Bye, PremoFM

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I will be ending PremoFM development and shutting the servers down on Sunday, February 14th..  I will be destroying all data, including user data, at this same time.  Users can export their current subscriptions by going to Settings > Export to OPML.  You can use the OPML file to import your podcasts into other great podcast apps like Pocket Casts (my favorite), Beyond Pod, and Player FM.

Why?  Purely, the model I adopted with PremoFM was unsustainable (and an important lesson learned).  I decided to go the free + patronage route.  In order for this to work, I’d need a ton of users, because, naturally, only a small percentage of users would opt to be a patron.  I only had 176 installs as of today, February 10, not enough by a longshot.  I’d need to invest a ton of time and money in marketing.  As a side project, PremoFM was unable to get that level of attention from me.  There are millions of apps in the Play Store, so marketing is an overwhelming requirement.  It’s rare for an app to organically get noticed or go viral.  Despite repeated attempts to have my app reviewed by various Android / Tech blogs and websites, I was mostly unsuccessful in generating sustainable attention for PremoFM.  I originally sought out to create the podcast app I would want to use and I “hoped” others would too, but I didn’t spend enough time on the business model or differentiation.  So in a sea of tens of other more well known, high quality podcast apps, PremoFM failed to acquire a ton of users.

It wasn’t all a loss.  Building PremoFM allowed me to gain a truly deep understanding of Android development and APIs. Some things I gained experience with include playing media, Google Cast APIs, Google Cloud Messenger, ContentProviders, Material Design, Services, JobSchedulers, etc.  I was able to use this experience to gain full-time employment with WillowTree Apps last fall.  I even gave a few decent talks on MediaSession APIs, added to Android 5.0.  I even gained a ton of experience spinning up servers in a hosted environments, setting up an OpenVPN network, and writing threaded XML retrieval, parsing, and processing logic.  I’d never again write threaded processes in Java ever again, but now I know.  I also achieved a 4.76 out of 5 star rating, which I’m kinda proud of, despite the low install numbers.

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Moving on, I will be completely open sourcing the app, backend automation, API, and scripts in the next few weeks.  If you like the app enough and you are a developer, you *could* mate the parsing engine with the Android app, since it’s all Java and uses PremoFM without the expensive backend.

R.I.G. PremoFM

[R.I.G. = Rest in GitHub]