Introducing Mizuu 3.0 “Black”

It finally happened! Mizuu 3.0 “Black” has been released. It’s a massive update and I can’t wait to tell you about the changes. It’s impossible to go through all the changes in details, so I’ll stick with the most important ones. Let’s go!

 

A new design language

First of all, the entire application has been redesigned. I won’t say that this is a “Material design” update – partly because that phrase has been misused ever since Google announced the design concept, and partly because there’s a lot missing in order for it to fully make use of all the new stuff. Having said that, version 3.0 does have some cool elements and I’ve tried to follow the guidelines. Future updates will bring visual improvements as well, so worry not!

Like I said, the entire application has had a makeover, and I’d like to highlight a few of the changes.

The movie and TV show library overviews look a lot different than what you’re used to seeing. The drop-down menu on the top left is now gone and has been replaced with tabs that each show a different view of your content – i.e. favorites, watched content and new releases.

movie-library-tablet

The code for the library views has been completely rewritten and it’s a lot smarter now. One such example is that the tabs are sandboxed. This means that you can search, filter and sort in one tab and leave all the other tabs completely untouched. Also, filters can now stack, meaning that you can set both a genre filter and a release year filter, if you please.

The layout for movie details, TV show details and actors details has been updated as well. It’s more user friendly now and offers a great deal of functionality while looking good. The interface is scrollable, and stuff like actors and TV show seasons are available when scrolling down.

movie-details-tablet

 

Improved file name recognition

Another big change in version 3.0 is the much improved file name recognition. Everything has been rewritten from scratch, and it’s now capable of handling many new naming conventions as well as multi-episode TV show files. Another welcome change is the possibility to use IMDb ID’s in the filename, and make Mizuu identify a file based on the IMDb ID.

Generally speaking, there’s a lot of new stuff in terms of file name recognition, and I’ve made an effort of documentation everything, so it’s easy to understand and look up. You’ll find the documentation here:

Additionally, I’ve added a setting in Mizuu’s advanced settings that’ll enable you to automatically share file names with me. The aim is to build up a database of thousands of file names, and hopefully be able to gather some information and test data from it. This is disabled by default and it’s 100% anonymous. The filename sharing happens when you run a library update.

Hopefully this is a welcome change, and something that’ll help everyone get much better results with file name recognition!

 

It’s now free!

I was recently offered a full time job as an Android developer at a Danish mobile network operator, and as such my financial situation changed quite a bit. As a result, there’s no reason why I should be asking people to pay for Mizuu. Starting from today, Mizuu is completely free.

Sure, development takes time, but it’s always been much of a hobby for me. In fact, Mizuu is one of the reasons why I was offered the job to begin with – so yeah, there’s that!

I’m very proud of Mizuu’s excellent rating on Google Play, and I realize that it’ll undoubtedly drop quite a bit by making the application free, but I’ll make my best attempts to accept that. In the end it’s more important to ensure greater availability for a lot of people than care about a number. Hopefully you’ll agree with me on that.

 

Update on what’s to come for Android TV

Android TV is an important evolution of Android and I have every intention of making Mizuu compatible with the platform and make it feel like a proper app for Android TV.

This naturally also means that version 3.0 does not yet include any features specific to Android TV.

I’m hoping to have something to show in one of the next releases. I’ve ordered a Nexus Player in order to develop for the platform, and it should hopefully arrive mid-January.

 

Potential issues with Trakt sync

Mizuu still supports synchronization with Trakt.tv, but you may encounter some issues with version 3.0 and any previous versions. This is due to their website and API being revamped and updated yesterday. Additionally, the API was offline, so it was impossible for me to make any last-minute changes.

Most of the functionality should still work as expected, but you may experience issues in the beginning. I hope to release a patched version in the near future that fixes any potential issues and uses the new API rather than the old one. Sorry about any potential issues this may cause.

Update: Trakt support is broken with version 3.0 and all previous versions. It’ll be fixed in a coming update.

 

What’s with the codename?

Version 3.0 is codenamed “Black” in memory of my dog, Blackie, who had to be humanely euthanized mid-November due to physical issues. He loved Android, as depicted below, and meant the world to me, so it seems right that one of my greatest achievements honor his memory.

blackie

 

Get it now!

I can’t think of much that’s left to be said other than “get it now!” Happy new year to everyone!

Get Mizuu on Google Play

 

A few notes post-release

There’ll be a small update within the next week or so. It’ll fix some of the reported bugs and issues. Also, it’ll fix the very abrupt hiding / showing of the tool bar when swiping in the library overview. It was supposed to be animated, but I simply couldn’t make it in time for the release.

 

Changelog for version 3.0

The following list is in no way complete, but it’ll give you an idea of the many changes. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

In no particular order, here’s the list:

 

  • Almost completely redesigned and added lots of small improvements and features throughout the application
  • Performance improvements
  • Early-access Chromecast support for SMB and UPnP content
  • Database structure improvements and changes
  • Improved file name recognition
  • Added support for DVD ordering for TV shows
  • Bug fixes and minor improvements
  • Dropped support for Android 3.2 devices
  • Improved editing of movies
  • Added editing of TV shows and TV show episodes
  • Multi-select TV show seasons or episodes and perform actions on all selected items
  • Updated Welcome screen
  • Added option to automatically share file names in order to improve recognition in the future
  • TV shows in your library now open in the app rather than in the browser
  • Added play button to the TV show details view for immediate playback
  • Added TV show sharing
  • Improved error handling for TMDb requests
  • Added caching for online content, i.e. actors, similar movies and online movies
  • Libraries now refresh automatically when an update is running
  • Cover and backdrop images are now downloaded in a much better way
  • You can now swipe between TV show seasons
  • Improved library updates (additional improvements will come in the next updates)
  • You can now view actor details for TV show actors
  • Improved support for “phablets”
  • Added new filters for movies and TV shows
  • Made it possible to create own certifications when editing a movie or TV show
  • Added “Random movie” and “Random TV show” menu options
  • Added support for bulk management of movies and TV shows

 

Changelog for version 3.0.1

  • Fixed issue with application preferences
  • Fixed issue with custom movie cover art and backdrop images on SMB servers
  • Fixed issue that could cause some movies to disappear from the library
  • Fixed issues with automatic watched status
  • Fixed issues with SMB connections and playback
  • Improves Canadian and British translations
  • Added option to copy database
  • Added a leanback launcher intent for Android TV (for convenience)

44 Comments

  1. Thank you for the new version and for all your hard work, can’t wait to try it out!!

    RIP Blackie.

    Reply
    • Thank you. It seems like something went wrong with Google Play, so it hasn’t been published over the night. Hopefully it’ll be available within a few hours.

      Reply
      • Michell, sorry about your dog, I have a black lab and know it will hurt when she’s gone. But great job, I’m using 3.0 RC3 and will update when you release the next one after 3.0 black, unless you feel I should do it now. Love this app and your the best for keeping it current and improved. Thanks

        Reply
    • I have RC3 installed. Is that the latest version, or is there another I should get from the GitHub? I didn’t see anything in the Play Store Michell.

      Reply
      • That’s not the latest version. You can update it from Google Play. You might have to uninstall first, if it won’t do it automatically.

        Reply
  2. Sensible choices, in all aspects, respect! To you my wishes for a wonderful and challenge winning 2015!
    R.I.P. Blackie

    Reply
    • Thank you, Alessandro. Happy new year!

      Reply
  3. Michell, this new release is really excellent! I’m glad that you mentioned Android TV. I’m actually using the release candidate on my nexus player. While not optimized for the TV, it’s still far better than any other media centers out there.

    Reply
    • Great to hear that! I have high hopes for Android TV, and I can’t wait to get started using a real device rather than the emulator 🙂

      Reply
  4. Still showing as $2.99 on Google Play

    Reply
    • Not quite sure why. Everything looks OK in the developer console. Maybe it’s just taking longer than usual.

      Reply
  5. Great update, thank you !! Would be nice to use dark theme again (instead of the blue header, red image background in list vew etc.)

    Reply
    • Great to hear! The colors change depending on the movie, TV show or TV show episode you’re viewing. The dark blue color is the app’s brand color 🙂

      Reply
    • I tend to agree with Markus, everything about the new version is fantastic but the new blue header sticks out a bit and takes away some screen/TV real-estate

      Reply
  6. Michell congratulations on your new job, totally deserved! And of course thanks for all the hard work and the fantastic new release 🙂

    Reply
  7. Very very good work ! Thank you.

    Reply
  8. I’ve just stumbled here and I’m really excited to try this on my nexus player. It looks really good from the description here!

    Reply
    • I hope you’ll like it! It’ll get better when I get my hands on an Android TV device and make it work as a “proper” Android TV app 🙂

      Reply
  9. One of the best and beautiful Material app I’ve ever seen 🙂
    Little OT: are you still working on the Trakt client, Android really needs a good Trakt.tv client

    Reply
    • Thanks!

      I’m going to (attempt to) somehow integrate Trakt client functionality in Mizuu.

      Reply
  10. Thanks Michell, Mizuu is getting better and better. I haven’t tried yet, but I’m looking forward to using the stackable filters! I hope the next year will be good to you, healthwise and other.

    Reply
  11. Hi, great job. But how do you select TV show to get an “offline copie”. How does work the option ? Thx.

    Reply
    • Hi! It works on a per-episode basis, so you do that in the episode details view.

      Reply
      • It’s not possible tout select an entire show or season ? Is it a feature include in your roadmap ?
        Is it possible tout select the storage path for offline copies ?

        Thx

        Reply
        • Both are things I plan on making possible.

          Reply
          • Perfect. Thx.

            Sorry for the “tout/to” (smartphone keyboard auto correct)

            Reply
  12. I’ve been using Mizuu for a couple of years now on a Minix device. It’s not really an adroid TV, but it works great! Never failed me. This new version is the best ever. Whatever you do, never make it “big” and “complex” please. It’s beauty is in its simplicity.

    Reply
    • I won’t do that, I promise 🙂

      Reply
  13. Hi Michell,

    1.

    Alias [1×12] The Box – Part 1 (XviD asd) Alias [1×13] The Box – Part 2 (XviD asd)

    Alias [2×08] Passage – Part 1 (XviD asd)
    Alias [2×09] Passage – Part 2 (XviD asd)

    These files are not being recognised by Mizuu. Similar cases have been occurred in other tv shows. I think it has something to do with the naming pattern (part 1, part 2). However these names are consistent with List of Episodes given at the TVDB site.

    Also, I have nfo files of these episodes named accordingly with the video files.

    Further, these files are not coming up in the Unidentified Files. So I have no way for rectifying this.

    Why do you think this is ???

    2.

    Even though I manually update some of the incorrect identified files of tv shows, in the next library update, it automatically goes back to being such wrong tv shows.

    Please do something about it, because I like this app very much and am very much looking forward to the next updates.

    3.

    How much time do you think it will take before the next update??

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • 1. If they’re less than 50 MB in size, they’re ignored by default. If that’s not the case, please send me the full filepath, including folder structure.

      2. That shouldn’t be the case. It shouldn’t include files that are already in your library. If that is indeed the case, then it’s a bug and will be fixed.

      3. No idea 🙂

      Reply
        • Change the name of the seasons folder to “Season 1”, and it should be fine.

          Reply
        • Actually, it is “smb” instead of “ftp”.

          Reply
          • That doesn’t matter. Just change the name of the seasons folder 🙂

            Reply
    • Please look up the episodes I mentioned above at thetvdb.com, for better understanding of the problem.

      Reply
      • That won’t help. I need the exact file path.

        Reply
  14. “I was recently offered a full time job as an Android developer at a Danish mobile network operator, and as such my financial situation changed quite a bit. As a result, there’s no reason why I should be asking people to pay for Mizuu. Starting from today, Mizuu is completely free.”

    That’s just amazing. I’ve been using it for a long time now and really love your work, let me know if you need any Portuguese translation.

    Reply
    • Thank you! Feel free to work on translations 🙂 Check out Github.

      Reply
  15. Since the forum is closed, I’ll do it here – I just want to congratulate you on a great update. Been using Mizuu for more than a year and it is still my number 1 app.
    Just one thing I noticed – I recently switched from smb to upnp and one thing is missing – mizuu can not find or connect to a server with ethernet. It can do it only on wireless network. Since I use mizuu on my nexus phone, xperia tablet (both working fine) and on android tv dongle (connected via ethernet) it is quite an issue for me. Any chances for adding/fixong this?
    Cheers and keep up the good work Michell!

    Reply
    • Hi! The UPnP library is causing that limitation. I plan on upgrading to the latest version of the library, which no longer has such a limitation, but it’s a pretty massive thing to do, as it breaks quite a lot of the code.

      Reply
  16. Im so fond of animals..
    You just got a favorite dev,
    my heart was broken how to honor the memory of your dog. ;(

    Reply
  17. Hello, I am a graphic designer so I really appreciate the simplicity and good taste of Mizuu, it looks great. But not only does it look amazing, the functionality an ease of setup is what really leave Kodi/XBMC far behind.

    The main personal issue I have, and it’s not related to the app itself, is that it’s not a true alternative to XBMC since this one was created for htpc not tablets so it’s not really fair to compare them.

    However my main reason to use an app like this is on a tv box set, and Kodi is the better answer. I would LOVE if you can make an alternative version of Mizzu especially for android set boxes that you can browse with a remote control. Plex have an option inside their app to change the interface to use on a TV, but it’s not really that well done…

    Anyway, just stoping by to say thanks for your wonderful work!

    Reply
    • Hi! I want to do some Android TV specific stuff eventually, and that may work on some TV boxes, but that’s really about it. I don’t have plans of doing anything other than that.

      Reply

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