Isn't the Maemo community awesome? :)
Isn't the Maemo community awesome? :)
MediaBox Media Center for N900
If you have been waiting for MediaBox Media Center on the N900, then I have good news for you.
MediaBox version 2010.01.03 is now going to extras-testing for some QA. In the meantime for you to watch, I have recorded some videos with the N900's awesome TV-out feature.
Browsing UPnP shares with MediaBox is as easy as browsing the filesystem. In this video MediaBox is used for watching a movie over WiFi on the N900.
A new feature of MediaBox is the shelf. It's the starting folder where you can always return with the press of a button. You can put shortcuts to almost anything on the shelf for quick access (songs, albums, artists, videos, photos, folders, internet radio stations, playlists, you name it).
MediaBox has a finger-friendly way of reordering playlists. Simply drag the items with your finger.
Oh yes, this video shows MediaBox in portrait mode.
The upcoming MediaBox for Diablo for N8x0 will be quite similar to this version.
MediaBox finally supports UPnP MediaRenderer Output
The Fremantle version of MediaBox Media Center is coming along nicely. The latest development version (2009.11.1) is now in extras-devel, so if you're brave enough to test out hot fresh unstable stuff directly from extras-devel, you're invited to give it a try (installing just MediaBox from extras-devel should be pretty safe).
The big news with the latest development version is UPnP MediaRenderer support. If you have a compatible (GUPnP-Media-Renderer has been tested to be compatible so far) UPnP MediaRenderer in your network, you can have MediaBox play on that renderer instead of your phone.
If the MediaRenderer supports it, you can even play local files from your phone on it, not only stuff hosted on another UPnP/DLNA server.
Eventually, this cool stuff will be available for N8x0 users, too, of course.
Update on the N900 FM Radio
Success! We can receive FM radio on the N900 now.
Controlling the FM radio in the N900 is tricky stuff. At first, the hardware is disabled for power saving reasons. Bluetooth has to be powered up, the I2C communication bus has to be powered up, and only then, the FM radio driver will actually load.
I have created a package n900-fmrx-enabler for this task. The FMRX-Enabler is a D-Bus service that takes care about enabling the FM radio hardware on request and powering it down again when no application are using it.
After the driver has been loaded by the FMRX-Enabler, the FM radio provides two interfaces for controlling. A classic Video4Linux2 interface featuring only the basic stuff such as setting the frequency and muting/unmuting it, and a sysfs interface where you can read and write into file-like objects to control the radio.
Another tricky part is getting to hear sound from the radio. Unlike the N800, the FM radio doesn't output to the speakers directly. You have to capture the sound from the PGA line and play it back. A simple GStreamer pipeline such as
gst-launch pulsesrc ! pulsesink
MediaBox on the N900
The popular NIT media center MediaBox is coming to the N900. Thanks to lots of user feedback the UI has been further simplified and optmized and of course "fremantlized". :)
The upcoming release for the N900 will be the first version to provide suport for portrait and landscape orientations. Browsing your music feels great in portrait mode!
MediaBox will support playing FM radio on the N900 as well (the N900 device specs don't list the FM radio, but there is one, on the Bluetooth chip).
Media indexing is now driven by tracker, the native indexer of the Fremantle OS. And if you don't like indexing you can of course browse the file system as before.
When you start MediaBox you will see the dashboard. This is where you can access your playlists, browse the device and your UPnP/DLNA servers, and access your indexed music, videos, and pictures. You can even put shortcuts to your stuff onto the dashboard for quick access, e.g. songs or albums you like, or folders with photos. No matter how deep within folders and subfolders you are, the dashboard is only one finger-tap away.
Another new feature is the folder history where you can see the folders where you recently were and go back.
If you have Tuomas Kulve's ogg-support installed, you will also be able to play Ogg Vorbis and FLAC music.
MediaBox still uses its own lightweight UPnP subsystem instead of gupnp that comes with Fremantle. My experience shows that the UPnP subsystem of MediaBox is still more compatible with the servers out there than gupnp is right now.
MediaBox is currently in the extras-devel repository for Fremantle and it's marked as an incomplete beta version. I expect to upload the full release later this month, after which it moves on to the extras-testing repository for community Q&A. Then it should only be a matter of time until it will appear in the extras repository.
The beta version in extras-devel is now updated frequently.
The new version will also be available for Diablo after the release for Fremantle. Portrait mode will be supported on Diablo, too, if you have rotation-support installed.
MediaBox Media Center 0.96.5 with New Features
After several weeks of development, I have now released version 0.96.5 of MediaBox Media Center. Lots of user feedback helped shape the new version.
Most notably the user interface looks a bit different now as it has been tidied up for a more consistent look & feel and much better performance with reduced memory footprint.
Quick Scrolling and Search
The item lists have a thumbable scrollbar and a index letter display helps you find your way while quick scrolling.
While searching for an item with the onscreen-keyboard or a hardware-keyboard, you can skip to the previous and next search results by pressing up or down on the D-pad.
Falling Asleep and Waking Up with Music
If you like to fall asleep with music or want to wake up with music, you will love the new sleep timer. Simply set the time when MediaBox should start or stop playing in the preferences viewer and select the media you want to have played. The sleep timer simulates PLAY and STOP actions so it can be used with virtually any media. For instance, you can have MediaBox wake you up with FM radio on the N800. With this feature, my N800 finally earned a steady place next to my bed.
Timed Karaoke Lyrics
Do you like lyrics? MediaBox displays song lyrics in LRC format. LRC lyrics files need to match the file name of the song file, e.g. "Song.mp3" and "Song.lrc".
LRC is a popular file format in China, and you can find lots of lyrics on various lyrics servers. Since LRC files are text files, you can also create them yourself.
I plan on making a LRC editor for MediaBox in the near future, too.
As always, MediaBox is available for N800 and N810 in the maemo-extras repository.
Nokia 770 users can retrieve MediaBox from the SVN repository or manually pull the
deb packages from the Chinook maemo-extras repository server.
A full list of what's new can be found in the release notes.
Mer plays videos with MediaBox
MediaBox Media Center 0.96.4 releasedHilights of the new MediaBox release:
Extending MediaBox: Creating a Simple Component
Note: If you're reading this article in a feed aggregator like planet.maemo.org, it might be truncated. Please click the link to the original feed to read the full article. Get your text editor ready because this time I'm showing you the basics of plugin development for MediaBox. Last time, I have explained the component system of MediaBox. If you haven't read this article yet, please do so as
Extending MediaBox: The Component System Explained
I am going to write a bit about extending MediaBox with new plugins. Let's start with the basics of the component system first. I will show you some code examples in a later article.
Since version 0.96 MediaBox uses a component system for extensions. It is essential to understand this system when implementing plugins.
Components in MediaBox are independent objects connected to a message bus, where they can send messages or listen to messages from other components. Every component gets connected to the bus automatically when created. You don't have to take care about this step.
A plugin is a collection of one or more components grouped into a directory. The YouTube plugin, for instance, consists of a YouTube device component and a component for the preferences dialog.
Plugins can also add new messages to the vocabulary of messages that can be sent across the message bus.
Here's a little ASCII-art to summarize this all.
consist of connect to
Plugins -------------> Components ---------------> Message Bus
| | | |
| emit | | listen for |
| | | |
| | | |
| define v v transports |
is either of type |
Message -------------------+------> Action
+------> Service Call
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