A hundred years make a century, so goes the saying. What about a hundred app releases? A centu-re-lease.
Bad jokes aside, reaching the 100th release of Chronotron is quite a milestone. It means the app package has been rebuilt, the release notes updated and the Microsoft Store review process completed at least as many times.
In this post I’ll show you what’s new and changed in Release 100. The first thing that you likely noticed – and probably the reason you’re here – is the prominent link to this blog on the app welcome page. As you can see, I’ve already written a couple of posts and shared some how-to videos. Scroll down through this page if you’re curious about what the app can do and don’t hesitate to leave comments if you have questions.
When it comes to app functionality, the most visible change is the new Video Adjustments pane.
The brightness, contrast and saturation controls are all new. The video flipping switches were already present in previous releases; however, a welcome improvement is that these controls now also work when rendering media to disk.
Chronotron works best with touch input and the Surface Dial, though I’m aware that many of you run the app on a regular PC with a mouse. Now, when hovering the mouse over playlist items, a checkbox appears that allows you to select the item in just one click.
The Playlist pane underwent some additional revamping – regardless of the input method – based on customer feedback. A Select All button has been added. While in selection mode, if all items are unchecked then the selection mode is turned off automatically. Finally, clicking on the item that is currently playing restarts playback form the beginning of the track.
In Release 99 a couple of switches were moved from the main panes to the Options pane (refer to the change log for details). This time it’s the Audio Scroller switch that moved to Options, under the Appearance section. This also means that now you can make the scroller always visible without having to flip the switch every time you start the app.
Also, as part of the continuous effort to make the UI more intuitive, the Instrument pane has been made more readable. Take a look at the two screenshots below.
Can you spot the difference? The one at the left is the new screen layout. Before this change, the user needed to click on the Instrument dropdown list just to see which instruments were available (most customers didn’t even notice when Bass Guitar was added in Release 98!). The Layout options now appear in a dropdown list for the sake of saving screen real estate, but this should pose no usability challenge as the other selection choices are obvious.
By the way, the same principle was applied to the Solo Channel function in the Audio Adjustments pane.
The advent of Always-Connected PCs (ACPC) running full Windows 10 on ARM is a new challenge for app developers. Even though I don’t expect many musicians to use an ACPC as their main system, as a Windows developer I aim to reaching as many Windows devices as possible. This is why almost every Chronotron update brings performance improvements on ARM CPUs, and Release 100 is no exception.
Last, but not least, in this release there are also few changes under the hood to support the new features and pave the way for upcoming functionality. For example, having tighter control on video frames opens the door to other kinds of video processing.
I hope you will enjoy using this release as much as I did coding it!