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Author Topic: Major update coming soon... along with some good news  (Read 20668 times)

Offline Justin

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Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« on: February 05, 2016, 02:43:28 PM »
I've decided that I'm going to get this new update done sooner rather than making major changes that cause it to become delayed. I'm very busy with other things right now, but this version will basically be the current version, but with larger interface buttons and text, better touch-screen support, and video playback support as well.

Since it's kind of a major upgrade, it won't be free HOWEVER, since I'm raising the price by $20, any 7.x user will be able to upgrade for the difference (eg, just $20). In order to cut down on answering the same question over and over and over, I am adding feature within the License dialog that, if it detects your license is for an older version, you will be offered the option to upgrade your license, or download the version for which your license is valid... I answer that same question several times a day, "I got a new computer and now my license doesn't work"... you can see how frustrating that can be to copy and paste the same answer to 20 different emails, after first checking that their license IS valid and for which version.

So if you're using a 6.x license, it will ask you to purchase at full price; if you're using a 7.x license, it will offer you the $20 upgrade price; in either case a download link for the correct version will be offered.

Sound fair? I'm still priced far below the competition, and I should be compensated for the work that I put into this... I'm a one man operation (with the exception of Fabio, who helps me tremendously on the forums and with ideas and bug reports via private email).

So I can't give an exact date, but I am going to call it 8.0. It will look a bit more "fresh" but not as drastic as what I had posted before as far as screen shots.

NOTE: I should get in the habit of attaching the pictures before typing - I always forget!

*EDIT AGAIN* Damn, I edited the wrong post... think it's time for a beer break for the day lol...
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 04:25:31 PM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2016, 06:34:47 PM »
Thanks for the mention Justin  ;D

And you're right! You do put in a lot of work on this software.  And speaking purely as Karaoke host, not as someone who volunteers on the forums, I'm totally willing to pay the $20.  That's just tip money!  In one of the bars I'm going to start hosting next week, there is another KJ and he has the ability to play video. I know VDJ is better than the software he's using in other areas, but the perceptive from bar patrons is not the same as mine. I'm not trying to be adversarial with him because he's a nice guy, but I don't want to be the KJ that can't play video.  So this addition to me is huge!

Thanks again Justin!
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 04:21:56 PM »
So here's a thought. What if the Karaoke Queue and Playlist were combined to one list, separate from the bottom window with the searches/requests/saved singers.

The "playlist" would show everything that is coming up - music, singers, or videos. You would have the option to "suspend" a singer in the upcoming playlist, so that if they aren't ready yet, their position will continually move down one spot in the list as it continues on with the playlist until that singer is ready. It would feature larger icons (partly for touch-friendliness) and you'd easily spot whether it's a song, video, or CDG. In the case of Video files, you could *optionally* attach it to a singer, since it could be a video karaoke file or just a music video (and there's no way for me to know the difference from a code perspective)...

So if a singer is assigned, the icon would be the profile picture; if a song, album cover; if video, a thumbnail say 30 seconds in or so... all configurable.

But this way you can throw songs in and "suspend" them, call it the "maybe pile". You could do this for any files actually; say a Birthday song but you're not sure when they're going to be ready for it. This way the automatic playlist could pretty much be the only thing you have to use.

There will still be a (smaller) number of configurable "stand-alone" players, that would play any of the file types, but that's more for people who are used to doing it with the multiple players, or who  like to use the crossfader or a MIDI device.

It's brewing in my head and I think I have the layout idea down; this also expands the search area in width quite a bit, since I've added ID3 tag search/display to the search results (needs more room to fit it all in)...

In the mock-up screenshots, the first one is not full-screened (maximized) and the second one is. Color key is as follows:

The two green-ish tall boxes at the left and right on the top would be player lines. You could configure whether they show on the left, right, or split between the two sides...

In the top middle you have the preview window (karaoke *or* video *or* album cover)... the white box to the right of that would be the playlist, and the blue holds all the controls.

Then the dark grey area is the music database/saved singers/requests tab (and possibly an "Explorer" view as well, where in a single click you can add or refresh a folder in the database).

Then the greenish box lower-middle-right is the "main" area, and the white below it is just filling empty space but may contain "Quick Play" buttons (or that might be a bottom row thing, not sure yet)... and remaining space, a "notepad" type scratchpad area for notes...

Just mocking up the whole thing dealing with various screen resolutions etc, what items would size vertically and/or horizontally and which items have fixed sizes etc...

Thoughts on the playlist thing though? I'll try to get a working beta for those interested, just to check it out and see what you think... kinda busy this weekend (I have the biggest TV in my apartment building, so... naturally... I'm the host with the most tomorrow ;) ) but all next week my calendar is clear to get some serious coding done.

Had some personal things to deal with, along with computer problems (had to switch the roles of a couple after a couple died, including my quad-core :( ) but I think things are settling down now...
« Last Edit: February 06, 2016, 04:25:58 PM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2016, 05:58:53 PM »
I would like to check it out before making a judgment call because I'm not sure I understand how the playlist and the Karaoke queue would work together as single list, but it could work depending on the UI.  I do like the full screen version because the Karaoke queue appears to be a long list that takes up all the space from the top to the bottom, This would make it easier for those busy nights.
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline chaz

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2016, 10:50:28 AM »
Justin,

I like the looks with 2 players and the playlist. I am wondering can everything be re-sizable that if you made the playlist bigger other boxes automatically gets smaller? or move things around as long as they stay in the grid. Jenga box
If I could now have 2 players that are resizeable and the much bigger to read mp3 box that would be king. because of my rack I am always nearly 2 feet from the screen. The font is too small for glancing at it. I have to lean in and focus now. If you everything is adjustable we could change font size to a preference.

I like the playlist option of displaying upcoming karaoke mp3 and videos, but would need an option to turn off... I could definitely see the usefulness in a wedding or private event where people are requesting other options. As for karaoke we play bumper music in between each singer, usually at a talk-over volume, so introductions can be made. I don't think I would want a song to be displayed if I am only going to play 20 seconds of the song while the next singer comes up.
Keeping individual volume for each players would still be ideal.
Keeping the option that both players could play anything or be used off the playlist, but I personally would set one player with a mp3 playlist and use the other for karaoke/video singer playlist. When karaoke/video player is finished bumper playlist kicks in automatically. Will play continuously till you tell it to go back to karaoke/video player.

When doing private parties I use the phone sign-in options as well for dj'ing. The now playing text will show the mp3 player if you using that, and the singers link show what is requested and what is coming up. Which makes some guests think they requested the cupid shuffle it is at the top of the list and it should have played in the next spot, when actually it is just put in the karaoke queue as a request until I can find the right time to play it.. Confuses some.. I think I might have confused myself. I have thought of using a screen for guest requests to display, but would need to see how you are setting up the new playlists.

I like the mock ups you have especially with the notepad option. We now run with as many players as possible because running with the minimum seems empty wasted space. LOL
Here is a picture of our screen with a mixer but also you don't see the pull out keyboard tray which adds another 8 inches you are standing behind .. so technically we are nearly 3ft away.

Image didn't display correctly but I opened in separate tab and it looks fine.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 10:52:38 AM by chaz »

Offline mydjkj.com

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 07:33:08 PM »
Love the idea of video finally to be added and the new design of a touchscreen layout. I hope that includes fonts for easier read especially in darker venues. Would also love singer auto rotation.

Offline Justin

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2016, 02:02:33 PM »
A few comments... I admit I haven't been on the forums since Saturday but I understand everyone's concerns...

First, it seems there are mixed feelings about the "combined" playlist/karaoke queue idea. So I'm going to need to think on that... in reality, as Abraham Lincoln (as well as others) once said, you can please some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Note the lack of quotes because this is from memory so not sure I have it exactly correct...

I agree, from personal experience, it's nice to have the separate players where then can fit. Again depending on screen size and resolution. Making them sizeable however presents a whole 'nother can of worms (poor grammar used on purpose there)... because everything on the interface needs to somehow fit, and make sense... and sometimes too many options are just that - too many, too confusing...

I'm trying to find that perfect balance, but it's nearly impossible lol...

So my thoughts were originally this: the combined "Karaoke Queue" and "Playlist" (including videos) would (should) simplify your set. Perhaps you could even set an "in between" song at a lower level, and when ready click the "Next" button to go into the next singer... or something like that...

So many options! When I DJ personally, my gigs are usually about 60% Karaoke and the rest music or YouTube (which I'm hoping to eliminate by offering video support). I know some of you use it exclusively for Karaoke, and have to turn customers away at the end of the the night. Others (like me) sometimes have a difficult time even getting people up to sing, and end up having to kick things off yourself to get people in the mood. Announce the drink specials (or as I call it, Liquid Encouragement, or other more colorful terms depending on the bar)...

So in short there is no perfect solution for everyone. Every PC is different, every setup is different (being 3 feet away from my 11.6" screen, even with my glasses on, would give me a migraine!) but I'm attempting to come up with a solution that will hopefully please *most* of the people *most* of the time...

I think Ben Franklin also said that once, but I'm too lazy to google it right now... busy making a whopping $30 reinstalling Windows 8.1 on a Gateway laptop for a friend (gotta make ends meet somehow lol)... the DJ work is pretty slow right now, not only for me but for my software customers which results in slow sales... couple months things will be very different :)  Right now it's 16 degrees here in the midwest... nobody coming out to party, even if their car will start lol

I hate Fabio and my sister who both live in So. California and make fun of us mid-westerners lol :)

I'll keep working on it and figure something out... just had another computer take a $H1T on me, so I'm kinda limited until I pick up another system for development...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline vcationguy

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2016, 01:59:20 PM »
I'm just glad you don't hate us folks living in FL.  lol

Offline Fabio

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2016, 03:24:10 PM »
Sorry I haven't responded until now, I've been busy with my regular job and also trying to promote a new karaoke night at a new bar I just started last night...between facebook, printing flyers and texting and calling people...I had very little time. 

I'm sorry you hate us in S. California...in our defense we're actually praying for lots of rain this time of the year, we have a pretty bad drought in our hands. We can't shower for too long and we can't flush our toilets too often and we can even water our plants more than 3 times per week (and only for like 5 minutes)...and we can't wash our cars too often...so we have to deal with dirty cars! I havent' washed my car in 3 months!

On the plus side it's about 80 degrees today and today is the coolest day of the week so far....ok, you can hate us! :P

I'm one of those people who use it almost exclusively for karaoke.  I usually don't have a problem getting people to sing and yes, I do turn away people at the end of the night.

Regarding the playlist and karaoke queue combination.  Without actually seeing how it would work, I didn't want to shoot it down, but personally it doesn't sound like it would work for me but I know people use it in different ways.  What I think would work is to get rid of the various lines and use the play list as the second player.  Basically have two queues, one queue attached to the main karaoke player and the second queue to the playlist player (both queues should have the same capabilities).  The Karaoke queue is the only one that displays a list on the screen or make it a check box button so that either one can or _neither_ for DJ setups where it's not necessary to display a queue on the screen.  Basically launching a new karaoke song would AUTOMATICALLY fade out any song playing on the other player (and pause it) and also the reverse, where a song from the playlist queue would start a new song from the list or continue playing the last song it was playing before it was faded out (this can be a setting, so people who are using it for DJ purposes could start a new song). I do like the idea of a row of buttons you can assign anything you want (and mp3, a karaoke song, or video)

I Like Chaz' idea of keeping individual volume for each of of players. As he noted, you often need to make announcements in between to call another or whatever.

He also touched on the "Now playing" feature and it reminded me something I've been meaning to ask.  What does the web app use to make that happen?  I've noticed that sometimes it displays the karaoke song playing and sometimes it displays the song that's currently paused in the 2nd line.  It doesn't seem to be consistent.

Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline chaz

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2016, 10:21:56 AM »
Well said.. we are on the same area for karaoke djing and karaoke queue ...

Offline Justin

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 10:37:57 PM »
Without actually seeing how it would work, I didn't want to shoot it down, but personally it doesn't sound like it would work for me but I know people use it in different ways.

The problem is, most users (I think anyway) use a combination of Karaoke and Playlist (for the "down times" when nobody is singing)... but for you this may not be the case. But my intention is to make it more streamlined for BOTH situations, eg, if you only use it for Karaoke it would make it easier to rearrange singers/songs and fill-in music... just wait for the next BETA version and you'll be able to get a feel for it.

I also decided that I'm going to continue to maintain the 7.x series for those who simply prefer the "old" interface (or refuse to adapt, no offense to anyone here). Don't forget, the current interface is pretty much the same as it was in 1998 when I released the very first version (even the graphics are seriously out of date... any graphic artists out there willing to make some buttons and icons for a free license? :) )

Anyway, I will maintain both versions for a while, with bug fix updates etc, so if you prefer the older style you can still have that, but at some point (maybe a year from now) you'll eventually have to adopt the newer version. It's not *that* different, but it will take some getting used to if you have been using VDJ for a long time... and I will offer the 7.x versions at the current price, with $20 more for the new version, and you would have the option to upgrade to 8.x at any time for only the $20 price difference...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2016, 05:38:18 PM »
Quote
just wait for the next BETA version and you'll be able to get a feel for it.

Ok, I'll wait for it.  ;)
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline ikaraoke

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2016, 02:50:15 AM »
better touch-screen support, and video playback support as well.


Offline ikaraoke

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2016, 02:51:57 AM »
Hey everyone, I am new to VDJS, I have had it on 2 major corporate gigs and the clients love the remote request thing.  I do have problems convincing guests to get a QR reader.  For some reason it's like there is a trust issue until a guest tries it and I call them up....then it's like "hey this is cool".    I am a fulltime DJ/VJ/KJ and I do spin music video's in between songs for filler if needed.  The whole visual thing is so appealing to audiences....especially when you play classic stuff nobody plays anymore.  THis all sounds great, looking forward to the upgrade. 

I was hoping to speak with someone about mapping.  If I can understand it better I will map the code for a couple of controllers, mainly the denon MC-6000 and post it here for others to share.

Offline chaz

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Re: Major update coming soon... along with some good news
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2016, 07:34:32 AM »
I have a similar issue getting people to install a qr reader..Once they do they don't have an issue with it.

As for the mapping you would have to contact Justin...