Friday, September 07, 2007

Urho Konttori has Started working for Nokia (update - UKMP concept image included!)

Probably some of the people have been wondering how come I've been laying so low for the past two weeks. This is due to the fact that I began working at Nokia on monday. I've very excited about it and people at Nokia have been really great. I am sure I can contribute even more to the device now that I'm part of the process as an insider.

Will I stop developing for the community? Nope.

Out of context, I just read GeekPenguins blog about the media centers for the internet tablets.

It's a quick comparison of Canola, Kagu and UKMP.
http://geekpenguin.blogspot.com/2007/09/onboard-media-your-way.html

EDIT:
Quick photo of UKMP 1.7 concept here as well to show on the planet maemo page:


I'll try to do some development this weekend on ukmp. At least I'll try to fix some bugs and if possible there will be bigger changes as well. I have such a great plan on how the interface should behave. The basic idea is this:
In the cover list view, I'll move to a bit more cover flow (iphone) like mode of scrolling from left to right. Covers themselves will be bigger (160x160). Covers will be in two rows. 160X5=800, so you will be able to see 10 albums on screen at a time. This is less than the current of 12, but I think it's worth the hassle.

I'll move the progress bar to be displayed on the top part of the screen all the time, along with easily pressable buttons for previous, next, play, pause. Also, this will mean that the 'currently playing' view won't probably be needed anymore in the future.

As you can see from the list of changes that they are not minor. It will take me probably 12-20 hours to do. What this means in calendar time will depend on how much I want to finish GTA San Andreas. ;)

Anyway, I'll now start making the sketches and bug fixes. There will be a bug fix release hopefully today. If it happens, I'll blog about it.

EDIT:
Took just a bit over an hour to make the 'proof of concept' image of the new cover interface. You know, I really love to work towards something specific. A plan has to be in place before any coding should start. And everyone (in this case: me) has to have a common view on what to aim for. In most of the cases, an image tells the best story. Worth more than thousand words? Definately!

Anyway, this is a concept sketch and once I add the party mode toggles and whatnot, it'll change a bit, but this is what I'm aiming for. If you have comments on the positioning and stuff, please let me know asap!

Oh, and I'll add the artist names in pretty much the same manner as in the previous versions. The lower row will have the name in the reflection and the row above will have the artist name above the cover. This should be good way to not to confuse the user.





EDIT: Alternative interface where buttons are positioned at the bottom. Also, note that the scrolling will be from left to right, not from top to bottom.



Edit 3:
Added exit button, lamp for keep screen lit - mode and repositioned things a bit. It's becoming a bit cluttered already. I'll have to think about the icon positioning a bit more. Anyway, I'll next move to implementing the new cover artwork behavior and then proceed to sideway scrolling and finally focus again on the buttons. Anyway, until then, keep comments coming. It'll probably be the latter part of next week until I have anything solid to test. Could be even longer.

24 comments:

  1. Anonymous01:02

    Congrats man.

    Hope the best for you..

    Chris Saturn

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations!

    I like the new ideas!
    Do we really need fast forward and backward?

    greetings
    rok

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed. A very good point. I will drop the seek buttons. You can use dpad and just click on the progress bar to do the same thing. Good Good. Less clutter. Good stuff. Very good point!

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  4. The new look is a great idea and congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Those concepts look amazing, I like the forward and backward buttons, though. Just adds to the look really nicely :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous19:32

    1st off, UKMP is great! Like it the best of the three. One thing I like to improve is the performance especially on my poor nokia 770. One thing I notice with this app is that when UKMP launches it spawns three ukmp process id each of size 27MB. When I play music it spawns more process. Then when I switch to video playing it slows dramatically and it freezes. One thing I notice is that the UKMP process increases to 5 or 6 from the original three. Why so many process id? When that happens and add on the mplayer launcher, the speed sometimes becomes a crawl or reboot the whole machine. I wonder if we can limit the number of process or maybe kill the one for playing music when switched to video . I feel optimization there can be done. Anyhow keep up with awesome work!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous23:00

    The bottom one looks cooler / more functional.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Urho ~ Congratulations! Well-deserved. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Way to go, congrats on the Nokia gig! Looks like they've got some great talent now :-)

    Love the new interface. I vote for the buttons on the bottom. That's all.

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous16:59

    GOOD DEAL!!
    need good people workin at nokia...
    bug notes on ukmp...
    the songs listed /shown don't match up with the songs playing...
    somebody else commented this on maemo...
    and
    it cuts off the last few seconds of the song playing...
    i'll try the new 1.7 alpha and see how that goes
    thanks for all the hard work!
    bill

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous13:39

    Good work.
    How can I use my "cover.png"-File in my album directory?
    Are you planing to make different skins?

    Greetings
    Johannes

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous21:49

    Congratulations for your new job!However,I have a question....you said you will fix the Theme Maker(which doesn't work for now with the latest firmware).Any news on that?I love Technopod's man OSX theme (I'm a mac user :) ,and I cannot install it :(( Please help!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. There is a longish discussion on the theme maker related bug in the bora release in maemo bugzilla:
    https://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1637


    I would say that you'll have to wait until chinook to get theme maker themes compatible again.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous20:47

    Any thoughts on maybe when playing a mp3 file to display lyric instead of having mostly black space? I really want to have the feature of displaying the lyric from the embedded mp3 lyric tags an example is the latest Window Media Player. I don't even care for karaoke style timed lyric just a scrollable screen to display the whole lyric is all I really wanted. It would be awesome feature. You could use the kinetic scrolling to the song page for this. I think it's not too difficult to do considering how much you have already added to this very nice player.

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  15. Yeah, I have been considering it. It won't happen now, as I'm again swiching to two-view mode and dropping the now playing screen, but I'm so eager to get the lyrics there as well that it's bound to happen at some point.

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  16. Hello all,

    I need help. I had ukmp ver 1.3 installed on my N800 and tried to install ver 1.62 without deliting the old version first. It seems like it automatically deleted the old one since i can't find it anymore, but I can not install any version now. I always get that message that says "can't install media center" or something like that.

    Can anybody help me?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. congratulations! wish you all the best enjoying working at nokia

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous08:02

    First off, congrats on the job and thanks for all your efforts on UKMP so far :)

    I've got a few comments about the mockup...

    1) the video/music choice buttons - surely (as there are only 2 modes) you only need to show the option to switch to the other mode? So having dual icons is taking up space - I don't need to switch to music mode when I'm already in it

    2) the screen brightness icon is too large, as is the word "exit". I would suggest making the brightness a toggle towards the upper right of the screen, and replacing the word EXIT (which would require translating) to an "X" icon, as with a standard maemo application bar

    3) I don't think you need FFWD and REWIND buttons - would it be possible to detect a "press and hold" on the < > controls, then determine whether to skip to the next track, or seek within the current track?

    4) The standard hildon desktop puts the controls in the "main area" of the screen, with a systray at the top. I think you'd be breaking that paradigm by putting your controls at the top. I think the controls at the bottom adheres better to the layout used by competing products and also user experience - the buttons are closer to the thumbs when holding the device.

    5) The switch between random / continual play modes is important, but why not incorporate it more into the player controls? See the iPod Touch for a few ideas here, especially if you can lose the ffwd + rewind buttons.

    6) Would it be possible to make the "control bar" with the play buttons semi transparent? It may give you a little more room to play with user-input wise, without limiting the view of covers etc.

    That's all I can think of for now - I'd love to help out with any other UI concerns, but I suspect there will be plenty of new colleagues to help you do that :)


    Jon Cooper
    jon_cooperuk[at]hotmail.com

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  19. Anonymous05:34

    Any hope for upnp? I'm still using 770 and Twonkymedia server

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous10:12

    hey i like the now playing i liek to wee the name of the song and the artist in the top i dont htink ou shoudl get rid of that feature

    ReplyDelete
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