Odeo Respond, Download Link Returns!

As posted yesterday it appeared Odeo had decreased it's functionality of the "send me an Odeo message" by not allowing users to download the mp3 of the left message. Well there has been a great response from Odeo with emails and even a blog comment. All is restored in the Odeo universe.

Odeo Download LinkBiz Stone who works for Odeo left a comment on the Rail yesterday that indicated that the omission of the Download link on the web page was a bug and implied that they were unaware of the problem until I had blogged about it. So great I found a bug! The emails that were recieved were also prompt and promised a resolution. The action by Odeo to resolve the issue has been excellent. When I logged onto my inbox this afternoon, the download link is now present and accounted for. Everyone breath a sigh of relief. I am yet to see if the enclosure in the RSS feed from the "inbox" has been fixed as well but I am assuming that it has.

I commend Odeo staff on their excellent response time and the fact that they responded at all. They could have easily just resolved the problem and pretended that it did not happen. Great work Odeo, we still love you 😉 (In a nice blokey type of way…).

In fact I am not really sure how Biz found my humble blog, and if he is reading this then I wouldn't mind knowing. The other thing that I was curious about was if the staffers at Odeo patrol the BlogOsphere looking for tags and posts regarding Odeo, to see what people are saying and suggesting. I know that one suggestion that I made in the past was implemented, so that was cool.

Thanks Odeo keep up the good work.

Podcast Player Found! No Help from LibSyn…

Well I am as happy as a pig in poop! Yesterday I blogged about the LibSyn Player malfunction and the fact that I was not getting any help from Liberated Syndication with the problem. The no help thing has continued, step in the wonderful blogging community.

Big ContactYesterday I recieved a comment on the post that was an answer to my prayers. Rob from New York Mets Baseball Podcast put me onto Big Contact's Feed Player. To say that it is unreal is an understatment. It is feature packed and the main thing is: It Works!

In actual fact this player has more features and more options than the LibSyn did! Features like having a list of previous shows as well as the most recent show to play is great. In addition to that there is the function of being able to see the show notes from the player! There are also instructions on how to "subscribe" to the show… AND Adam has just assisted me to make the player "detach" from the page, allowing visitors to surf the web or work elsewhere and listen to the show. Very cool. There is more but I think you get the picture. Oh and did I mention it is free?

Please head over to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage and check it out, especially if you are looking for a player. There are many other customisable features that podcasters may want to modify to suit their needs and the very fact that you can is another big plus.

Many, many thanks to Rob again and hey Rob I have talked to Sebastian and we are only too happy to plug your show on ours so if you would like to send us a promo we will slot it in. Because that's how the world should work.

Stay on the look out for more changes to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage… woot this is going to good…

Sending SMS in Skype 2.5 Beta

Skype SMS IconFor those of you running the new Skype 2.5 Beta have you been having trouble sending SMS? I have found some problems that may be the source of the issues you have been having.

I have been having fun with the SMS ability of the new Skype 2.5 Beta. But I have had some issues like SMS send failures when I know the number is right and the network should accept SMS from Skype. I had some mobile phone numbers already listed in my Skype contacts. I upgraded to Skype 2.5 in the usual fashion. I found that some numbers worked with SMS and some did not. New numbers that I put into Skype worked, that got me thinking as to why that was.

A typical number here in Australia might be "0449557250". I discovered that the "0" prefix should be omitted when using Skype, as it works with international dialing codes and these are usually not required and indeed cause problems when they are used. I found that the numbers that I had already stored in my contacts retained this "0" in front of the number and some did not. The ones that did not have the "0" worked with the SMS. So what I did in my wisdom is input-ed all my mobile numbers omitting the "0". Wrong move! They still did not work. Seems that I was too smart for the new Skype dialing wizard!

The correct thing to do is to select "Add a Contact" then select "Add new SkypeOut Contact" then select the country that the number originates from and enter the number in full (yes including the zero!). Skype will "strip" the zero out in the final number that you will see listed in your contact list. This may or may not be a bug in upgrading from 2.0 to 2.5 Beta and might be fixed in the final version.

As far as the existing numbers are concerned. It seems that Skype had failed to "strip" out the zero and that was causing the SMS failure. This was not an issue in Skype 2.0 as we were not able to send SMS and as far as SkypeOut to mobiles it did not seem to matter. What I have done is to delete these contacts and add them again in the above method and all seems to be working fine now. So try that before you throw your arms in the air screaming shite!

One other thing that I have noticed is that I am getting SMS failures from SMS messages that I know have gone through. I am not sure why that is but I know that the SMS sending feature is in early development and all the bugs have not be ironed out yet. In addition this is all part of the plan to enable Skype users to receive SMS in Skype. Now that would be cool!

Just remember that if you are using the 2.5 beta and you are having some issue that seems to be a bug, log a problem with the Skype team and let them know what it is, that way we all get a better final version!

Happy SMS'ing!

Also check out this article as it has a lot more on SMS and what can go wrong and why and how to fix it and where this is all headed. 

Skype SMS… what's up with the beta?

WordPress Response

I am not going to move the blog. Great response and in a timely fashion impress me, to the point of me totally deciding to stay with WordPress.

I got a response from a previous email that said that we are working on the problem and that it should be fixed now. Well that was before the problems last night. So I wrote a fairly pointed email back saying that in no way was it fixed. In addition there have been a few mentions in the blogosphere about the issues.

Seems that WordPress has grown at a rate that they were not expecting and that they have had some difficultity keeping up. This has resulted in servers slowing down and being unreliable. I got a response from my email in under an hour, you can not get better than that! The first thing I got was an apology. The second thing was that I was informed that they have purchased more bandwidth which should speed up things around WordPress. I have been informed also that as fast as they install new hardware (by that I presume hard-drives) it fills up. I think this is just a reflection of the growth of the blogosphere, it is growing at a phenomenal rate and doesn’t look like slowing down. However this week it looks like they are having a mass install of new hardware in their data centres and that will make a world of difference, I hope it does.

This is evident in the WordPress Blog so that’s good to hear:

We’re in the very final stages of bringing the new systems online, just waiting the last few bits of configuration to come online. As we’re more than doubling the servers we’re using, it should address all performance issues and help us prevent any for a long time to come.

Finally, I was told that they are working very hard at making WordPress a great domain that just works. The response also said that they have not been achieving that recently and that they have dissapointed their users. But they have the solution and they are working on it. So hang in there bloggers there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Interestingly Sebastian and I mentioned in the podcast last week that the ping times for WordPress to Technorati are terrible and that bloggers need to manually ping Technorati to see some benefits from it. This is a problem with Ping-O-Matic and Technorati recognised by WordPress as Matt has been talking to Technorati about resolving the issue. My advice keep doing it manually as this has not been resolved yet, I will try to keep you posted.

Great response from WordPress and I hope that I can continue to support WordPress as I like their style and they are excellent in the support stakes.

FeedDemon 2.0.0.22 Beta Tested: Positive Results

Tonight FeedDemon was tested with an unable to connect to server error. I was impressed with the performance, there were a few bugs but nothing major. This may or may not have been a NewsGator Server problem.

I fired up FeedDemon and got the "cannot connect to server message". I got the option to un-synchronize the feeds and to manually page each feed for updates. I selected that and I was presented with a message that informed me that the feeds would be updated directly from the feed URL's and that it would be slower. So I selected OK.

To say that the feeds would update slower is an understatement, it is really slow and I have a 1500/256 connection (that is pretty quick here in Australia), so bear in mind that with functionality comes a slowdown. That said it was not something that bothered me too much. One error that occurred was that when the feeds updated it imported "old" updates. I got posts from January 2006 and they were out or order by date and some were marked read and others not read even though I knew I had marked them as read previously. I did however get the new feeds at the top, which is what you want.

While this was going on Sebastian had asked me to listen to a podcast he had done the day before, so I went to the folder, I did have to manually update the folder with the "update feed" command; but when I did I got the new podcast listed. I clicked the "paper-clip" and FeedStation opened and started to download. It noted that it could not connect to "my podcasts" but it did not seem to bother the download. The podcast downloaded and synchronised to my sync folder on my local machine with no problems.

One thing that is not made as clear as it could be is how to re-synchronise your folders. Basically; you get an icon in the bottom left corner of FeedDemon that has a disconnected symbol on it – or something like that. You can click this icon and get options, one is to test the connection and another one to say you are not synchronised with a tick – selected next to it. I just presumed that to resynchronise you "deselect the box". I was right, but it is not indicated that you have; or are trying to synchronise again. The indication that you are trying to connect and have been successful is the fact that the synchronising with NewsGator splash comes up. I think this needs to be improved.

A new feature is the "test" connection option, again an option within the click icon at the bottom left. So every once and a while I tested the connection and I eventually got a "good" result back and I went through the resynchronise process described above. No problems. FeedDemon synchronised and updated the feeds and did not have a problem with the fact that I had read some new posts and download an enclosure. FeedDemon even marked those as read – so it performed better then expected there.

As far as the reason for the outage, I am not sure if the NewsGator server was down or that I could not connect to it because of the connection between my machine and the server. If it was the server, it was not down for long, which makes me think it was a connection problem. Well done Nick, this is what I expect from you guys, thanks.