Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shiny Discs Web Site

A couple of weeks ago, my Shiny Discs web site domain name came up for its annual renewal, and I decided to let it go. Work has been such that I never seem to get any time to work on it, and it's been left abandoned, just wasting hosting costs for the last year.

However I had a last-minute change of heart late on Friday afternoon, had the domain renewed, and spent Saturday working on the outline for the site.

Using Silverlight I've been able to get something approaching what I originally intended in terms of visual display for the 'This Week's new Releases' section and the 'Next Week's New Releases' section. One other change I'm making is the site is going to concentrate only on Blu-Ray releases. The site shows that this week there are SIXTEEN new releases, and next week there will be TWENTY-FIVE so the format is clearly gaining traction. These days I only ever seem to get time to watch Blu-Rays anyway and I can't remember the last time I bought a DVD.

Screenshot of the first cut of the Shiny Discs Web Site

It's early days yet. Although the user can now use his mouse to 'browse through the rack' of new releases, there is additional work to be done so that when a title appears 'head on' a popup of statistics and review summaries is visible. I think this will be a fun interface and quick way of checking what's coming up without having to read through a long review or watch a half hour video podcast.

Not that I've given up on the video podcast idea. It's just that the length needs to be reduced to under 10 minutes so that podcasts can be played, via YouTube which limites you to 10 minutes, on an iPhone and iPod. I also need to find a way to reduce the crazy render times and increase the ease with which I can grab clips from Blu-Ray to make for a more interesting 'show'.

Please go and have a play and let me know what you think - just remember it's early days yet. Also note that the site runs on Microsoft Silverlight, which is similar to Flash except that it's not from Adobe (and is much better :-P). If you don't already have that installed you will be prompted to download it. It takes less than a minute to download and runs on both Mac and PC, supporting Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.

Stay tuned!