Lightning Bug 2.8 – No More Skipping!

GREAT NEWS! The audio skipping issue has been fixed!

In our 2.8 release we introduce a feature called ‘Lightning Bug Audio’. Lighting Bug Audio is a custom audio system we built just for Lightning Bug that effectively fixes the gapskipping issue many of you noticed as of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). As great as it is, we decided to make Lightning Bug Audio optional and ‘off’ by default because its still so new. If you’re experiencing the gapskipping issue though, here’s how to turn it on:
– Launch Lightning Bug
– Tap the screen to bring up the main menu
– Tap the settings button (the clock icon)
– Lightning Bug Audio is the first option, tap it to enable it

*Lightning Bug Audio is only available on devices running Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher. For more info on Lightning Bug Audio and why we created it there’s more later in this post.

A few more notable changes:

  • All audio is now played through a priority background service. We’ve had complaints that Lightning Bug’s audio sometimes cuts out after a few minutes or hours. This is the fix!
  • Many updates were made to make Lightning Bug more compatible with extra-large screen devices such as tablets and televisions.

Lightning Bug 2.8 is available now in the Android Market!


More On Lightning Bug Audio
Since the release of Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread) a few months ago we’ve been getting more and more complaints that sound samples in Lightning Bug were no longer looping smoothly. Instead there was suddenly a noticeable gap, or skip, when those samples looped back to their beginning. Needless to say this problem had a significant effect on Lightning Bug’s overall effectiveness and had us quite worried!

As we looked into the gap problem it became clear that the root cause was not coming from Lightning Bug itself but from some combination of device and Android version. Specifically, the problem only seemed to effect users with dual-core cpu devices running Android 2.3 or higher. That is, it looked like our problem was coming from a bug in Android’s media stack. And from there it also became clear that Lightning Bug wasn’t the only app being effected. Several popular apps we tested from the Android Market clearly had the same problem as us!

You would be right to be skeptical that the Android team would let a bug like this sit out in the wild for too long. However, a bug report on this issue was made several months ago on Android’s official bug site. To date, no one on the Android team has responded which may be due to the report not having many votes. So please go here and vote for the bug by starring it:
Issue 18756: StageFright – setLooping(true) leaves a noticeable gap in audio

It was also brought to our attention that this issue might not actually be in the common Android source code, but in the specific build of Android used by Motorola. So far we have only been able to test on dual-core Motorola devices so we can’t verify that it only effects Moto devices, however a bug report has also been made on Motorola’s site:
Issue on Moto hardware with MediaPlayer->setLooping(true)

We spent a lot of time looking for a work-around to this problem, but in the end we realized we’d need something more sophisticated. Lightning Bug Audio is a native audio interface we built to replace the standard media API available via the Android SDK. Its still very new of course, so please let us know if you continue to have audio issues while using it.

2 thoughts on “Lightning Bug 2.8 – No More Skipping!

  1. Hey just FYI… Still get skipping when LB runs in the background, being minimized and other programs are open. It’s fine when it up and is the main program running tho.
    This is with the Sprint HTC EVO 4G. All my programs are updated and ur new audio thingy is on.
    Otherwise, thanks for helping with my insomina!

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