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#1 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

I'm the developer of Whiskey Media Video Buddy, a free Android app that aims to make watching videos from any of the five Whiskey Media sites as convenient as possible. It was initially released on September 16 and I've continued working on it since then. With last night's release of v1.2 it now contains every major feature I had planned. What are those features? I'm glad you asked...

Everyone is able to:

  • Watch public videos from all 5 Whiskey Media sites
  • Save their position in each video so they can easily resume later

Those with paid Whiskey Media memberships also get to:

  • Watch the subscriber-only videos
  • Access the HD version of each video
  • Download videos for convenient offline viewing

Since the major development work is done I thought now would be a good time to try to spread the word, so I'm posting threads in the forums for each Whiskey site. There's been a thread on the Tested forums for a while so you can pop over there if you're interested in seeing more details about each release. Better yet, you should head on over to the Android Market so you can try out Whiskey Media Video Buddy for yourself!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to post a reply, PM me, send me an email, tweet at @cszucko, or hit me up any other way you can think of.

#2 Posted by zameer (606 posts) -

Bumping this to help ya out, your work is definitely appreciated!

#3 Posted by rahulricky (264 posts) -

it is a very handy app, very quick too

#4 Posted by GeekwithSwagg (1 posts) -

This is awesome, thanks for this!

#5 Posted by jozzy (2035 posts) -

I will try this later, is it also optimized for android tablets?

#6 Posted by Vexxan (4612 posts) -

I don't have an Android phone but this sure looks awesome.

#7 Posted by reddjoey (43 posts) -

Thanks, installing it now.

#8 Posted by natetodamax (19219 posts) -

Pretty awesome duder! Only complaint is that loading up an HD video can take quite a while since it has to authenticate the membership and then load the video at that quality. Still, it's functional, which is great!

#9 Posted by giziant (5 posts) -

Nice app sir, I've been using it and it's great.

#10 Posted by sirchode (63 posts) -

Okay, I'll be that guy: This looks rad, will there be an iOS version?

#11 Posted by Rawrnosaurous (758 posts) -

By far the better of the two Giantbomb android apps, (not disparaging the other app as that one allows you a wider variety of things but is solely focused on Giantbomb)

I downloaded the app on the day you released it, and it's become one of my favorite apps. Great work Duder.

#12 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@jozzy: Yup. It has a grid-layout on large screens to take advantage of the extra space and will use Honeycomb-style menus if you're running 3.0+

@natetodamax: The process is a little slower than I'd like, but it's the best way to protect the premium content at the moment. If/when a better option opens up I'll implement it, but for now security has to take priority.

@sirchode: Probably not from me. I'm not currently equipped for iOS development and that's unlikely to change any time soon. Sorry.

And thanks to everyone for checking it out!

#13 Posted by Moth_Pope (458 posts) -

Just downloaded it myself. Seems nice and functional so far and the ability to login with my premium account makes it all the better. Great work, and thanks.

#14 Edited by Forcen (1855 posts) -

I find myself watching more and more quick looks on the toilet because of you.

#15 Posted by Hendrix27x (2 posts) -

Brilliant app! Thanks for the hard work!

#16 Posted by mrlogical (30 posts) -

Any chance this will be available in the Amazon Android Marketplace? I'd like to get this for my Kindle Fire, and am too dumb to mess with figuring out how to get sideloading working.

#17 Edited by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@mrlogical: There are a couple of terms in the developer agreement for Amazon's Appstore that I'm not crazy about (notably the annual fee, since I'm only distributing free apps), so I haven't signed up yet, but maybe I can meet you halfway. I've uploaded the installer for Whiskey Media Video Buddy v1.3.1 here and if you follow Ryan Whitwam's tutorial on Tested you should be in business.

If you do give that a try, please let me know if everything works. I expect it should, but since I don't have access to a Fire I can't say for certain.

#18 Edited by soup_menu (228 posts) -

Some of you have already noticed that, as of yesterday afternoon, Tested's videos are no longer available through Whiskey Media Video Buddy. This is because, following their sale to BermanBraun, they have relaunched the site and disabled API access. Andy McCurdy has confirmed via Twitter that this will be the case for the foreseeable future and that Screened and Anime Vice will be following suit at some point down the line.

In addition to disabling access to their video archive, the Tested redesign broke compatibility with the way Whiskey Media Video Buddy logs you in. I've just released version 1.4.4 which fixes the login issue and should minimize the impact of any future changes to API availability.

The next month is likely to be a little bumpy as the sites go their separate ways, but I plan on supporting Whiskey Media Video Buddy for as long as possible. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don't hesitate to drop me a line.

________________________________________

Edit (April 16): It looks like the database split has happened and, unfortunately, it's broken compatibility with the way Whiskey Media Video Buddy has been handling logins. I'm not sure when I'm going to have time to work on a new login system so, for the time being, I've de-listed the app. However, if you already have the app and have signed in, it will continue to work for the foreseeable future.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

________________________________________

Edit (April 29): aaaand we're back. I had some time to code up a new login process so the app is back in the Google Play App Store as of this morning. Thanks for bearing with me.

#19 Posted by MB (13095 posts) -

I mentioned this app in another thread where people were discussing how they watch Giant Bomb videos - this free app is great watching movies on Android and iOS devices. Give it a shot!

Moderator
#20 Posted by Ley_Lines (261 posts) -

I can't speak to the quality of the Android app but the ios app is great. It's my primary way of consuming Giant Bomb videos.

#21 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@MB: Thanks for the endorsement!

@Ley_Lines: Thank you, too.

#22 Edited by BlackLagoon (1460 posts) -

@soup_menu: Hey, thanks for the app, I love it and practically use it every day!

If I may make a feature request though... Would it be possible to add the ability to lock the player in one perspective? Sideways in particular? Because I usually keep the auto rotate screen option off since I browse the web a lot on my phone lying down which seems to confuse the gyro/motion sensor thingy, but that causes the player to default to the smaller upright view which I never use.

#23 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@BlackLagoon: I think I've already got you covered. If you head into the app's settings (menu-button > Settings from the main screen) and turn on Force Landscape videos will play in landscape mode regardless of device orientation.

#24 Posted by Cheesebob (1249 posts) -

I use this app a hell of a lot. Quality App!

#25 Posted by BlackLagoon (1460 posts) -

@soup_menu: Ah, I always go straight to the Giant Bomb section so I never found that settings menu.

#26 Posted by churrific (485 posts) -

Thanks! Super handy.

#27 Posted by SeanFoster (889 posts) -

Been using this app for a year mostly on my iPad. It's great for queuing up several videos before a trip or for making a little playlist and watching through the TV.

#28 Posted by ABritishNerd (318 posts) -

@MB: Thanks again for the recommendation.

@soup_menu: Any timeline on iPhone 5 support? If it's coming at all. It's fantastic on my iPad though.

#29 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@ABritishNerd: iPhone 5 support is definitely on my radar, but I've been swamped with other work lately. From what I've seen it should be an easy fix and I think I'll have some time to look at it later this week, but it'll still need to make its way through the App Store approval process. Bottom line, I'm hoping to have something out within a few weeks.

#30 Posted by ABritishNerd (318 posts) -

@soup_menu: Thanks a bunch :D

#31 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

I've been using this on my Samsung Galaxy Tab for about a year, works great.

#32 Posted by Snail (8661 posts) -

@soup_menu: Reading these great things about this app is really making me wish it was available on the Windows Phone marketplace. Any chance of that happening ever?

#33 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@Snail: I'm afraid I don't have any plans for a Windows Phone version at this time.

#34 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@ABritishNerd: Looks like I was able to beat my target of "a few weeks." Version 1.0.2 is out now and includes support for the iPhone 5's larger screen.

#35 Posted by LochNessie82 (35 posts) -

Love the Android version! I use it every day to check for new videos and I have my 2 favorite Quick Looks permanently downloaded. It was fabulous to use last Christmas when I was traveling far away from my computer and a decent internet connection. My husband and I were able to stay up-to-date with the Brono Trigger ER and all the GotY videos. Thanks so much for a great, great app!!

#36 Edited by myketuna (1756 posts) -

I love your app (Android user here). Really simple and clean and it's never crashed or given me errors. Shit is nice.

#37 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

I love the app but I recently noticed a problem. When I try to stream a video I get an error. "Playback Failed. Your device may not be capable of playing this file. Please try selecting a lower quality." This happens with all qualities. I can download and play the videos just fine.

Streaming used to work just fine, but it's been weeks since the last time I watched one. The only change on my end that I can think of is that I've rooted my phone since my last stream. I haven't done any serious changes, just deleting some bloatware, some google apps, and making a few apps into system apps. I've tried deleting and reinstalling WMVB. I've reinstalled Google Play Movies in case it was some codec thing. No dice. Any ideas?

#38 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@louiedog: Strange. I haven't made any changes to the Android app lately and, as far as I know, the Giant Bomb servers haven't changed either. That would seem to implicate something on your device. My first guess would have been a codec issue, but since you're able to play downloaded files that doesn't seem like it could be the case.

The "Your device may not be capable of playing this file. Please try selecting a lower quality" message gets shown whenever the video player stops playback and reports an error. Up until now I've only seen that happen when an older device is trying to play HD content. I know this is terribly vague, but it seems like some change is preventing the video player from correctly communicating with the Giant Bomb servers. You might want to try undoing some of the changes--particularly ones related to video or networking--and see if anything restores streaming.

If you get things up and running again I'd definitely be interested in hearing what the cause was.

#39 Posted by BlackLagoon (1460 posts) -

@soup_menu: I get it occasionally while watching a video, I'm guessing when my connection becomes too poor to stream the content. I usually just load up the video again, and it's fine (though it's a bit annoying that it forgets where I was, and that it doesn't show your current timecode when the "Your device..." message appears).

#40 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

@soup_menu said:

@louiedog: Strange. I haven't made any changes to the Android app lately and, as far as I know, the Giant Bomb servers haven't changed either. That would seem to implicate something on your device. My first guess would have been a codec issue, but since you're able to play downloaded files that doesn't seem like it could be the case.

The "Your device may not be capable of playing this file. Please try selecting a lower quality" message gets shown whenever the video player stops playback and reports an error. Up until now I've only seen that happen when an older device is trying to play HD content. I know this is terribly vague, but it seems like some change is preventing the video player from correctly communicating with the Giant Bomb servers. You might want to try undoing some of the changes--particularly ones related to video or networking--and see if anything restores streaming.

If you get things up and running again I'd definitely be interested in hearing what the cause was.

Thanks for the reply. I've been trying to work backwards and figure out what changes I've made. That includes restoring my hosts file, making sure the app wasn't listed in any of my data blocking apps (I have a limited plan and try to control it tightly), etc. Knowing that it could be a communications issue should help me narrow it down.

edit: I've used titanium backup to freeze any app that might be capable of blocking data and it still doesn't work. It might also be worth noting that if I click on a video from the mobile site they open just fine in mx player.

edit 2: Also, it gives me the error immediately when I choose the video quality. It doesn't seem like it's trying for awhile and then timing out or anything like that.

edit 3: Definitely my device or network. I tried 3G again and it played fine. I guess the last time I tested that I just had a bad connection. I've had issues with my ISP and the DNS server they use in the past, but changing to google's on my phone didn't help. I'll try another wireless network in a bit. Hopefully it works there and I can rule out my phone, because I've already looked at everything on my phone that I can think of.

#41 Posted by blueaniman93 (604 posts) -

I've been using it on my tablet for a while now and it works great. Thanks for creating this app!

#42 Posted by NinjaBerd (221 posts) -

I didn't know about this...downloads... soup_menu you sir have improved life!!!

#43 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

After trying everything I can think of I've determined that problems with this app are on my home network. I haven't changed any settings in months. Everything else on my phone connects just fine. Are there any ports that I need to open up for this thing?

It's strange that I can download the file, presumably from the same URL, and I can stream it with another app on this network. I can use WMVB on a different wifi network as well.

#44 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@louiedog: That's definitely odd. It's all just using HTTP, so good ol' port 80 is all you should need. You're also right that downloading and streaming both point at the same URL. I'm not sure what's out there in terms of Android network sniffers, but you could try installing one and seeing if there's any difference in the request and response when trying to stream with WMVB and when doing something that works (downloading, streaming through another app, etc).

#45 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

We should probably be putting our positive remarks on the app's marketplace page, shouldn't we?

#46 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

@soup_menu: I just downloaded and ran Network Log that I found on xda. I then ran WMVB both on my wifi and then on mobile data. The difference between that I could see from the log was that it didn't get to the point where media (appid 1013) started up.

I downloaded a traffic sniffer and opened up the log file in wireshark but I have no idea what I'm looking for.

#47 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@louiedog: Unfortunately, I don't have a rooted device at my disposal so I don't know that there's a whole lot more I can do to assist in debugging.

#48 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

I never got my issue resolved but I do have a new phone so it no longer matters. I have a request if you're planning an update due to any api changes for the new site. My phone has a 16x9 display. Unfortunately GB videos don't play full screen because of the soft keys. Newer video apps tend to have an option to hide the soft keys in full screen video. Being able to launch streams in an external app would also work. Obviously this is very minor, but if you're going to revisit the app for the new site I thought it was worth asking.

#49 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@louiedog: I haven't had a chance to look at the updates to the API yet, but I can definitely make a note to look into hiding the soft keys during video playback when I do. Thanks for the request.

#50 Posted by soup_menu (228 posts) -

@louiedog: Over the weekend I had a chance to update the app to be able to completely hide the soft keys during video playback and have just submitted a new build to Google Play. It may take a few hours before the new version (1.4.6) is available.