Category Archives: Планы / Итоги

Итоги уходящего года и планы на ближайшее будущее

Overview of 2021

This year brought us many challenges and events. Fortunately, December 31st is just around the corner! I really want to believe that 2022 will not be able to outperform 2021 and will treat us gentler…

2021

AIMP5

This year we released AIMP5. This was a major update of the player’s Windows version. It was extremely well-received by our users. Even several news publications covered our release. Of course, we also scored some negative “accomplishments”.

  • The day we launched public beta testing, the ESET antivirus vendor noticed AIMP and added it to the list of unwanted software.
    The reason for this turned out to be the Yandex ad offer that shows up in the installer for the Russian-speaking audience.

    Note that the offer had been there out in the open for over 10 years. We never hid it in the installer behind checkboxes or anything like that. Hundreds of free programs have been using this monetization scheme, but we were the only ones that got blocked.

    An attempt to work things out with ESET’s support made everything worse. They additionally flagged all our releases starting with v4.0 and blacklisted our email addresses. Fortunately, few AIMP users use ESET solutions.

    So AIMP now has its own signature: Win32/AIMP.X PUA. And what have you achieved this year?!
  • On the day of the release, we encountered a problem with the Last.fm service. As part of the new AIMP Scrobbler plugin, we’d expanded the integration with this service. Requests with our API key produced an error message that reported exceeding the maximum number of requests.

    As we found out later, the request number limit is calculated per key instead of per user (as is customary in most other services). We are currently working with Last.fm on bringing the plugin back to life. So pay attention to details when reading documentation!

AIMP for Android

We went through hell to release version 3.20! Our users refused to accept our new file access policy and accused us of intentionally limiting their rights.

Two months have passed since the release. During this time we lost 35% of our audience and our rating fell below 4 stars. Unfortunately, we do not expect the situation to improve any time soon – our rating keeps falling, although not as drastically as in the first month. There is a possibility that in 2022 there will be no one to rate the new release.

However, the situation still has its advantages:

  • Now we will tie the release not to the day when new Android requirements are issued, but to the day when the new Android version is released. This way, we hope people will see clearly where such decisions are coming from.
  • The player’s PC version again became more popular than its mobile version. This means we’ll focus more on the PC version when working on the next update.

AIMP Audio Cutter as Proving Grounds

On August 8th, on AIMP’s 15th birthday, we released a small utility for the Android OS – AIMP Audio Cutter. For us, this utility became proving grounds where we tested several technical solutions simultaneously:

The plugin as a standalone application

Android does not have a specific system of plugins and add-ons – each developer invents something new. Moreover, developers of Android announced that, starting with the Android 12 release, they would disable the ability for applications to load plugins’ code directly from external storages because of security reasons. So using this approach was out of the question – and we needed to find some other option. If we ship our plugin as a standalone APK, users would see its icon. And it’s safe to say they would probably want to interact with it. This gave us the new idea: what if the plugin won’t just be able to integrate into the player, but will also be able to function as a standalone application?

Standard Approaches and Standard Libraries Only

The application uses only those approaches and libraries that Google recommends. Our goal was to explore all the approaches that Google recommends in action, and to determine their pros and cons. This way, we could estimate whether we could use them in the player.

The first thing we tested was how to work with files through the safe file access method. Audio Cutter was the utility where we figured out how to interact with the new API before employing this mechanism in the mobile player.

The second – and the most important thing – was the music library. As the source of music and ringtones, Audio Cutter uses the music library that is built into the OS. While we developed and tested the feature, we found several serious problems:

  1. The music library contains only the files that the system sees as music files: aac, mp3, m4a, wav, ogg, flac, and wma. You can forget about all other formats – there is no access to them whatsoever.
  2. If you have an audio file’s ID from the music library, there is still no way to find where the file is on the disk. This means the utility will not be automatically picking up CUE, lyrics and album covers that are stored as separate files.
  3. The index update interval is unstable. The music library can be updated right after new music have been added, or after the data transfer from the PC has been disconnected, or only after rebooting the system.

The result is all the same: the standard music library is no good. We concluded that if we were to create a music library for the player – we would need to write our own engine.

A Few Words Instead of a Conclusion

This year threw many challenges at us that required a lot of effort. The released versions are still fairly fresh and keep bringing us much feedback – so it’s too early to make plans for the next release.

And while we have not settled upon a specific roadmap for 2022, we invite you to participate in a small survey about what you would like to see in the mobile and
PC versions in the future.

Планы на 2011 год

На этот раз у меня планы очень и очень скромные 🙂

За этот год я надеюсь довести AIMP3 до ума – выпустить релиз. Собсветнно все. Хотя нет, кое-что забыл – как и в прошлом году, жду RadStudio с поддержкой x64 🙂