Leopard/Snow Leopard and iPhone Simulator Audio drama


You’re demoing an iPhone game that you’ve run successfully for months now. You’re standing in front of your superiors but you aren’t concerned because you have unit test coverage that spans the seven seas. You managed to find and stomp out even the littlest, most insignificant bugs that only a developer will notice. You’re on your way to becoming a superstar as soon as your demo completes, wowing everyone in and near proximity to the room. You have remote viewers watching as well over a conference call to Los Angeles via WebEx. You launch your app in the Simulator and for no reason what so ever the room is silent! The updated sound track that was supposed to accompany your splash screen is not playing! Even worse, the title screen explosion sound is completely absent. Double check your audio cable, your volume controls, the system preferences. Everything is set to full blast. Playing a test clip in iTunes confirms. You get audio out of every orifice except when the simulator runs! What gives? Hi I’m Cliff. I’m going to explain why you have egg on your face.

Fold your Macbook Pro up and call the demo. You can explain later why everyone in the room wasted their lunch hour to watch you fumble nervously with network cords and make awkward hand gestures in an attempt to draw lines in the air tracing the sound that wasn’t there. Back at your desk yet? Don’t waste time linking different audio frameworks for your sim build. Don’t waste time debating AVAudio vs. Audio Queues. Instead, pay attention to the color of your shirt and the amount of creamer you add to your cup of joe. Your hair should be brushed from back to front and not to the side or you won’t pull this off at all. Also, any notes or paperwork should be stacked to the right side of your laptop when you launch the simulator. What I’m getting at is the impact of your environment on the iPhone simulator. There may be nothing wrong in your code or your make file. The problem exists with you’re environment.

Twice it has happened to me where I thought I had accidentally allowed a bug to slip through causing audio glitches. In both occasions I found a different external factor causing my iPhone simulator audio to fail. The first time I had been using a Bluetooth headset paired to my Mac to watch Ali on DVD. That caused Simulator audio to not play at all. Un-pairing the device remedied the situation. Now, just recently, I learned that leaving the iShowU screen recorder idle in the background can cause an echo effect on the simulator’s audio. Bottom line, if you have iPhone simulator audio issues that just weren’t there yesterday… double check the movie you rented from Blockbuster the night before because it could be the culprit.

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