Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
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Surreal
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Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by Surreal » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:29 pm

Hey all,
Apologies for what is, basically, spam. The long and short of it is that I have planned a little rally on the app store for this weekend. The app will be a dollar, It is an ear training app, so maybe some folk here might even dig it.

The app did pretty well in the first month and terribly the second, and the only difference is that it fell off the "New" list. Which means i need to get onto the "Hot" list.

Thank you for your time.

http://itunes.apple.com/ug/app/inner-ea ... 04340?mt=8
Last edited by Surreal on Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Yoseph
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by Yoseph » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:50 pm

I wish I had an ipad/iphone!

stringtapper
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by stringtapper » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:03 pm

Ok I bought the app.

I'm not going to review it on the iTunes store, but I have to be frank: I don't find it to be much of an ear training app. It's really more of a scale/pitch collection thesaurus with playback of individual pitches. Having a way for users to test themselves (e.g. scale/chord plays and then user picks from list to select the correct answer) seems to me an essential component for an app that calls itself an ear trainer. I don't know what your normal price is for this, but I personally wouldn't recommend going higher than 99¢.

And to be fair, you do state what it does in the description. I just think that the "ear training" label is probably going to imply more than stepping through pitches of a collection in many people's minds.
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Surreal
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by Surreal » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:34 pm

If you enter a series of notes that you intend to sing, step through them, and check your pitch when you are unsure, you are working on your inner ear. The testing comes from singing and then playing.

The definition of ear training that you seem to be working from is completely centered on recognition. Recognition is important, but singing is just as important. More if you believe that you can't hear an interval that you can't sing confidently in some form or another. Ear training classes and texts spend a small amount of time working on recognition with the balance of it spent on singing melodies in solfege. There are a couple ear training apps that do exactly as you describe, but those weren't compelling to me for various reasons, some of which i feel i address with this app, others which i think i will address in my next app.

I actually think the "dictionary/thesaurus" aspect does the app a disservice, since I only added those so it would 'work out of the box.' My intent was always for the user to make her or his own exercises.

stringtapper
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by stringtapper » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:27 pm

Surreal wrote:The definition of ear training that you seem to be working from is completely centered on recognition.


Only in the context of what I feel is a useful iOS application.
Surreal wrote:Recognition is important, but singing is just as important.
Agreed.
Surreal wrote:Ear training classes and texts spend a small amount of time working on recognition with the balance of it spent on singing melodies in solfege.
Not in my experience. And my experience is that I currently teach college ear training and sight singing at the largest music school in the US and we give equal time to dictation and singing. You have to IMO (and those of many other professionals) to thoroughly train the ear. It's really approaching the same skill from two different directions: reproducing what you hear with notation (dictation) and reproducing what you see with your voice (sight singing). The aural skills portion of the theory entrance exam (undergraduate an graduate) at any reputable school of music is going to give equal weight to dictation and sight singing (and keyboard skills for that matter).
Surreal wrote:I actually think the "dictionary/thesaurus" aspect does the app a disservice, since I only added those so it would 'work out of the box.' My intent was always for the user to make her or his own exercises.
Then I think the app needs a little bit of in-app explanation as to how you feel it should be used. I don't think it would entirely clear, especially to a beginner, how you intend it to work.

Just my 2 cents and hoping to add some constructive criticism.
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Surreal
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by Surreal » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:06 pm

stringtapper wrote: Only in the context of what I feel is a useful iOS application.
In that case, my description should have warned you off. Many apps already play a note or chord and ask you to identify it. I am hard pressed creating different in that arena. (I have plans, but they are much more involved than this project.)
stringtapper wrote: Not in my experience. And my experience is that I currently teach college ear training and sight singing at the largest music school in the US and we give equal time to dictation and singing. You have to IMO (and those of many other professionals) to thoroughly train the ear.
I have taken courses at (funny to think about it now) 3 pretty well regarded university music programs. Yes, recognition is given considerable weight in testing, but recognition has always been presented as following production.
Armen Donelian wrote:Accurate vocal reproduction enhances perception
stringtapper wrote:It's really approaching the same skill from two different directions: reproducing what you hear with notation (dictation) and reproducing what you see with your voice (sight singing). The aural skills portion of the theory entrance exam (undergraduate an graduate) at any reputable school of music is going to give equal weight to dictation and sight singing (and keyboard skills for that matter).
I am not, at all, discounting recognition. It is important, butI take issue with the claim that there is something wrong with calling this an ear training app. This app will not accommodate all possible needs with regard to ear training, but that was not my intent.
stringtapper wrote:Then I think the app needs a little bit of in-app explanation as to how you feel it should be used. I don't think it would entirely clear, especially to a beginner, how you intend it to work.

Just my 2 cents and hoping to add some constructive criticism.
Thank you for the input. A good tutorial has been something i have been working on for some time.

stringtapper
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by stringtapper » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:29 pm

Surreal wrote:In that case, my description should have warned you off.
To be clear, I didn't buy it because I needed it, I bought it to see what you had done, there were no more codes and it was only 99¢. Oh, and to help a fellow Ableton forumite out (i.e. the request you made with this thread).

Surreal wrote:Yes, recognition is given considerable weight in testing, but recognition has always been presented as following production.
A curious pedagogical stance given that production itself implies recognition. Like I tell my students: if you can sing it, you can hear it. In other words, the act of dictation involves the very same cognitive act as reproducing something with your voice. If one is singing something then there is recognition involved, whether they are singing from notation or from a description of a pitch collection (e.g. "Sing a diminished 7th chord"). So you really can't separate the two aspects, they are inherently intertwined. Anyway, this is adrift of the main point…
Surreal wrote:I take issue with the claim that there is something wrong with calling this an ear training app.
I feel that my previous suggestion is the real issue here. You have no explanation of how you would have users utilize the app, and nothing suggesting that the user sing back the collections as you suggest. Without an explanation of your prescribed method the app just becomes a thesaurus with playback. Beginners will certainly be at a loss.

One more thing and I'll shut up. I think the playback implementation is cumbersome. Having to press next and then sound the pitch wears a little. I would suggest refining it so that each note can be sounded with one tap. Then you might consider further refining it so that an entire collection could be heard in succession with a single tap (e.g. tap on a button and the ascending melodic minor scale is heard).

Understand that I'm only criticizing because I like to see good ear training apps for iOS that I can recommend to students.
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Surreal
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by Surreal » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:27 am

Fair enough. I have a ways to go. Thank you for the support.

(everything after is only for clarity and is not meant as a 'rebuttle' I kept going back and forth because i wanted to find out what would have satisfied your expectations )
All versions before 1.1 played the note every time you moved. I changed it so that the user can step through and only check when unsure. (like playing only the first and last note to see if you stayed in key.) It is interesting to hear that the previous method is might be more desirable.

Thanks again, interesting to go back and forth with another point of view like this.

stringtapper
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Re: Help my new iOS Ear Training App make a Surge on the charts!

Post by stringtapper » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:34 am

Well when I'm coding in Max and this happens I try to find an elegant way to make both options available. Perhaps a preference to switch between the two methods? I do see how the way it is now could be helpful as you explained.
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