Archive for January, 2010

Unofficial iJ – v1.2 available soon….

Monday, January 25th, 2010

So – we’re excited that v1.2 of our “Unofficial iJustine Browser and Player” will be available soon. There are some minor bug fixes in this version, however, the most notable changes are as follows:

  • Minor User interface tweaks (Making the “Share” and “Action” buttons stand out a little more and fit nicely with the application theme.
  • Search Capability has been added to all of the mobile video screens.  The beauty is that the search actually filters only content on the channel chosen.  So if you are on the YouTube tab (which is iJustine’s main channel) and you search for “Cheeseburger”, you will only get results matching “cheeseburger” on her main channel.  This makes it even easier to locate her content and share it with your friends using the Facebook or eMail sharing options when you press the “Share” button.
  • We built an entirely new screen for browsing iJustine’s latest store items.  This list automatically features the latest 20 items that iJustine has released to her store.  You can view large images of each item, and use the Action button to share it with a friend via facebook or e-mail, or even go directly to the selected item in the store via a built-in browser.
  • We’ve added network status monitoring so that while you are moving – the number of listing results in the mobile video viewers will automatically be adjusted depending on what type of connection you have.  If you are connected via WiFi – 20 results are displayed with each fetch.  If you are on a cellular connection, 6 results are displayed with each fetch.  This has been done to keep the app responsive, quick, and fun to use.
  • We’ve added a screen for “Dev Blog” – which monitors the very blog you are reading now.  That way, you can always stay up to date with common issues, concerns, as well as new developments and features we are working on.

Of course – we always remind you to check the “More Apps” tab frequently to stay up-to-date with what is new from GeekUtils.  Stay tuned – this is only the beginning.

Click Here to download the Unofficial iJustine Browser and Player from iTunes

Browser / Player app – FAQ

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

if you are having issues with the app or have a question you’d like to ask us, a suggestion you’d like to make, etc,  please use the “About” tab in the application to send us a mail.  We’ll address your question/concern/suggestion as soon as possible!  As always, please try to contact us and give us a chance to help prior to leaving negative feedback in the app store.

So far – a couple of questions have come up that we’d like to address:

  • Question: “I noticed that my favorite blogger posted a video tonight and then blogged about it.  When I went to the mobile web view, the thumbnail never appeared and it had a play icon with a line through it.  I decided I’d try to play it through the video player for their channel, but it was not there.  What gives?”
  • Answer:  YouTube does not make content available to mobile devices at the exact same time a video is uploaded to their systems.  When a content creator uploads a video, they typically upload it in the highest resolution format possible (High Definition for example) – and then YouTube will convert that video into suitable versions for connections of varying bandwidth capabilities.   If you have ever cut video before, you know that this conversion process takes quite some time.  This is especially true if you are getting thousands of new uploads every day, every hour, maybe even every minute.  The mobile browser basically shows the same exact content on the blogger’s full web page, just in a “per article” form.  Because of this, the links that are embedded for the content they upload will appear.  If the mobile version of that content has not been generated by YouTube, you will see the play icon with a line through it, and the video will not play.  Be patient, the video will show up as soon as it is available in mobile format.  As for this not showing in our streamlined mobile video list, we already take this into account.  If the video is not available, we do not display it until it is available.  Therefore, as soon as the mobile version is ready – it will appear in the video listing views.
  • Question : “Why is YouTube playback so slow – I think there is something wrong with your player!”
  • Answer : Fortunately for us, it’s not our player nor is it a problem with your iPhone or iPod Touch ;).  Our application uses the same exact player that the built-in YouTube application does on the iPhone/iPod.  We posted a little earlier ago about how YouTube seems to be suffering from growing pains during the evening hours over the past few months.  You will find that if you stream the same content on multiple devices and even a full desktop computer from YouTube in the evening hours, you will experience slow load times,  stuttering, and other bandwidth issues.  We hope that they upgrade their capacity to support all of the new high definition content they have promised the masses – because right now, their pain is obvious to even casual users.  One of our customers has offered the suggestion to turn wireless off and go back to 3G service when this happens.  While that seems counter productive, it actually works in most cases because the mobile videos are much lower bandwidth, and lower resolution, and can therefore stream through heavy traffic easier.  Unfortunately, this is not a solution for iPod users – but let’s keep our fingers crossed that YouTube solves these issues soon!

Unofficial iJ App Now Available

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Unofficial iJ ScreenShot

Well, it’s official.  Our first project entitled “Unofficial iJustine – Browser and Player” has made it’s way into iTunes and is now available for iPod Touch and iPhone customers worldwide.  For those of you who don’t know who iJustine is – well, you’re missing out.  She is an up and coming vlogger, sketch comedianne, techno geek, mac addict, and all around cool gal.  We’ve been following her now for quite some time, and noticed that there isn’t really a good way to follow her particular combination of content easily from one conveniant app.

In steps our new app.  We think it’s a really cool little app and plan on reusing the codebase to support other popular internet phenoms like iJustine.  This first iteration is basically a read-only version that we are using to test the waters and track the popularity of such an app.  We are already working on v1.2 and v1.3 (v1.1 was the initial launch to the store) – which will add new functionality that allows you to rate and comment the vlogger’s youtube content.  This functionality will be very important to the future success of the application, because one of the key ways that bloggers/vloggers use to communicate with their fan base is the comment system.  Additionally, we plan to replace the twitter feed functionality in this next version with a newer, faster version.

The goal of this series of apps is to allow you to follow your favorite blogger or vlogger and all of the media outlets that they may utilize from a single place.  Are you an iJustine fan?  Are you curious as to who she is – check out our app – we think you’ll like what you see!  If you want to see what iJustine is up to – visit her website by clicking here.

YouTube slow in the evening?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We’ve noticed over the past couple of months that evening YouTube performance is getting increasingly worse. This has been especially true on our mobile devices that we use in our test lab. Between the hours of 5:30PM and 11:00pm EST, YouTube streaming can get quite sporadic and unresponsive. We are currently working on applications for the iPhone and iPod touch platform that utilize the device’s built-in YouTube player, so initially we thought perhaps we had a bug that was causing the problem.

Further investigation and countless hours of internet searching have illustrated to us that this is a widespread issue. In fact, this evening, while showing off our new iPhone application, we were side-by-side streaming content from YouTube on our 27″ iMac development machine and our iPhone 3GS and both would stutter and pause during playback. The desktop version of the stream even waited for around 30 seconds to start playing!

It is currently our belief that all of the new YouTube services that are being offered, when combined with the huge amount of high-definition content being uploaded, is simply taxing the YouTube server farm. We hope to see resolution to this soon – our latest apps depend on it 😉

In the meantime – a quick solution that someone has suggested to us (not ideal, but it works) is to switch your iPhone wireless off if you’re going to be streaming during these hours until this problem is resolved. When you switch wireless off, the iPhone YouTube player will automatically stream the lower bandwidth h.264 or MP4 video streams which are lighter weight and do not seem to be as affected by these issues.