Category Archives: Uncategorized

Windows Store is still rubbish

Back in 2105, the Windows store decided to unpublish VLC Remote after I submitted an update.

I ran a competition to try to figure out why they had banned it. This attracted some media attention which ultimately resulted in a  Windows Developer Platform manager contacting me. He quickly got some people on the case and the app was restored.

About three weeks later, I needed to update the description. The same thing happened again. Again, the same chap kicked some butt in the store and got the update approved.

A year or so later, and I have had a request from Microsoft to fill in their age rating questionnaire.

Of course – this requires submitting a new update, and of course the exact same problem is hitting. (Note – the app, and its description and screenshots are completely unchanged)

App Policies: 10.1 Inaccurate Representation, Title

Your app and its associated metadata must accurately and clearly reflect the source, functionality, and features of your app.

  • <snip – list of policies>

Notes To Developer

The app name does not accurately represent the app.
For more information see Windows Store Policy 10.1 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=620446.

This time, I haven’t had a response from the program manager (he has probably moved on in disgust)

I have resubmitted with a link to the original story, but have just had a somewhat meaningless response

Hello Rob,

Thank you for the follow up and I am showing that app under that account. Now I also reviewed over the listing and I would suggest contacting report app from the email below as they will be bale to assist you directly on the certification.

Report App: reportapp@microsoft.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please respond to this e-mail and we will work to resolve them as quickly as possible.

I don’t think this will help – clearly the issue is nothing to do with me reporting an infringement, or anyone else reporting an infringement. The issue is that every time I submit an update, Microsoft do the same brain-dead thing.

I’m going to try one more submission with the ‘do not fail… escalate to…’ note…

I guess Windows Store is dying, and Microsoft just want to clear out the few remaining apps.

2 Minute Timer now with Force Touch

2 Minute timer was my first app.

It is a very simple timer app which aims to work with a minimum of fuss.

You can now start a timer and pick the timer length on new devices using force touch.

More info here

2min

Mac OS Developers – Easily add Right-Click actions.

Right Click Booster makes it really easy for developers to add their own Right-Click actions.

OSX 10.10 allows developers to build FinderSync extensions.
These allow you to add right.click (or cmd+click) actions within the finder.

However – you can only do this with App-Store apps, and building finder-sync extensions is a massive pita.

Right Click Booster now makes it super-easy for developers to add right-click actions for their own apps.

The full code within VLC Streamer Helper is:


[RCBRightClick registerExtensionWithName:@"Add to VLC Streamer"
scheme:@"vlcsaddfile"
filetypes:@[@"mp4",@"avi",...]
image:[NSImage imageNamed:@"menuIcon"]
callbackScheme:nil];

So – if you’re a developer, find out all about it here

If you use software that would benefit from right-click integration – then please email the developer and let them know about Right Click Booster.

VLC Streamer now integrated with Mac’s Finder

If you’re using Mac OS, and you’re updated to the latest version, then VLC Streamer now offers a way to right click (or cmd+click) on a movie in the finder to add it directly to VLC Streamer.

The new option is in the settings tab.

It makes use of my newish (free) app Right Click Booster.

When you click to add the right-click item, you’ll be prompted to install Right Click Booster if you don’t have it already – and taken to the Mac App Store to download it for free.

You can get Right Click Booster (currently free!) at the Appstore.

Translations please…

VLC Remote and VLC Streamer rely on you to translate them into your native language.

If you’d like to help – please click through to http://translate.hobbyistsoftware.com and translate some strings.

The site isn’t really mobile-friendly, so you probably want to do this on your laptop.

I’m always happy to provide free copies if you help with translations – email me at rob @ hobbyistsoftware.com if that would help.

Thank you!

Why we’re not supporting Chromecast

I get asked about Chromecast a handful of times a month.

I have a Chromecast to test on, and I love the concept. I’d love to be able to support it with VLC Streamer.

Unfortunately, Chromecast just doesn’t work very well.

In my testing – it fails to play most streams (streams that play fine on Android, iOS and VLC).

I wrote in the forum a couple of months ago with more details for the technically minded.

I assume that Chromecast will get better over time, and I’ll give it a try again in a few months.

Unfortunately, my expectation of Chromecast is not necessarily one that the Chromecast team share. I expect Chromecast to ‘just work’.

If streams play on iOS and Android, then I don’t expect to have to battle to format them specially for Chromecast. Equally, I expect integration to be simple rather – whereas the Chromecast team expect me to implement a whole complex system of searching and communication.

For the most part – the Chromecast team response has been to refer to state that vlc streamer steams don’t meet the required specification and that any crashes are therefore not Chromecast’s problem.

You can see the lively discussion here. It’s one of the most +1’d posts on the ChromeCasst developer forum.  I think that means I’m not the only frustrated developer.

As a Chromecast owner, I’m not sure what you can do. The fact is that Chromecast is hard to integrate – and doesn’t do a good job with HLS streams. Until the Chromecast developers fix that – VLC Streamer won’t be supporting Chromecast.

 

Now out of beta (please pay us!)

We have now released a full version of VLC Streamer – thank you to everyone who has helped during the beta testing.

The beta build will expire in a few days, and it will ask you to upgrade. At that point, you can either keep the free version, or get the paid version.

The free version is ad-supported, and it also disables the ability to copy movies to the device for watching later. The full version has no ads, and you can copy movies over.

As a way of thanking our beta users, we’re keeping the price at $1 initially to let you switch over to the full version for a thoroughly reasonable price!

You can get the full version here:

Buy Now

Multiple Monitors on Mac…

If you have multiple monitors connected to a mac, then this might interest you.

I just launched my first app in the Mac Appstore. It’s called Multi Monitor Wallpaper.
It lets you take one large image and apply it across your monitors.

You can move and scale the image, and even tweak the exact layout of your monitors.

My app cuts up the image and applies it across your screens.

Let me know what you think!

You can get it at the Mac Appstore