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Misu 1.0.2

Geoff Pado/Ollie Wagner
Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Alberquerque NM
US


Collateral damage:
$19 sent through PayPal
A bit of disk space but less all the time
~/Library/Preferences/com.misuapp.Misu.plist

'Flashback: it's the 1980s and you just made a mix tape. You dubbed some tunes and gave them to a friend. You'd think it would be that easy to share tunes with your friends today - just plug two iPods into your Mac and have them intermingle.'

'But it's not. iPods are normally locked down and you would have to selectively sync and delete and re-sync to get where you want to be. What a pain.'

Geoff and Ollie recently had a beta programme at TUAW but as their URL says 'the beta's over but the party's just getting started'. For a facile $19 you can get the app to do anything you want; without paying it caps things after a while.

Misu isn't fermented rice. That's miso. Nor is it an acronym. Such as 'mobile integrated screening unit'. Or 'meteorologiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet'. It's a play on words. The spanish kind. 'Mi iPod es su iPod. It's about sharing iPod song collections.

So far so good. But apps are coming out all the time - so why single this one out? One reason only. There's namely been a bit of correspondence.

As announced at TUAW, Misu 1.0 was made 'availble' 31 March 2008. The following day things got underway.

From: Geoff Pado
Subject: Review request: Misu 1.0
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2008 19:34:02 UTC

Hello Rixstep,
I'm one of the developers of Misu, an iPod music sharing application (http://www.misuapp.com/ ). I've followed your reviews of other apps, and I like the way you aren't afraid to actually *criticize* an app such as MarsEdit or PodWorks. We've had some reviews at TUAW and MacApper, but I'd like to see your take on our app.

Misu is a music sharing application that takes two connected iPods and scans their databases for songs that one iPod has, and the other does not, then transfers over the mismatches. It's priced at $19.00 for a single license, or $29.00 for a 3-license pack. Check out our screenshots on misuapp.com (click the images on the right to enlarge), and our video preview at http://misuapp.com/misupreview.mov. Misu is a Leopard-only application, and it supports all iPods, including the iPod touch and iPhone.

Thanks,
Geoff Pado

To: Geoff Pado
Subject: Re: Review request: Misu 1.0
Wed, 02 Apr 2008 11:06:54 UTC

Hey Geoff,

Thanks for the nice letter.

But I don't think you want us reviewing your product right now.

The reviews we've published online have served two purposes. Initially we were aghast at the number of AppleScript apps that bamboozled people. We wanted to show people they were sometimes getting nothing for something.

Now we've moved - when the inclination or need arises - to commenting on packaging. This more in a vein with developers rather than users. Again: the idea is not to be a reviewing site but to point out what's wrong and what should be done.

I really don't know if you've grasped what we were on about with reviews of MarsEdit and PodWorks. For your app seems to suffer from the same maladies.

- The download is relatively compact at 920403 bytes and it's in a ZIP format which we think is good (as DMG sometimes doubles the footprint).

- But once inside this package one sees 'the same old thing'.

- You've got development headers all over the place. In two locations. And you've got symlinks to them as well. That's 36 files and an effective disk storage of 160 KB right there. (You have to count the two symlinks too which together waste 8 KB of storage).

- Both your main bundle and the iLifeControls framework have single localisation directories. You don't need them either.

- We hate Sparkle but that's a matter of taste (or lack thereof). What one wonders is if you need all their localisations. We'll leave that for now. But that's 26 languages supporting an application available only in English so it seems rather unnecessary.

- Your TIFFs are 55 in number and take an effective 292 KB on disk as is. But are they optimised? After optimisation they take only 224 KB on disk - meaning a three second operation saves 68 KB disk storage.

- You have 53 classes.nib files for an effective storage of 212 KB. All totally unnecessary.

- You have 53 info.nib files for an effective storage of another 212 KB. All totally unnecessary again.

- You've got InfoPlist.strings in two places in the iLifeControls framework. That's a waste of another 4 KB (or 8 KB considering the second instance uses an otherwise unused directory).

- Your HTML files aren't optimised. We haven't looked into what was wrong with them but each and every single one wasted a lot of disk space. This is highly unusual of course. These are all small files so their effective storage is not affected. But optimised they 'use' 30457 bytes whilst originally they took 31019 bytes. Meaning you had a walloping 562 bytes of trailing white in them. How did you do that? ;)

- We don't know why you have a Localizable.strings in there. All your strings match - this file too isn't optimised. How do you do this? Originally it's 6152 bytes and cleaned it's 6150 but how that stuff gets in there...

- MainMenu.nib as a single file binary property list is a nice touch but it's hard to see what savings you achieve. Of course you're 4 KB ahead of the game right away because you don't use a directory.

- Our compression of the package with ZIP doesn't get down to where you had it but using bzip2 we get it down to 474,977 bytes - about half what you used.

- Our cleaned package has but 274 items for 1996 KB; yours takes 423 items for 2652 KB; so in ten minutes we saved you half a meg on the download and 656 KB on the disk footprint. The savings in disk footprint is more than the entire download put together the way we do it.

* *

We can do it one of two ways here. Obviously as we've already put work into this we'd like to use our materials; filing a report on yet another third party developer who doesn't 'get it' is sort of redundant; filing a review on another third party developer who doesn't 'get it' but thinks he does makes it more interesting. Filing a review on a third party developer who 'finally' gets it makes it even better.

And we're not out to bash people. We're out to make things better. So if you want to clean up your package we'll wait to publish anything. And then we can write you actually contacted us, the coins finally fell down the slot, and you cleaned up this sucker really good and now it's a really clean lean and mean package. And if you think our reviews do mean something marketwise this might be a good move.

So thanks for writing and we'll wait a bit to hear from you again.

All the best.

From: Geoff Pado
Subject: Re: Review request: Misu 1.0
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 22:32:01 UTC

Alright! Thanks for the criticism. I'll get right to work on fixing these!

Thank you,
Geoff Pado

To: Geoff Pado
Subject: Re: Review request: Misu 1.0
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2008 09:08:26 UTC

Hey Geoff,

I hope you realise it was 'constructive' criticism. But you're not alone. See this?

<http://rixstep.com/2/4/20080402,00.shtml>

I think they need Avie back. Bertie can't manage things particularly well. ://

We'll look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for writing and all the best.

From: Geoff Pado
Subject: Re: Review request: Misu 1.0
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 07:59:07 UTC

> I hope you realise it was 'constructive' criticism.

Of course. That's exactly what I asked for in my initial e-mail.

I'm glad to say I implemented a lot of your suggestions and brought Misu.app from 2.6 MB to 1.3 MB - having trimmed just under half the size! There were a few suggestions we decided not to implement fully (for instance, we feel .zip, while slightly bigger, looks more familiar to users than .bzip) or haven't yet gotten to in the 1.0.1 release (we're still looking to optimize the help files). I invite you to look at our newest attempt -

http://downloads.misuapp.com/Misu_1.0.1.zip

The new '1.0.1' release was halved in size on the download. All the spurious localisation files were gone. The headers were gone as were their symlinks. 106 (one hundred six) crap IB files - gone.

One day. In twenty four hours a complete turnaround. And after the countless examples of arrogant and sloppy programming on the part of current and former Apple programmers this is a welcome treat.

Is Misu good? You won't get a word on that here. But you will get the word these people are making an effort. And that should tell you enough about the quality of the software itself.

Misu 1.0.2

Misu 1.0.2 is now available - and it's trimmed even further. From the initial megabyte on the 1.0.0 download it came down to 445 KB with 1.0.1 and it's now 438 KB with this new version.

Also a bit of a 'blunder' with phantom help menu in 1.0.1 has been ferreted out and removed.

Misu Tracked

Misu was also run through Rixstep's tracking application Tracker and came out with flying colours. There's no request for an admin passphrase and the only external file you need worry about (remove) is the preferences file. Misu's 'benign'.

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