Stars for practicing

One of the new features for next update (3.7):

The practice screen displays a row of stars above the progress bar for each piece. A green star is awarded for each day that the piece was practiced according to the planned time. A yellow star, if above half the planned time.

This way when you start practicing, you have a quick view of  the weeks progress, and can see which pieces have been missed.

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5 Responses to “Stars for practicing”

  1. Dave Says:

    I just starting using the app this week, and I love it. Simple, and really well organized. Thanks Malcolm!

  2. Damian Says:

    Hi Malcolm,
    Once again, thanks for great app. It is up there with my 5 most used apps, and the others are all navigation or internet. I hope you haven’t lost interest, 3.7 is a long time coming! Maybe it’s time you charged .75c for it. I use it daily and it really helps. I don’t use the day function so much, I either have pieces/excercises on everyday or none and then I kinda ignore the percentage practiced a little.
    I would love a folder system still for certain things. I don’t use the recording system much but like that its there.

    It would also be good if it could truly work in the background, so I could exit the program, go to a more complicated metronome app and have it running in the background still. Still, its not that important. I would happily pay for the app also. Hope all is well.
    Best,
    Damian

    • malcolmkavalsky Says:

      Hi Damian,

      The update is ready for uploading, however Apple recently released a new SDK and it has to be compiled with it, otherwise it won’t be accepted. This means I also need at least another week of QA, to ensure nothing gets broken. I will make every effort to have it ready by Xmas.

      My dilemma with background processing (basically just leaving the timer running), is that when a telephone call comes in, I want the app to stop the timer. I need to think of how to choose different modes of background processing. In any case, I also realize the need to improve the metronome, (different clicks for different beats of the bar), and am currently experimenting to find an easy GUI for this.

      I am not planning to charge for this app (too much effort for low reward), rather I’d like as many people as possible to use it on a daily basis, and possibly add some social networking features at a later stage. Currently, I have average of 10 downloads per day, though I do not yet know how many are actively using it.

      Folders are a tough feature to implement at this stage, requiring major changes to the GUI and internal data structures. But I’ll keep it in mind.

      Thanks for the feedback,
      Malcolm

  3. Damian Says:

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for the reply. It all sounds like hard work! 10 downloads a day is certainly a lot of practicing, I suppose you have to be a certain type of person to want to track your practise and use the iphone will you’re doing it. A mix of organised but also slight tech nerd! I really believe it has benefited my routine though and having a routine/regime is something that many many educators promote for good practice.

    I see the problem with background. It works already in a sense, I can use the multitask to start or stop the ipod but can’t change playlists. Because I do some practice with recordings, that’s why I mention it. I don’t really have any problem with the metronome, I use it for 90% of stuff, the things I use another metronome app for are beyond the remit of a practice app, ie: fairly complex stuff that I use frozen ape tempo metronome for, but I can see why others might want a bell feature.

    Thanks for considering the folders. The way I envisage it, it wouldn’t require much change to the ‘outside’ (ie: the bit I see) of the GUI, but I’ll take your word on the internal data structures. I’ll stop going on about it after this, but one last attempt to promote to concept…

    Imagine a book with 130 exercises in it, each needing their own metronome marking. Imagine if you could go in, mark it as a book, and then do each exercise, using the metronome which would keep track of your progress, but then they are all logged under the book name. No need to see individual logs of each exercise.

    Or…
    You are practising for an orchestra, over the year you may play 20 pieces, but they are all logged under orchestra, which is a more relevant category for the practice than the piece name, in terms of long term.

    That said, I can see complications myself. Its not important, just a dream!

    One final small thing that I think would be useful and easy is when viewing log by piece, to have the totals either on the first page or at the top of the second, (the first being the list of pieces – so total time on right, and the second being the actual log, so total at top) That would be nice to now how long total has been spent practicing scales! Perhaps as years go by you would need to add a time specification, ie: how long on scales last year. but that enough.

    Again, I like the app just as it is, it just gets me going about further refinements when I think about it.
    Many many thanks for all your work. I hope all the work bring you some financial reward further down the line.

    Best,
    Damian

  4. Nancy Mantyh, Says:

    Where do I find instructions for this app. Usually, it is self evident. But I keep tapping and I can’t figure it out.

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