Scratching your own itch...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 07:04PM

By Eric Richardson

KPCC To Go App Screenshot
Eric Richardson

My proof-of-concept "KPCC To Go" app in front of the Xcode development environment.

It feels nice to be able to build something that scratches your own itch, even if it may be one that no one else has. This morning I commuted to work while listening to some "nearly live" radio via a small iPhone app that I put together to work with StreamMachine, my experiment in next-gen streaming audio server.

While we didn't get picked to receive the grant I wrote about a few weeks ago, I've been saying for several months now that I really wanted an app to let me grab a commute's worth of audio just before I walked out the door and onto the subway.

Last night, I finally got the app to the point where I could do just that. The server side of things has been in place since mid-February, but the app side of things kept running into the fact that I don't know Objective-C and have never put the time into getting up to speed on iOS app development.

That point kept being hammered home to me over the weekend as I again and again ran into variations of the EXC_BAD_ACCESS error as I tried to reference things that I was inadvertently failing to keep in memory.

Last night I finally refactored my way past that and got the app working.

Then this morning I pushed the "Grab New Audio!" button a few minutes before walking out the door and quickly had the last fifty minutes of live radio to listen to as I navigated the Red and Gold lines—a route that has both periods of no data connection and connectivity losses.

It may just be a proof-of-concept, but it worked like a champ for me.