Dear iPeng Users!
The recent updates to iPeng 1.3.2 and iPeng for iPad 1.1.2 bring some improvements to playback, bug fixes and a change to the discount offered for users of both Apps.
What Happened to Free Playback?
Let’s talk about the discount first.
When we introduced Playback in iPeng 1.3/1.1, I wanted to give something back to true customers of both iPeng versions. This is not as easy as it sounds since the App Store business model is fixed, discounts are not provided for. Something is either entirely free or has to be sold at full price.
So my idea was: “Hey, let’s give users who own both Apps the Playback for free”.
To cut a long story short: As it turned out, the only solution we found was too complicated for a lot of users and the lack of a simple capability to transfer the license to other devices (there was a capability, but it was awkward) lead to a lot of disappointment and bad mood.
The final stroke then came when Apple objected to this model because it’s in a violation of one of their App Store review rules. The rule says, that you may only use App Store mechanisms to unlock additional features. Our interpretation of this (and well, it did pass review) was that this only applies to using other means of SELLING features (so that you can not set up your own In-App-Purchase system) but Apple informed us that it would also apply to unlocking something for free. Now actually a lot of other Apps do that, too, but this is probably a different story.
So that was it for free playback. However, if you have enabled this feature in version 1.3.1/1.1 you will not lose it, your free playback will stay active!
Enter Discounted Playback
However, I’m not willing to give up the discount completely so here’s a new try: Discounted Playback. It uses the App Store to make available a discounted (to the equivalent of $1) copy of Playback through the App Store in iPeng for iPhone (it will enable playback for iPeng for iPad, too). Besides having the disadvantage of requiring you to pay 1$ more, it has a few advantages:
- It only uses the App Store to unlock a feature so should be compliant to the App Store rules.
- Since it uses the App Store it’s simple to transfer it to other devices.
How does Discounted Playback Work?
Here are the steps you have to follow to purchase and use the discounted playback.
- Install both iPeng for iPhone and iPeng for iPad on the same iPad.
- Start both Apps on iPad.
- Go to iPeng for iPhone(!) on iPad
- In the Enable Playback dialog, iPeng for iPhone will now offer you to purchase Playback at a discounted rate equivalent to ~1US$
- Purchase Playback
- Playback is now enabled for both Apps on the iPad
- To transfer the license, open iPeng for iPhone on a different device and press Restore Previous Purchase in the Enable Playback dialog. Do NOT purchase it again, use the Restore Playback button instead.
What else has changed?
OK, so much for the business side of things. There are also some other improvements in these iPeng releases.
- New File and Stream formats: iPeng Playback now supports Ogg/Vorbis and PCM (WAV, AIFF). While Ogg/Vorbis is helpful for files in that format and some radio streams that use it, PCM will especially help support some streams that required server-side transcoding.
- Bug fixes in Playback and stream handling. BBC streams in AAC format, for example, will now work.
- iPeng now limits the bitrate over the cellular network to 128kbps to meet the App Store criteria.
- And then this iPeng release fixes a really nasty bug that lead to excessive CPU usage and battery consumption in iPeng, not only with playback.
Now, I know a lot of you will be disappointed by the dropping of the free Playback capability. I’m sorry about that but can’t change that, I hope you can live with the discount solution, too.
If I could start this anew, I’m pretty sure I would no longer try to discount something but just charge the full price. While this, too, would cause some bad mood it would just cause so much less trouble.