Psonar Passions

Over at psonar we're passionate about two things - music and great software. So I spent last weekend enjoying an unusual blend of the two. Along with my wife and two little kids, I went to the Cambridge Folk Festival for the first time. We only live ten miles from the festival site and so each evening we went home, had a bath and slept in our own beds - which gave the whole thing a slightly surreal feeling! Then in the mornings I was indulging my other passion, tracking down the last few bugs in Psonar's SongShifter application before the big launch this month.

fiddler on the hoofThe line up for the Cambridge Folk Festival this year was amazing - we were fortunate enough to have babysitters on hand so we could enjoy the Friday night delights of Bellowhead who were typically outstanding. If you've ever thought that the modern folk scene could do with bigger brass sections, more kazoos and belting dance tunes then Bellowhead are just the band for you. The main stage felt too small to contain their energy and exuberance; its easy to see why they've won 'Best Live Act' at the Radio 2 folk awards three times now.

Saturday morning saw a return to the hard graft of optimising and robustifying the database layer in SongShifter somewhat aided by our tidy unit test rig consisting of NUnit and NMock2 tests continuously run by a CruiseControl.net server. It still amazes me when I visit companies in my consulting role how few have a reliable unit test framework and continuous (or at least nightly!) integration server. I find time and again that the effort spent to produce reliable test cases and to refactor classes so that each can be independently tested pays off surprisingly quickly.

fiddler on the hoofThe highlight of Saturday for me was Blazin' Fiddles who were so good that I dragged my wife and kids along to their Sunday evening set on Stage 2 which was, if anything, better than their first. I've now discovered quite how exhausting it can be trying to balance an applauding toddler on your shoulders whilst dancing a jig!

Sunday morning brought a refactor of our code supporting Apple's music devices, namely iPods and iPhones. We are currently able to offer a full music management service to iPod users but are suffering along with the rest of the industry with Apple's continuing efforts to prevent third party integration with either iPhones or iPod touches. Its frustrating as a developer more used to a linux/unix environment to encounter such a tightly sewn up device. It appears that problems with the iPhone and AppStore are all the rage at the moment - lets hope for a victory for openness and innovation!

Did I mention we're giving away an iPod Touch?

pre-register with psonar and win an ipod touch