Saturday, November 22, 2008

UKMP 1.80 and Zen of music player

Long time in the making bears fruit. I'm publishing ukmp 1.8 now. It's beta, I have worked today six or seven hours on it, which is probably more I've done to it for a few months. I've been doing some testing, but as you can imagine, it needs a bit more tests before I feel confident putting it to maemo extras repositories and download pages.

However, what is there is something I'm pretty proud of. It's now the music player I always wanted it to be. Very easy to use, very smooth and now that it's in portrait mode, it's finally usable with one hand. Mind you, the optimal hand is left hand.

What is so very nice of this portrait mode is that it works without any support from the X. I made it with the xrandr support initially, but later coded the version that doesn't require the x changes, because I know only a handful of people who have it installed (even though I do love the portrait mode on most of the applications, especially the browser).

Ah, back to ukmp. Well, Here is a camera grab playing on n800. And of course, it's always nice to give you guys a short video as well. I'm really a bit tired, so I only made a one shot presentation. I hope you guys forgive the shaky cam.

If you want to try the latest ukmp, please install first ukmp 1.7 from: Maemo Downloads

and then update it with this link: ukmp 1.83

(or check if later releases already exist: ukmp releases )

Zen of UKMP

UKMP is trying to be a great music player with as little features as possible in the limited space a mobile device has. There is one way to access your music : by album. All music is sorted with one criteria: artist. This way all of albums of one artist are next to each other. Music collections are bundler as artist VA (various artists).

When you open an album, there is again just one sorting criteria: song number (that is, the original sort on the CD),

If you click on a song, it starts playing. Simple.

Sure, shuffle mode needs to be there. Check.
Party mode / queue needs to exists. Check.

What this model gains is that you are at most two clicks away from playing a file. This is quite different from overly generalized music players. I'm not saying there is anything bad about having to do 8 clicks before a song starts playing, It's just not my cup of tea.

There is work to be done for sure. Volume should be more obvious ( + and - buttons on your device), there should be an exit button. Nothing more really comes to my mind now. Please comment your ideas.

An extra one that might need explaining is delete on click. This mode is convenient for e.g. podcasts or for weeding your music out of filler songs. Don't bug me if you delete accidentally something. It is for a reason the only colored (red) widget in the otherwise black and white UI.

[edit] added the dl link
[edit] modified link to point to 1.81 version. Will blog about 1.82 probably at some point. Will publish 1.82 to repositories. Please let me know of any bugs in 1.81.
[edit] modified link to 1.83. Please let know of ny 1.83 bugs. Perhaps 1.83 or 1.84 will go to repos.
[comment] ukmp code is pretty bloaded. 3500 loc.


  1. Super hot, dude. I love what you've done!

  2. It's the best of the best music player !!!

  3. Excellent application! Well done! Only question is in your video you mention that portrait mode is now supported. Does this mean I can switch to landscape mode? I use this mostly in my car for a music player and the way it is mounted to the dashboard landscape mode would be much nicer for me. Thanks!

  4. portraid mode is supported as in mandatory ;)

    I know the landscape has its merits, but currently the landscape mode is not available.

  5. Is there a way to pause playback from the user interface?

    Aside from that it looks great and I look forward to using it as my main media player!

  6. Norbert10:17

    Eine wirklich gelungene Anwendung. Sehr elegante Oberfläche.

  7. Yeah, the slight cse of pause missing... I'll fix that soon enough.- For the time being, you need to click on the dpad middle button to pause.

  8. Just to let you know, I've fixed now the play button issue along with other tuneups and will publish a new version today.

  9. Nice app! Would be awesome if there was a Cyrillic support.

  10. Looks great Urho. I like the portrait mode.

    I would really like to see some visual clue for when I have reached my last album in album view. Sometimes I keep scolling even though I've seen all my albums already.
    Maybe you could insert some space or a horizontal bar or something? Or maybe an option to disable the wrap-around?

  11. Great App!!!!!
    I noticed when the software inspects the device for music it is able to find all of it, but it scrambles the name of the files.
    It plays them, no problem, it shows the Album Art (by the way...Nice touch!) but the individual MP3 files names are scrambled.
    Any ideas?

  12. Thanks for adding the pause functionality so quickly! I just updated to rev 1.83 and love it.

  13. I think cyrillic support is not there in the pygame font rendering. I would need to switch to pango to render the text. While this is not a serious issue, I will need to do a bit of work and a bit of checking that is it really doable, cross platform and jaadadiiidadaa. Anyway, I'd be happy to make the cyrillic support to ukmp.

  14. andrei, if you can send me one example file, I can investigate.

    Walther, I've been thinking about disabling the wrap around. Let's see how hard it'll be to do - I'll then try it out and see whether it makes sense or not.

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  16. Excellent app for my N810. I use it daily.
    But sometimes audio books with more then 1 CD are mixed (not in alphabetical order). Can i change the order of appearance manualy?