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Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:37 am
by emckirdy
Coming a little late to the conversation, and I apologize. I'm a college-trained organist, and play at the Tabernacle on Temple Square on occasion. I just downloaded the app and took it for a spin. First reaction: I love the concept of crowd-sourcing registration ideas for our hymns, and apps like this are especially useful for those in callings for which we absolutely do not provide adequate training.

I also teach alongside the BYU organ faculty at some of the workshops they hold all over North America. I would love to be able to recommend an app like this to beginning organists. However, before I can hold up this app as authoritative, some issues would have to be addressed. They are:

• Use of the Tabernacle organ pipes in the app icon and a photo of the organ facade as the splash page would be frowned upon by the church, as both are registered trademarks. If your son hasn't already been contacted by the church about this, it's probably because the app name and description are just vague enough to probably not have made it on the intellectual property team's radar

• There are several user-suggested registrations throughout the list of hymns that we would never teach as being advisable, and in some cases are totally unadvisable. I absolutely understand this is commonly a result of our practice of taking pianists, anointing them as organists, thanking them for taking the calling and moving on. The result is well-meaning people doing the best they can. An app like this is an opportunity to rise beyond that and provide solidly useful information. Some kind of moderation or vetting would go a long way to making this app rise to that next level.

Huge kudos to your son for thinking of this, and thanks to you as well for surfacing it here for us all to see!

Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:01 pm
by mcallaghan
Thanks for the insightful reply. Your input is most appreciated. The application came about exactly as you describe. My wife was asked to play the organ, simply because she can play the piano, and provided with no instruction. She started by copying the stops from an organ in another meetinghouse that could play all the hymns on its own, and had the stops preset for each. She suggested that it would be more convenient as a mobile app, rather than a bunch of paper notes. If it were an app, she could get input from experienced organists all over the world. So this past summer, she pitched the idea to my son. He, a computer science major at BYU, was told by a potential employer that he should get some mobile development experience. So he decided to tackle the project. The app you saw was his 0.1 attempt.

He is aware that the icon could be an issue. It was cobbled together from another image and Photoshopped. The splash screen actually came from a stock photography website, but I admit it may also need to be changed.

Ultimately, I'm sure he would welcome any assistance and recommendations on making the app better. He has no desire to charge for it or earn any money whatsoever. He just wanted the experience, and he's still willing to make it better. He mentioned today that he'd like some sort of voting system, so that not only would the stops be crowdsourced, but also the "quality" of the submissions. For that to work, he'd obviously need more people to use the app.

Thanks again for your input. If you have other suggestions, we'd look forward to them.

Regards,
Mike

Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:07 pm
by emckirdy
Hi Mike - I'd be glad to talk directly with your son about it, if he'd like. I've thought about it all day while hanging Christmas lights, and I do think the app has a LOT of potential!

Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:17 pm
by mcallaghan
I'm sure he'd welcome that. Does this forum have private messaging? Or do we trade contact info publicly?

Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:37 am
by mcallaghan
Looks like we can send private messages. I sent you a PM with my and my son's email addresses. Thanks again.

Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2021 8:46 am
by mcallaghan
@emckirdy, it's been about four years. My son has since graduated and has a full-time job. The app is still going strong and has so many songs/registrations that it's become unwieldy. I let my Apple developer subscription lapse, so the app is no longer available on the iPhone. It's still on Google Play, and I recently started converting it to a Progressive Web App with all the same features. You can see it here, with a new icon and splash screen: https://zealous-pond-074e3c90f.azurestaticapps.net/. This new version is both mobile- and desktop-browser friendly.

I'm sure Ben would still be open to your feedback on how to make the app better.

Regards,
Mike Callaghan

Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:57 am
by MyPopcorn1
How exciting to find an app that solves the mystery of organ registration! I can't wait to find and use it. Thanks for sharing it!

Re: Organ-Related App

Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:52 pm
by mcallaghan
The app is free and can still be found in the Google Play Store, but it's been removed from the Apple App Store. I finally got tired of paying Apple $99/year to publish free apps. My son and I turned it into a "Progressive Web App" that works equally well on desktop browsers, Android, and iOS. You can freely move from one platform to the other and all the data is still synced. We also removed the images that looked too much like the church's hymnal logo. That one is at https://organ-stops.web.app. Android Chrome should offer to install it as an app. iPhones can do the same by selecting Share -> Add to Home Screen.