Hey folks... just FYI, as much as I'm 100% behind this project, I have two comments:
We *are* building one for Windows 8, in fact we are going to show it to you on this week's "This Week on Channel 9" (this shouldn't stop you, but wanted you to know)
We have APIs that we are using for that app, that might be helpful for you to use... possibly instead of writing your own server, although your own server may give you a lot more functionality.
We could probably just build a completely different app suite, then. I'm assuming the official one will be heavily geared for the media segments in C9. Ours could just end up being optimized for the community aspect.
Ooh, and then we can have it be a charms share target for the official app.
@Duncanma: I have used it to watch a couple of videos and I like it!
My only (subjective) suggestion is that the progress 'swirly' layout is a little off to my eyes -- the text and the swirly need more space in between.
Being able to sign in and comment on the videos would add an extra dimension to the loveliness
@Dr Herbie: Thanks for the feedback Herbie, I'll take a look at that progress element.
Signing in is definitely on our radar for the next phase of development.
Hey folks, just thought I'd bring this back up to the top of the forum for a bit... we are getting close to submitting this as our v1, so anyone who has the time to side load it and try it out is much appreciated!
(crash reports are logged and submitted, so any error you hit is helping us out in the long run )
@Duncanma: I've watched a couple of dozen videos through the app now, and there haven't been any reported errors that I can recall.
I just tried it. The app looks nice, definitely a nice way to view videos. Some feedback points:
Forum interaction is a must (including the ability to view and make comments on videos).
The video viewer is very small.
the streaming video quality is rather low if viewed full screen. The app kind of defeats its own purpose if the only way to get good quality video is to download it.
A live tile showing the featured shows would be great, especially for someone like me who doesn't visit the C9 home page often (usually I go straight to the Coffeehouse).
Some context would be nice (for a show or series, show a list of the other videos).
The app is somewhat plain looking with the white background.
Regarding the bar that comes up from the top: it was really, really unclear that those two videos on the bar are the previous and next post. I didn't get that was what they were until I hovered and got the tooltip, which I don't think you could do on a touch device.
Regarding point 2, 5 and 6, this is what the app looks like on my 1920x1080 screen (27" LCD):
The video player is only 290px high! That's smaller than even YouTube's smallest player size (360px). It's postage stamp size, completely unsuited for watching. Yet as point 3 points out, if I go full screen it becomes a blurry mess because the quality isn't good enough.
The video is the most important thing on this screen. It should be front and center, yet in this design it feels crowded out by the description. And the vast majority of the screen is empty.
Regarding point 5: context is offered through the Going Deep button, but this is a very different type of action than the download and options buttons, yet it looks the same. It would be better if that were a link in the header or something, or at least visually distinct from the other two buttons.
Even better would be to use some of the white space to show other episodes in this series, so I don't have to go to a separate page to view other episodes.
Compare for example the "Uitzending Gemist" app, which is an app from the Dutch public TV networks that lets you watch missed TV broadcasts (it's a front-end for http://www.uitzendinggemist.nl)
The video is big: it's clearly the most important part of the page, and other available episodes of this program are listed on the right for easy access. The app is also less plain looking because of the background.
@Sven Groot: excellent feedback! I see your point about the video player... Turns out that is the default player for Channel 9 as well (512x288). Perhaps we need to consider enlarging it across the board. As for the video quality, have you tried switching to the smooth streaming option? Curious if the video would look better at full screen in that case, and if we should consider having that as the default?
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