Music Player (Remix) 2.0 getting Quick Actions, Just Type search, Autolists, and more [video] | webOS Nation
 
 

Music Player (Remix) 2.0 getting Quick Actions, Just Type search, Autolists, and more [video] 60

by Derek Kessler Wed, 08 Dec 2010 11:59 am EST

Music Player (Remix) 2.0 Music Player (Remix) 2.0

If there’s one homebrew app that’s been incredibly popular from the start, it’s been Music Player (Remix). What started as an enhancement of the built-in webOS Music app, Remix has evolved to version 2.0 with a completely new UI, awesome utilization of dashboard controls, and more.

See everything that's new, including a video, after the break!

 

With webOS 2.0, developer HedamiSoft has been busy adding new features, in addition to revamping existing features to make them even better. We’ll start with the webOS 2.0 features, which are Just Type search and Quick Actions. With the Just Type search you can just type (ha!) what you’re looking for, hit the Music Player (Remix) button to launch a search in the app, giving you matching results for playlists, artists, etc. Quick Actions lets you skip the step of searching. If you know that you’ve got a playlist called Awesome, you can Just Type the word and hit the Load Playlist option under Quick Actions to, well, load the playlist.

Then there’s advanced bookmarking, which lets you bookmark particular points in a song. You can use this to go back to a specific point, or to set chapter marks in something like an audio book. Then all you have to do is tap next or back to jump between the song’s bookmarks. Those bookmarks are even saved in a list of bookmarks so you can get right back to them at any time. There are also auto-bookmarks, encompassing resume on launch (including playlists and song positions) and resume when loading a playlist in the app.

Joining your synced-from-the-computer playlists and created-on-the-go flylists in Remix are Autolists. These autolists, five previewed and one magical one for later release, create magical playlists on the go. They include Auto DJ (generate a playlist that is X hours long), Favorites (a sampling of your favorite’d in Remix songs), Chart Toppers (the songs you listen to the most, by playcount), Déjà Vu (songs you’ve listened to recently), and Memory Lane (songs you haven’t listened to in a while, be it a week or a year).

And then there’s the Twitter and Facebook integration in the latest version of Remix. The new Accounts scene allows you to add in your last.fm, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Using a PIN authorization system (along with Oauth on Twitter), Remix can now post your currently playing song to Twitter and/or Facebook, complete with the fun little two eighth notes character. These links also include a link to a video of the song, if available, so your friends and followers can hear what exactly it is you’re listening to.

HedamiSoft has also added a new feature called Discovery, that uses the aforementioned Twitter posts to give you an overview of what other Remix players are listening to. Like the links posted to Twitter and Facebook, this list shoots you to a video of that song so you too can listen to the song. Discovery even lets you check out the Twitter profiles of those users, so if it turns out that somebody is posting a lot of music you like, you might as well follow them, right?

Lastly, Remix has also gained quick shortcuts, which like the web browser’s Add Page to Launcher function lets you add links to your favorite songs, albums, and playlists right to your launcher. Everything combined is making for an incredibly powerful and feature-packed music player that puts even the best desktop clients to shame.

Music Player (Remix) 2.0 is currently available in beta form from the PreCentral Homebrew Gallery, and once the webOS 2.0 SDK comes out of beta/NDA it’ll be available in the App Catalog. The beta in the Homebrew Gallery features all of the above, sans the Just Type features, which are currently in a private beta. Booyah.

Just Type search and Quick Actions

Advanced Bookmarking

Autolists

Social networking integration (1)

Social networking integration (2)

Discovery

Quick Shortcuts

60 Comments

Thanks Derek for the great, incredibly thorough writeup of some of the newest features in Music Player (Remix). In regards to the "Discovery" feature, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update. In the current public beta, only Twitter posts are listed on the Discovery screen, but in my private beta, I have Facebook posts mixed in with the Twitter posts. It'll be coming to the public beta soon!

Derek mentioned that Just Type and Quick Actions are not available in the public beta. The other feature not available is Autolists. This is only present in the private beta and will be available in the final app catalog version. There are also a bunch of other minor bug fixes & improvements in the private beta that I haven't had time to port over to the public beta.

Also Derek mentioned that songs, albums, and playlists can be linked as launcher shortcuts. Only albums, playlists, flylists, and autolists can be linked (not songs). Also you can create shortcuts for "Auto-resume" and "Shuffle-All".

To keep up the latest updates in the app, check out the thread in the Homebrew section of the PreCentral forum, or follow me (@Hedami) on Twitter.

The Discovery screen has been re-vamped in the latest public beta. Facebook posts, along with Twitter posts, now appear on the Discovery screen.

This is already one of my most used apps.

Has been extremely great for listening to audio books.
Love the auto and manual bookmarking capabilities!

The only issue I have... is only 8gb of space on my Pre- :{

But a new phone next year should remedy that :P

Thanks for all the hard work and continued innovations!

This update makes an already great app even better. Thanks for doing this.

great selection of youtube videos, its good to see movement back there for webos 2.0. keep it up the great work on development, its going to matter!

EQ support?

EQ isn't possible with HTML 5 audio. It may be possible using PDK audio (SDL); however for the time being, for several reasons I don't plan to switch to using the PDK for audio.

Understood.

Is this the type of feature that could be enabled with a hybrid PDK app? Or would that overlap with the reasons you plan not to switch to the PDK?

Yes I think it would be possible if I used SDL audio in a hybrid PDK app. My main concern with switching to SDL audio is that only MP3 and OGG audio playback is supported. While many people do use MP3s, there may be people out there using the other supported file formats (AAC, WAV, etc.). It may be confusing to them if their Pre/Pixi manual says it supports AAC, WAV, etc. and my app doesn't.

But I suppose I could provide an option on the Preferences screen to enable SDL audio support. It could provide a disclaimer that only MP3s and OGGs are supported, but would provide additional capabilities like EQ.

So yeah I'll definitely look into this in the future.

It's crazy how far Music Remix came... Great app.. Keep up the work Dan !!

I agree. Congrats Dan!

As I have stated before that this should be the default music app for WebOS! Hey maybe they will give Dan a fat check to have this as an exclusive music player app for WebOS! Then again thansk to Dan,we have this at our calling to use. Thanks alot

I absolutely agree!

Pretty sure something based on NaNplayer is going to be the default.

http://www.nanplayer.com/

It is also pretty nice...

The stuffed nose voice is giving me the heebeejeebees, but great work! I can't wait for 2.0.

The climate changes here really messes up my sinuses!

I thought I was listening to Zach Galifianakis :)

We've already waited enough.

The app will be released in the catalog when the webOS 2.0 update is sent out. But for now you can test the public beta version in homebrew.

WebOS 2.0 will be out when Palm is ready for it to be out.

This is my single most-used app, and I have watched it grow and improve for over a year now. Thank you, Dan, for the fantastic app, and I agree with Derek that it puts desktop clients to shame.

This is easily my most used app. I really appreciate your working to make it better. You deserve a medal or something.

My few qualms with this software are that it still stutters on a 1ghz overclock, no album art previews & that you can't swipe to change the song (much safer when driving). It'd also be nice if we had the option to re-arrange certain UI elements, for example I would much prefer the alphabet scroller on the left. Other than that this is really shaping up.

The big source of stutter in the public beta (in my eyes) is the scrolling lists (songs/album/artists). I've re-designed them in the private beta to be super-quick and smooth. Check out my HedamiSoft youtube channel for a demo video.

You can swipe to change songs (sorta). If you swipe, you enter "Playlist Preview" mode where you can browse your current playlist without interrupting playback of the current song. To switch songs, just tap anywhere in the album art (which is a large tap area and thus should be pretty easy to hit even when driving).

I love this feature.

Most times with music I want to see what is coming up, but not necessarily change the tune that is playing.

With Music (Remix) 2.0, I can find out what's next and cue up a few songs that match my mood. I can create a playlist at a stop light that will last and I don't have to interact with the player at all.

nnb

Hmm, how does one go about getting into the private beta? I'd be willing to donate & provide detailed feedback.

forgot my biggest qualm of all though, there is no option to ignore 'a, an, & the' (the vast majority of the bands I listen to have a 'the' in front of them, so I've got like 60 or more entries under t)

also, not too fond of back-swipe going all the way back to the 'home' screen, I solemnly go anywhere other than artists.

Yes, the playlist preview works, but it isn't ideal, it adds an unnecessary extra step, perhaps this could be an option? I'm just a bigger fan of gesture-based navigation as opposed to hitting a virtual button, I feel like this is something that should be accentuated on the pre to sort of set it apart.

also I notice that scrolling needs some work. There should definitely be a time-out so it only scrolls once every 10/15 seconds, and the positions should reset upon scroll completion. Slow it down just a tad too.

lastly, can the icon & background when launching the card be changed? they just don't quite.. fit with the rest of the look/feel of webos, or the program itself. Also with art, the 'mini-player' portions could use beveling to fit in better.

Don't get me wrong here, I really like what you've done, definitely a step in the right direction, Just trying to provide a little constructive criticism. Thank you for your hard work & continued involvement in the webos scene, gotta keep the dream alive!

I only have the private beta open to a few select developers who are members of the early access program and own Pre 2's. So there's no other way to get into the private beta.

I received feedback from several people when the first homebrew version was out that they wanted a way to preview their music without interrupting play. This is the solution I came up with which I think works quite nicely. I also designed the Now Playing screen to feature large tap areas so it should be pretty easy to tap the backward/forward buttons. Everything to the left and right of the album art is a tap area. But I know that some people like the original behavior, so I may provide this as an option at some point.

As I mentioned, scrolling lists are much better in the private beta. Also when you use the alphabet selector on those screens, it jumps you to the selected letter instantaneously (no delay).

Sorry, but I'm not changing the icon or splash background. Every single person is not going to like the choices I make. But the beauty of the openness of webOS is that you can easily change the icon or splash background of any app to be anything you like. I think PreCentral posted an article on this a little while ago.

Incidentally, my original intent was to dynamically change the splash background based upon the wallpaper image defined in the app. However I found that this is not possible. In the code, you can only set the splash background to an image located in the app's directory. You can't set it to an image on the /media/internal partition (where files are stored when you connect the phone in USB mode).

Thanks for the feedback... I appreciate it.

Lefties (or ambies) unite!!

Movable UIs sounds like a great idea to me too.

Spectacular app, even as-is

In the latest public beta, you now have an option on the Preferences screen to configure swipes to immediately change songs instead of previewing them.

I can't believe Palm has not hired you to replace their archaic music app. Music Player (Remix) is amazing. By far the best app I've used on WebOS. As a side note it also makes all of the Android music player apps look laughable. Keep up the good work!

Well, they hired the developer of NaNplayer...

The more the merrier (hopefully).

I'm amazed at how deep and rich this app is. Sometimes it's easy for me to forget the various nuances of what I can do in it (tricks that I can't seem to remember). But I'm continually impressed at how this app continues to develop. Great work.

My only request would be for incorporating a track speed adjustment. I still don't know of a webOS app that allows me to listen to audiobooks/lectures at 2x the speed. Some speakers are a bit too slow for my liking (even if speeding them up alters their voice). Just an idea.

There are a bunch of features embedded within the app that makes life easier (in terms of finding and managing your music...not in terms of figuring out the meaning of life or anything like that). To learn about some of them, check out the app's Help screen (specifically the "Video Tutorials/Guides", "Hidden Features", and "FAQ" sections). Right now the Video Tutorials section simply links to all of my Music Player (Remix) 2.0 preview videos, but in the final version of the app, I'll create a series of short tutorials demonstrating all of the features.

I didn't think track speed adjustment was possible; however I just looked at the HTML5 audio spec and it looks like there's a way to do it. I'll try it out and if it's possible I'll add this type of option.

It looks like the track speed adjustment portion of the HTML5 Audio spec hasn't been implemented in webOS yet; however Palm has indicated they have this on their future feature list. If/when they implement it, I'll implement speed adjustements in my app.

Wow, this app just keeps getting better and better. Palm definitely owes you a debt of gratitude for making such a great app. This is one of the apps keeping me on my aging Pre-.

Agreed!

This was one app that made me rethink going to Android. I didn't find a single player there that could match Music (Remix) 2.0.

nnb

i feel like this should be the stock media player i want to see a updated youtube app google maps app email app and camera app they all need to be faster and offer more features

why is the 2.0 sdk still under a NDA if 2.0 is out???

One of the rgeat questions of our time...


I think it's because there's a difference between the beta version of 2.0 that developers have and the production version out on Pre 2s.

Not only that, developers will continue to see 2.0 features early and before they hit the public, so we're still under NDA in case any new features come in to the beta.

I think we all agree this app is miles beyond what WebOS currently has. From my own experience with other OSes I'd say it's as good or better than Android's and almost Apple's.

I don't know how Dan would feel about it being bought/adopted by Palm, but I hope that such a discussion will happen and I've emailed and Twittered Palm saying just that. I hope others wil join me in doing that.

Thanks for the support (and that includes everyone who has commented in this article, as well as everyone who has participated in the Music Player (Remix) Homebrew discussion forum).

If they were so inclined, I would be open to discussions with Palm.

I think we all agree this app is miles beyond what WebOS currently has. From my own experience with other OSes I'd say it's as good or better than Android's and almost Apple's.

I don't know how Dan would feel about it being bought/adopted by Palm, but I hope that such a discussion will happen and I've emailed and Twittered Palm saying just that. I hope others wil join me in doing that.

Hi,
getting an error on my phone that the file format is not supported when I download it via my Pre 1.

Do you need to download via pc and transfer via USB...or is this not available to German Pres?

You need to use a homebrew app installer such as Preware or webOS Quick Install. The installation instructions for Preware can be found here: http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Preware#Installing_Preware

Thanks DanPLC! Much appreciated.

I really love how you can get playlists through the quick actions feature. That is just awesome as I usually make folders for songs. This can be even simpler. Keep up the good work and like I said before I will be one of the first to buy this app once we get webOS 2.0 and its in the catalog.

Where can I donate?

There's no need to donate. You, and everyone else, is helping me beta test my app. If you enjoy using the app, then purchase it when it arrives in the app catalog.

Can we save lyrics with this version?

Great work Dan!

We don't have the ability to save lyrics back to the original audio files. However I do plan on adding the ability to either copy the lyrics to the clipboard or email them.

hey dan, im very new to these smart phones/apps ! all though startin to get the hang of it ! my concern is.... if and when i get the pre2 , is there a way i will be able to transfer music/apps purchased to the pre2 without paying for them again? theres got to be a way RITE???? im sure its in the forums someplace. sorry if this is a stupid question.

Do you own a webOS device now (like the Pre or Pixi)? If so, all of your app purchases in the catalog are saved to your Palm Profile. So when you get a Pre 2, when you log into your Palm Profile, it'll automatically re-download the apps (no additional purchase required).

I can't answer about the music because I don't know where you're purchasing your music. I purchase my digital music from Amazon in MP3 format. So I can copy the files to as many devices as I want.

Love Music Player (Remix)! By far the best music playing application I have used on any mobile device that I have owned!

Incredible innovation from a very talented dude! I noticed a lot of 80's style flavor in Dan's choice of music also. If nothing else this app has made me rediscover my music roots! Good job indeed.

The 80's and early 90's were the best musical eras! Most of today's music cannot compare.

If I had a sister who was single, I would ask her to marry you.

Thanks, but I'm already taken. :)

is there a way to make this the default music player?

Just finally tried this app for the first time. Wow - very impressed by the huge depth of features. Very very well done! This just replaced Pandora for workouts...

One thing to think about - for people who don't sync playlists from their computer (I drag over music files) is there any way to do something like add music from a folder to a flylist? (I can't just add or play all music because certain apps (voice recorder, trapster among others I'm sure) put files where music player finds them... but I don't really want to listen to my voice memos while I'm working out... For the time being I made a flylist with all genres that aren't "Other" or "Unknown"... but that's a hack, and I'm not sure how I'll keep it up-to-date as I add more music without just regenerating the whole thing.

Regardless, *fantastic* app - thanks so much for all of the work you've obviously done on this!