I’ve just published the latest update for Mizuu on the Google Play store, and it should be available within a few hours. A lot of stuff has changed since the last update roughly one and a half month ago. Google introduced a bunch of new stuff and had a lot of developer sessions at this year’s Google I/O, and I’ve been working at implementing some of the stuff from there.
I haven’t managed to complete all the stuff I had planned for version 2.3, but it’s still high priority stuff and it’ll come in the next updates. That being said, there’s still plenty of good stuff in today’s update. I’ll briefly go through some of the changes, and you can find the rest in the change log below.
Custom movie data for network files
This has been a requested feature since network support was introduced and it’s now enabled. It basically means that you can now use .nfo files, custom cover art and backdrop images for your network files. With this feature enabled, you’ll experience slightly slower loading of images since they’re not being loaded from your device, but I’m using a relatively large cache that should help once they’ve been loaded.
The widgets currently don’t support custom cover art from network shares, as I’m going to re-write and improve all the widgets in one of the next updates, so I’ll include with that coming update.
More data sources for movie and TV show ratings
With the previous version of Mizuu, you’d get movie ratings from www.themoviedb.org and TV show ratings from www.thetvdb.com. While both sites have a lot of good data and information about movies and TV shows, they’re not known for having the greatest audience to provide ratings. With version 2.3 I’m opening up for more data sources, so you can get ratings from other sites.
The latest version of Mizuu will by default use Trakt.tv for its movie and TV show ratings. The Trakt community is generally happy to rate the content on the site and the ratings are pretty good. It doesn’t end there, though. With the new release, you’ll also be able to get ratings from OMDb, which essentially get the ratings from IMDb. You’ll be able to set your preferred data source for both movies and TV shows in the application settings.
Improved file name recognition
The algorithms to recognize patterns and data in file names were greatly improved with this release. It’s something that I spent quite a lot of time on, and after having successfully passed well over 1,000 different tests with a large data set, I feel confident that you’ll get better results now.
I can’t really describe many of the changes without going into very technical terms, but the new algorithms are considerably better and more flexible. In the future, it’ll also be possible to add support for TV show files that contain multiple episodes in a single file.
Change log for version 2.3
- Added an image viewer for actor photos (movies only)
- Added automatic reporting of application crashes to improve future stability
- Added identifier to show if actor movies, related movies, etc. exist in your library
- Added option to enable or disable library synchronization with Trakt
- Added option to include adult content in movie searches (disabled by default)
- Added option to select data source for movie and TV show ratings
- Added option to sort TV show seasons by latest or oldest episode
- Added support for custom movie data for network files
- Bug fixes
- Greatly improved file name recognition for both movies and TV shows
- Improved image loading
- Lots of UI performance improvements to decrease GPU overdraw
- Made it possible to search for movies in the Movie discovery view
- New application icon
- Switched to the official navigation drawer pattern
- Various UI changes, i.e. updated seasons / episodes view for tablets in landscape
- Patch 220.127.116.11: Fixes a rare crash when manually identifying movie
NOTE: I’ve likely forgot something, so the above list might be incomplete.
I’ve set up a site for people who are interested in translating Mizuu into other languages. You can find it at translate.mizuu.tv (or using the link at the bottom of this website), and it’s pretty easy to get started. There’s a short description of what you’re expected to do at the site.
One more thing…
I recently published a blog post about the idea of having a single version of Mizuu. It was a long read, and I’d like to thank you for the more than 100 comments and e-mails I received in response to the post. I received a lot of ideas from the users and a lot of advice. I’m really grateful for that.
A suggestion that popped up a few times was to simply remove the free version and only make Mizuu available as a paid application. Truth be told, it’s something that I’ve been considering for quite a bit of time. This may come as a surprise to some of you, as I’ve always told you that I’m not in it for the money, which is still very much true, but there’s some pretty solid reasoning behind it.
I spend quite a lot of time on Mizuu. Not just developing, but answering e-mails and helping people. Most weeks I spend anywhere between 50 to 100 hours on it – yes, you read that correctly. This has been possible for the last six months or so due to me cutting back on school for the semester and losing my job in January. It really won’t be possible for much longer, as I’ll soon be starting school again full time and I’ve also been getting quite a bit of work lately.
About half of the people contacting me for help or support are using the free version, and it can be quite time consuming. Maintaining the free version obviously takes time as well, and with my limited available time, that’s time that could be spent developing new stuff rather than just copying over old stuff. I really can’t spill the beans on the ad revenue of the free version, as that’s against the EULA, but it is ridiculously low. I do value my time, and at this point it’s simply not worth my time and effort, especially now that time is of the essence.
Over the last 30 days the paid version has generated 236 times the revenue of the free version. 236 times! And that’s with an active userbase that’s almost three times less than that of the free version in terms of volume. Some of you may be thinking that the revenue from the paid version is spiking through the roof, but no – the ad revenue is simply that low. Besides, I really dislike ads and I never really liked the idea of adding ads in Mizuu.
In addition to this, the free version has a significantly lower rating on Google Play than the paid version, mainly because more people install it without reading the description or knowing the purpose. Most people think twice about buying something, especially if they’re not sure what it’s for. I really care about Mizuu’s rating and it pains me when I receive a low rating because someone didn’t read the description.
With that said, I’ve decided to make Mizuu available as a paid application only.
Before committing to a purchase, you should obviously try out the application – especially with something as advanced and extensive as Mizuu. That’s why I’m offering a 72-hour (3 day) refund window for all customers. Simply send me an e-mail if you’re unhappy about something, and we’ll either work it out or I’ll cancel the purchase and refund the money. In most cases, I’ll be cancelling the purchase before the money is even withdrawn from your bank account.
So, hope you’ll enjoy the new version and let me know what you think!