The LibraryThing iPhone App has arrived!
This is a continuation of the topic The LibraryThing iPhone App has arrived!.
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Version 1.0.2 is out now. Update accordingly.
Changes are noted on the app store, but...
• Main authors on book views are now clickable.
• You can now sort your book lists (see button in top nav bar)
• Scanning of barcodes is now better. It sees the barcode better in most situations.
• If there are scanning errors (like the ISBN isn't found on Amazon or a library) then you'll get better feedback within the addbooks/scanning process to let you know this.
• Long text items (reviews, publication) on book pages are now not truncated.
• Lots of small bug fixes here and there.
We are already working on 1.0.3. Hopefully it will be released in a couple of weeks with even more improvements.
>1 conceptDawg: Just in time for a visit to the book store! Thank you!
>3 gilroy: If only it were only two weeks to make an android version. :)
Just go through the code and wherever it says iPhone replace it with Android.
I've never thought of doing that.
I'm still thinking inside the box.
We need to hire some real thinkers.
I'm a new Android owner. Can someone please tell me 1) when is an android version due? 2) which of the various LibraryThing type apps available at Google Play are actually worth doing anything with?
1 at least 6 months away.
2 offline bookshelf browser by sbearlt1 (seabear) not an official LT app.
I'm just bumping this thread in hopes that people will start posting in it rather than in the old thread it is a continuation of. ;)
I was going to ask about how to search my catalogue, because I tried to look up an author while I was in a bookshop - but I've just realised I was logged into the wrong account, and the search works beautifully now I'm in the right place.
Excuse the rambling; just an excuse to get this thread into my 'Your Posts' too :0)
IJWTS that I have used this app happily the other week. And this summer I couldn't remember where the heck I put my CueCat! Fortunately, I bought a friend's old iPhone to use as an iPod, and . . I really should finish that cataloging mini-project I started.
Yay! Thanks for the awesome work.
Is there a way to edit the information that pops up when you click on a book? Specifically: I don't really need to see "member tags" and would much rather see my "private comments" when using the app. I know I can see those comments if I hit edit, but I'd rather just see them on the primary book screen in the app.
Love so much about this app, just wondering about customizing it to fit my needs.
I noticed how the background color for the app changes per book cover on the detail page. It seems to be sampled from the left edge of the cover about the middle. Nicely done.
>18 BFish: We'll look at adding private comments and comments in the next version.
>19 Keeline: It's actually much more complicated than that. It looks at the complete cover and tries to come up with the most representative color for that cover, not just the left or top edge. It's much better than just blurring the cover (like some other book app we won't mention that added that feature just after we released our app).
We're rather proud of how it came out in the app. Thanks for noticing.
I'm just wondering are you still offering free lifetime accounts through the app. Thinking about signing my niece up so she can handle her own library.
Oh and I second that comments section.
Yup. Free accounts through the app has continued. (It will continue at least as long as the next version, that has in-app payments.)
Two requests: is it possible (1) to get a warning of duplicates before we enter books into the library on the app? (We don't get the post-entry warning, and it would be better anyway to have a pre-entry warning). For my brother with a part-catalogued library and a subsequent move of house, this is a app-killer.
(2) are there plans to give the app a more general iPhone/iPad interface?
Are you adding books by typing or scanning. If scanning, I don't see much advantage.
As it stands, you scan, it adds it, but it marks it as a duplicate. You can either live with it, because you want the book a second time, or correct it by sliding the book to the left to delete it. Sum total of effort—scan, or scan plus finger motion. If we added a confirmation step, you'd scan, a pop-up would come up, asking you what to do. Sum total of that effort is scan plus button push or scan plus button push. The confirmation box demands more work than without it.
Sorry, Tim, I didn't notice the duplication marking or ease of deletion (I don't have it on my own phone which is on iOS 7 so it was the first time I've seen the app in action) and I can't check as I'm no longer in Switzerland, but I'll let him know. Mostly he's scanning.
I'm on an iPad 2 with iOS 9.2 and it will not scan. I've tried other apps and they scan perfectly ok in all shades of lighting. I've tried multiple books, changing the distance, the location, the scanning area - zip. I've rebooted etc etc. LT pp is version 1.03 so fairly new I think.
Any suggestions anyone? Having this work would be the perfect ending to the Shelfari debacle (love that word)
>31 Superenigmatix: Sorry for your trouble. I have just a few questions to troubleshoot this:
- Have you tried turning the "Light" on while scanning these books through the LibraryThing app as well? You mentioned adjusting distance, location, scanning area, but not the lighting.
- When you installed the app, did you allow the app to use your Camera?
- Also, can you email us images of some barcodes you're trying to scan that aren't working? You can send them to email@example.com.
Thanks for reporting! If you have any other questions in the meantime please let us know.
I'll take a look using the iPad 2 I have here and see if I can figure out when/why it is giving you a bad experience.
I've tested and you are correct. There is a problem with an offset area of interest on the iPad 2 (likely due to the scaled display mode that it uses). We'll take a look and see about fixing that in the next release.
In the meantime, there is a workaround. Try getting the barcode in the normal scanning rectangle, but then move it so that the barcode is below the highlighted rectangle (approaching the bottom of the app view). I've scanned dozens of barcodes by doing this.
One other thing to note: the iPad 2 doesn't have the best camera (and it doesn't have a light to help illuminate things) so you'll want to scan in the most possible light for the best results.
Thanks for the response.
It's an iPad 2 so no light to turn on (I can see the word Light in the app still tho)
It has permission to the camera, I disabled and enabled it just to doubly tell the app it had access
I will email some barcodes and screenshot my scan attempt
Question - does it have to find the book in the catalogue before it pings, or just recognize that it has found a valid barcode?
I am using the app 'i-nigma' to compare with and it pings in a microsecond with the barcodes. The barcode does look a little bit more fuzzy when using the LT app, but that may be my ageing eyes.
(I would do it on my phone but it is only a 4 and on iOS 7.1.2 - had it 4.5 years and it just won't break and give me an excuse to upgrade, dagnabbit!)
I have a Nintendo DS from 2006 that I bought (as an adult, I know) solely for Super Mario Brothers and 10 years on the device and battery are still rock solid. Not so for my iPhone 5 from 2012. Gotta love the Japanese craftsmanship.
had it 4.5 years and it just won't break and give me an excuse to upgrade, dagnabbit!
How odd; these things are designed to fall apart the instant the next version hits the market. Have you tried lending it to your kids / nieces / nephews/ neighbours' kids/ passing shoppers?.....
I've dropped it down concrete stairs, lent it to my daughter to use when travelling by bus when her iPod broke, it has no case or screen protector - makes no difference, just keeps going! The battery life has started to degrade but not serious enough for replacement as I use it much less these days.
They talk about Friday afternoon being a bad time for your device to be manufactured, I think mine was Tuesday morning just after the first coffee break :-)
So I can't make that iPad work with the offset trick or any trick. However I have another hardly-ever-gets-used iPad 2 (64 GB + cellular rather than the 16 GB WiFi only of the original) and only on iOS 8.3. I fished that out and put LT on and it works (but only with the offset in play) with no trouble.
So either the original iPad is bad (but it scans fine with other apps) or the iOS version is causing a problem. Any other hypotheses?
I will delete and re-install LT on the original iPad and test again. If no luck I will upgrade the 64 GB machine to the latest iOS which the original is already and see if it still works, although I don't want to lose the new scanning ability! - (CD Collection here we come!)
Re-install on the original iPad did not make any difference. The upgrade to the other iPad's iOS will take a little longer thanks to the less than flash broadband speeds here in rural NZ.
We use the standard iOS scanner functions so I'm not sure why one iPad is performing better than the other. It's interesting, certainly. There are other scanning libraries that are available and I'm not sure what the "other apps" are using so I can't comment on that.
Thanks for testing this stuff though, it's a big help. Obviously we don't have every iteration of every hardware configuration on hand.
So I have upgraded both iPads to iOS 9.2.1
The original iPad will not work whatever I do; logout, reboot, re-install etc
The second iPad will nearly always work, but only with the offset and there are a type of barcode that it finds really hard to scan. As an example the Genesis 1997 Definitive Edition Remasters, only 1 Cd of 5 scanned, but the 2008 Stereo Remixes 3 out of 3 scanned and more easily.
Just based on observation the more simple the barcode layout the quicker and easier LT scanned it. Those of greater height were harder, maybe something to do with the offset problem?
The other scanning software had no issue with any of the barcodes. As for my original machine I don't know what the issue is, I won't re-try it until the offset issue is resolved.
I will send some pictures of difficult barcodes when I have more time.
One last observation is that if the whole height (from top to bottom of the bars) of the barcode is not visible it will not scan. Other tested app will scan with a partial barcode a long as all lines across are available. I have been using the app "i-nigma" mainly for comparison testing.
Huh. I find it works when just some is visible—it's fundamentally looking at any part, not the whole, I believe.
Oh, I don't know. I'm just speaking to how (I believe) the code really thinks. I'm not sure why it's defying my expectations :)
Note: I'm a developer her, but not the iOS developer, so I don't know.
Ok thanks. The behaviour when it scans seems inconsistent - sometime I can see a red line around part of the barcode that looks like its the area it has detected and scanned - when I see that it has worked.
With the other barcode app it scans so quickly I had trouble taking a picture of the scan window with the barcode in it.
Tim is correct here. Generally it will scan even if only a tiny portion of the whole barcode is available as long as it can see the full width.
I'm not sure what might be wrong with your first iPad. The fact that it's exactly the same iOS version, etc. and it's not seeing barcodes that they other iPad is seeing means that there is likely SOME hardware issue happening there.
We use Apple's built-in barcode library. It's possible that one of the stand-alone scanning apps does a better job with scans. Actually, it's probable. They've devoted considerable time and effort into making their app scan as well as it does. It's their reason for being. I'm going to bet they've spent more time on it than Apple has developing the standard scanning library. We could take the standard library and do some serious development around it and probably get to where the standalone apps are, quality-wise, but that will take some substantial development time away from other features to get maybe 10% better at scanning—and I say 10% because, honestly, I have YET to find a barcode that the LTApp doesn't read on my iPhone 6+ and I've likely scanned more barcodes with the app than anyone so far; well, there are one or two barcodes that are worn down so much that I can't even read them and it fails on those...so maybe not 100%. But you get the idea.
We're investigating why the iPad is doing worse. It could be as simple as us getting the math wrong for the region of interest that the scanner is looking at. Still testing.
I really like the iphone app. It's very handy for looking up books in my collection when I'm at a book store to make sure I'm not buying a duplicate. However, it's pretty useless for adding books, because the only sources are Amazon and Libraries. Almost all of my nearly 6000 books are manga in Japanese, so I really need Amazon Japan. The ability to search Amazon Japan is one of the main reasons I love this site in the first place. I really hope some day the app will allow us to select a different Amazon! (if there is a way to do that now and I'm just not seeing it, please let me know!)
We plan on adding new sources very soon. The "other" Amazons are sure to make the list.
That seems to be an optimistic assessment, yes. I certainly wouldn't look for it any sooner than then, and most likely I'd give it a couple years.
>54 lorax: I realise the snob value of doing iPhone first, but has anyone ever given any non-snobbish reason for ignoring the 80% of smartphone users who use Android?
The usual reason for iOS first/only (it remains to be seen which is the case here) is that it's simpler to develop for since there are fewer devices. In this case I also think there's more in-house experience at LT with iOS development than Android development, and Tim probably has an iPhone. That last one is probably a big chunk of the reason. ;-)
People who aren't terribly puffed up with snobbery often use TinyCat on their androids. But that would leave nothing to complain about.
We've gone over this before. Android has higher market share, but iPhone users use more apps, and use them more. Also, significant device and OS fragmentation makes Android systems much harder to develop for. For an app based on a camera, that would translate into buying lots of machines and then not getting to 100% coverage anyway.
This is why new apps across the industry continue to be more often iOS-first than Android-first.
Also, significant device and OS fragmentation makes Android systems much harder to develop for.
I believe that's what I said. I did say that it was only my thought that your own in-house expertise was stronger for iOS than Android. I'm sorry that I relayed false information in that matter.
And as I have "gone over" before, I entirely understand iOS first, and am fine with it. What I've seen many other places and don't like is iOS only.
Maybe iPhone users use more apps because the apps actually exist...
Is there an Android app in the pipeline, and if so what is the projected timescale, or is it something that isn't going to happen? A "No, we aren't going to do it, stick to using your phone's browser" answer would actually be better than a "Maybe, sometime, perhaps, it's hard".
Hey, be glad you're not a windows phone user like some of us in the wrong 1%.
#60 - I agree with Duncan that a sober and realistic assessment of whether or not; and, if so, when we might get an android app, would be welcome. If it is not going to happen, best to be up front about it. I understand about fragmentation in the Android market and all that, but there is usually not a huge gap in time between availability of an iOS app and an Android app. TinyCat is, though, a lot better than nothing.
Just to be clear, we are definitely making an Android app. It has just started development but it won't take as long as the original development because we've worked out most of the hard decisions already. We plan to have it have the identical feature set to the iOS version. Our current plan is about 4-6 months, hopefully on the short end of that. So around March-May 2017. That's all I have for now.
More on development plans here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/237958
Just checking - how do we change the source (Amazon / Overcat/ Library of Congress etc) on the app? If I scan an ISBN which can't be found, can I check a different source?
>69 humouress: The LT App has 2 data source options: Amazon and Overcat (which is just called "Libraries" on the app). You can opt to search one or both, you can order which source you want to search first (if both are enabled), and you can also activate the "Quick Find" feature, which will stop your search as soon as it finds a matching result/s.
From your Home page on the app, tap to open the "Account" page; you'll find all of that info there. I hope this helps!
And because OverCat is full of garbage data for Swedish books and Amazon doesn't work, LT is filling up with garbage data as more Swedish books are added using the app. Sigh.
>71 anglemark: Hopefully the very recent change in how Overcat is handling character encodings (which we discussed here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/218040) as well a bunch of recent encoding fixes for library sources will fix the bad data coming back within the LT App from the Overcat ("Libraries") source.
Overcat isn't actually "full" of garbage data but it was returning bad data to LT. It was like LT was looking at some records coming from Overcat through a dirty lens. That part should be fixed.
Thinking out loud here but it might be possible to undertake a cleaning up of bad encodings which made their way into LT via Overcat and the app. That would require some careful thought though and probably some human intervention.
>72 ccatalfo: You could start with this one that I added yesterday: 3895663573
>73 MarthaJeanne: Thanks.
That brings up a good point - if there are still sources with incorrect encodings then those won't be fixed until we get the correct encoding set for the source.
So if folks have examples let's try to fix them.
That was GBV, which is usually OK. Uni Wien is also usually OK. But not always. I don't think their records are consistent. Whether this has to do with when the record was entered, who entered it, on what machine it was entered, which individual library the record came from (for GBV), ... I have no idea.
I've come to the conclusion that the current settings are probably the best possible, and when one of these comes up I have to decide whether to accept it or try Amazon.de. They are much better than they used to be, but I still fix more there than on library records, so I tend to use the library even if it reads 'K©œstlich kochen mit Ziegenk©Þse' instead of Köstlich kochen mit Ziegenkäse.
3901635815 are example of bad Uni Wien ones. Looks like all my recent Uni Wien ones are bad, but you have changed that several times already. Just tried using one of these in Overcat. Ouch.
3596180503 are good GBV ones.
OK just tried using Overcat for a book I entered from University of Vienna that didn't have a character issue (9783901635823). I think you have to get ALL The UBW entries out of Overcat.
Other Authors: 15.60,
from University of Vienna (UBW)
Should be Beiderseits der March
Minor point: bibliotek.dk records loose their ISBN-13 code when imported in LT, so something is slightly amiss.
I need to copy the ISBN-code from the entry field in "Add books" and then remember to paste it in when I edit the book record a bit later.
Those book I enter with ISBN-10 codes import just fine, so it is just ISBN-13 codes that disappear. Something in DanMark2 mapping?
Functionality request on the IOs app.
First, I love it. Historically my LT catalogs have been my reading logs and wish lists and I never really cataloged the books I have had on my shelf for years. I've been scanning them and putting them into a separate collection. I love the fact that the app remembers which collections I want to scan into. Makes life easier.
One thing I discovered is that its a bit cumbersome to deal with books that I already have cataloged. I'm okay with the duplicate logic that the Add/scan function does. No problem there.
But the problem is then I have to go to the catalog search and TYPE in the ISBN, or title to find the original book, so I can edit the collection. Can it be implemented to use the scanner functionality in the search box?
>77 mahsdad: We could certainly put a scanner button on the catalog search. It would only be searching that ISBN though. That's the only caveat, though I think that's exactly what you'd want in your case. We'd actually already planned on doing this at some point anyway so that people could search for a specific LT barcode in their library. Maybe we just do this sooner rather than later.
Catalog search by barcode would be handy for checking, in a bookstore, to see if I had a book. For that to work, it would have to search works (not my books) and report if I had any copy of the work.
Actually, I think it would be nice if rather than separate add book and catalog searches, there was a single search (with barcode option), which gave search-by-work results in my library, with a button to add if it wasn't found.
That would work while shopping / browsing - to let you know if you already have a work, with the option to add it to your catalog (wishlist if not buying, or some other collection if buying).
It would also work while cataloging - as a check against adding something already added, but with the option there to add it whether or not the work was already in your catalog.
>79 conceptDawg: Totally understand that it would be on the ISBN. But wouldn't it be a great pie-in-the-sky thing to take a picture of the cover of the book and have the app find it for you?
:). Yeah I know, you'll get right on that.
Most appreciative of all you guys do. Love it here....
>81 mahsdad: that would be cool, like Google goggles/image search does.
>80 r.orrison: I think that's coming. Eventually. It's kind of what I've been wanting to do with the main site's Add Books feature for a long time. We might get to it in the app before we get to it on the site. Heh.
>81 mahsdad: Also already on our list of things we'd like to do. There's a fair amount of work we'd need to do to make that a reality but it's definitely on our short list of "fun" things that we'd like to work on.
>84 mahsdad: It just might make my 20% time.
20% Time is a Google thing where employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on their own fun projects, as long as they have an application to something that Google is doing....which is pretty much everything now.
We don't officially have 20% time at LT but that doesn't keep Tim from ribbing me about all the various side projects that I tend to have going. This may turn in to one of those before too long. :)
Can I second - no, third - the ISBN scanner on the library search change? As I've been using the phone to do some stock work, I'd actually come here to request it. No reason for it not to search for the scanned number in the bar codes field as well as the ISBN field, is there? Not that I use bar codes yet but I'm certainly thinking of doing so. (Being able to Inventory with the phone would be real help too one day.)
More immediately, is it possible too to allow us to edit tags in the app where we can already edit collections for a book? I mean, just treating the tags field as text. I really don't want to have to go into the full page edit mode if I can avoid it. I mentioned this in New Feature requests, but no-one's replied to it.
>86 shikari: Tag editing is a possibility. It's already on a list. I can't tell you when we're going to add it yet though. Right now all of our energy is going into the Android version. Once the platforms are on par with each other we'll start adding more big features. A couple of minor features might get added in the meantime, but not much.
>88 timspalding: Hah! Are you really requesting features in Talk? You know we speak to each other quite frequently? Like every few minutes most days. :)
But I'll put it on our list. I can't guarantee it because I have to run it by my boss first. His priorities sometimes differ from mine.
I don't care one bit about new features for the iOS app but I cannot tell you how glad I am to see staff active on Talk again.
Some folks just don't know the bump rules. You are supposed to wait at least four hours after posting a request before posting a "bump".
Two posts from the previous thread:
221 lilypadma Today, 12:22am
I would like a version for the Kindle Fire
222 JonnyGibson Today, 10:27am
So... I've uploaded my books into a catalogue on my Librarything app, but when I go on to my Librarything account online, I can't find the books. How do I sync from my app to my account online? Any help much appreciated.
>91 lorax: But then does that mean they have time to work on all our issues? ;0)
In response to JonnyGibson about the books not showing up:
It could be two things:
1. They are in a different collection that you aren't showing when you are on the LT web version. Make sure you're seeing All Collections when in Your Books by selecting that in the dropdown menu (top-left of your book list).
2. You could be signing on to two different accounts. This is quite common. Make sure you're using the exact same member name on both devices.
As for a general answer, there is zero time delay between the two lists since the mobile app gets it's data directly from our databases via the web. It's the same data.
And I answered the Kindle Fire question in the other thread, but I'll answer it here too, for completeness:
We are working on an Android version and that version should be able to be side-loaded on the Kindle Fire because it's basically just an Android device. We're not doing a specific Amazon-store version of the app though.
Loving, loving, loving using the barcode scanner on the app to catalogue our library's collection! It's so fast, I don't even have to pull the books all the way off the shelf before it reads the barcodes.
The only problem is that it does really guzzle battery power from the phone.
ETA: I catalogued 148 books in about 45 minutes, but that also included stopping to type in the ISBNs of about 10 books where the barcodes were covered and also turn the inventory dots green and copy and paste tags for all the books on the PC.
>98 HollandseClub: I agree, using the camera (and flash depending on the lighting in the room) is a power drain. But that doesn't take away how easy it is to get books into my collection. Love it.
I don't know if y'all are taking suggestions for iPhone app improvements, but I'd like to second the inventory ability request. Now that I have my very first smart phone (weee!) I'm looking forward to getting the most out of the LT app. The second generation iPad just couldn't keep up, poor thing.
Just uploaded the new app to my Android Tracphone. This will help out whenever I visit the bookstore or thrift shops in town. Now I'll have less of a chance of accidentally purchasing a redundant copy of something I already own.
Maybe it's just me and there's a way to turn it off on my iPhone (it doesn't happen on my iPad) but if I use the LT site (on Safari) I keep getting a pop-up message about the app which reappears whenever I go to another page.
It's mildly annoying because I don't need to keep being reminded and there are some things I can't / haven't worked out how to do on the app, like look at a series page to check what books I have or haven't got yet in a series in one glance. Not conducive to happiness when you're trying to make a flying visit to a book shop and the pop-up message keeps cluttering up your screen ;0)
>102 humouress: Thanks for the feedback. I'll see if there's some way we can cut back on the banner notifications once it's already been dismissed.
Thanks Loranne, I'd appreciate that. FYI, I've just updated the iOS on my iPad and it's starting to happen on there, too :0(
>103 lorannen: Apparently this is something determined by iOS, and not us. I'm doing a bit of research on whether we have any control over it whatsoever.
I was using the app to scan in my CD collection. I didn't want the CDs to clutter up the "Your Library" collection, so I unchecked it and just scanned everything in to a custom Music collection I created. Everything worked great.
Now when I add books thru the website (not the app), the default collection in the Add Books dialog is only my Music collection.
Does anyone know how to change the default collection that LT uses when you add items thru the website?
I'm sure its a quite obvious fix, I'm just oblivious to it
>106 mahsdad: Can you select 'Your Books' under 'Add to collections' before searching for a new book to add?
>106 mahsdad: When I was cataloguing our club library collection and changing between collections, I noticed that it didn't always change to the new collection straight away and I would have to reselect the collection I wanted. Of course, that could just have been our old computer system.
>106 mahsdad: On the Add Books page, on the left hand column where it lists collections, you should see a button that says "Show All." Click this to bring up your entire collection list. Make sure you make this change BEFORE you search for the next book, or it won't have changed for the existing search.
>109 gilroy: Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Gilroy, changing the list collections on the left seemed to do the trick.
When you try to add a book with the app only found ISBN (scanned or manually entered) are acccepted
Suggestion: Create a page to upload new books. Why use the app for this? Because you have a wonderful feature: the cover scanning app.
I've discovered it only a some months ago as I've updated my data plan to include more data that I need, so I've adding covers to my collection as my main library it's on a house without net access.
I really don't understand this at all. It almost sounds like you want to be able to scan a cover and have that add the book? That would be an enormous level of effort, especially since you can already scan the ISBN to add, so just *turn the book over* and you can get what you want with the existing system.
I explain better:
My main library it’s on a place where I can’t connect a computer to the net now. Only cellphone access.
My library is old enough to have hundreds of books without ISBN and not less that even with ISIBN are not part of any library accessible within the app.
So I can’t add them with the iOS app (I don’t have an Android phone to test)
Only web access can create manually a new entry.
Ah, so there's no access to entry other than by ISBN scanning from the app? No title/author search?
>114 lorax: There is, but it sounds to me like they're saying the book in question doesn't come up in search, so it would have to be added manually, which is not a feature currently available on the app.
That's what I thought, but they're specifically talking about books without ISBN as being unable to be added with the app. But it may be partially a language issue, it sounds like English maybe isn't their first.
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