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  1.  (6217.1)
    Has anyone heard anything about this lately? There was a panel about it at Heroes Con this year but I missed it so I don't know what was said. The brief snippet about the panel in the Heroes Con book said that it was a preview of the software "a full week before its official release".

    However, the Longbox site hasn't been updated since April and that update didn't mention anything about an official launch. I haven't heard much about it lately and am curious to know if any new partnerships have been announced.
  2.  (6217.2)
    With all respect to Rantz, his team, and the immense amount of work they must have put in: time has caught up to them. I think that, unless they move very soon, it's not going to matter what they say anymore.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRantz
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2010
     (6217.3)
    No disrespect taken Warren. In fact, I/we agree with the sentiment, which is why we've been somewhat 'silent running' for the last month, while we made sure that everything was lining up as planned.

    Over the last 3 months, LongBox Digital has undergone some MAJOR changes. Some of this is in response to the difference in the market now, some is in response to issues that have come to annoy us personally after living with/working with the platform for over a year (and issues that we know sooner or later would drive users nuts as well), some are to allow for more naturalistic usage on other platforms (such as tablets and game systems), and a good number were in response to the excellent and detailed user feedback we got during the first phases of the Beta.

    As was noted at Heroescon, the waiting is over. We've been doing final internal testing over the last week, and will release v0.9 to the public by the end of the week. This is, for all intents and purposes, the release candidate. The only reason it isn't is a.) because we want to allow for one more user feedback loop, and b.) we want to get a wide swath of international testing for 'the field' before releasing v1.0.

    in v0.9, you'll be able to purchase comics, new comics will be available each week, and we currently have over 200 titles from 9 publishers queued up, with a steady flow of additional titles coming in. We'll also be opening the LBX Platform up to small press earlier than expected, since the aforementioned revisions also helped refine and streamline the production flow, making it possible to bring new titles all in a much more efficient manner. A (partial) listing of the new features and/or revisions...

    LONGBOX v0.9
    Changes, Alterations, and New Features in this build.


    START SCREEN
    – New Layout emphasizing Featured Comics and New Releases.
    - Layout Standardization for all screens
    - Cleanly supports all resolutions now (netbook to widescreen)
    - Can download subscribed titles from Start Screen
    - Can add New Releases to cart from StartScreen
    - Accurate listing of number of comics purchased
    - Accurate Listing of the number of ComicBlocks user has.

    OPTIONS – General
    - Cleaned Up layout and use of standardized buttons.

    OPTIONS - Accounts
    - Ability to manage Account settings
    - User can Deauthorize registered machines remotely
    - Change Password
    - Set Personal Rating/Content shown
    - Ability to select directory for content.

    OPTIONS – Sub-Accounts- Ability to create Sub-Accounts
    o Specify settings for each SubAccount
    - Ability to Edit Sub-accounts
    - Ability to give Comic Blocks to Sub-Accounts
    - Sub Account Content is shared with Master Account.

    LOG IN/LOG OUT
    - Ability to Auto Log In
    - Ability to remember all accounts used on device
    - Ability to Log In using ‘offline’ mode, to read and access
    already downloaded files without internet connection.
    - Ability to reset password, emailing temp password to
    registered email account.

    STOREFRONT & LIBRARY
    - New Layout
    - Standardized navigation buttons, and ‘discoverable’ interface
    - New ‘Display Criteria’ Function
    – Allows for easier quick navigation and exploration-based discovery of new titles.
    o NOTE: Publisher, Genre, & Association Display are turned off in the 0.9.12 build.
    - New List Mode
    o NOTE: New List Mode is 70% complete. Meets previous function and exceeds it, but does not use new functions for sort and display groupings.
    - LIBRARY – Displays titles by “association” and ‘Title’ Stacks.
    - LIBRARY – Displays when user has purchased title, but does not have it currently on device they are using (‘broken’ symbol)
    - LIBRARY – Allows user to re-download title(s) with one click from Library in either Tile or List Mode
    - LIBRARY – Added ‘Import Content’ button
    - LIBRARY – Imported Content now has top-level user-editable metadata
    - LIBRARY – Download History revised with improved file and history management.

    CART- LBX Promo Codes – App now redeems promotional codes in the Shopping Cart
    - Wishlist – User’s wishlist is now saved and propagated to server/across all registered devices
    - ComicBlocks – Users can now purchase ComicBlocks, allowing them to purchase titles within the LBX StoreFront.
    - Founding Member – Users can now purchase Gold Memberships, which during the last phase of the Beta will be promoted to ‘Founding Members’ (Founding Member status does not expire)

    READER
    - Removed QuickNav Shelf of Thumbnail Page views
    - Removed Confusing Zoom Navigation Mode.
    - Reader Control Menu is now an ‘auto roll-up’ shelf.
    o Reader Control Menu can be ‘pinned’ in up or down position by the user.
    o All Enhanced Content controls will be on the left side of the Reader Control Menu
    o All Standard reader features will be available on the Right Side of the Reader Control Menu.
    - User can use the ‘hide’ arrow in the upper Right Corner to hide the entire upper UI shelf in the Reader screen.
    - User can now access the different modes and fumnctions of the Reader by selecting the ‘Reader Display Mode’ button in the upper Left Corner
    o Clicking button gives button overlay, allowing for Book (where applicable), Chapter, Page, or Zoom mode.
    o Clicking Zoom brings up sub-menu of zoom modes applicable to the current comic file (Page Width, Sequential Panel, or Free Zoom)
    o The ‘Standard Return’ button or the ‘esc’ key drops the user back out of the Display Mode menus.
    o Selecting Chapter brings up large, scrollable versions of all of the pages in that chapter.
    ? Unread Pages are ‘masked’ to protect spoilers.
    ? Double clicking a page takes the user back into ‘Page’ reader mode.
    - Added multi-finger swipe support in Mac.
    - Added 4-way middle mouse support in Win7+

    Couple tech and comic news sites will have stories going up this week with (hopefully) a screencast, but here's some screenshots to hold you over for a couple days until the release.

    And Warren, please note... it should work well on your netbook now!

    Reader with Rollup navigation and main UI visible
    Main Reader with Rollup navigation shelf and main app UI visible

    Reader with Main UI hidden (upper right arrow) and Rollup Navigation shelf 'pinned' down
    Reader with Main UI hidden (upper right arrow) and Rollup Navigation shelf 'pinned' down

    Revised Start Up Screen
    Revised Start Screen
    •  
      CommentAuthorarklight
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2010
     (6217.4)
    @rantz

    what every one wants to know is if a creative person can wake up one day,
    knock out a comic and immediately have it up for the digital masses
    which our music making brothers can without having a "submission" process
    which might eliminate their style.

    And if not you, then who? And more importantly how. what is the step
    by step process of upping a title.Post a link if you can't write it up.

    Heri


    http://www.youtube.com/thearklight
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2010
     (6217.5)
    @arklight- On the one hand I'd like that but on the other it would probably flood longbox with well...a lot of crap

    Does itunes allow that with music?
    •  
      CommentAuthorkperkins
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2010
     (6217.6)
    I'd say that the crap can be weeded out by the "consumers" (for want of a better term right now), just like anywhere else. Because you know one persons crap is another's gold.
    If you go into a book store, or comics shop about 95% (I'm being generous) is crap, who "allows" that?
    •  
      CommentAuthorarklight
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2010
     (6217.7)
    @gzapata...

    I've put stuff up for people on itunes of whose music
    I don't like AT ALLLLLLLL...

    It's a democracy. When someone seaches for X-men on Longbox
    they won't get anything else but X-men. So they won't see the
    er.."crap...

    But if they're open minded....there will be a vast
    ocean of talent and styles to choose from.

    There's loads of sequential art I don't like but millions love.
    I shouldn't be able to ban it or weed it out.

    Heri

    http://www.youtube.com/thearklight
  3.  (6217.8)
    On the one hand I'd like that but on the other it would probably flood longbox with well...a lot of crap

    Does itunes allow that with music?


    I'm pretty sure Coldplay is on iTunes, yes
    •  
      CommentAuthorRantz
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2010
     (6217.9)
    There is a submission process to have your title distributed through LongBox. This has nothing to do with 'style' (as there is a diverse bunch that comprise the advisory board and executive committee that are committed to seeing more diverse genres and styles in comics) and everything to do with professionalism (both in terms of business/production/ability to maintain schedule, and in terms of execution).

    Detailed submission guidelines should be up by end of June.
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2010
     (6217.10)
    @arklight- I never said I was completely for it, I just understood why they would have a submission process to have some quality control (which as Rantz just mentioned, they do). And by quality control I don't mean keeping out specific art styles. There are a lot of artists with styles I don't like but I don't mean to lump them into what I called crap. I still respect them and know they are highly skilled.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRantz
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
     (6217.11)
    As I mentioned, we're releasing the final Beta Release Candidate... as in now.

    GO HERE AND GETS IT

    At the link there is also a full listing of all the new or changed features...

    On The main Website There's now a link at the top of the page to the support forum as well.

    Additionally, those nice folks at Robot 6/Comic Book Resources wrote a very nice article on the full launch.

    Take it for a spin and let us know what you think!

    (now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to pass out due to exhaustion...)
    •  
      CommentAuthorkperkins
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
     (6217.12)
    I downloaded .9. It does look good.
    Several things though. No zoom buttons anymore? CTRL+Z isn't really intuitive, esp. if you don't see any buttons for zooming, or if the zoom entry in the menu doesn't show the shortcut (which is really basic user interface stuff).
    Still no content?!
    This is the big thing here. I realize this is beta, but I can only read the same 8 or 9 comics so many times. Yeah I know I can download .cbz files, and I do have a few, but I can use any reader for those.
    As far as I was concerned Longbox was going to be all about the store, and right now that seems to be the part that's falling through.
    Those are my thoughts on this. If the store gets going, I think I would be happy.
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
     (6217.13)
    Finally was able to download and get longbox to work. My computer had a real bad virus months ago and I must have deleted a windows program needed in getting longbox to work (windowscodes.dll)

    The only issue I have with longbox is the zoom scrolling. It is ALMOST perfect but I don't really like the scrolling down then going to the left or right to get to the next page. I know it's a pretty small unimportant idea but longbox and other digital programs(publishers? not sure what to call you guys) want to grab atleast a small portion of the illegal downloaders. They already have a standard though, CDisplay. This program is so easy and quick to use which is it's strength. Little thought or effort has to be put forth allowing readers to ignore everything but the comic itself. All the other options are very cool and even the fact that longbox allows you to download cbz files is great and not a feature I expect others to get for quite awhile (though I'm sure the market will force it in eventually)

    I know it sounds insignificant but it's something I feel would be quick to do while at the same time going a long way in improving longbox.

    I had also been hoping for more content especially after reading that last interview. Just a few disappointed customers that went in after reading that interview expecting more comics to read could be a loss for all the publishers in longbox.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRantz
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
     (6217.14)
    I downloaded .9. It does look good.
    Several things though. No zoom buttons anymore? CTRL+Z isn't really intuitive, esp. if you don't see any buttons for zooming, or if the zoom entry in the menu doesn't show the shortcut (which is really basic user interface stuff).


    Use the "\" key to bring up the view mode menu, or you can click the view mode button in the upper left. That gives you access to the different zoom modes, as well as page/chapter/book browse capability.

    As mentioned in the Robot 6 interview, new content will go up weekly starting on the 29th. With the significant number of revisions and overhauls, we wanted to reduce the number of variable to debug in this build. There is a lot of content on the server, waiting to go.

    gzapata - I assume you are suggesting the reader auto-page to the next page if you keep scrolling down? On the usability testing we did with other digital readers (including CDisplay), with users who weren't current digital comic readers, the incidence of frustration due to 'overshooting' the page on a fast scroll was high enough that it was determined that it was better to no auto trigger the page turn.
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
     (6217.15)
    @Rantz- Oh alright. I can see what you mean since I have that problem when dealing with pdf files. I guess it's just something to get use too and it still works with ease anyways
    •  
      CommentAuthorRantz
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
     (6217.16)
    @gzapata - even though it doesn't do the 'advance at bottom' function, there are a number of ways to minimize your 'actions'. On PC, mousewheel down then mousewheel button click will take you down the page, then advance. On Mac, two finger swipe down and two finger swipe to side will do the same. On Mac 2 finger held swipe will 'scrub'/speed through pages or panels, depending on viewing mode, and 5-way PC middle mouse buttons - Vista & 7, should do the same thing. (although our testing on that has been limited by the number of users that have the PC equiv of multitouch)
    •  
      CommentAuthorarklight
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2010 edited
     (6217.17)
    @gzapata and rantz

    I don't know, i've just got an iffy feeling
    about the whole submission thing to "keep standards" and scheduling.

    Anyway , talking about scheduling "how long did the last issue of
    PLANETARY take to come out? Would you have red carded
    Warren Ellis?
    ..:-)....just what would you do anyway to
    people or companies like that?

    And how long is the submission process. i'm sure you will get
    swamped with submissions.Have you enough people to do that?
    Just how long is the submission review?

    As a time saver will you just greenlight all subs by major companies
    even though they might be worse in quality then some of the independent
    lone artist/writer's work out there? Or will you actually tell a major you will not stock
    a particular comic/graphic novel/manga because it's rubbish? Or not on schedule
    or doesn't maintain Longbox's standards?

    As far as im concerned :- you should just create a mini sequential art universe in
    Longbox where anyone can sub anything, and let the search engines and bloggers do
    the work of weeding out the wheat from the chaff. Is it a server problem? Youtube stores
    loads of videos which tak up tonnes of space. You shouldn't have that sort of problem.

    Sorry for the harsh questions. But enquiring people need to know...;-)...
    and good luck!


    Heri Mkocha

    http://www.youtube.com/thearklight
    •  
      CommentAuthorCameron C.
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2010 edited
     (6217.18)
    I had some of those thoughts as well. Like if an independent creator would have to have a schedule or what exactly they are accepting submissions for. If a creator gets something approved, does every issue in a series have to be approved and does that mean one of them could NOT be approved? Or are they approving series based off the first issue? Does a creator have to go through the process again if he has a second series start up, or an unrelated one-shot story?

    I assume this part (independent submissions in general) of Longbox in particular will be of interest to a lot of Whitechapel :3
    • CommentAuthortcatsninfan
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2010 edited
     (6217.19)
    @arklight

    I'm sorry, but your tone is entirely too harsh. I know Rantz is much too level-headed and professional to actually be bothered by it, but you've worded your post as if you're accusing him of being a dirtbag and are assuming he's going to make Big Government style decisions at every turn.

    He said there should be detailed information on the submission process by the end of June, so chances are most of your questions will be answered then.
    Youtube stores loads of videos which tak up tonnes of space. You shouldn't have that sort of problem.

    I think it's safe to say that LongBox won't have nearly as many servers as YouTube, so maybe they will have that sort of problem. I'm not going to pretend to know how someone else's business works.

    As far as im concerned :- you should just create a...

    As far as you're concerned, you are (I'm assuming) a writer or artist looking to put his work on LongBox. If that's the case, then why would you speak to the CEO of the company this way, basically telling him how to run his own business? Talk about getting red carded...

    The best thing you can do in the comic industry is to network and not talk badly about others even if you don't agree with their methods. People talk and word will get out if you go around speaking down to everyone. Every person who reads this thread will see how you have talked to Rantz, and I know that there are people active on Whitechapel who work for companies similar to LongBox, so at that point they would assume that you would approach them with the same tone.

    Also, I don't know if you do all your own writing, penciling, inking, and lettering, but if you don't then bear in mind that what you say can affect those partnerships as well.

    I'm not trying to start a flame war here but THIS IS WHITECHAPEL. This place is separate from the regular internet. There will be civility.
    •  
      CommentAuthorarklight
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2010 edited
     (6217.20)
    @tcatsninfan

    calm yourself.

    Nowhere did i call Rantz or anyone a dirtbag.

    Every single question I asked is legitimate and has
    been thought about by every single comics/sequential
    arts "creator" out there wanting to put there work on
    any digital distributor. Not just Longbox.

    They are bottom line questions.

    For instance that some companies or their products might have
    a pre defined advantage in submitting stuff over independent
    , team, or lone creators.


    If that's the case, well ok. Just let us know about it
    that's all. That's a legitimate question. Asking it
    is not equivalent to calling someone a dirtbag.

    Because what's going to happen if Longox is successful is the
    independent creators out there will vastly outnumber the majors
    yet might feel they get treated very differently.



    As for the reason I mentioned Itunes is that I can be given the Wav
    files of a band this very minute. And submit it wholesale
    to itunes and about 37 other digital music distributors
    and (barring explicit artwork) expect it to be up
    in 2-3 weeks on itunes max. Or in some of the other
    services instantly.There are next to no gatekeepers
    in what you can put up.Major or lone bedroom producers.

    considering one Wav song file in memory not a whole album
    of wav files is more than the a whole average jpeg scanned comic.
    i don't think there should be server issues.

    I praise Longbox for getting their feet wet by
    being the first get their feet wet.


    We should be way ahead
    in an industry that has vastly lower overheads than
    the music business and out sells some records.While being
    roughly priced the same (cough !)
    (comparing singles=to issues of comics)

    for instance X-men has "gone platinum" , many
    months in many years,while some albums/singles
    may take upto 2 years with tonnes of marketing
    money to be recouped.


    we're not dissing him we just want information.
    And that's fair.

    Heri


    http://www.youtube.com/thearklight