Meet Alyssa

I know, it’s been a while. Apart from sporadic responses to support mails (and tweets) there’s not been much activity on the Radbox development front, and now would be a good time to share what’s been going on.

When we started Radbox on the web our end-game was to build a great video experience across platforms, from handhelds to large TV screens. Earlier this year after a pretty long development cycle we shipped Radbox for iPads, and offered integrations via an API, feeds and an XBMC plugin. This made your Radbox queue viewable on televisions (via XBMC, Boxee) as well as iPads (which at that time meant more than 90% of the tablet market).

While Radbox continues to do well on the web with zero marketing effort, the iPad app didn’t get a lot of traction for various reasons. Perhaps the experience was sub-optimal, although as a user I’ve spent countless hours watching my Radbox queue as well as curated (buzzword, sorry) lists when I was too tired to read. Our inexperience in the mobile app market didn’t help either.

As we had little fuel in the tank, we started exploring other things. We knew we were almost on track with Radbox from a product perspective, but it needed some more work, a few more iterations. Today we’d like to introduce you to our next iteration in a great video experience - Alyssa. Alyssa is the name of one of our earliest and most active users. This is her third year with the service, and last time we checked she had added more than 5000 videos to her queue. Since naming an app, like naming a company or a band, is so hard, we decided to borrow her name for the app. As a bonus, it works really well with the app branding.

We’re aiming to ship the app this coming January (assuming the world doesn’t end as scheduled). If you’d like to help test it out on your iOS device, please add your email to the list. Android fans out there - till we are confident we’ve nailed the iOS version we don’t plan to spend resources on an Android version. When that happens, you’ll get Alyssa for your shiny Nexus 7s and Kindle Fires.

There will be some edits to the Radbox web application. Most importantly, we’re considering dropping Facebook and Twitter auto-import, and focus only on manually added videos. The way these services keep changing their APIs and policies makes it a lot of work to keep everything running smoothly.

At the risk of sounding like an Oscar acceptance speech, we’d like to thank everyone (Guy Sie, Bruno R., Jason Karns, Brajesh and several others) and look forward to wowing you with the next instalment. For questions or feedback, mail me directly at aditya@radbox.me.

Happy holidays!

[Announcement]: Temporarily unavailable on App Store

We’re migrating our app across accounts in the App Store, and due to some paperwork issues the Radbox app is unavailable in the App Store.

This situation is temporary, and we’ll be back up as soon as we get this thing with Apple settled.

Apologies!

[Feature] Email a video directly to a list

This tiny little addition to your Radbox experience makes it easy to add videos to a list directly by including the list name in the mail subject.

It’s easy to email a link to Radbox to add a video to your queue. Let’s say you have a list called TED Talks to which you want to add videos directly, skipping your Home queue. All this takes is adding [TED Talks] anywhere to the mail subject. It’s case insensitive so you can also use [ted talks] for the same results.

Tiny but useful, right? Let us know what you think.

[New Feature]: Save ANY link to Radbox

Remember the time when a nice video came by, you hit the bookmarklet and got an annoying “No video found!” response? Not any more.

Yesterday we rolled out a feature which saves links as plain bookmarks in case Radbox can’t parse videos from those links. These are saved to a new Bookmarks section, easily accessed from your sidebar (see screenshots).

Check it out! It even works for videos added via email, Google Reader or API. You’ll never miss a video again.

XBMC plugin gets lists, lazy-mode is optional

A happy Friday to all Radbox + XBMC fans out there! We’re happy to tell you that an update to our XBMC plugin was rolled out this week, with two additions you cared about the most:

  • Lists: You can browse your Radbox videos through lists, and yes, it works like a charm!
  • Lazy-mode is optional: A plugin setting allows you to turn off lazy-mode which throws you into an unlimited playback of your Radbox queue. This should make you control freaks power users very happy. ;)

Here’s what XBMC plugin looks like in Eden:

Like it? Be a sport and tweet this. :)

adsahay:

Economies are made in bedrooms not markets!

Hans Rosling explains world population growth using mugs.

(~via Curiosity Counts)

(Reblogged from adsahay)

Sometimes, I’m so cool, that it makes the other kids feel bad.

Eric Cartman talks to NPR. Awesome, as expected.

Watch web videos later on your TV using XBMC and Radbox plugin

Hope the new year’s treating you well. We’re happy to announce an official plugin for all you XBMC users out there. :-)

So far there was an unofficial plugin built by the awesome Popeye with help from Radbox super-user Guy Sie, but now we’ve stepped up to provide and maintain an official version.

Installing the plugin

1. Download the plugin for Dharma or Eden. 2. Install via System -> Add-ons -> Install from zip file OR move the plugin.video.radbox directory into your addons directory.

  1. Install the plugin via the official video add-on repository in XBMC.

  2. Launch the plugin, and type in your remote-friendly super-compact QuickUrl username.

Note: This will upgrade your existing installation of the Radbox (unofficial) plugin.

Features

  • Works with YouTube, Vimeo and CollegeHumor for now. Will add support for more sources soon (for example, TED plugin has bugs which will have to be fixed before we can support it).
  • Plays videos directly from your main queue in a linear fashion. No support for lists yet. Supports lists too.

More features to come in subsequent versions.

So sit back and enjoy your Radbox stream on TV via XBMC!

[Fixed] Unable to copy bookmarklet code in iPhone/iPad

(Big thanks to Salim and Marc for reporting).

Those of you with iPhones, iPod touches and iPads on iOS 5 or later have been unable to Select and Copy the bookmarklet as per our bookmarklet installation guide. The reason is a bug in iOS 5 that prevents read-only text areas to be selectable. As a temporary solution the text-area with the bookmarklet code is now editable, which means you’ll see an unnecessary keyboard when trying to copy the bookmarklet. There’s also a chance that you select and accidentally edit the contents, in which case it is best to reload the page and try again.

Apologies for not catching this sooner. We’ve filed a bug with Apple so hopefully they’ll fix it soon.

[Fixed] Bookmarklet problem on YouTube

Hi all,

We’ve got reports that the bookmarklet is not working reliably on YouTube for many Chrome users. We’ve got someone looking into the issue, and will update soon.

Fixed

In Chrome build 16 or later, many bookmarklets including Radbox, Evernote and Instapaper may not work on YouTube. The reason is that Chrome automatically installs a YouTube app which results in a bug preventing the browser to reach the bookmarklet source.

The solution is to remove the YouTube app. Open a new tab in Chrome, hit “Apps” at bottom, and remove the YouTube app as shown below:

This should allow all bookmarklets to start working perfectly with Chrome. Google Chrome stealthily installing apps in your browser might remind you of bloatware from the past (remember the time when Yahoo! Messenger installed a bunch of toolbars and addons you didn’t care about?), but that’s a debate for another day.