MC-Timer - FAQ

Work out to your music.

1 General Questions

1.1 What about Spotify?

Not supported yet, sorry.

1.2 Which version do I have?

The version number is mentioned at the bottom of the settings screen; press the Settings button to open it. Alternatively, you can find it in the MC-Timer section in the Settings app. The version number is also mentioned in the text of the email that is generated when you select "Compose a Mail with Your Suggestion".

2 User Interface

2.1 How Do I Change the Timers to Count Up (or Down)?

There are three timers (counters) in the playback view:

  1. the total duration of the workout, shown in the top left corner,
  2. the number of music steps, shown in the top right corner, and
  3. the seconds in the current phase, shown in the centre.

Any of these three can be changed to count up instead of down by tapping on them. Alternatively, you can change the counting directions using the corresponding options in the settings.

Note that the music step counter has an up/down indicator next to its value to make the counting direction easier to see. No indicator is shown for the other timers since their values change every second.

2.2 How Do I Increase the 5-Second Countdown?

Every workout usually starts with a 5-second countdown.

If you prefer a longer countdown, say 10 seconds, insert a new set at the beginning of your workout using repeats: 1, music: 0, and pause: 10 seconds.

Essentially, the 5-second countdown is only used for workouts that start with a music step. If your workout starts with a pause step, then the pause will be used without any countdown.

2.3 What does "Like" do?

Beginning with version 1.3, you can "like" a workout by tapping on the heart-styled Like button in the top-right of the workout edit screen.

This affects the sort order of the workouts in the list. Liked workouts are listed before other workouts. Secondly, workouts are sorted by how often you have used them, and by when they were last used.

If you want a workout to be listed near the top, tap on "Like".

3 Unique Features

3.1 How do the Countdown Beeps Work?

In addition (or instead of) the alert sounds, you can enable countdown beeps. While alert sounds are played at the start of a work or rest phase, the countdown beeps are played BEFORE the phase changes.

The beeps will be played even when there is music; so if you enabled countdown beeps as your "Music Stop Sound", the beeps will be heard in the last seconds of the music playback.

You can enable two types of countdown beeps:

  • One Beep, Five Seconds Before will only trigger one short beep, exactly five seconds before the next phase begins.
  • Five-Second Countdown Beeps will trigger a series of short beeps during the last five seconds, that is it will beep at -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, and 0 seconds using a tone series that resembles an electronic starting clock: beep - beep - beep - beep - beep - beeeeeeep.

    Additionally, if the current phase is 30 seconds or longer, there will also be a short "get ready" beep at -10 seconds.

If you enabled the five-seconds countdown beeps as well as an alert sound, you may notice that the longer 0-second beep plays at the same time as the alert sound. In this scenario, in order to make sure that the alert sound is audible, the intensity of the final "beeeeeeep" is therefore reduced, i.e. it is "faded out" when it is followed by an alert sound.

3.2 What are Exercise Pairs?

Exercise pairs are exercises that should be repeated twice, for instance, calf raises first for the left foot, then for the right foot. You could define two exercises: "Calf raises, left foot" and "Calf raises, right foot", but if you enabled to shuffle your exercise suggestions, these two exercises will in most cases NOT be shown one after the other.

Instead, you can define an exercise pair: "Calf raises, left/right foot", which can be expanded into "Calf raises, left foot", immediately followed by "Calf raises, right foot". These expanded exercise pairs will always be shown one after the other, even if the exercise list is shuffled.

To use this feature, enable the option to "Expand Exercise Pairs" and define your paired exercises with word-slash-word sequences (without spaces between the words and the slash). Example: "Left/Right lunges".

Note that only a single word on either side of the slash is handled in this way. However, you could have multiple pairs as in: "Left/Right forward/backward lunges" which would be expanded into four exercises.

To prevent a slash from being expanded, use spaces: "Squats / Jumping Squats".

[Requires MC-Timer, version 1.4 or later].

4 Music Playback

4.1 How do I adjust he beep or alert volumes?

Beginning with version 1.5, you can change the volume levels of the beep and alert sounds. To do so, open the settings within the app, i.e. press the "Settings" button at the bottom of the workout list.

In the settings, you will find two sliders with which you can adjust the volume levels relative to the volume of your music. The recommended default values are:

  • Beep Volume: 50%
  • Alert Volume: 80%

4.2 Songs Are Device-Specific

Songs and playlists from your own (iTunes) library that you have added to MC-Timer on one device, are not automatically available on other devices. For missing items, you may see a "( Not Found on this Device )" placeholder, or you may see a question-mark in place of the cover artwork and a grayed out title.

To be able to play items from your own library, you may need to download the items (again) on the device where you wish to play them. You can do that in the Music app,

Alternatively, select songs or playlists from Apple Music which are always available on all of your devices.

4.3 No iTunes Song Playback on Apple TV

Much like Apple's Music app on Apple TV, MC-Timer on Apple TV can only play songs from Apple Music; any songs or playlists from your (iTunes) media library cannot be played on Apple TV.

This is a platform-specific limitation. Apple TV has no in-built support to access items from to your (iTunes) media library. Bummer.

For optimum results with Apple TV, a subscription to Apple Music is advised.

Streaming Music to Apple TV

While it is possible to stream music from other devices, the playback control always resides on the device that is streaming the music. The MC-Timer app on Apple TV has no access to the streamed content and can therefore not control its playback, sorry.

4.4 Playback Over Bluetooth

To enable playback on a device connected via Bluetooth, press the AirPlay button in the bottom-right corner of the playback screen and select the name of your device in the list. If your device were not listed, make sure that your iPhone or iPad is paired with the device. You can do that in the Settings app.

For the first music phase in your session, playback over Bluetooth often incurs a 5-10 second connection delay, but subsequent songs usually play on-time.

However, for some devices like the first generation Apple HomePod, the music start/stop sounds, may not be re-directed to the external speakers. This is a known issue and it appears to be an iOS limitation.

On occasion, it has also been observed that the volume slider may disappear and that the AirPlay connection is shown as offline while the music is in fact still playing on the remote device. This appears to be a fault in iOS.

For direct playback on Apple TV, we recommend the MC-Timer app that you can download via the App Store.

4.5 Loading Playlist Takes Time

You may see longer loading times mainly when your session is set-up to use songs or playlists from Apple Music. Playlist details may need to be downloaded before their tracks can be queued for playback. Also, when using songs from both Apple Music and your media library, multiple queues will need to be set up, especially if shuffle mode is enabled.

All of this can add up. Please be patient.

4.6 Pause the Workout but continue playing Music

Since version 1.6, there is a secondary pause button that lets you do this. When music is playing, you can press the smaller pause button – the one shown within a circle - to pause the workout. This will pause the progress, but the music from your playlist will continue playing.

4.7 Delayed Playback with Apple Music

Apple Music will usually download the songs on your playlist on demand. If your network connection is slow, it can happen that the music doesn't start playing at exactly the right time.

N.B. To avoid longer delays, MC-Timer may pause the music for a second when (1) the "Skip to Next Song" playback option is on and (2) if you had set the pause time between music steps to "0". In these cases, the first second of consecutive music steps would be quiet.

In general, if delayed playback is something that you wish to avoid, then you should download the songs to your device. You can do this in the Music app.

Note that songs from your (iTunes) music library, once downloaded to your device, will work without glitches.

5 Contacting tredje design

5.1 How can I become a beta tester?

Simple, please contact me.

5.2 When will MC-Timer become available in my language?

Please get in touch to help me localizing all resources to your language.

5.3 I think I found a bug. What should I do?

Within the app, you can select "Compose an Email with Your Suggestion" from the settings screen. If you like, you can save the message as a draft (tap Cancel, then Save Draft) and continue editing it from within your email program.

Feel free to write your message in English, German, or Swedish.

Alternatively, you can use the online contact form.

The following information would be helpful:

  • Which version of MC-Timer are you using?
  • Which device model are you using?
  • Which version of iOS is installed?
  • If it crashed, what was it that you were doing when it happened?
    (Please sync your device with your Mac and include the crash log: ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/*/timer-*.crash).

5.4 My question is still unanswered. What can I do now?

Why don't you post your question on this contact form?