19 Feb 2007 17:12 Subscribe

Couch potato goodies

Maemo Music Player Client

As briefly mentioned last time, I got a developer code for a Nokia n800. Thanks. I already had a n770, so without further ado, I decided to purchase one. And that really kept me on the go the last couple of weeks. At home, my computer is connected to my stereo system to play my mp3s with passable good sound. So having a n800 with wlan, I thought there has to be a possibility to use it as remote control. Looking for something at the web, I shortly found the Music Player Daemon (mpd) to be used as a service running on my home computer managing and playing my mp3 collection. And very easy to install. Well, first duty was to find a good client that works on the n800. Trying two web based clients and noticing that they are ugly was not really satisfying. It was not hard to build the Gnome Music Player Client with some small modifications inside my scratchbox environment for the Maemo platform. Too bad for me, the GUI is optimised for higher screen resolutions and for multi windowed systems.

The default multimedia player which comes along with the n800 is quite nice IMO, so an interface similar to this would be best. Well, noticing that Nokia didn't open source its code although there's a request from within the community is quite disappointing. I thought they wouldn't do things by halves, but, well, other story… Hopefully there's at least no patent or the like for the GUI, otherwise I just hope they won't sue me for reverse engineering it ;-)

Writing my first own gtk application was quite exhausting. The documentation is so horrible bad :-( I just wonder why there aren't more tutorials out there. For instance, about IMHO common problems like setting bold font of a row in a GtkTreeView. Well, after getting into it, it was, hm, well, O.k. ;-)

So here it is:


Maemo Music Player Client (mmpc)


It is based on the Gnome Music Player Client, but has undergone quite much modification like hildonization, Maemo menus, the new player interface, etc… The GUI got especially designed to be used as a remote control, meaning that it should be good to use without the stylus. All in all, it is more a fork than a port. The first couple of days really show the huge interest in an application like this. At the time of writing this, there are already 281 downloads as you can see on the Maemo garage project page. It's a great toy ;-)

Actually I had another cool feature in mind. The device being used as a remote control, and only as a remote control, you do not want other people using or seeing any other things on the device while managing music. So I actually wanted to force fullscreen mode until a correct password gets entered. The code is already finished, but there's one problem. The actual user can just turn off the device and reboot ;-) So anyone having any idea how to prevent the user to reboot the device? There's no possibility to lock the device in a way that one has to enter a password everytime the device boots. Something like a PIN in cell phones would be good. I can catch the hardware button event, of course, but the system is turned off in any case. Different story…

What I'm currently looking for is a graphic designer. I'm usually not very good at that. So someone out there either doing web design or is willing and able to design some nice play, stop, forward, backward, etc. buttons? Any help would be appreciated. In any case, visit the homepage for more information.

Greetings, Holger


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