Beta testers wanted!

Apple’s new Beta Testing service is now live.

If you have an iOS8 device, then I can now add you to my list of beta testers and get your input on new features (and possible new bugs!)

If you’re interested in getting involved in testing and developing VLC Streamer, VLC Remote and Off Remote, then I’d love to have you in the group.

To sign up – please just apply to join this google group.

Or go to http://HobbyistSoftware.com/beta on your desktop.

Make sure to sign up with the email address you use for your apple id.

I’ll add you to the group and look forward to your input!

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.

 

VLC Streamer – with added VLC

VLC Streamer now has a full VLC playback engine.

We use it to play back various ‘difficult’ files. You’ll know that we’re using VLC if the movie starts with the distinctive orange screen.

You can choose to use VLC for playback by tapping on the info box next to the movie and selecting ‘play in VLC’.

One major advantage of adding VLC is that we can now play most movies copied through iTunes without the need for conversion. If you’re going away from home – this may be a great option.

More details on how to copy movies available here

The playback is powered by VLCKit which is licenced under the LGPL version 2.1

VLC Streamer – brand new design

Apple just approved the free version of VLC Streamers new design (together with some fixes for the paid version).

This has been a huge project, but should now work beautifully with the new iPhone 6 and 6+ as well as iPads, iPhones and iPod touches.

We have tried to give more information,  and also to make it easier to do things like deleting or copying multiple movies.

People have been asking for the ability to organise movies in folders for a long time – and we now have something (even better) in that you can tag movies, and even give movies multiple tags.

This new build actually has VLC built into it for playback in some circumstances, but I’ll post more on that later!

I hope you like it.

There will inevitably be some rough edges -so please send your feedback. You can send email from the settings page, or head over to the forum.

Thank you!

VLC Streamer 4 – password issue (now fixed)

Update: As of 6th October, Apple have approved the update which should sort this issue and a handful of other minor problems. Please make sure you update to 4.01.


 

Apple just approved VLC Streamer 4, which is a massive redesign, and which fully supports iOS8 and the new devices.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of bugs.

The main one is that if you’re using a password on your helper, then if you can’t enter a new password. (If your old password is saved, that should continue working).

I’ll submit a fix today (4 Oct) and request an expedited review. Apple are swamped at the moment though, so this may take a while.

In the meantime, the only workaround is to turn off the password on your helper, though I understand that isn’t appropriate for everyone.

The other bug is the thoroughly ugly green background on the title in the main movie list (on iPhones only). I just want to assure you that this is an error rather than terrible taste…

my apologies for the inconvenience – I’ll get a fix out asap.

–update: 5th Oct

I submitted the fix on the 4th, and Apple have approved the expedited review request, so that should reduce the waiting time.

VLC Streamer iOS8 update

Things always break when there is a new version of iOS8, and this version has more changes than most.

I have been working on a huge rebuild of VLC Streamer which adds a bundle of new features and completely revamps the UI. Amongst other things, this makes it much easier to transfer movies through iTunes, and lets you tag movies to arrange them into groups/folders.

I had hoped to release this as a beta using Apple’s new TestFlight system. This is an excellent new system which promises to allow up to 1000 beta testers to try new apps before they are fully released. I had hoped this would mean that the new version got a thorough test, and I could fix anything I missed before pushing the update to everyone.

Unfortunately, my plans have been halted by the fact that Apple haven’t enabled this functionality yet.

This means that I need to wait for an Apple review before the new version goes live. That’s likely to take 5-10 days.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in signing up to be a beta tester when Apple does release the new system, please join the mailing list here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/hobbyist-software-beta-testing

thanks for your patience!

VLC Remote iOS8 update

Things always break when there is a new version of iOS8, and this version has more changes than most.

I do have an updated version of VLC Remote which makes use of some of the new features, and updates a whole bundle of small things to work with the new screen sizes.

I had hoped to release this as a beta using Apple’s new TestFlight system. This is an excellent new system which promises to allow up to 1000 beta testers to try new apps before they are fully released. I had hoped this would mean that the new version got a thorough test, and I could fix anything I missed before pushing the update to everyone.

Unfortunately, my plans have been halted by the fact that Apple haven’t enabled this functionality yet.

This means that I need to wait for an Apple review before the new version goes live. That’s likely to take 5-10 days.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in signing up to be a beta tester when Apple does release the new system, please join the mailing list here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/hobbyist-software-beta-testing

thanks for your patience!

Do you want to be a beta tester on iOS8?

iOS8 promises a new way for people to beta test apps where you can easily test beta versions of apps.

The TestFlight app which enables this is already available in the US Appstore.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/testflight/id899247664?mt=8

We have been working hard on new versions for iOS8 and plan to release these as betas as soon as Apple allows it.

If you’d like to take part in testing, then please join our new beta-testing google group.

http://hobbyistsoftware.com/beta

We’ll pull your email address from the group and add you to the testing list.

thank you!

Update: iOS8 is live, but Apple hasn’t started the public beta testing system yet. They are labelling it as ‘coming soon’. Please sign up using the link above and we’ll let you know when it goes live.

 

 

iOS7 update 4

VLC Streamer 3.02 was approved by Apple on the 18th October.

This fixes the issue related to movies that had been copied to the device requiring a wifi connection to play.

There is one new issue, but it has a quick workaround. If you’re streaming over airplay, then when the screen turns off on your iPad/iPhone, the streaming stops. The workaround is to use the old player when using airplay. To do this, open the settings tab and select ‘use old movie player’.

I should have this issue fixed shortly.

Thank you for your patience.