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Old 08-24-2016, 02:41 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Hoopla Digital app problems

My library offers content through Hoopla Digital.
Movies, music and audiobooks.
There is some pretty good content, and it's nice that there's no waiting lists or the like.

But, man, the Android app is horrible, and with each new update, it becomes more painful to use.

If a book is paused, it will start playing again whenever the phone makes a notification sound.
It's as if they intend for the app to pause for an audio interruption, and play again when it's done, but it just blindly starts playing, regardless of what did the pausing. So I have to constantly kill the app to avoid books starting play out loud at inappropriate times.

The playback often freezes for no apparent reason, and won't restart until I kill the app and restart it.

And with the latest update, playback over Bluetooth is often choppy and stuttering, making it really unpleasant.

Their customer service, while polite and responsive, is virtually useless. Here: a summary:

Me: App is horrible, here are the logs.
Them: Please try uninstalling and reintalling the app.
Me. OK, I did, still horrible.
Them: It appears your device is not compatible with the app.
Me: Really? It's EXPLICITLY listed as compatible on your website.
Them. Oh, sorry, you're correct, it is compatible. Please try uninstalling and reinstalling the app.
ME: <writing this post on MR.....>

And since the content is DRMed (excusable for a time-limited library loan, I guess), I can't play it on a better player.
If anyone knows an efficient way to strip it, I would happily delete it when I'm supposed to, as I do with various mp3 format library loans.

Anyway, that's been my experience.

I'm loving that a bunch of the "Matt Helm" and "Coffeehouse Mysteries" and other books are readily available for me to listen to....I just wish it would work properly!

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Old 08-24-2016, 03:03 PM   #2
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I feel your pain. I gave up on Hoopla a few months ago because the app was so horrible, and it sounds like it's gotten a lot worse.

I couldn't even find the audio files on the device, let alone a way to use another app to play them. Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:41 PM   #3
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And since the content is DRMed (excusable for a time-limited library loan, I guess), I can't play it on a better player.
If anyone knows an efficient way to strip it, I would happily delete it when I'm supposed to, as I do with various mp3 format library loans.

ApK
ApK -- please refrain from discussions about stripping DRM from content you don't own. It's against MobileRead policy to do so.

thanks, tm
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:30 PM   #4
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ApK -- please refrain from discussions about stripping DRM from content you don't own. It's against MobileRead policy to do so.

thanks, tm
Was that OFFICIAL green...? <sniff>... It don't smell like official green....
...and I don't see no green in that there name o'yours, boy....
...I think we have a green imposter! C'mon, men, let's show this monkey what we do to green imposters around here!


....but OK.


(...and before someone else points it out: yes, I do know that, despite the embarrassing lack of green, TM is in fact a subforum moderator.....)

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Old 08-26-2016, 09:04 AM   #5
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Latest problem: found myself off in no-wifi land without the next book in the series I'm trying to listen to, so I figured I'd spend some 4g data and give the app another try.
Download proceeds slowly, taking nearly 20 minutes to download 98% of the 400MB download...then the app crashes, and the 98% is lost. Unlike nearly every other managed download app of this century, it doesn't pick up where it left off.

Hoopla: for goodness sake, make an investment in your app. It's not revolutionary new software technologies, plenty of developers do secure media consumption perfectly well, why can't you?

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Old 08-26-2016, 11:01 AM   #6
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Latest problem: found myself off in no-wifi land without the next book in the series I'm trying to listen to, so I figured I'd spend some 4g data and give the app another try.
Download proceeds slowly, taking nearly 20 minutes to download 98% of the 400MB download...then the app crashes, and the 98% is lost. Unlike nearly every other managed download app of this century, it doesn't pick up where it left off.
Do you have enough space on your device? When I was using Hoopla, I had problems like that and finally realized it was due to a lack of space, and Hoopla wouldn't download to an SD card. When I tried it on another device, the files downloaded OK.
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:16 AM   #7
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Oh yeah, since I do have an SD card for most of my media, I have lots of space on the internal.

But since you mention it, if that sort of issue does happen when space is low, would it be too radical an idea for the Hoopla devs to, oh, I don't know, maybe CHECK THE AVAILABLE SPACE BEFOREHAND!? Or at least fail gracefully with an informative message if space runs out??!

This is what I'm talking about.

I encourage others to post here if they have problems too.
I'd like to see that's it's not just me (and Catlady) having problems, and maybe then we can get Hoopla to take more serious note of the issues.

They are really doing libraries a disservice if people miss out on accessing some great content because of a lousy app.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:18 PM   #8
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Against my better judgment, I've borrowed a book from Hoopla. I can't even find a download button, it's only streaming. Aargh.

Addendum: Apparently when you borrow on the PC, there is no download or return option on the device (I'm using the Android app on my Moto E); all you can do is stream. However, returning the book on the PC, then borrowing it on the device, offers you a download option. And of course that also uses up an additional book of the 10 per month allowed. The device and the PC sync to the extent that both show the book as borrowed, but that's it. How idiotic can you get?

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Old 09-10-2016, 05:15 AM   #9
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Against my better judgment, I've borrowed a book from Hoopla. I can't even find a download button, it's only streaming. Aargh.

Addendum: Apparently when you borrow on the PC, there is no download or return option on the device (I'm using the Android app on my Moto E); all you can do is stream. However, returning the book on the PC, then borrowing it on the device, offers you a download option. And of course that also uses up an additional book of the 10 per month allowed. The device and the PC sync to the extent that both show the book as borrowed, but that's it. How idiotic can you get?
That's a rhetorical question, isn't it? One should never challenge a programmer to produce an even more idiotic program, because they can be quite creative in the quest, you know.

I long held that the Sony ebook program for the mac was written as a project by a first year summer intern. Of course, the good news was that it was so bad that it provided the impetus to write Calibre.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:05 AM   #10
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That's a rhetorical question, isn't it? One should never challenge a programmer to produce an even more idiotic program, because they can be quite creative in the quest, you know.

I long held that the Sony ebook program for the mac was written as a project by a first year summer intern. Of course, the good news was that it was so bad that it provided the impetus to write Calibre.
It's bad enough that the app has these dumb limitations--I can't pretend to understand what goes into creating an app--but what reason is there for the instructions not to be clear about how to get the damn book on the device? If something's got to be convoluted, fine, maybe there's a reason, but give me the step-by-step instructions and I'll cope. Don't tell me to "tap to download" when that doesn't appear on the screen; if it did, I'm pretty sure I'd be able to figure out that I should, um, tap to download.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
Against my better judgment, I've borrowed a book from Hoopla. I can't even find a download button, it's only streaming. Aargh.

Addendum: Apparently when you borrow on the PC, there is no download or return option on the device (I'm using the Android app on my Moto E); all you can do is stream. However, returning the book on the PC, then borrowing it on the device, offers you a download option. And of course that also uses up an additional book of the 10 per month allowed. The device and the PC sync to the extent that both show the book as borrowed, but that's it. How idiotic can you get?
Thank you for this information!! It worked, I just checked out/downloaded on my Moto E (geeze, I wonder how many they sold to just people on this forum!!) and works great.
Now here is a question for the masses - I have library cards for more than one library. Can I have more than one Hoopla account? Or is one it?
S
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:47 PM   #12
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Thank you for this information!! It worked, I just checked out/downloaded on my Moto E (geeze, I wonder how many they sold to just people on this forum!!) and works great.
Now here is a question for the masses - I have library cards for more than one library. Can I have more than one Hoopla account? Or is one it?
S
You can have more than one account, but they must use different email addresses. I have two Hoopla accounts with two different email addresses.

My Moto E is my go to audio player
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:55 PM   #13
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You can have more than one account, but they must use different email addresses. I have two Hoopla accounts with two different email addresses.

My Moto E is my go to audio player
Thank you, I will have to try this. I've got plenty of email addresses floating around.
I"ve always used my sansa, but the trend seems to be going to streaming only. So I guess I've got to learn how to do stuff on it. Keep up with the times so I don't fall too far behind! I still like the size of my sansa clip + though.
S
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:40 AM   #14
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Does anyone know if different libraries carry different Hoopla content?

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Now here is a question for the masses - I have library cards for more than one library. Can I have more than one Hoopla account? Or is one it?
S
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:23 AM   #15
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Does anyone know if different libraries carry different Hoopla content?
My understanding is that all libraries have access to Hoopla's full catalog and pay Hoopla for each item checked out. Libraries control how much they spend on Hoopla by limiting the number of checkouts each patron is allowed per month.
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