I have long wanted to work on an app for Cydia that would let users change the Album Artwork for the music library in iOS, but was lacking the time to work on it. The past few weeks I had enough spare time (due to the lack of snow here in northern Germany) to work on an app for this. It’s a very basic app that just lets users select an image from their photo album and use it as the artwork for an album, artist or song. Artwork can also be deleted as well. The layout of the app is very similar to my other apps in Cydia, using basic table views with menus when tapping on an item, or the ability to select multiple items.
Here are some screenshots, which I also posted on twitter:
I hope to release the beta version for testing soon, and upload for purchase in Cydia soon after that.
I’ve been playing around with the private frameworks for the music library on my jailbroken iPhone running iOS 7, and discovered some internal image format labels for album artwork that don’t yield many helpful results in a Google search. For that reason I’m documenting the details here in case anyone else finds it useful.
|| hex value
|| int value
I recently was trying out different return keys (UIReturnKeyType) for the default keyboard in iOS 7, looking for a fitting text to display for calculating taxi fares from one location to another. Since the app is for the German market, I needed to find out the text translations in German. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the translations anywhere, so I had to try out the different variations myself and see what translation appeared. In doing so I also noticed (or rather, my boss noticed) that the different return key styles don’t all have the same color. And of course, neither the texts nor the colors can be individually chosen. I decided to make some screenshots and collect details about the different texts and colors.
|| English text
|| German text
|| Emergency Call
All of the button types are greyed out (with a grey text label) when no text has been entered.
When text has been entered, all buttons except for UIReturnKeyDefault and UIReturnKeyNext become blue (with a white text label).
Both UIReturnKeyDefault and UIReturnKeyNext are grey with a black text label when text has been entered.
Here’s the description for VideoExplorer I plan to use when it’s released on Cydia:
VideoExplorer can turn virtually any video on your iOS device into an audio ringtone, even videos you’ve recorded yourself with the standard camera app. It’s especially useful for converting videos from YouTube downloader apps (such as ProTuber from the App Store and MxTube or Universal Video Downloader from Cydia) into ringtones. In additional to ringtone and alert tones, you can also import videos to the Video app as movies, TV episodes or music videos, as well as into the iPod library or podcasts (all options with full meta-tag editing capabilities). VideoExplorer also allows you to easily open videos in other apps.
Videos can be found either in the apps tab (which lists the video files by app), or in the files tab (which filters out empty folders and non-video files to make it easier to find what you’re looking for). From there, you can send the videos to one of the many queues, for ringtones, music videos, and more. You can also queue a whole bunch of files at once–tap and hold to switch between single and multiple selection modes, or use the action button on the upper right. Once in the queue, you can then edit the file’s meta-tags (including the album artwork) by double-tapping on the file, before finally importing all the files by tapping on the import button.
VideoExplorer can also make use of the Gremlin framework, which allows imported music and videos to sync back to iTunes.
Please follow me on twitter (@comdorcet) to stay informed about feature updates, upcoming apps, and of course discounts and giveaways.
For the past few weeks I have been working on an app similar to AudioExplorer+ that works for any kind of video file iOS can play. This will enable everyone who uses a video download apps like MxTube from Cydia or ProTuber and MyTube from the Apple AppStore to do lots of cool stuff with the videos, like set them as ringtones or alert tones, add them to the iPod library or open them in other apps. You can even make audio ringtones of your own videos!
Here’s a sneak preview of the new app (ok, it’s just the splash screen, app icon and tab button icons):
One longtime user of AudioExplorer+ kindly offered a while ago to translate my app into his native tongue, Arabic. At the time I was too busy adding features and fixing bugs to set up my app for localized versions. The strings in Objective C code would need to be changed from
NSLocalizedString(@"Hello, World", @"This is the computer saying hello to the world")
which is not necessarily a fun undertaking (even if you leave out the comment strings).
I was thinking of making an Mac App that would assist in changing normal Objective C strings to localizable strings, but never found enough time or energy to start this undertaking. And as I’ve never done any Mac programming, this is probably a good thing.
Luckily, thanks to StackOverflow, I found a very nice, free, open-source Xcode plugin that can help in the conversion:
So now I’m finally found the tool I needed to help me make my app translatable.
To go along with the next version of AudioExplorer+ (1.5), I hope to offer several different languages: Arabic, Hebrew, German and Bahasa Melayu. If anyone else would like to volunteer to translate, please let me know! I’ll then promise free version of any future apps I release.
AE+ 1.5 will also add other new features, like the ability to add to alert tones and the audiobook libraries, and use the Gremlin plugin for imports of certain files.
The latest version of AE+ (1.2) has been uploaded to the BigBoss repo and will be available for download shortly. This version ads the ability to change ringtone names before importing them, by double-tapping on them in single-selection mode of the queue. In addition, adding/deleting from the queue has been sped up. Due to numerous internal changes, the cached search results will be deleted and a new audio file search will need be completed if upgrading from a previous version.
The next version of AE+ will build upon these changes, adding the ability to edit the id3 meta tags of files before importing them to the iPod library.
And thanks to The Amazing Audio Engine, a future version of AE+ will also have the ability to convert to numerous audio file formats. Unfortunately, the audio conversion won’t be added anytime soon.
I’ve just submitted a new version of AE+ for updating to the BigBoss repo. Version 1.1.2 has these new features:
- Switch between multiple/single selection mode with a long tap on an audio file
- Ability to refresh files view listings
Plus a lot of changes in the background which will make it easier for me to release apps similar to AE+ in the future.
Unfortunately, editing file details before importing to ringtones/iTunes didn’t make it into this version. Here’s how NOT to ask me when it will be ready:
Still can edit song info or album art huh? Waste of my $5.00 smh how long do we have to wait sir?
Obviously, this is someone who, aside from not knowing about patience and politeness (not to mention the most basic of English grammar), lacks all knowledge of both economics and coding. A feature like this is not something that can be added in 5 minutes, and the little money that AE+ is bringing in barely covers the work I’ve been putting into this project since I started about a year ago. I suggested that if he wants this feature faster, he should donate some money to have this go higher on my priority list. I also offered him his $1.99 back (unsure of what currency smh is), but I haven’t heard back on either suggestion. Apparently the feature isn’t that valuable to him, but he does want to keep using AE+.
AudioExplorer+ 1.1.1 is currently in beta testing and will most likely be available in Cydia in the next few days. New features:
- Pull to refresh in the app view can refresh just a single app, so you don’t need to refresh all apps just to get new audio files from one app
- Refresh buttons combined to one button with two options (as before, full and partial search).
As you’ve probably noticed, I like to do a lot of small updates rather than a big update with a lot of changes. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods, but I think multiple small updates are easier to manage in my case, with a relatively small user base (and on a platform where most users have the latest versions of the OS).
Most likely the next feature I will add will be a way to edit ringtone names (which will be a easy starting point for at least partial ID3 tag support with iTunes imports). I also need to set up AudioExplorer+ up so that translations to other languages are easy–Arabic, Chinese, French, German and Russian are the most likely candidates for initial translations.
From there, I plan on releasing more paid apps in Cydia with functionality similar to AudioExplorer+ (more details to come).
I’m currently working on an update for AudioExplorer+, which will add some features that will make it easier for new users to find their way around:
- Overlay with text that popups when adding items to the queue will be visible longer and have information about the next step
- Badges on Queue Tab bar indicating the number of items in the queue
Plus, I’ve added the ability to extract album artwork from id3 tags (if available) and use this when importing into the iTunes library (AFAIK not even the Bridge app does this!).
Beta testers will be getting this version in the next few hours/days. I’d like to have this update in Cydia by Easter weekend.