Thursday, November 27, 2008

UKMP 1.83 released to repositories

A week of tuneups and I feel confident putting the portrait ukmp to maemo extras. It's there now available as update to previous users of ukmp.Album art downloading was greatly improved on version 1.82, so 1.83 will remove your existing cover art upon install. 1.83 added the final touches like play/pause button to work properly and some layout tuneups. Shuffle logic is still horrible and I really need to revisit that for the next version.

Other known irritations are that only fisrt 35 songs are visible on each album, so if you have e.g. Rolling Stones top 500 songs as one album, you'll be very dissatisfied with ukmp. I'm trying to bridge the gap between what is now and having 500 songs on an album, but it's not going to work on the next release. Also, everyone should be plesed to notice the exit button on top right corner, with me being the most pleased, because perhaps this will stop emails to me asking how to close ukmp. 1.82 also came with proper support for collection albums. Now the song artist is displayed in the song list view for collection albums. It's simple, yet very rewarding feature.

No more words: Click here to install .

Oh, I'll be posting a new video for the next version. Check out my previous post for the 1.80 release video.

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.