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Microsoft gives developers something to watch with official Channel 9 app for Windows Phone

Channel 9 Windows Phone 8

If you’re a Windows Phone user, probably one of the cooler things you’re noticing these days are apps labeled as ‘Made for Windows Phones and Windows PCs. Is there anything more satisfying than having the same experience on your phone and PC? Today, Microsoft added another notch with the release of their Channel 9 app for Windows Phone. The app had been on Windows 8 for a while but now Phone users can get in on the action.

What’s Channel 9 (http://channel9.msdn.com), you ask? It’s Microsoft in-house broadcast channel. They mostly do developer series on how to better write apps, opportunities, and they even highlight new hardware releases for consumers. They’ve been around for 10 years already and were recently the hub for all of those online Build developer sessions.

Channel 9 Windows Phone app

Taking a look at the app, and it’s fairly basic, though well designed. You get a the main page with the latest videos and ‘Browse’ section with Tiles for subsections like Fresh, Top Rated and Shows. Tapping a video will give you a summary, user rating of the episode, ability to Share or add to a ‘watch it later’ queue.

Having a Phone app for Channel 9 is quite important, as the site’s videos are not on YouTube but rather use Microsoft’s Silverlight for streaming (last I checked). That can make watching videos on-the-go a bit troublesome. The app seems to work well, but I have had videos have some streaming errors on occasion, but overall it seems to be okay.

Are you a developer that enjoys Channel 9’s content? Head here to the Windows Phone Store to pick up the free app. Likewise, you can grab the Windows 8 Modern App here for your PC.

Thanks, Lance_WPCentral, for the tip!

QR: Channel 9

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Reader comments

Microsoft gives developers something to watch with official Channel 9 app for Windows Phone

48 Comments

Long story short: we're waiting on a proper review unit. The one we have is not finalized, nor were we supposed to have it. This is in Nokia's court now, but I'll press on it today.

This app has no animated tile, while Channel 9 webpage (if pinned) does and it's so cool!! Active content and everything.

A lot of the meta data you have to provide is the same, we'll look at updating the app to have a nicer tile. We actually have an update in the queue already that adds support to view your queue and a few bug fixes. 

-- Duncan Mackenzie (dev lead, C9)

I though since all mva vids are hosted through channel 9 we'd be Ok but I can't find any! Ah well, at least we got this app!

Just looked through the app: Not very good. Finding what you're looking for is a chore, many videos don't show up that I know are there somewhere. Honestly, I've tried some lame 3rd party apps that were better.

Is it searching that you are finding difficult? Or browsing? Understand that finding things is pretty important, we have around 40,000 videos so it can be hard to dig through them

-- Duncan Mackenzie (dev lead, C9)

Pretty sure this was developed by Hidden Pineapple (the same guys behind Rowi). I have Channel 9 (beta) and it looks exactly the same.

The beta had a queue, and I'm not seeing that in the full version? Or does that only show up when signed in now?

Yes you need to be signed in (that was true in the beta as well, since the queue is *your* queue from your account on the Channel 9 site), but the link to show it was lost in the current version. We fixed that and are pushing an update now

Awesome. Currently the way I watch C9 the most is through an RSS feed on my TiVo premiere. It works ,but it's not ideal, it has some issues decoding the videos.

I have some problem with C9 Modern App. On PC, It can't play any video. It show "The video failed to play". But it work perfectly on Surface RT.

As a general comment...

Having a Phone app for Channel 9 is quite important, as the site’s videos are not on YouTube but rather use Microsoft’s Silverlight for streaming (last I checked).

Our videos are nearly all MP4 now, so the default player on the site is HTML 5. If your browser doesn't support that, we will fall back to Silverlight or Flash, but it should definitely work on most mobile devices without the app if that is your preference.

-- Duncan Mackenzie (dev lead, C9)

Issuer with this Apollo and the Windows 8 app, no search facility, no marking something as watched. Plus can you parser something and go back and watch from that position even if the phone has been rebooted? These are all essential features..

Issue with this App and the Windows 8 app, no search facility, no marking something as watched. Plus can you pause something and go back and watch from that position even if the phone has been rebooted? These are all essential features..

Marking as watched is an interesting one, but they both (Windows 8 and phone) have a search option. In Windows 8 it is the standard search 'charm', in the WP8 app it is in the 'more' panel of the main navigation pivot

I wondered how you searched in Win 8.1.. I was half way through a video, would be great if this video was remembered as well as the position. It would be great if this information was synched with the app and the web. Is there a video on your to get the best of the website and the apps?

Epic fail. Search for Bob Tabor's videos gives no results, most videos are in foreign languages. Am I just having a bad user experience?

I love Channel 9. I could go on and on about that, but I'm just commenting because I watch enough to make playback speed theeee most significant feature of any Channel 9 viewing experience. Do others here agree, or am I unique?