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how can autotouch be so great and yet not be able to play MP3's?

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  • how can autotouch be so great and yet not be able to play MP3's?

    seriously, why can't we just have our meticulously created subdirectory system to browse through, and pick out songs that way? its so easy, and yet with your program, I have to type letters, search lists, keep my eyes off the road for an extended period of time.

    by searching my own made list, I barely look at the screen at all. much safer! and even LESS need for a keyboard, onscreen or off! (I know thats important to you.)

    so seriously? why make it all organized by album and artist?

  • #2
    First off, thank's for compliment (i.e. Autotouch is so great )

    Secondly, I'm not sure I understand the question. It does play MP3's they just have to be in your Windows Media Player Library. Then you can pick by artist, album or playlist. What exactly is it that you're looking for.

    I wrote it for the way I use it because that's the only way I know how to do it, if you'd like it a different way please explain that to me and I'll be more than happy to think about implementing it and release it. As a lot of folks have found if I can think of a clean concise, and quick way of adding a feature I go right a head and do it!

    The way I tend to use it is by adding various albums that I want to hear and then hit shuffle and let it play away. I very infrequently do one or two tracks at a time. This is probably a problem. The basic design principle was to allow all interaction with the car pc without the need for an external keyboard at all and in that I think i've succeeded the only time I pull out my keyboard is for maintenance ont he machine now.

    -G
    -G
    try the AutoTouch FrontEnd

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    • #3
      what happens if you are on the road and want a different song? or a specific song? youd have to type in the new album, whether via keyboard or touch screen.

      some of the other front ends (specifically media engine and media car) simply posted the media directory, organized as it is in windows. this makes for very simple navigation, as everything is listen alphabetically and automatically displays the artist or album, however each individual decided to store their MP3's.

      navigation can be done with a simple arrow pad if desired, though the other front ends have a singel arrow/double arrow system of down/page down. selecting the folder erases the previous list and plays the current.

      its simple, its fantastic, I was surprised your front end didnt have that method of navigation, considering how neat, organized, and simple it is!

      [shameless praise to cover my arse]It should be noted, that in a community of programmers making programs that have ever increasing complexity of function and design, that there is still someone out there that realizes that though internet, telephone, voice command, etc, are really neat fun toys, the real roots of the in car computer was to run an MP3 juke box and a GPS program and to play videos. I am glad you started this program, and I hope it will be a heads up to the roadrunner users and programs out there (just to name one front end) that simple means eyes on the road! that simple means better!

      but I would honestly like to know who sits down and types up a play list with the car at a standstill before leaving ot go somewhere, and not changing the track lists every time they get into the car? seems like a foreign concept to me....[/shameless praise to cover my arse]

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      • #4
        Well Who does that? Me, that's who. But then again I have my "Car computer" in my motorhome so whenever I get in to go somewhere I'm driving at least an hour more often 4 or 5, and I've got all that time to wait while the air brakes "air up" to pick what I want to hear that day.

        The idea of supporting the current window hierarchy seems counter intuitive to me, as it's a lot of information, that you'd want to put in a space you could touch. What about if you want a specific song I just add the ability to add single songs by title? Would you think that would work, or are you married to the concept of just putting up each album/artist/song setting (I have to admit it's been a while since I looked at the "competitors" apps since they didn't meet my desire to not have a keyboard at all).

        -G
        -G
        try the AutoTouch FrontEnd

        Comment


        • #5
          you could have a large font list that would display the subdirectory in alphabetical order, maybe six folders or so in the display at any time. to the left you would have four buttons, up/down, page up/page down so that a person who starts at "april march" could get down to "tool" simply by hitting page down six or seven times (or twelve for the 250 gig insane-o MP3 data miners)

          what makes this system so great is that it can be done while driving. once the page down key is located by the driver, he may look back at the road and just robotically repeat hitting the page down space on the touchscreen.

          once the folder "tool" is visible on screen, the user can either use the down button to hilight it, or just tap it on screen to select it.

          from there the person may go into the subdirectory, play the contents of the directory, or play the entire contents of the folder, including all mp3's in the subdirectory.

          the eyes almost never leave the road, its a really good system.





          now, in your system, I have to call up, say, an artist list database. once I hit that button, I get an on screen keyboard. now I have to actually locate the letter t, o, and l. all while driving 70 mph on the freeway? thats not safe!

          does that make sense?

          edit: almost forgot, adding songs one by one wouldnt be a very good system either, for reasons I bet you are already well aware of. still the problem of trying to type on a touchscreen on road, and when the user finally did get the song on, it would be ONE song! it would probably take at least three minutes just to load the next song!

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          • #6
            I think one thing your missing with my system.

            Once you call up Artist, and type "T" you can then use the down arrow on the screen to move among the various artists that start with "T", if you type "TA" then you can move among those that have TA, so you can get pretty much what you're asking for.

            Maybe one I should do is write a slightly different control that makes this more obvious.

            -G
            -G
            try the AutoTouch FrontEnd

            Comment


            • #7
              unfortunately, even that isnt ideal.

              under the directory system, the four navigation buttons remain in the same spot always.

              if I have to type "T", the best I can do is know generally where t is on a keyboard, so I have to think "okay, t is upper center location on a keyboard", locate it visually, then confirm I am in fact pressing that spot.

              with four button navigation, even using a touchscreen with no tactile feedback one can practically memorize four button locations (rather than twenty six!) for easy nav.

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              • #8
                no offense here... but Gremlin... leave the nav. of music the way it is.. i enjoy it quite a bit..

                I maneuver through my music quite easily w/o having to take my eyes off the road.. however i do also have a variety of playlists preset, so that does take some prep work.

                Like i've said before the only thing i could see as a needed improvement (if it would be one) is to see if winamp would be a more efficient player module than wmp. But that is a different topic altogether.


                But for most computer users they know how a keyboard is laid out and it doesnt take much effort to hit that letter.


                Gremlin keep up the work bud.. i look forward to the next revision, whenever that may be..
                2002 DSM RSX-S
                Custom Car PC Re-design Pending Completion of fiberglassing dash and trunk
                Pics

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                • #9
                  Thanks Apollo,

                  I'm actually thinking of adding a browse mode. Personally I disagree with White Rabbit as I think it takes less cognitive load to know I want the talking heads and find and press "TA" then use down arrow then it does to keep hitting a page down button until I see talking heads in a list, which means I must keep scanning a list multiple times until I see the value I'm looking for. where as knowing the general layout of a qwerty keyboard means I do know where T and A are.

                  For the rset of you you'll be happy to know I got some hacking time in last night, I have the ability to have separate day and night skins and a button on the main page to flip them. I have the ability to do pressed buttons in a much easier manner by just having two versions of the background. I'm currently working on a new skin that's of the brushed metal variety but a bit different that will show off these new features and I'll then be running some tests and getting that version out for everyone to play with.

                  -G
                  -G
                  try the AutoTouch FrontEnd

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No Problem Gremlin...


                    Looking forward to that release.....


                    Have you peeked into the winamp stuff? I know you said you started a whie back? but havent heard any updates on it..


                    APolo
                    2002 DSM RSX-S
                    Custom Car PC Re-design Pending Completion of fiberglassing dash and trunk
                    Pics

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hmm, somehow my last post got deleted.

                      The upcoming version has one last problem I've not had time to look at with the voice install not working quite right, and losing the two nicer voices. Since these can be downloaded easily from Microsoft's web site I'll probably end up doing the release anyway. I really like the new skin I came up with, and despite my thinking it was unecessary when it was requested really love having media control buttons on the navigation interface.

                      As for WinAmp the problem I ran into was the inability to do any work from WinAmp that referenced their built in music library. Instead it seems I can send them messages and get messages back about what track is playing, but I can't see what music it knows about. This is a problem for me since I don't have my own built in media manager, but instead have been relying in on Windows Media Player for it's code. If anyone can find information on this it would make my life easier.
                      -G
                      try the AutoTouch FrontEnd

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sounds great Gremlin.... Lovin the software so far..

                        As far as winamp i've found this... not sure if you've seen it or if it can help

                        http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=180297

                        or
                        http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=210146
                        Let me know

                        Apolo
                        2002 DSM RSX-S
                        Custom Car PC Re-design Pending Completion of fiberglassing dash and trunk
                        Pics

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah this is pretty much what I found, there doesn't seem to be anything in there about the library that I saw.

                          Sorry for the delay getting the new version out I've been uber busy the last two weeks with house stuff I hope to have it up soon, just some finishing touches to be done.
                          -G
                          try the AutoTouch FrontEnd

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Gremlin, not sure if this will help you either as it's VB

                            http://www.visualbasicforum.com/showthread.php?t=47041
                            Epia 800 dual boot...
                            Nlited XP & WinAMP
                            DOS & MPXPlay

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gremlin
                              (I have to admit it's been a while since I looked at the "competitors" apps since they didn't meet my desire to not have a keyboard at all).

                              -G

                              It sounds, the way rabbit described, that your system is a lot more complicated than say, RoadRunner. In RR, I have no need for a keyboard, or even an OSK, ever. Playlists are easily and quickly made on the go.

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