counts back to iTunes with Samsung 6.0 devices

Samsung devices running Android 6.0 have a new feature that we've noticed is causing problems with recording play counts using iSyncr. The feature is called app power saving and is useful for performing the task you'd expect, saving power.

The problem is by default, apps that haven't been used (manually opened) in the last three days will be placed into a sleep state. Apps in this power saving state may be unable to provide notifications, which is important for iSyncr. iSyncr needs notifications to be able to record play counts. This sleep state will cause problems creating play counts with iSyncr, it's recommend that you disable the feature for iSyncr. You can leave it on for other applications if you'd like.

Go to: Settings - Battery - App power saving (tap on DETAIL).


From there, you can look for iSyncr and other apps that are set to save power.

Disable the feature by selecting iSyncr, then choosing "Turned off/Disabled"

iTunes 12.4 - error code 6 (WiFi) / Play counts & Ratings cannot be updated



Update: 5/24/16
There is a new iSyncr Desktop for Mac users with iTunes 12.4 support. If you are using a Mac and iTunes 12.4+, please make sure you are using iSyncr Desktop 5.1.10 or higher. There are no known Windows issues with iSyncr Desktop and iTunes 12.4 at this time.

Update: 5/20/16
Sharing the iTunesMusicLibrary.XML has been turned off by default in iTunes 12.4. This setting is found by going into iTunes, selecting preferences, advanced then share iTunes music library.xml.
iTunes 12.4 has changed the location IDs to your specific songs in iTunes. Any old play count information that is stored on your Android will not sync resulting in a timeout over WiFi followed with an error code 6. Or you won't be able to update ratings/play counts to iTunes.


To fix play count and rating update issues, delete the iSyncr.xml and DeltaRatings.xml files with the old iTunes IDs from the /syncr folder of your Android device. Then re-sync everything (not recopy everything) on your device, and allow iSyncr/Rocket Player to get the new IDs. Do this by accessing the /syncr folder with a file management application on Android, then deleting the iSyncr.xml and DeltaRatings.xml file.
Further information will be added to this blog post when it's available.

Problems Installing from Amazon Appstore

Internal Service Failure


We've had numerous reports of an internal service failure error message when to installing applications from the Amazon Appstore upon first launch. This is resolved by clearing the app cache for the Amazon Appstore, then reinstalling the application. To do this:

1. Open your device settings
2. Select Apps
3. Choose Amazon Appstore (or Amazon Underground)
4. Select Clear Data
5. Reopen Amazon Appstore
6. Download the application again

We're not sure why this happens, but this should resolve the issue you're experiencing. If you continue to have issues installing from the Amazon Appstore, reach out to their service department. If you continue to have problems with installing Rocket Player, or other JRT Studio applications reach out us!

Introducing Our Latest Project, SongLytics

il_supported_players

We are excited today to announce our latest creation, SongLytics. What is SongLytics? SongLytics is our project to keep track of everything we listen to on Android. We love iTunes for its ability to keep our metadata such as play-counts and ratings. However, the music world has changed. Music streaming services from Apple, Google Play Music and Spotify are here to stay. While we passionately love our MP3 collections, we understand that streaming services offer access to millions of tracks. SongLytics is our answer to keeping our metadata across Apple, Google Play Music, Spotify and services yet to be invented.

As some of you may know, JRT Studio's first successful project was iSyncr. What far fewer know is that the 1.0 release to Google Play (formerly Android Market) only synced play-counts and skip-counts back to iTunes. Our customers ate it up, and the emails came flooding in. Could iSyncr sync iTunes music? Could iSyncr sync iTunes playlists? All these became features by listening to our customers. With simply fulfilling customer requests, JRT Studio went where I'd never envisioned it could. Now, we have a suite of Android music apps from making ringtones to viewing lyrics to in our very own music player.

For now, SongLytics is like that first release of iSyncr. It doesn't do too much. Our hope by releasing the first product backend within the next month (March 16'), is that customer-driven requests and features will grow the application to new heights! For those of you out there that want to follow this project, head on over to SongLytics.net and check out our blog there. We'll be posting there, so as not to bombard the whole company blog.

Android Marshmallow Adopt SD Cards As Internal Storage

In Android 6.0, a new feature “Adoptable Storage” feature was introduced. As we make syncing, media apps, this feature is something that I want to breakdown for our customers.

Basically, when you adopt an SD card as internal storage, the SD card becomes the “new” internal storage of the system, which is super convenient. Apps install on the SD card with ease and apps like iSyncr will just show a single, easy to use storage area. However, this ease of use comes with a price. Your SD card will not be as fast or reliable as the internal memory. Further, the original internal memory is only usable for apps, the best I can tell.



Pros:
  • Easy to use
  • Your SD card is much more secure
  • No "grant access" cumbersome UI for SD card access
Cons:
  • Internal storage isn't usable for music/photos/video
  • Your SD card won't work in other devices until reformatted
  • SD cards are almost always slower than internal memory
  • SD cards are not reliable, and when they corrupt, it won't be pretty


In conclusion, if you have a lot of internal storage (more than 8GB), then we generally do not recommend adopting an SD card as internal storage, as you are going to lose space where you could have put music/pictures/videos. However, if you have 8GB or less of internal storage, adopting an SD card is a viable option for easily expanding the storage size of your phone.

If you have further questions/thoughts/comments or a looking to solve an issue with our products, please email us!

-Justin

Four years with MTP

Media Transfer Protocol or MTP was introduced to Android in Honeycomb (Android 3.0). I remember the first device we had with the new protocol, the Motorola Xoom. Ahh the joy! No, wait, not joy, terror. That's the word. Terror.

Why? Because at the time iSyncr was written to use Universal Mass Storage or UMS when connecting over a USB connection. The introduction of MTP required a major update to iSyncr, which created iSyncr Desktop as a way to transfer iTunes to Android. For several months, we didn't know if iSyncr would make it!

Fast forward to today and MTP is still a primary connection mode that iSyncr uses, but it's not without its problems. Many customers and others we follow have reported problems with MTP including freezes to Windows Explorer on a PC when connecting. We've seen this ourselves in our testing as well as received reports of this occurring from our customers.

MTP, unlike UMS can only execute a single action (delete, write, read) at a time. So iSyncr customers expecting a quick sync to update a few files may be disappointed in the speed they receive when connecting over MTP because of this limitation. Additionally, MTP, unlike UMS cannot transfer metadata changes. For example, if you change a tag in iTunes, but had already synced the song to your device, to see the change on your device, you'd need to delete the file from your device and resync. Other less documented issues include MTP's inability to consistently sync m3u files causing problems for iSyncr customers who want to update their playlists. Now, before I move on and receive emails about inaccuracies in the post, MTP did bring some positive things, mainly that users can no longer can corrupt their storage by disconnecting the device before properly ejecting the storage for safe disconnect. For those of you that long for the olden UMS days to sync we can sync using an SD card reader with this tutorial video.
Shortly after MTP was released, we packaged iSyncr WiFi along with USB syncing instead of separate products to give customers the option to work around MTP issues. We've even gone so far as to recommend first-time customers to use WiFi syncing over USB simply because of the consistency, reliability and overall experience WiFi syncing brings.

Marshmallow, (Android 6.0) defaults to the charge connection, unlike its predecessors back to Honeycomb, instead of MTP. This has prompted one indie-developer to createMTP enabler as a way to quickly connect to MTP. To use MTP Enabler, you need to have a rooted device and be running Android 6.0. We're not exactly sure why Google's decided to give charge priority over MTP, it could be some of the problems highlighted above, something else entirely or a mistake that will be changed in Android N (Android 7.0) set to be released at Google I/O this summer.

iTunes album ratings

Starting with iTunes 12 you can now rate both songs and albums in iTunes.

Now if you rate an album, but not its songs, all the songs of the album get light gray stars. Unfortunately this "feature" cannot be turned off. You can read more about the frustration iTunes customers are feeling. Imagine the live list playlist carnage! Ratings are created for songs that were previously unrated! Worse than that any rating that's added to a song appropriates through to the entire album! Take a look at the image below to see more about what we mean.

Fear not friends! We have been hard at work in the sunny JRT studio office have devised a solution. Starting in iSyncr Desktop 5.1.6 . Album ratings will be ignored when we sync iTunes to Android. Your song ratings will continue to work as they have in iTunes 11 and prior so you can maintain ratings in iSyncr, Rocket Player or any music player with iSyncr's ratings widget.

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