Google Now Degrades Android To Sell Music

Android was only 2-5% of smart phone sales back when I first wrote an app. Back then, I fell in love with Android's openness. If one of the shipping apps had a bug, no problem! Just download the source code for the app and fix it. Andy Rubin, the father of Android, went so far as to call Android "the definition of open" on Twitter.

But this openness is dying. The web browser app you used to be able to view the source code for? It's now Google Chrome. You can't have the source code. The "Music" app has become Google Music. Want the source code? Google says, "no." Can third party music players stream music? Google says, "no, music bought from the Play Store needs Google Music." The 50+ music players that already exist have to compete with this built-in competitive advantage. In the same store, no less.

Google close sourcing most apps that ship with Android is one thing. Google keeping its streaming service to itself is another. Google Now takes it to a whole new level.

Here are the steps to use Google Now to play something in Google Music.

1.) Type a song name
2.) Press on the song

Here are the steps for all 50+ aftermarket music players, including a top 10 paid app.

1.) Scroll to the bottom of Google Now
2.) Press the three vertical dots
3.) Press "Settings"
4.) Press "Phone search"
5.) Select that you want to see results from the app and uncheck Google Music
6.) Back all the way out to the original search screen
7.) Search for the song on the whole world wide web
8.) Scroll all the way to the right of the bottom bar
9.) Select "Phone"
10.) Select the song to play

Want more proof they are lowering Android's integrity in Google Now? Just do a voice search and say "What's this song". While I have SoundHound and Shazam installed on my Nexus 4, Google Now only uses Google Music to match the song and show me an ad. It doesn't bother to ask which app I'd prefer.

This is not Android's style. This goes against everything Google preaches. The Android way is interoperability for customization and choice.

I guess I was fooled. For a couple of years, Android was fair and open. Now only the bare bones operating system is open. And if your app's market cap is big enough, Google is going compete with you and win by pushing your app to the bottom. In the old days, I would go submit a patch to the "QuickSearchBox" app that ships on Android, but guess what? That's gone closed source too. It is now called "Google Now" and it is Android now.

Unable to Download from Google Play

Update: 12/12/2012 : Google Play Store has contacted us to let us know the problem should be resolved now.

This morning, December 11, 2012, we have received numerous complaints from Google Play customers being unable to download JRT Studio applications, some receive an "Error 941", others simply pay for an app, but it never downloads to their device.



Fixing "Error 941"
If you are seeing the error message "Error 941" Try the following to resolve: 


1. Try clearing cache and data in the Play Store app. Menu -> Settings -> Applications -> All 

2. If that does not work uninstall the Play Store update and try to update again.

Fixing "App Not Downloading With No Error"
If you are not receiving an error, but the app is still not downloading, please try using one of the following links to re-download the app. We have a confirmed case where this worked.
iSyncr for PC
iSyncr for Mac
Rocket Player Unlocker

If you do have a purchase that shows up multiple times on your Play Store bill, contact us at [email protected] and we will work to issue you a refund of the additional purchases. In the cases we've checked this morning, the Play Store automatically canceled all second attempts at purchases the app.




Cyanogenmod 7 Note

To all those using Cyanogenmod 7 with iSyncr, the storage areas are reversed.  Where you see "Internal Storage", iSyncr will write to the SD Card.  Where you see "SD Card", iSyncr will write to the "Internal Storage".  If your device only has internal memory or an SD card, just ignore this message.  :-)

Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean Update

Updated 1/4/13 with our latest information.

Hi All,

My Samsung Galaxy S3 has been updated to Jelly Bean. Obviously, I went straight to testing our apps with this update. While I immediately saw that our awesome big notification for Rocket Player works, I've run into some issues with MTP.


Every time I attempt to use MTP to transfer files with iSyncr, Samsung's MTP application force closes. I see this force close when using my phone with Windows or Mac. Once I click "OK" on the force close, I won't be bothered with another force close, but Samsung's MTP isn't working.

Here are the facts we have as of 1/4/2013.

  • Samsung's MTP application is crashing, if you've ever used iSyncr's Live Lists.
  • iSyncr 4.0.4 will work around this issue. Just update to 4.0.4 then reboot your Samsung device and Samsung's MTP application should stop crashing.

Email me ([email protected]) if iSyncr 4.0.4 does not fix the issue.

Thanks,

Justin


The Hits Keep on Coming, Rocket Player 1.3 Released!

Our recent release of Rocket Player brings several great features. We are so thrilled about it we are also doing an unlocker giveaway in this blog post! Our latest and greatest features include: 


  • Enhanced Genre Support
  • Supported Audio Formats
  • Tag Editing
  • Album Compilations
  • x86 Intel supported Androids

Enhanced Genre Support

Rocket Player now supports genres outside of the supported Android genres. If you have a whacky genre like "Light Switch Rave"or a non-generic genre like "Vocal Concerted Music", these will now be displayed accurately in Rocket Player's genre tab. If you do see an unknown genre, simply edit the genre tag. 

Supported Audio Formats

Rocket Player is now able to support audio formats outside of the Android supported formats. These formats include: 
  • APE (ape)
  • Musepack (mpc)
  • Free Lossless Audio Codec (flac)
  • True Audio (tta)
  • Waveform Audio File (wav)
  • Windows Media Audio Non-Lossless (wma)
These audio formats are only available to Rocket Player Unlocker users. 
The first 3 people to retweet this blog post with #RocketPlayerRocks will receive an unlock code, to be able to use these new audio formats. 

Tag Editing

Tag editing has been on our feature request list for a long time and is now available to everyone. With tag editing, edit a song title, artist, album, even track numbers and years. As mentioned before, "unknown" in tags can be edited to display the correct or desired information in your media.

Artist Compilations 

Additionally, a feature that all of our listeners can now enjoy is artist compilations. Album compilations is a sorting feature that will now display
albums in the order they were released by the artist. 

x86 Intel Supported Android

Rocket Player is now ready to support of x86 intel based processors for Android devices. This does not affect many devices yet, since ARM processors are still dominant; never the less, x86 processors in Android devices are coming to a store near you. 

We also want to thank our Rocket Player beta testers who will be mentioned in a separate blog post. Without our beta testers this release and subsequent hotfix would have taken much longer! Find out how you can be a beta tester





Memory Syncing by iSyncr!





iSyncr for photo/video syncing 

If you have been following our blog you know that several weeks ago Justin and I attended ACL here in Austin, TX. This was a great experience for JRT Studio as we got to be around music lovers and listen to some talented musicians! This was one of the reasons that JRT Studio relocated to Austin, several months ago.


These photos and video are now stored in multiple locations

After the music festival was over, we were left with videos, pictures and sore muscles! Once our soreness subsided, we wanted to post our photo's and video's on our favorite social media sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook for our friends and family to view to keep track of what is happening in our lives and to keep these memories safe on our home computers.

 How did we do it? 

It's a little known fact that WiFi allows you to quickly and easily sync photo's and video's taken on your Android device to your computer.  Simply by toggling a setting in "Reverse Policies" called "Upload New Photos" you can bring those memories into your own virtual photo album or store them on your computer. It does not get any simpler! 

Synchronize iTunes to Android



Sync your memories captured on Android to your PC or Mac with iSyncr.
http://www.jrtstudio.com/iSyncr


Toss us a Tweet or Like!






Help Justin Roll Out a New Rocket Player

Justin is currently creating a new build for Rocket Player v1.3, but we need your help by testing our latest beta. We only have so many devices to test on (below).


If you believe that this is a lot of devices, well, you'd be right! But compared to the growing list of devices as reported by open signal in May of 2012, it is just a small fraction of the available devices.



What's in it for you?
Besides our eternal gratitude, you get a chance to preview some of the newest features that we are bringing to Rocket Player. With this release we are working on creating our very own media scanner to help resolve issues that individual devices' media scanners cannot handle!

Email us at [email protected] or sign up using this form below and we will send you a copy of the beta build.

http://jrtstudio.us5.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=80fb89dbf83deb395fc6ccd9a





iSyncr Sale on Amazon



Hopefully you have already seen our tweets that iSyncr is currently still on sale on Amazon.com for $1.99! Amazon is also running a promotion with with the application, purchase iSyncr and receive $1 Off MP3s! There really hasn't been a better time to sync iTunes with Android.

This price promotion dropped Friday, October 19th and was widely reported by LifeHacker as well as Redmondpie and several other blogs which we truly appreciate!

We do want to point out that Amazon product description says that iSyncr for Mac is only compatible with Leopard and Snow Leopard. This also got reported in a couple blogs. But rest assured! iSyncr for Mac also support Lion and Mountain Lion on OS X too!

Toss us a like or a tweet! 


Rocket Player 1.2.7 Released!

Although Justin and I were busy jamming out to at Austin City Limits this past weekend, we still found the time to crank out a new release of Rocket Player 1.2.7!

Feature 1: Audio Focus
(First requested by: Anonymous user who Rocks!)


New in "Audio Settings" is a feature called "Audio Focus" that allows users to select how Rocket Player operates when another application is attempting to take audio focus from Rocket Player. Settings like "Pause on Phone Call," and "Pause on Focus Lost" allows users to automatically pause Rocket Player when a phone call comes in or another application takes control of the audio focus.

You can also adjust how Rocket Player performs when notifications from other applications come in. Toggle the setting "Ignore Other Apps" to allow Rocket Player to play regardless of other applications notifications. Additionally, the "Temp Focus" setting will allow you to "Duck" or "Pause" the player when important notifications come in like an email, text, or a message from a navigation app.




Feature 2: Keep Notification
(First requested by: hansen.wong and alex.a.vasilescu)

We decided to give you the option of allowing Rocket Player notifications to be toggled on or off. Toggle this setting "off" and you can now pause and exit Rocket Player. Toggle the setting "on" to keep Rocket Player active even if paused and press the power button on the notification to exit from the player.





Feature 3: Support Volume Controls 
(First requested by: clintonf) 

This feature is designed specifically those who were struggling to change the volume using their headsets. Previously pressing the volume up/down on your headset would act the same as a button press (Pause/Pause, Next, Previous), now these volume controls can be used as they were intended, to change the volume!

Feature 4: Translation

Our final addition to 1.2.7 was translation work done by Rotem Maya! Rotem went to work translating Rocket Player into Hebrew for us and was a great help. You can help us by translating Rocket Player into your own language at http://www.getlocalization.com/JRTStudio/

Improving customer experience is vitally important to what we do here at JRT Studio. Please contact us at [email protected] with your thoughts and opinions on the update.

Toss us a like or a tweet! 




iSyncr 4.0.2 Released!

Happy Belated Columbus Day!

Yesterday October 8th, we released iSyncr 4.0.2! Unlike Columbus traveling for 70 days until he sighted what he thought was Asia, we have released 2 updates for iSyncr in just 20 days!

This version of iSyncr has several bug fixes and a feature enhancement:

  • Issues with playcounts not functioning on PowerAMP
  • License looping messages in some scenarios
  • Uploading Amazon MP3s over WiFi is now fixed
The enhancement we brought back from iSyncr WiFi, is Tasker support. Follow this tutorial for syncing with Tasker! 

Get the latest version from Google Play.




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