Bounce Metronome for Mac and Multi Platform - update

Update of my post earlier this year.

The most frequent question I get asked about Bounce is: is there is a version for a Mac, or will there be one in the future? The answer is No, and Maybe. Find out more and add your name to the wish list here:  /Mac, Mobile and other Multi Platform FAQs

Mac musicians - this is for intel Mac, not iPad or iPhone - check out the  Kick starter to get Bounce Metronome running on an Intel Mac (now fully funded). You can now download a Bounce for Mac Beta

Also there is a lot of enthusiasm for an app for mobile devices (including Android). That's easily understandable since a metronome is an ideal thing to turn into an app you can carry about with you in a pocket.

Sadly though, I can't do this easily. There is no way to convert the existing Bounce for technical reasons as it is coded for Windows only. I wish there was! I have researched into it but there really seems to be no solution to this..

So, instead, I plan to explore the idea of a multi-platform app that can also run on iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, a simpler version more designed for use on small portable devices. If this works then I might then develop it later into a more complex multi-platform program. 

I plan to explore the possibilities a few months from now.  Would need to program it again from scratch, and if it works out, first version would probably be a few months later.

If that then is a success, expect it to be some years of full time coding before it reaches the capabilities of Bounce on Windows, as it is the result of many years of coding. It is possible it might go faster because I know where I am headed, on the other hand, I would have a new language to learn most likely and need to learn about new expectations of Mac users.

When will I start on it?

It will probably be at least several months before I get the time for it. That's because it is a project that will take some time to do. I can't just set aside a few days to do it. Then once I get started, there is probably at least a month or two of work, first exploring the various options for ways to do it, and then, just to learn enough to get started and get to the first simple prototype version - if it works at all that is.

Current Status (as of 14th January 2013)

As before, I haven't had chance to work on it yet. Bounce 4.3 is finished now, and I've taken a week or two off from coding to do some work on promoting it, updating the websites and the Bounce wiki, and making youtube videos and playlists.
Once that is finished, then I have probably several months of other work to do first. That is - work on the Lambdoma Music Therapy software version for multi-touch - then work on Activity Timer - that's another of my programs - then also I have some minor things to do with Bounce that perhaps take priority so a week or two of those as well. 
So - now looks like it will be well into 2013 before I can do much about it.
The multi-app version would probably take several months from learning the language and coding environment to first simple app, so I need to have lots of time to work on it to do it properly. 
To add yourself to the wish list to be notified of any developments., if you haven't done it yet, go to: Mac, Mobile and other Multi-Platform wishes

For more about the background see my earlier post: Bounce Metronome for Mac and Multi-Platform

Could an app pay for itself?

I don't expect to earn much from it, especially to stat with. It is really hard to break into apps, so the main aim to start with (if it works) is to provide something for the many users of Bounce who have Macs, also for Android and LInux too while at it (if possible), see what happens, and find out if it is useful, and take it from there.

I've also found a good page with stats for the numbers of developers and apps on the App Store As of writing there are 1,039,518 apps (including inactive apps), and Apple have released figures that show it has payed around 7 billion dollars in earnings to its developers - so that makes an average income of $6,733 per app. 

Another way to look at it, if I had 20 sales a day at $1 for a year, that would be 7,000+ musicians using it and earnings of a little over $7,000. Reading other people's experience of selling apps, then that would be considered a much better result than average, as most of them sell quite a bit for a few days and then get forgotten about. So I think the earnings are probably skewed a lot towards the top few hundred apps in the over a million apps in the store.

I might also try a kickstarter or  other crowd funding project to help get it underway, to pay for any expenses for hardware to test it on, as I don't have ipod / ipad / mac etc yet, for testing. Also to pay for software tools some of which are expensive but  create high quality multi-platform apps, write once, deploy to many platforms. Another thing that could be included in a kickstarter would be to pay someone to help with the graphic design of the app where I may need some help. 
Even as a kickstarter though, don't expect to earn much from it. But it might help with awareness of bounce. Also if it goes really well it could be a start of a transition to multi-platform coding. Maybe if it is a big success, I could eventually develop a more versatile multi-platform equivalent of Bounce which after some years is able to do all or most of the same things as Bounce but can also run on Mac as well as Windows.

How much programming work would be needed?

Again reading accounts of app creation by other developers then it takes between a few weeks of full time work to over a year of full time work to create one. 

if it works out it would take a few months full time work probably to get the first version underway, and if that works out and seems promising, I imagine perhaps a year of full time work to get it more polished so it competes with other apps.

Something like Metronome or Metron look to me as if they probably involve years of programming work, comparing them with the look of apps I've seen described that have had a few months of programming. I can't find an up to date review of metronomes for iPod just now, but here is a review of nine metronome apps from 2010. At that point according to the author there were 150 metronomes in the app store. Some of the latest metronome apps are listed here under Metronome in the App Store

t looks as if it uses bouncing notes.

To get to the stage of a multi-platform app with similar range of capabilities to Bounce on Windows - with all the polyrhythms, rhythmicon, rhythm editor, polymeters, swing and buzz rolls, pendulum waves, polyrhythm morphs, etc etc, I would expect to take several years of full time work. Bounce on Windows is the result of many years of coding, builds on Tune Smithy and coding for the two programs together have taken up the majority of my working hours since the late 1990s. Bounce itself, I have been working on more or less full time (with some other projects of a few months) since 2008 so or about 4 years of full time work, though perhaps a year in total of that time was spent on other projects, so call it three years of full time work (but  way over 40 hours a week working hours, often 60 hours or more).

Though - I would have something of a head start - first, knowing where I'm headed. That helps a lot with the architecture of the program - there are things in the way Bounce is coded that could be coded in a simpler way if I know where I'm headed right from the start. Also  the experience of Bounce, knowing what to do, so e.g. where I tried something that didn't work out, don't need to make the same mistakes again. Also, depending on the way it is coded, might be able to reuse some of the actual code (if coded in C or a C like language) though probably not much of the code that does actual drawing of the visual / graphic stuff.