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Thread: Frontend Ideas - Input please (KDE?)

  1. #1
    Newbie SoulCoughy's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Frontend Ideas - Input please (KDE?)

    Here's the story. My setup consists of an EPIA-M, a generic touchscreen LCD (800x480 native), and a griffin powermate control knob. I've tried just about every frontend out there (windows and linux) and I have complaints with just about all of them. Mostly, they're just too complicated. Roadrunner looks pretty, but it is just way too cluttered and clunky to be used while driving. Basically, my ideal frontend would be a jazzed up version of the ipod interface. Directory navigation, when a track is selected the entire album is queued. My Mp3 collection is meticulously organized in a directory structure Artist/Album/Artist - # - Title.mp3 Neocar comes close, but it has a very hard time dealing with large collections, and it seems that the author hasn't released the source to fix. Freevo is almost dead on, but I want to see a list of the album tracks while playing, not just info about the current track.

    All of this really made me want to write my own frontend. I was very hesitant to do so because I felt that there were just too many out there already. It seems that there are dozens of half assed half finished frontends. I didn't want to add to the clutter. After evaluating different operating systems and graphical toolkits to figure out which would suit my needs best, it hit me. This is my idea for a frontend:

    KDE.

    Yeah, KDE. Configure Konqueror for media browsing. DCOP can be used to enqueue tracks in amarok. GPS & video can be run on separate desktops, it's just a matter of ctrl-tab to switch over. The biggest issue I'm struggling with right now is getting Konqueror to "look" right. Konqueror has the ability to read meta data from ID3 tags, but when an Mp3 is selected, only the filename is highlighted, not the rest of the fields. Ideally, I'd have konqueror display only the track title when browsing in a folder. Browsing could still be done while music is playing. However, if after, say, 30 seconds no track was selected and no input had been recieved, knoqueror would return to the current album folder and highlight the current song. The rest of the work is simply choosing fonts, colors, icons, and placement to make everything look good on an LCD.

    My questions are these:
    Does anyone have any advice before I take this on?
    Does anyone share similar goals and have input on how to do this?

  2. #2
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Sounds like a pretty interesting idea. using DCOP to enqueue is pretty cool. My big issue would be the lack of a database to quickly navigate, search, rank, etc.. I'm not sure if you can make Konqueror display only the song name. One solution would be to name your files with only the song name. Put it on list view (instead of the one that shows details).

    I'm in your boat with the whole interface thing. I actually designed something like the iPod interface (Artist->Album->Song) about 4 years ago when I was using Win98 and a custom WinAmp plugin. The code was a mess and I scraped it. Still, I've never found another frontend that I like 100%, thats why I waste all my time making ones that noone else likes

    You may be interested in my current player when it comes out. Currently, however, it is not configurable enough to really share. Keep sharing your comments and ideas though, we can use them.

  3. #3
    Newbie SoulCoughy's Avatar
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    Llama, thanks for your input. An idea just hit me that I can't believe I was too blind to miss before. Symlinks! Duh, it would be almost trivial to create symlinks of an entire MP3 collection in whatever structure you wish.

    Keep me updated on your project, it sounds really cool. There used to be a frontend out there waaay back, the name escapes me. I loved it, but the author abandoned it and it did only Mp3. It was auto something. Ahh well, it'll come to me later.

    I think I'm gonna give this thing a crack, if I ever come up with something that works, I'll let you know.

  4. #4
    FLAC TheLlama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulCoughy
    Symlinks! Duh,
    Good idea, alot like renaming the files but at least you don't have to lose information stored in the filename. It shouldn't be that difficult to write a simple script/program to automate this process for you. You could even make it name the symlinks based on id3 values.

    Heck, you could even make several different "views" of your songs. Example: You can have the Artist/Album structure with symlinks in each album. You could also have a Genre folder with the Genres listed and then symlinks to songs based on genre.

    Good idea. A database still has many benefits (mostly in terms of efficiency) but this solution looks like it will work fairly well; especially since you are using Konqueror

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate DeltaFX's Avatar
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    Build your own frontend,try Gambas.
    Now Galileo is real. Muhahahahaha :p

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