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TapeDeck 1.5

• Chris Liscio

It might appear that I've not done much to the app in a while, but TapeDeck 1.5 represents months of technical debt repayment, plus a few new features.

First off, the new stuff. I added Retina support and improved the quality of YouTube uploads. Now they're uploaded in HD, which prevents them from getting butchered when viewed on an Apple TV, or other HD devices. I also picked up the latest changes to the GData API, which I think improves the login process considerably.

Beyond that, most of the work I did was under the hood. TapeDeck has adopted Sandboxing (both in and out of the app store), Automatic Reference Counting, and Cocoa Autolayout (in the tape drawer). I also replaced my terrible implementation of the "Tape Box" with a view-based NSTableView so that it scrolls like butter now! I threw out a ton of code in the process, and it felt great…

I also decided to make TapeDeck 1.5 require a minimum of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. There was a lot of new stuff that we got with Lion, and much of that new stuff just happens to work better in Mountain Lion (in my limited experience, anyway.) Rather than chasing ghosts in Lion, I felt it'd be better to get the product out with less surprises. Maintenance for older OSes becomes increasingly difficult when you're developing on your own, but I digress.

Of course, no release would be complete without the vague claims of "improving performance" and "various bug fixes", so I made sure to address that stuff as well. I vastly improved performance when launching with large tape libraries, and I replaced a great deal of the audio engine with a more modernized version of the same (which I originally built for Capo on iOS.)

The net result of this release is that TapeDeck will continue to be fun, but also a workhorse that people have grown to depend on. I've heard from physicians, songwriters, researchers, lawyers, and other professionals that I never expected to use this sort of application. I've had a handful of professional songwriters inform me that they depend on it for their work, and they use it daily. This makes me incredibly proud, and I'm happy to know TapeDeck is solving a real need.

TapeDeck launched well before "skeuomorphic" was a hip term, and it turns out that replicating a familiar item from our (past) everyday lives has been a smart choice. Just like the real thing, TapeDeck works exactly as you need it to, with a dose of nostalgia for fun.

Over the holiday season, I'm offering TapeDeck on sale for $4.99 (75% off the new full price of $19.99). I expect that it will do very well over the coming weeks, and I hope you all (continue to) enjoy it.

Buy TapeDeck now on the Mac App Store.