B-Rhymes Pro iPhone App: Slant Rhymes AND Full Rhymes

The B-Rhymes Pro iPhone app has just been released on the app store.

The most frequent request I get from users of the standard B-Rhymes iPhone app is to make it not require internet access so that you can find rhymes on your iPod Touch, or when you have no service etc. So I had to do it. I managed to figure out how to fit these millions of rhymes into a reasonably sized app. On top of that I threw in full rhymes in addition to slant rhymes. This adds millions more rhymes, sometimes thousands for a single word (eg. words ending in -tion).

It was hard but I found the way, involving lots of data compression, and it has arrived in the app store a slender 42MB. OTOH, that’s 42 million bytes of rhymes.

All this for $2.99, which I hope I’ve convinced you is a deal.

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B-Rhymes iPhone and Android apps – 20k downloads

The B-Rhymes Android app just hit 10,000 downloads.

B-Rhymes Android app - 10k downloads

B-Rhymes Android app - 10k downloads

The B-Rhymes iPhone app is up to ~12,200 downloads. From server logs, I can see that on any given day, there are about 500 different people using the mobile apps. Now whenever anyone says “Who would want words that almost rhyme.” I say there’s at least 20,000 people, also you need to listen to more hip-hop. :P

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Slant Rhyme Improvements

Recently I’ve done a few improvements to the slant rhyme dictionary.

Improvement #1 – Better Consonant Comparison

rap vs ratgood
rap vs rantbad

Previously these get the same score.

The difference between rat and rant is in the last consonant: t vs n_t. For rap vs rant, the existing scoring algorithm compares ‘p’ to ‘n’ and ‘p’ to ‘t’ and takes the higher score (‘p’ vs ‘t’), which is why they get the same score.

This isn’t how people make slant rhymes. You can’t drop the second last consonant and have it sound ok. What rappers really do is drop, or reduce the emphasis on the last consonant. Think rap vs strapped. You can either drop the final consonant ‘t’ from strapped, or kind of include it quietly after the rhyme’s been heard. Either way sounds good.

So I’ve changed the algorithm to allow dropping the one or more last consonants, but not consonants in the middle. This drops the score for rap vs rant.

Improvement #2 – Better Weights

I also changed the weights that determine the slant rhymes score.
conclusive vs explosive
conclusive vs effusive

conclusive kuhnk_luusiv
explosive eks_p_luh_uusiv
effusive if_yuusiv

In the 2nd syllable, explosive has a better onset consonant, but effusive has a better vowel. So which is a better slant rhyme? I’d say conclusive effusive sounds better than conclusive explosive, so I upped the weight of vowels, and dropped the weight of onset consonants. Also, added a lot more weight to coda (ending) consonants on the last syllable.

Let me know if you don’t agree.

Improvement #3 – Added missing words and plurals

The dictionary is missing a lot of plurals. Before if you tried a plural and it wasn’t in the dictionary, it’d drop the ‘s’ and try again, which ok because ‘s’ is voiceless so it can dropped. But some nouns get an extra syllable (i_z) when you pluralize them, which is useful for rhyming.

eg verse -> verses. judge -> judges. surface -> surfaces

I added a number of these but then I got bored, so for sure there’s more. I also added some other words that were weirdly missing, like pasta. Wtf, how can it be missing pasta?!!

Now go, and immerse your self in subversive verses.

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Finally Working on iOS4!

I messed up the first submission… but B-Rhymes is finally working on iOS4!

Basically, I had it working, but then I noticed something saying that I needed to have built it with the lasted version of xcode, Apple’s developer program, which I hadn’t, so I rebuilt it with the latest version, and resubmitted it, but I accidentally left in a debug string which makes it get the rhymes locally instead of the the B-Rhymes server! Arrrgh.

The key lesson for me is “Don’t Panic”. It’s not like web apps that you can redeploy a million times a day. If you mess up your app submission it can take weeks to fix.

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iPhone 4 is out! 5000th Android download

Unfortunately this apparently breaks the B-Rhymes iPhone App. I’ll need put in some work to update it. Sorry! In the mean time please try the iPhone version of this site: iphone.b-rhymes.com

Also I might put in iAd support… I hope people don’t mind too much.

In other news, the B-Rhymes Android App passed 5,000 downloads! It’s harder to get that stat for iPhone apps, but I think the iPhone version is around 7k downloads.

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New iPhone Dev Restrictions


3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

I fully agree with everyone else that this sucks. On the other hand I’ve been learning Objective-C for a month or so, so the B-Rhymes App won’t be affected.

The silver lining could be that it might put a damper on the quantities of spam apps coming out.

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50,000 iPhone games? How many are spam?

I’m a bit jaded from realizing the magnitude of app spam out there.

So when checking out the iPhone OS 4.0 presentation on Engadget, and I see a number like there being 50,000 iPhone games vs 4,321 DS games, I’m really, really curious about what fraction of those are spam, renamed duplicates, or total garbage. Not that there isn’t garbage created for the DS too, but I feel now that comparing quantities of apps to quantities of traditionally published software is basically lying.

On one hand, it’s in the advantage of Apple to allow app spam so they can say, ‘look 150,000 apps!’, but on the other hand, as they let the store fill with trash, one thinks it will turn around and bite them eventually. I wonder if a $25 fee per published app might solve the problem.

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App Spam

I just updated the B-Rhymes Android app with a bug fix. A side benefit of releasing bug fixes on either the Android Market of iTunes App Store, is that it gets your app in the “Just In” list for a little while, until it’s pushed out by other freshly updated apps.

But, post update, when I checking the Reference category’s Just In list, I see it’s full of these:

App Spam!

There were 80 or so of these that seem to be just text pasted from old, presumably out of copyright, books. I have know Idea who would buy one of these, but I’m sure the shotgun approach to get into people’s app searches will catch some people who don’t know better.

In the mean time, it takes more effort for millions of people to sort through the spam crap apps in order to find the good ones, if they bother at all. They damage consumer confidence in the App Market to make a quick buck. New era, same old spam.

After looking into this a bit, it seems the Android situation is worse off. One analysis recently determined that of the 28,963 apps on the Android Market, about 10,000 are spam. The iTunes App Store has similar problems, but maybe not to this extent.

I really hope there’s something to be done about this before many people give up buying apps all together.

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B-Rhymes Android App Now Available on Android Market

B-Rhymes Mobile, now on Android.

If you’re on your droid now, get it here:

Or load up the market and search for ‘b rhymes’.

An interesting note, the thing was available on the market the second I hit ‘publish’. No delays, nothing like the iPhone app store.

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B-Rhymes Now Available on the iPhone App Store

W000! Click this badge to check it out:
Available on the App Store

Or check out the beautiful local B-Rhymes iPhone page.

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What is B-Rhymes?

B-Rhymes is a rhyming dictionary that's not stuck up about what does and doesn't rhyme. As well as regular rhymes, it gives you words that sound good together even though they don't technically rhyme.

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