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Welcome, Amulet Beta Testers!
Here you'll find discussion of the latest Amulet Voice Remote beta software, as it moves towards general release. Please give us your feedback, bug reports, and comments on how you are getting on with beta testing, along with any feature requests you think may help improve the Amulet software.

Please only post here relating to issues with Amulet beta software releases; use the main forums for general discussion about Amulet.
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TOPIC: Installer and Initial Use Feedback

Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #257

  • tyuhl
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Hi,

I just received me remote and finally had a chance to install and try it last night. Here's some initial feedback on the install experience. Note that I'm a Windows developer that also has experience with writing installers, so I'm pretty picky:

1. The email I got stated that I could upgrade to the beta software over a production software release. When I tried this, Windows Installer complainted the Amulet.Monitor.exe was running and needed to be shutdown to be upgraded. It offers to do that, but fails and the install cannot continue. I uninstalled the production software and, as expected, didn't have a further problem with installing the beta software.

Note: We have run into the same issue with the product I work on. You probably need to create an installer custom action to shut down Amulet.Monitor.exe.

2. After the installer completes, a command windows opens and it looks like a process to index media is started. This is a little disconcerting and I don't know why you don't hide that command window.

3. I had selected the "Start Media Center" checkbox in the installer and Media Center was started after the installer exited, but it is not started in a maximized, full screen window. I think that is a better default.

4. I noticed that the Volume Mixer application is open after I exit Media Center. What's up with that?

Initial User Experience Feedback:

1. I was pleased with the quality of the product, packaging, etc. The quick start guide was good - an easy way to get started.

2. I would like to see a macro capability in a future version of the remote. I think a lot of users have to power up more than one device (TV and Receiver in my case) and my previous remote allowed me to program a macro to power up everything with one button press.

3. It's hard for this Baby Boomer to read the button text on the remote without my glasses. The black remote looks nice, but a light colored remote with black button label text is a lot easier to read in low light situations.

That's it. I'll dig into the enhancements added for the Ceton tuner later in the weekend.

So far, I like this remote. :)

BTW, my system is:

Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit, Service Pack 1.
Core i7 Processor, 6 Gb Memory
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #258

  • eddy
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Hi Tim,

Thanks for the detailed feedback - appreciated!
1. The email I got stated that I could upgrade to the beta software over a production software release. When I tried this, Windows Installer complainted the Amulet.Monitor.exe was running and needed to be shutdown to be upgraded. It offers to do that, but fails and the install cannot continue. I uninstalled the production software and, as expected, didn't have a further problem with installing the beta software.

Note: We have run into the same issue with the product I work on. You probably need to create an installer custom action to shut down Amulet.Monitor.exe.
This is interesting, because we already have a custom action to shut down Amulet.Monitor, precisely for the reason you suggest. I wonder if it is failing to trigger in the upgrade scenario (vs install/uninstall) for some reason? I will investigate further.
2. After the installer completes, a command windows opens and it looks like a process to index media is started. This is a little disconcerting and I don't know why you don't hide that command window.
The main reason is to let users see that there is still some activity going on, and to make it a little easier to see how much media has been indexed so far. I agree the command window isn't very pretty, and it's likely that in a future release, we'll have a nicer front-end for it.
3. I had selected the "Start Media Center" checkbox in the installer and Media Center was started after the installer exited, but it is not started in a maximized, full screen window. I think that is a better default.
By default, Media Center starts in the mode that it was last in, so if you had Media Center in window mode prior to exiting, then it restarts in window mode -- if it was fullscreen, then it restarts fullscreen. While we could certainly force it to fullscreen, it would probably annoy the users who prefer to have it windowed.
4. I noticed that the Volume Mixer application is open after I exit Media Center. What's up with that?
Good question! Amulet lowers the volume on Media Center and Media Player while it is speaking back to you, to make it easier to hear Amulet's voice. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a reliable way to duck the volume on specific applications while leaving the master volume alone. Windows 7 introduces a new volume ducking API, but it doesn't handle this particular situation. So instead, we do it by manipulating the volume sliders in the mixer control. Under Vista, we kept this minimised, but Windows 7 removed the minimise option.

(You can prevent the volume mixer appearing by disabling Volume Adjust in the Amulet Settings -> Talker page, though Amulet's voice will then have to compete with whatever audio is currently playing in Media Center.)

I've taken note of your additional comments too -- all very useful feedback for our development team.

Thanks,

Eddy
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #264

  • MaazMansori
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When I installed the version on the CD, I had the PDF open at the same time with the instructions and was reading it. After the installation, a window was mostly hidden and it would not let me move it. The only thing I could do is click Cancel. However, when I looked at the start menu, it appears that it was installed properly. I installed the beta version and it seemed to take fine and I noticed it removing the older files before installing the new version. It then gave me an option to start WMC as expected. I then assumed that this is the window I was unable to see in the initial installation.
The only thing is that I don't see any help videos. Not really sure what happened.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #270

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Maaz wrote:
The only thing is that I don't see any help videos. Not really sure what happened.
The help videos are installed when you launch Setup.exe off the original setup CD, and should be copied to C:\Users\Public\Public Videos\Amulet Videos. They are then automatically indexed by Amulet's background scanner so that they can be accessed by voice, and should appear under the "Amulet Videos" sub-folder within the main Amulet / Videos interface.

If the files themselves didn't get copied during installation, is it possible you somehow ran the Installer .msi file directly on the CD from a sub-folder, instead of launching Setup.exe?

Eddy
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #271

  • MaazMansori
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eddy wrote:
If the files themselves didn't get copied during installation, is it possible you somehow ran the Installer .msi file directly on the CD from a sub-folder, instead of launching Setup.exe?

Eddy

That's a possibility. I think it said that it couldn't run while WMC is running so I closed WMC and went into 'Computer' and selected the Drive. I thought it had started automatically when I did that, though, but it's possible that I ran Setup. I didn't go into any sub-folders, though.

Should I uninstall and reinstall the CD and then the beta or is there a way to copy the videos manually?
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #275

  • cjbrown80
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eddy wrote:
2. After the installer completes, a command windows opens and it looks like a process to index media is started. This is a little disconcerting and I don't know why you don't hide that command window.
The main reason is to let users see that there is still some activity going on, and to make it a little easier to see how much media has been indexed so far. I agree the command window isn't very pretty, and it's likely that in a future release, we'll have a nicer front-end for it.

I like the CMD window for exactly the reason you describe Eddy. I like knowing status and progress of things running on my machine. A cleaner front end would be nice, but not essential as it's only seen during install (once), and not an every day thing.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #280

  • mphac@rcn.com
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Problem with the Software CD...

Following the Installation Guide at Step 5a ("Install the Software"), I inserted the Software & Documentation Disc into my optical drive (a combined BlueRay/DVD/CD drive). The Setup software did not run automatically, nor did any video play.

At this point I opened "Computer" from the Windows 7 Start Menu and selected the D: drive, intending to run Setup.exe manually. However instead of the usual Windows Explorer window listing the drive contents, I got a dialog box asking whether I wanted to open the device as a removable drive or as a DVD drive. When I selected the removable drive option, Windows immediately formatted the disk. Now the Explorer window shows a completely empty disk, with no Setup.exe, no software, no video files, and I'm dead in the water.

I'm going to need a new software disc - and instructions how to run it - in order to proceed.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 9 months ago #281

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Hi Mark,

It seems you inadvertently received a completely blank disc -- our apologies! (This happened to one other user also.)

I will email you offline to discuss the most expedient way to get you up and running.

Eddy
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 8 months ago #282

  • mphac@rcn.com
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Thank you. I have downloaded the ISO file per your offline instructions, burned a new Software & Documentation CD, and successfully installed it. The only glitch was that when I first ran opened WMC, the voice greeting said that I was running a 30-minute trial version. Reference to the 30-minute trial version went away after I installed the beta software on top of the CD install.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 8 months ago #284

  • mphac@rcn.com
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The "Help Videos" entry in the Amulet Voice Remote menu strip shows only one video, a sample video that came with Windows Media Center. The actual Amulet Help videos do not appear.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 8 months ago #308

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This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it wrote:
The only glitch was that when I first ran opened WMC, the voice greeting said that I was running a 30-minute trial version. Reference to the 30-minute trial version went away after I installed the beta software on top of the CD install.
This is useful feedback. The original shipping software had a small bug that affected USB license detection on some systems; this has been fixed in the current beta. It seems your system was one of those affected, and the beta code fixed it for you, which is good to know!
The "Help Videos" entry in the Amulet Voice Remote menu strip shows only one video, a sample video that came with Windows Media Center. The actual Amulet Help videos do not appear.
This is the same symtom Maaz noticed. It appears as if something is going wrong during the initial Setup, which is preventing the videos being correctly copied over from the CD on your system.

You can copy the videos manually - create a folder called "C:\Users\Videos\Public Videos\Amulet Videos" and copy the contents of the Videos folder from the CD. Afterwards, tell Amulet to Update Videos and they should then appear in the Amulet index.

To assist with debugging, if you check your "%TEMP%" folder, there should be a file called Amulet_x64_2.17.50_Setup.log or similar which contains detailed log information from the original install. If you can attach that file to this thread, or email it to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , we can see if it shows anything odd.

Thanks,

Eddy
Last Edit: 6 years 8 months ago by eddy.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 8 months ago #325

  • mphac@rcn.com
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OK. I think I know what happened. You'll recall that I received an empty installation CD and had to download an ISO file and burn my own CD. Somehow in doing so, the folder structure didn't get properly reproduced. The Help video files are there, but in the root folder of the CD; there's no folder named \Videos (or any others -- all the files are in the root). I guess as a result the installer didn't find the videos. The Setup log is attached; perhaps this will help you confirm.

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Just to make sure that I have a correct install disk for future use if needed, could you please send me one to the original shipping address?

Anyway, I did try creating C:\Users\Videos\Public Videos\Amulet Videos\ and copying the Help files manually there from the CD. They still don't appear in the Amulet menu, even after telling Amulet to "Update Videos". It may be that I just didn't wait long enough. I'll let you know with a new post of they're still not there after a few hours; if you don;t hear from me again, assume that they did show up.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 8 months ago #327

  • MaazMansori
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eddy wrote:
This is the same symtom Maaz noticed. It appears as if something is going wrong during the initial Setup, which is preventing the videos being correctly copied over from the CD on your system.

I wanted to provide an update on this problem. The videos were already on my system in the C:\Public\Public Videos\Amulet Videos folder so they were successfully copied from the CD. I assume this is the folder you meant and not C:\Users\Videos\Public Videos\Amulet Videos as that folder wouldn't exist unless there is a user called Videos.

Re-indexing videos did not resolve the problem. However, I was able to resolve it by copying them to the C:\Users\Maaz\Videos\Amulet Videos (the same folder but in my private profile instead of the public one) and then re-indexing from there.

The Public Videos folder is the same one where my movies are stored in individual folders to be used with My Movies. I noticed a mymovies.dna file in the public Amulet Videos folder. Not sure if this was created by My Movies or by the Amulet Installation. I assume the Amulet Installation as I believe a dna folder tells My Movies not to add the folder to its library.

Could it be possible that My Movies is interfering, though? Because I don't think anything in the Public Videos folder shows up under Videos in WMC itself; I think it all goes into Movies. I'm a little bit confused on how WMC differentiates between Movies and Videos since they are stored in the same folder. I think maybe My Movies wants to classify everything as a Movie?

By putting the Amulet Videos in my private videos folder, it eliminates My Movies since I don't think that folder is monitored.

Maaz
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 8 months ago #328

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Thanks Maaz. I had a similar issue here. I took Eddy's post literally, and created C:\Users\Videos\Public Videos\Amulet Videos\ and copied the files there. of course you're right, this folder doesn't originally exist unless/until you create a user named "Videos", and it's not monitored by the library scanner for new media files.

I was able to get the files to show up by creating a folder named C:\Users\Public\Public Videos\Amulet Videos\ , putting the files there and issuing the UPDATE VIDEOS command. This works because C:\Users\Public\Public Videos (and its subfolders) IS monitored for new content. Using C:\Users\<specific user name>\Videos\Amulet Videos would also work for the same reason, but presumable would NOT work for any other users running WMC.
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Re:Installer and Initial Use Feedback 6 years 8 months ago #331

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Now that you mentioned that, I checked my media libraries under settings in WMC and noticed that only c:\users\maaz\videos is selected for Videos.

This may the reason why Amulet wasn't picking up the videos in the public folder in my case. I think I may have intentionally removed the public folder awhile back because I wanted My Movies to handle it exclusively. I chose the public folder so that I had the option to use another computer on the network to access these movies via My Movies as well. I had forgotten all about that, though; it's been several months since I set this all up.

So it appears that in my case, the videos were indeed copied from the installation CD and put in the proper folder, but they did not show up under Help Videos because my public video folder is not listed as a video folder in WMC. I assume Amulet uses the same media library folders as WMC?

Maaz
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