Saturday, March 31, 2018

3.0 WIP 18: Add To Playlist, Sleep Timer, Improved Drag and drop and more

For a large portion of the time since the last post, I worked on redesigning the data access portion of GMMP which doesnt really have much to show off visually but I will briefly talk about it.  In the first WIP post I talked about the complex metadata view customization 3.0 will provide.  Now playing and all the metadata lists let you customize how they will look and what metadata they will display.  This was working pretty well for the layouts i had set up for demo purposes, but there was a problem of being able to get all the necessary data in order to populate the metadata views.  I had a bunch of hard coded database queries that were good enough to get some screenshots, but would not completely if i would add a lot of other fields to show.  An example would be in the track list I believe it previously only showed the trackname and time.  What if i wanted to also show the artist?  Well previously i would have had to either make the track query more complex by joining with the artist table or add separate query that did the track/artist join.  The problem with the first option is this would make every track query take longer regardless if the user wanted to show the artist or not.  The problem with the second option is this would require thousand of custom queries to get every possibly combination of metadata for the view.  Neither were acceptable to me so I decided to rework how data was being accessed.

My new solution was to design a database query builder.  It basically contains a few public methods so i can specify what type of query to do (track list query, artist list query, album list, etc).  I then specify what metadata fields are wanted, along with any conditions (like artist = so and so) and it will return the query to use against the database.  In most cases the metadata fields are generated automatically by scanning the metadata lines and the sort order selected.  So what does this all mean?  If your track list metadata line is something like "%ar% - %tn%" and the sort order is by album, the generated query will retrieve only the artist, trackname, and album.  This should lead to the best performance possible and the least amount of memory being used.

Add To Playlist

I readded Add To Playlist and it is mostly the same as it was in 2.x.  Behind the scenes its much better but UI wise it works the same.

More Now Playing Actions

I added volume control, stop after current, sleep timer, and the share option.  The sleep timer also now has an option to wait until the end of the playing song before pausing.

Drag and Drop Improvements

When I initially did the drag and drop, I couldn't find a way to use anything but the default behavior which was to long press to start the drag.  After some more research I did eventually find a way to add "handle" to start the drag and drop.  This is much more usable in certain situations like in the car.  To turn this behavior on, I added 2 new view modes to the view mode menu.  Handle and Card Handle

For whatever reason youtube would not let me upload the drag and drop video i created, so Im using the blogger video capability instead.

The preference UI is the only remaining UI task still need to be done before i can release alpha 1, the rest is basically just restoring the remaining music service capabilities that I had took out when starting with 3.0

Friday, March 9, 2018

3.0 WIP 17: Landscape Support + Jump To Time/Playing + More

There is a lot to show off this update so I will get right to it.  WIP 17 brings landscape support plus a few other things.  The majority of the views are the same as the portrait version except for now playing and the album details view.  That is not to say more landscape specific views will not be coming in the future. 

Lansdcape Now Playing:

The now playing view is one of the most important views in a music player and I felt GMMP 2.x did not full take advantage of the space as well as it could have.  In 3.0 there are a bunch of changes.  I do plan on having additional Now Playing layouts (like one that users the blurred album art as a background and one that doesnt bleed through the toolbar/status bar) but they will come at a later point.

In landscape there will be 2 extra button slots that you can use.  In the image above I included a fullscreen / immersive mode toggle, and a direct button for the queue (instead of having a FAB).  As mentioned before, these buttons will be configurable.  You can leave empty slots or change the number of total buttons (so if you set it to 5, all 5 buttons will be equally spread out in the view).  In code I combined the gesture actions, context menu actions, and the media button actions into shared modules, so the idea is you will be able to make buttons for many of the gestures and all of the menu options.  The menu is also built dynamically now, so instead of having a massive list of 12-15 options, you will be able to choose which show up the menu. 

Full Screen / Immersive Mode
Dynamically built menu (only 2 actions listed so far)

Another nice thing with the landscape now playing is I made it so certain options are orientation specific.  The metadata being a prime example.  In portrait we really only have room for 3 lines, but in landscape there is tons of space for the metadata, so in this example i added an empty line as a separator and 2 additional lines showing genre, year, bitrate and sample rate.

Landscape Album Grid/List

Album Grid is 4 wide in landscape
2 wide in portrait
Right now the landscape specific settings are the grid size and now playing metadata, but in code its as simple as replacing a single line in order to support diff prefs for orientation.  In the album grid i did also finally add the context menu.  I experimented with a few different positions, but it worked best just right next to the metadata.

Landscape Album Details

The landscape view of album details is much more user friendly I feel.  Instead of having the artwork taking up the top 1/3 of the screen (and only being able to see a small portion of the full image), it is now on the left hand side in full.   Album name and artist in the toolbar and some additional song details are on the right as the first entry of the list.  When I finally add an option to disable the FAB, that top metadata entry will contain one of those 3 dot menus on the right so you can play/enqueue/etc the entire album without the need for the FAB.  The album details will be customizable within reason (i think it'll be about 5-6 different variables available for use).  These album details were also added to the portrait view.

FAB was moved to overlap the metadata view and the album art

Album Details view with the list scrolled up

Jump To Playing / Time

I have only coded up a handle of the menu / gesture actions so far (its what I am currently working on).  Jump To Playing works the same way as before.  The look in the image below is not final, its just the default look of the library I am using for the material dialogs.  Below that is the jump to time dialog which is using a.. time wheel i guess you can call it.  Both features are shown in the video at the end of this post.

Sorting Options

I also went through and implemented the majority of the sorting options for the various views.  All that is left is some of the track sort options.  They require a bit of rework of my database queries, rework that I had to do regardless so they have not all been implemented yet.  One change I made from 2.x is that Date Added is no longer the time the entry was added to the database, it uses the last modified time of the associate files on storage at the time it was scanned into the database.  What this means is you will be able to clear your database and rescan without every single song showing up in Recently Added.

Track Sort

Artist Sort

Album Sort

Navigation View Fixes

Finally I made some navigation view improvements.  The highlighted entry is now consistent with the showing view (and if you go into album details, for example, none will be highlighted since that is not in the nav view).  I also added an entry for bookmark view.

Progress in general is going great.  If you look on trello the majority of the TODO list for the first alpha is done.  It seems like we'll see a release in the upcoming months.  How soon will depend on 1) how much more of the music service refactoring work needs to be done (restoring android auto support is required before i can get approved through google play), and how many small TODOs i have left in the code base.  Some areas need a bunch of work like the folder browser, while others are pretty much good to go.