The future of Complete Ear Trainer, Complete Rhythm Trainer and Complete Music Reading Trainer

First, we would like to start by thanking everyone who uses our apps. We have a lot of incredibly nice feedback and if we usually don’t answer them, we sure read them with great pleasure and they are very important to us and what keep us going.

We are currently very happy with the state of the apps on Android, and we have a build compatible with Android 12 ready to be published. On iOS, there is still a lot of things to port and small things to improve, but we are confident that the iOS port of the apps will be on par with their Android counterparts within a few months, with the same features and level of attention to details.

We are also investigating in possibly adding two major features:
• A new mode dedicated to chord progressions in Complete Ear Trainer
• A new drill type (or dedicated mode) in Complete Music Reading Trainer: chord reading

But, and this is the main point and object of this post, we are also thinking about changing some things on a more fundamental level. And as we are not really sure of what would be best both for users and for us, we would be really interested in having your feedback and help us decide what the future of our apps will be.

You might have heard about the recent news of Windows 11 being able to natively execute Android apps. That will definitely be a great feature of the OS. But this feature will use Amazon AppStore, and not Google Play. This means that you will not be able to use any of the apps you bought on Google Play on Windows 11: you will be able to download them, but as they won’t be able to access the Google Play services, you will not be able to retrieve your license and sync your progression between Windows 11 and your mobile devices.

It’s because the app is a “traditional” app: when you install it on Google Play or Apple AppStore, it uses the features of these stores to handle the licensing and the sync with the cloud. It’s a model that really has its advantages: we don’t have to build, maintain and operate our own servers. That’s why we can offer a “one-time payment that unlocks everything forever” (and one that is quite reasonably priced).

But we don’t like the idea that you cannot sync your progression and license between platforms.

Also, we have started to think about making a web and desktop version of the apps.

And that’s why we started to look into alternatives.

The alternative to the traditional app/software model is to have what is called a software as a service: you can use the software as a service on any device (Android, iOS, web, desktop), and your license and data are always synced between your different platforms and devices.

This is great, but there is a major problem with this: we cannot rely on Google Play or Apple AppStore services anymore. We have to build, maintain and operate our own servers. And that has a cost.

In other terms: we cannot offer the same “one-time payment that unlocks everything forever” with this model: we will need to have a subscription of some sort to be sure that we can continue operating servers and cover server costs in the future.

There is no way around this. Some companies manage to do software as services that stays free, but they are either huge company with funding that do not care to loose some money, and/or they sell your data. With niche apps for musicians, no funding, and with selling data absolutely out of the question, this is impossible for us.

But we are not sure about what would be the best way to do this. Not doing it at all and keep the traditional approach? Making the subscription optional? Making the subscription mandatory for new users?

That’s quite the puzzle for us, and that’s why we made a survey that you can take if you have a few minutes to spare: your feedback will be very important in helping us make the right decision.

Last thing: we are thinking of also improving our teacher/school management. If you are concerned by this, please answer the questions at the end of the survey and do not hesitate to be in touch with us and submit feedback and ideas.

Please click on this link to start the survey: https://forms.gle/1jkf6dGULAn6EXUR9

Thank you very much for your time and your help,

The Binary Guilt Software team.