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August 2007

August 28, 2007

Cozmo.tv Site Update Brewing

We have finalized the changes that we are going to make to the cozmo.tv site over the next few weeks. When we first released the cozmo.tv site back in December of 2006, we had intended for much of the viewing of channels to occur right at the site. Since the introduction of the widget, however, we have moved entirely away from using the site for viewing. The widget just does a much better job.

The new site will break up each function between watching and building channels and widgets. Most viewing should occur out at widgets on other sites, but if you want to just watch tv at cozmo.tv, you will be able to using the widget. But the tools for building and maintaining channels and widgets should be much easier and more logical. Look for the changes to into effect around the middle of September.

Aug 28, 2007 4:57:28 AM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 23, 2007

80 for 80 recipients

JamieLukeThis post has been a while in coming. We’ve had two more Wii winners purchase their Wiis and send in pictures. It’s great to see these guys finally get their Wiis. We’ve been downplaying the promotion a little until Wiis are finally easy to purchase here in SF, but sending PayPal transfers so that winners can purchase Wiis locally seems to have worked out fine. Anyway, sorry for all of the winners who had to wait a while to receive their units. Hopefully the receipt of the units will ease the pain…

Aug 23, 2007 11:47:35 PM in 80 for 80 Announcements | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Widget Updates

We’ve released some updates to the widget. We’re not quite finished yet. You’ll see the intro sequence is a bit different, but the most important differences are in the player controls and the channel/video selection.

First, the controls have now been consolidated and simplified. Rather than have the Back and Forward buttons at the top of the player, they are now next to the play/pause button in the master controller at the bottom of the player. We think this simplifies the control of the video and makes navigation within the channel much easier and more intuitive. 

Second, we have removed the ‘Channel’ and ‘Show’ sliders in favor of simply providing a ‘Channels’ and ‘Videos’ button at the top of the player. Clicking the Channel button takes you to a listing of all channels within the widget’s local network. Clicking ‘Videos’ takes you to a listing of all the videos within the channel you are currently watching. In the next week or so, we will be inserting a simple pop-up ‘Information’ screen that includes current channel and video information from a button in the bottom left hand corner of the player.

Third, navigating channels within the widget and videos within the channel should be easier. We have gotten rid of all the complex controls at the bottom of the player and opted for consistent navigation. Also, when you click on channel and video images, it will center that channel or image rather than instantly returning you to the player screen. This way you can ‘page’ through channels and videos faster. We have also moved the channel and video interaction buttons from the channel and video sliders into these pages. This makes the controls more obvious and also speeds the interaction with multiple channels and videos.

Finally, we are consolidating navigation between Featured, Popular, Favorites, Recent, and Created channels by moving them into the search screen. Before, search was hidden in the menu on the bottom left. The search screen is now more robust and provides more of a top level navigation theme. We hope this will make search within the widget considerably easier to use. This change should also be live within the next week or so along with some minor formatting changes in the pop-up menus and the addition of some new menus like ‘Delete Video from Channel’ and ‘Delete Channel from Widget’ which will become more useful as the people begin creating more channels and widgets outside of the cozmo.tv environment.

Anyway, we think the player is really coming together nicely.  It looks much cleaner and should be dramatically easier to use. Once we finish rolling in the remaining features we’ll start soliciting some feedback on how to tweak things. Oh, and we are aware of some bugs and we’re working on resolving them. The most frustrating has been the random skipping from video to video in a channel lineup. This has been a difficult bug to track down and is especially annoying when you are watching a great channel, but we’ll kill it and the rest of the issues as we re-factor the widget over the next month or so.

Aug 23, 2007 1:28:24 AM in Released Features | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 16, 2007

New 'Love Arcade' Widget Live

We just launched our second MySpace branded widget for Love Arcade. Go check it out over at www.myspace.com/lovearcade . We have four channels up within the widget and we’ll be announcing more over the coming weeks. Check it out!

Aug 16, 2007 6:03:45 PM in Widget Announcements | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 13, 2007

BBC World News on CozmoTV Rocks

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and watch some CozmoTV (besides very short test clips). The first thing I noticed was that there is a bug in the video playback auto advance mechanism. Most videos appear to skip at rather random intervals on to the next video in the lineup. Going back to find the spot where you left off in the last video sucks. This suckage is compounded when the video skips again. Grrrr.

 Anyway, we’ll resolve the issue. But the reason that I became aware of the issue was that I was watching a lot of BBC Worldwide clips. BBC is very familiar to me as I have spent some time in England, but I rarely watch the news when I’m on vacation. The BBC World News is really excellent. And it’s even better as a channel pulled from YouTube. There are a series of superb 1 to 4 minute synopses of stories worldwide. I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on in the world in about 20 minutes. I’d say this is faster and more thorough than my perusal of My Yahoo news.

If we can get rid of the skipping clips, I would say that BBC Worldwide on Cozmo rocks.

Aug 13, 2007 11:48:23 PM in Tips and Tricks | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2007

Gnomedex Widget

We just built a Gnomedex widget for the event this week. We’re looking forward to seeing the new videos post to the 2007 channel over the next few days.

Aug 8, 2007 9:46:09 PM in Widget Announcements | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Hellyeah Widget Live

We just went live with our first artist MySpace widget. You can tune in to Hellyeah TV over at www.myspace.com/hellyeah . This is the first of many artist widgets that we’ll be rolling out. Check it out and let me know what you think.

You’ll also notice a channel in the lineup called Hellyeah Guitar Contest. The way this channel works is that whenever you post a video to YouTube and tag it cozmotv:hellyeahairguitarcontest it will get posted to that channel automatically. Whomever uploads the best air guitar performance will win a guitar courtesy of Buddylube and Hellyeah. We’re going to be playing a lot with social channels driven by RSS and tags over the next few months so this will not be the last time you see this type of contest.

You can also see that we updated the default CozmoTV widget at the top of the page. Check out the new featured channels lineup. We’ve got some great channels in there. More to come…

Aug 8, 2007 9:27:46 PM in Widget Announcements | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 07, 2007

We're Live

Ouch, 5 days of downtime to get this release up.

Well, it doesn’t look all that different from the last release, but there is a whole bunch of new stuff now working on the back end. We have gone live with the updates that I mentioned in the ‘Baby Release’ post last week. There are still a few things that need to get fixed up and we’ll be rolling out upgrades over the entire month, so please let us know when you run into anything that is not working very well.

Our goal right now is to roll out most of the substantive changes over the course of August along with a bunch of widgets so that we can do a full release in early September fully tested debugged and ready to go. We’ve found it tough to keep on schedule with Joel out of pocket but we should be back on top of things with his return in September.

I’m still not entirely happy with the quality of the search results, but that will continue to improve now that we have resolved the scale issues. We will also be making a subtle interface improvement over the next week or so that didn’t quite make it into this release. We want to make it clear that the current interface is largely for building and managing channels and widgets. We’ll be embedding a full widget right within the site and simplifying some of the navigation.

Anyway, the point is that we want the widget to be the way you watch CozmoTV from here on out. You can also expect that the new widget skin will be rolling out piecemeal over the course of the month. We’ll start with the player screen and work our way back into the navigation later.

We’ll also be making some ongoing widget announcements starting late this week and into next. We’ve got some great partners on board and we’d like to start showing off the potential of CozmoTV branded television networks.

Aug 7, 2007 10:09:50 PM in CozmoTV News | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)