Celebrating PopToo’s First Year

PopToo recently has become one year old!

I thank every PopToo Friend for finding this meager iOS app and using it everyday.

To a solo developer like myself, who never had his own personal project before PopToo, any kind of interest means a lot. I can’t help but feeling grateful and be humbled by all the PopToo-ings made by our Friends. Thank you so much!

Here are some records made with our PopToo Friends:

179 PopToo Friends checked-in 37419 times.

The first check-in was done by @revilo1390 at Jan. 5, 2011 20:13 UTC from Denver, Colorado, United States.

The song was “Chasing the Lights” by Last Winter.

Top 3 users who checked-in their songs are:

  1. @orbitat (14995 times)
  2. @r_Salxixa (11818)
  3. @yukino1230music (3020)

11932 songs, 3719 albums and 2651 artists were identified.

The Most checked-in song (84 times) is titled “All I Want” by

  1. A Day to Remember” (58 times)
  2. LCD Soudsystem (23)
  3. The Offspring (2)
  4. Cure (1)

The Most checked-in album (516 times) is “The Black Swan” by “Story of the Year”

The Most checked-in artist (1763 times) is “A Day to Remember”

Top 5 songs of “A Day to Remember” are:

  1. “All Signs Point To Lauderdale” (64 times)
  2. “I Heard It’s The Softest Thing Ever” (59)
  3. “Better Off This Way” (59)
  4. “All I Want” (58)
  5. “If It Means A Lot To You” (56)

Top 10 genres are:

  1. Rock
  2. Pop
  3. Soundtrack
  4. Indie
  5. Hardcore
  6. Alternative
  7. Punk Rock
  8. Indie Rock
  9. J-Pop
  10. Electronica/Dance

The Most checked-in Foursquare venue is “Runner Academia (1199 times) in São Paulo, Brazil

Top 10 cities are:

  1. Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Vallejo, CA
  4. Fremont, CA
  5. Palm Coast, FL
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. Mt. Shasta, CA
  8. Rocklin, CA
  9. Santa Barbara, CA

Because of the experience in developing PopToo as my own personal project, I was able to prove my proficiency in software development and eventually got full-time employment.

Though I had to compromise time I may spend to improve PopToo more rapidly, having financial security freed me from the pressure to find the business model for PopToo.

So, I could keep PopToo as a free app without advertisements. By treating it as a non-commercial project, I didn’t have to ask for the user’s attention for the ads, but just for their satisfaction in using PopToo everyday.

About 3 months after PopToo’s release, an awesome app called Soundtracking was introduced. Other than its name, the app and its service were exactly how PopToo dreamed to be. Instead of feeling beaten, it taught me about the importance of knowing the limits of PopToo project. Without serious capital and additional development resources, trying to make PopToo as good as Soundtracking while having full-time job could have been the fatal disaster. It did solidify PopToo’s mission to stay non-commercial project, to be used for training me to become better iOS developer and for building meaningful relationships with PopToo Friends.

The future of PopToo is about becoming the Real Service. Though I’m not sure about keeping it non-commercial, I want to build great community of people who love to use PopToo. Three of the important objectives for continuing PopToo project are upgrading to have aesthetically pleasing user experience, building the web platform and utilizing geolocation more effectively. For these objectives, I guess I should learn more about graphic design and web development.

Again, I would like to thank all my PopToo Friends. Thank you so much for enjoying your favorite music with PopToo!

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PopToo is updated to Version 1.3.0!

PopToo is updated to fix some minor bugs and added small performance improvement.

[iTunes Link: http://itunes.com/apps/poptoo]

In about a few days PopToo becomes 1 year old. We are thinking about how we can celebrate it with PopToo Friends. Any idea is welcome! You can send an email to poptoo@fxceed.com or a tweet to @poptooco.

Thank you and keep enjoying your favorite music with PopToo!

PopToo is updated to Version 1.2.9!

http://itunes.com/apps/poptoo

As much requested feature, PopToo is updated to use #ArtistName for utilizing Twitter’s hash tagging.

Now you can show how much you appreciate your favorite artist by using auto generated hash tag.

Thank you and keep enjoying your favorite music with PopToo!

PopToo is updated to Version 1.2.8 for iOS 5

http://itunes.com/apps/poptoo

For new iOS 5 upgrade, PopToo has prepared it by being updated to 1.2.8

We’ve fixed some minor bugs, and improved some workflows.

App Store reviewing process went so smoothly, even though it should be crazy over there reviewing immense number of updated apps for iOS 5. PopToo was submitted and approved to be ready for sale in about 8 hours. Thanks App Store.

Also, we do thank our PopToo Friends, who have been enjoying their music with PopToo iOS App everyday. It’s great joy for us to serve our users in daily basis.

Keep enjoying your favorite music with PopToo!

PopToo is updated to Version 1.2.7!

After struggling in revising the check-in process for a while, updated PopToo fixed the critical issue.

While PopToo is running background, most of its views are unloaded from memory for optimal functionality. But because the controlling elements and the displaying elements were not perfectly separately, often the important elements for Auto Check-in feature were also unloaded along with the displaying ones.

If Auto Check-in was initiated while being in background, the count-down seconds and the indicators for phases of process, which used to be residing in the displaying objects, were not being activated.

It didn’t affect Auto Check-in itself, but when PopToo was restored while it was in the middle of count-down, the displaying elements were not showing the current state of Auto Check-in correctly with count-down seconds.

This issue is fixed by completely separating the controlling objects from the displaying object which may have been unloaded while PopToo is running background.

Thank you for your patience, and keep enjoying your favorite music with PopToo!

About PopToo’s Foursquare account

PopToo has been making mistakes in not being active in managing Foursquare account.

For simple reason, such as having too little time for managing PopToo project due to working for my employer, I almost ignored importance of managing Foursquare account, contrasting to my activeness in PopToo’s Twitter account.

At least, I should be aware of Foursquare Friendship Requests from our PopToo Friends and accept them for building relationships. Though many of them were sent when PopToo’s email weren’t active, making it too hard to be notified about them, it’s definitely my mistake for not being responsive.

Though it’s too late, I accepted their Friendship Requests. I just hope our PopToo Friends are much forgiving and understand some limits of PopToo project and its developer.

From now on, as PopToo’s dedicated developer, I will try to spend more time using Foursquare. This is much needed for me to learn more about Foursquare’s API, so I can bring more Foursquare related new feature for PopToo iOS App.

PopToo’s one reason for performance lagging: Unreleased allocation

PopToo uses Core Data extensively. However, the way it uses fetched objects is not good for memory management, especially for an app like PopToo, which is focused on running background.

Unlike what’s often recommended, PopToo simply uses a few number of NSMutableArray instances to manage fetched objects from Core Data. Due to the original design structure for sectioning these objects into UITableView based on time or distance, I have postponed to use NSFetchedResultsController instead.

Though the design has worked as I intended, using NSMutableArray wasn’t the right way. As PopToo is running background, new objects will be constantly added, when new stream of PopToo Friends’ check-in data is downloaded and when the user checks-in his media information. Inevitably, memory allocation for NSMutableArrays will be grown until the user terminates PopToo, or the device system does. And as they grow, performance of PopToo is affected, which is more visible when it’s restoring to be active from being background.

For next update, I will refactor PopToo’s workflow to be more suitable for running background. Memory allocation will be strictly minimized, instead fetching objects from Core Data will be refreshed more often. I am fully aware that fetching requires some time and may not be the right solution for better performance, but I am confident it will make PopToo’s lagging issues to be less visible, enhancing the user experience.