A journal that focuses on Flash Platform development, and a little bit about what I am up to on any given day.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Apollo Camp : Teknision + Finetune

Everyone is talking about the upcoming ApolloCamp event in San Fransisco. Over at Actionscript Cheat Sheet, there is a good overview of the event.

Well, Teknision is going to be attending, and we are going to be doing a little presentation. We will be showing the Apollo application we have developed for Finetune.com.

Instead of going into detail about it here, I'll point you to a write up Ryan Stewart wrote after I gave him a sneak peek of it. The write up covers most of the features of the app, and shows screenshots. The screens may seem a bit old compared to now, but it still gives you a very good idea of what the application is all about. If you are a fan of the Finetune service, you will be pumped when you get your hands on this app!

To all those attending the event, please come up and chat with me. Teknision is currently looking for senior developers (Flash,Flex,Apollo!!). I am also looking forward to a good Halo session with the Adobe guys (Eagle Eye on Collossus baby!).

See you all there!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

FOWA in London!

So what a few days it has been,

I think I am just adjusting to the time difference here in London. Me and Paolo from Teknision are here attending the Future of Web Apps conference.

Lots to talk about,

First off, as my good comrade Stace(BitchWhoCodes) has announced, we have a new Teknision site up. The case study videos for Finetune and PermissionTV are pretty awesome, so if you have a chance check them out in the showcase section.

As for the FOWA Conference, I have lots of stuff to talk about:

I spent a lot of the day hanging out with Mark Anders and the Adobe team in the booth. We have been chatting about Apollo. They are showing off samples and getting people excited. I tend to get involved, and help them with their pitches. Most AJAX heads are still trying to figure it all out and how it applies to their work. People are starting to understand it though. There are a lot of good vibes surrounding the product.

Mike Arrington referred to Apollo a few times in his presentation. Geeze, somebody build that guy an Apollo Email app already! He's hard up for it!

The LastFM presentation was of particular interest to me. We are competing in that same space building players with Finetune. They talked a lot about managing "Attention Data". This was the conference hot word of the day. It is real data that is collected based on a users actual usage of a service and then put into context to make a service more relevant to the user. In LastFM's case they were talking about AudioScrobbler data, but other presenters discussed this topic as well, including Kevin Rose from Digg.

The Attention Data talk was a lot more interesting than the usual dredging on about the value of social networking..,... "Yeah, yeah we get it already....!"

Kevin Rose's talk was a little underwhelming. Digg is a massive success and a prime example of Web 2.0 in action, but his presentation seemed a little unfocused. It was focused on things like: "here's some Digg usage numbers", and "we might do this in the future", but really, I didn't leave the presentation feeling like I knew any more than when I went in. He does share the same birthday as Paolo though! Happy Birthday Paolo Farago and Kevin Rose!

It was great hanging out with Craig Swann. He is also attending, and it feels good to have a familiar face from the Flash scene in the mix.

Finally, we had a chat with a guy from Google. He came over and introduced himself to us (Paolo, Craig, and myself) and we proceeded to talk about anything and everything about Web Applications. He seemed a bit refreshed talking to a group of Flash developers, as opposed to the usual web development crowd, and at the end of the talk, we recommended that he attend a Flash conference.

We told him that if he really wanted to see the other side of application development, and leave an event inspired, he should check one out. Flash conferences (most of the time) are focused on inspiring as opposed to informing.

The FOWA conference has been good after the first day for the most part, but does seem a bit stiff compared to what I am used to. "It isn't a conference unless Josh Davis blows something up, and puts it back together (randomly....)."

Tomorrow, there is a presentation about OpenID. Identity is a really interesting emerging space, and one to keep a close eye on. As a matter of fact Digg announced today that they intend to support OpenID in the future. This is a really big deal. In the past I posted about this, and pointed out a great presentation by Dick Hardt on the topic. If you haven't seen it, or do not know what the Identity 2.0 movement is about then check this out.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Springbox Widget : Finetune

Guess what! another Finetune player!

This one is pretty cool though, it is a SpringBox Widget:

We have been toiling away with the different widget environments, and our absolute fave is this one. A few months ago, I wrote about some initial playing we did with it, after deploying something on Springbox I feel much more positive about it.

The really cool thing about this release is the fact that it is Finetune's first Desktop Player (more on the way). Springbox widgets are great because you can embed them on web pages like the one above, but if you have the Springbox, you can click that green gear and pop it to the desktop. It is very much like the "Express Install" feature that the Flash Player uses for Central, the Breeze Player, and other Adobe certified apps.

When this player is on the desktop, it utilizes a feature we call "Player Deprecation". If you have the widget running, and you are browsing the Finetune site, or if you come across a Finetune Player embedded on someones blog or MySpace; The embedded player on the page will ask you if you would rather load the playlist in your desktop player. This feature is pretty awesome if you are a fan of the Finetune service. This feature will also exist in that other upcoming desktop player.

So a shout out to Fox Interactive on this one. We've used WidgetBox, Yahoo Widgets, Google Gadgets, OSX Dashboard, and so far the Springbox was the most fun, and rendered the coolest final product at the end of the day.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Finetune : Apollo Sneak Peek

Just wanted to echo this post made by Ryan Stewart on ZDNet, regarding a little sneak peek of a new offering from Finetune coming in the future. Ryan has a great write up on the Finetune service in general, but the focus here is a peek at the Finetune Desktop Player that runs in Apollo. He has added some screenshots in the gallery as well!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Backyard Jams

Here's a little Music 2.0 for you.

Backyard Jams
is a business that was founded by Matt Kaplan. It is all about setting up "Rock and Roll Parties", and whether it be a kid's birthday, or a corporate team building event, he gets people up and rocking for a day.

Matt Kaplan is a very good friend of ours. We have worked with him while he was at Comet Learning and now PermissionTV.

Backyard Jams Website

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Finetune Wii : Take me to your playlist!

Today Finetune updated the service yet again with some great new goodies, as well as little bug fixes that some people have been coming across.

We managed to get some cool new stuff into the players for people to take advantage of. The coolest of the features revolves around the Finetune Wii Player.

People have been quite pleased with the Finetune Embedded Players, and everyday I come across more and more of them on MySpace Profiles, blogs, etc. However, quite a community has formed around the Finetune Wii Player, so we decided to do a bit of work to get them in on the embedding action! Observe:

The update to the embedded player will now look like this when viewed on the Wii:

It has been built to look great/legible on the Wii Opera Browser, and when you click on it, it will take you to the Finetune Wii Player, and throw you right into the playlist you embedded!

If you embedded a playlist from the Finetune service, the Wii Player will load your playlist up and start playing it right away, if you embedded your profile instead, The Finetune Wii Player will load your profile and take you to the screen that lets you select : Playlists, Artists, Tags.

The embedded player will look the normal way all of the time, but changes to this new UI when viewed on the Wii,


you can force it to always be the Wii interface as well. You just have to add an extra param to the embed code flash vars:


This feature should be awesome for people making Wii specific sites, that want to point their visitors to their Finetune content. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wii-kly Review Podcast: Finetune

Mykel Ruvola from Finetune appeared this week on the Wii-kly Review Podcast. It is a podcast focused on the Wii game system, and Mykel drops in to talk about the Finetune Wii interface that we developed with them.

Wii-kly Review Show #2