Sunday, November 30, 2008

24x24 ...

It has been 2 years since our last 24x24 (a season of 24 in one shot, starting with Jack and finishing with Jack). With the delay to season 7, and my generally chaotic calender we have only just gotten to season 6.

This season is another tough one. Starting, and therefore finishing, at 6am. Much like the season 2 24x24 we made the mistake of staying up far too late last night. So with 3 hours sleep behind us we embarked at the appointed hour, I'll mention it again, 6am!

As always, because episodes are not actually an hour long, we bank a bit of time for some longer breaks like lunch or for a bit of Rock Band.

Right now is the hardest part. It's 4:47am local time. Jack has just hit 5am. In order to finish with Jack we cannot start the next one till 5:22am.

Mike crapped out about 1am, Jon has drifted in and out since 3am and now, in the 40 minute break they are all asleep.

So sitting here alone I write this. Marking our 6th 24x24 and my (unconventional) stag weekend. Even though they snore around me, I know I have the best friends in the world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who's doing QA on iPhone podcasts firmware ...

Much as I love my iPhone I am begining to feel like a second class user in Apple's eyes. You see I don't listen to much music, according to some my taste is so bad I don't in fact listen to any music. Mostly I listen to podcasts.

Lots and lots of podcasts. So unlike some I have become very familiar with how awkward the combination of iPhone and iTunes can be when dealing with podcasts.

Firstly there is the annoyance that each firmware update manages to set all the most recently listened to podcasts to an unfinished state thus re syncing them rather than removing them. The whole new, started and finished status issue is confusing enough without randomly resetting some of them.

The 2.1 firmware update showed an attempt to improve things. New indicators showing whether you have unlistened or partially listened to episodes within a podcast were introduced. Great but then they set the ordering to be latest first and to automatically play through the full list. So on finishing the latest episode the iphone would start playing the previous one!

In the recent 2.2 firmware the date ordering is correct but the indicators are gone from the podcast level and are only visible at the episode level. Also video podcasts are still in the wrong order.

Podcasts are obviously a bit of a loss leader for Apple, but come on. This is basic stuff and if you are going to start trying to fix things then you should pay a little attention to checking in all areas. My guess would be they either didn't look at the video section because they were only looking in podcasts? Or they needed to protect the ordering of videos to support TV series in some way. Really annoying is that the video podcasts do appear in the podcast section, in the correct order but will only play the audio part!

Normally the details of user interface design is one of the things us Apple fans can hold up high. What is currently failing in the iPhone QA team to let these issues past?