We fixed a few bugs and rolled out several improvements to our Flash player at 2PM Pacific time on Wednesday, June 24th. There was no service interruption during this update, though a few users had to empty their browser cache and reset the site to resume streaming.
The new player will load automatically when you come to HOS.com and you should only notice the changes and improvements to normal operation listed below. Everything will be as you expect as far as personal playlists and Favorites are concerned.
FIXES AND NEW FEATURES
Some of these improvements are pretty subtle and you may never notice them. Others improve basic operations for everyone:
- Dynamic Buffering : This advanced feature will improve operation for dialup users and anyone experiencing stream interruptions or dropouts. The initial buffer length is set to 10 seconds to ensure fast startup of stream. As soon as the initial buffer is filled and playback begins, we increase the data buffer to the equivalent to 5 minutes of music. This should eliminate almost all stream dropouts in normal use.
- Player Activation Trigger : The "active player" display view will fade out only after your mouse exits the player area. As long as the cursor remains in the player area, the active player view will always remain visible. This is more intuitive and prevents unwanted fadeaways while choosing or editing playlists.
- ADD function activates player : If you add an item to a playlist while the player is in the "minimized" mode, the active player will fade in and display the newly added item at the bottom of the currently active playlist. The player will return to the minimized view after 10 seconds if the cursor is not in the player area.
- Swap Playlist Buttons Position : For convenience, the positions of the ‘Manage Playlists’ and ‘Add Playlist Item’ buttons at the bottom of the MY PLAYLISTS tab have been swapped. Now you just mouse straight down to pick a new playlist.
- Last Good Port Stored : The player now stores the last successful connection port in the Flash cookie so that users on corporate networks need not cycle though all possible ports on each connection attempt. Instead, the player tries the last successful port first. In the event the ‘last good port’ fails, the player will resume cycling through all other options trying to establish a connection to the Flash Media Server. This will speed up connecting at work.
- Return to 0:00, Start Over : The operation of the control for the ‘step back’ |< function has been revised. The button now behaves in the same way as iTunes or CD player. If the user clicks the ‘back’ button during the first 3 seconds of a track, the playhead will go to the start of the previous track. If the user clicks the ‘back’ button any time after the first three seconds of a track, the playhead will return to the start of the currently playing track.
- Player Busy Icon : The standard Flash "watch" animation will appear briefly when the player is busy switching between streams and during voiceover on/off operation — just so you know something's happening.
- Refresh View Tab On Sign In/Out : The player will refresh the player tab when you sign in or out now so that metadata will always be in sync with your login state.
- Fixed Radio Channel Buglet : a very rare sequence of operations could cause the player to lock up. All better now.
We continue to work on improvements to our service operation and solicit your feedback and suggestions. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.