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View Full Version : Issues acknowledged by Avner on twitter


tabarouette
November 13th, 2010, 12:12 AM
Been following Avner's twitter feed (@boxee (http://twitter.com/boxee)). He's been responding to issues etc. You can tell he wants to make everyone happy. Here is a list of things he has acknowledged they will be dealing with so far:

- Easier access to local files - Tweet (http://twitter.com/obelix74/status/3276240391774208) - Avner's Reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3282886501335040)

- Not launching full screen mode for online content - Tweet (http://twitter.com/dannysullivan/status/3274841838850048) - Avner's reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3275288481894401)

- Grey screens, 1080p, resolution issues -Tweet (http://twitter.com/chadworks/status/3272640902987777) - Avner's reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3273943062417408)

- Filters for content - Tweet (http://twitter.com/ranyodh/status/3243598673879040) - Avner's reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3250872146464768)

- Selling the remote separate from the box - Tweet (http://twitter.com/cherbst89/status/3164005430464512) - Avner's Reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3165383502598144)


I'm loving my box so far, even with the rough edges!

Update:
More issues he has acknowledged:

- Problems with identifying media not recognized by the scraping - tweet (http://twitter.com/beavertank/status/3512698109173760) - response (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3515094512173056)

- Getting more UK content - tweet (http://twitter.com/cecemf/status/3502890698153984) - reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3503801017307136)

- Once again saying they are going to fix the access to the local content - tweet (http://twitter.com/mattmaher/status/3461083046084608) - reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3481958554279936)

clovis8
November 13th, 2010, 12:24 AM
Good news. I am curious. Those with more experience with boxee can you guess how long we are talking for fixes?

days, weeks, months?

emodro
November 13th, 2010, 12:31 AM
in one of his tweets he says that an update should be up in a few days.

tabarouette
November 13th, 2010, 12:32 AM
He says he hopes to have an update in the next few days (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3275561174573056). Although he is only talking about a fix for the resolution in that post.

Nall
November 13th, 2010, 12:33 AM
I am hoping they are scrambling for a damage-control fix at this point. The amount of problems and complaints is a bit intense for a retail product. It's genuinely quite broken in a few areas.

Drone-01
November 13th, 2010, 12:36 AM
Good news. I am curious. Those with more experience with boxee can you guess how long we are talking for fixes?

days, weeks, months?

Hahaha I'm standing by the bbox... But I do have lingering concerns about update frequency.

Also...

A. Not seeing much (any?) interaction from boxee staff in here.
B. I really expected something in the form of an update today.

Patiently waiting...

darcilicious
November 13th, 2010, 12:14 PM
Boxee staff has never commented here much. You'll see posts from marcel most often and sometimes dconti comes by regarding various but specific issues.

That's about it. I don't know if this will change in the future or not.

dialing_wand
November 13th, 2010, 12:31 PM
Boxee staff has never commented here much. You'll see posts from marcel most often and sometimes dconti comes by regarding various but specific issues.

That's about it. I don't know if this will change in the future or not.

It doesn't matter as long as they're listening, and I imagine they are.

Ph8
November 13th, 2010, 12:40 PM
Hahaha I'm standing by the bbox... But I do have lingering concerns about update frequency.

Also...

A. Not seeing much (any?) interaction from boxee staff in here.
B. I really expected something in the form of an update today.

Patiently waiting...

Just a heads up, IMO the Boxee staff and Avner have been more vocal then most companies in this market have been. As you probably know Boxee has a very small staff, I am sure the few that do respond do so during off hours or inbtween work. They are working hard to make this product work for everyone, BTW its only been 2 days since the offcial launch of the event I wouldnt expect an update at least until next week or the week after. If the proble was already known then yes a day or two is possible, but most of these issues were unknown to the Boxee team.

medicineuk
November 13th, 2010, 12:44 PM
Good news. I am curious. Those with more experience with boxee can you guess how long we are talking for fixes?

days, weeks, months?

Well the boxee box was meant to come out a year ago so........ The remote was also meant to be released separately before the box come out but we are still waiting on that so .......... then there were the delays to the beta so..........

Maybe we shouldn't make guesses based on previous experiences that would only depress everyone.

At least Boxee are listening and I'm sure they only want to do right by Boxee users, so hopefully something will be out soonish.

darcilicious
November 13th, 2010, 12:58 PM
It doesn't matter as long as they're listening, and I imagine they are.

They most definitely are.

tabarouette
November 13th, 2010, 04:47 PM
More issues he has acknowledged:

- Problems with identifying media not recognized by the scraping - tweet (http://twitter.com/beavertank/status/3512698109173760) - response (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3515094512173056)

- Getting more UK content - tweet (http://twitter.com/cecemf/status/3502890698153984) - reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3503801017307136)

- Once again saying they are going to fix the access to the local content - tweet (http://twitter.com/mattmaher/status/3461083046084608) - reply (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/3481958554279936)

SecretAsianMan
November 13th, 2010, 04:52 PM
"Browser is a fallback till we partner with these guys to offer 10ft optimized experiences" I guess I shouldn't be surprised since a commercial product can't get away with scraping like a garage project can :( But I wish we'd have been alerted ahead of time that the final product was going to suck in this department.

How about at least showing us how to hack Boxee Box so the more daring users could do what we want...

Lactoes
November 13th, 2010, 05:54 PM
They most definitely are.

I had the pleasure of emailing with Zach with Boxee yesterday, and wanted to back this up. From him about responding to feedback...
"It's true that we're drinking from a fire-hose right now, lots of feedback coming from every direction. We're prioritizing issues and will make public responses in rapid succession ASAP."

These guys know what's up - this is most certainly not like Apple with someone like Jobs is at the wheel, and where your comments usually fall on deaf ears. These guys are aware of the issues, and constructive criticism will get us all much farther then the bashing. (Besides, when they have to take the time to craft apologies, that's less time they're spending on improving the product!) They're not a huge staff, and I for one, am impressed by the swift responses, even though the team isn't vocal here (for now...).

And while I'm making one Apple comparison, I'll make another... While the Box obviously isn't on the scale of the first iPhone launch, that product had plenty of issues as well - lack of copy & paste, minimal storage (4GB?!), no app store. But it was still a revolutionary product, and it still knocked the pants off of everybody else's Razr. It's a more mature product now, but let's face it - the luster is diminished next to other phones who fairly quickly caught up. The early days of the iPhone, shortcomings noted, was a ton of fun. I don't want to wax poetic, but I think that's where we're all at now. For me, the fun in early adoption comes with a few kinks.

Personally, I'm going to give them more than 2 days after release to work on it, enjoy the things that do work for now, and continue adding things to the wishlist for future rollouts. While you may compare this to Roku or Apple TV, I don't know of another STB that will let me play VOB or FLAC, or a million other formats/codecs. Yeah, a PC can, but not at $199 for the hardware and an incredible remote.

Avner & co. are human, and really do give a damn about their product. Boxee is their baby, and they're not going to roll over and play dead just because a few of you are shipping your Box back to Amazon. But if you stick it out, I'm confident we're in for a fun ride.


Sidenote:
Seth Godin had a post (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/11/the-bright-line-of-small-differences.html) on his blog today that's relevant to what's going on here in Boxee-world. Essentially, when the fans/consumers push back, "the really good news is that the tribe cares. If you don't have that, you've got nothing of value. In fact, the squabbling among people who care is the first sign you're on to something."
While I think we can all up the constructive aspect of our criticism, the fact that we're all pretty passionate about Boxee bodes well for it long-term.

boooourns
November 13th, 2010, 06:28 PM
Great post, Lactoes.

I'm VERY new around here, and to Boxee, but so far I really dig it and I know that it'll only get better. As has been said, I think constructive criticism will get us a lot further than bashing; of course a lot of people are having a much worse experience with this product than I am, so it's easy for me to say. It's very reassuring though that Avner is addressing these issues publicly.

darcilicious
November 13th, 2010, 06:53 PM
I've stickied the thread to keep is as visible as possible.

Also, @tabarouette if you want to update your first post with subsequent updates, that would help too, I think. Thanks for putting this together!

gtoddv
November 13th, 2010, 07:28 PM
+1 .....well stated

I had the pleasure of emailing with Zach with Boxee yesterday, and wanted to back this up. From him about responding to feedback...
"It's true that we're drinking from a fire-hose right now, lots of feedback coming from every direction. We're prioritizing issues and will make public responses in rapid succession ASAP."

These guys know what's up - this is most certainly not like Apple with someone like Jobs is at the wheel, and where your comments usually fall on deaf ears. These guys are aware of the issues, and constructive criticism will get us all much farther then the bashing. (Besides, when they have to take the time to craft apologies, that's less time they're spending on improving the product!) They're not a huge staff, and I for one, am impressed by the swift responses, even though the team isn't vocal here (for now...).

And while I'm making one Apple comparison, I'll make another... While the Box obviously isn't on the scale of the first iPhone launch, that product had plenty of issues as well - lack of copy & paste, minimal storage (4GB?!), no app store. But it was still a revolutionary product, and it still knocked the pants off of everybody else's Razr. It's a more mature product now, but let's face it - the luster is diminished next to other phones who fairly quickly caught up. The early days of the iPhone, shortcomings noted, was a ton of fun. I don't want to wax poetic, but I think that's where we're all at now. For me, the fun in early adoption comes with a few kinks.

Personally, I'm going to give them more than 2 days after release to work on it, enjoy the things that do work for now, and continue adding things to the wishlist for future rollouts. While you may compare this to Roku or Apple TV, I don't know of another STB that will let me play VOB or FLAC, or a million other formats/codecs. Yeah, a PC can, but not at $199 for the hardware and an incredible remote.

Avner & co. are human, and really do give a damn about their product. Boxee is their baby, and they're not going to roll over and play dead just because a few of you are shipping your Box back to Amazon. But if you stick it out, I'm confident we're in for a fun ride.


Sidenote:
Seth Godin had a post (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/11/the-bright-line-of-small-differences.html) on his blog today that's relevant to what's going on here in Boxee-world. Essentially, when the fans/consumers push back, "the really good news is that the tribe cares. If you don't have that, you've got nothing of value. In fact, the squabbling among people who care is the first sign you're on to something."
While I think we can all up the constructive aspect of our criticism, the fact that we're all pretty passionate about Boxee bodes well for it long-term.

bxpressiv
November 13th, 2010, 08:37 PM
Good to see a bit of positive news coming back the other way. People can put the razor blades away for a few more days. I reiterate what I have said before, Amazon returns is 31 Jan 2011 so give the Boxee team some time to take a breath and get some things sorted out and we'll see where we are in a month.

That said, I don't expect detailed replies because I know the developers are a little busy but considering the high volume of negativity in the forums a one liner from a developer in a sticky thread for everyone to see would go a long way because not everyone reads through the Boxee Twitter feeds. People saying the development team are listening doesn't hold as much weight as them saying it themselves.

kompakt
November 13th, 2010, 09:00 PM
I reiterate what I have said before, Amazon returns is 31 Jan 2011 so give the Boxee team some time to take a breath and get some things sorted out and we'll see where we are in a month.

Be aware that not everyone is in the US. I am in Australia, paid $299 (AU, but our dollar is at parity with the US $) for this box, and have 14 days to return. Can you see why I'm somewhat anxious? :/

willieiso118
November 13th, 2010, 09:42 PM
I've been touch with my vpn provider "overplay" and they are playing with their Boxee box and say to stay tuned for fixes in this area..... FYI

bxpressiv
November 13th, 2010, 09:47 PM
Be aware that not everyone is in the US. I am in Australia, paid $299 (AU, but our dollar is at parity with the US $) for this box, and have 14 days to return. Can you see why I'm somewhat anxious? :/

:o I can understand that then. I'm also in Australia but bought mine from Amazon then shipped it. I just assume the majority of buyers would be from the US. If I was in your situation I'd probably return it and then buy it when the features you want turn up. It's not going to get more expensive later on down the track. Amazon buyers have the luxury at the moment for returns at the end of January.

Bixiee
November 13th, 2010, 09:56 PM
I am hoping they are scrambling for a damage-control fix at this point. The amount of problems and complaints is a bit intense for a retail product. It's genuinely quite broken in a few areas.

But it isn't out in stores yet is it? It was my understanding it was just shipped from amazon at the moment, it will be stores sometime next week.

Meaning only the dedicated manics preordered and they are all likely to be hugely vocal and have needs the masses don't necessarily.

If they can release a good patch before Thursday even they might not notice.

boooourns
November 13th, 2010, 10:00 PM
But it isn't out in stores yet is it? It was my understanding it was just shipped from amazon at the moment, it will be stores sometime next week.

Meaning only the dedicated manics preordered and they are all likely to be hugely vocal and have needs the masses don't necessarily.

If they can release a good patch before Thursday even they might not notice.
In Canada, I know that people have been able to purchase it from Best Buy retail stores. I got mine from Futureshop.ca, although I'm not sure what the availability is at their stores.

bxpressiv
November 13th, 2010, 10:12 PM
Meaning only the dedicated manics preordered and they are all likely to be hugely vocal and have needs the masses don't necessarily.

I totally agree with you. However, it seems some people are canceling pre-orders based on this feedback and people who are yet to purchase it could be affected by it also. People who were thinking about getting it may have struck it off the list before retail release in their regions because of the perceived problems.

boulderado
November 14th, 2010, 12:52 AM
Why doesn't Avner respond here, on his own forums, to the hundreds of messages that have been posted asking questions about the boxee box, instead of tweeting quips on twitter?

This behavior is disrespectful to the boxee community.

darcilicious
November 14th, 2010, 12:54 AM
Why don't you email Avner (pretty sure it's avner at boxee dot tv) directly and ask him instead of posting to a forum where you claim he isn't participating?

boulderado
November 14th, 2010, 01:06 AM
Just a heads up, IMO the Boxee staff and Avner have been more vocal then most companies in this market have been. As you probably know Boxee has a very small staff, I am sure the few that do respond do so during off hours or inbtween work. They are working hard to make this product work for everyone,

Boxee has _33_ employees. They have had _2 years_ to perfect their standalone-box software. Responding in their own forums to communicate with early adopters should be a priority, I have no idea why Avner is only sending twitter updates, except as a way to provide a good face to the media?

boulderado
November 14th, 2010, 01:07 AM
Why don't you email Avner (pretty sure it's avner at boxee dot tv) directly and ask him instead of posting to a forum where you claim he isn't participating?

Where is he participating? I looked up his twitter feed, he has about 20 boxee box questions responses, how many has he posted here? Also, I did DM him on twitter about this.

mmsalv
November 14th, 2010, 08:52 AM
I'm in Canada, best buy is selling boxee boxes here. I got mine 30 min. before the launch event started, I have 10 days left if I want to return it.

My box is gimped with wireless issues, after exhausting dlink support and these forums for help, I emailed Avner around midnight last night.

He got back to me at 7:00am this morning. He's a real person and he obviously cares about boxee users. Also, I bet he isn't getting much sleep.

twistybox
November 14th, 2010, 09:00 AM
Honestly, what does it matter how long was spent on the software when at the 11th hour you completely change the UI? I've never seen anyone in any industry toss out an existing and working solution to start essentially from scratch at shipping time. In Boxee's case the new software went live after shipping.

Ignore people already familiar with Boxee software and imagine only how many saw the initial UI in the first two days, then with a magic update, poof, the whole experience becomes a train-wreck.

Best Buy is known for their elastic-band sales. That means a product goes to the customer and then when they're unsatisfied it rebounds back to the manufacturer on a return. DLink is going to be getting a lot of returns.

I think I'll be returning two units this week. The box just seems drastically underpowered to handle even this simplified UI, coupled with the massive loss of features and the odd priorities the company is giving to development, I think I'm safer with the "wait and see" approach.

Every time you turn on the box it has to re-index all your media posters/covers. That's ridiculous and something my wife and two friends (and their wives) have already complained about. If after an overnight index all the metadata, including graphics aren't instantly available the next time the box is turned on, this solutions is simply never going to fly for anyone I know. And, needless to say, I don't like looking like an idiot for recommending this product to them in the first place.

aga
November 14th, 2010, 09:17 AM
First let me say, on balance, I am very happy with the Boxee Box. I am replacing a Hauppauge MediaMVP and am having a hard time sorting out my mp3 files (playlist etc) on the Boxee. I hope this will be improved before the box goes beyond the early adopters (Target Stores on 11/17 etc.)

I believe they will fix the netflix etc. But releasing it to the general public before then may hurt all of us that want this open source device to succeed.

HoneyBearKelly
November 14th, 2010, 09:22 AM
I exchanged e-mails with Avner and Dan.

I had already figured out what I was doing wrong but they were very nice and extremely helpful.

Now my Boxee Box is working lovely and I only have a few minor bones to pick.

I'll look through other threads to see if I can find answers to my few issues.

Avner and Dan have been super (especially after I was so lunatic).

The posters on these threads have been very helpful as well.

dennismadison
November 14th, 2010, 09:45 AM
I too am struggling with getting BB to hook up to my Win 7 machines (some work, some don't), but BB has been out less than a week and I'm sure the BB team is scrambling to get some of the major points fixed (exactly those that have been tweeted by Avner).

Overall the BB is great and I will continue to support it and promote it. I have full confidence that the fixes will be made. All of us in these forums are early adopters - we should all be used to bugs in the early days of any device.

lazz3k
November 14th, 2010, 09:57 AM
I too am happy with the BB, yes, there are a few things missing, but i can still get around that until it's added/fixed. I have been using the box since i got it.

What would be really nice, and i have been saving my pennies for, is a TV with built in boxee. I'll keep my money in anticipation for that.

bxpressiv
November 14th, 2010, 10:23 AM
As darilicious suggested I sent Avner a short email and he answered me in about 3hrs which is a shock. Here's the gist:

You're answering questions on Twitter, however it would be good if you or a representative did only one short post a day about what is going on because I know it would go a long way to giving people a bit more hope and that their concerns are being heard. At the moment people have no idea what is going on in terms of fixes and improvements and their priority of implementation.

and part of response from Avner:

I'll go there and post my thoughts about the initial feedback we are getting and how we are planning to address it.


So I know some people are frustrated but hold off a little bit longer because as always, there is a way forward. :cool:

dylm
November 14th, 2010, 04:04 PM
...especially when the devs themselves respond. Kudos.

StevenF
November 14th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Email I got from Avner ;
"Hi Steven,

Sorry you feel that way. What frustrates you the most about the new version? I promise we will try to address it.
It is impossible for us to support multiple UIs, but I would like to find a way to fix the stuff you believe we have broken with this version.

Regards,

avner ronen | boxee | 646.256.4122 | http://twitter.com/boxee"

I replied with a list of things I thought was most frustrating ;

jsschwass
November 15th, 2010, 03:03 PM
Here's Avner's response to my concerns:

1. We are going to give users who use Boxee primarily for local file playback the option to make it so clicking on Movies, Shows takes them directly to their files, and enable more sort options
2. The grey lettering on the remote is a stupid mistake that will be fixed
3. The constant monitoring of folders is an issue mostly over SMB as it created a multitude of issues, but we are considering putting a more granular resolution for scanning and making it easier to force a scan.

SteveTWT
November 15th, 2010, 03:15 PM
Every time you turn on the box it has to re-index all your media posters/covers

Please don't tell me that this is by design. Surely this is basic stuff they should have sorted out before when so much time on the new UI that is causing so many problems!

hawkesbury
November 15th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Please don't tell me that this is by design. Surely this is basic stuff they should have sorted out before when so much time on the new UI that is causing so many problems!

As far as I know there is no caching built in. Ideally it would be good if local media library and all thumbnails were cached in flash storage.

ChrisFix
November 15th, 2010, 05:14 PM
Here's Avner's response to my concerns:

1. We are going to give users who use Boxee primarily for local file playback the option to make it so clicking on Movies, Shows takes them directly to their files, and enable more sort options
2. The grey lettering on the remote is a stupid mistake that will be fixed
3. The constant monitoring of folders is an issue mostly over SMB as it created a multitude of issues, but we are considering putting a more granular resolution for scanning and making it easier to force a scan.

The grey lettering is almost impossible to read in normal to dim lighting (like you would have when watching TV). I wonder how they plan on fixing this mistake for us early adopters who already have the remote in hand? I hope they are willing to exchange our remotes for an improved one when they are available.

hawkesbury
November 15th, 2010, 05:15 PM
The grey lettering is almost impossible to read in normal to dim lighting (like you would have when watching TV). I wonder how they plan on fixing this mistake for us early adopters who already have the remote in hand? I hope they are willing to exchange our remotes for an improved one when they are available.
Don't hold your breath. I don't think this will happen.

ChrisFix
November 15th, 2010, 05:54 PM
Don't hold your breath. I don't think this will happen.

Neither do I...But when even the CEO states how lame it is it, and that they will fix it...you can't help but feel like you've pulled the short straw.

hawkesbury
November 15th, 2010, 05:56 PM
Neither do I...But when even the CEO states how lame it is it, and that they will fix it...you can't help but feel like you've pulled the short straw.

I agree, and it sure would be a treat for all us early adopters to get remote replacements if/when a newly designed one is released. With that said, if they decide to sell a 'fixed' remote on its own in the future for like $19 or $29, I'd buy it.

ripper2982
November 15th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Just emailed Avner about local meta data and folder images and here's what I got back:

"Just wanted to find out if support for local meta data and folder images was going to be added to boxee box anytime soon?"



yes. it's in the works. should be part of the next few drops.

avner ronen | boxee | http://twitter.com/boxee

Starseame
November 16th, 2010, 04:49 AM
Some welcome news for a change, though I'm still returning my unit. Hopefully in the months to come Boxee can sort out all the problems.

Also for those wondering the 0.9 UI is not coming back Avner said so on Twitter (http://twitter.com/boxee/status/4354468007116800) so I guess he likes the 1.0 UI even if most others dont.

newboxeeuser
November 16th, 2010, 11:55 AM
Just emailed Avner about local meta data and folder images and here's what I got back:

"Just wanted to find out if support for local meta data and folder images was going to be added to boxee box anytime soon?"



yes. it's in the works. should be part of the next few drops.

avner ronen | boxee | REMOVED | http://twitter.com/boxee

Maybe remove the phone number if its a personal or cell number? Internet scrappers are dangerous.

CrashX
November 16th, 2010, 03:24 PM
The grey lettering is almost impossible to read in normal to dim lighting (like you would have when watching TV). I wonder how they plan on fixing this mistake for us early adopters who already have the remote in hand? I hope they are willing to exchange our remotes for an improved one when they are available.

Hmm FCC shows it as white text ? I wonder how it changed in production to grey ... https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/eas/GetApplicationAttachment.html?id=1329959

gmd024
November 16th, 2010, 03:45 PM
I agree, and it sure would be a treat for all us early adopters to get remote replacements if/when a newly designed one is released. With that said, if they decide to sell a 'fixed' remote on its own in the future for like $19 or $29, I'd buy it.

I'm one of the early adopters like you guys -- but I already had solution for the remote back lite issue before the BBox arrived - the Rii backlit RF remote with a track pad

You can hold out for a possible low priced exchange deal with D-Link or even a new back lit remote with no compensation - I have no idea what will happen or what time frame either - but the Rii is a nice remote to consider - plus it has an internal rechargeable battery that seems to last a looong time between charges, and the backlite has a short auto-off feature that kicks in when there's been no keys pressed - the last I knew it was at pandawill.com for around $39 - ships free from China - took mine 16 days to paddle over on a slow boat - but well worth the wait

daver77
November 17th, 2010, 04:21 AM
I agree, and it sure would be a treat for all us early adopters to get remote replacements if/when a newly designed one is released. With that said, if they decide to sell a 'fixed' remote on its own in the future for like $19 or $29, I'd buy it.

I read somewhere that they are planning a new remote anyway with a dedicated Netflix button so that may fix the lettering. No good for us in the UK though :(