Thursday, September 5, 2013

Until AM for Chrome Now Officially Out - Featured Among the Elite Chrome Apps

Until AM featured on the Google marketing page

Today, the thoroughly renewed Chrome Web Store was rolled out, making the packaged apps available to the general public for the first time. Until AM for Chrome is therefore now finally officially available straight from the Store for all the people! The guys at the Google Chrome team describe the launch in more detail in their fresh blog post.

To our great pride, Until AM for Chrome has been featured as one of the showcase apps Google uses to call attention to its new platform! Besides most likely bringing our app to the consciousness of a great number of new users, being spotlighted from amongst all the other great apps sure feels like a homage of sorts. Neat!

Now we're just waiting Until AM for Chrome to get as popular as the original Until AM web app. And obviously developing new features in the meanwhile!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hooked Up With Google Drive + Ultra Sharp Graphics

It hasn't been that long since the initial test release of Until AM for Chrome, but we already have some exciting new stuff to add: the app now seamlessly connects to Google Drive! 

As you probably know, Google Drive is a pretty advanced online file storage system, automatically available free-of-charge to anyone with a Google account. If you're new to this service, have a look at their introduction website.

We've now integrated Google Drive file access straight into the user interface of Until AM for Chrome. The fundamental idea is that you'll manage your audio files outside of our app, using the normal Google Drive interface, but during your DJ session you can easily access the stored songs without leaving the DJ tool. This is super cool and opens up totally new ways of working for the DJs living the era of cloud computing:
  • Access the audio files you've stored onto your Google Drive simply by clicking the new tab at the top of the songs list.
  • Automatic login via Chrome. If you're already browsing as an authenticated user, you'll see the Google Drive audio files listed on their tab without doing anything. If not, you can easily provide your credentials at any time during your DJ session without interrupting the music.
  • Add new songs to your Google Drive in the middle of a DJ session, even by using the same account on another computer. Just remember to click the "Refresh file listing" button to see the up-to-date list of songs.
  • Collaborative deejaying by sharing files with other Google Drive users. The songs list inside the app includes not only your own audio files, but also the ones the other users are sharing with you. This is another ace feature: while one DJ is mixing, other peeps can drop her new song suggestions in the middle of the set. All they need to know is the DJ's Gmail address. For example, one half of a DJ duo can concentrate on mixing while the other one is adding new songs, using another computer. Or the guests of a home party can all participate in building the playlist by sharing songs with their mobile devices.
  • Anyone with Google Drive access can share and manipulate songs, only the DJ must be using Until AM for Chrome on a proper computer. Alongside the web interface, there are Google Drive mobile apps available for Android and iOS.
  • Support for .m3p, .ogg and .wav formats, just like the local files. If you have other kinds of files on your Google Drive, they're simply filtered out from the listing so your deejaying view won't get cluttered with irrelevant junk.

Another improvement is that the we now support high resolution graphics. This means people running a computer with a high pixel density display (e.g. MacBook with Retina display or Chromebook Pixel) will be eyeing an extremely crisp user interface. If you don't have such a machine you won't notice a thing. However, it seems this kind of displays are getting more and more common in the newer models of many computer manufacturers. As high fidelity freaks we're always proud to provide superior quality in visuals as well as in audio.

One more important thing: using the latest app version requires Chrome 29 or newer. However, this day the standard Chrome browser is still in 28, but if you feel adventurous you can go ahead and download the beta version of the browser from the Google page. Nonetheless, the standard Chrome should be updated to v. 29 really soon, so if you'll just loiter a couple of days you'll be able to encounter the most avant-garde version of our app without any extra nerdery. UPDATE: The official Chrome 29 is now out, so just update your browser! Moreover, at the moment the packaged app platform can only be fully experienced on Windows and Chrome OS, whilst people on OS X or other systems might experience small hiccups. Sorry about the complexity, but we're on the bleeding edge of browser tech now and the ground is still a bit wobbly over here.

Anyway, once you're on Chrome 29, click the image above and try out the latest version! Because we're spearheading new stuff here, your feedback (as well as possible bug reports) is more welcome than ever!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Until AM Now Available as a Packaged App

We've lately been busy with working on something more than a simple feature update. Today, we're thrilled to release a completely new app in the Chrome Web Store: Until AM for Chrome.

What we're talking about is a so called packaged app, a new kind of a application made possible just recently by the red hot Chrome update. Even though you browse and install the packaged apps through the Chrome Web Store, they're in essence just like the "normal" native applications you have in the program files folder of your computer. The packaged apps run completely outside of the web browser in their own window, and also work when you're offline.

At the time being, the packaged apps framework itself is still under development and you might not find our app by browsing the Chrome Web Store. However, we'd like to invite the blog readers for a sneak peek already: first make sure you have Chrome v. 28 29, then click the image above to install the app.

UPDATE: The latest version requires Chrome 29 or newer, check the new post!

On the surface the new app looks more or less the same as the old one, but under the hood we've remade almost everything. Instead of the Adobe Flash platform we've been using before, the packaged apps are built using the cutting edge HTML5 and in our case Web Audio technology. Obviously, this opens up exciting possibilities for the future development. We're going to publish more new stuff soon, but we simply couldn't hold back this initial version of the packaged app any more.

In a nutshell, the first release of the packaged app brings along several new features for the seasoned Until AM users:
  • Highly improved audio quality. With an about 30% boost to the sample rate, the effects and scratching simulation just reached a new level of exactness.
  • Work offline. The packaged app stays installed on your computer even while you're not connected to the internet. Of course, without a web connection you can't access SoundCloud either, but nevertheless we think the offline mode is highly useful for DJs who need to spin in environments where the fibre isn't always reliable. For summer's sake, imagine a beach party for instance.
  • Go fullscreen. The new app appears in a native window instead of a browser, so you can maximize it and avoid being disturbed by other applications while in the middle of the party.
  • Support for WAV and Ogg Vorbis. And mp3 remains there as well, of course.

The two incarnations of the app will co-exist in the Chrome Web Store. One likes the mother, another one the daughter, and it's absolutely not obligatory to switch to the new app if you prefer the old one. However, it might well be that in the near future the two apps will get more dissimilar since the underlying platforms are somewhat different and adding exactly same features might thus prove cumbersome.

In any case, we'd be really happy if you'll give the new app a test drive! As always, any feedback and bug reporting is welcome e.g. via the Facebook page or e-mail!