Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wish lists

You'll see some new links on the right hand panel. One is for wish lists. That will link to the latest entry on this topic. Add your comments to it and I'll update from time to time. Relevant entries will be tagged so you can look back over past entries too by following the link from 'entries by subject'.

Here are some of the lists left as comments on recent entries:

Martin's Wishlist of MediaMax features:

Here are my suggestions. What do others think?

1. Files able to be uploaded quickly and reliably. My own preference is for FTP as I can throttle upload rates and restart interrupted uploads, however if these options were included in a MediaMax product more like the much missed slick and efficient Streamload uploader, I'd happily use that instead. MediaMax XL is worthless in its current incarnation (and also the new version by preliminary reports). It is huge, slow and manages to set new benchmark highs for unreliability. The browser upload option still fails 20%-30% of my uploads and I don't dare upload multiple files because no files get uploaded unless they all complete. There is no resume option. If an upload fails at 95% you just start again from scratch.

2. 100% file availability and retention guaranteed. It is just not acceptable that large numbers of files vanish and the only option is to reload them.

3. Easy 'rehabilitation' of lost files. For the huge number of files that have already been lost, these files should be able to be 'rehabilitated' by uploading them again. Surely it cannot be so hard for MediaMax to work out that a file being uploaded with the same MD5 checksum as an existing directory entry corresponds to a dead link and actually store the file. If I can identify dead links from here then MediaMax certainly can too. It is ludicrous that the only way to rehabilitate a dead link file is to modify its checksum and upload it again as a completely different file. Streamload did not have this limitation and neither should MediaMax.

4. Fix the 'random directory relocation' bug that seems to plague users with large collections. This bug has destroyed the last two sets of files I have sent out.

5. Davcin's MediaMaxExplorer be made the preferred interface to access MediaMax. Offer Davcin sensible money for his product, get the few remaining limitations sorted out and forget about the browser interface which is frustratingly slow, a waste of time and never shows enough of a filename to be useful.

6. Restore sensible reporting of usage. Streamload had primitive but useful reporting of file downloads. MediaMax only tells you the total amount downloaded and expects you to believe the number.

7. Respond to support emails. I know you are receiving an uncommonly large number of support emails at present, but there are few things that irritate an already irate customer more than being ignored. Regular customer communication through official and unofficial blogs and even individual emails containing honest status reports rather than spin, even if the news is bad, goes a long way towards keeping customers on side. I would much prefer to know 'There has been a server failure hence 25% of recently uploaded files have been lost. Please reload them.' rather than just finding that 25% of my recent uploads have vanished and not knowing why.

That's my wishlist. Any additions?

WillTRiker said...

Additions you ask? How much time do you have? A long time ago (checks date on thread, yep september 29, 2006) I made the last addition to a thread about this subject on my homeboard and after that I didn't bother really with it as finally getting rid of bugs was AND STILL IS more important then introducing new features / re-introducing features we had in V4. Since you asked however I'll add my short (yeah right) wish list ... first however some small comments on a couple your own list (some stuff I get to in my own list).

1) Files able to be uploaded quickly and reliably.

I'd like to add that it shouldn't matter the method of uploading one chooses as I've learned from experience that experience per method differs from person to person. One should be able to upload a file without any problems and it should show up nearly immediately after the upload is completed. So no more errors and no more none-processing.

4) Fix the 'random directory relocation' bug that seems to plague users with large collections. This bug has destroyed the last two sets of files I have sent out.

Troubles with sending? That's a new one. Anyway, I want to work in my file manager again dammit ... I've been waiting for a fix for this since octobre 2006! It's also not just relocation ... if only that were true. I can personally attest this bug makes stuff dissapear totally ... and I mean totally ... you won't even find it back in your trash can.

5) Davcin's MediaMaxExplorer be made the preferred interface to access MediaMax.

While Davcin's product is worth of every bit of praise it gets and I would like MediaMax to start at least sponsoring it I wouldn't want it to be the preferred interface.

Davcin's Explorer, at least at this moment, is to dependent on MediaMaxs internal workings which in my eyes only increases the risk of the system not working. Also Davcin's explorer is, atm at least, a standalone application that has to be installed and especially for people that want access to their MM account outside their home it's not a given that they can install an application on the PC they happen to sit behind.

7. Respond to support emails.

or if you can't respond to everyone (with the same problem) individually then post on the Blog that you have been made aware of a
certain problem ... and don't wait with posting until a week after the problem has surfaced.

Now for my own list:

1) Recognition of identical files and grouping them together.

The only thing MediaMax reckognises atm is if files have the exact same name. Especially if you have to rename files like we often have to with files being written in different titles depending on the uploaders preference the current system is completly worthless. At the moment, in principle we could have a folder with 10 files with the only difference being the added -1 behind it while in reality none of the files would be a duplicate. On the other hand we could have 10 files with 10 different names which in reality could be 10 duplicate files. Like I said, utterly useless. This was a V4 feature btw and we want it back.

2) More file information (especially MD5 AND CRC values)

Especially for older files in our archives the MD5 / CRC value was the only thing we had to rely on checking them against a 3thd party
database. Also it's vital, especially in light of the upload problems, to be able to check these values against their original counterparts on our HDs. The MD5 value WAS a part of V4, the CRC value was not.

For video files and pictures it should be almost be a given to see Height and Width being mentioned as a standard in the file manager.
This was also a V4 feature.

3) Visibility file/folder names

Some of the names I'm forced to use (as it's no more then the official title of things) are so long that you can't read the full name (including extension) of a file/folder as MediaMax auto cuts them off. I'd like to opportunity back to decided for myself if I want file/folder names to be cut off or not. Again, a missing feature from V4.

4) Abilitiy to resize navigation panel

An other aspect of long folder names is that at times in order to see where we are going in the File Manager we have now have to scroll horizontically which is way to awkward. In V4 we could resize the
navigation panel to our own desired width and we would very much getting this feature back. Yup, another V4 feature.

5) File count (number and total MB)

There used to be in V4 al line at the bottom of the screen stating how many files where were in the folder you were looking at and what the total amount of MB these files was. A small thing, but especially if you work in a group a very quick way of checking folders against eachother (not totally error proof, but still very handy).

6) Creating a folder when moving/copying

In V4 you could select files, browse around in your file manger to the desired location and if need be, make a new folder where you could put in what you had selected. Now you first have to browse to that place in the file manager, make the folder, go back and select what you want moved / copied and then place in the newly created folder. The V4 way makes a lot more sense.

7) Be able to tell what is moved/copied

In V4 when you moved / copied something there was a small screen that would tell you what you were moving /copying (if you didn't select to much at once). Nothing big really, but it's just that little bit of extra security that what we are moving / copying is actually what we intend to move / copy.

8) See the last 5 folders that you moved/copied to

Another small V4 thing, but appreciated especially by large archive holders like me as it acted as a shortcut to folders and acted as a little extra feed back to verify that your previous action went to the intended destination.

9) Going to target folder after move/copy

We'd like to see the option back that you could select that made you 'follow' your move / copy action to the target folder.

10) No auto expanding of folders

When you move / copy stuff and click on a target folder and that folder happens to have subfolders MediaMax allways reads the target folder and expands it to show the subfolders. Meaningless and extra strain on the system, if we wanted to go deeper in the folder structure we'd use the + sign, that's what it's there for.

11) After sending put us back in the file manager in stead of Mail.

When you have send (or tried to send) something MediaMax puts you into the Mail area of your account. For people that send to more then 1 person in succession this is highly annoying, because we now loose time loading the mail area and then the file manger .... granted, you can click on the file manager button as soon as the Mail area starts loading, but it will still re-load the file manager again which is an excercise in futility as nothing changed in there.

So basically, after a send put us back in the file manager without reloading it ... basically putting us back in the folder we last accessed. The same sort of applies if you, after a send, choose for "Send another mail", choosing that option we also want to be put back in the file manager in the last accessed folder without a reload.

12) Inbox view to files only

People are missing the ability to set the view of the inbox to files only. If you have 10 emails in MediaMax you have to enter each of those 10 individually and save them to Saved Attachements folder and then delete the emails. Some people found it much easier to just see the files in the inbox and be able to copy all of them in one go to the file manager .... no matter how many emails had been used to deliver them. After that they could switch back to viewing emails and delete them all in one go.

13) Go back button ... doesn't go back in Mail area

Some kind of bug makes it that if you use the go back button of your browser you'll find yourself either in the file manager of in the composer screen of a new emails instead of one step back from where your previously were. That is eh ... wrong.

14) A working Search Function

An actual working Search function would be novelty and while we're at it some extra features like the search to include the Mail Area and the ability to limit the search to part(s) of your file manager would be greatly appreciated as well.

15) Hosted files not so user friendly

Since MediaMax it seems that if you host files people that want to download them can no longer select files and thus making a bulk download, but have to click every file to receive a download. Not very user friendly if you have a couple of dozen of files to download from a host.

Also the window for hosted stuff is WAY to small. You can only see 3 items for goodness sake.

16) Missing "Copy URL to Clipboard"

MediaMax only supports either GetRight or MediaMax XL for bulk
downloads. A lot of people however have their own preferred download manager. While you can use the generic URL that's being produced (at least in Flash Get you can) we're missing the option "Copy URL to clipboard" that V4 had.

17) Download Information is seriously lacking

The Download info that is currently provided is woefully inadequate. We want our detailed reports back so we can see on a day by day, byte by byte basis exactly what was downloaded and by whom (Ip logging) and also again being able to see how much bandwith was used from Hosting files just like we had in V4.

18) Mass deleting

We have mass editing (my heartfelt thanks for that), but we could use a mass deleting funtion for the Mail Area and especially Trash can as well.

My Trashcan currently boosts a rather impressive (even if I do say so myself) 13489 files and folders in there. If I were to lighten my account by kicking that off I would need to go through 135 screens to be able to delete that ... not to mention the time it would take for MediaMax to actually to delete these 100 entries page by page. My Trash in the mail in comparison 'only' has 2044 items in it. Mass delete button PLEASE!

19) Results per page up to 1000

At the moment the current maximum is 100 entries per page. We'd like it back to 500 and if possible 1000 as some of our folders are so big that 100 entries just don't cut it.

20) Uploads go in 1 place

Ah, back in the V4 days. When you uploaded a file, no matter if you ventured into the abyss of web-uploading, were lucky to have an FTP account or used the good old SL uploader ... your files would appear in your inbox. Since MediaMax your choice of upload app determines where your files are going to end up and can up in My Uploads, Uploaded files or just the root of the File Manager. Could we get our upload please in one place?

21) Global file recognition

I'm pretty sure MediaMax still lists the MD5 values of files somewhere like they used to and I'd like to see them use this again to re-enable global file recognition. For the people not being familair with this term .... in the old days (even before the end of V4 if memory serves) if someone completed uploading File A (MD5 value 00101) and another person started uploading the EXACT same file after that then that person would have the file uploaded in about 5 seconds. In essence, nothing was uploaded, but Streamload would recognise from the MD5 value that the file being uploaded was already on Streamload and would create a link to the original file and put that in the inbox of the 2nd uploader. It was THE way to get files back that were on Streamload, but where the database link leading to it was messed up. Also it prevented people wasting their (and MMs) bandwith uploading thing twice.

22) Webinterface speed improvements

Imho, the speed by with actions are executed ... wether it be moving, deleting or renaming ... leaves still to be desired. It's not uncommon to see MediaMax busy for 30 seconds or more to perform such actions and the more files/folders selected the more time it takes. It could be me, but the copy function seems the only one up to speed.

23) Build-in link validator

While in essence we're paying MM to keep our file safe and intact, a 100% guarantee I think can't be expected. I would be nice though if there was a way that we could make a report about (part of) our file manger that shows what file links are dead. I'd like to restate that in principle the list that would be generated is supposed to be SHORT and should have close to nill entries.

Sorry for the length this took, but Martin asked and I like to be thorough ... besides, there is an off chance John or even Steven sees this and realise that even if they finally manage to get the bugs exterminated there is still much work to be done.

If you guys want to excuse me, I need to cool of my fingers.

Ultimately, for me, a fully working, reliable and trustworthy service would be the best possible recompense, and I would happily write off the last year if that was forth-coming.

Since the migration to MediaMax, I have kept a list of various functionalities that have been lost since the days of Streamload, and brilliantly, Willtriker has saved me quite a lot of typing, since his list contains everything that is on my list! Willtriker's entire list is spot on, but my personal wish list are numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 19, 20 and 23 (is this a Chinese takeaway!?)

Since the majority of my use of MediaMax is by way of a backup (I am almost constantly uploading) I would like to add my voice to the calls for the re-instatement of FTP, or at the very least a faster running MediaMax XL (I am still hoping to receive a link to the trial version from John). That is my personal number one priority. I used to be able to leave the uploads running for days on end without having to continually check the source PC, except to add more files, and long for this to return!

I'd be keen for an update on the progress, not only of the file restoration, but also on things like the upload speeds and getting back the FTP server etc.....

We're getting so close, I can almost taste it.....
Add you comments and wishes to this entry.


WillTRiker said...

In the light of the complete dissarray of the processing system yet again I thought of something else ... something which used to be also a streamload feature allthough I have to admit I don't know if it was still present in V4.

In one of the predecessors of MediaMax when you uploaded a file it appeared straight away in your inbox ... if for some reason the processing system was behind Streamload would auto add a tag behind your file (processing) indicating that the file had been succesfully uploaded, but it wasn't processed yet (which meant that you could do anything with it you want EXCEPT for downloading). In light of the total clusterf*** the processing system is in I'd love to get this back so I at least know that a file made it to MediaMax instead of blindly re-uploading it again ... and again.

Wishfull thinking, but as extra service I'd also love to see some time indication behind a file that is waiting to be processed that approximately tells you how long it will take before the file is actually processed.

WillTRiker said...

Another aha-moment.

I want a copy/move button in the result screen of a search. If you happen to have a large account and stuff is all over the place and the search works and you can find it all, there is no way to do anything with it except for either send it or download it. I suppose one could send the results to oneself, but being able to do a move/copy would be more logical.

nigoki said...

In other word: go back to V4 which was very great.