Sunday, December 18, 2011

Version 3.7: The Return of the Volume Control Buttons

In release 3.5, the volume control buttons have been replaced by a slider. It did not take long until users missed the buttons and wanted the numerical volume level back.

The new version 3.7 tries do make a comprise: The slider remains, but the icons at both ends get touch sensitive. Touching at one of these icons increases or decreases the volume by one. The numerical volume level is displayed left of the power button.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Easy switching between multiple SoundBridges

One of the most wanted features is easy switching between multiple players. It seems that a lot of users of Remote for SoundBridge own more than one SoundBridge.

Now, here it is! Version 3.6 adds Switch player to the context menu of the main screen. You open this context menu by long touching the space below the volume control bar where normally the now playing information is displayed:
The sub menu of Switch player contains the names of all SoundBridges that Remote for SoundBridge had ever been connected. By touching one of these names the app immediately switches to this player.

But how does the menu gets filled? Automatically! Simply connect to all of your SoundBridges using one of the proved methods:
  • Go to Preferences menu, touch My Soundbridge and Hostname and enter either the host name or the IP address of the player, or
  • Use Preferences - My Soundbridge - Scan to automatically discover the devices in your local network.
Once the connection is established their parameters are stored persistent at the phone. If for some reason the list of players and their connection data gets invalid, don't panic: Use Preferences - History - Clear Player History to wipe out the persistent data.


The Scan algorithm has also been improved to handle multiple players in one network. The output now shows the name, the IP address and the host name of each device.

One last question: How do all my SoundBridges get their unique name, like "SoundBridgeTwo" or "BathRoom"? Open the address http://soundbridge/SoundBridgeConfig.html in your web browser and set the Player Name!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Preferences for sort order and albums of artist

Les evaluated RokuControl and rated one star only. The app works, but "does not understand track number order" and "no nested search such as artist then album".

These are very frustrating moments for me as the developer of the app, because both features are implemented already for a long time. Apparently Les missed to scroll down the Preferences menu.

People have different opinions about sort order - it also depends on the type of the music server. Personally I prefer to get all titles of an artist immediately when clicking at his name - others like to get the albums of the artist first. Because tastes differ I decided to put these settings into the Preferences menu. Please find and use them!

Press Menu - More - Preferences. Scroll down a little bit:


The setting "Albums of artist" should be self-explaining.

When you touch "Sorting" a pop-up menu appears. Here you may select the sort order that applies to the song list:


  • Determined by server: The app doesn't care about sorting and lists the songs in the order provided by the music server.
  • Track number: The songs are sorted by the name of the containing album, then by the disc number, then by track number. This however works only if album and track number are present in the meta data of the song. If they are missing, then the tracks are sorted alphabetically.
  • Alphabetically: The songs are sorted alphabetically by their name. 


The above rules apply to any case. It makes no difference whether you are browsing albums or folder structures.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Search the Web

Browsing internet radio stations for genres has been available a long time since version 2. Now with Version 3.5 it is possible to browse genres at UPnP/DAAP music servers too - so long as you tagged the genre field at your music collection of course.

I like a small but powerful extension: Long press on the current song info at the main screen opens the Now playing pop-up menu which contains an additional entry now: Search the web. This feature starts a search at Google using the current song info. The result is show in a new window and provides amazing results, like links to the song text, background information at Wikipedia, etc. Check this out!

Some user reviews complain about the user interface. Personally I like a simple and clear design - function is more important than form! However I did some small UI adjustments in this release:
  • The volume control is now a slider instead of plus/minus buttons - this should ease adjustment of volume and give a better feedback.
  • I re-designed most menu and list icons to better fit into the dark UI theme which is the default of Android Gingerbread.
Hope you like these changes!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Shuffle

Some users missed the shuffle mode in the past - here it is!

I added the button to toggle the Shuffle mode to the bottom of the song queue screen next to the Repeat button. That was a good opportunity to re-design the song queue screen too. Instead of the default checkbox list item of Android I use a more decent style to flag the now playing song.

Users of a phone with high resolution screen may also notice that the cover art image has been enlarged to fill the whole available space in portrait mode.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Enhanced scobbling with version 3.2

I enhanced the algorithm to post scrobbles to last.fm. This avoids double or lost scrobbles, especially if you restart the app multiple times during a song.

Additionally, if the scrobbler finds an album cover at last.fm for the current playing song, then this cover is displayed at your phone! If you like this, then simply enable this feature at the preferences screen!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Version 3.1

A menu entry to append all songs of an album, playlist, or folder to the song queue has been added to the context menu.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Version 3.0 adds Scrobbling

The main new feature of major version 3.0 is the ability to scrobble the songs you are listening at last.fm. If you are already use last.fm then simply enable this feature at the preferences screen and enter your last.fm account data. From now on each song that that is playing at the SoundBridge is scrobbled automatically as long as RokuControl is running at your Android phone.

Scrobbling works with any music server, like UPnP and DAAP servers but not with Internet radio. The app has to check the song that is playing at the SoundBridge regularly to get noticed when the song changes. So turning on this feature may drain the phone's accumulator somewhat faster.