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Old 01-21-2009, 09:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Audible Beta Testing

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Previous thread here. Audible started a new Client for the Blackberry, so I figured I should start a new thread.
  • Link to production client: Audible Air
  • Link to public beta client: Audible For BlackBerry Beta
  • Link to public beta survey: Audible For BlackBerry Beta Survey
  • I do not work for audible and am in no way affiliated with Audible
  • Please do not post a link to any beta software other than the public beta. It is against forum policy as well as against the wishes of our bretheren at Audible.com.

Current Version: 1.1.1 (M2t2)(20090218)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • 1.1.1 M2 with logging disabled.
  • first public beta release.

Current Known issues and recommendations in order of annoyance(1.1.1 Testing in progress):
Bugs:
Quote:
  • Player navigation is cumbersome. If paused, stay paused. Do not start playing on ff/rw or section changes. Just adjust time index.
  • Incorrectly identifies BES users as being "Offline". Temp fix(Delete Dekstop [IPPP] service book. undelete after exiting app)
  • Callback routine invoked after task switching returns user to "my library" instead of last screen.
  • Book cover in player is fuzzy. Resolution of image is too small for 9000 series devices.
  • Sort dropdown does not remember selection after page reload. Recommend setting "selected" property on appropriate option when page is generated.
  • Application must have connectivity to operate. Make offline mode. Cache menus, etc... - Fixed 1.1M1
Recommended Improvements:
Quote:
  • Get rid of stop button. Useless
  • Filters/Search - Need list filtering for book titles. Like all other Blackberry apps (start typing and it instring filters)
  • Resume book option - Needs an option to resume book or go straight to player when opening the app.
  • Add Go To option - Needs a way to go to a particular time in a book.
  • Bookmarks - Bring back bookmarks
  • Enable Hard buttons for pause/play
  • Bluetooth Audio - Since your audio content is mono, it could output to standard bluetooth headsets (not stereo bluetooth).
    RIM Device Java Library
  • Add preference for audio output:
    Loudspeaker/headphone
    Handset speaker
    mono bluetooth
  • Add support for AVRCP - Bluetooth remote control protocols
  • Sorting - Need option to sort My Library. - Fixed 1.1M2
Current Version: 1.1.1 (M2)(20090217)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • 1.1.1 is not yet available for beta testing. Be patient.
  • Added Volume indicator to player
  • Added Sort to Book List
  • Logging enabled
Previous Version: 1.1 (M1)(20090202)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • Various Playback issues fixed (skipping, etc)
  • Added Next/Prev to Book List
  • Added Local Book List (For offline mode)
  • Quicker sample streams
  • Search delivers relevant results
  • Storm 9530 build added
PreviousVersion: 1.0.1 (RC5)(20090119)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • Volume Control added
  • Temporary fix for large libraries (only loads last 25 book parts ordered descending by purchase date)
This is the first public beta release of the new Client.
Previous Version: 1.0.1 (RC4)(20090112)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • No release notes
Previous Version: 1.0.0 (RC3)(20081222)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • Screen format optimized for Bold device
Previous Version: 0.9.5 (RC2)(20081212)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • Multiple devices now supported (previously built for curve)
Previous Version: 0.9.0 (RC1)(20081205)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • No release notes
Previous Version: 0.7.0 (M5)(20081121)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • No release notes
Previous Version: 0.5.0 (M4)(20081113)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • No release notes
Previous Version: 0.4.0 (M3)(20081107)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • No release notes
Previous Version: 0.2.0 (M2)(20081023)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • No release notes
Previous Version: 0.1.0 (M1)(20081008)
Release Notes:
Quote:
  • No release notes
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File Type: jpg 4.JPG (16.1 KB, 36 views)
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Last edited by Grimlin : 02-20-2009 at 04:10 PM. Reason: Updated Known Issues
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You guys don't know how hard it was for me to keep my mouth shut for this long. I still don't have their official blessing for this. It was more like a "we won't tell you that you can't". To compromise, I have refrained from linking to the software until they officially announce it as a public beta. Audible has about 100 testers right now and they are pretty happy with that number at this stage. If you are one of the 100, please chime in. If you aren't, feel free to chime in as well... ...as long as you are civil.

(Obligatory Plea)
Please use this thread for constructive feedback only. Do not use it as a place to whine about not having the beta software. (/Obligatory Plea)
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Last edited by Grimlin : 01-21-2009 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have to tell you the old version v1.0.70 was not working at all since I upgraded to the Bold, but this new beta, minus a few issues they appear to be working on is terrific and deserves a round of applaud.

I'm still in the evaluation process with the features, but it's pretty nice so far.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted

I was so disappointed with the previos version available that I uninstalled it. It wasn't worth the hassle and the real estate. I'm looking forward to trying it again when it's available. And thanks for making it a new thread so it doesn't get buried in the previos one.
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ohhh I can't wait. I've been itching for a new release for some time and it looks like they may have some of the newer models in mind now. Although I think I'm still SOL with my daily NYT read as I've read that the issue just likely seems like a BES blocking issue with my internal firewall. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it's something else minor though and they fixed it.

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Old 01-21-2009, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hopefully soon, they will open it up to more testers. I think they want to nail down a few more features first before they open it up any further. OFFLINE MODE!!! please dear gods, offline mode. I am on 3G and the server pings are still killing me. I want simple. Open app, hit play. It picks up where I left off.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Question

I got invited yesterday and installed it (1.0.1) right away (before seeing this thread). For those who are worried about wasting their time, do not be. It is hands-down much, much better, even with its remaining issues than AudibleAir 1.0.70.

The responsiveness of the player is way faster than AudibleAir. Once a book part's current section is loaded you can pretty quickly fast forward and rewind and jump forward/backward sections with little lag. The time to play/pause/stop is sub 1-second virtually all the time. And so far I have not had any case where the app or the blackberry went out to lunch on me.

I've tested incoming calls and it seems completely reliably about pausing the currently playing book. Same thing when placing outgoing calls. It would be nice, especially when driving, to have the option for Audible to resume playing after ending a call. Regardless, it's way better than AudibleAir where I had several times where it kept playing while I tried to answer an incoming or make an outgoing call or where after rewinding I'd have parts that I just listened to playback as silence.

I pretty quickly noticed the 25 book part limit and was disappointed that I can't apparently get access to my older books. Is this a performance "temporary fix" because loading the entire library was too slow?

The online network access is indeed a bit of a drag when you're navigating around your library and other content online. I can imagine it being unusable when your data network is down or weak, but I haven't had the pleasure to find myself in that situation quite yet. If you are listening to a book that you've downloaded, once you get a book started in the player it works really well.


I have already started providing Audible with some feedback in a surveymonkey survey they made available to testers and in an email provided for the beta testers.

I had already made suggestions to audible above as well as the following items that Grimlin already posted (My additional comments in bold):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimlin View Post
...
  • Filters - Need list filtering for book titles
  • Resume book option - Needs an option to resume book or go straight to player when opening the app. (Yes!. When launching, you always get taken to a welcome/home screen and have to go to the library, find your book, and select play in order to reopen the player to your most recently listened-to book, even if you exited the app with the player open.,).
  • Sorting - Need option to sort My Library.
  • Enable Hard buttons for pause/play (If you are not on the player screen and need to pause/stop the player (for instance someone walks in the room or you get a landline call), you have to manually select the player, wait, and then pause the player. If you happen to be browsing you library at the time and it's still loading book parts, this can take a long time and is not interruptable. So you really need to make the player silent, you end up having to just turn down the volume to zero and come back later, and rewind until you find the spot at which you were interrupted...that is or ask your interrupter to bear with you while you wait until you can get back into the player view and pause it)
I also suggested:
  • Searching of library content, in case you know some or all of the book title or author and have a large library.

And the following additional bug:
  • Further, I noticed that in the player, the book cover, which is square in the online view of the book, is also square in the new player but is zoomed-in to about 200% so that it's only showing the center of the top half of the book's picture. Goofy, but not a critical issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimlin View Post
...
I want simple. Open app, hit play. It picks up where I left off.
Absolutely. The inability to do this seems like a major oversight.

As I use it more, I'll chime in.

Last edited by ree_mn : 01-21-2009 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ree_mn View Post
...I pretty quickly noticed the 25 book part limit and was disappointed that I can't apparently get access to my older books. Is this a performance "temporary fix" because loading the entire library was too slow?
Yes. It is performance related. Every time you go back to my library, it requeries audible for your library. I have over 200 books (not parts) in mine. It was a little annoying. This is just a stop gap measure to make it more usable from a performance standpoint. RC4 loaded the full list. It took about 30 seconds to load over 3G every time I went back to my library.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Added screenshots to top post.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimlin View Post
Yes. It is performance related. Every time you go back to my library, it requeries audible for your library. I have over 200 books (not parts) in mine. It was a little annoying. This is just a stop gap measure to make it more usable from a performance standpoint. RC4 loaded the full list. It took about 30 seconds to load over 3G every time I went back to my library.
One suggestion I did make yesterday that I forgot to mention was to cache the library and dynamically update it as any updates are queried.

Do you happen to have any inside info on their plans?
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ree_mn View Post
Do you happen to have any inside info on their plans?
No. I will see if I can get some more details. If anyone else has any, please feel free to post.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Anyone else notice that it isn't caching login info? Once you close the app and go back in, you have to login again. I seem to recall it caching that in RC4. I may roll back to that and see if I have time later tonight.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Audible responses

Will the app:

-replace audible air client for the blackberry? -- Yes, we will be
removing AudibleAir for BlackBerry install files once we are ready to
launch the app as 1.0.


-require online connectivity to function post authentication? -- We
are addressing this issue with the developer now. The app is way more
connected than it needs to be at present.


-continue to use the Nelly Moser servers as a pass through -- Yes.
But there is work being done that will address loading time in between
screens.


I asked some other questions about the guts of the code, but they weren't allowed to answer those. I didn't really expect them to be able to, but you can't fault me for trying.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ree_mn View Post
I pretty quickly noticed the 25 book part limit and was disappointed that I can't apparently get access to my older books. Is this a performance "temporary fix" because loading the entire library was too slow?
The QA version of the next release (no date yet) has next/prev buttons at the bottom of the list. This is probably a temp fix to the temp fix, but at least you can get to your full library. It might change before release, but at least they are thinking along the same lines or at least listening.

...It also appears to have been better optimized for the pearl from a data entry and appearance standpoint.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Any news on if this can handle subscriptions if your using Verizon and a BES? Like others I'm waiting anxiously for the new version, I wish though they'll be able to figure out how to download subscriptions too not just books. Audible claims that blackberry on the Verizon networks will not work due to limitations with Vz having some 1mb packet sizes but I think they are incorrect here. I was able to do an RSS feed of the NYT in to Podtrapper and it (with some tweaking) was able to download the paper just fine but could not play it. This is I assume because of the security on the file which Podtrapper does not seem to be able to handle. So if Podtrapper can handle the streaming of the RSS then why can't Audibleair?! Sounds like a scapegoat for them not being able to figure it out.

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Old 01-28-2009, 09:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So after a couple days of using the new Audible beta, odd things started happening. I'd be listening to downloaded content, and then in random spots, the player would jump ahead several minutes. I'd have to go back a section and then fast forward or go forward a section and rewind until I get to the vicinity of where the player was when it skipped.

I tried battery-pull reboot. No dice.

I've removed the downloaded content, removed the beta player, rebooted, reinstalled, rebooted, downloaded content and still experience the problem frequently.

Even crops up when listening to streamed content.

I've submitted a report of this problem along with lots of details about my account and the books with the problems. I believe the developers are looking into it. But until this problem is corrected, it's still unusable for serious, problem-free listening.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbosteve View Post
...Audible claims that blackberry on the Verizon networks will not work due to limitations with Vz having some 1mb packet sizes...
Based on the fact that ree_mn hasn't mentioned it, I would say it is working better than before.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ree_mn View Post
...I'd be listening to downloaded content, and then in random spots, the player would jump ahead several minutes...
I saw the same.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimlin View Post
Based on the fact that ree_mn hasn't mentioned it, I would say it is working better than before.
I'm not on BES. I'm using BIS. I also don't have any subscriptions. But just to check, I added the WSJ subscription to my account, and in the new Audible Beta went to my Subscriptions. I don't see anything to download there. I'll check again later in case it takes a few for the subscriptions to show up.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ree_mn View Post
I'm not on BES. I'm using BIS. I also don't have any subscriptions. But just to check, I added the WSJ subscription to my account, and in the new Audible Beta went to my Subscriptions. I don't see anything to download there. I'll check again later in case it takes a few for the subscriptions to show up.
Are you able to download books? If I recall, the VZW issue wasn't tied to just BES. The BES is its own can of worms. I am on one, but am also the admin Makes it a little easier to troubleshoot.
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