Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beta update: bookmarks, visualizers and a new website

Hi!

Finally! Download the new Stoffi Beta here.

This was the most tedious release I've done so far. It took several days of testing to get it ready for you. But now it's out there. This beta release comes packed with new features. It is also a very important milestone in our journey.

A note to you who are upgrading Stoffi manually: you will get two upgrades, the first one is a bug fix in the upgrade manager which need to be installed before you can download the new beta upgrade.

Read on for all the new features in this release.


Visualizers
To start with Stoffi can now play Milkdrop 2.2.1 visualizers inside the new "Now Playing" view. This will allow you to really enjoy your music.

However, this comes with a few problems. The first is a bug that will be fixed as soon as possible. I noticed it 2 seconds before I was about to release the update. After working for 4 days with this release I decided to release it anyway and fix the bug later on. The bugs is how the Visualizer is rendered after leaving fullscreen. If you go to fullscreen and then leave it the visualizer will become a new window instead of going back into Stoffi again.

The second problem is startup time. Milkdrop is pretty heavy on startup time and this means that Stoffi will now take 1-3 seconds longer to start depending on your system. Maybe there's some tweaks that I can do to counter that later on.

Bookmarks
You can now put bookmarks in your tracks. Just press Alt+B and a red marker will appear on the timeline. Jump between the bookmarks with Alt+Left and Alt+Right. For all shortcuts go to Preferences and click on Keyboard shortcuts. You can delete a bookmark by right-clicking on it.

This is a feature that will continue to grow over time so expect it to enhance further after the stable release.

New website
In order to prepare for the upcoming stable release I have updated our website. It is more light and has bigger images, hopefully something you all might enjoy. If you want to send suggestions or find some problems with the website just submit an issue like you do for the application itself.

The new website comes with a whole new domain. It is laid out in the following manner:

www.stoffiplayer.com
This is the main website where you can learn more about Stoffi and download it. You can also contact me here via a web form.

dev.stoffiplayer.com
This is the project website that resides on Google's servers. This is where you submit issues, check out the code and read our wiki.

blog.stoffiplayer.com
That the new address to this blog! :D

upgrade.stoffiplayer.com
This is not really for you humans, it's the address that Stoffi uses when it checks for upgrades. This allows me to move the upgrade mechanism away from the rest of the websites. Something that could turn out to be useful if my website starts to crash or something. :)

Import and export of playlists
If you have a lot of old playlists lying around on your system you can now import them into Stoffi. Just click on Add and select Playlist. If you want to save your Stoffi playlists and use them in another program you can right-click on a playlist and select Save playlist.

...and much more
There's a ton of bugs fixed in this release as well as a minor face lift for the whole application. Some things are a new look for the tracklist which makes the current sort column black, the current track is marked green and the style has been brought closer to Windows Explorer. There's also the ability to reorder tracks by dragging them around. Check out this list for all the issues that have been fixed.

One more step
This marks the last update to the beta with enhanced or new features. The following releases will only be bugfixes until we reach the stable release. So now it is up to you guys: go out and find as many bugs as you can. The more the better. We need to find as many as possible so the stable release will really live up to its name.

We will hunt and fix bugs now until we just can't find any more. That's why there's no date on when Stoffi will be stable. It will be stable when it is, as simple as that.

Enjoy the new beta and happy hunting.

Cheers!