Wednesday, August 31, 2011

@ tab completion hack

EDIT: 9/13/11 Tab completion hack now works anywhere in your sentence, as well as with the /kick and /ban commands. eg. /kick @mrchess

Synchtube now has tab completion for chat names when you prefix with an @ symbol.

For example, if I wanted to write a message to "mrchess",  instead of typing the full name I could type:

@m then hit [TAB] and it will automatically write @mrchess

Hitting TAB repeatedly will cycle through all the names that began with your initial value, meaning if there was a second person named Mary in my room, by repeatedly pressing tab it will cycle through "mrchess" and "Mary" values.

Give it a shot in the chat!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can't connect in Chrome? Try ws=1!

EDIT: 08/31/11 ?ws=1 is no longer needed as we now default to websocket for Chrome users! 

In an attempt to debug Chrome and what is causing people to not connect please try the following:

Try to enter your room, example:

If it doesn't work, add ?ws=1 to the URL, so try this URL instead.

Adding ?ws=1 forces the browser to use a different communication mechanism called "websockets", which is faster but only works in Chrome.

Please let me know if you Chrome users have any luck with this hack. If it works, try joining all rooms with ?ws=1 for a speedier experience!



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Updates

  • Added support for
  • Added back Import from YouTube
  • Added ability to Favorite rooms (so you can now remember!)
  • Frontpage now displays more rooms and shows the video type
  • Properly display users after they remove their cam
  • Restored twitter button

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Updates

  • Upgraded image server to support all file types (gif, jpg, png)
  • Avatars were wiped in the upgrade
  • Added customization (custom leader icon, custom banner)
  • Added webcam support (BETA, warning, may cause your browser to freeze)
This should be the last of the big changes. We are now on a good server, and great image server.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Update

  • Added back "Fix Video" -- reloads the video player in case of an error
  • Added back "Synch Settings" -- lets you tweak how sensitive the synch is
  • Added back little indicator to show where you are on the playlist
  • Added back layout options, [Classic, Large, Regular], see bottom of room
  • Added a cookie so it will remember your last layout choice
  • Poll disabled on vote again
  • Changed skip button image

Thursday, August 18, 2011

State of Synchtube

Just wanted to answer some common question about the state of synchtube the past few days and the new deployment.

1. Why didn't you test it first?

We tried to test it as best we can, but we simply don't have enough resources.

2. Why don't you have the resources?

Synchtube is a small company of two people. Believe it or not we don't make money off this, and we aren't a funded company. Realistically we might have to resolve the money problem as but right now we think building is the most important thing to be doing now.

3. No money? Why are you building it?

For the love of the game if you will. We think synchtube has the potential to really connect people, and we at least need to try.

4. Can you just go back to the old one?

We can't. The old one caused too many problems, but the most important being that the old code cannot scale. The old code prevented your friends from being able to join (the firewall error), and locked us into YouTube only. Now with the new code, we can support any media type, and everyone should be able to connect.

We need this new one. We all do.

5. What can we expect in the next few days?

The server will be going up and down as we stabilize the loose ends. We are also addressing some performance issues with lag in the client, so the client should improve as well.

6. Can I help?

If you'd like to help us progress faster, keep visiting and e-mail any bugs you find or leave a bug comment in the comments section below. These reports help a lot.


We put a lot of thought into the new server and code, so this should be the last major change for a long time. Trust me, we are as frustrated as you are with this deployment but you simply cannot plan for some of these things on our limited budget.

In the event you just want to know when it's all over, when the day comes that this new synchtube is officially stable (within a few days), I will send an e-mail out and announce it on our Twitter, and Facebook page so feel free to subscribe to either of those.

Thanks for bearing with us. We are working 24/7 to get this up and running smoothly as soon as possible. We are almost there.

TLDR; as someone once said, it gets worse before it gets better

Justin aka mrchess

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Updates

I'll start keeping track of all the big things changed each day!

Here is the list for today.

  • Fixed leader synch issue when changing leaders
  • Fixed soundcloud and imgur
  • Fixed name overflow in chat list
  • Fixed moderators
  • Live testing a fix for "blocked by firewall" message

And a list for yesterday since we didn't write one for yesterday.

  • Added back a "classic option" that restores you to the old layout
  • Added user avatars for a more interesting bubble chat view
  • Added back thumbs in chat when you paste links

Monday, August 15, 2011

Regarding the New Push

I'll make an "official" announcement later, but I wanted to quickly address what seems to be the biggest issues:
  1. Chat thumbs are not gone, it broke. Literally fixing it now.... should be out in a few hours (UPDATE: FIXED)
  2. Playlist importing from YouTube will be back within a day or two
  3. We are working on a way to allow you to go back to the "vanilla" synchtube layout (UPDATE: FIXED. click "classic view". we will be improving the classic view over time as well but you can at least switch now)
  4. Working on resolving better icons (anyone a professional icon designer?) (UPDATE: Thank you DigitalWF for a playlist icon set!)
Thanks everyone for the quick feedback. It really makes a difference when we hear what works and what doesn't. Two steps backward, one step forward, right? Wait, that doesn't sound right...


Friday, August 5, 2011

August 2011 Survey

In preparation for the second release, I want to take a quick survey to try to figure out what frustrates everyone the most. If you have a moment please fill this synchtube happiness survey out, and if you're a mod tell your room too!

Have a good weekend,


What media do you want to share?

The next iteration of synchtube will be coming soon, which should be snappier and more reliable.

In addition to the performance gain, I am also looking for new types of media to implement into this release.

Anyone have suggestions for medias to synch besides YouTube? So far we've added Vimeo (fixed it proper) and DailyMotion. What else should we add?

EDIT: Also note we are not limited to videos. SlideShare, imgur, stuff like that can work too.