Trackhunter Feature in Development: Trackhunter on the iPhone and iPad

Monday, September 7, 2015
by Keith Boynton
Trackhunter Feature in Development: Trackhunter on the iPhone and iPad By Sean MacEntee CC https://flic.kr/p/bR4N9c

With the imminent release of version 1.7 of Trackhunter which hopefully Apple will approve in the new few days, I'm now going to focus on the next development piece. Whilst there will likely be some minor new features and of course fixes, the next major piece of work is going to be more about making Trackhunter available on mobile devices...

What am I working on?

I am now focussing on the iOS release of Trackhunter which will make it available on the iPhone and iPad. There has already been a considerable amount of development and the alpha version I've been testing on my iPhone and iPad has been extremely promising. Development had to be put on hold for a while due to funding but I'm now focussed again on finishing this development.

How could it be good for you?

I see the mobile versions of Trackhunter being a compliment to the desktop versions rather than a replacement or alternative. I think there's huge benefit in being able to travel around and keep listening to your playlist or maybe even just moving round the house/office and connecting to Bluetooth speakers etc. I imagined people using the desktop versions of Trackhunter more to fetch and buy the tracks and then the mobile versions possibly being used mainly to listen and shortlist the tracks whilst on the move. To make this work smoothly I wanted to get the AutoSync feature (version 1.6) delivered and stable before unveiling the mobile version because I see AutoSync being an important part of using Trackhunter in this way. The idea was to let AutoSync keep playlists and shortlists in sync across all devices without users needing to do anything, tracks that are found on the desktop version automatically appear in the playlist of the mobile version and tracks which are listened to and/or shortlisted on the mobile version are synced back to the desktop version and visa versa automatically.

What is involved?

As mentioned a substantial amount of development has already been completed and I've tested an alpha version of it on my iPhone and iPad. It looks great and a lot of the features are fully working. There are still some features to be added and I now need to integrate AutoSync with it as AutoSync didn't exist when the alpha development was happening.

Porting Trackhunter to the iOS platform involves using the Xamarin framework which is what I've used for the Mac version too. The porting is being carried out by Motis Consulting who also took over the porting to the Mac version late last year. They are extremely efficient and a premier Xamarin consultancy with a lot of experience. Most of the delays to delivery usually lie either with me for various reasons or sometimes with bugs within the Xamarin framework because Trackhunter is sometimes cutting edge as far as the Xamarin framework goes especially on the Mac platform.

How far away is it?

It's difficult to give an accurate estimate as to when the iOS version will be available but right now I'm working on a solution to funding and providing Motis with the requirements for what the first release of Trackhunter on iOS will look like so they can provide me with costs and time estimates.

As soon as I know a realistic timeframe I'll make another announcement, dare I say it will be generally available this year. The iOS version is an exciting prospect certainly for me because I'll be using it all the time!

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