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VR+ 2.4.1 – works better with Twitter

Yet another version of VR+ was announced today, 2.4.1.

The one thing I hate about SHAPE is the lack of change logs. Well, I guess I hate that in most software houses that develop for the Blackberry. How much of an impact would a darn change log have on their quarter’s bottom line? What does it take to make them understand that many users care about change logs? We post about 10 articles in this site every single week day, that’s more or less 50 articles a week, and that’s mostly Ronen Halevy alone. Why can’t anyone in their corresponding departments post/update a change log to their sites every few weeks? What is so difficult about that? 😡

Anyway, I just downloaded the new version and can’t see anything different about it except for this launch screen:

It is the same screenshot taken of the 2.4.0 version I posted on Wednesday. In version 2.4.1, the social network (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace) features are no longer mentioned. But the features are there. The settings are there, including my login and password. What’s been changed then?

Well, at least the method for posting to Twitter has changed. On Wednesday, I complained that recordings didn’t get posted to my Twitter timeline. After a quick test with version 2.4.1, my recording was posted and is very visible right there in my timeline. Thanks, SHAPE!

There is one glitch, though. What is sent to my Twitter timeline is a tinyurl that points to a long URL (duh!), the recording at SHAPE’s Web site. The problem is: the only way to access the recording is by means of an embedded Flash player, 100% inaccessible to the Blackberry browser and any other mobile device’s browser for that matter, and even quite a few desktop browsers! Sure enough, the BB browser displays that MP3 page with the following message:

To view the MP3 Player you will need to have Javascript turned on and have Flash Player 9 or better installed.

Sigh. When will these “or better” demands ever become extinct?

So I really wish there were a download link too. This is about communication. There is no proper communication without proper accessibility. This will never take off as a podcast platform with that kind of limitation. I wonder if they even tested this entire situation with their own browsers and Blackberries. Can’t they see how inconvenient it is? Ideally, there shouldn’t even be any intermediate page at all. Just post a direct link (or tinyurl) to the sound file already. We want people to be able to access the file as quickly as possible. The second best thing to telepathy is everyone’s goal, always.

So the good news is that SHAPE is working to improve the new social network broadcasting feature. The bad news is that there is in fact a little work to be done. Even worse news is that Twitter has no “private” post feature and anyone can access any Twitter page any time, so I am guessing that SHAPE will never accept the idea of posting direct links to audio files for fear of too much bandwidth consumption. At least not with Twitter or MySpace. Maybe with Facebook. As the owner of the recordings, I can always have a direct link to the recording, so I could post that link to my Twitter timeline. I just can’t have that process automated, quickly and conveniently.

But the service is very new, as this picture certainly proves:

I am labeled a “popular podcaster”, second to SHAPE only. :-) Come on, podcasters. Get talking!

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