TWiT v1.5 Released!
I am very happy to announce that after a long pause between updates the TWiT.tv Windows Phone 7 App has finally hit v1.5 and that update is now live on the Marketplace.
Big Change – Added Advertisements
Why? To help fund this applications development going forward
The application now includes advertisements. You will find a small and I really hope un-intrusive ads on the Episode Detail and Show Episodes list pages. (using the Microsoft ad platform for WP7)
This change is a big one for me and one I wanted to avoid. My goal to create the TWiT App was to create a first-class experience that everyone could enjoy and in many ways I think I accomplished it. Unfortunately my hopes of “donation supported” applications or something I could “figure out how to fund” have fallen short of expectations. Therefore I am forced to try something different and this is the first step.
Ironically the TWiT podcast network itself started with a donation model that later led to an advertisement supported model, I guess some things never change – donations just don’t seem to work in most cases.
Hate Advertisement? No worries, a paid version is coming
In the near future you will also see a paid version released without advertisements, I know many want this version and will see it go live shortly.
Long-term Plan? Not really, not yet at least
Long-term I have not made all the decisions yet on “what features” will be included in which version, nor do I think I have optimized the advertisement placement and other factors. Much will be figured out this year so stay tuned.
Big THANK YOU to those who did donate
In closing I want to also say a big THANK YOU to the 11 people who did donate to support the application. Unfortunately after 12,000 downloads its too small of a number to sustain development without the changes noted above.
New Features & Changes
- Donation links and screen have been removed – this application no longer requires or accepts donations for the project
- The audio/video media player no longer supports dragging a slider to switch positions (see more info below in “Media Player Changes”
- Added a Live Calendar that is a web view of the TWiT Google calendar listing upcoming live shows. This is just a temporary solution and I hope to integrate this further into the interface as we head towards Mango release of the platform
- Added new or renamed network shows such as the “Mostly Photo” netcast
- New Panorama section added dedicated to Live Audio playback / Calendar
- Random featured shows are now displayed in the shows Panorama section (instead of the Highlights section)
- Show list is no longer a horizontal scrolling list – instead it’s a vertical list that makes it easier to find all the shows available
Media Player Changes
- The audio/video media player no longer supports dragging a slider to switch positions – this proved to be too buggy and prone to errors though I’m looking to get it back in. For now you will have a button to seek Left or Right though this experience is also not ideal at this time.
- Increased buffering time to 15 seconds minimum to try and avoid a scenario where audio would “start/stop” in a very annoying fashion during moments of poor network data strength
- Buffering related text should no longer get stuck on the screen indefinitely during video or audio playback as it happened under certain conditions
- The application should no longer crash when you press the back button to the episode description view when the video is loading
- Due to the (bad) design of the old horizontal show list some of the network shows were hard to find, this is now addressed by the vertical show list mentioned above
Other bugs have been fixed but its hard to have an exact list with the amount of changes I made – in general I just hope the application will get more stable over the coming few releases