We refactored all preview themes

Recently we refactored all of our preview themes. In the past a lot of merchants complained that images are cropped when creating previews. So we changed that.

From now on every preview theme has a note e.g. Best for 3/2 aspect ratio so you know you should use this for previews created by images of a cam. You should use Best for 16/9 aspect ratio for previews made of images from a video filmed in 16/9 format and so on.

Remeber you can always propose new previews, too!

New: We now also check your imagesets for HD media

In the case your shop offers HD media you may have noticed we have some nice new icons telling the client that a collection contains HD videos:

Until today we only checked your videos for HD content, but now we extended it to also check your imagesets. So when you have a collection containing HD images you also get a tiny HD icon depending on how big your images are.

A complete new media converter for shopmaker.com

We just finished our rewrite of the media converter for shopmaker.com. Here are some technical details for the geeks 😉

  • We kicked the complete Mplayer / MEncoder stuff in favor of FFmpeg since FFmpeg is able to support even more codecs.
  • Also the imageset converter has been overhauled. It should be less error prone now since it is ok to have folders and other non-jpg files in the zip file. It will skip them automatically. One thing we want to mention here: From now on we only allow jpgs in the zip file, all other formats like png, gif or bmp will be ignored. Since everybody uses jpg right now, this should be not really a big concern.
  • We distributed all media. You can notice your media is now served from files0.shopmaker.com and files1.shopmaker.com. These are so called Content delivery networks. This are two brand new servers with a lot of space available. Dealing with CDNs we will be able to scale up even more easy because we can add more servers in a very simple way.
  • Of course we kicked a lot of old legacy code, and rewrote even more code inside the application.

Of course we could not test all of these changes locally on our development machines, so we had to do some tests on the live servers. We made sure your clients were able to download all the time!
Nevertheless some merchants noticed errors creating previews in the merchant interface, so we want to apologize for any inconvenience that may have occured. Please report any issues you encounter to our team!

New: Media are now converted before you add them to a collection (update)

Hey, we have some good news for you! Media are now converted before you add them to a collection. This means some changes on how to add new collections: When you upload new media we will convert them in the background and they become available after this conversion is complete.

The new add media dialog

The new add media dialog

What does conversion mean?
The conversion is the process when we grab some images out of your videos and unzip your imagesets. We will then create a media preview of these files. In the past this has be done when you add media to a collection, now it is done right after you uploaded the file. Because of technical limitations of the file transfer protocol (FTP) we cannot know when your upload of a file is complete we look at the last modified date of every single file in your FTP folder. When this date does not change for at least five minutes we assume your upload is complete and start the conversion. From now on you don’t see the files you *uploaded* in your “add new media” dialog but the files we *successfully converted*.

Why is this better?
Well, doing it this way you see what a medium contains before you add it to a collection. Isn’t this neat? Also you don’t have to wait for the percent counter to see if the file gets converted successfully. Last but not least this is much easier for us to maintain and it is much nicer for our servers.

Any drawbacks?
Not really. You have to wait some time from uploading to adding the media to your collection. As said before, we have to wait some time before we can start the conversion (and of course the conversion itself takes some time).

Some things left?
Yes. We have to care about media when there are errors while conversion. This is not implemented yet. Right now you just don’t see media that had errors in your “add new media” dialog. In the future we will list them and tell you what went wrong. While the initial conversion run we noted some errors which occured more often:

  • Do *not* zip video files
  • We have some problems converting real media files (.rm, .vbrm, …). We will take a look at this issue soon.

Also the deletion of media isn’t perfect yet. When you delete media now they will be deleted from our database and moved back into your FTP folder. After five minutes they will be converted again. We will fix this issue soon, too!

We just fixed the deletion of media and collections. You are now able to decide if you want to keep the files when you delete something (move the file back to the pool) or if you want to delete it completly.
We also added something new: If you create a folder named “exclude” all files in this folder wont be converted.

Warning if the file is already connected to a collection

Sometimes connecting media to collections can be some kind of thrilling. Sometimes you create a collection and add media to it you connected to some other collection earlier. Even if the files are deleted from you FTP folder as soon as they are processed by our server no one holds you back to re-upload it. Well, we thought of it and we don’t want to disallow you to have several collections with the same media in it. What we can do is to warn you, like this:

Warning if the file is already connected to a collection

Warning if the file is already connected to a collection

So you know when there is something doubled in your shop. By the way, we only check for the filename and not the content of the files (tell us if you know of a reason why we should do so :)). This is a feature request by sexytiedgirls.com, girlsinsteel.com and i-love-bondage.com.