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#51 Posted by LordAndrew (14424 posts) -

For those that want the app to other things besides video, I am working on a Giant Bomb app that will hopefully do whatever you like. There's also an older app available on the store called Giant Bomb Beta. It's no longer receiving regular updates, but it works.

#52 Edited by finnith (23 posts) -

Yeah since interviews have been more common I've been wishing that the app could pull that in as well, if not only for playing on an external player.

#53 Posted by psylah (2162 posts) -

@soup_menu: No problem. Since the new Nex7 is about to be out, I'll probably risk the upgrade soon knowing that if I brick it I can buy that new one.

#54 Posted by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@kierkegaard: Thanks, man!

At least for now I think the Video Buddy is likely to stay focused on video. One of the big stumbling blocks with news/articles and podcasts is that they aren't currently available through the API. The most reliable way to get at them would most likely be the RSS feeds, and at that point I sort of feel like I'd be writing a single-site RSS reader or podcatcher.

If you're looking for a good app for podcasts, I personally like AntennaPod. For RSS feeds I've been using InoReader. They don't have an Android app yet, but they're working on one.

#55 Posted by onarum (2016 posts) -

Nice app, I missed the fist time you posted it here, glad someone brought the thread back up.

fun fact, I searched simply for "giantbomb", found it, but the search also brought Cook, Serve, Delicious! , the reason for that is that the dev put some snippets of what was said on the quicklook in the game's description, one if them being "This seems like a cool game... I just want a corndog - Jeff Gerstmann, Giantbomb.com"

Dunno just though that to be funny :P

Also it's a pretty good port, didn't even knew he was doing a android version, I actually prefer playing it on the phone rather than with a keyboard.

#56 Posted by Djratchet (668 posts) -

@soup_menu I love the app, thanks for all the hard work you put into it. Will you be adding Chromecast support? it would be a killer feature!

Until it is officially supported, you can just open certain videos with the Youtube option. It doesn't work for all the vids, I know, but it's better than nothing

#57 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

Love the app - though, lately I've been getting a lot of "insufficient space errors" when downloading. When I go to the download queue and then hit resume download, the downloads work as normal. Not sure what's going on there, maybe it not resorting to saving to the SD card after finding insufficient space on the internal phone?

#58 Posted by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@zero_: In general, storing files is a little weird on devices that have both internal flash and an SD card because Android's official support for multiple storage volumes is basically non-existent. When I want to save a file I don't get to say "put this on the SD Card." Instead I have to ask for whatever the phone considers the "external storage." People have put together some third party libraries that try to allow more fine-grained control, but they tend to come with disclaimers about how it should be assumed that they don't cover all devices due to undocumented manufacturer implementations.

What makes your case extra strange is that you're able to hit resume and have it work. The "insufficient space" error gets raised because before I start writing data I check to see if there's enough storage space to finish the download. I do the same check whether I'm starting a download or resuming one, so I would have expected the operation to either pass every time or fail every time. Would you mind letting me know what phone you're using? The way phone manufactures have implemented support for multiple storage volumes isn't well documented, but it never hurts to look.

#59 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

Version 1.0.3 Available

  • Added an option to hide trailers from the Latest category.
  • Added an option to dim the title of videos that have already been watched.
  • Video details screens will now show how much of the video has been watched in addition to the total run time.
  • Fixed a crash in the Download Manager when running under Honeycomb on a tablet.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I fixed the crash @psylah was running into.

#60 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

Version 1.0.3 Available

  • Added an option to hide trailers from the Latest category.
  • Added an option to dim the title of videos that have already been watched.
  • Video details screens will now show how much of the video has been watched in addition to the total run time.

Thanks for the update. 3/3 on features that I will take advantage of.

#61 Posted by ThePickle (4153 posts) -

Great app. Having this big ass Note II screen is paying off in a real way right now.

#62 Posted by Chrtrptnt (7 posts) -

This app is fantastic except for not being able to specify download locations. It automatically saves to /sdcard which is my onboard flash memory. My sd card is at /storage/extsdcard. As my flash memory is only 4 gigs this means I have to delete everything after I watch it and not be able to download more than one or two if I'm lucky. Note that I have a Samsung galaxy tab 2 and I realize it's probably not as simple as just changing something simple.

#63 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

@soup_menu: I've got a Galaxy Note II with 16GBs internal and a 16GB external storage.

#64 Edited by Andorski (5191 posts) -

Sorry if this has been asked before @soup_menu, but is there a reason why the app (on iOS) cannot download videos when on 3G? Is that an Apple or ATT policy?

#65 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@zero_: @chrtrptnt: Samsung's Galaxy devices are pretty popular, so it may behoove me to look into supporting multiple storage volumes. Would you guys be willing to act as beta testers?

@andorski: It's Apple policy that apps wanting to stream video over a cellular connection must use HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) to do so. The Giant Bomb API doesn't provide access to the videos via HLS, so I unfortunately have to block streaming when you aren't on WiFi. For videos that are available on YouTube you can jump over to that app and, since you're a premium member, you can download the videos whenever you like, but unless something changes, in-app streaming over the cell network is verboten.

#66 Edited by Zero_ (1973 posts) -
#67 Posted by Chrtrptnt (7 posts) -
#68 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

Would it be difficult to implement the Android sharing fuction and point it at the .mp4 files, both remote and locally downloaded? I ask because I've spent the day playing around with Yatse which acts as an Android remote and interface for XBMC. It's pretty amazing and a rare 5/5 stars on the Play Store (it's in good company with GBVB) for a reason. I love this thing.

It has a function to send videos to XBMC using the share button. For example, I can be in the YouTube or dailymotion apps, hit the share button, choose Yatse's Send to XBMC, and the video starts playing on my TV. I used GBVB to download a video to my device and used the share feature in my file manager to send it to XBMC and it worked perfectly. I then went to the GB mobile site, hit the download button, and choose to "save" the file with send to XBMC and it streamed great, though it's a very cumbersome way to do things. Basically it turns XBMC into a Chromecast. I know there are XBMC users on GB who may find this useful.

Someone (not me) recorded a video of this feature in action for demonstration.

I could use the Giant Bomb XBMC plugin through the app, but the interface, due to XBMC's limitations, not the plugin's, isn't nearly as nice and easy to navigate as yours, especially with the ability to filter trailers out of latest. I can use the YouTube app to send GB videos, but as a subscriber this doesn't completely cover everything that I watch and would mean redundant bandwidth use on anything that I'd already downloaded. I think that your app with the sharing feature would be the best way to watch Giant Bomb videos through XBMC on a TV. If you think it would be easy to do it could work as a long press of the download button to avoid cluttering up your interface.

And on the topic of being able to change the download location, my Motorola device also has low internal storage and I'd be happy to beta test that feature.

#69 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@louiedog: @chrtrptnt: @zero_: Thanks for signing up to be guinea pigs. Since it don't have a device with both internal storage and an SD Card on hand this is a bit of a shot in the dark, but check out this beta. If I've gotten it right, you should see a new option at the bottom of the settings screen called "Save to SD Card" and enabling it will cause future downloads to go to your SD Card instead of the internal storage. Fingers crossed.

Adding a 'Share' button seems like it ought to be doable. I'll add it to my list of features to investigate.

#70 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

@soup_menu: Worked fine on my Motorola whose external sd card mounts at /storage/sdcard1/. It created the android/data/<app>/files/videos/ folder structure on the SD card. I tried multiple videos and qualities and verified that they were indeed ending up in that created folder. Thanks for putting that feature in.

#71 Posted by Chrtrptnt (7 posts) -

@soup_menu: same results as louiedog on my end. Thanks a bunch for the quick turnaround on that. This will vastly improve my slow work weekends. My device has a different sdcard location and it found it no problem. I'll let you know if anything gets jacked up or anything. Thanks again.

#72 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@louiedog: @chrtrptnt: Awesome! I'll probably hold off on pushing it out through Google Play until at least next week just in case one of you guys comes across some huge bug, but that shouldn't be terribly likely. Thanks again for testing it out.

#73 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

@soup_menu: So I've played around with the beta a bit - the option to save to SD card works for me. sdcard0 is my phone's internal storage, while extCard is the sd card directory - and the videos are indeed saved on the SD card. However, for whatever reason - in the Android Application manager, your application shows that >2.6GBs is on "SD Card" when I only had 1-2 videos to test. It seems to be included the videos that aren't on the SD card as being on the SD card.

Additionally, the error about "not enough space" seems to be an unintended exception handling for when the internet connection drops out. I queued up 3 videos to download, and they were working fine. ~80% through the first download, my wifi dropped but the download manager said there was insufficient space. Pressing resume again while there was no active Wifi connection showed the correct error message of "there being no active connection". Turning on Wifi again and resuming resumed the download as normal.

#74 Posted by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@zero_: First off, thanks for testing that out. With three of you reporting a success I think I'll probably push an update to the Play Store this weekend.

Regarding the Application Manager not counting the videos on your SD Card, that's actually expected. It has to do with the three difference places that apps can save files:

  • The first is the "internal" storage. This is where the app is installed and it's not accessible to the user unless the device has been rooted. Anything stored there (I use it to store small files like the app's settings) is managed by the OS and gets deleted if the app is uninstalled.
  • The second place is the "external" storage. This is the android/data/<app>/ stuff you see on the internal flash or, if the phone doesn't have built-in storage, on an SD card. This is accessible to the user and it's where GBVB defaults to storing downloaded videos. As with the internal storage, this is managed by the OS and will get deleted if the app is uninstalled.
  • The developer can also opt to not use these special locations and instead write to the "external" storage device outside the android/data/<app>/ directory or on another device (in your case, the SD Card). The OS doesn't recognize these folders as part of the app's install, so it can't count them in the Application Manger's total. This also means that these folder will not be deleted when the app is uninstalled.

Thanks for expanding on the "not enough space" message again because now I actually understand what's going on! If a running download stops unexpectedly I throw up the "not enough space" error, but it actually could be that the connection crapped out too. Differentiating between the two may be more trouble than it's worth, but at the very least I'll update the message to say it could either be that you're out of space OR that your connection died.

#75 Posted by soup_menu (200 posts) -

Version 1.0.4 Available

  • Added an experimental setting to save downloads to the SD Card on devices with both an internal storage volume and a removable SD Card.
  • Long-pressing on the play button will now play the video in a third-party app.
  • Improved the wording on a potentially misleading error message.

@louiedog: Adding a Share button wasn't looking to be entirely straightforward. Normally you'd expect it to point off to a resource anyone could view, but in order for it to work with Yatse it would need to point to the file directly and sometimes that file would be on the local device. Happily, Yatse registers itself as a video player, so turning off the "Play in GBVB" setting would let you use its UPnP/AirPlay/XBMC functionality. Flipping that setting on and off for individual videos seemed like it would be a pain, so I added the long-press-the-play-button feature as a compromise. Give it a shot and let me know if it gets the job done.

#76 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

@soup_menu said:

Version 1.0.4 Available

  • Added an experimental setting to save downloads to the SD Card on devices with both an internal storage volume and a removable SD Card.
  • Long-pressing on the play button will now play the video in a third-party app.
  • Improved the wording on a potentially misleading error message.

@louiedog: Adding a Share button wasn't looking to be entirely straightforward. Normally you'd expect it to point off to a resource anyone could view, but in order for it to work with Yatse it would need to point to the file directly and sometimes that file would be on the local device. Happily, Yatse registers itself as a video player, so turning off the "Play in GBVB" setting would let you use its UPnP/AirPlay/XBMC functionality. Flipping that setting on and off for individual videos seemed like it would be a pain, so I added the long-press-the-play-button feature as a compromise. Give it a shot and let me know if it gets the job done.

That's a really smart and elegant solution. The send to XBMC feature works great and as a side effect I'm also getting something else that I wanted. I like playing videos through your app, but certain videos I'd rather play in mx player. It has the ability to just play audio with the app in the background which is how I prefer to get jar time and some other videos. Now I can leave all videos playing in app, but when one of those specific videos comes up I can long press to open them in mx player instead.

Thanks a lot!

#77 Edited by JJWeatherman (14557 posts) -

I had an idea that I'd find useful, and I think others may as well.

It would be super cool to have a sort of "watch later" option that would allow saving of videos to a separate list to keep track of for later. Similar to YouTube's Watch Later thing, or Netflix's Instant Queue.

Just a suggestion.

Also, since the latest update, upon opening the app, I'm getting the release notes auto-opening up in my Chrome browser, which seems like an error, as they're already printed at the top of the home page.

#78 Edited by FTomato (233 posts) -

@soup_menu: I'm also occasionally getting the release notes in Chrome (which is set as my default browser). I've noticed that every time it happened I've immediately swiped to the right to get the menu as the app is being opened, so it might be a related race condition, but I'm just speculating.

EDIT: NVM, I'm getting it without the swiping as well. Seems to not happen when opening the app soon after closing it.

#79 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@ftomato: @jjweatherman: Could you guys let me know what device you're using and the version of Android you're running? I have a rough idea of why you might be seeing that behavior, but if there's a common device or OS version that may help me pin it down.

A Watch Later list is an interesting idea. It would be a decent bit of work, so it's probably not something I'll undertake in the near future, but I can definitely put it on my list of features to investigate down the line. Thanks for the suggestion!

#80 Edited by JJWeatherman (14557 posts) -

@ftomato: @jjweatherman: Could you guys let me know what device you're using and the version of Android you're running? I have a rough idea of why you might be seeing that behavior, but if there's a common device or OS version that may help me pin it down.

Nexuses 4 and (old) 7, both on 4.3.

Although when I just tested opening the app a second ago, it didn't open the chrome page. Tried force closing it and opening it a few more times, even cleared the cache, and can't seem to replicate the issue. When I first posted about this though, it was happening consistently. Mysterious.

#81 Posted by FTomato (233 posts) -
#82 Posted by soup_menu (200 posts) -
#83 Edited by Fuwano (113 posts) -
@soup_menu said:

Version 1.0.3 Available

  • Added an option to hide trailers from the Latest category.

I wish the site itself had that feature! Thank you so much!

#84 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

I thought I'd chime in and mention that earlier this week I flashed CyanogenMod 10.1 (4.2.2) onto my Motorola Photon Q. CM repopulated most of my existing apps, including this one, back onto my phone, but without data or anything so it's basically a new installation. The first time that I opened up GBVB after that it opened the notes in Chrome. It never did that before on the 4.1.2 buld from Motorola and hasn't since.

#85 Posted by kaos_cracker (569 posts) -

@soup_menu: Hey, just wanted to say I really enjoy this app, keep up the good work!

#86 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

Version 1.0.5 Available

Added a button to manually mark videos as watched.

Version 1.0.6 Available

Bug fixes

#87 Edited by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

@soup_menu: Hi soup - I remember in a recent update, you forced writing to an external storage on some devices that incorrectly report internal storage as external storage. I'm an Android developer myself and am having the same issue: my app should write to the external SD card storage (extcard), but is writing to the sdcard0 directory. How did you force it to write to the SD card, and does this problem only persist in Samsung devices? (We're currently testing on Note 2). The line of code is:

String root = Environment.getExternalStorageDirectory().toString();

myDir = new File(root + "/DeltaPAT_files");

#88 Posted by NumberThree (11 posts) -

Heya! Are you working on Chromecast support? I just ordered the dongle, so I'd like to have a go and see if I can make it work in a standalone app. If I manage to develop something usable, I'd very much like to share it with you.

#89 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@zero_: I ended up using Environment2, a library that parses the vold.fstab and vold.conf files to find all of the mounted filesystems and then exposes them in a manor similar to Android's Environment class. The documentation is in German, but the code is pretty easy to follow and everything worked as expected. The author hasn't specified a license, so you'll need to contact him directly to obtain permission to use it, but he seemed like a nice guy, so I suspect that a polite email would probably be all you need.

@numberthree: Chromecast seems like it could potentially be interesting, but it's not something I'm actively investigating right now. My current thought is to wait until the SDK makes it past being a Developer Preview and then see where things stand. If you do end up making something I'd love to see it. I haven't had a ton of time for experimentation lately, so getting to peek at a Chromecast project could be fun.

#90 Posted by NumberThree (11 posts) -

So, I got my Chromecast dongle a couple of weeks ago, and it was really simple to get Giant Bomb videos working by taking their sample app and replacing the hardcoded video URLs with URLs from the site - I had an HD Quick Look playing on my TV in no time. The difficult part is doing all the API magic to fetch the videos, as I have no experience with that sort of stuff.

I'm going to be a bit busy for the next week or so since I'm moving, but I'm dabbling with it every now and then, making progress tiny bit at a time. With the site's video player being what it is, watching videos with Chromecast is quite enjoyable - hopefully this thing catches on and Google opens its API so anyone can release consumer software for it.

#91 Posted by Codicier (21 posts) -

Just downloaded the app now to my new tablet and it's pretty great. For the mark as watched button would it be possible to make it so that hitting it again will unmark the video as watched? I marked a video as watched before I knew what the button did and now I don't know how to get it back to the unwatched state.

Thanks for your work on the app!

#92 Posted by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@codicier: Toggling the watched state is something I can keep in mind for a future release. In the mean time, if you start playing a video (even for a second or two) it will reset it to be unwatched. If you then watch that video all the way through it will get marked as watched again.

#93 Posted by BlackLagoon (1383 posts) -

Would it be possible to add some kind of gesture to lock/unlock the controls during playback? I've been meaning to ask about this for a while because while watching videos in bed, I'll occasionally be holding the phone at an awkward angle and accidentally touch the time slider causing the video to jump to another part. And now, having gotten myself a waterproof phone, it's even more an issue since while the phone works just fine in the rain, water droplets will activate the touch screen and frequently make videos skip like crazy.

Anyway, thanks for continuing to work on the app. Really appreciate your work!

Online
#94 Posted by SuperKcross (89 posts) -

Any way to make the videos play in the background/ with the screen off like on the iOS version? Sometimes I just need some background noise.

#95 Posted by GS_Dan (1402 posts) -

I know this is a big ask, but have you looked into Chromecast integration at all? I've been looking for ways to watch GB videos on my TV (premium ones obviously aren't on YouTube) which don't involve a HTPC or a prior download to the home server.

Love the app :)

#96 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

Any way to make the videos play in the background/ with the screen off like on the iOS version? Sometimes I just need some background noise.

I do this often as well. I use 2 apps - one called TouchScreen (I think) that turns off all touch screen so you can't accidentally press anything, and another app called ScreenOff where you can adjust the brightness of the screen even more than the default. Together with the two, I have GB videos running in the background while I do things.

#97 Posted by Sammo21 (3212 posts) -

@soup_menu: Thanks for sharing. I am going to download this to my tablet asap.

#98 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@blacklagoon: That's a fairly specific use case, so while I can certainly keep it it mind, I don't think it's likely to reach the top of my list in the near term. Happily, in a post a few down from yours, @zero_ described an app that sounds like it might do the trick. Although I haven't used either one, Screen Lock and No Touch both look promising.

@superkcross: With Apple's media framework you pretty much get background playback for free and, unfortunately, it's not quite as straightforward on Android. I'm not sure if you'll see it rolled in as an official feature, but one way to achieve the same goal would be to long-press on the play button to pass the video off to another player. I know that some media players like MX Player have an option to continue video playback in the background, so if you're willing to add another app into the mix, you could start getting that functionality right now.

@gs_dan: Chromecast has the potential to be very interesting, but it's still a bit early to really dive in. The SDK is still in flux, which stymies development a bit, but an even bigger issues is that Google is currently requiring that developers register each Chromecast device they want their app to work with which effectively blocks distribution. When the SDK comes out of developer preview I do want to take a look, but there isn't too much I can do until then. In the mean time, you might consider looking into XBMC. It runs on quite a few different types of hardware and, if you look earlier in this thread, @louiedog mentions that he uses an Android app called Yatse to send content--including videos from GBVB--to it. I'm not sure if it would be as seamless as Chromecast is looking to be, but I think it might fit the bill.

#99 Posted by SuperKcross (89 posts) -

@soup_menu: I see thanks. Another question: why isn't the time/ notification center displayed when I tap on the video?

#100 Edited by soup_menu (200 posts) -

@superkcross: Broadly, the player was set up to hide as much of the UI as possible in order to maximize screen real estate for the video. Since the Navigation Bar reappears when tapped, I suppose it would make sense for the Status Bar to reappear too, so you may well see that change in a future update.

Thanks for the question!