Media Shout slams OSX/Quicktime and halts development

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 44
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    http://peanutgallery.kaisakura.com/



    Not only did the Peanut Gallery author(s) manage to get text on a moving background, the moving backgrounds can come from *any* source (streamed, from a DVD, local file etc.), there's some graphics on top of the moving backgrounds...and these graphics are even fuckin' animated.



    I call bullshit on MediaComplete. MediaComplete weaseled its way out of making a Mac port and pretended like 'difficulties and limitations' in the OS and QuickTime were the issues.



    I'll just pretend like they're both incompetent *and* ass clowns.



    edit: btw, Peanut Gallery is downright amazing...(needs a fast computer and a fast connection for streaming.)
  • Reply 22 of 44
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Let's face it, guys. If you're installed user base is so small that you'll spend more on development than you'll make back in sales, it's game over. They apparently saw it this way.
  • Reply 23 of 44
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by CosmoNut

    Let's face it, guys. If you're installed user base is so small that you'll spend more on development than you'll make back in sales, it's game over. They apparently saw it this way.



    But did they say it that way? No. They blamed OS X and QuickTime. That's very unprofessional. They should have told it like it is: "we won't make any money off you guys, so it's best we just develop for Windows." It would have been an honest response. Blaming it on QT and OS X is lame.
  • Reply 24 of 44
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    They should have told it like it is: "we won't make any money off you guys, so it's best we just develop for Windows."



    You have to read between the lines. I'm referencing this part:

    Quote:

    We then did a thorough evaluation of the work required to complete the project, and the projected costs of this work. The estimate came to at least twice what we had already invested ? a figure our best sales estimates can't come close to justifying.



    Translation: We can't afford to spend any more money to fix our previous mistakes and make money off of this thing.
  • Reply 25 of 44
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by CosmoNut

    You have to read between the lines. I'm referencing this part:



    Translation: We can't afford to spend any more money to fix our previous mistakes and make money off of this thing.




    My bad. I see what you mean...and I guess I can forgive MediaComplete... ...if they take back that QT and OS X comment.
  • Reply 26 of 44
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    WTF are these guys and who cares?? Really...
  • Reply 27 of 44
    animalanimal Posts: 4member
    I realize this thread has been inactive for quite a long time and everyone has moved on to other topics. However, I've just come across this and I wanted to at least be able to defend myself and my friend Todd Temple who wrote the original bulletin.



    When the decision was made to have a Mac version of MediaShout we went to Apple and asked John Gelensye to recommend some developers we could work with since we didn't have OSX programming expertise. We contracted one of Apple's featured and recommended developers Robosoft to work on creating a Mac version.



    After six months, $80,000, a one week trip to India for Todd which turned into a full month of working onsite with Robosoft to explain the functionality we were trying to achieve we came to the conclusion Robosoft would not be able to deliver. Apple did a code review for us and confirmed our conclusion.



    In the meantime I decided to further my own development skills because we were continuing to hear about all the advanced technologies and development tools available in Tiger using Cocoa. We were assured all the things we were doing in the Windows version could easily be done and done even better and more elegantly on the Mac. I decided to go to the Cocoa BootCamp at the Big Nerd Ranch and spent my $3,500 and week getting a great training on the tools. During my time at the Ranch I shared our struggles and challenges with Aaron. I gave Aaron and Marquis a thorough tour of our Windows software.



    Upon leaving the BootCamp and having the decision made to abandon Robosoft's efforts I approached Aaron about having the Big Nerd Ranch be our contract labor to create a Mac version of MediaShout. Just as people in this thread have stated we were assured this could easily be done. We were given a range estimate for cost and assured the program would be able to be done in a 10 week time period. Our initial reaction to this was disbelief, but were assured over and over again that because of the tools and technologies available this was possible.



    Finally, after 3 additional months and more than double the high range estimate we had another code review done by someone who had headed up top tier application projects much more complex than ours. His realistic review indicated we could expect to spend over twice what we had paid out already to Robosoft and Big Nerd Ranch combined. This severely eroded our confidence we could actually do what we had hoped with the Mac version. After all the only people who would know the tools better than Big Nerd Ranch would be Apple and we couldn't expect them to write our app.



    Although I continue to be assured again and again about the superior technology available on the Mac, which I really want to believe since the proof of concept for MediaShout was done on a Mac, I have yet to see a solution to our most vexing problem.



    Play a looping mpeg1 file without hesitation in the playback or loop. Then add the ability to change overlaid text on the fly without causing hesitation or disruption of the video playback. When this was pointed out to the QuickTime team they confirmed this was a long time outstanding mpeg1 playback bug that may have never been addressed. I have a sample mpeg file at http://www.animalproductions.com/Dow..._Flag_loop.mpg to use as a background if you're up to the challenge.



    We really wanted to have a Mac version of our software and although we had to cancel the project to keep our company solvent there were also problems with the technology.



    As Todd stated at the end of the announcement we still want to get on the Mac but we will have to do it much more cautiously than our last attempt. Some of you may be right that we are just idiots but several years of trying and thousands and thousands of dollars paid to no avail would argue we did not make this decision lightly. Any advice and assistance will be warmly welcome.



    Thanks for letting me share some of the back story. Sorry for the length.
  • Reply 28 of 44
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Animal View Post


    As Todd stated at the end of the announcement we still want to get on the Mac but we will have to do it much more cautiously than our last attempt. Some of you may be right that we are just idiots but several years of trying and thousands and thousands of dollars paid to no avail would argue we did not make this decision lightly. Any advice and assistance will be warmly welcome.



    It's good of you to explain the story and it's always nice to hear from people close to the source. I personally feel that Quicktime could really use some uplifting because it has many flaws. VLC, which is an open source media handler is far superior for playback support and often performance. isquint, which uses the ffmpeg source code is much faster at mp4 encoding than Quicktime. Quicktime performance in itunes is terrible.



    Having said that though, Apple's Keynote software seems to do things quite well. I have played uncompressed Pixlet movies in Keynote on old G4 laptops without stuttering at all and using fade transitions. It seems to be quite capable.



    If you are looking for a way forward, I would suggest maybe consulting with the development team behind VLC. Open source developers tend to be very happy when their product is used commercially. Since it already works on all platforms, it could cut down your development costs significantly as you can use the same code. It will also work on Linux. Also, since the code won't be system level, you shouldn't have to worry so much about system updates breaking your software.



    If you really feel that you want to use Quicktime then you might consider trying to contact the team behind Keynote. As I say, they seem to have done pretty well using Quicktime in that. However, if you managed to pull off a successful product using code from VLC and couldn't do it with Quicktime, I'm sure that would give the Quicktime developers some sort of wake up call.
  • Reply 29 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Animal View Post


    I realize this thread has been inactive for quite a long time and everyone has moved on to other topics. However, I've just come across this and I wanted to at least be able to defend myself and my friend Todd Temple who wrote the original bulletin.





    Thanks for the update. When I mentioned attending Big Nerd with you, I was actually was trying to support you in a way. I too was disappointed that QTkit was not what I thought it would be. Out of all the different types of coding in OSX, anything using QT seems to be the most difficult. There are reports of a vastly better QTkit, and a revamped Quicktime. But I certainly believe your reasons for not porting were legitimate at the time. Hopefully the recent advances will help your situation.
  • Reply 30 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blue2kdave View Post


    When I mentioned attending Big Nerd with you, I was actually was trying to support you in a way.



    Thank you. I realized you understood better than some others in this thread since I probably made all you guys who joined me at BNR just tired from hearing about our woes with Robosoft. We even spent many more hours going further in detail with Aaron & Marquis in the following months. I just don't believe we could have prepared a developer better with the amount of information we provided them as well as a working app. It was EXTREMELY disappointing to have BNR drop the ball for us as well.



    It's my understanding QuickTime is going through a total rewrite and I can only hope our reminding them of the mpeg1 playback issue gets the issue addressed. It's important for us because we have developed dozens of content producers who have thousands of legacy files in 640x480 mpeg1 format which was our best alternative 9 years ago when we started the MediaShout adventure.
  • Reply 31 of 44
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Why stay married to MPEG1? I don't mean dump it, but couldn't you generate/acquire a transcoder? Either do it on the fly or as a batch mode upgrade option? Wouldn't that allow you to then use all the API goodness with the modern file types? While keeping as much wonkiness as possible out of the users hair?



    Why break down the big strong front door when the back door is unlocked and ajar?
  • Reply 32 of 44
    costiquecostique Posts: 1,084member
    Robosoft? Big Nerd Ranch? 6+3 months? $80000?



    Something doesn't connect. I can't say anything about MPEG1 (you could always try another stream format unless it comes from uber-expensive obsolete hardware), but what you describe is a joke for Quartz. Have you played with Quartz Composer?
  • Reply 33 of 44
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    As someone who's familiar with MediaShout and MPEG-1 files being used with it, it's easier said than done to transcode them all. The wide MPEG-1 use comes from churches who've bought numerous data CDs or DVDs with tons of animated backgrounds and images. Those disks primarily have offered the files in AVI or MPEG-1. It sucks, and churches likely aren't really excited about transcoding their (sometimes) hundreds of disks of media.
  • Reply 34 of 44
    animalanimal Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Could yuou expand on this? You took the "expertise" of "someone", and I notice immediately that this is the only statement you've made in your post that leaves this "someone" unnamed. Could you specify whther this was a Windows or Mac person, and why you took their advice and estimates to be more knowledgable than that of Apple and Apple's recommended developers?



    Let me be clear. Apple did not give us an estimate of how long the project would take to complete nor how much we could expect to pay. Apple did graciously provide the Robosoft code review as a good will gesture. Apple simply, initially, assured us their technology would allow us to accomplish our goal and get there with less effort than we could expect under Windows. I am not blaming Apple except they did help set our expectations that this should be easy. But that's our bad.



    We did trust the recommended developers. However, Robosoft's estimates and efforts ended up being more than double their estimate at the time of canceling the unfinished project. Apple's code review of Robosoft's effort in progress indicated a re-architecture would be necessary to have the project done right.



    The estimate from Big Nerd Ranch ended up being three times the amount of time and over double the cost with both clock ticking and meter running when we mutually agreed to let the project end. Big Nerd Ranch was unwilling to give a Not to Exceed amount and so there was no end in sight with regard to time and cost.



    I purposely did not name the person who gave us the estimate because I don't know if I'm at liberty to share. His qualifications are impeccable in both the Windows and Mac world. Among the long list of cross platform apps he has worked on and been the project lead on are many extremely recognizable graphics, video and 3D titles.



    We chose his estimate based on his track record over the proven unreliable estimates of the recommended developers. But in the end we don't really trust any estimate anymore since everything always seems to cost at least double and takes at least twice as long no matter what platform your on.
  • Reply 35 of 44
    animalanimal Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by costique View Post


    Robosoft? Big Nerd Ranch? 6+3 months? $80000?



    Something doesn't connect. I can't say anything about MPEG1 (you could always try another stream format unless it comes from uber-expensive obsolete hardware), but what you describe is a joke for Quartz. Have you played with Quartz Composer?



    6 months and $80,000 for Robosoft only. I didn't go into all the details about the Big Nerd Ranch deal other than to express that they also hugely under estimated the scope of this project. is right!



    I can't tell you how many times we've heard things like this is so easy, a no brainer, and a joke for Quartz. I have yet to see it. If anyone is interested in proving it please get the file I referenced in my first post and show me. I really want this to be true. I'd love to be able to tell my partners see I told you a Mac technology driven app would be better.



    The basic operating premise of MediaShout is that you can present your presentation at the same time your building your presentation and the audience should never be able to know the difference. There is no such thing as Edit mode and Present mode or rendering. Therefore, being able to have a looping video background while changing any overlaid text should not disrupt the playback of the background video.
  • Reply 36 of 44
    Thanks for the thread dudes, I have no interest in the sofware, or the technical information presented, but, really enjoyed the back and forth.
  • Reply 37 of 44
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,780member
    Media Shout will be featured at the Unite In Worship conference in Toronto next month, and I promise not to keep harping on the fact that there's no Mac version.



    I hope you do find a solution quickly though. Unlike a decade ago, Mac laptops are quickly becoming the standard for musicians and technicians at most Christian events.
  • Reply 38 of 44
    Wow I didn't even know they were working on Media Shout for OS X. A friend and I were joking when we were sitting in the sound booth together. He said, you know what you need here a Mac Mini and a 20in Apple Cinema display. It would be awesome if that could happen because our current booth is small and we have this huge tower right were the feet of the computer operator needs to go. That sucks. Quicktime could do on-the-fly video transitions and text-over-video rendering. That's why Apple said they could. They just don't want to work on it and they probably don't see the need of it. That's why their not continuing to make it.
  • Reply 39 of 44
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    LOL!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    Dear formerly potential customers,



    fuck you. We're incompetent and don't care for that to change.



    Yours sincerely,

    MediaComplete



  • Reply 40 of 44
    chagichagi Posts: 284member
    For some reason I find it odd that a software developer needed to farm out the development of the MacOS version. I also find it interesting that the developer in question is essentially pointing fingers at everyone else, without taking personal responsibility for the success/failure of the project.



    Two words - due dilligence.
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