Today we release a new update the 2.1 (or number 10 since Breezer public availability), which is focused on a new useful feature: the preview history widget, that can be seen below.
Why a playback history?
Well, good question! As you can imagine it keeps track (by date and play count) of every sample you previewed. That because sometimes you could remember that one week ago, few days ago or even yesterday you hear an audio file which could be the right one, but now! So how to locate it? Browsing the entire audio library is not a solution, so we think about the problem and how to find a solution.
We found a solution, which is easy to use and understand: the preview history. It is basically a list which shows (in chronological order) the samples you played, and tells you how many times you played them.
Please remember that to limit the number of media stored, Breezer marks as previewed a media only if the total playback time is about 40% of the entire media.
The list can be grouped by date and supports full-text search, just type something in the search box and each occourence will be highlighted, instantly.
For each item in the list you can:
- Remove the entry.
- Start the playback.
- Locate the media on your system. Breezer take you to the folder which contains the sample.
The preview history widget is available only for Breezer 2013 Pro edition. Also remember that if you have any suggestion about Breezer and this new feature just drop us an email or use Breezer built-in feedback form!
This release fixed some bugs (most notably the spacepar play/stop keyboard shortcut which now works as expected) and improves some UI details.
So don't wait any more, go and download the new bits!
We take the opportunity to send our thanks to FileCluster which gived us a very positive review here. Thank you guys.
Next update will be available in April 2015.
This time we blog about our release cycle and the new licensing policy.
Thanks to the experience we made with previous Breezer releases and the feedback we received with Breezer 2013 we decided to speed up the release cycle and the licensing policy.
Speeding up things
One problem we face with our past releases was the slow release cycle. This problem impacted on the time necessary to release a bugfix but also impacts on the time needed for a new feature to be available.
So we automate our build and release procedures lowering the time-to-release to just few hours (testing apart) and we also improve the development with new collaboration tools and a general code optimization.
Speeding things up means also that with next version of Breezer we will be able to continuously deliver new features, bug fixes and improvements opening up a new range of licensing schemes.
For example we plan to introduce user-defined metadata fields, better multi-database support and VST effects hosting. We will blog about the roadmap in the next months.
Changes to the product licensing (aka per-user license)
With Breezer 2013 we will deliver two editions, one made for professional users and one for home and audio enthusiasts. Obviously those two editions will be priced differently (we can't disclose now the final prices) but the major news (and welcomed by many, we think) is the license that the pro edition will have.
The professional edition will ship with a per-user license, which means that no matter how many workstations you have, you could install Breezer 2013 Pro on each one, load the license file and start to work. This is a huge improvement since the past and is a step toward our professional users that asked for a per-user license since Breezer 2012 launch.
The Express edition will continue to ship with a per-machine license. (see update below)
Breezer 2013 Beta Update 7
Both testers and developers worked hard to deliver a much more stable update to Breezer 2013. The features are all here, but we found some hard to replicate bugs that delayed the update release.
The release date of Update 7 is now set to: 21 September 2013 if the testers give us the ok.
Update 18 Sept. 2013 after a huge feedback we decided to ship Breezer Express 2013 with a per-user license and not a per-machine license.
Today we released another Breezer 2013 update, the counter is now set to 5 updates since 1st June.
We are very proud of this release, because our testers (both internal and external) have reported many bugs as well as suggestions about the user experience. With this release we hope to solve most of their complaints.
Also we take also the opportunity to integrate changes that in previous release weren't ready in the beta bits.
Changes to the tag engine
We work hard to improve the predictability and usability of the tag-related features, we solve circa 30 major/minor bugs plus we add some interesting features. The first change is that now a single click selects the tag for search, usual keyboard gestures (ctrl+click or shift+click to remove or add a tag to the filter) are still here, but now with one click you can select a folder, preview a sample and select a tag.
Now you could limit the search scope to a specified folder or to the entire tag database. When browsing only by tag the file system view is automatically disabled.
Another important feature is the file view grouping which groups the tag-search result by folder. Also we make easier to extend, or not, the search to the selected tags and their child.
Those options are grouped in the new "Tag options" panel, available in the tag library. It's a popup, so when you don't need it will not eat up precious screen real estate.
Another element we improved a lot is the "Tag properties" window, which didn't work well in previous releases. Now you could choose when creating a new tag to create it as a child of the selected tag or as a root via a simple check box. The name and its properties are now always in sync between the library an the properties window, and when using the "save and create new" button the new window opens centered in the screen (and not elsewhere).
Below you could see how the above features look like.
General usability improvements
The usability was a top priority in the Update 5 time frame so we review nearly every aspect of Breezer for usability problems. We make clear some UI elements like the check boxes and radio buttons, the text search options panel was improved a lot, and the file view header is now more clear with a more smart column auto-sizing algorithm.
A huge work was done in the audio engine which is now more fast and less resource hungry, and I can anticipate that the engine is now ready to support VST effects. Were working with other companies to deliver in the future (after Breezer 2013 RTM) an update with VST effect support. When things are more clear we will post about.
As usual the the update is available here. Remember that you must uninstall previous version, don't worry for your database, it will be preserved while upgrading.
In the next release we concentrate to performances, bugs and the usability. We will also shift the time bomb from September to November so you'll have more time to try Breezer freely.
Next update is scheduled for August 31.
Within hours we will release to the public the first beta of Revel BringBack, the start menu for Windows 8.
Freely downloadable by anyone it is intended to be an early preview and a way for you to test our work.
Obviously this is for us a very important milestone. We have some issues to deal with like some problems with mouse right-click, the configuration UI which is not polished and more... but we decide to go as we already use it on our workstations.
What is BringBack
Revel BringBack is not a copy of the good old start menu. We kept the philosopy of the Windows 7 menu, but we've improved in many ways. For example:
- True, modern and clear metro-inspired UI
- Zero-hack approach, which means that we cooperate with windows rather than hijacking the system.
- Resuse of existing Windows features, like Windows search, the application and document usage statistics and more.
- Integration with the task bar with clear, supported, Microsoft API (read deskband interfaces which were around since Windows 2000 era).
- Recent document grouping (by type, like pictures, applications, documents, source code files etc) and real time search whithin them, just click inside the menu and start typing to see it in action.
- Full drag'n'drop support to/from the start menu. As an example you could drag any item out of the start menu to the desktop. You could also reorder items with friendly and intuitive drag'n'drop gestures.
- Gpu accelerated rendering.
What we expect
As usual, we expect a great amount of feedback from the community about errors, glitches, UI inconsistencies and feature requests. So don't be afraid to share your thoughts with us via email or via our contact form. Your contribute will help us to deliver a better and useful start menu!
Please remember that this is beta software, an unfinished product, not refined so expect some bugs or inconsistencies. We've integrated an automatic error reporting system, so please when requested send us the error report. This will help us to better track down the bug and solve it.
Also you could help us by sharing on forums, facebook, voice or by any other means Revel BringBack.
Important: integrate BringBack with Windows taskbar
On some systems Windows will incorrectly resizes BringBack start button (only the first time you show it). To help you we've prepared a short video which will explain how to show and hide the start button, as well as how to resize it.
In the next two months we will work to resolve all the know problems and we will improve the application following user's feedback.
Last part of the work will be an heavy optimization targeted on speed and memory comsumption. We hope to deliver the final product by the end of october.
Lastly thank you in advance for your support and interest in Revel BringBack.
Go to: Revel BringBack Download page
The BringBack team
Hi guys, I'm Michael Shlepp and I'm part of the Breezer development team.
I have the honor to introduce a series of (bi-weekly) posts. A series which has only one goal: explain what you'll find in the next version of Breezer codenamed 'White fox' (seriously, we're using that name internally).
Those posts are also the right place where you can partecipate to the development process by sharing your comments and suggestion! And trust me, we listen, we listen a lot to our user base, so that your feedback will count!
For the grand opening I want to talk about one feature: the harmonics-anlyzer.
The harmonics analyzer: why and for what?
Well the why part of the question is quite easy to explain: because it's useful and when you get used to you cannot come back! How many times you listen to a sample, but you didn't know how it will blend with the others? Sure you have the layered player which helps a lot, but it cannot tell you what are the predominant notes in a sample.
That's the job of the harmonics anlyzer: represent graphically the frequency distribution inside the sample you're playing, and it goes a step forward: it guesses (with an extraordinary precision) the two strongest note in the sample. So you could drop it into your DAW software, and you can be sure, it will mix good.
Obviously is a quite expensive task for the cpu so do not expect that a pc from 2004 will shine, it will be usable but less precise. Also we see that under Windows XP the performaces (not only of the harmonics analyzer) drops by a 25% or even 30% on the same hardware configuration.
Now that we introduced it, let's take a look.
Cool eh? As you can see the window is dominated by the spectrum anlyzer which shows the various frequencies that make up the sample. We add an exageration filter which emphasizes only the most dominant frequencies. Also the peaks are a little bit lazy so your eye has the time to follow the frequency shifts (very common with voice and wind instruments).
But we go even deeper and directly in the spectrum view we add two small labels that shown the exact note that falls in the two peaks. Internally it uses a table of known notes and frequencies to speed up the note lookup, and even better, it makes the guess much more precise.
In the command bar (the bottom of the window) you can control the input-sensibility and frequency/intensity scaling algorithm. For your convenience the analyzer can stay above every other window.
How much I have to wait?
To be honest the first condition imposed to me, when I proposed a new post about Breezer 2013 was quite clear "Do not talk about any release date". Why? because we are quite far from even the first beta. In my opinion we will see Breezer 2013 only next year... but it's quite hard to predict.
I hope that you enjoyed that article and I'll wait you for my next article where I will explore the new user interface of Breezer 2013.
Michael Sclepp - Revel Software Developers