Jim Rhoades

developer / designer

case study: True Note

True Note is an app to test a record player to see if it's playing at the correct speed.

It works by rapidly flashing an iOS device's LED light onto a standard record player strobe disc. If the record player is playing at the correct speed, the lines on the strobe disc appear to remain in the same position - as shown in this demonstration video.

I was the sole designer and developer - taking the project from initial conception to final release in the App Store.

True Note app icon

design + user experience

True Note screenshot

I had an idea to include a spinning vinyl record as part of the design - both for fun and to help reflect the purpose of the app. A simplified version of the vinyl record image is also used for the app icon.

True Note screenshot

I made the most important interface elements stand out visually, and kept the controls simple.

True Note screenshot

I also designed a "True Note" logo, and used variations of it in different parts of the app and in print.

True Note strobe disc

print design

I created a printable strobe disc that has the correct number of evenly divided lines needed for the test to work with the LED flashing on and off at a frequency of 50Hz.

It also looks nice and was designed to be small enough that it can be folded it in half and placed in a wallet, in case someone wants to use True Note while shopping for a used turntable.

The strobe disc is part of an instructional PDF that can be printed directly from the app. The PDF guides people through the steps to cut out the strobe disc and use it with the app.

True Note strobe disc


True Note includes a couple of nice animations that help make the app visually appealing and fun to interact with.

After tapping the Start button the record image begins to spin at the same 33 1/3 RPM speed that record players turn at.

When tapping to view another screen, the controls fade out and a custom transition animation is shown of the record being flipped over.

technologies used

Swift, Core Graphics, Core Animation, StoreKit, IBDesignable, IBInspectable, GCD, WKWebView, JavaScript


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