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Queued: Another Wonderful Adobe AIR App

Posted by Sravan | February 24, 2009 .

Queued is an awesome Adobe AIR app that SitePen created to demo how Adobe AIR and Dojo Toolkit for JavaScript can be used to create RIAs. Though I don’t have a Netflix account – India – implying that I could barely scratch the features, I am glad to have gone ahead and tried it.

Queued more or less reproduces the functionality for a Netflix user. You can search, browse, and view movie details, rate them and modify your queue. Online and offline. When you get back online, the changes can be synced up seamlessly. Watch the video below for a better demo of all the features. (Download the higher quality video here.)

I chuckled when the SitePen developer giving voiceover said, “All in all, we think this is a pretty nice application.” And when I read, “You should not authorize Queued unless you trust them with access to your account.”

Queued is damn good. The way it quickly caches almost everything using a large number of threads, the queued.db file and the cdn-0.nflximg.com folder is neat. The UI is simple.

One thing that I would’ve done differently is the mandatory pre-check for updates when online. When a “page” is opened while online, the app first checks with the Netflix servers to see whether the page has changed and then loads. I think it is an overkill to pre-check for every page and that the check can be done in the background while loading from the cached page, and modify the page if there are any changes. When the user is offline, page loads are instantaneous.

Queued Screenshot

I came across a few small issues with the app. When a new thumbnail is being fetched, the image sometimes appears vertically skewed (see 2. Casablanca in the image above). The complete name of a long movie doesn’t appear even though it will be present in the thumbnail, though sometimes illegibly (see 3. One Flew Over the Cuck… in the image above). And there is a spelling mistake in the notification message that appears when you go offline.

Queued is an open source AIR app being distributed under a BSD license and its source is available at the Google Code repository. Be sure to try it. I have a feeling you will like it.

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