Stealth Player Development

My MicroISV. Where software development and pornography collide...

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Beta 2 Review

I wanted to create a list of things that changed for Beta 2. And also let everyone know what's on the agenda for RC1.

Also here are basic instructions on upgrading from Beta 1 to Beta 2:
Uninstall Beta 1 by using the uninstall link provided in c:\program files\SPDownload the new installation HERE.
Run the install and start Stealth Player. The new setup wizard will have a couple questions for you, more on that below.

Beta 2 Changes
- Security –
I got a Digital Signature from COMODO and signed all my executables. It’s more professional and safer for the end user.

- Setting Wizard -
Created a settings wizard that allows you to customize what categories you want to see. There is now a setting for connection speed which will optimize downloading for your connection type. Also, as requested, Stealth Player can now operate without its stealth capabilities. This means options to put shortcuts on the desktop and programs menu. As well, you can turn off encryption which will allow you to view images and video outside of Stealth Player. Finally, you can now specify paths for the temp directory and archive directory. This is particularly helpful to those with larger volumes outside of the C drive.

- Navigation -
This changed significantly. Starting in the Navigation Pane, the options changed from selecting the category to selecting the view. The views are:
New - Items you've not seen and are queued up to be reviewed.
Archived - Items you liked enough to save you your hard drive (encrypted).
Favorites - Galleries you liked, but didn't want saved locally.
History - Galleries you viewed in the past.
Reviewed - Galleries for which you reviewed the thumbnail.

The idea is for this to work like newsgator online. In the New view, you review the thumbnails, double clicking the galleries you would like to open. When you’ve opened all the galleries you like on the page, you click the “Mark as Reviewed” button and Stealth Player will grab the next set of gallery thumbnails to review.

- Hot Keys –
Hot keys allow you to do most navigation function with one key press while in media player mode. Some navigation functionality is tied to more than one key, so both right and left handed users should feel equally comfortable. Here’s a list:
Show Next (image or video) “D” or “L”
Show Previous (image or video) “A” or “J”
Next Gallery “S” or “K”
Previous Gallery “W” or “I”
Restart Video “Q” or “U”
Pause or Continue Video “E” or “O”
Archive Gallery “R”
Add Gallery to Favorites “F”
Close Gallery “C” or “N”
Toggle Thumbnail Preview “T”
Remove Item from Gallery (image or video) “DEL”
Panic Button “ESC”

- Filter -
You can now filter galleries on category, media type, size, and also domain.

- Sort -
You can also sort galleries by date added, category, domain, size, and rating.

- Dynamic Help -
Dynamic Help was added to the navigation pane in case the user is not sure what to do.

Upcoming Changes for RC1
- Add Billing Support -
There will be two different subscription levels:
Free – users will be given an allowance of 10 sessions a month.
Premium – users will be given an allowance of 100 sessions a month for a nominal fee of less than $5 per month. I was going to allow monthly subscriptions, but decided against it. Instead subscriptions will be yearly. $49.95 for one year of access ($4.16 a month).

There are two reasons I decided to not bill monthly. First, risk. The more transactions, the more charge backs. At $25 bucks a pop for a charge back it would take 6 legitimate transactions to pay for just one charge back. Second, cash flow. I want to provide top notch service and support to my customers while adding additional features. If I bill monthly and 200 people sign up in the first month, then I have about $1,000 of revenue to work with. Billing yearly generates $10,000 on the same number of subscribers, which is a much better model for growth.

During RC1 Beta testers will be asked to purchase the Premium subscription using test credit card information.

Please Note: All Beta testers will receive one year of Premium Subscription for free starting on the official release date. To qualify Beta tester must participate in RC1 subscription test mentioned above.

- Account Management -
There is already a place holder for this screen in Stealth Player. It will allow users to change passwords and to view account statistics such as: # of session left, next session refresh, and billing history (if any).

- Back Office -
There are a ton of apps that I need to complete for back office management. I need to make an admin app that contains everything I need to manage the system effectively. Error report, site stats, customer mass emailer, gallery categorizer (for manual categorization), and a gallery release scheduler (for time releasing galleries). There are a couple more items too. The goal is to automate as much as possible.

We’re getting there!

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Site is down.

UPDATE - Stealth Player is back up. It sounds like aquesthosting did a good job considering the circumstances. Here's they're response to my inquiry:

Ian,

There was a power outage in the area of our data center that took down portions of both grids that we set on. We have been told this was due to a vehicular accident in the area and the outage was unplanned.

We apologize for the outage and all systems have been restored.

Thank you,
John Lyon
Aquest Support Team

John always gets back to my amazingly quick.


StealthPlayer.com is down due to my hosting company being down. This is an unplanned outage and is not something I've experienced with this company in over a year of hosting.

This also underscores my need for email that is not through the hosting provider, because right now I don't have a way to contact them (email is out too). Hopefully, the site will be back up soon and they'll have a good reason why it all came crashing down.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hallucinations and Beta 2

Beta 2 is ready! However, due to complications the auto update feature will not upgrade you from Beta 1 to Beta 2. So if you’re already a registered user you can download and manually install the update here. If you’re not a registered user and you’ve been waiting just for this moment to experience Stealth Player click here.

I’ve had a couple late nights (early mornings actually) trying to get Beta 2 ready and deployed. This morning I got to my clients office and couldn’t quite remember how I got there. At this point, I can’t see straight and I keep seeing things in my peripheral vision that make me jump. I think lack of sleep may cause paranoia.

After I get some sleep I’ll post more about the new functionality of Beta 2, the additions to the StealthPlayer.com website, and what’s next on the agenda.

Oh, also…I want feedback! It’s super easy to submit feedback through the Stealth Player application! Click the “Feedback” button on the top menu, enter your comments, and click “OK”. I seriously want to know what you think.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Beta 2 Release Problem

Almost done with the release, but I hit a snag. The auto update is crashing on existing installations. I'll fix it soon. The Beta 2 will should be ready with the new fix by the end of Monday. Sorry for the delay! Hey, it's still beta!

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