Wednesday, October 24, 2007

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Entry today on the official blog.

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Anonymous said...

As Iverson explained to me on the conference call, Version 5 is a lost cause.I dont expect much improvement in it.I think from what he showed me about version 6 those who cancelled are gonna be regretful.Steve Iverson is very honest about the lost files and the problems of version 5.I think Version 6 is gonna be a huge improvement.For those who didnt get the e-mail.Here it is.Hope Mr .Iverson does not mind me posting it.If so Im sure the blogger will remove it.Im excited about what the future holds and really about version 6

Hi MediaMax users, I'm sending this letter to a handful of key member of the MediaMax community to provide an update on MediaMax and also to also solicit feedback on our future plans. I'm sure I've missed many important customers with this distribution list, so if you know of someone in particular that I should speak with, please do have them contact me (but note we have very limited resources and cannot provide personal demos to everyone). First the update: As you know, MediaMax V5 (the current production site) has been a very difficult road for our company. There are still many major bugs and some of them have been there for a long time. I know if doesn't look like it, but a HUGE amount of effort has been put into MediaMax this year. We've formed a new company (now focused 100% on the consumer business now), raised a small amount of money (our investors still believe in MediaMax), moved to new offices, hired a new engineering team (and some other new employees; most stayed with the other half of the company), and we have been working on a full re-write of MediaMax - "MediaMax V6" (name still TBD) for about six months. So, to be perfectly clear, we certainly do not have any intention on shutting down MediaMax. I'm determined to keep MediaMax alive - not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but I really do think we can build a great application and rebuild a great community. Streamload V1-V4 had some hiccups itself, but the growth rate was tremendous. Clearly things got messed up with V5, but I believe that is correctable. Now, the fun stuff and where we are looking for some help: we're looking for some early user feedback on MediaMax V6. We decided early this year that V5 was a lost cause and we would only do emergency patches of it, if that was even possible because our new engineering team that is not familiar with the V5 code base. We discovered some major bugs like "folders sometimes disappear on move" are due to some major architectural problems and basically impossible to fix (requires a rewrite). We are currently planning on launching V6 in December (likely late December). So, understanding that V6 is a full rewrite, we can ignore issues like - fix the "move folders" bug, fix that "ooops" error, uploading often breaks, etc, we're looking for honest feedback for how we have approached some of the functionality in V6. Some things have stayed the same, but how we are approach other things are different, but hopefully better. I'd like to go into more detail on these issues via an online presentation and would love to hear any feedback you have. The #1 priorities of V6 are reliability, stability, scalability, and data integrity. So, I think we have the right team in place to build a solid, scalable Internet application, but at the same time we're introducing some new concepts that we think make it easier for people to share and store files. Finally: You're welcome to share the highlights of this information with your friends and other MediaMax users, but I would prefer if you'd do so in your own words. Frankly, some of it is confidential that we don't want the general public to be aware of, and some of it is competitive and we'd like to maintain an edge. Obviously it's up to you since you've got the email (and hopefully will review the presentation I share), but the reposting my "not thoroughly reviewed emails" usually creates confusion and prompts even more questions. This is understandable because I know some people are very frustrated with MediaMax, but I'd prefer to win them back as customers with a great service rather than words. Would you be available any of these times to review the MediaMax V6 presentation? Tuesday 10/23 @ 8:00am PT (GMT -7)Wednesday 10/24 @ 8:00am PT (GMT -7)Wednesday 10/24 @ 4:00pm PT (GMT -7) Please let me know if any of these times work for you, and if not, please suggest a time. I'll setup a GoToMeeting invite (small install to view the demo) and a toll-free # to use within the US or Skype conference call. We'll probably have a small group of 1-4 people on each call. Thanks,Steve

Anonymous said...

I really hope this is finally what we are waiting for over a year now.

WillTRiker said...

I attended the demo yesterday and I was VERY impressed. I have little time to comment atm so a more lengthy reply will have to follow later, but according to Steve they build in all/nearly all the wishes that were stated in the wishlist thread on this blog.

Now, this was a demo, with probably a database with a handfull of users and only a couple of more files so it can't be accepted as a real taste of the end product, but IF they manage to pull this off we sort of have V4 back only in a different jacket and with some alterations.

Luzon, perhaps you can split this up and make a new entry for the discussion on the demo of V6?

Hopefully Davcin swings by as well as I know he was attending the demo of today.

icypurplepants said...

This is great news. John Hood invited me to "attend" a demo, and I'm hoping to do so (I wasn't able to make last night's one).

I am very excited by the comment Willtriker said "they build in all/nearly all the wishes that were stated in the wishlist thread on this blog"!

Good work guys, roll on the roll out! :-)))))

Anonymous said...

"I'm determined to keep MediaMax alive"
"We've formed a new company (now focused 100% on the consumer business now), raised a small amount of money (our investors still believe in MediaMax)"

Is this code for 'You better have your files safely backed up somwhere else - just in case'

WillTRiker said...

Allright, a try at a somewhat more indepth view of the demo I attended yesterday.

First of all one has to realise that V6 is still in development and that design clearly wasn't yet implemented ... i.o.w. it looked reasonably crappy, but I wasn't paying attention to how it looked, but as to how it functioned. Also I have to take into account that was just a demo on a limited database that can't compare with the MediaMax community as a whole so whatever I say is based on this demo. Final judgement will hopefully reflect the same feelings, but will not be made until I have experienced the final product myself.

During the demo Steve and John Hood said that they had taken a look at the wish list on this blog and that basically everything that was on there was or will be build into V6. I didn't see every wish being implemented during the demonstration, but these are the ones I can confirm and I have no doubt the others are or will be there as well. From my own list I saw item 2, 6, 8, 15-17 and 19-21. Afaik, there are no more demo's but if there is another one I'd love for people that attend to see if the others are already there as well.

Now for some highlights / points of interests:

- FILE RECOVERY PROCESS: basically this is finished and according to Steve they nearly got everything back that was accidentely deleted. Now I know Martin here has different figures which may have something to do with the entire system being unstable as I've seen files coming and going. The problem of file availability should be clear when the next step is taken ...

- CONVERSION: in order to go from V5 to V6 were going to have to endure another conversion. This is inevitable since they rewrote the entire code and atm this is expected to last 2-4 weeks when they flip the switch. A special note of interest is that MM will NOT convert links to files that are corrupt or no longer there. What this means is that every file you have in your V6 account is actually there and that there will be no more dead links or unavailable files like we had previously. Now in relation to file recovery process this means that basically until we're in V6 mode there will be no sure way to tell which files have been lost and which have been restored. I can only hope that MM is right about the number of files they have lost. Time will tell.

- SENDING: MM has reworked their sending system which may not to be everyones liking, but my guess it's a question of getting acustomed to it. Whether or not it solves one of their problems I'm not really sure. One of the problems MM is having is that their database is spiraling out of control with the number of lines it has to index/maintain.

Basically atm it works like this. If person A sends a folder to person B, then the database creates a copy of the the database lines for every file in that folder of person A and puts that into the account of person B. The problem seems to lie in the fact that people often send eachother a massive amount of files while only a small number is needed. Still the database has to make duplicate entries for each and everyone of those files.

In order to try and cut back on the number of lines their database has to create / maintain the new system will work like this (I hope I remember this right as I had a lot to keep up with attending the demo so correct me if I'm wrong): Person A sends person B a folder containing several files while person B is only interested in one. Instead of receiving that folder in the inbox like we were accustomed to, this folder now will be put on a share page from person A. If person B really wants it then person B has to go to the share page of person A, select the file and save it to his own account. Only when that has been done the database will create a new line for person B for that one file only and ignore the rest. To be honest I have my doubts if it will really work like this as what is to prevent someone saving the entire folder and then still only download the single file from his account?

- STORAGE: I'm not sure exactly how much is plan/wish or just mere thought, but it might be that MM is going to take a look at the amount of stuff people have stored. From what Steve said paid users will get a certain amount of space to store stuff on. People that have the same files will have the file counted against their storage capacity as file size divided by numer of people having the file (so a 100MB file present in 2 MM accounts, will count for 50MB against both accounts).

This will turn out to be a problem for large account holders that serve as an archive as they usually retain everything while the rest of the community benefits from that. You can rest assured I have mentioned this to Steve already. He said they basically don't want to change the way people use MM, but he said that some people are using MM in a way it was not intended storing massive logs on it and they they were looking at a way to clear of the dead weight on their servers. While I can understand their motive one of the edges MM has was their unlimited storage so cutting into that is not exactly the way to do it imho not to mention the fact that I (and others in my position) will be hurt by this. I do forego the probable grandfathering of old accounts, but it will mean that potential customers that are looking for a storage company probably will be put off. Also with the total amount of revenue they get they should be able to afford expanding their server capacity faster then we can fill it.

- UPLOADING: I'm told by someone who attended another demo then I did that FTP is postponed for now until at least the new service is operational, but that the old SL uploader will be back in a revamped fashion and that it will replace MM XL which is to be disbanded. Also I'm not quite sure how I should interpret this, but it was said that the processing stage of files in V6 will no longer be present. If you upload something it will appear straight away in your account.

- SHARING: basically the same thing what we now call hosting only in a working fashion and with a lot more options like auto expire, only visible for other (designated) MM account holders and a couple of more things I can't recall right now.

- FRIENDS / GROUPS: there was only minimum 'footage' of the Friends part. The only thing I recall offhand is that your friends will be incorporated in a quick list so if you have to send stuff regularly to the same account(s) you have short cuts for sending to them.

I hope I at least provided some glimpse as what V6 aspires to be and what is or may be to come. As I said earlier, I realise that this is only a demo and the real test will first be when we're allowed to alpha/beta test it, and after that when the MM community as a whole will be switched. IF, and I repeat IF, they manage to make the new system run as was presented at the demo then I think most of you will be happy to see the MM system back into action as it should have been from the beginning of V5. I've also made it clear that they will not get a 2nd chance. Failure this time is not an option. When they release V6 to the public they better be absolutely sure that it is indeed stable and reliable.