No, the audio plays fine without skipping. The only visible sign I have of having a slow processor is the partial image of the album art.
After using Driveline here for a coupple days, I see a couple things that might make it nicer.
Make a setting on whether or not to use visualizations. If not using visualizations, you could display the playlist in the empty window.
It would be nice if the buttons along the top of the "Now Playing" screen showed only the available choices, like for me Media and HD.
It would be nice if there was a button to go straight to the "Playlist" screen from the "Now Playing" screen. It would be a little easier to operate.
I know it goes against the principle of not having to install any additional software, but have you looked at using Winamp as an audio player? I know it would be some work to change, but it might be lighter weight than M$ bloatware. I am currently in WMP hate mode. On my music storage computer, WMP decides to overwrite all my 500x500 album art with 200x200. It took me hours to fix. Luckily when I rip a CD, I get the higher quality album art, then I embed it in each song, as well. So to fix them, I go to MP3tag, open each folder, extract the 500x500 album cover from one of the songs, delete the 200x200 folder.jpg, and then save the extracted 500x500. I fixed them a while ago, and I did the extra step of making all the 500x500 folder.jpg files "read only" and "hidden". That made no difference, whenever that computer was on and connected to the internet, it was silently changing all my album art back to 200x200 again. This time I removed all my music from the WMP library. Hopefully that fixes it. I'll just use WMP to rip, and then remove the recently ripped CD from the library, so it won't get overwritten. I only use Winamp to play media, and so far it does not do any overwriting.
Just my $.02...
The partial image isn't a CPU usage issue. DriveLine isn't reading all of the image data out of the MP3 when the tags are version 2.3 or higher.
I'll see what I can do about a setting for disabling the visualizations, and auto-hiding audio sources that are not available. Up until a month ago, there was no radio support at all, so the only audio source was local media, and having the playlist separate was fine. Now, it would make more sense to put it under Now Playing. And I've been thinking about it. It's an easy request. The trick is just finding a location for the button. And maybe a prettier icon. Right now, the icon for Playlist is pretty large, and has a caption underneath it. Moving it into the Now Playing window will probably mean getting rid of the caption and "metro" style of it.
I appreciate the feedback. Especially since most of it was stuff I was already considering. I'm glad it sounds like things are working well, and it's just a matter of moving some things around, and hiding some things when not required.
Yeah, it weird. Some album art shows fine, some get cut off. That's why I thought it was a processor speed thing.
I used MP3tag to embed all the art. I don't know how to tell what version the tags are.
Since this will eventually be in the car, with no internet, you could also make a setting as to whether to attempt to get lyrics. That's something I'll never use, that for sure. It would save some processing power. If the lyrics button was gone, Voila' there can be the location for the playlist screen button.
Is there a way to load an individual song? It seems like when I use the playlist screen to go to a folder to look at the songs, it loads them all from that folder. I do find myself to be an album listener. I guess it's a throwback to the CD days. Before portable media players, you either made a mix CD, or listened to the whole album. I suppose I can just create playlists externally, but it would be nice to be able to select a single song.
They Lyrics button pretty much has to stay. Even if I added an option to disable the Lyrics service, I need a place to put the Playlist button that will work whether the user has Lyrics enabled or not. The lyrics service only checks for lyrics once per song, and if you're offline, it doesn't even try. It's meant to use as little CPU and bandwidth as possible.
When browsing media, what ever you click on in the bottom box will be added to your playlist. If you click a folder, that entire folder (and subfolders) will be added to the playlist. But, if you expand a folder/subfolder in the upper box (the folder tree), it will list the individual files and subfolders in the bottom and you can select individual files.
Also, you can open and create playlists within DriveLine.
I like the idea a lot of using winamp as opposed to windows media player. Crossfading and other playback options are very easy to use within winamp and if integrated, would be awesome! The main problem with winamp on its own is how small the buttons are due to it being not touchscreen friendly. However, with driveline backed by winamp as the music player, it would work very well. Also, the visualizer from winamp 'Milkdrop' brings some pretty amazing visuals and is truly the only HD visualizer that I like out there. If i could have Milkdrop on my carPC screen, that would pretty dope!
One other thing I noticed is that when I reinstalled windows yesterday, Driveline stopped supporting .flac and .ogg files. I was able to fix this easily with some codecs for WMP, but winamp naturally supports these files without any downloads!
Another general comment:
I finally switched over to a windows install with hibernate (Windows 7 for now since I had a copy) and wow did that make a difference in getting driveline working well! I went from cold-boot times from tini-xp of about 60-90 seconds to booting from hibernate in under 30 seconds. This is including the time from when I hit the power button to when music resumes playing. That is awesome!! Now I no longer will have to leave the PC on to avoid reboot time when making short trips to the store. It is very appreciated that driveline begins playing as soon as the lock screen comes up and continues playing until the PC is fully off. My only complaint is that Driveline seems to revert back to the song I started at the last hibernate resume (this may be a windows setting I have to change, not sure yet). Basically the same songs I listened to come on (even on shuffle) each time I hibernate and wake up the computer. Of course it breaks the repeat if I change the playlist. I will let you more details after I test it some more this weekend (I only had like 3 resumes from hibernate since installing so it could just be an odd coincidence).
Excited for future updates!
Yeah, hibernate is awesome. I used to do the whole shutdown thing when I first built my CarPC. But Hibernate is so much quicker and just better all around. DriveLine should resume right where you left off, in the middle of a song or wherever. I'll test to make sure that's working correctly. But it really should be. I use this in my car every day, and I haven't had any issues with hibernate/resume in a very long time.
What do you mean by "breaks the repeat"? When repeat is enabled, that just tells DriveLine that when the song ends that it should play the same song again. So changes to the playlist should not really affect the repeat function at all.
As for external players like WinAMP (or VLC?).... When I first started on this project, I looked into using WinAMP. In fact, the source-code still includes my WinAMP module. But there are a bunch of reasons to stick with WMP as well. WMP can play DVDs, and I don't think WinAMP can. WMP makes the visualization/video window very accessible and controllable. Almost all PCs have WMP installed. So, the user either has to download codecs for WMP to play ogg/flac, or they have to download WinAMP. And WinAMP has that nag screen every time there's an update. Basically, trying to rely on an external program for audio playback seems scary to me. I'm not saying that I'll never support WinAMP, but it will take a lot to justify the effort involved in changing something that essentially does everything it's supposed to do.
When the broken things get fixed (like weather), then I can start breaking new things.
Speaking of that....how do I get a DVD to Play? I've plugged in a USB DVD Drive, and it shows up as Drive E:, I go to the playlist and clear it, then I add Video DVD, Then I get a screen that says E: "movie name", I select it and hit the checkmark. Then nothing else happens.
Winamp has an option to de-select "check for updates on startup".
I haven't tried playing a DVD in this thing in years. But I think the DVD video is probably dependent on that WMP visualization not being disabled.
You shouldn't even need to clear the playlist. The playlist can be a mix of audio files, video files, CD tracks, and even a DVD.
Honestly, I am shocked that anyone has even tried to play a DVD through DriveLine. I'll have to throw a DVD in my test machine and see what happens.
Also, you can double-click the visualization window to make it full-screen.
For the sake of simplicity, the versions of this program are now the same whether downloaded from mp3car, autoappmart, or my personal website. I see the number of downloads increasing in all 3 places, and they weren't all up to date.
So, Driveline is getting some attention. Cool.
I see that if I just try to play a DVD in WMP outside of Driveline. I insert the disc, and when the autoplay comes up, I tell it to "Play DVD with Windows Media Player".
Media Player starts and says " Windows Media Player cannot play this DVD because a compatible DVD Decoder is not installed on your computer" Then I get "close" and "Web help"
Also I "hear" the the HD radio clicks on When Driveline starts. Should it be that way? Or should it just turn on when you hit "HD Radio" on the Now Playing screen?