Introducing Soundslice offline mode

Posted by Adrian Holovaty on January 19, 2016

Today we’re excited to launch Soundslice offline mode!

Given that Soundslice is a website, we’ve always required you to be online in order to access our music lessons. But many of you have requested an offline mode, for situations where you have a spotty Internet connection, or no connection at all.

This hasn’t been possible and reliable until very recently. Thanks to recent advances in web-browser technology, we’re finally able to offer an offline version!

Here’s how it works. If you’re using a supported browser, you’ll see a “Save offline” button at the bottom of every piece of music (aka “score”) on our site:

Screenshot of save offline message

Click that, and Soundslice will save the score’s data — notation, audio and video — to your computer so it’s available offline. Depending on the size of the audio/video and speed of your connection, it may take a few minutes to download everything.

Once it’s done, you’ll be able to return to that page even if you’re offline. You can test it by disabling your wifi (or wired connection) and reloading the page.

It’s like magic! This isn’t how web pages are supposed to work, right?! Welcome to the future.

Nearly everything in our player works in offline mode: playback of audio/video, seeking, looping, slowdown, notation transposition, hiding parts and synthetic playback. The only things you can’t do while offline are:

Every score you’ve saved for offline use will have a small “Offline mode enabled” message at the bottom of the page:

Screenshot of offline mode enabled message

Of course, we can’t expect you to remember (or bookmark) the URLs to all your offline Soundslice material. So we’ve added an easy way for you to access it: just visit any page on www.soundslice.com while offline. You’ll get a message saying you’re offline, plus a list of links to everything you’ve saved for offline use. Here’s what that looks like:

Screenshot of offline list page

Putting this all together, here’s how we’d recommend using offline mode:

There’s one big caveat about Soundslice offline mode: due to the newness of the underlying technology, it’s currently only supported by recent versions of Google Chrome and Opera. Firefox will support it in about a week, when version 44 is released (how’s that for bleeding edge?!).

Apple has made some small signals that they’ll support this in Safari/iOS. You can help by contacting them here to voice your support. Tell them you want them to implement “service worker” in Safari so you can access Soundslice offline mode.

(By the way, if your browser doesn’t support this, you won’t see the “Save offline” button at all.)

Even if you don’t take advantage of Soundslice offline mode or your browser doesn’t support it, you’ll find that accessing music lessons on our site has become much faster; scores are quicker to load and in some cases appear nearly instantly. Enjoy the new snappiness!

Finally, a note for our licensing partners: unfortunately, offline mode isn’t available for our embed version. That’s because our embed is, well, embedded in your own site! Even if our embed is available offline, you’d need to implement offline mode for your site (i.e., the page that contains the Soundslice iframe) in order for it to be possible. We plan to provide some documentation on how you can do this in the future.

It’s only a matter of time before more and more sites offer offline mode like this; Soundslice is one of the very first. Enjoy the new feature, and please let us know how it goes — we’d love to hear your feedback.

Comments

LegacyBlogCommenter
[Comment posted by John J Krause]

Hey Adrian

Great job on the offline mode where are the files downloaded to? I'm using my 27" iMac mostly for screen size can I put the files on a thumb drive to use in my macbook pro when traveling or do they need to be save on each computer?

Thanks pickitjohn
soundslice
Hi John -- the files are downloaded into your browser's cache and there's no way to transfer them between computers, so you'll have to use the same browser/computer. In your case, you'll want to download them on your MacBook Pro. Have fun!

Adrian @ Soundslice
jshep
Hi,

My use of soundslice is always embedded in one of your partners web pages. I see this entry was written a while back. Are partners yet able to offer offline mode to their users? (My 'host' doesn't, but I'm not sure whether he even can)

Thanks!
John
LegacyBlogCommenter
[Comment posted by Χωρίς Όνομα]

Ι am a subscriber with PremierGuitar and their lessons do not allow soundslice audio to be downloaded for offline use/practice. Ain't that a shame !?!
soundslice
Hi there — yes, unfortunately the offline version isn't available when Soundslice is embedded in other sites, due to the way that this technology works.
soundslice
Hi John — unfortunately the offline capabilities aren't available when Soundslice is embedded in other sites, due to the way that this technology works.
jshep
ok, thanks for letting me know
LegacyBlogCommenter
[Comment posted by D Stick]

How do I delete some of the offline soundslice videos that I don't need anymore?
soundslice
Clear your browser's cache, and you'll be good to go! Eventually we'll add a proper way of doing this directly in the Soundslice player.
LegacyBlogCommenter
[Comment posted by Aaron]

Would it work on the ipad offline?
LegacyBlogCommenter
[Comment posted by Joe Siri Ekgren]

Good question. What does soundslice support say?
soundslice
Yes indeed — the iPad now supports this technology.
LegacyBlogCommenter
[Comment posted by Juan]

My browser does not show the “Save offline” button at the bottom. Could you help me please. Thanks in advance.
soundslice
Alas, we've disabled the "Safe offline" feature. it was confusing too many people and causing too many problems in general — it was a bit ahead of its time. We hope to bring it back some day.

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