Friday, July 31, 2009

Twitizer Blog on Twitter

It goes without saying that a blog for a service that complements Twitter must have its own Twitter stream.

It’s called @twitizercom.

Unfortunately @twitizer wasn’t free, so this was the second best.

New video host

YouTube is now used instead of Vimeo, in an attempt to increase reliability and performance.

To avoid disrupting the use of existing videos they are still hosted by Vimeo and played via the Vimeo player.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More improvements

Fixed yesterday:

  • There have been problems with long delays before messages show up. Now messages are checked every minute, unconditionally.
  • Elements that are not there are no longer hinted at on the landing page. That goes for subject line and attachments. This makes the user interface cleaner. E.g., if you only send a long text with no subject and no attachments, the date and the long text is all that will show.

Existing limitations:

  • For the time being photos are limited to 3 megapixel. It’s a system limitation when doing scaling and rotation and will be remedied soon. If you post larger photos we will take the liberty to scale them to 3 megapixel.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Same, same, but different…

A few minor improvements:

  • “Messages” now lets you navigate to older messages, and shows up to 20 messages per page, making it a bit more snappy.
  • A photo with location information now shows a larger map (640 by 480; the same size as pictures and videos) making it easier to navigate and the page layout more balanced.
  • Added a Xtranormal animation to “Home” describing typical uses of Twitizer in the shape of a conversation between two avatars.
  • Added a video to “About” showing how to snap a photo and send it to Twitizer. A rather boring and badly produced video, so you are warned.
  • Added support for more media formats, including m4a audio that’s used by iPhone/iPod.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No e-mail address in Register

It’s no longer allowed to use your e-mail address for registering, only the Twitter user name. Down the road we will find a better solution, but for now this secures that links to your Twitter page gets correct.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fixed a few bugs

No fatal ones, but important to fix in any case:
  • E-mails can arrive in almost any imaginable character encoding, and Twitizer has been enhanced to convert correctly to what Twitter and the Twitizer pages need, independent of language and encoding.
  • Twitter user names can contain "_" which is kind of hard to enter on a voice-centric phone. "_"'s are therefore now removed from the auto-generated e-mail alias.
Do you find anything that behaves strangely, just give us some Feedback.

Twitizer goes live

Quoting the entry at abiro.com:

It’s been public and stable for a week now, so this is kind of the “cut the ribbon” launch.

Nice features (I think), if you are into Twitter, want some multimedia, and are slightly nerdy:

  • Optimized for submitting multimedia content to Twitter from a mobile phone via MMS or e-mail
  • Worldwide compatibility (I hope; I’ve tried with Chinese etc; let me know if any script causes problems)
  • Supports long texts, photos/pictures, video clips and audio clips / podcasts, and in combination
  • Very quick and easy registration process, and easy to get a reminder for the e-mail alias
  • Easy-to-remember automatically generated e-mail aliases, a la “4 letters from the Twitter user name plus a PIN”, e.g. nerd7053@twitizer.com
  • Short permanent links (5 character code) to landing pages for the submitted messages, e.g.http://twitizer.com/xY6Lq
  • Multiple media shown on the same landing page, supporting multi-slide MMS’s, yet not with animation, as that’s removed by the MMS transcoding gateway
  • As much as possible of the subject and message body shown in the Twitter update, together with the link to the landing page
  • Photos/pictures can be rotated in place, not affecting the original
  • Video and audio clips are played using embedded players
  • Videos are converted, hosted, and played by Vimeo
  • All mobile phone generated media formats are supported (knock on wood)
  • The original media file can be downloaded to the PC; this feature might disappear for videos due to the file size
  • The latest submitted messages (independent of user) can be easily viewed without going to Twitter; currently without user images etc, so this will change
  • The landing page links back to the message submitter’s Twitter page for easy access to other updates
  • etc etc

The list could be made longer, and I might update later.

I’ve considered adding true MMS support, so that slides could be animated, but it’s really not that important, as most people only take one photo or record one video or audio clip, together with some text. Also, MMS to a phone number has a lot of negative implications from a worldwide rate and compatibility perspective, and if you use true e-mail the transfer cost is quite low.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Messages and Location

Latest is now called Messages. That’s more obvious, and it gives the possibility to also list latest users in the future as a separate menu entry.

A photo’s location is now shown as a map directly on the page instead, provided of course there’s any position in the photo. If not the map is not shown at all.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Latest

Added a simple list of the latest messages sent to Twitizer. You can click on a user name to open that user's Twitter page or the message text to see the message content.

There are no doubt a lot of improvement possibilities, e.g. showing the user's icon and the pictures in the message etc.

Audio and Location

Audio is now supported via the QuickTime plugin, so you need that installed to play audio clips. It's been tested to work with the audio formats moble phones generate.

Try e.g. sending a photo with voice annotation. Works fine.

There's also automatic handling of Location provided a photo has geotagging information. If so, a link to a map is shown.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Now with video

We just added ability to view videos uploaded to Twitizer. Almost any video format works. Many phones generate video files in 3GPP format, which is also supported. Vimeo is used for storing the videos.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Twitizer starting to shape up

Now it's possible to register and send long texts and photos without any problems. Video and audio show up as clickable links, so you can download the files to your PC and play them, provided you can find a compatible player.

Work continues...