Friends, I just tagged the Monkey repository to 2.0.0. As of now, most everything I had envisionned starting this project 3 years ago is shipping with the upcoming version. Blood, sweat and tears went into this - now is the time to reflect a bit on the battleground.
Monkey 2.0.0 comes with a comprehensive revamp of the UI, suggestions, recent uploads and a “Video sources” menu which lets you download raw videos from your web browser (easier than yt-dlp in my opinion) and share them with VLC so you get background / PiP mode on exotic sources.
Also my recent work on video hubs is bearing its fruit and I’m happy to report that it’s a fairly good way to discover the latest movies, tv shows or twitch trending channels. That’s one of the dimension that was missing for quite some time on the application: discovery.
Although I should point out that my main focus still lies in that upper search box label: “What do you want to watch” and my faith in algorithm recommendations is not absolute. Friends and family are often better for this but it’s a decent doorway on some occasion.
The application hasn’t peaked yet with it’s average active users being around ~800 on the android platform. But the rentention is actually fairly high, along with its ratings so that’s not nothing. But of course, that’s tiny compared to the numbers we get on VLC. That’s not the main reward for me. What’s really rewarding is creating something genuinely innovative and creative and putting it unconditionally into the hands of the people.
There’s defiance surrounding applications in general given the numerous abuse people receive from them but I know from the bottom of my heart that I do not partake with any of this which makes me genuinely happy and humbled about it all. There’s nothing like MotionMonkey, that’s why it’s so hard to describe. It’s not like anything you know, yet it’s something.
I shouldn’t blame anyone who does not get it. And ultimately if the adoption for this stays low that’s okay. Because the reward is the journey in itself and everything I’ve learned about design, programming and people in general. As you know tremendous artists and creators have stayed anonymous their entire life without any mundane sign of success, yet their contributions has proven to be really substantial many years later. We also know that a lot of people “who make it” find an empty summit.
My surroundings has often been skeptical about what I’m doing. Especially my closest ones. Recently I’ve been working with the highest qualified people in my field. Even they don’t get it: no feedback or criticism, plain silence about it all.
But at the darkest point, with your IDE in dark mode, when you reach a substantial and innovative point you just know it. And that feeling is enough; all the rest is added bonus. You just find something that was lying all the way up here for you to contemplate and achieve. And the beauty about it all is that they are so many more things for us to discover, collectively or on our own. The closer you get from the horizon the further it gets.
Creators, makers, pioneers, be genuine about your craft, do something substantial that’s real and matters even if there’s no crowd to appreciate it. Because the ultimate reward is serving the objective truth and the light. In this, by itself, you find satisfaction.
Keep in mind that your craft is not the only dimension to life, let us explore many others. Find balance but stay in movement. Do no become a buddhist monk who ceased to advance and left history. Make progress towards the light for each and everyone of us.