Big Site Update Today

Hey VideoBoxers,

As some of you may have noticed, we launched a major update to VideoBox today. Most of the changes are on the back end, but here’s a list of new things you’ll see at www.videobox.com that we think you’ll love. It’s not a complete list, mind you — you may find some other gems as you click around. There will be more to come, and we know there may be some items in need of polish; more on that after the list.

  • Category and Tag Filters: when you’re logged in, they’re on the left side of the results pages, and by popular demand, you can choose categories to exclude from your results set for DVDs and scenes!
  • Profile Pages: if you click a fellow user’s name or avatar on a comment, or in the tooltip for a clip, you’ll be taken to their profile page where you’ll see their stats and a list of all the comments they’ve made. From there you can jump to a page of all the clips they’ve created, or all the content they’ve rated, grouped into DVDs, scenes and clips.

  • Search: this now works the same as VB2, including a drop-down list to narrow your search, and it also has auto-complete for when you’re looking for something specific or which includes some portion of text that you already know.

  • Avatar Picker: yes, you can now change your avatar from the auto-assigned one you have now to one of the 5,000 options we’ve pre-loaded! The “My Profile” link on the left nav of the “My VB3″ page takes you to your own comments and stats, and it has a link at the top to “Edit Your Profile” where you can choose a new avatar image and update your stats as well.

We know that some of this will change over time as we all use the site and as we incorporate your feedback and suggestions. We’re also aware that there may be items that didn’t translate exactly from our previous tech stack to this one: some pages might be slower than they were before, or display differently than they used to. I can assure you that we’re looking for those kinds of things, and if we know of an issue, we’re working on it. Please let us know in the comments below or on the Contact Us page if you find things that aren’t working right, or that you think could be improved. We are always grateful for your input, as it helps us serve you better.

Ultimately, we hope you enjoy this update and look forward to the changes to come. It’s a great feeling to know that we can now act more quickly and easily on bugs and new features.

Enjoy,
Bob

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69 Responses to “Big Site Update Today”

  1. jimdawg Says:

    Wow, the site seems much more responsive. Search works way better now.
    Thanks for letting me change my avatar!

    Keep up the good work, I can’t wait to see what else is coming.

    Also, I noticed the Roku integration stuff on my account page. Can’t wait to try that out!

  2. EUgene79 Says:

    I’m currently unable to get to my scenes in my stash. The page won’t load completely. My Flash Player is up-to-date and I’ve been using Safari and Chrome but both failed. Any help?

  3. Boater2 Says:

    When you browse pornstars by name, there is no ‘page advance’ button any more (still there when browsing by popularity) – despite there being 525 pornstars with names starting with ‘N’ for example. They are also not presented alphabetically (the ‘N’s start with Nice Canoas for example, followed in 4th place by Nakia Ty) and now most have no pictures

    Boater (now Boater2)

  4. jimmy Says:

    May 1st

    Can’t access My Stash.

    No New videos showing for today. Just the old ones from yesterday still up as new.

  5. rics30 Says:

    Great, now where’s the May 1st updates?! I only see April 30 and it now says 23+ hours until the next one!

  6. rokkitt Says:

    You forgot to update the update. Still seeing April 30th update.

  7. benmar51 Says:

    Congrats on what appears to be a job well done. . .Would only echo boater`s complaint about the porn star pagination – there are 1340 stars under “S”,for example, and right now we have access to 31 of them (without pictures). But, I`m sure this will be fixed quickly.. . . Again. kudos to the whole tech staff for improving what is already the best porn site out there.

  8. Hardwoodz Says:

    So no new videos today? What did I pay for?

  9. egonspengler Says:

    Looks like the new DVDs are up now. The site looks to be much faster than before and im diggin’ the new features. Thanks vb!

  10. TheShadowKnows Says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CATEGORY EXCLUSION!!!!

  11. Ivanaps Says:

    Since your update, none of the videos, and I mean NONE, will play on iPhones or iPads. What’s the deal?

  12. monkey12345 Says:

    Excellent job, VB! I’ve wanted category exclusion for so long! And it’ll be nice to change my av…

  13. got5onit Says:

    dont mind the new update. would be better tho if i can actually access my scenes in my stash….. getting no vids wot so ever!!!!

  14. Bob Says:

    Hey Everyone, we have a handful of people experiencing trouble with downloads and/or their stash, and we are working on those issues right now. (The downloads issue is causing some people to see 404s on iPads and iPhones.)

    @benmar51, thanks for reporting the pornstars issue; that was known when we went live and will be fixed shortly after we restore the aforementioned download and stash functionality for affected users.

    All others, thanks for the feedback. Glad you are enjoying the category exclusion! More soon.

  15. d Says:

    Can’t download any vids on Chrome Vers 18.0.1025.162 for Windows. All u get is videobox/undefined when trying to save. The old Videobox works, though.

  16. ABC Says:

    When listing scenes by Most Popular I now get a list that includes only specialty channels. These used to be filtered out.The list I get now is all videos I don’t have access to.

  17. charlie Says:

    Instead of defaulting to not high-quality for me, the videos when streamed start as HQ and cannot be changed. If I mouse over the button in Firefox, the blue goes away, but clicking it to actually switch it to non-HQ just makes it show up blue again and reload HQ…

    I can’t stream HQ, so that is a major issue for me…

  18. Jimbo Says:

    Exclusion feature – good stuff!

    Ok guys, if you really want to impress me – please please please … etc… please finally figure out how to post videos with correct aspect ratios. I seriously can not believe that after all these years of being in this business you still can’t get it right. There simply is no excuse to EVER post a video with bad aspect ratio. You have the tools and resources to fix any crap that is handed to you such that what you post a video is problem free. If you can’t figure it out, send me a message and hire me and I’ll do it, or work out whatever it is that needs to be worked out to get this right.

    OK?! :-) Let’s get this done guys!

  19. Mike Says:

    The site will not load on my firefox browser. Works fine on explorer, but honestly, the only time I use that browser is when sites dont work on the former.

  20. Garth Says:

    Wasn’t sure where to submit feedback, but I’ve just been wishing that Flow Mode offered some buttons/links so we could see which video/movie we were watching, link back to it, make it a “favorite” if applicable, explore other scenes for the star, etc. Thanks.

  21. Jimbo Says:

    Follow up comment here. I just wanted to add a couple of things. An important point is that this site is basically really well done, there are *so many* features that make it great, and head-and-shoulders above any of your competition (mind you the bar is pretty low). However, if you compare it to say netflix, or something like that (amazon etc.) consider how people would react if those sites posted videos with improper aspect ratios. Would you accept that from them – would you be happy with them – what would you think of their work?

    I love the new filter mechanism. Super useful. If you could add the ability to +/- vbChannels that would be great. If you guys make this site as professional as possible (which I believe you are trying to do) giving the user as much control as possible (i.e. don’t MAKE us have to sift through vbChannel vids if we don’t want to) – then I believe that more people will actually subscribe to vbChannels. I would actually consider it money well spent, but given your track record on aspect ratios (for example) on this site, I am only willing to spend the relatively small monthly fee for this service. If this site was impeccable in it’s quality – then I seriously would consider forking over more money for the channels as I would know that I’m getting something for my money.

    Please consider my advice – I think dealing with the fundamentals of the video quality is your best way to actually attract more people to sign up for vbChannels, not forcing them to have to wade through videos during searches for example.

    Anyway, that said, the new work on the site really is top notch. Good going!!

  22. K Says:

    What’s with the new naming convention for the files? It used to follow Movie_Name_Scene_5_fh.mp4 but now it’s Movie_Name_Scene_5_0-0_fh.mp4

  23. me Says:

    HQ button broken for me as well. Can’t turn off “high quality”, which is a problem.

  24. Kooram Says:

    The ability to exclude categories with the – is a great addition!

  25. Videobox Content Team Says:

    @Jimbo. We’ve worked on aspect ratio quite a bit over the last several years. The problem with releasing content from so many studios is that each and every type of source file we get is created differently and we do our best to encode them correctly for our users. Can you please email support with some examples of content with incorrect aspect ratios? Thanks!

  26. Bob Says:

    Quick update: since Monday we have released several fixes to items you guys have mentioned, including:
    - Users with large stashes should now be able to access their entire stash
    - Pagination on pornstar and studios alphabetical pages is back (though we are working to clear out all the excess stars without images)
    - Downloading (and therefore streaming on iDevices) should work for all users
    - Channel content is gone from the browse pages unless you subscribe to that channel (it is visible in search results as always, since we index *all* content with a given star/director/category etc)

    Issues we’re fixing now and will be released soon:
    - HQ button on the flash player
    - Pagination is broken in some cases when a studio or star is chosen and combined with a category, and in some searches

    @Ivanaps, @d, and @Mike: if you are still experiencing those problems, please contact customer service and we’ll get you sorted out.

    @Garth: if you click one of the thumbnails in flow mode as they are passing by, all the same info and links that display on the flash page should appear. If they don’t, please contact support and we’ll try to help you out.

    @K: We’ll look into that, thanks for the heads-up.

  27. fazza Says:

    Custom clip download still doesn’t work properly. Downloaded clip out of synch with the thumbnails.

  28. Bob Says:

    @fazza, can you email customer support (ideally use the form on the Contact Us page) with the name of the scene (or some example scenes if it’s more than one) where the clip is out of synch? Thanks.

  29. tbd Says:

    I was looking for the Stoya scenes that VB had and appears that they’re all gone. Did VB lose the rights to Digital Playground stuff, is that what happened?

    VB is still the best but come on, we gotta have advance warning these things.

  30. abrockstar Says:

    Can’t change my Avatar. I go to edit profile and scroll through and pick a new avatar. When i try to click save profile it doesn’t work and I still have the old avatar.

  31. smoothcriminal Says:

    Looks like the site missed the new videos for today…still see yesterday’s

  32. tbd Says:

    One more thing, why do we have to login again if we move from VB2 to VB3? i usually have about 5-10 VB tabs open and some things are better on VB3 and some are better on VB2 so would be nice to be able to have a mix of tabs open without having to re-login.

  33. Sucktash Says:

    What things are still better on VB2? Be specific, please.

  34. tbd Says:

    VB2 is easier to navigate if you have a low-bandwidth connection. there’s too much junk going on on the screen on VB3.

  35. Rj Says:

    Why can’t I watch any videos on my iPod

  36. polyc Says:

    resorting “studio” by another criteria seems to work now, but please have a further look into this: studio is selected but not all pages are displayed (e.g. 131 movies indexed, but only 3 pages to choose /w 40 movies each)

  37. garbman Says:

    Great when can we get some good content to view. I haven’t seen a decent update in months. All you get is bottom feeder bargin crap.

  38. lane Says:

    All,

    If you are experiencing problems playing or downloading movies, try clearing out all videobox cookies from your browser cache (usually found under “Security” in the preference dialog).

    I was able to re-gain access to videos today after trying this. Seems VB changed the way they handle cookies, but did not at the same time expire/invalidate any existing cookies, and old cookies apparently are incompatible with the new system in such a way it breaks their html.

    Ooopps!

    I do have to say that VB is not the only large site I have experience this issue on, many other, pay to use sites for business and development have exhibited this same behavior in the last few months. Seems like the website industry needs a refresher on the basics, including testing.

  39. watwell Says:

    I cannot get a new avatar to save. I also wanted to change my nickname but no go. Anyone have a suggestion?

  40. benmar51 Says:

    Just a few very trivial complaints – When I log-in, the “remember me” is not working. . .When I switch to VB2, I have to log-in again. . .When I click on a movie and scroll down the scenes, the length of each scene is not shown. . .When I search for a star, there are now, sometimes 50 pages for 1 letter – this needs some pruning. . .The new releases had been being displayed on VB3 1-2 hours after appearing on VB2. . .Aside from these minor problems, you guys get an A+ for this upgrade.

  41. Jimbo Says:

    @Videobox Content Team. I understand that you get a wide variety of formats and stuff given to you incorrectly etc. and that you do try your best. However, “best” isn’t good enough, the only answer is that you NEVER post bad aspect ratios – and there is no reason why you can’t do that. As far as finding examples, you certainly don’t need to ask me, just look at what you post everyday, frequently there is something posted with bad format. If you must have an example look at today’s post on the streaming flash player for “Put up or Shut up” – it’s wrong. You guys simply have to come up with a procedure for dealing with this, you have to engineer a solution and make it work. I could suggest ways of doing it if you want to contact me I will be happy to discuss my suggestions with one of your software engineers.

  42. Rea Says:

    A disaster. Nothing works on iPad. Clearing cookies doesn’t help. Can’t load iPhone or h264. Getting ready to quit.

  43. JC Says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for the tweaks.

    Now, as I have in the past, I would like to reiterate the NEED for a single tweak that would make the experience of your user’s exponentially easier. In fact, I would argue that it should have been at a higher priority than the latest improvements. Drum roll, please…

    Anytime your subscribers do a search and the screen is populated with scene thumbnails, an icon to “stash”/star that scene should be right there. Instead, the user has to click on each scene, wait for another page to load (which isn’t always fast even on DSL), and THEN has the ability to do so. With any repeated activity, this soon becomes really irritating and makes me wonder if the hassle is worth it as a paying customer.

    Those who want to remain members would all be very appreciative if you and the team would escalate this.

    Thanks.

  44. Sucktash Says:

    To stash a scene directly from a search results page:

    1) hover over the scene so that the scrubbing images load.
    2) massive tooltip bubble should appear.
    3) in the top of the tooltip, there should be four icons. They represent the following:

    play — clip — download — stash

    I agree that this is not as efficient as a fat button on the result page, but it’s something.

  45. Bob Says:

    @Rea: Please email customer support directly, preferably from the Contact Us form, so we can help you get your problem solved.

    @JC: @Sucktash is correct. You can add a star rating, stash and download any scene or clip right from your results using the tooltips that appear when you hover over them.

    I should add that when we first launched VB3, all this functionality was right next to each thumbnail on the browse pages as you have requested, but a very frequent complaint in the user feedback we received was that the extra buttons on the screen made the experience overwhelming and confusing. Putting this functionality in the tooltips is a compromise we made that we hope makes as many people happy as possible. We try to do that with each change we implement.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. We will have fixes for some of the other minor bugs you have mentioned soon, and I’ll post again when they’re up.

  46. mike33q Says:

    When I call up My Stars from My Stash the garbage can (delete) icon has been replaced by the heart (add to stash) icon. I can no longer delete a star from my stash?? The remove function still works most of the time on VB2.

  47. jack_black Says:

    VB – just a small request.

    Like the new changes by the way, but on the “Download” bar under the screen caps, could you please move the ‘H.264 DVD’ link BACK into the first slot, and move the ‘DVD’ link back to the second slot? I’m really used to clicking the ‘H.264 DVD’ link and I keep hitting the ‘DVD’ link now.

    And I’m sure most ppl download the compressed H.264 files right?

    Thanks

  48. john Says:

    For those of you with a current membership, do the videos play for you? I’ve tried every browser available on PC and none of the videos actually even play in sample mode. You click a sample vid and nothing happens at all – I’m using the latest flash player and all browsers are up to date. Waiting to know if it’s working or not before I buy.

  49. Bob Says:

    Recent fixes roundup:
    - Deleting a star from your stash works again
    - Avatar changing works again (note that your new avatar will be visible for future clips and comments, but the old one remains attached to old clips and comments)
    - Pagination fixed (let us know if you find other cases, I believe we’ve caught them all)
    - Flash player HQ toggle working again
    - Free previews working again (@john, this should take care of your question: the videos do indeed work for members, and now the previews are back online)

    @watwell, I still see an issue with updating nicknames. We’ll nail that one asap.
    @polyc and @tbd: we’re looking into those. More news asap.

  50. Cambridge signs Says:

    Cambridge signs…

    [...]The VideoBox Blog » Blog Archive » Big Site Update Today[...]…

  51. JC Says:

    @Sucktash: Thank you for both the correction and the very clear instructions on usage.

    @Bob: Got it. I’m not in agreement with other users that having the star/favorite icon on the screen overwhelms; indeed, I thought it was very well implemented in the VB2 version. Having said that, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my complaint and share the logic behind the current approach. Thanks for remaining connected to your customers.

  52. benmar51 Says:

    Just 1 more minor complaint – When checking comments on VB2, there is a permanent record of whether I`ve given someone a thumbs-up or thumbs-down (both on the original comment and on that member`s page). . . On VB3, there is no permanent mark, either on the original comment or on his page. Thanks.

  53. reframe Says:

    My God, I don’t know how you guys put up with some much whining and nitpicking. So many of these guys expect everything just perfect to their liking, what a joke. Someone actually asked you guys to change the order of the DL links back to they way it was before cause “I’m really used to clicking the ‘H.264 DVD’ link and I keep hitting the ‘DVD’ link now.” Unbelievable! You guys are the best site on the internet, keep up the great work.

  54. mikesteed Says:

    Thanks VideoBox Team. I have been waiting a long time for this site to have a more user friendly feature. I been waiting for a way to check responses to my comments, without having to go back to the scene to check. Now all you need is a notification feature, to let you know when you get Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down..etc.

  55. Alphos2000 Says:

    Now I see only pornstars with picture in their profile. Why did all the other pornstars dissapeared from pornstar section? I want to see all of them in that section!

  56. Bob Says:

    More fixes released today:
    - Nickname changing works again
    - Naming convention for downloads is once again Movie_Name_Scene_5_fh.mp4
    - Downloads links restored to the previous order in which they appeared
    - Popular pornstars feed restored; pornstars section pruned to manageable size

    @Jimbo, let’s take this issue off the blog and into email so we can get more detailed. Can you write to support with 1 or 2 specific examples in addition to the one you listed? Thanks.

    @JC, you’re welcome. I appreciate you and the other users here taking the time to let us know your thoughts.

    @benmar51, we’re working on that one now (thumbs-up showing on comments).

    @reframe, we appreciate your support! We believe the customer is always right, so nitpicks (within reason) are OK with us. It just gets interesting when customers have a range of requests or strong conflicting opinions. We can’t make everyone happy, but if we’ve accidentally changed something from how it was before and it’s not backbreaking to restore it, we try our best.

    @mikesteed, boy do I wish it was really quick & easy to build a notification system! We have many users who have argued both for and against… it’s something we are considering, but is a bit lower on the priority list than some of the other cool things coming up. Stay tuned.

    @Alphos2000, choosing where to draw the line on including stars in that section is a challenge. If there is a particular star you’re looking for and she’s not displayed in that section, I encourage you to try a search. You can always get to her details page by clicking her name on any of the many pages (in addition to search results) where you’ll find star name links.

    ******************************

    I’ll be updating the comments here a little less often over the next few days, but we’ll keep releasing fixes during that time. So, check from time to time to see if your issue is still present, and if you don’t see an update from me here, try emailing customer support.

    That being said, we all still welcome your feedback and requests; our team members do read them and incorporate them into our development plans. Post as much as you like here.

  57. jack_black Says:

    Bob – Thanks for the fix!

  58. Alphos2000 Says:

    @Bob, sometimes I used to go letter by letter and looking the scenes that seemed interested for me, not looking exactly for particular stars. I liked doing it that way, and I can’t do it now :(

    You could maybe add an option in user profile so people could choose to see only popular pornstars or every pornstars in that section, or a dropdown box somewhere in the section for the same thing.

  59. gridplanet Says:

    With VB2, I could peruse the new movies each morning without having to log back in. With VB3, I have to log out and log back in in order for it to correctly refresh the page. If I don’t log out of VB3, all I see are the blue boxes at the top and on the left and an animated graphic that suggests it’s trying to refresh the main part of the page. The browser (Firefox 12.0; OS X 10.6.8) finishes loading the page very quickly, but VB3’s animated graphic just keeps going and going.

  60. tbd Says:

    Minor fix – in Opera browser x Ubuntu x VB3, the countdown clock to next movie update is slightly off-center to the left.

  61. tbd Says:

    Also, i see in VB2 that you have a section that asks us to rate our recently downloaded scenes, which i think is a great idea because at this point i usually just ignore the rating system because so few are using it. I think you need to use some social engineering tricks to improve site features like this or else the users won’t help.

  62. PRE Says:

    Maybe you guys should stop adding new stuff and make what you have work right! The videos very often have audio that does not match, the previews on the bottom of the screen never match what the video is when you click on it.

  63. Videobox Content Team Says:

    @Jimbo: Thank you for your example. We identified a bug with the sample you gave us where the source material’s metadata actually recorded 2 different aspect ratios, which is why the encoded file looks 4:3 where it should be closer to 16:9. We are working on implementing a solution to our backend tools so we can correct these issues. Thanks!

  64. Liquidd Says:

    I am having issues constantly today. I have tried IE, Firefox, and chrome. They all do the same thing. I was worried that it might be caused by flash or something so I rebooted, and it still has the same errors. If I could post a screenshot, I would gladly do it.

  65. Bob Says:

    @Liquidd, can you email a screenshot to support@videobox.com? Thanks.

  66. Abig Jansin Says:

    Been having lots of trouble today too. Pages are all messed up. Impossible to download now. I have sent screens to support.

  67. Bob Says:

    Sorry about the malformed pages today. We use a CDN to house many of the static assets on the site, and apparently they had some issues today. We have moved off the CDN for now and will go back to it when we are confident that all will be well. Long story short, pages are all looking good again. Please email support if that is not the case for you.

  68. Scib Says:

    Wont work on 2 different new iPad 3’s using software ver 5.1 and 5.1.1.

    Used to work in April.
    Get a “cannot open page, plug-in handled load” error.
    Won’t open iPhone version, h.264, or on the old or mobile site. Same probs on a newer iPhone 4s. Clearing cache, reinstalling the os, trying different identifying browser agents differently didn’t help.

  69. JC Says:

    Bob: When “stashing” a scene, I’m noticing that it takes a really long time before it’s placement in the selected file registers and is “confirmed” by an increase in the numeric counter beside it. It literally freezes during that time and the box cannot be closed, either, until it finally “stashes”. I have fast DSL, fairly new laptop and have a more responsive experience downloading/streaming VB videos which is far more bandwidth intensive. First, are you aware of this and second, any idea what’s happening on the back-end? Thanks.