Music Lock Screens in Android Lollipop (5.0)

Default Android lock screens that control Rocket Player and other music applications are no longer able to be used in Lollipop. We now have only two options for lockscreen in Rocket Player, Rocket Player's lockscreen & off.

By default, now, if you adjust no settings and have a lock screen enabled on your device, your experience should look like the image below.

Many customers were disappointed about this change. We determined that what most of our customers missed was the option to hide album art but also control their music. This option remains available in KitKat and earlier Android OS's with the "Default Lock screen (No Art)". However, since lock screens are no longer available in Lollipop we need to use the notification on a lockscreen to control playback.

We have the option to control music while hiding background album art with our new feature available in Rocket Player 3.4.1 (currently in beta). This option was created mainly for use with Android Wear, but it will work for us as well here too!

Turning off Rocket Player's "Operation - Android Wear", then rebooting your device will allow you to display notifications but without album art listed in the background. Additionally if you didn't want a notification at all, turning this setting off will allow no art to be displayed when your screen is locked.

This setting is only available in Rocket Player 3.4.1 which is not yet released to the public. Please join our beta to use this setting or wait for the rollout of Rocket Player 3.4.1 to reach you.

Rocket Player "Randomly Stopping" Issues

Rocket Player 'Randomly Stops'

Recently, Rocket Player has been battling several different issues causing it to "Randomly Stop". Chris and I answer several emails a day where this is the case, and at this point, I'd like to cover this a little more in-depth. Before the deep dive, let me give you the quick summary.

  1. Update Rocket Player
      Many issues are solved by updating to Rocket Player or higher. We hope to have this version fully rolled out be mid-August 2015. Join our beta program to get this version now.

  2. Pause
      Rocket Player has an issue with the "Duck" focus option. Please use the "Pause" focus option, which is the default, until your version is higher than

  3. Android 5.0
      Android 5.0 seems to have some underlying issues that cannot always be solved. We've reproduced this issue in other music players. Samsung's own player isn't affected by this.

  4. Android 5.1
      So far, Android 5.1 with Rocket Player or higher seems to perform much better than Android 5.0

  5. Device Memory
      Rocket Player can always be killed by the system when running in the background. How much free memory is always a factor. If you have a device such as a Moto G with 1GB of RAM and browse the web with 15 Chrome tabs, the system will eventually kill Rocket Player. Android makes no guarantees if you are not actively looking at an app.

  6. Battery Savers
      Rocket Player can be killed when a battery saver is used. Many device manufacturers have added this feature on Android 5.0 and later. Often times, your device will "switch to battery-saving mode" at a certain battery percentage. If you have a battery saving feature enabled, it can kill Rocket Player.

Rocket Player Randomly Stops

Gory Details

Rocket Player

Not much to say here. I made some mistakes and had bugs that shouldn't exist. For Rocket Player, I re-wrote a bunch of code to ensure that if Rocket Player randomly stops, it is because the Android system kills us, or an audio engine crash occurs. For the most part, I think this new code works. I've only found one new issue, which is with the alternative ducking focus.


Nothing to add either.

Android 5.0

OK. Android 5.0. Galaxy S6. I'm looking at you. Why are you constantly out of memory? Using a USB cable and Android Debug Bridge (adb), I was constantly gathering data on my Galaxy S6 to figure out why after about 45 mins of playing, a notification would kill Rocket Player. Here is the command that I used "adb shell dumpsys activity processes > tmp.txt". This command generates a tmp.txt file with the system's priority for killing processes. From that information I could see two things. The first is that the system was always stressed. Most processes had a "trim level" of 15, which means the system has warned all processes that it is low on memory and heads will roll if memory usage isn't dropped. The second thing I noticed is that Rocket Player's priority was dropped below ten or fifteen processes. Despite being a foreground process actively playing music, the system decided that Rocket Player wasn't more important than Google Quick Search, Notification Reading Services, Google Play Services and much more. So after thirty plus minutes of playing music, a text message would come in a create memory pressure, then the system would say "hey, that Rocket Player app isn't important, let's kill it so that the text messaging app can load." I have concluded that this issue isn't my fault. I started other music players, and they were all ordered in the list with the same priority and they, like Rocket Player, would be killed once the system just ran out of RAM. The worst part of all this is that the S6 has tons of memory. Rebooting the phone is the only temporary work around I have for this issue.

Android 5.1

Luckily, Android 5.1 seems to be doing much better, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the whole OS is just taking less RAM in Android 5.1. When I view the "adb shell dumpsys activity processes > tmp.txt" command with Android 5.1, Rocket Player is still lower in the priority list than I'd expect, BUT the system isn't under any stress, with all the same apps installed. Perhaps this will change when I don't reboot for a couple of weeks, but it is a good start.

Device Memory

Now for the sad, true part. No matter your version of Android, some Android apps (i.e. Chrome) set flags that give them access to tons and tons of RAM. If you run enough programs that take up enough RAM, Rocket Player can eventually be killed. That is just a fact of life. Now, to be perfectly clear, we want to hear from you. Email [email protected] if you are seeing Rocket Player randomly stop, don't assume that this is your issue. With a log file, we can usually diagnose what is happening, and if it isn't a low memory situation, we can see if I've just made another coding error. So let us know if you are still seeing Rocket Player randomly die while you are listening to music.


Amazon Updates Seem Delayed

For those of you who do not know, we're excited to be releasing Rocket Player 3.3 shortly. Over the past five years our customers have supported us on both the Amazon Appstore and Google Play; we're thrilled to continue to offer Rocket Player updates on both app stores, as well as to our PayPal customers. To all of you, we say "Thank you!" and hope that you'll continue rocking with Rocket Player.

Through our continuous contact with our customers, we understand that sometimes our Amazon subscribers feel a little left out. Customers have expressed their displeasure with our seemingly "slow" updates of Rocket Player to the Amazon Appstore. Amazon does not allow us to update applications as quickly as Google Play, or our internal server (PayPal); so this takes a little more time in the process. Amazon, (for the good and protection of its customers) forces applications through a timely review process before updates are released.

It's for this reason that the Amazon Appstore will continue to receive Rocket Player updates, but these updates will be when Rocket Player is fully stable. This version will represent the best of the many iterations Rocket Player sees. As we iterate on Rocket Player, we utilize Google Play's rollouts feature. For instance, Rocket Player may only be rolled out to 1% of Google Play users when you see something that makes you think that Rocket Player on the Play Store is far ahead of Amazon.


Google Play has an updated but not the Amazon Appstore?
We're a three person team, the time it takes us to update and be approved by the Amazon Appstore does not allow us to be effective with our limited time. It is not always the case that everyone on Google Play is receiving the update.

Why should I download from the Amazon Appstore instead of another store?
The Amazon Appstore is a great store! If you happen to catch us in the short time where is appears behind, don't worry! We are committed to updating the Amazon Appstore to the same version as Android.

Norton Anti-Virus And iSyncr Desktop

iSyncr Desktop has no known virus' at this time. However, Norton products are falsely identifying it as having a virus. This should be resolved with the next Norton virus definition update. For some customers, Norton Anti-virus 360 flagged iSyncr as a threat to their PC when trying to download iSyncr Desktop. Immediately we took action by contacting Norton. If anyone continues to receive this threat after updating to the latest version of Norton, or any other anti-virus warning please contact us.
Special thanks to Ben Davies who reported this.

Update 7/28/15:

iSyncr Desktop continues to receive false-positives from anti-virus software inaccurately warning customers not to download iSyncr Desktop. iSyncr Desktop has no known virus' or issues with malware. If you receive one of these messages, please contact us immediately so that we may speak with your anti-virus company.

Rocket Player Crashes On Startup

Is Rocket Player crashing on startup for you? Do you use a theme? If so, We're terribly sorry. This is our fault. We released a bad update to themes that crashes Rocket Player to crash on phones. The theme version that crashes is 1.9.1. Version 1.9.2 is now available as an update in the Play Store.

Please update all your themes to 1.9.2 and the crash on startup should go away.

Again, apologies if you are seeing this issue. If this doesn't fix the issue you are seeing, please email us at [email protected]

Rocket Player Is Back!

I'm excited to let you know that Rocket Player is back in the Google Play Store! Our eleven-day hiatus from Google Play store is over. We can't wait to get back to business as usual and continue our quest to make the best music player we can. All of the free features you've come to love, like an equalizer, bass booster, tag editing, ratings support and themes are back.

For now, there are two Rocket Player apps in the Play Store, which is confusing. We put in the new version as a stopgap until Google reinstated the original version.

If you do not have Rocket Player installed, install this version

If you do have Rocket Player installed, just keep using it! Rocket Player will help you migrate to the correct version if/when the time comes. Just keep auto-updates turned on for Rocket Player and you'll be just fine.

Thanks again for all of the supporting emails, tweets & posts! We truly appreciate it.


New Release Of Rocket Player In The Play Store

JRT Studio is excited to announce a new version of Rocket Player in the Google Play Store. Rocket Player will continue to have all of our great features, like free Chromecast support, free themes, tag editing and batch operations for mass deleting and adding to playlists. We hope you continue to enjoy using Rocket Player.

To answer some common questions,
  • It is preferred that you do not have both versions of Rocket Player installed. If you already have Rocket Player, do not install the new one at this time.
  • The new version will not be able to migrate your settings
  • The Play Store Rocket Player Premium Unlocker works well with both versions of Rocket Player

We are still hoping to hear from Google about our previous music app, Rocket Music Player. We hope to return Rocket Music Player to the Play Store soon.

Rocket Player Pulled From The Google Play Store

On August 11th, 2014, Google pulled Rocket Player from the Play Store. We have contacted Google and are hopeful that they will restore our app. Feel free to send additional questions to [email protected]


Update #1 (8/12/14):

You can now download Rocket Player from the landing page.

Update #2 (8/13/14):

You can restore Rocket Player Premium Unlocker from the Play Store this tutorial.

Google IO 2014 First Thoughts

Before I get on a plane back to Austin, I wanted to give you all some of my thoughts on Google I/O 2014.

  • Android Wear: I really do like the LG G watch that I got at the conference. Rocket Player works with the watch, but isn't good looking yet. We will provide better support than is already provided.
  • Android Auto: This is still months away, but it won't be hard at all for Rocket Player to support Android Auto. That being said, I don't like that you need to plug in your device for this to work. Unless I'm going on a long trip, I just don't think Android Auto would be something I'd use.
  • KitKat SD Card Issues: I caught up with some of the Android team, and it looks like KitKat is going to be an aberration. Starting with the "L" release, JRT Studio apps will be able to ask our customers where they'd like to sync to, and the system will allow it. This is great news for users.

In conclusion, Google I/O 2014 was a blast and I certainly feel more confident about the direction of Android than I did last week.

iSyncr for PC? iSyncr for Mac? iSyncr!

Starting with iSyncr 5.5, we've combined the PC and Mac version of iSyncr

  • If you purchased iSyncr for Mac, keep using it! You can download it to your next Android device for free. We are committed to keeping it up to date with all of the same features as iSyncr for PC.
  • If you purchased iSyncr for PC, keep using it! It is now just iSyncr and works with PCs and Macs just the same

We've wanted to make this change for a while, because it just makes sense. However, iSyncr for PC and iSyncr for Mac were made as different projects because of some quirks with old Android devices. These issues are not present on new devices, which now make up 80% of Android users