Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Marketing services as a vital part of growing your business

One of the most important things in creating a successful business is letting people know about it. After all, you can write the best software (or create the best product), but if no one visits your site or finds you through search engines, then it's all worthless.

Getting the word out about your product is not as easy as it may seem and there are many ways to do this.

One such way is to get noticed by large sites and print magazines (and newspapers). To get into those, you'll need a properly written press release. Writing a good press release is usually left best to professionals, who know what to write, how to write it and to whom to send it. I can recommend one such company - DP Directory (http://www.dpdirectory.com/) headed by Al Harberg. I've used Al's services numerous times and he always created great content and has done it with a great degree of professionalism. It's always a pleasure working with him. DP Directory also provides site overview services (called "Rent Al's Brain" - see this page: http://www.dpdirectory.com/artic001.htm) and it's money well-spent!

Well, I'm off to continue development and promotion of KooRaRoo Media. Give Al's services a try if you need your site looked over by someone who understands selling software or if you need a press release written and distributed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

KooRaRoo common questions and tips

There is now a central topic on the forum that will be collecting all the commons questions and answers as well as some tips and tricks. It's meant to make your experience with KooRaRoo even easier and also to highlight some features that otherwise may go unnoticed :)

Please see: http://forum.kooraroo.com/showthread.php/141-Tips-and-common-issues-%28updated-Dec-3rd-2012%29 

It will be updated regularly (watch the topic title to know when there is an update).

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

KooRaRoo Media v1.3.3 is out now

There is a new update available for KooRaRoo Media DLNA server and organizer!

For release notes see this forum post: http://forum.kooraroo.com/showthread.php/135-KooRaRoo-Media-v1-3-3-is-now-available

KooRaRoo now supports ten languages for its UI and more are coming!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Language codes supported by KooRaRoo Media

One of the powerful features that KooRaRoo has is the ability to specify your preferred language (or more than one).

This means that if a video file (or DVD disk) contains more than one language, KooRaRoo Media will try to find your preferred audio track and deliver that to your device.

No more hearing audio you don't understand!

KooRaRoo uses standard three-letter codes to specify the language and I've posted a reference table here: http://forum.kooraroo.com/showthread.php/131-Tip-Language-codes-supported-by-KooRaRoo-Media

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Another step forward towards the best DLNA server!

KooRaRoo Media has been updated to v1.3.2 which brings forth a few enhancements and lays solid ground for new feature development. Some new features are being developed behind-the-scenes and are already in the program, but simply hidden from view :)

See http://forum.kooraroo.com/showthread.php/127-KooRaRoo-Media-v1-3-2-is-now-available for release notes and grab your copy today!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Small update

I haven't written any posts in this blog for a bit and the reason is that I've been really busy improving and expanding KooRaRoo Media - the new DLNA server and media organizer.

It now supports any language and has already been translated to German, French, Russian and Hungarian with more languages to follow.

There are many interesting features planned, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 7, 2012

DLNA devices: BluRay Players (BDPs)

Most modern BluRay players (BDPs) have DLNA built-in. This is a great solution if your TV does not support DLNA directly, so you could hook up your old CRT or any other TV and still enjoy all the benefits of DLNA!

KooRaRoo Media supports all modern DLNA-compatible BluRay players from such manufacturers as:
  • LG
  • Marantz
  • Onkyo
  • OPPO
  • Panasonic
  • Philips
  • Pioneer
  • Samsung
  • Sharp
  • Sony
  • Yamaha
With a BDP you of course also get the ability to play DVD and BluRay disks, so it's a double bonus, but the future is in digital media, not disks, which are prone to breakage, dust collection and are impossible to catalog and access quickly. KooRaRoo Media allows you to easily organize your digital media files and access them quickly on your BluRay players, using your BDP's remote. You don't need any additional hardware or software, as long as your computer and your BDP are connected to your home network.

Try a free, fully-functional copy of KooRaRoo today and see how it will help you!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New FAQs page on the site!

There is now a new page on the site that explores in more detail the inner working of various features that KooRaRoo Media has.

It's still work in progress, but the first section on Transcoding is finished.

Check it out at http://kooraroo.com/faqs.php

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why is transcoding important to have?

Transcoding is important to have because there are a lot of music, photo and video formats, but most DLNA devices only support a small handful of those. 

For example, new digital photo cameras can take pictures in RAW format, allowing you to edit them later, but how would you view them in RAW format on your TV or other DLNA device? This is where transcoding will help you, because KooRaRoo Media will automatically, on-the-fly, convert these to a picture format compatible with your device.

You can have your music collection stored as high-quality FLAC files, but most DLNA devices do not support FLAC directly. Again - KooRaRoo will save the day and convert your music files with the highest possible quality to a format supported by your device.

The world of video formats is the most complex, because video files are basically containers that can have many different streams (channels) inside and each of those streams could be a video stream, an audio stream or a subtitle stream. Even the most popular formats, such as AVI (or DivX) and MPEG can be encoded in a way that makes them incompatible with hardware decoders (hardware decoders are what's built-in your DLNA devices). New camcorder models will let you take beautiful, high-definition home videos, but these videos may not play on your device as well, even if they are the same brand. You also may find some videos on the Web or elsewhere that are encoded in less common formats that are not supported either.

As you can see, there are many possibilities for things to go wrong in terms of compatibility between your files and your device, but the good news is that you don't have to worry about this - KooRaRoo Media will take care of it all for you behind the scenes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

How is transcoding used in KooRaRoo Media?

Transcoding is done automatically by KooRaRoo Media when it detects a file that is not compatible with your device.

To determine whether a file is compatible or not, a device definition is used (also called a device profile) that lists all known formats that the device can play. Anything not listed, will get transcoded.

Device definitions are updated when new firmware comes out and new devices are added all the time as well. It is important to select the correct device profile for your device, but most devices can be auto-detected, so you don't have to worry about this.

Another way to use transcoding in KooRaRoo is to manually transcode files. This is done from within KooRaRoo's GUI (graphical user interface, or the main application window). Some files may be considered as native for the device, but they may have something particular in their encoding that prevents the hardware decoder in your player from playing them. In this case manual transcoding helps, as you can transcode the file from within KRR and this new transcoded file will be used for your device, so the file will play properly. Manual transcoding also allows you to select which video and audio stream you wish to transcode, so if there are multiple audio streams (for example), you can choose which language you'd like the resulting file to have.

You can also configure your preferred language (audio) streams via the Device settings - when set this will instruct KooRaRoo to find and use audio in a language that you understand automatically!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How can I play backed up DVDs on my DLNA devices?

Going from physical media to its electronic, non-physical form is a huge process, but I believe it's inevitable and the sooner we start, the better.
 
We all know - DVDs and CDs and any other physical media fails from time to time. It gets dusty, scratched, breaks and takes up space.

You've spent a lot of money purchasing all those DVDs and certainly you'd be annoyed if all of a sudden they'd stop playing, right?

Well, this is where DVD back ups could save you. I'm not going into details of whether studios think it's legal or not to make backup for your personal use, let's assume it's ok in your area and you've done it :)

Then comes the next question - you've got your great new shiny DLNA device and you point it to your folder with your backed up DVDs only to find a bunch a strange, broken up files that may play, but pause right in the middle of the most interesting scene before they continue playing another file. This would be a scenario with a simple DLNA server, but not with KooRaRoo Media.

KooRaRoo Media will automatically (yes, it does a lot on its own, so you don't have to!) recognize those DVD folders, then read information about your movie and combine the main movie into one file, without pauses, breaks or any glitches in between scenes! You will notice that when browsing through those DVD folders using KooRaRoo, there will be a title with "(main title)" appended to it. Just play this one and it'll automatically combine the whole movie into one for you.

Very handy, isn't it? And of course when you have your DVDs in KooRaRoo's library, you can quickly find them by genre, actors, studios, years and the multitude of other criteria supported by KooRaRoo. It's a lot easier than going through the hundreds of DVD boxes trying to find that special movie you want to watch right now and there is less dusting!

Try KooRaRoo Media for free today and enjoy your media!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How can I limit what my kids see on a DLNA device in their room?

KooRaRoo Media lets you collect and organize all your files from all the sources on your home network - connected PCs and NAS drives. This means that your media collection may contain material not suitable for younger children in your household. What do you do?

It's simple - use the powerful, yet easy-to-use parental controls in KooRaRoo!

How do they work? Very simple :) You can set an MPAA-based parental rating (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17) for any file or folder in KooRaRoo Media. After that go to Devices pane, edit the device that your kids use to watch cartoons and movies or listen to music and in device properties set the maximum parental rating that will be shown on this device. So, for example, if you set a parental rating of "G" in the device properties and mark a file or folder "PG" in KooRaRoo, then it won't appear on the device as if it doesn't exist, so your kids won't even know it's there in the first place!

Easy, right? That's the whole idea - you should be able to accomplish seemingly complex tasks with just a few mouse clicks using KooRaRoo's intuitive graphical user interface.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How can I play file formats not supported by my DLNA device?

There are millions of DLNA-enabled devices out there and they all support different video, music and photo formats. Some support more, some support less, but I think it's safe to say that no single device supports all existing format variations.

This is where KooRaRoo Media's powerful (and smart!) transcoding engine comes in. Transcoding simply means converting.

KooRaRoo Media can read pretty much any existing format you can throw at it (see a full list of supported formats on this page: http://kooraroo.com/features.php) and after that it's smart enough to recognize your device and check what formats it supports. This is done through the supplied device definitions (device profiles) that are actively maintained to make sure they match the latest firmware changes.

Music and photo conversion is relatively easy. The tricky bit is video conversion, when done properly. KooRaRoo will try to remux the video if at all possible. Remuxing means simply copying a stream. This allows for a very quick conversion that doesn't require much CPU power and is very quick.

A very powerful and useful feature of KooRaRoo is audio stream language matching to your preference. Let's say your first language is English, but you also understand Russian and you have a video file with multiple audio streams. Once you set your audio language preference in KooRaRoo, it'll pick and use audio streams from the file that match the priority of your languages. It sounds complicated, but it works behind the scenes and once you tried it, you'll be surprised how you ever lived without this :)

In KooRaRoo you also have full power to do manual conversions which allow you to tweak parameters and choose video/audio streams. You are in full control!

This is just one of the many great features that KooRaRoo has.
 
So, give KooRaRoo Media a try and see what the new DLNA media organizing and streaming software is all about.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

DLNA devices: TVs

KooRaRoo Media supports all DLNA-compatible devices out-of-the-box. There are no complicated settings to adjust and most devices will be automatically detected.

Having dedicated device profiles for various devices means that KooRaRoo Media can deliver the best possible experience for you, based on what the particular device's firmware supports.

From time to time, manufacturers update their firmware and KooRaRoo Media will always be on top of things and update its device profiles as well, so you'll always be up-to-date.

Let's look at some of the TVs that KooRaRoo Media has device profiles for:
  • Hitachi TVs
  • LG Smart TVs
  • Panasonic Viera TVs (2010, 2011 and 2012 production years)
  • Philips 7000, 8000 and 9000 series TVs
  • Pioneer Kuro TVs
  • Samsung A, B, C, D and E series TVs
  • Sharp Aquos TVs
  • Sony Bravia TVs (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 production years)
  • Toshiba Regza TVs
Other TV brands are supported too with our default device profile, so they will work right from the start and we'll be happy to create a dedicated device profile for them - just contact us through support or our online forum.

Enjoy using KooRaRoo Media!


Dennis Volodomanov

Saturday, August 4, 2012

First release is here!

I am happy to announce that the first version of KooRaRoo Media has been released!

It is available as a free trial download from http://www.kooraroo.com

Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Development notes VIII

Looks like the last weekend before the first release!

While KRR is being beta-tested, I'm finishing up the help file and working on minor tweaks and any minor features that can still be added in at the last minute. All the major work is done!

Stay tuned for the release date! You can monitor this blog, or the main site (http://www.kooraroo.com), our forum (http://forum.kooraroo.com) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/KooRaRoo).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Development Notes VII

There has been some silence on this blog, but this means that more time was devoted to development and testing of KooRaRoo Media.

The feature set is now frozen and complete and we're going through testing to weed any obvious bugs before our big release scheduled for the end of the month.

Even in the initial version there will be some very useful features (apart from the DLNA/UPnP streaming of course) that I hope you'll use and more is already being planned for future versions. The product will be growing at a steady pace with regular updates and I'm sure that it'll accommodate all your needs.

You can still join our mailing list (at http://www.kooraroo.com) to get a special discount when KRR is released.

Not too long to wait now!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Development notes VI

KooRaRoo Media development is in full swing and new features are being added daily. Very soon the feature set will be frozen and the first version released!

Meanwhile, there's a lot of testing going in multiple environments with various machines, operating systems and devices.

I'm happy to say that KooRaRoo Media has been tested and works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, the upcoming Windows 8, Windows Home Server, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Marketing notes III

Our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KooRaRoo) now has a very nice cover image! Check it out and please "Like" us while you are there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Marketing notes II

I just want to point out that those who subscribe to our pre-release mailing list (by visiting either: http://www.kooraroo.com or http://www.kooraroo.com/download.php) will not only be the first to know and try the best, brand new, multimedia organizer with a DLNA-compliant media server, but will also be able to purchase it at a very low special price. So, don't wait - sign up now!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Development notes V

I believe that one of the most important features that a great software product should have (well, apart from being useful in the first place) is simplicity and elegance in execution. This means finding the best, simplest, fastest way to achieve the task at hand. In software development this translates to two things, basically - a great, friendly, easy-to-use UI and an efficient and well-optimized engine underneath to run things.

I'm spending a lot of time on getting both of those just right, but I'd like KooRaRoo Media (http://www.kooraroo.com) to really shine once it's released and I believe it will.

You are welcome to sign up to our mailing list (just visit the site) and you'll get a special introductory discount for being on the mailing list when the program hits the market!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Development notes IV

Ok, back to blogging for a few minutes while the latest tests of KooRaRoo Media are running...

Trying to build the best in its class is not an easy task, but something that I want to achieve, so lots of attention goes into details, which will hopefully make it all worthwhile once KRR is released.

Things are still looking good for a June release, albeit it won't happen by my initial planned date (which is tomorrow). Stay tuned for more exciting news as we approach the release!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Marketing notes I

Whenever I have a spare moment (as in when all my computers are tied up in testing mode and it's too dark outside to mow the lawn), I try to work out the best marketing techniques for KooRaRoo Media and so far have a mix of a bit of everything. It's interesting how Google Ads, that I use a little, tend to bring in better results for the ads I'd think wouldn't work at all. This may mean that I need to work on my marketing skills a bit more :)

Development notes III

Past few days have been spent optimizing internal workings, such as database queries, metadata processing, threading, etc... I think I've gone through at least a million files now (yes, same set, but over and over again), tweaking and tuning things. It's getting better :)

Beta testing is still open, so sign up through the forum: http://forum.kooraroo.com if you are interested and enjoy doing this kind of thing.

The to-do list is getting smaller, so release is getting closer! Sign up to the mailing list: http://kooraroo.com/download.php to among the first to give the new version a go!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Development notes II

Just a short note to say that I've been working on KooRaRoo's UI for the past few days - I think it's now at a point where I can show it to someone :) Things are progressing well, so stay tuned for more news soon!

Updated the site with some new pages

Ive' uploaded a few new pages to the site and while they are also still far from complete, the site now at least has a click-able structure :)

Updates include:

http://kooraroo.com/features.php
http://kooraroo.com/download.php
http://kooraroo.com/purchase.php
http://kooraroo.com/support.php
http://kooraroo.com/aboutus.php

Hope you like them!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Join our new mailing list!

There is now a mailing list available to join on the site: kooraroo.com - feel free to join it and you'll get an e-mail as soon as the first official version of KooRaRoo Media is released! It's not a spam list, so you'll only get a (very) occasional e-mail about some new feature or a handy tip or trick or information about a new device.

Development notes I

I will try to do something that I haven't really done properly before - keep some notes on what I'm doing and how development of KooRaRoo Media is progressing.

I've spent the last three days tweaking the UI and optimizing general performance. I think the end result is not bad, but let's see what early beta testers have to say about this :)

The server is highly optimized to deliver files to your DLNA (and UPnP) devices as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are no limits on the number of files or devices you can deliver to at the same time, so it will all come down to your computer and network hardware.


I've been doing tests on a wide range of CPUs and it works well even on an Intel Atom netbook.


There are lots of items still on my to-do list before the first release, but it's all coming together nicely.

Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

KooRaRoo - how do you say it?

If you're wondering how to pronounce "KooRaRoo", then take a look at this forum post that shows you how: http://forum.kooraroo.com/showthread.php/3-How-to-pronounce-KooRaRoo

I know that it may seem like a strange name for a software product, but hopefully you'll grow to like it (if you don't love it already!) :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New site

Uploaded a first draft of the site for KooRaRoo Media (tm) to http://www.kooraroo.com

It's far from being complete, but it's a start :)