Numu Tracker API v3

I started more serious work on the next version of the Numu Tracker API this weekend. Originally I intended on building it as a Django app, but now that I work full time professionally on a Flask API I decided it would help teach me a lot if I built it out that way.

You can follow along at the numutracker_api GitHub repo.

I’d never used Docker before, nor had I ever set up a development environment with an internal PostgreSQL database and a differ by external database for production, nor had I set up Flask myself. I spent pretty much the entirety of my Sunday following various parts of tutorials to get everything going.

Docket wasn’t too tricky to get running and understand. The hardest part was the database set up; I set up two new DO droplets, one to run the docket container for the Flask app, and another to run the production PostgresSQL database, with a private network between them allowing secure database access. I’m not happy with how I am handling environment variables but this is a workable solution (dev.py and prod.py config files) that isn’t too messy. I wanted to avoid having different docker-compose.yml files for dev and production, which might be a bit silly. I’ll probably revisit this in the future but since this is not a project that will see frequent deploys it may not be a priority for me.

Working with Flask seems way easier than working with Django so far, but also Docker takes a lot of complexity out of setting things up when you can just use an existing image and you don’t have to worry about virtualenvs anymore. I also go into Flask with an existing understanding of Django and having worked with Flask a fair amount. Anyway, good times!

Bird Scooters

I feel pretty lucky that I work around an area that Bird scooters have been proliferating. The idea of a motorized scooter I can zip around on is essentially any man’s (or woman’s, maybe) childhood fantasy. I had a friend who had an elaborate gas powered skateboard contraption for no particular reason other than it being neat. Now with Bird scooters around, as an adult we can just grab one and ride it around whenever we want.

If you don’t know what a Bird scooter is, think Uber but for electric Razor-style scooters (two wheels, stand up handle bars) that you can just walk up to, unlock with an app, and ride wherever you want. It costs $1 upfront to unlock the scooter, and then $0.15 a minute after that. In my experience a ride of about a mile will cost you around $2 and save you about 18 minutes of time depending on how fast you walk.

You’re supposed to wear a helmet, and only ride it in the street, two things that are hard to adhere to. One, I don’t have a helmet and I haven’t ordered the free helmet that Bird provides riders; two, sometimes riding on a street that is busy and doesn’t have a bike lane is just too scary. I don’t think they should be regularly ridden on a sidewalk but sometimes it is just safer that way.

Unfortunately as an adult the novelty of an electric scooter wears off pretty quick, plus it’s not like it really hauls ass, but it is still a valuable tool to use when I want to eat lunch someplace a bit too far away to walk and don’t want to go to the trouble of grabbing my car. There’s usually a scooter available across the street from my job, so it’s not too hard to find one. I also haven’t had problems (yet) with someone else grabbing the parked scooter when I’m lunching so that’s nice.

Either way these things are pretty cool and I hope they stick around.

Numu Tracker 5-star Reviews!

Numu Tracker has started getting some five star reviews. I’m super happy, and it makes me feel really validated that I thought I would be able to make this app right, in a way that wasn’t antagonistic to the user in any way. Here’s some quotes.

A must have for Apple Music

This has been the missing piece from Apple Music for me. I get notifications every time a new artist I follow releases new music. Instead of just hoping I find it in passing, this makes sure I know. It’s super reliable and easy to use. So happy with it.

Super reliable! 🙂

100x Better than…

Record Bird. Love the fact there are a variety of alerts, clean interface and my FAVORITE feature is you click on more songs by x artist!!! Can’t wait to see what new updates come.

Awesome 🙂 Best compliment I could receive.

Shines as a music reminder service

What’s really interesting and unique about this app is the ability to keep a list of music you intend to listen to, but haven’t yet. For me this has always been a distinct hole in my music listening workflow with no clear or easy answer—I don’t always want to add an album I’d like to listen to to my library, and when I do anyway because how else will I remember it, my library tends to become an unproductive mess.

This app lets you “follow” artists; when you do this, it adds all their albums and EPS to the to do list, which you can mark off manually, and when the artist releases a new piece of music it notifies you. While there have been plenty of apps that do allow notification of new music, a list of music I’d like to try that I haven’t yet is brand new and extremely useful for me.

I hope future iterations of this app leans into its unique to do list feature. What I’d really like to see is being able to add individual albums to the to do list; I’d also love to be able to Share an album or artist from Apple Music to NuMu to add it to my to do list. centering the app design on the personal to do list rather than the useless global to do list would also be a step up for me.

This is a really well done beginning to this app and I’m excited to see where it goes in the future. Not perfect yet but a great start.

Love it! I really thought that what would make Numu unique is the “to-do list” aspect of it. I’m glad that other people appreciate that and see that as a selling point.

Ultimate Beastmaster Season 2

This is a fun show. It’s basically Ninja Warrior but with a lot of personality, pomp and circumstance. It has a lot of charm, which is just the icing on top, because it also nails the obstacle course action.

Solid A. Watch it if you like obstacle course shows, and try it out if you don’t know if you do yet.

Numu Tracker Beta Build 28 Release Notes

I’m closer to release than ever before! All I need is for PusherSwift to get updated to Swift 4.0 and I could put the finishing touches in place. How exciting!

* New user experience is much improved: All Releases tab works as it should even without an account. “Sign Up / Log In” prompt only displays when accessing account-only functions, like attempting to Listen to a release, Follow an artist, import artists, and so on. Technically you can sort of use the app without ever signing up, if you just want to look at the global releases and upcoming lists, or browse artist releases only by searching.

* New “Your Account” screen shows statistics about your account! Super cool.

* Logged out and new user filters are set to Album and EP only by default. Registered users can turn on / see additional release types.

* Informative labels on empty views explaining what will be there, or what you should do to fill the tables with information (like “Follow artists!”).

* Re-wrote “Instructions” screen.

* Normal release views now sort by date, then artist name. (Formerly sorted by date, then release title.) Artist-specific release views still sort by date, then release title.

* Overall UI improvements.

Numu Beta Build 27

Numu has a new Log in / Sign up launch screen! It’s fancy! If you’re already logged in, please go to Settings -> Your Account -> Log Off to test it.  If you want the full new user experience, please Log Off and then force close the app (from the app switcher) and relaunch it.

You can also now Follow and Unfollow artists from the Artist-specific Releases screens.

I also changed the artist screen to show a percentage of their library that you’ve listened to (by your filters). I think it’s a more effective way to represent how far you have to go on an artist.

I believe I made some other little refinements to the app in order to make it friendlier to a brand new user. It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there.

Hopefully in the next beta, push notifications will be back in and working.

Please also check out the Numu Tracker WEBSITE version at http://numutracker.com … same Numu Tracker app functionality, but in mobile website form. Also looks nice on desktop. Super beta version with no snazzy features at all though, fair warning.

Numu Website Version

Numu Tracker got a website version this week. It’s meant to have essentially all the same features as the iPhone app, but in web-form. It’s obviously in a different visual style than the iPhone app, which I know might perturb people in one direction or another. Either way, you can sign up, log in, follow artists, and mark releases as listened to. It currently has an extra feature the app doesn’t: user stats, showing you how much of your release library you’ve listened to.

There’s still some polish and refinements to be made, like I recognize that the ‘follow / unfollow’ squared-circle on artists is confusing and should probably skedaddle or get replaced with something else.

Eventually I will build in import functionality for Last.FM and Spotify. I’m also planning some “lite social” features, like allowing you to set a username so your username appears in an “activity list” that shows up on release and artist pages, like “Amiantos listened to this 2 days ago.” (Without a username it’ll display “Somebody listened to this 2 days ago.” instead.)