Planetary, Version 2

We’re proud to announce that version 2.0 of Planetary, our celestial music player for iPad, is now available for download in the iTunes App Store!

Bloom Planetary 2 screenshot

To learn more about how Planetary was made, check-out Robert’s in-depth behind-the-scenes post and the extra notes on his personal portfolio site, or read on for a summary of “What’s New”:

Planetary 2.0 features a full graphical update: new galaxy detail, solar flares, eclipses, atmospheric glow, accretion disks and much more fine detail at planet and moon level. Additional detail is available for iPad 2.

To address your most popular feature requests we’ve added in-app support for playlist selection and shuffle/repeat modes.

Other new features include optional automatic camera motion (great for long playlists!), gyroscope support for iPad 2 and scale and speed sliders to adjust the universe to your tastes.

Several small bugs with version one are also fixed and Planetary 2.0 has much better interactive performance, especially when flying between planets and when interacting with the playhead slider.

Many thanks for all the feedback and kind words we received about version 1 – keep it coming!

Beginnings and Endings

This second release of Planetary also marks the departure of our colleague Robert Hodgin. You might remember that we announced Robert had joined us as Creative Director earlier this year. With hindsight we realize it would have been more appropriate for him to join us as artist in residence for the duration of the Planetary project. In practice that’s what his role has been, and he’s made the choice to step away at this point.

Robert returns to pursuing his own projects and plans to increase his contributions to the Cinder library. We’ll continue to use Cinder in future Bloom projects too so we’re very excited about this and wish him well in all his future endeavors. Thanks Robert, it’s been a fantastic journey!

What Next?

We hope to play host to more artists-in-residence in future, without blending that process with a more traditional production role unless that’s the right thing to do. If you’re an ambitious digital artist interesed in working with Bloom in this capacity, and helping us define it, please get in touch.

We’re also considering creating a more traditional Creative Director role within our team, if you’re interested in helping us define this role please get in touch.

As with all our openings, we’re not interested in hearing from recruiters or agencies at this time.

16 Comments on “Planetary, Version 2”

  1. You guys NEED to make a Mac OS X version……it is a cool idea, but it would be so much more if it was on the Mac…..

  2. [...] from Bloom Blog [...]

  3. any ideas on what the problem with jailbroken ipads might be? and of course the implied question: any eta on a resolution?

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hi Gino,

      We’re not sure, honestly. I imagine that the music library is locked down quite tightly for DRM reasons. We’re happy to look at crash logs if people have them (planetary at bloom dot io) but unfortunately we don’t have jailbroken iPads here because it doesn’t make sense to do that if we want to test for the official app store as well. Knowing where the crash happens might help us find a fix though, which we’ll be happy to implement and submit to Apple if we can.

      • I’d be glad to send the crash log. Where would I find the log(s) that you’d find most useful?

      • Tom Carden says:

        Not sure if this is different for jailbroken devices, but try doing a sync and then look in one of these locations:

        Mac OS X: /Users/USER_NAME/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/DEVICE_NAME/

        Windows XP:
        C:\Documents and Settings\USER_NAME\Application Data\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter\DEVICE_NAME\

        Windows Vista/7:
        C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter/MobileDevice/DEVICE_NAME\

  4. alexwlchan says:

    I don’t suppose there’s any news for iPhone or iPod touch owners, is there? We’re all sitting here, jealously watching iPad owners with this fancy app.

    Pretty please? :)

    • Tom Carden says:

      No news yet, sorry. The tablet really is a different medium and it’s the one we’re most excited to explore at the moment. We’re still growing our team though, so perhaps we’ll get a chance to look at the iphone/ipod soon. Unfortunately they’re not just small iPads so it requires a bit more thought than just moving things around. Fingers crossed!

  5. Iscotia says:

    Just wanted to say thanks! Enjoy it so much.

  6. It’s a beautiful, great app. I loved the version 1 and today I updated to version 2. There are great new features, I appreciate it.
    Now could you explain to me, how can I get back to the alphabet-wheel, I don’t find it anymore.

    • Tom Carden says:

      Hey Jennifer,

      Sadly the alphabet-wheel has gone into retirement. We were sad to see it go but found it a difficult metaphor to extend to other navigation and filtering features like playlists. Hopefully the addition of playlists is a worthwhile improvement, and you can see that it paves the way for other ways of browsing in future (e.g. genre).

      The alphabet artist filter is now accessed with the ABC button in the main control panel. Same functionality as the wheel, slightly different interaction, and not quite as distinctive. I do hope you don’t miss the wheel too much!

  7. Jonny Dowe says:

    Hi, is it possible to view all artists rather than by individual letter?


    • Tom Carden says:

      Hey Jonny,

      It’s technically possible, yes, if you make a playlist featuring every artist. We avoided making this view available by default because it can get slow and unstable (due to memory restrictions) if you have a lot of artists. But give it a try, it should work fine for a few hundred artists. Plus, if you set the playlist going on shuffle and zoom in to album or track level, you get your own full galaxy tour, which is my favorite part of the app. Good luck!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.