Update on the Kelby Training Online App Release

First, thanks to everyone who downloaded the long-awaited (and incredibly way overdue) Kelby Training App for the iPad and iPhone (nearly 10,000 of you already since it’s release on the iTunes Store on Friday). If you haven’t downloaded it yet (and you’re a Kelby Training Online subscriber), here’s the link.

It was so exciting to get this puppy out the door, and even more so to see such great comments from people who downloaded it and were totally loving it! (I watched two classes on it myself this weekend, from Frank Doorhof and Jack Reznicki). Of course, with something new like this, there were lots of questions, so I thought I’d tackle a few here today.

Q. Have you fixed that bug where the screen goes black if you change apps and then relaunch?
A. Yup. In fact, we’ve already submitted a fix to the iTunes store, and as soon as they approve the updated version, it’ll be available for download. Thanks to everyone who let us know about the problem, which primarily happened if you were watching videos at full screen size, then you left the app to do something else, then came back to the app and the screen was just black.

In the meantime (until Apple approves the update), you can do either of these two things:

(1) try to avoid switching apps while in full screen mode (I know, lame, but hey…it’s only a bandaid until the fix is approved), or

(2) you can force quit the app by holding down the Power Button and when the Red slider appears, just hold the “Home” button down for a few seconds until the app force quits and you return to the Home Screen. Now you can relaunch the app and it works. Unfortunately it doesn’t remember where you left off, so you have to manually go back to the video you were at last. I know, that stinks, but at least a fix is already on the way (thanks to the amazing Shawn for getting on this so quickly).

Q. Are you planning to offer offline viewing?
A. It wasn’t in the initial plan, but it’s certainly something we’ll be talking about in the coming weeks. I can totally see the benefits of this for people who are on the move, and I’m going to do some research and find out what’s involved, and what it would take (I always think these things are going to be easy, and then I find out shortly thereafter when it comes to engineering, I have a fantasy world timeline) but at this point, I’ll give it a qualified “maybe.”

Q. How come it won’t work on a Verizon iPhone? (in other words, why does it requires IOS 4.3?)
A. Here’s what Shawn told me about this:

“We had to make a decision between allowing AirPlay to an Apple TV or supporting Verizon iPhones. Up until about 3 weeks ago, the App was planned as “iPad only” (so the Verizon thing wasn’t an issue). We decided to go with requiring iOS 4.3 so that AirPlay would work. [Note; we’re getting lots of love for including the Airplay feature]. However, Apple’s big developer conference [WWDC] is June 5th, and I suspect you will see new iOS versions announced there.”

So, in short; we were just making an iPad App, but at the last minute we were able to expand it so most iPhone users can use it, too. Hopefully, shortly, this won’t be an issue as Apple releases the next ISO update.

Q. Will there be an Android version?
A. We had to release a specialized App for iPad users because iPad’s don’t support Adobe Flash (the format our videos at Kelby Training are currently served up in). However, the Android platform does support Flash so Android users can already watch these videos right on their Browsers. So, at this point, we’re not planning to create an App for Android that just duplicates what their web browser already does.

Q. OK, now that we have the App, where’s “Another Day With Jay Maisel?”
A. I’ll have an announcement about that possibly by tomorrow (I hope), but the announcement isn’t that his class is going live tomorrow. It’s cooler than that!

Q. Did I see you in New York City on Friday?
A. Yup. I was there, on location, filming “A Day with Joe McNally.”

Q. Really?
A. Really! It was amazing. We started at Joe’s house/studio, and did a behind the scenes tour of his studio, and the cameras were rolling as he chose the equipment for the next day’s assignment (lots of great tips here), he and his assistants loaded up the trucks, and then we drove into the city, to an incredibly cool location for two shoots, using usually just one or two Speedlights, and I gotta tell you—it was amazing.

We even interviewed Joe’s studio manager Lynn, who shared how she finds locations, sets-up shoots, and manages Joe’s crew for success on location. There’s LOTS of behind the scenes stuff, including candid interviews as we’re driving to New York, and honestly it’s the best, most revealing, and most insightful project we’ve done with Joe to date. You will learn an amazing amount about off-camera flash, but also, you’ll learn a lot about the man behind the lens. Seriously, an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Q. So….when will we get to see it?
A. These classes, which are also very much like a documentary in their production values and complexity (a traveling three camera location shoot), take a long time to put together in editing and post production, and a lot of thought and planning goes into them (ask anyone who saw the original “A day with Jay Maisel”), so I imagine it’ll be two months before it’s done (heck, the camera gear isn’t even back from New York yet). I wish it was sooner, because I learned a lot from Joe that day (seeing what Joe can get out of just one SB-900 off camera flash was nothing short of inspirational), and I want to watch the whole thing myself, but I won’t get to watch it a day earlier than you do (well, maybe a day, but not more). I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready, but just remember, after waiting a year for the iPad app to ship, 60 or so days for Joe’s class seems like nuthin’

Q. Scott, why did it take so long for the App to be released?
A. It was our own fault. Totally (and mostly mine for jumping the gun on mentioning it in the first place). It was our first time doing something like this—-we’re fairly new to the App game (my other Apps, like Photo Recipes, were produced by Peachpit Press—not by us), so it was a HUGE learning curve setting up a streaming video app that is along the lines and scope of a Hulu-type App.

The biggest roadblock was that we had to have thousands of individual lessons converted into six different formats (there was no way around this), but after we had converted more than half of them, only then we did learn that we had done them all wrong. Uggh! Back to square one.

It was really one thing after another (none of it Shawn’s fault—he was a champ!), but it was one of those things where we thought we were so close, but then we’d find a major problem, and we’d have to go back to the drawing board. It was way, way, harder and took WAY longer than we ever imagined, but at the end of the day, it came down to us, and our inexperience with something of this complexity (it had to tie into our Web back end, our databases, we had to be able to upload new classes and have them go live, and so on).

The good news is: although we took a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, we’ve learned a lot, and it will help us big time moving forward. In fact, we have some really cool announcements coming soon, but I’m not breathing a word of it, or even hinting when, what, or where about it until I know they are 100% ready and complete.

Q. So this was your fault?
A. Well…yes. I promised something we weren’t ready to deliver, and it made a lot of people really upset who wanted to watch Kelby Training online on their iPads, and I’m truly sorry. It wasn’t intentional—each time I mentioned it was close to being ready, I really thought it was, but nevertheless, I shouldn’t have jumped the gun and said anything until I was certain, and that’s 100% my fault.

I want to offer my humble apologies to everyone who waited so patiently for us to get our “stuff” together (and stuff is not the word I wanted to use), and I want to apologize to Shawn Welch, our App developer, who took lots of slings and arrows too, even though it was totally out of his hands. He did an awesome job, and he’s committed to taking this app to the next level (and I know he will). So, I’m sorry to everyone we let down in getting this App out so late, and my thanks to everyone who wrote on Friday, or emailed me personally, to say “it was worth the wait.”

Q. So what’s the next big thing and when is it coming out?
A. Why, I have no idea. ;-)

    1. Oh, and the Joe McNally video sound amazing. Have you considered doing more of these “A day with….” video shoots? I think spending a day with Moose Peterson (in Yosemite), or Dave Black (at a sports shoot) would be at the top of my must-see list!


    1. like Scott said, we android users don’t need the app cause we have the ability to have Flash on our devices (wake up mr Jobs). i have been viewing it on my mytouch 4G for over a year now straight from the Kelby training site and i love it.

      1. I never ventured into the realm of using the internet on my phone. While I do have an HTC Droid Incredible, I rarely use the internet. I guess there’s just something about apps that excite me!

        I’ll have to look into viewing the Kelby training site on my Incredible now.

  1. Scott,

    I think we all appreciate the hard work you and your team did to get this out. I have enjoyed it immensely since the release. The videos play better and the interface works better than trying to watch the training videos on my computer.

    One thing to mention though. You state in this post that watching the videos offline was not part of the original plan and that it sounds interesting so you will look into it. However, in this post not too long ago, http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/13906 I think you sort of specifically state the app in progress would allow for offline viewing. I am not complaining here, but am quite curious as to what happened.

    I have to go now, there are training videos that need watching on my iPad.

    1. I might be able to provide some additional insight.

      The post above is from November and was based on one of the earlier versions of the app (notice the different look-and-feel vs what we launched). The details and features Scott outlined in this post were based on what I (as the developer) told him would be technically possible based on the app I had developed at the time.

      However, as Scott outlined here, we ended up re-doing how we compressed all of the videos and ultimately had to set up completely new video servers that delivered streaming video. These changes made it a bit more -technically- difficult to provide offline content.

      Another very important reason came up with licensing and royalties to our instructors in KelbyTraining. A lot of the content in KT is licensed for streaming use and there is a lot of business-y, contract-y stuff surrounding it that was not considered in my original “technically possible” assessment.

      Not to say that it’s impossible or never coming. But the app was long over due and we wanted to release it now, instead of trying to figure all that stuff out first. As Scott said we are looking into what is possible both from a technical and business standpoint.

      -Shawn (a designer/developer, not a lawyer)

      1. Thanks so much for the replies, Scott and Shawn. I hope my comment did not come across as accusatory or anything of the sort. I merely was very interested in the process and thought Scott may want to slightly modify his statement in the recent post in light of the November blog posting. Given the hurdles to overcome and the plethora of things features everyone wants in the app, it is unavoidable that different iterations will include (or plan to include) different features.

        From a Kelbytraining subscriber viewpoint, the app is incredible and has already made a huge difference in my ability to leverage the videos. It being a FREE app it undoubtedly one great bargain. It being free after all the trouble, time, and most assuredly cost to create it and make it work, is a testament to how you view the relationship with your customers.

        Having offline viewing would be nice and I will admit to being disappointed that the feature was not there given the November comment. But its exclusion should in no way diminish the effort put into the creation of the app or how great the interface is and how well it works. If offline viewing comes to be, that will be wonderful. If it does not, this is still one heck of an app and incredibly useful.

        Thanks again for the replies and thanks even more for the app.


  2. Thank you Scott (and your team as well) for all the hard work. I just check it out on the iPhone and wow…I’m pretty darn sure I need an iPad now…

    On another note, I wish I can fast forward 60 days right about now! :)

  3. Scott you sound like you might need some more video guys. Well your in luck I just graduated last week, and I am in need of a job haha. These classes help put me ahead of other people in my class, so that way I stood out more. I couldn’t thank you and the rest of your team enough.

  4. Hi,

    Don’t apologize… I love this app. ;-) It’s second to none…

    I appreciate the hard work you and your team (***Shawn), did to get this out, too… !!!

    So, be happy… and enjoy… your first new-born baby… ;-)

    My kindest regards… to all of you…

    Copenhagen – Denmark

  5. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s only an app. More pressing problems in the world than that. BTW there should be no apostrophe in your first ‘its’. Now that really is serious!

  6. I downloaded the app over the weekend for my ipad 2, and quite simply, impressed! There are a couple quirks that you have alluded to in your post.
    Look forward to learning lots over the coming weeks! Congratulations to you and your team that worked on this app.

  7. I got it, I love ist :). Offline viewing would be superb, I travel a lot by train or stay in hotels with crappy internet. So if I could save a course for later viewing, this would be awesome.

  8. I can’t wait for the constant 24HR live stream of Photoshop User TV in 3DHD, scratch’n’sniff, augmented reality on the forthcoming NAPP WiiPad – you did promise ;)

    Seriously though – I want ‘A Day with Ken Toney’ !

  9. Hey Scott,
    I love the new App. Thanks for getting it out there.

    Speaking of apps. A while back in the Dallas area you spotted me in the front row of one of your seminars, took a picture of me, and then uploaded it to your blog all from your iPhone. What app did you use to update your blog?


  10. Scott,
    I don’t think you deliver enough, and I don’t think you’ve apologized enough. Please do it some more.

    Note for the humor impaired: That was a joke. :P

  11. As a full time developer (including iOS) and part time photographer I can relate to everything you said! LOL And I can be sure that Shawn was even harder on himself than anyone else — that’s just how developers think. We always want the best.

    Now we need that NAPP app! And maybe that monthly NAPP KT video available in the KT app. ;)

    1. I have an ipod touch, so without offline viewing the app is pretty pointless for me. If I have to stay right next to a hot spot, I can just use the laptop and get a bigger screen. Please add this, it would make my day.

  12. Congratulations on getting out your app, Scott! I just hope I’m not on the road when someone is driving looking at a training program on their iPhone!:-) Personally, I’m satisfied with watching training videos in the privacy of my home office. I’m with Mark Rodriguez, anyone remember a laptop?:-)


  13. An announcement on the day with Jay AND there will be a day with Joe?!?!? Aw man, I won’t be able to get any work done today, I’m going to be so antsy waiting.
    (That’s still a “thanks”, but maaaaaaan.)

  14. Wow! That tip on force-quitting an app was a life-saver. You see, my Angry Birds game was frozen and I had no idea what to do until I read your tip. So I tried it and it’s game on! I’m like 3 levels away from beating those darn pigs!

    Oh yeah, the Kelby Training app is cool too. ;)

  15. Hi Scott..I have a problem not addressed in your update to the app….I have been trying to watch it on my Apple TV through my iphone 4…. I can hear audio but cannot get the video…I’ve updated Apple TV and my iphone….any ideas?


    1. I must be getting all of your video. Starting the video and then hitting the Airplay icon works for me in my first generation iPad with IOS 4.3.3 and my AppleTV2 and the update that just came out last week.

      I don’t think that it would be any more clear if I were looking over Scott’s shoulder.

  16. This is the first time in my entire Apple ecosystem experience that I have been truly HAPPY that the iPad did not support Flash.

    Awesome job!! Thank you for the decision to support Airplay again.

    Scott and Shawn,

    Steve may have made the iPad… but YOU made it “magical” :)

  17. The app is great. Installed it yesterday. Contrary to a few above, I actually MUCH prefer watching the videos on the iPad vs my computer.

    I would definitely be a fan of the offline viewing.

    Thanks for the app though, it was worth the wait!

  18. Just wondering how much data is used up streaming your videos for say ….30 min and 60 minutes? Is that information readily available? I’m on a fixed data plan of only 250 mb per day in my RV and have to be careful what and when I download. Offline viewing would be very useful.


  19. For me, this app is all about getting KelbyTraining in my living room, watching on a big plasma screen from the comfort of my couch. I can prop my feet up and follow along with a laptop if I want. I’ve not experienced any video or audio problems. In fact, I was amazed at how well everything worked. There was a life-size Moose Peterson in my house showing Monument Valley. In short, AirPlay from the iPad to my Apple TV works very well and it’s really transformed my learning experience. I’m a happy subscriber.

  20. would LOVE offline viewing. I’ve got 45 minutes waiting at my daughter’s school. I’d watch daily, and pay for it. Even if the shows “expire” after 24 hours, I’d be thrilled. I haven’t purchased kelby training because my “down time” is when I’m away from home, and so I have to watch Dtalk and TheGrid, and haven’t signed up yet for kelby training because I can’t watch on the go.

  21. As others have said, what about the “Jay Maisel #2” on Kelbytraining? When is it coming?
    International users doesn’t always have the possibility to “join you live” for announcements… And, since it’s impossible to get answers from the Kelbytraining.com support, the Facebook page, twitter etc, I certainy hope it’s possible here…

  22. Is there a place to send App feedback? I love the app, but I lose my context if the app has to start afresh. It’d be nice to have a “recently watched” list so I don’t have to remember where to find the last class I was watching.

  23. I have downloaded the app and hanging on for two weeks as I am running about but will be on holiday for a week, really looking forward to signing up.

  24. Well now that the app is up and running, the Kelby Training on my desk top is not working :(
    All I’m getting is a bunch of buffering and skipping segments.
    According to the person I spoke to on the phone at Kelby Media, “there seems to be tons of problems today… might have something to do with the new app that was released. If it’s not better by tomorrow, give us a call.”
    Well that sucks!

  25. Really jazzed about the impending Jay Maisel announcement. Loved the first class with him. And the Joe McNally class sounds outstanding as well. I caught him and David Hobby at their first FlashBus stop in Seattle, and it was great. Looking forward to it!

  26. Thanks for the update. It was a bit confusing not being able download to the iPad directly. That was only because I was not near the mothership and was out of town. Once I got home and synced up all was good.
    Loving AirPlay on watching on big screen tv

  27. Seriously bowled over by how good this App has turned out to be guys. We knew it was going to be good but Shawn and the Team working on it have totally blown expectations out of the water!

    Works like a dream…even on 3G!
    Thanks for all the hard work on this; now there’s no excuse to not keep up with the training wherever you are.


  28. Scott,

    Thanks for the app. I actually enjoy using the iOS to find classes more than I enjoy the full-blown website version. And I’ve had no streaming issues to speak of, which is great!

    Thanks again!

    — loved the Jeremy Cowart classes.

  29. I’m glad you decided to have the app available for the IPOD touch.

    I just finished watching Calvin Hollywood’s new class, which was fantastic. Hopefully, we will see more of Calvin on Kelby Training.


  30. I was waiting for this an eternity and I am so glad that it’s out now. Thank you!

    I have the update, however, the black screen problem is still there.
    If I may have one request: will we get our viewing history and favorite lessons? It’s a bit of a hassle to navigate through all the stuff to find where you’ve left off.

  31. Hi, great app, however, as above, needs viewing history and bookmarks, + over 3G it should pause the video rather than keep playing with sound only. Otherwise, well done.

  32. Hi, I updated the aplicación for ios 7 ipad and it doesn’t turn on portrait or pano. I’ve reviewed ipad configuración and I’still don’t find the problem. Thanks. I,ve tried to look for a solución on internet but i dond find anything. Do you know anything about it? Thank you

  33. Hi, i have the Same Problem as Jemeguz. Please fix the Bug with the Landscape Mode. Really like the App before. I don’t geht a Answer on Twitter from you.

  34. Ok what’s the deal , iOS 7 has been out for awhile. The app won’t rotate to lanscape mode since the update. Is there a fix coming or what? Video just to small to watch in portrait mode. Any info on update or fix would be great.

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