One issue that I have had with this blog for a while has been the lack of notifications when a new, legitimate comment is posted under one of my articles. I don’t get many comments, but when I do, I would like to be able to respond right away. I don’t like email notifications, so when Prowl was announced this week, I was excited about the possibility of sending push notifications to my iPhone whenever a new comment was posted. It turned out to be much easier than I anticipated, thanks to Jacob Burch’s Prowlpy module and Django’s signals framework.
Two days ago, Movie Genie’s main server, which provides all search results for the application, went down for about six hours, making it pretty much unusable to anyone. This was a dumb mistake on my part, since the issue was very easy to resolve, but I should have had the necessary precautions in place to warn me of the server downtime. I do have those running now, but it’s too late, and within those six hours, Movie Genie’s average rating went down from a full 5 stars to 2 or 3 in most countries.
This is just a quick note to announce that my second iPhone app, Big Picture, has just been approved by Apple. This is a simple but elegant client for boston.com’s The Big Picture blog. To learn more about the app, follow the link.
With the release of Firefox 3.5 earlier this week, the discussion around HTML5 and its native support for video and audio tags suddenly gained speed. One of the major issues around these new features is the lack of proper video codecs that can be used. Apple’s Safari supports H.264, but Firefox and other open source browsers can’t, due to licensing problems. Their adopted open source format, OGG, seems like the way to go, but it’s not that easy to generate, especially if you are on a Mac.
Yesterday, John Gruber from Daring Fireball published a lengthy post about possible solutions for OGG conversion on Mac, and his suggestion was to use Jan Gerber’s excellent ffmpeg2theora. I thought I would spend some time and build a simple GUI wrapper for this tool so it would be more easily adopted by Mac users. Today I am releasing an early beta version of Oggifier, a simple GUI wrapper around ffmpeg2theora.
This is just a quick post to let everyone know that Apple has finally approved Movie Genie yesterday night and it is now available on the iTunes Store. Contrary to what I expected, the approval process was painless, and Apple did a very good job of reviewing the app for possible defects.
I hope that people will enjoy this first app, I am very excited to be building on this platform. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to email me or leave your thoughts here.
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