Dissecting the first one-star review...
  • Here's the review, auto-translated from German:

    "Audulus3 could be a great app, there are moderately good ideas and a lot of loving details that may play to their strengths when working with a mouse and keyboard on the computer. Unfortunately, the developers seem to have but never really dealt with the specific UI requirements of iDevice. But the link with patch cables has already in itself: modules positioned as close as possible, zoom in, connect - which often only works with the second or third attempt - and zoom out again. Other apps that work with cables, such as Korg, are there a lot more ergonomic, best connection of individual modules is probably dissolved at SunVox or Jasuto. The knobs are a plague, until you get the "access" to times. And what's up with the almost obligatory numeric input as input parameters in the oscillators, an iDevice is not a computer with keyboard and numeric keypad. As an additional option that would be ok, but when first offered opportunity? Too bad for me, and € 15 a waste of money."

    LET'S BEGIN:

    "Audulus3 could be a great app, there are moderately good ideas and a lot of loving details."


    Ok, well if I thought there were some "moderately good ideas" and a "lot of loving details" then that would merit more than one star, but let's continue.

    "Unfortunately, the developers seem to have but never really dealt with the specific UI requirements of iDevice."


    So despite developing for iOS for five years now, I'm not familiar with the specific UI requirements of iOS. Go on.

    "But the link with patch cables has already in itself: modules positioned as close as possible, zoom in, connect - which often only works with the second or third attempt - and zoom out again."


    In Audulus 3, when you've zoomed in enough to make a connection, the I/O opens up, giving you feedback. Also, Audulus will zoom out when you drag a connection to the edge of the screen, so you can make long connections. If you're having trouble, what can we do to improve this?

    "...best connection of individual modules is probably dissolved at SunVox or Jasuto."


    SunVox doesn't have individual inputs and outputs on modules. Jasuto auto-connects things or you have to descend into another view if you'd like to decide which I/O to connect. These might make connections easier for those lacking dexterity, but they come with their own significant limitations, which I think are obvious.

    "And what's up with the almost obligatory numeric input as input parameters in the oscillators, an iDevice is not a computer with keyboard and numeric keypad. As an additional option that would be ok, but when first offered opportunity?"


    Because Audulus gives you that control. You can build a higher-level oscillator that works exactly like a Eurorack one where you'll never need to enter a number. Indeed one is included with the Module Library. Maybe he missed the single biggest feature in Audulus 3?

    Anyway, I don't blame this guy. Someone is bound to not really think things through. I do blame Apple for not allowing us to have demos on iOS, so these guys just don't buy the app in the first place.

    - Taylor
  • @Taylor: Someone was wrong on the internet. It happens.
  • It's an interesting read, but absolutely laughable. Therefore Taylor you must just laugh.
  • I would just laugh, but I can see the affect these reviews have for sales in the country where the review is posted. Fortunately, there are plenty of positive reviews to offset this one.

    The worst case is when you have a new version (perhaps something small like a bugfix) and the reviews are moved to the "Additional reviews" page (or whatever it's called) and someone posts a nasty review. It really tanks sales in that country.
  • Wow, I didn't realize it affected sales that much. Perhaps my levity was misplaced.
  • Hey y'all, if you haven't reviewed Audulus yet, please consider it as something you can do to "pay it forward" so to speak. If you like Audulus, *you* want more people to buy it. More patches on forum, more money for Audulus for new features and R&D, doesn't cost you a dime. Thanks people, you're making dreams happen.
  • Sorry to see that @Taylor. I know it has to be frustrating after all the work that's gone into 3. I just got done 5 starring it and writing a review. I think the new version is a thing of beauty, and amazing! Looking forward to spending lots of time with it.
  • @thinds, no worries! The affect of the negative reviews is why we developers wish we could respond to reviews on the App Store... or at least have some way of contacting the customer and helping them out.
  • It really sucks that Apple allows no demos. I really buy not much apps via the store lately (iOS and OSX) since it´s a real mess for me. As great as it was, they must change something. But then, music is just a little niche for them.
    Buying direct from the developer is much appreciated. It´s a well known theme and Apple has to think about it, especially with devices like the iPad Pro and "pro" apps.
  • not my review, i'm not down with the ui either and while i'm not going to leave negative review, i don't know about semi-mocking someone as a response.

    this is just my taste obviously, i'm sure other people don't agree:

    it does feel like mouse/cursor strapped onto touch to me - (i'd guess it's nice on osx - but i'd feel foolish picking it up now)

    it seems like it really doesn't want to be multi-modal from a UI design perspective, so much so that it makes the user intuit abstract extrinsic multi-modal behavior - in response to visuals* - an action like zooming in to be able to make connections is the same thing as going to a menu in practice, but it's analog and fuzzy, which ime is kind of a drag with touch if your fingers are covering stuff, you're in a moving vehicle, etc.

    i have no issue with needing dexterity, but then you have to measure merits in terms of how fun it is as a video game. :) on my iphone trying to hold the phone and also navigate view and make connections, it's kinda like playing tetris and then a quick time event comes up and you have to hold the controller differently to mash on the buttons.

    i'd assume their complaint about numeric entry was that they were trying to make a connection and since touching doesn't do anything they double tapped. ( btw it would be cool if numbers come up rather than textual keyboard that you have to switch over to numbers)

    the connection flow i actually like, it's super nice not to have to disconnect, you can just draw new blue connectors.. but max 5 is the last thing i used that had that kind of mental map. what tripped me up is that i assumed red and blue were i/o, but there isn't any other clue to tell you they're actually different kinds of i/o. it's not 'analog' synth model as much as entity-relationship model, many to 1? here they use arrow and slice,


    as an side, i think it's interesting psychology, because for me at least, if an app seemed so-so i'd give it a medium review if i even bothered - food's not good, but at least you don't get a lot of it kinda thing :) but if it seems really cool, but interface is frustrating i'd be more likely to give it a lower review and be more likely to review it.

    * in other modular environments much of my patching time is spent eventually building an interface that i can interact without looking at much. i had assumed adulus would be nice/fast for this since the math stuff is similar to what i like in max with v/expr + gen and i like mux/demux/binary logic stuff.
  • "it seems like it really doesn't want to be multi-modal from a UI design perspective, so much so that it makes the user intuit abstract extrinsic multi-modal behavior - in response to visuals* - an action like zooming in to be able to make connections is the same thing as going to a menu in practice, but it's analog and fuzzy, which ime is kind of a drag with touch if your fingers are covering stuff, you're in a moving vehicle, etc. "

    what does "multi modal from a UI design perspective" mean? also, i really think a lot of the problems you have with audulus come down to having not read the docs. *that* said, the docs are seriously lacking right now - something i am going to work on changing tonight. this isn't a plug 'n' play app, you have to learn how to use it, and while we do our best to make the UI teach you how to use it by itself, it's no substitution for reading the manual.

    "( btw it would be cool if numbers come up rather than textual keyboard that you have to switch over to numbers)"

    what does this mean? also, you need to be able to enter text to do expressions.

    "what tripped me up is that i assumed red and blue were i/o, but there isn't any other clue to tell you they're actually different kinds of i/o."

    i really don't know what you mean by this - are you talking about the nodes? if you are, you need to read the manual. if you're talking about the modules, all the ins and outs are labeled. all ins and outs everywhere are labelled. i'm sorry i'm just at a loss to understand why you think there is "no clue" for what things do? i think the crossfade node is confusing - it should be a, b, and fader or something. but other than that, i don't know. if you can give me a specific example or screenshot of what you're taking about (home button+power button) maybe that would illustrate better what you're trying to convey.

    "but if it seems really cool, but interface is frustrating i'd be more likely to give it a lower review and be more likely to review it."

    the review system really barely helps anyone as it is - developers or customers. it's so broken. the star system is uninformative. how many people actually use 2-4 stars? it's either 5 or 1, it might as well be an up/down button. lower reviews also don't get you want you want, either - some people have downvoted my videos without leaving a comment as to why they don't like them. to me, that feels like just coming over to my video and shitting on my hard work and leaving without giving me a chance to improve. i would disable ratings, but my ego craves the digital love ;) that said, lots of frustrated people are people who don't take the time to read the manual or learn the program. i would never give max a bad rating, but it was totally confounding to me. i also found their documentation and tutorials very lacking and obtuse. same with Pd. audulus wasn't at all, especially once i realized how quickly and thoroughly you'd get help on the forum not just from other users, but from taylor himself.

    "* in other modular environments much of my patching time is spent eventually building an interface that i can interact without looking at much. i had assumed adulus would be nice/fast for this since the math stuff is similar to what i like in max with v/expr + gen and i like mux/demux/binary logic stuff."

    Check this out
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    The inside

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    Deeper inside

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  • Beautiful. Mind boggling for me, but just beautiful!
  • I don't think it's a good idea to spend much time critiquing people who give you bad reviews as it may put some people off especially when you start to include other modular apps in the process. To me it seems more important to try to understand where the reviewer is coming from so you can hopefully get something useful out of the review.

    While I am very happy with the app, here are some areas for improvement:

    A robust beta testing program for iOS so you don't end up with situations where you have a major release with significant bugs. In the case of Audulus 3 it would be broken IAA and Audiobus support. I can't feel comfortable giving a positive review when the app is released without acknowledging these need to be fixed and if I do so, I'd be concerned about being perceived as an apologetic fan boy thereby undermining the whole point of leaving a review. An ETA on these fixes would be nice.

    Making connections that are far away by stretching the cable is a painful process for me as it can be tough to steer it to where I want to make the connection. Since zooming in and out works so well, why not be able to somehow hold the state that this is the node I want to connect to (e.g. long press on starting node connection and it changes color) and then move to wherever the end point will be to connect to the other node and finally establish the connection by tapping the endpoint node. There would be no need for cable dragging.

    Videos and Professionalism while I appreciate the videos and they are informative, I do think it'd be a good idea to do a dry run through so you can have a smooth presentation and not feel compelled to apologize for not being familiar with what you're trying to educate the viewer about as it really undermines your credibility. It's one thing to see a reviewer fumble around with an app because it's new to them, it's quite another to see a video from the developer having the same issues. The expectation is that the developer will know what they're doing and give a smooth presentation. A developer video is also a way to present information clearly and concisely.

    A specific example of this is the video where Mark is demonstrating how to create patches on iOS. Throughout the video he apologizes for not being familiar with the iOS version of the app as he's always using the PC version. There are many people who may only be using iOS version of the app who may be very turned off by that video as they may have the perception that the developers aren't focused on editing patches on iOS which is what they want to do.

    Being unprepared in a video undermines your credibility in several ways centered around competency and caring about the app. It may be a good idea to have other people critique your videos before releasing them to eliminate these flaws as for many people, these may be their first experiences learning about Audulus so you'll want to give the best first impression you can. It would be a shame to have people get the wrong impression about the attention to detail and user support for the app due to videos you're creating.

    It's my wish that the points I've raised here are helpful and I am willing to contribute to moving this app forward. I appreciate the tremendous work by the developers and the Audulus community, hopefully these efforts can continue to grow.
  • @sprt "( btw it would be cool if numbers come up rather than textual keyboard that you have to switch over to numbers)"

    Agreed. That's just something we haven't gotten to yet. IIRC, on iPad there is no option for a numeric keypad (so I'd have to build one myself), but that may have changed since I last checked.
  • @Paulinko "To me it seems more important to try to understand where the reviewer is coming from so you can hopefully get something useful out of the review."

    That's actually what we're trying to do here. There isn't enough actionable information in the review itself, so I posted it here so we can discuss :)
  • @Taylor I take it he/she won't be getting a promo code lol
  • @Taylor Evaluating the review may be difficult after it's gone through a translator. Perhaps they hit a one star by mistake? My read would be that they're not a patient person and were frustrated with trying to get the hang of editing Audulus 3 patches on iOS. It does take some getting used to especially long connections and trying to edit the UI. This seems to be a common issue across modular synth apps and seems to be a turn off for a lot of people, especially those who haven't been involved with programming where you can get used to shifting between various states while you're trying to code.

    To expand the appeal of the app, it might be good to have the option to lock the patch so that only knobs and the like respond to your touch. A player mode would really give the programming shy or intimidated a reason to see the app as many music apps rather than spending time trying to figure out how to use an app. This way there would not be the fear of accidentally disconnecting a cable or resizing something you didn't want to. A locked patch would enable people to play synth patches and effects like they would any other synth or effect app and not have to worry about screwing things up while they're trying to play. Instead of focusing on how will I ever be able to learn how to program in Audulus 3, they'll spend their time playing patches. This enjoyment could then foster an interest in learning how to create patches further down the road. There are already so many great patches created that it'd be nice to curate some into a collection for the plug and play crowd with short videos that show how to download and play the patch, plus link it to the introductory tutorials for Audulus 3.

    My perspective is that Audulus 3 is a lot more straight forward than the complex weave of cables, knobs, and boxes would lead you to believe. Getting people over the hump to where they can see and feel like they can effectively use the app and create patches seems to be the greatest challenge.
  • @tadet, I've actually offered harsh reviewers promo codes before... I have to be consistent. In this case, it wasn't the first review in Germany, so I'm off the hook :)
  • @paulinko Did you try lock mode? It's the little lock on the toolbar (admittedly, the icon isn't changing right now which I will fix ASAP).
  • @Taylor yes, I did try the lock mode and since it wasn't working, it was hard to tell if it was in lock mode or not since I don't have the most conductive fingers in the world. It does seem to be the case that after using Audulus 3 for awhile you get into a rhythm with what to do when, and where.

    I did have a crash on an iPad Air 2 on iOS 9.2 while editing a patch where I lost some work (since recreated) so it'd be good to know what I can do to minimize this. I noticed that a patch I'd been working on had grown to 28mb in size. Could this accumulated history be a source of problems and how often should I plan on clearing it out?

    Despite these snafus, I'm satisfied with the editing experience on the iPad (even if there's some room for improvement it's not a major concern) as I've had at least as much if not more issues with other music apps and apps period on iOS and OSX.

    My most anticipated wish at this point is for IAA and Audiobus to function properly as I'd really like to integrate Audulus with the other apps I've been using and post a review.
  • "My most anticipated wish at this point is for IAA and Audiobus to function properly as I'd really like to integrate Audulus with the other apps I've been using and post a review. "

    @Paulinko my understanding is that this is fixed already - in review now - correct me if I'm wrong @Taylor, maybe I'm confusing this with the Mac Mini bug we slayed.
  • After playing with Audulus a couple of weekends, I think the UI really has a lot of opportunity to make it more pleasurable to use. I don't care much about what Apple may say, the zoom need to be zommed in too much to use conectors. I am constantly trying to find the widest position every single time to connect things.

    The Undo/Redo icons are a huge opportunity. I constantly have to to remind me that the Refresh icon is the "Undo Drop Down". My brain hardwired the position of Undo. 97% of times I just Undo, and since any change (movement included) is a change I need to use the zrefresh icon and then memorize the Undo position to maybe do it 12 times. The cables tend to go in positions where it's no clear if they go to the input or the knob....many many times. Would be also to be able to add some kind of spline or modified to the cable just to be able to see where it goes.

    The one that has me doing a lot of rework is that every time you eant to Edit a knob, or review max or min, or check value, you will always, invariable, have affected the value that it had. When you had put very specific values, your only choice is to either connect a constant so it doesn't get changed when you review a Max/Min, or a reader (to at lesst memorize what it had before you click the know to check or edit). A simple solution is to set a short delay to the knob before which it won't be changed, like 100ms, if it's pressed down more then it changed values. Or any other way to that allows me to access the knob menu without chaning the value.

    These and many other changes would make using Audulus much pleasurable and faster. I know Taylor you tend to love how it is. I share thid here instesd of in a review. I think it's not a 5 star, but I post these here. Sometimes I feel you are so used to your product that perspective is a bit skewed.

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