I know I've been silent for a while. Here's why: Since releasing the app at the beginning of this year, I was in the London Real Business Accelerator and handled 2 other client projects. The last project ended recently and the next is gonna kick off in 2 days.
But in the last 9 days I squeezed out some time for the London Real app. The app now includes the latest episodes, a description for every episode and new chapter information for some episodes. However, what took the most time was to migrate the app to the latest versions of Cocoapods, Xcode, Swift, tvOS, PureLayout, Alamofire and other technical dependencies.
Text Talents Wanted!
One of the great features of the app is that users can navigate an episode through a table of contents or "track list". Unfortunately, generating meaningful timestamps and titles for the chapters requires some time and effort. Currently, I don't have the time to do that. But I'm sure the community which is the London Real Academy could crowd source a solution.
The challenge of extracting chapters is that they should be meaningful and helpful to the user. Any chapter should be a few minutes long, like 3 to 10, and its title should summarize the theme or subject that is being dicussed during this chunk of time. Ideally, the title also pops like good copywriting.
Whoever does the work must be able to read between the lines, recognize themes and summarize them in her own words. Just quoting some line from the interview guest doesn't do it in most cases.
Creating the chapters for an episode typically takes at least as much time as the duration of the episode itself. One cannot wind forward but must listen closely. That's what makes this feature valuable but also expensive.
The Road Ahead
The other issue that still needs to be resolved is the video streaming itself. It is still unreliable and doesn't provide sufficient feedback to the user. This is due to the limitations of the technology that I chose in the beginning. In the next one or two weeks, I will explore and test other technical options.
I'd also be open to collaborate with developers from the London Real Academy. Sometimes, just being able to talk and bounce ideas around could help me see possible solutions to technical challenges like the one I mentioned. So if you are a LRA member and a developer of some kind and want to be part of this piece of London Real, feel free to contact me.
I plan to turn this app into an app framework for tvOS, so that I can offer similar apps to other video content producers. The London Real TV app is gonna benefit greatly from this process. So any feedback and collaboration from the community helps promote London Real and grow the community itself.