We are progressing quickly to our upcoming public beta launch and pushed a major new build last week that fixes tons of issues and adds some often requested new features. Before we get to the new stuff, we just want to send out a huge thanks to the over 300 beta testers who have sent in bug reports. We are a small team (smaller than most of you might think) and your support and feedback has been tremendously helpful. Please keep it up!
So here’s some of the stuff we just released:
The SlideRocket servers have been running beyond our expectations. We’ve let in over 7,500 beta users and had no unplanned downtime this year. But we haven’t sat still and are working hard to make sure that we can handle a large load of silmutaneous users as well as large groups of people collaborating together within a single organization or across multiple organizations. This new release has a lot of changes underneath the hood to make sure things run smoothly as we grow. Most of them won’t directly impact your experience but, one that will is…
Improved Startup Speed
Due to optimizations in how and when SlideRocket loads data, you should now see about an 85% speed improvement in startup when logging into SlideRocket.
A few people have commented on the lag between clicking to go to the next slide and when the slide loaded. Obviously, this is a big difference between SlideRocket and desktop tools since we are loading data from a remote server instead of your local hard drive. With this new version of SlideRocket, the next slide or video is pre-cached once the current slide has finished loading. As long as you don’t click too quickly, you’ll notice near instant transitioning to the next slide and no longer have to wait for video to buffer.
Probably the number one issue that was frustrating users was losing unsaved work if their connection timed out or they hit an unrecoverable bug. With this release we’ve introduced auto-recovery of unsaved work. We think this is a better solution than just auto-saving all the time since you can decide if you want to recover anything you wasn’t saved the next time you connect. Rest assured, you aren’t working without a safety net anymore. And, if that’s not enough, we also added….
We’ve had the ability to revert to a previous version of a slide for a little while but with this new release, you can also revert to a previous version of your entire presentation. Every time you save the presentation a new version is created that you can revert to. Deleted slides and assets can all be recovered if needed.
Improved Flickr Import
We’ve got a ton of plans for integrating with external content services but we felt that the current Flickr import needed some improvements immediately. First of all, we’ve added options for sorting your results which should help you find the right image faster. We also automatically add attribution tooltips to creative commons licensed-images now. And, finally, now when you import a Flickr image it’s imported into your asset library as opposed to just linked back to Flickr. This takes up a little bit of disk space but saves you from worrying if the image is removed or when you want to work offline.
Some of the biggest changes in this new release were around enabling collaboration within and across organizations. SlideRocket lets you share assets, slides, and presentations with others while setting user and group-based permissions. We’ve got a little bit more testing to do on collaboration features and plan to start letting people use these new features this week.
We’ve always had the ability to playback an audio file per slide but, due to popular request, we’ve also added the feature to set an audio file to play across all your slides. Coupled with slide auto-advancing and looping features, you can now create unattended presentations to run in SlideRocket.
Another obvious one. You can now non-destructively crop and scale images within SlideRocket.
We hope you like the new features and performance improvements. As always please send your ideas and observations to firstname.lastname@example.org.