HTC EVO (Sprint) firmware update issues

We have been receiving reports from HTC EVO users that the latest firmware maintenance update (3.70.651.1) has broken playback in some cases. Rhapsody is not the only service affected. We have reached out to Sprint on this issue. 

Thanks for your patience. 

You can read our full write up on Get Satisfaction.

R(k)

shotymedan asked: I signed up for the beta and no email so far. It seemed anyone who signed up would get a shot at trying this out... I've been almost stalking the blogs about this release. I have an EVO. I've subscribed to rhapsody for 8 years and ride a train for 3 hours each day listening to music. I think I'd be a good tester. Should I keep waiting for an email? Looking forward to hearing from someone... thanks! Dan. shotymedan@gmail.com

We’re sorry you never got the email, but now you don’t have to wait. We’re live in the Android Market now, give it a go!

dayne517 asked: I missed the beta registration, but I've been waiting for this for months now. Can you add me to the beta PLEASE?

I’m sad to say the beta is closed, but- what kind of device do you have?

If you listen carefully…

…you can almost hear the beta release compiling…

Beta testers wanted!

The offline playback release is nigh! We want YOU to help test it before we release it to the Android Market. You can read the announcement from Chris B. here on our Get Satisfaction forum.

We have created a quick intake form, which you can fill out here

The general timeline is something like: internal beta, limited public beta, public release. So if you don’t want to help, you’re not going to be waiting a long time.

However.

Your help is greatly appreciated and desired. Over the last few months we’ve leveraged your enthusiasm and desire for Rhapsody to be the best it can be, and some of you have helped in field testing fixes that made it into Market releases.

We need your help because, collectively, you all have more devices than we do, more OS versions, more eyes, more hands, more ears, and more time. The harder you hit it, the more bugs we’ll expose and get fixed, and that makes Rhapsody better for everyone. 

So help us make a difference. Fill out the intake form today and make Rhapsody even more awesome.

R(k)

Randy Kruzan is a Senior SDE on the Android Team for Rhapsody International.

Pssst

Beta tester intake survey coming next week. :) Pass it on…

Offline playback: In the final stretch

For some time now, we’ve been planning out and working on Rhapsody Android’s offline playback release. This is similar to what our iPhone brethren released earlier in 2010 that allowed you to first download your playlists, and now your albums, to your device. They trailblazed a lot of the work that had to be done to get to that point, and we’ve been adapting their stories (that’s Scrum stories) to the Android world. 

We’re in the final stretch for this now I’m happy to report. Getting here wasn’t always easy and there were plenty of challenges along the way. You, the Rhapsody Faithful, have been awesome in encouraging us (in varied ways) to get this feature out and it’s almost here.

Along the way we’ve made major improvements in the first version that we’ve carried over to this release. Fixes to playback issues, device authorization problems for Droid X and Droid 2, general stability improvements, as well as adding features that you have asked for like Bluetooth support.

In the next couple of weeks we’re going to ramp up to this release by recruiting some of you for beta testing the new app. Details will be first posted over at Get Satisfaction and then we’ll spread the word here and elsewhere.

How is it? Tonight while I was working on some database optimizations I was playing with the app, downloading playlists, removing, re-downloading, playing back, moving through the various parts of the app and it feels really good, really solid. It was nice to just zone for a few minutes and take it in as a whole and see all the hard work my entire team has put into it come to fruition. Having an intimate relationship of the internal workings gives me a sort of clockmaker’s pride seeing it all come together. I have even more pride in the team itself who have really dug deep to get here.

And so here I sit, rocking out to my “Rock and Roll the Ramones Way" playlist that I downloaded a few minutes ago and thinking to myself Yeah. This is going to be awesome.

I can’t wait to share it with you.

R(k)

Randy Kruzan is a Senior SDE on the Android Team for Rhapsody International.

New app update 1.2.11.9

Application Update

We have released a new update to the Android Market, version 1.2.11.9.

To echo the update on GetSatisfaction by Chris B, here’s what was deployed:

* Fix for playback falling back to 30-second samples. While greatly improving the playback experience in this release, we continue to work on track skipping and related issues.

* Fix for double-authorization issue. For users of Droid X and Droid 2 who also side-load Rhapsody subscription music, we had an issue where the device would take two authorization slots on your account. This fix resolves the issue. (We are currently working on a similar fix for other affected devices.) Note: If your Droid X or Droid 2 is in a bad state after connecting it to the Rhapsody Software (PC client), disconnect it, sign out of the client and restart it.

* Bluetooth setting on by default. With Rhapsody you’ll now get some of the most robust Bluetooth support offered by any music app, and from all the positive feedback on this setting in our previous release, we now turn this setting on by default.

Also, by request from GetSatisfaction, we’ve included playback pause on disconnect from Bluetooth as well as from disconnect of the audio hardware jack.

Pending emergency issues, we are fully focused on the final weeks of getting the 2.0 code done, tested, and out to you.

R(k)

Awesomeness is on the Verizon

Clever title, eh?

This weekend we released to the Android Market several cool things, including integrated billing with Verizon, Bluetooth audio controls support, and optional MP3 streaming. I’ll go through each in detail, then give you a state of the app. 

Verizon Wireless integrated billing

This is the big feature of this release. You can now add VCAST Rhapsody to your Verizon Wireless bill! Listen all you want, purchase tracks with your Verizon account, and it’s all rolled into one bill for you. That new cut that came out that you want to take with you? You can buy it with your Verizon account and download it right away. 

Bluetooth audio controls support

A lot of you have been asking us for this, and now you have it. Use Rhapsody with your Bluetooth wireless headset with audio controls. Play/pause/stop/next/previous are all supported. In our Settings menu, you’ll notice an option to have Rhapsody release control. This is meant for users on Android before 2.x where the last app using the controls holds onto it greedily, we made it easy to let go. Newer Android releases shouldn’t have this problem. Rhapsody: plays well with others.

If you’re interested in how we did this, check back. I will be making our Bluetooth implementation the first technical post for this blog.

Optional MP3 streaming

For those customers who recently upgraded to Android 2.2 you may have noticed a drop in audio quality for Rhapsody and other streaming music services using the AAC codec. We have rolled out a temporary work around which will allow you to stream songs in the MP3 format. Give it a try!

A shout out to the server team

I want to take a minute and give a huge thanks to the folks on our server team who rocked and rolled on supporting this release. Additionally, they’ve recently released a fix that reduced some of the 30s samples (more on that in a minute). Thanks, go team!

The state of the app

So where does this leave us in regards to offline playback, double authorization issues on some devices, 30 second samples/track skipping and everything else?

I can tell you the next feature release will have a patch for the double device authorization for Android devices that support WindowsMedia DRM side-loading. It will also have a fix that should clear up most if not all of the remaining 30s sample issues. 

Post that release, it’s all offline playback. We’ve been working on it and making sure it’s rock solid out of the gate. Previously we’ve only said “soon” with regards to timeline. I am happy to say we are targeting a release this Fall. I realize it’s only slightly less ambiguous, but hey- we’ve given you one more reason to look forward to Autumn!

So settle in, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. The ride is just starting and it’s going to be awesome!

R(k)

Randy Kruzan is a Senior SDE on the Android Team for Rhapsody International.

The news in brief

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, so much is going on that I’ve actually missed the last post!

We’ve been working like mad over here on a number of things, so why don’t I just get to it?

 

Update for the week ending August 27th, 2010

Hit it!

Offline Playback

Status: On track. Planning our release for Fall. 

Everything Else

  • Droid 2 and Droid X with 2.2, app crashing at startup: Fixed, released. 
  • FroYo Audio quality: Investigating a work-around.
  • Droid X and other WM DRM Android devices, double auth/daily relicense issues: In progress, working with partners to resolve it.
  • Investigation into app crash on Incredible with 2.2 update.
  • Bluetooth controls: in QA

R(k)

Randy Kruzan is a Senior SDE on the Android Team for Rhapsody International.