Bluetooth Volume Over-boost Protection

A little under a month ago, a Sound Booster user named Abby contacted me and reported sound distortions when using the app. She mentioned that she was using bluetooth speakers, and that the sound anomalies only occurred when she was using those speakers. I have a bluetooth headset, and it's used as a part of the routine tests performed with each version of Sound Booster before they are released. However, I have never noticed this happening and could not reproduce it on my end.

As luck would have it, several days ago I purchased a new pair of bluetooth headset. I was using it with Sound Booster casually when I noticed Abby's issue. Now able to reproduce the problem, I went to work to try to fix it. It turns out the problem only occurs if you are using bluetooth headsets and speakers, and only if the app that is playing audio (eg. iTunes) has its volume turned up to the max. My theory is that newer bluetooth headsets and speakers do their own audio boosting and calibration and therefore it would “double boosting” the audio that Sound Booster provides.

The fix is an added option in Preferences named “Bluetooth Volume Over-boost Protection”. It’s a mouthful but does describe what it’s supposed to do fairly clearly. It is on by default for all bluetooth headsets and speakers, and will protect you from over-boosting by encouraging you to use the volume up/down buttons on the bluetooth device and not from the app. Note that you will still be able to use system-wide equalizer, individual app volume adjustment, and other Sound Booster features with this new option turned on. Version 0.31 has been submitted to the Mac App Store and should be live any minute now. Thanks Abby!More

Say Hello to Snappy Upload

Ever wanted to send the PERFECT picture that you took earlier to your friends on Snapchat? Now you can. Say hello to Snappy Upload.

Snappy Upload is a utility for sending pictures saved on your phone to your friends on Snapchat.

Using a choose, add/edit, and send process, it makes sending saved pictures on your phone to your friends on Snapchat quick and easy.

1. Choose a picture from your phone.
2. Add a caption and/or choose from a selection of resize-able emoji.
3. Send it to as many friends as you'd like all in one go!

That's it, give it a try yourself!More

Beast Timer 1.50 Update

One of the best things about eating your own dog food is that you get to personally find out the various ways that your app would behave in unintended ways, sometimes through sheer luck and accidental discoveries. Being a daily user of Beast Timer, this has proven to be true time and time again. I'd run across bugs that would manifest themselves only if I do a certain sequence of events in a particular order (Konami Code anyone?). Bugs that are hard to reproduce are hard to track down and fix, but I'm glad that I get this opportunity to do so simply by being an user of the product.

Along similar lines, using the app on a daily basis that you have full control over gives lots of useful ideas and insights, so I ended up adding quite a bit of little features here and there. Sometimes for convenience, sometimes for fun, but almost always results in an improvement to Beast Timer.

So with that, I have submitted an update to the Google Play Store for Beast Timer 1.50, with 10 new features/additions/changes and 11 bug fixes, with a few changes left out because the commit message in my logs were written with code method names and variables instead of something useful to the reader. See the change log below.

[Features/Additions/Changes]
* Added an option to ignore double taps when screen is dimmed in Beast Mode
* Added toast notification for notes that will display as that set is starting
* Split Preferences up into manageable categories
* Added the following sections to Preferences
- General
- Login/Registration
- Headset/Screen
- Sound
- Vibration/Animation
- Warnings
- Miscellaneous
- Advanced
- About
* Added preferences for sound delays during music ducking, both before and after
* Added setting to allow for custom number of months of data to include when adding new exercises
* Updated SDK versions to 24
* Move focus away from the first number picker when starting to edit child, so first tap on number picker's edit text would select all and bring up keyboard
* Completely revamped the way that sound effects are played to ensure more consistent performance

[Bug Fixes]
* Fixed back button being included as "Any Button" for Beast Mode headset commands
* Fixed bug where pause/resume was losing data in number pickers
* Fixed a rare bug where if the date is the 31st then relative time is displayed incorrectly
* Fixed a crash that would occur if you pause Beast Timer while end of workout animation is happening
* Fixed a similar crash that would occur if you resume Beast Timer and exit Beast Mode while animation is happening
* Fixed crash that happens if you double click the button right after starting Beast Mode
* Fixed a bug in Android 6 where the first time a sound effect is played no sound is heard
* Fixed a bug where the EditTexts of NumberPickers would resize to really wide lengths if a huge number is entered and then enter is pressed on the soft keyboard
* Fixed way that up next group name is calculated to account for skipping groups
* Fixed bug with displaying up next group
* Fixed a rarely-occurring bug where screen dimming would cause a crash if it happens right when user is exiting Beast ModeMore

Sound Booster 0.30 Update

The 0.30 version update to Sound Booster has just been uploaded to the Mac App Store. What started out as a compatibility update for Apple's latest OS X 10.12 "macOS Sierra" turned out to be a fairly significant update.

Under the hood, the most helpful change is probably how the audio is handled by the Sound Booster Driver and Sound Booster App, which now aggressively checks audio timestamps and eliminates all video/audio out of sync issues.

Another notable change is the "Sleep When Idle" feature, which will put Sound Booster to sleep if sound has not been played for a user-specified period of time to conserve CPU. However, this feature is experimental, and short notification sounds that wake it up may not be heard due to the delay of waking up.

The final major change is the ability to use bluetooth headsets or other audio output devices that you have on your Mac. This setting, like Sleep When Idle, can be found in Preferences under the Advanced tab.

There are other smaller changes and modifications as well, see the abbreviated change log summary below. Head over to the Mac App Store and check it out now, or see the screenshots from the 0.30 update.

[Major Changes]
* Aggressive syncing to prevent video/audio out of sync issue
* Added setting to allow bluetooth or other external devices to be used with Sound Booster
* Added setting to allow Sound Booster to sleep if idle after a set period of time (Experimental)

[Minor Changes]
* Speed improvements when turning on and off volume boost/equalizer
* Added setting to display equalizer details
* Added Turn On/Off Equalizer button to the status bar pop up
* Tested to be fully compatible with macOS Sierra (10.12)

[File Volume Booster]
* Produce MP4 Audio (m4a) files instead of MP3 files in File Volume Booster
* Better clipping control for File Volume Booster to reduce distortionMore

1.20 Update for Beast Timer

Following the initial release for Beast Timer and a post to Reddit's r/Android, it seems like Progression is a favorite among Redditors.

In the name of market research, I downloaded it and found that it does have some very good features. The biggest three that are useful but were not present in Beast Timer are: workout summary with lots of stats, exercise images and instructions, and popular workouts.

That is no longer the case. Version 1.20 of Beast Timer now has those three features and many more improvements. One of them is the ability to advance to the next set without reaching for your phone. You can configure Beast Timer to advance to the next set through a headset command, such as "Previous Track", or "Pause". This way you can simply hit a button on your wired/bluetooth headset to start the timer, receive an optional audio and/or vibration cue when it's time for your next set, and go about your workout with one less thing to worry about.More
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