Playback Comes to iPeng!

Happy 2011, iPeng Users!

Here’s the first new release in 2011 and it brings you a long-awaited functionality for iPeng: Playback.

How Does it Work?

iPeng Playback will make your iOS device show up on a Squeezebox Server like any other Squeezebox Player and you control it just like that, too. With iPeng Playback your iOS device will have essentially the same music management capabilities as all your other players, so you can queue up tracks for a playlist or just play an album or even use plugins like Dynamic Playlists.

What Does it Support

iPeng Playback supports Squeezebox Server versions 7.3 and newer (previous versions back to 7.0 might work but are untested).

It plays the following file formats natively (that means: on the device itself):

  • MP3
  • AAC
  • FLAC*)
  • ALAC*)

Other formats can be used if your server supports transcoding and can encode them to FLAC. This depends on the available processing power and the file format involved.

*) Cellular Network Operation

When you use iPeng playback outside a WiFi network, over the cellular network, the “lossless” formats FLAC and ALAC will not be available to limit the bandwidth requirements. In this case, your server will have to support transcoding to MP3, which generally requires more processing power than FLAC encoding and you will have to have the necessary encoding software installed.

What are the Limitations?

iPeng Playback does NOT work directly with is a service offered and run by Logitech in support of their own hardware and Logitech had to get approval from all of their content partners supported by it to use their services. This does not cover use on iOS so it’s not possible for us right now to use that service.

Also, we don’t believe this will be a big limitation since most of the services available through can already be used through existing radio Apps for iOS or by the respective iOS Apps that these services provide themselves.

We believe, the biggest value of this feature lies in the capability to use your own library on the iOS device without having to sync it to the device.

Do I Have to Pay for Playback?

If you own only one iPeng version: yes.

Providing this capability along with continuing development of iPeng’s users interfaces and other functionalities (there’s a lot more exciting stuff coming up in 2011!) simply is too much work to be ever done for free.

In this particular case we used an implementation by a partner, James Fearon, who’s responsible for the whole feature and of course he wants to be rewarded for his hard work, too. We definitely can’t afford to pay him for all the users who have already purchased iPeng in the past, so this feature is only available as an “In App Purchase”.

Note: Free Playback is no longer available and has been replaced by a discounted version. Please read this newer post:

New iPeng Versions Update Playback, Change Discount Model

Get Playback for Free on iPad if You Own iPeng for iPhone and for iPad

There’s one exception: Those users who bought both the iPhone and the iPad version of iPeng can get the playback feature for free on iPad. It technically also works to transfer this to iPad if you follow the process below but be warned: it’s a bit awkward.

We regard this as a little “kickback” to our true customers. As I’ve written before, we would have loved to be able to give discounts to those who purchase both Apps but due to the structure of the App Store we can’t do that and we also could not afford to make the iPad version a completely free update. So this is how we want to give you a little delayed discount.

How do you get it?

  1. Install both Apps (iPeng for iPhone and iPeng for iPad) on your iPad. If you have not used iPeng for iPhone on your iPad: As long as you are using the same iTunes account as for your original purchase on iPhone or iPod, downloading it again on the iPad will be free; you can generally use App Store purchases on several devices. This is also true for In App Purchases (for the same App).
  2. Start iPeng for iPad and go to “Settings->Enable Playback->You own both iPeng for iPad and iPeng for iPhone? Get Playback for free!”.
  3. Press “Create Code”. This will create a voucher code that is valid in the OTHER App. Note: this code will only be valid for a limited time but you can create a new one at any time.
  4. When the code shows up in the entry field at the top of the page, “hold” the code text for a second and release to get the popup menu, then select “Select” and “Copy” to copy the code to the clipboard.
  5. Leave the App and start the OTHER iPeng App (iPeng for iPhone) on the iPad. Go to the same menu and do the “hold” in the empty text field, then select “Paste” from the popup menu.
  6. Now press “Validate Code” and the playback feature will be enabled. Enabling the feature in one App will enable it for both Apps on that device.
  7. Restart iPeng for iPad (the one where you generated the code). You need to “really” restart it, leaving to the home screen is not enough under iOS 4. You quit an App under iOS 4 by doubleclicking the “home” button on the iPad until the task bar shows up; then “hold” the App icon until it wobbles and press the red “-“. Then restart the App.
  8. Back Up your App Data with iTunes. We don’t guarantee that this offer will be available in future versions of iPeng but once enabled, Playback will stay activated.
  9. If you want to use the feature on other iOS devices, too, you need to first backup your App data on the iPad by synchronizing it with iTunes. Then you have to restore your other iOS devices using the backup you created from your iPad. This will work but you will have to re-install Apps that are different to the ones on your iPad and you will lose Music, Videos and other content stored on the second device in the process. I know this is complicated but we currently don’t have a different idea about how to solve it; the App Store only restores purchases that actually have been done through it.
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