Brandon's Avatar


15 Nov, 2014 10:31 PM

I still love Tabular, but I've been having problems with stability lately. I can't give you a definite pattern (although it seems to be related to using iCloud) but it's disheartening for a program which is so well designed—as far as both the feature set and the way they are presented and integrated with each other—to be so disappointing when it comes to stability. PLEASE prioritize stability. (I'm on Yosemite, so that could be contributing to the problems—they may not exist on previous versions of the OS, possibly.)

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Jarod Long on 15 Nov, 2014 11:43 PM

    Jarod Long's Avatar

    Hey Brandon,

    Sorry about the instability lately! There were pretty significant changes that came with Yosemite and iOS 8 that have unfortunately resulted in a lot of the recent crashes and other bugs, particularly with iCloud.

    Balancing my time between maintaining the 1.x version and working on the 2.0 release has proven to be tricky -- I'd like to spend as much time as possible on version 2 so that I can release it in a timely manner, but I also don't want users to have to deal with a buggy app in the mean time.

    I've just recently submitted an iOS update that addresses some of its iCloud issues, and I should have a stability update for OS X ready to submit soon as well. I'll continue to address major stability issues as they come up, and I'll try to get version 2 released as quickly as possible, which should create a much more stable foundation for the app going forward.

  2. 2 Posted by Brandon Zylstra on 17 Nov, 2014 08:49 PM

    Brandon Zylstra's Avatar

    Having a version 2 on the way sounds like great news, except for the fact
    that the App Store will make this either be a free upgrade or an entirely
    new app (and thus full price). Are you going to make it free? (I'm hoping
    we don't have to pay full price for an upgrade!)

    If version 2 is a free upgrade, then I'd be happy to live with the
    stability problems for now so that version 2 can come as quickly as
    possible and (presumably!) solve them.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Jarod Long on 18 Nov, 2014 10:43 PM

    Jarod Long's Avatar

    I haven't really decided whether the update will be free or not yet. It'll most likely be free, but I'm not yet sure if the risk of making it free and not earning enough money to continue full-time development of the app is worth it. App sales are currently far below what they need to be to support full-time development, and if they don't increase with the 2.0 release, I'll have to cut back to infrequent maintenance updates while I seek out another source of income.

    As a consumer I'm always frustrated when an app requires a full-priced update, especially when the app isn't cheap, but as a developer I also have lots of cool stuff that I want to do with the app, and releasing a paid update increases the chances that I'll be able to do that.

    Like I said, it'll probably be free, but it's still up in the air at this point. If I do end up making it a paid update, though, I'll be sure to put out a thorough stability update to version 1 for customers who don't want or are unable to update.

  4. 4 Posted by Brandon Zylstra on 20 Nov, 2014 03:29 PM

    Brandon Zylstra's Avatar

    Yeah, it's a difficult problem. It's annoying that the Apple Store
    doesn't allow normal upgrade pricing (less than buying from scratch).

    One solution would be to send an e-mail to current users telling them that
    from X date to Y date the price will be reduced so they can upgrade
    cheaply. (And of course any new customers who happen to get lucky.)

    But in the end, I'd probably prefer to pay all over again than miss out on
    features. It's really an amazing program, and much better (at least for
    what I care about) than programs costing hundreds of dollars.

    I'm surprised it's not doing well in the market, though. My only guess as
    to the cause is that people perceive it to be only about tablature, when it
    actually does so much more. And it seems like you have the basis in place
    to easily add support for keyboard instruments, and anything else beyond
    strings and drums. In fact, I kind of think that's necessary, since a
    large percentage of people scoring music will want to be able to score for
    more than just percussion and stringed instruments. Vocals, especially. I
    would find it very helpful to at least be able to put lyrics on the same
    sheet as my bass guitar music.

    Perhaps rather than a paid upgrade you could create a new app that has much
    broader scope than tablature, a sort of "big brother" to Tabular. Just an

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Jarod Long on 21 Nov, 2014 07:45 AM

    Jarod Long's Avatar

    Upgrade pricing would be wonderful if Apple would allow it. I know it's possible for the app to check its purchase receipt to see when it was bought, and I'm planning on looking into whether it's possible to use that in combination with in-app purchases to allow users who bought the app before a certain date to upgrade for a cheaper price. It seems unlikely given that I've never heard of anyone else doing it, and it's very possible that Apple wouldn't even allow it, but it might end up being the best option if it works.

    I think you're not far off, though -- the market for tablature-specific editors seems to be pretty small, especially on Apple devices. One of the major improvements in version 2 is first-class support for notating music without tablature, which should hopefully broaden the appeal of the app. Releasing the upgrade as an entirely separate app is an interesting idea -- it'd provide an opportunity to shift away from a tablature-oriented brand to emphasize that the app can do more than just tablature. It would still unfortunately require existing users to pay full price, but I'll keep that in mind.

    Anyways, I really appreciate the kind words and the feedback! I'll do my best to get the update out there as quickly as possible.

  6. 6 Posted by Brandon Zylstra on 23 Nov, 2014 03:18 AM

    Brandon Zylstra's Avatar

    Buying it all over again would be an unfortunate side-effect of the
    rebranding, and as a consumer I wouldn't like that. But having this
    relegated to a side project would be much worse for me and everyone else in
    the long run. I want to see your project successful, because I benefit
    from that FAR FAR FAR more than I would by just saving a few bucks.

    I think the secret sale announced only to current customers might be a good
    enough work-around. A few people will miss it and be ticked off, but I
    don't know if that can be avoided.

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