Dmitry Lyalin's Applications for Windows Phone 7

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TWiT 1.5–Known Issues

Unfortunately the v1.5 release of the TWiT Windows Phone 7 application did not go as well as hoped, a few bad bugs sneaked by my best attempt at testing the update, here is the list:

Known Issues & Status (Updated 4/21/2011)

Live Audio Playback Broken

  • Details: Live audio does not work – errors out when you try to start playing the live feed and app crashes
  • Status: This has been fixed in update 1.6 and already submitted to Marketplace on 4/19. I hope to see it released this week if it passes certification

Resuming Shows from before update Crash Application

  • Details: This is a very frustrating issue and I caused it with a large code refactoring (something that really needed to happen). I simply didn’t anticipate it but should have. This is also something I simply didn’t have a good way to test for as it required data from the v1.4 version of the application to replicate the bug.
  • Status: Unfortunately there is no way for me to restore the old shows, they simply will never play and I’m very sorry. Update 1.7 will at least attempt to prevent the application from crashing if you try to play a “broken” old show
  • Note: New shows you start listening to in update 1.5 or later should NOT be impacted and are expected to both play and resume as they did before the update

Show Page – Episode list loading slowly

  • When you click on a show detail page the episode list above the advertisement loads slowly (Example: you click on Windows Weekly logo to see the show details)
  • Status: I think I found the root cause of this issue and it should be patched in update v1.6 – Please let me know if you have any issues after the next patch

Other Misc. Issues

  • Episode title in media player is not wrapping and therefore is being cutoff. (This has been fixed in update 1.6)

Closing Comments

Big thank you as always for everyone’s patience and feedback about the issues – I am working hard on ensuring future updates go more smoothly and add features people are requesting.

If you know of more issues not listed here or have suggestions, email them to twitwp7@lyalin.com as I do actively monitor this email address (even if I don’t respond to every email sent in).

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TWiT v1.5 Released!

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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

Removed Items

  • 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”

New Features

  • 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

Panorama Changes

  • 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

Bug Fixes

  • 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

Thank you to Silicon Valley WP7 Meet-up Group

I wanted to thank the Silicon Valley Windows Phone7 Meet-up Group for allow me to present to them the same talk I gave in NYC on Building the TWIT App for Windows Phone 7. I love talking about this platform and happy for every chance I get.

You can find the slides I used here (slightly updated since the last time)

http://cid-c6b45be43711d8b8.office-df.live.com/self.aspx/Public/CA%5E_UG%5E_BuildingTWiTApp%5E_WP7%5E_Start-To-End.pptx

Silverlight User Group Presentation: Building TWiT for WP7 (slides)

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I want to thank everyone who attended my presentation last night at the Silverlight User Group where I talked about my experience building TWiT for Windows Phone 7, and how you can learn from my experience.

The presentation didn’t have code demos but instead focused on learning how to take an application from an idea all the way through being published and really hope everyone enjoyed it.

Channel9 Presentation

Update: This presentation was recorded by my buddy Peter Laudati and is now up on Channel9! Enjoy the presentation if you missed it and send me your feedback.

http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Developing-TWiTtv-for-Windows-Phone-7-From-Concept-to-Marketplace

Slides

http://cid-c6b45be43711d8b8.office-df.live.com/view.aspx/Public/Silverlight^_UG^_BuildingTWiTApp^_WP7^_Start-To-End.pptx

(Special thanks to @WayneHRichmond for hosting the event and taking the picture above)

TWiT App featured on Marketplace

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Today one of my colleagues pointed out that my TWiT app was featured on the WP7 Marketplace, now that’s very nice to see, thanks Windows Phone 7 Marketplace team!

The app continues to do well in download count too having hit a little over 5,300 downloads since its release on 11/24/2010.

TWiT v1.4 for WP7 released

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I am happy to announce that TWiT app for Windows Phone 7 has been updated to version v1.4 having past certification. The update should be available world-wide within 24 hours.

This is a bug fix release including:

  • Live Tiles on the home screen should work again (they stopped updating in v1.3)
  • Recent Episodes list should work again (stopped working due to some unhandled data-cases in RSS feed I consume to create that list)
  • Tech Guy podcast will no longer crash when opening the episode list for this podcast
  • Pressing Pause during audio/video playback while its buffering will no longer Stop the playback, but instead actually Pause it as originally intended

Big thank you to everyone who has been reporting issues and making suggestions. This feedback is critical, so please keep it coming.

My contact info for app bugs / suggestions:

Email: twitwp7@lyalin.com
Twitter: @lyalindotcom

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 20 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 46 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 24th with 348 views. The most popular post that day was TWiT for WP7 v1.0 is LIVE.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were lyalin.com, windowsphonesecrets.com, twitter.com, wiki.twit.tv, and youtube.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for wp7 slider control, wp7 progress bar, wp7 screenshot, smooth streaming wp7, and wp7 progressbar.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

TWiT for WP7 v1.0 is LIVE November 2010
17 comments

2

TWiT.TV September 2010

3

WP7 Sample–Create a JPG screenshot of Bing maps control September 2010

4

Smooth Streaming support released for WP7! September 2010

5

Sliders and Progress bars in WP7 October 2010
2 comments