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Thread: Harmony - Mac Front End Worklog

  1. #71
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    Nothing like a firm maybe to keep hope alive!

    but progress is a good thing!

  2. #72
    Maximum Bitrate pepsibobby's Avatar
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    i'm so excited. actualy someone keeping up wtih their promises of succsess.

  3. #73
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    It's coming along...

    As Tom mentioned, we now have the "skin" of Harmony's Player function ready. He's putting the muscles into it. Over the weekend we put together a list of commands and keystroke equivalents so we can be consistent across all functions and not leave key actions unaccounted for.

    Although Harmony's look and feel is extremely touchscreen friendly, moreso than any other frontend app we seen listed on mp3car, one of the key principles is that you should be able to use it while looking at the road, not at the screen. (We even tested a Braille font for some things, since none of us can read it, to be sure they were just as usable without reading them.)

    That means that:

    1. The buttons that the driver uses most are located on the edges, especially at the corners of the screen. You can feel your way to the controls you use most. And you can memorize where the main controls are in a few seconds. There are no labels at all, the controls are obvious.

    2. There are keystroke equivalents for virtually eveything, as well as it being Applescript-able. You should be able to adapt any sort of input device to control Harmony, and it is not dependent on a touchscreen. I don't plan to use a touchscreen in my car, for example, and the majority of carputer users probably won't either.

    3. Although there is a rich command set, key functions are simple-simple-simple. (One of my goals was for it to be usable with just four buttons on my steering wheel. We don't have steering wheel integration, but it's something that could be added thanks to the scriptability.) Did I mention "simple?" At the same time, we kept in mind that some users want to eliminate their head unit and control volume as well as playback, and you can do that. Harmony isn't dumbed down to make it simple.

    4. There is a "Driving" mode, which has never been done before. It's sort of like a screensaver that just has 3 buttons: stop/resume, play previous and play next. The buttons and the current song/artist/album or channel will be overlaid on the album art. This is SO COOL, and better than bling. It's not triggered by whether you're driving or not, just by how long the user interface has been idle. You can also jump into it without waiting with one touch. Touch outside the buttons to return to the full UI.

    As the XM controller comes along we'll add that into Harmony, and we have some innovative features in mind for it. The user interface is nearly identical for both iTunes and XM, plus XM has some enhancements specific to controlling a radio.

    I think that's enough of a tease until Tom posts the first screenshot of the new layout.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by pepsibobby
    i'm so excited. actualy someone keeping up wtih their promises of succsess.
    That's why I finally decided to get off my a$$ and program something in a deliberate and measured fashion.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  5. #75
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    sounds awesome! time for a cold shower, I just got all hot and bothered! Can't wait for the screen shots!

  6. #76
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    I am so glad you guys are doing this and a big thanks for the progress reports! It sounds great!

  7. #77
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    Update #11: 4/19/2006

    I've updated the original post with the new H mode layout for Harmony.

    There are two main modes: Normal, and Driving.

    Below is the Normal mode, used to select songs and playlists, advance to different tabs, and so forth.


    Don't let the apparent simplicity fool you. The main controls are positioned at the corners, where they are easy to memorize and easy to select without looking at the screen. Song title, artist, album name, and playlist are all displayed. The green bar behind the song title is the progress bar with a countdown timer to the end of the song. Touching anywhere in that bar will jump you to that section of the song.

    Echelons in the upper left and lower right corners bump the playlist up or down one full screen. If it is an extremely long playlist, you can jump to the spot you wish by selecting the slider on the right.

    The Note against the blue and white background is the shuffle button. When on shuffle, the note is upside down. The black squared-circle arrow with the red line through it is repeat off, repeat song, or repeat playlist.

    The 'H' with the green arrow in the middle is the mode button and advances you to the various functions in Harmony, such as XM, Video, App launcher, etc. (don't get excited, most of these haven't been developed yet.) The speakers are volume up and down.

    I think you can guess that the big green triangle in the middle is the play/pause button.

    The blue highlighted box that says "Drive Time" is the playlist drop down. Selecting it will drop down all of your iTunes playlists for loading into the tracks display table underneath.

    Where's my bling, you ask? When the interface has been idle for some user-specifiable period of time in Music mode, Harmony reverts to Driving mode and brings up the following window.




    This window will display the album art, or a default screen if there is no album art. Touching anywhere on the screen except for where the buttons are will return you to Normal mode. You can think of this as 'traffic light' mode where you can make a quick change to the playlist or select a favorite track. Simply touching the song track will make it play.

    A little expectations management here - we're still hooking all this stuff up to get it to work. It ought to work, all of the functions are already coded for the most part. But it will take a little while to get it there. Be patient.

    And before you ask, no, it is not currently skinnable. Maybe in the future, but not right now.

    -Eugene, Tom, Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  8. #78
    Maximum Bitrate pepsibobby's Avatar
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    its so beautifull...*tear*

  9. #79
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    looking good!

  10. #80
    Low Bitrate jdisenberg's Avatar
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    wow, driving mode is a great idea... and it looks really great..

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