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Topic: Annoyances...

I figured a topic on gripes with the current implementation could help the current/future developers make this a better product...

I've got several, but I'll only mention a couple since I can probably work around and/or fix the others.

Note that both of these pertain to the Web Videos application on the Vizio TVs, but they could be a problem on other platforms for all I know.

1)  The flung content in the queue is automatically removed from the queue when selected for viewing.  This is counter-intuitive and causes a lot of headaches later on when you, for example, view something once and want to show the content to someone else later on using the same device (in this case the Vizio TV).  Given that there is a Netflix app on the same Vizio, people using that platform are going to be more used to the "instant" queue retaining the items until either A) the user removes the content or B) the content becomes unavailable.

2)  The Web Videos application automatically starts a countdown to play some other random content after the currently viewed content finishes.  I would contend that most users probably want to either A) stop watching entirely after finishing a video or B) choose something different from the queue manually.  I think returning the user to the queue menu would be more appropriate.

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Re: Annoyances...

AMansfield wrote:

The flung content in the queue is automatically removed from the queue when selected for viewing.

Consider this computer science run amok.  Queue == FIFO is not a good paradigm for user interaction.

There are some stark differences between Netflix and Flingo:

  • Netflix == high value content like movies and TV shows

  • Flingo == a broad mixture of content including short-form UGC, porn, etc.

When queueing up a lot of videos from youtube (see youtubesocial.com) and the like, it is painful to go back and individually remove unwanted videos and "clear all" defeats the purpose of keeping really liked flung videos around.

There are intermediate solutions, e.g., a pandora-like timeline + favorites.  Viewed videos scroll to the left.  "Play" puts an item at the origin in the timeilne, "queue" pushes an item to the back of the queue (to the right of the origin).  When looking at the queue, I can return to a previously viewed video by hitting the left button.I can skip a video by hitting the right button.    The history of the timeline could be longer than with Pandora so you could scroll back to something you watched a few days or weeks ago.    If I like a video I can scroll back to it and mark it as a favorite.  Once marked as a favorite, it appears in my favorites until I remove it.  Hopefully this would support both low-value consume and forget UGC and high-value niche flung content.

AMansfield wrote:

I would contend that most users probably want to either A) stop watching entirely after finishing a video or B) choose something different from the queue manually.

I handed these comments off to our usability quy.   I'm happy to say we now have someone that actually knows something about UI design and is running usability tests.

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Re: Annoyances...

Why not provide the user of the Web Videos app with the option to check whether or not the videos are automatically removed (from the queue) and whether or not videos will play automatically after the current selection is finished playing?

These options could appear in the Web Videos configuration page and the auto remove and auto play options could be selected by default.

It should be a very easy addition that allows the user to customize usage to his or her preference rather than forcing a specific behavior.

Last edited by AMansfield (2010-12-21 06:20:44)

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Re: Annoyances...


Why not provide the user of the Web Videos app with the option to check whether or not the videos are automatically removed (from the queue) and whether or not videos will play automatically after the current selection is finished playing?

These options could appear in the Web Videos configuration page and the auto remove and auto play options could be selected by default.

I like this.

Something like

  (x)  continuous play.
  (x)  remove items from queue after played.

There has also been enough feedback from individuals that they prefer FIFO to LIFO ordering, so I'll change that.

I added tickets for the above options, but they will have to be discussed internally.

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Re: Annoyances...

I know you guys are probably very busy and trying to keep the employee/contractor count to a minimum, but it would be nice if there was a little more support for the community here.  I've had a Pull Request that went into the nether and another that's languishing there.  We don't get regular updates on what's going on with the device apps and what's the status of the "API" or if something has changed recently there...

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Re: Annoyances...

I noticed an update this morning to my Vizio TV, so I started playing with Flingo again.  Got movies flung over and working,  but I cannot erase things out of the queue.  Made the mistake of flinging a directory and now I have 4 pages of misc. junk I cannot clear. 

Any tricks to clear the queue?

thx!

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Re: Annoyances...

Try again.  This was a backend hiccup.

--Dave

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Re: Annoyances...

I hope I'm posting this to the proper forum topic list.

To begin with, my equipment :
  - two iMac computers, OSX 10.6.4, cable modem, ethernet cabled router, Safari browser.
  - WDTV Live Plus, ethernet cabled to the router, HDMI to my SONY HD TV.

When I select the WDTV "Internet Media" option, I get an immediate display of 11 option buttons.  All of them work immediately except the FLINGO button.

There is always a short delay, maybe 10 seconds, before the initializing, and loading bars display.  After that the TV screen usually goes to black and hangs up.

Once in a while, (maybe once out of every 10 or 12 attempts), the FLINGO options screen appears, and becomes fully operational.

When it hangs up, the only active remote control button is the HOME button, which takes me back to the Internet Media option.

None of the other 11 "Internet Media" options have this problem, (i.e. YouTube, NetFlix, AccuWeather, etc.), they all work flawlessly.  My only problem is with FLINGO.  But when it works, I enjoy it a lot, I'm hoping you can advise me as to how to get around this glitch.

Also have a question regarding the files I fling to my queue - is there any way to prevent the immediate automatic deletion of a file from the queue as soon as it has been viewed?

Tinkerman - 2/12/11

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Re: Annoyances...

Tinkerman wrote:

Also have a question regarding the files I fling to my queue - is there any way to prevent the immediate automatic deletion of a file from the queue as soon as it has been viewed?

Tinkerman - 2/12/11

As for your issue with WDTV Live Plus, I wouldn't know what to tell you since I use a Vizio TV to use Flingo.  But a few posts up from yours, Dave mentions that there may be an option in a future release of the Flingo device client that would allow items to remain in the queue after viewing.

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Re: Annoyances...

Tinkerman wrote:
Also have a question regarding the files I fling to my queue - is there any way to prevent the immediate automatic deletion of a file from the queue as soon as it has been viewed?
Tinkerman - 2/12/11

There wil be.

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Re: Annoyances...

This will be supported in future versions of the UI.

It is temporarily a problem because many of the URLs that are flung are ephemeral... meaning that the web site providing the URLs time them out after a period of time.

For popular sites, we have created a workaround which infers the video URL from the webpage URL.  This requires some custom code for each supported website, but once the code is in place for a website, we could then store the webpage URL or a site-specific video ID as a long-term (non-ephemeral) identifier for the content.  The extension is already supported in Western Digital televisions, but it cannot be fully supported in Vizio TVs without a firmware update.

Vizio has updated their firmware once, but failed to include our workaround in the push.   I believe this was just an oversight that will be fixed in their next push.

--Dave

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Re: Annoyances...

Another possible solution is to distinguish ephemeral from non-ephemeral URLs in the UI and allow non-ephemeral URLs to be favorite'd and/or for them to hang around in the queue.

Ephemeral URLs will always be a problem for sites for which we have not created a mechanism for inferring long-term identifiers for the video, but for the important sites we will have long-term identifiers allowing the videos to be favorite'd or stored long-term in the queue.

URLs flung using the Flingo desktop app are pseudo-ephemeral in that the URL is based on the IP address of the flinging device.  If the IP address changes due to DHCP or if the flinging computer is turned off then the video URLs in the TV are no longer valid.

Pseudo-ephemeral URLs from the Flingo desktop app could be handled somewhat gracefully by periodically performing an HTTP GET on each video and downloading the first portion, but I haven't seen any primitive in AS2 that allows a partial download.  The UI is written in AS2 running on Flash Lite 3.1.  There is no availability of AS3 in most TVs and many OEMs don't want to give binary access.

Any ideas on how to manage stale/ephemeral links in AS2?

--Dave

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Re: Annoyances...

fatfunoneton wrote:

I noticed an update this morning to my Vizio TV, so I started playing with Flingo again.  Got movies flung over and working,  but I cannot erase things out of the queue.  Made the mistake of flinging a directory and now I have 4 pages of misc. junk I cannot clear. 

Any tricks to clear the queue?

thx!

I have the same issue.  I was testing how to Fling a directory and flug a directory full of unplayable content.  It's now stuck in my queue and I have 6 pages of useless video files that I can't remove or play.  Can I clear these out manually?

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Re: Annoyances...

I flung some items to a production TV, and I didn't see this problem.  Is it still occur?  Which model do you have?

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Re: Annoyances...

I, like many others, am annoyed that the videos I fling are automatically deleted after watching or after stopping.  I've read that this will be fixed in the next firmware release as well as support for favorite web videos flung and am really looking forward to this!

That said, I'm really loving the potential of what Flingo offers!

One quirk that I have not seen on here, is that there seems to be an expiration to the videos I fling.  I am getting in the mode where I will fling throughout the day from 9am-5pm and sit down to watch my flung videos at 10 or 11 at night only to find that they are stalling on the system.  The clip shows up in the queue but does not play.  Any fix for this in the update?

Thanks,
Neal

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Re: Annoyances...

The problem with the expirations is specific to Vizio. 

Some of the features we would love to add to Web Videos have been delayed by this issue.   For example, there are no favorites, there are no playlists.    Expriation of videos is caused by a firmware issue that we worked around, and we gave them the workaround more than six months ago, but it has never been deployed by Vizio.

Tell Vizio you want them to update their firmware.

--Dave