1. Q: Why is this called Amp2 or AmpXM?
A: The original Amp, a Mac based front end for the car was programmed by Aychamo. Later, he decided to program a media center front end, initially called AmpTV. He mostly finished this program but did not release a version. However, he did release the source code to the application. A couple of car computing enthusiasts found it even more useful in the car than the original Amp. One of the key features was the ability to add plug-ins
to Amp. AmpXM has plug-ins for both the Griffin Radioshark and XM radio
2. Q: Is this program under development?
A: No. It is in daily use, but not currently under development. We might fix some of the problems, but probably not. It's a time issue.
3. Q: Where can I download Amp2 or AmpXM or whatever it is called?
You can download an executable that runs on Leopard (OSX 10.5) here
4. Q: Is that all I need to download?
A: No. If you wish to use the XM plug-in (which works with the XM Direct), you must also download HXM, a Java XM controller program. You can dowload HXM from the same site as AmpXM, here
. In addition, you may need to install a Java library called 'Javax.comm' so Java can communicate using the serial port to your XM Direct. The most common way to create a serial port on the Mac is to use a USB to serial port converter (these are often based on the FTDI chip). In order to communicate with the serial port, your Java installation needs Javax.comm. You can find this library on rxtx.org
You will also need to download LineIn, from Rogue Amoeba software
. It is free and available here
5. Q: I just want to run AmpXM. Do I need these other programs?
A: No. AmpXM will run without them, HOWEVER, it currently searches for both of these programs when you launch AmpXM and there is a lengthy wait (3 minutes or more) until AmpXM decides to suck it up and move on without the XM modules active.
6. Q: Why does the splash screen say 'Kindling'?!
A: AmpTV was renamed Kindling before Aychamo stopped development. We haven't changed the splash screen. Do you have a really cool graphic for it? Great! Let us know and we'll replace the splash screen with it. However, see number 2, above, for major changes to the code.
7. Q: HXM doesn't launch on my computer? What's wrong?
A: I don't know. Maybe you can help us figure it out. It doesn't launch on all of my Macs, either.
8. Q: It appears that AmpXM is simply a controller for HXM. And I don't like having to launch LineIn in addition to running both AmpXM and HXM! Isn't this a kludge?
A: Yes. It's a huge kludge. But, Eugene developed a working XM plug-in based on the JavaXM program. He knows Java and it worked for him. Then, he learned enough Cocoa to build a plug-in in Amp2. That's just how it works. If you want to help fix this kludge by making it native inside AmpXM, we would all be forever grateful. The source code is here.
9. Q: Why are you releasing something that is alpha and isn't being developed.
Because it works for us and we've had a few requests for it. It does work, for some people. So, if it works for you, great!
10. Q: Does AmpXM have key bindings?
More to come in the FAQs in the near future.
A: Yes. In fact, one of the strengths of AmpXM is that it can be easily controlled by a Griffin Powermate without interacting with the touch screen. The controls are similar to an iPod. To back up a level, use 'esc'. To move up and down the list, use the up/down arrow keys. To select, hit 'enter'. To move from one module to the other, use the left/right arrow keys when you are at the top level of the module. To adjust volume, use the up/down keys when on the 'Now Playing' screen. Pause/resume by hitting the 'enter' key when in Now Playing window.
Incidentally, there is a bug that causes the volume to increase/decrease if you are playing a tune and you escape to the track list. As you go up and down in the list, the volume will increase or decrease. The workaround is to pause the music
before you go to the track list. Clumsy, but it works.