What’s happening next?

Hi everyone!

Over the last month, I’ve read and responded to well over a thousand e-mails as well as hundreds of messages on various sites – and quite frankly, it’s exhausting. I spend the majority of my spare time answering messages, and I hardly ever work on Mizuu anymore. It’s been 24 days since I wrote any meaningful code for Mizuu. Honestly, I’m not happy with the situation. My hobby is developing Android applications – not providing user support to thousands of people each month. Thankfully, it seems like the load has been lifted a bit now, so I’ll try to get some actual work done soon.

If anyone has any ideas of how I’ll be able to better scale user support, please don’t hold back.

Here’s what’s planned for the next release:

  • Support for the new API on Trakt.tv
  • Updated DLNA library
  • Huge refactoring of file sources and library updates
  • Bug fixes – mainly for stuff related to TV shows

I don’t have any estimate of when it’ll be ready.

Also, I’d love to use this opportunity to encourage all Android developers that use Mizuu to contribute to the code. Mizuu has been open source for quite some time now, and I’d love to see it become a large project that’s developed and maintained by several people out in the open.

As always you can find the source code on the GitHub repo. Thanks!

13 Comments

  1. For the support, you could make a site section with a structure similar to this one: http://support.solidexplorer.pl/ (it’s the support site of Solid Explorer, a file manager for Android). I think it’s the better way to manage problems, suggestions and so on.

    Reply
    • There’s already “Issues” on GitHub, which is used for suggestions and issues. The problem is mainly user specific issues, i.e. why files aren’t showing or being incorrectly identified.

      Reply
  2. Forums work if you have a large user base that want to help. Pinned FAQs can be peoples first port of call for the questions that come up a lot. Unfortunately it’ll take time for people to gain the knowledge that you have and share it so the workload won’t stop in the first instance.

    Even failing that put a FAQ in the wiki to address the most commonly issues.

    Personally (and its a shame) after the recent update my Mizuu stopped recognizing any of TV shows so I moved away onto another app.

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      Did you check the wiki regarding file naming conventions? I highly doubt that it just “stopped” recognizing stuff.

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      • It worked prior to the update (have been a user for over a year). The update installed automatically, when I started it up no shows were present. So I refreshed the library, still nothing. I deleted and recreated the source, still nothing. Unfortunately I then found another similar app which I actually prefer 🙁

        Format of the show names are “SHOWNAME – SSxEE – TITLE.ext”.

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        • It might have something to do with the folder structure. Version 3.0 uses the folder name to identify TV shows.

          If you don’t mind me asking, which app did you find? 🙂

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          • I don’t mind at all, just didn’t want to post an ‘advert’ for a rival app. Its called Archos Video. I’m sure last time I used them they were just a player. However they’ve now gone much closer to Mizuu in terms of functionality.

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            • I should have mentioned I don’t use any folder structure. All media is thrown into the Movies folder on the device. This is just on my Nexus 7, so I rotate content on/off nearly daily from the NAS. The tablet isn’t connected to the NAS all the time.

              Actually that could be a pretty killer feature. Point Mizuu at an entire content library and be able to mark content for ‘offline viewing’, which would copy it onto the tablet. Then mark it as viewed and it removes later on.

            • Hi David!

              If you’re keeping both movies and TV show files in the same folder, that’s why it won’t work. That’s a design decision. I’d rather that the user is able to specify the content type rather than the app should try to do it. The latter will always be flawed in one way or another.

  3. Hi Michell,

    I’m bummed to hear you’re having such a hard time getting into the development. I understand it must be very difficult to find time to get stuck into the heavy lifting of the project, while still trying to maintain a certain level of customer service. I myself am guilty of bombarding you with a few emails from time to time, but as a credit to you – the support you provide is unrivaled in my experience.

    Prior to reading this blog post, I had no idea that there was such a facility on GitHub for users to post their feature request and issues. It seems that one shortcoming of GitHub is that a user cannot post an ‘issue’ without a GitHub account. There used to be a pretty good facility on the SwiftKey website that would allow users to post issues/requests by signing in with their google+ account. It also allowed users to vote for issues/request (sort of like a petition). Granted the support was never really that good with Swiftkey, but you could often find help from other users too. It looks like SwiftKey have now revised their knowledge base structure and I can’t seem to find the old forums.

    But perhaps if there was another way to host a forum (similar to the GitHub issues page), but without the need to create an account – it could be a good resource for everyone. On the other hand… if the users are serious about getting help with a great app – I’m sure many won’t mind the 15 seconds it takes to create an account.

    In the mean time, perhaps you could prompt users (maybe automatically) and direct them to the GitHub repo and suggest they post their thoughts there.

    Good luck, I hope you find a way to enjoy your work again.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Marcus. I really the feedback 🙂

      Reply
  4. Regardless of where you put the help info, the “non geek users” (no offence intended to anyone, just need to highlight a point here) of which I assume are many partly due to ease of use of Mizuu, cannot find it. I just checked the app again, and there is not help section/link anywhere, just “contact developer” – so of course we will send emails 🙂

    I know the interaction with your users drives you, but IF it’s getting out of hand perhaps add “check here first” or something, and perhaps only there add the “contact developer”. Make us look a bit first before hitting the email send button.

    Reply
  5. Just want to say that the app is awesome. I installed it on my Mi Box and am just totally impressed by how fast it refreshes and get movie data compared to Kodi.

    Reply

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