Good evening from Odessa, Nebraska on this April Fool’s Night. True or False? That seems to be the question here lately.
Whenever I try to enhance the website or improve anything I always get notes, emails, and comments from folks that like something better or hate it, or completely misunderstand what I was even trying to do. Case in point, this new app is only in it’s second day of real world usage, yet the responses range from they love the changes to it is absolutely the worst thing in the world. LOL, Now, how do I figure out what is really good or bad in that case? Yes, I do value everyone’s input since you guys see and know what is going on with the broadcast while I am driving, but let’s look at what we have learned in just the last two days…..
One, the custom app IS capable of broadcasting in decent quality with additional information that should make everyone happy and eliminate the million times a day questions of where is he?, what time it is there?, what is this altitude? and of course the most asked question (despite our maps and website being available) WHERE IS HE?
True, the text colors need work. True, the whole app needs refinement (which only comes from real world testing), and the buffer handling needs to be looked at closer. But, for the second day, it really isn’t bad. I et a graph of viewers for every minute on any stream as well as a graph for how well we held signal. Comparing the old and new streams graphs data, they are pretty much the same with a few exceptions. The new app will NOT remove all buffers, period. I am convinced quite a few folks feel that it should or would. Fact is, uploading video from a mobile device is the very lowest priority on a data tower. Of course, congestion, mountains, etc all play in the formula as well. Believe it or not, so does the weather and even time of day. Yes, even with the old apps, the late afternoon always caused more buffers than morning in the exact same areas! New app or old app, the same fundamental problem still exists.
The old app would go to a black screen when no signal was around, and then the audio had trouble catching back up afterwards. This new app handles it differently by trying to still push up any image or pixel available if possible, cutting audio and then come back 100% live once a good signal returns. It’s simply a different way of handing buffer times. Yes, we will continue to look into improving this.
On another note, the old snowman app we have been using for 8 years has been out of production for the last 5 years! We made it work way longer than the expected lifecycle ever intended! Then add the 5 year old phone and it sure didn’t help matters any. Now, with our new custom app, the new and improved snowman image program has come back to life and is fully reliable – and it works great – from the same single app! No more does it take two phones, two apps to accomplish what we did in the past.
So, before you guys just throw in the towel and discount everything that BRT is trying to do just because it isn’t perfect, just remember, we have made a whole slew of advancements and improvements over the last 13 years and not a single one of them ever worked perfectly out of the box since we adapted them to our website and basically do what many, many people have told me we can’t do. We are the longest running trucker-broadcaster website in the world – for a reason – and that ya’ll, is Fact!