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Thread: What would the ultimate front end be?

  1. #1
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    London, UK

    What would the ultimate front end be?

    I've been writing a tool recently for connecting I/O devices to front ends, and that has got me thinking of features that belong in the front end more than the app. So I thought why not write a front end all together. I want to start by getting some targets of what people think the ultimate front end would be. I'm sure other front end coders can benefit from this thread too.

    Here are some features that I can think of:

    I/O Device support (eg steering wheels, 40x1 LCD displays)
    - Provide a common interface to adhoc input/output devices (will require a driver for each device, such as ibus/mbus etc)
    - Provide a macro recording features to map a sequence of events to a function
    - Ability to send single and macro commands to I/O devices
    - Contextual control. So for example when playing music, steering wheel buttons up/down would be previous/next, and when selecting music (using a macro to get there for instance) up/down would be up/down on the files list.
    - Ability to divide a text display (eg 40x1 lcd display) into multiple sections, each of which is an independent display device. This would be used for displaying name and time together for instance.
    - To scroll long text in various ways on each display

    Presentation & Skinablity
    - Everything is a component, supporting music/video/pictures
    - Components have sound files attached to their events (on click, on release, etc)
    - 3D layout of components (components scale and are ordered using z - perspective can be defined)
    - Components can be visible only on a specified colour, this allows components to be clipped
    - Component transformations are driven by gui/external events
    - Hue/saturation/intensity control of individual components and globally (to match skin colours to dash)

    Universal Media Playback (Video / Audio / Pictures)
    - Filters views (to separate videos/songs)
    - Playing / slide show
    - Search
    - Rating on the fly
    - Playback by rating/genre/least listened to etc.
    - On the fly deleting / sending to folder / playlist
    - On the fly renaming of files physically and by ID3/descriptor
    - Reports of access frequency for listening/cleaning
    - Automatically rip cd/dvd/memory card on-insert, and sort files based on content (can be disabled/manually triggered)
    - Thumbnails view
    - Colour, brightness, contrast and orientation control - settings are applied for individual visual media files for future viewings but not permanently to the file

    - The usual radio features
    - RDS component
    - One-click elevator music button, which fades in and out of the radio. This is used for annoying advertisements and DJ's that love the sound of their voice (I can't be the only one that gets annoyed by that!)
    - One-click recording with a user-defined pre-buffer (so the beginning of a song is not missed when only 40 seconds through the user likes it)

    Phone Features
    - Bluetooth support
    - Dialling from phonebook
    - Synchronize address book with phone/web server
    - Text to speech for SMS
    - Word by word SMS reader in large text
    - Media pause and mute, resume on call end
    - Record conversation from both parties or from cabin only. Useful for taking numbers/notes while driving
    - Software push to talk
    - Software echo cancellation

    - Text to speech for emails / website (selection based)
    - Word by word email in large text
    - RSS components (so info can be read on any screen - like traffic feeds in GPS mode)

    - Camera views components and support for multiple cameras
    - One-click recording with a user-defined pre-buffer (so the beginning of an event is not missed)

    - Directions component can be placed on any screen
    - Reducing volume of media when GPS is on (phone/gps precedence configurable)

    - Individual user preferences (can be triggered by memory seat buttons if you have them – ibus does )
    - Resume functionality
    - Software shutdown contoller to be triggered by an I/O device or user input. This will bring up a screen to offer a range of shut down delays/options, and performing a default option like off after 5 mins by default.

    Whacky Ideas
    - Noise monitor - constantly measure noise levels via mic (measured music - playing music = noise) and where noise is above a certain threshold, increase the volume)
    - Ambient light measurement to control skin gamma / night mode
    - Morse code SMS writing (I don’t even know Morse code but it has to be the best way of driving and writing a text using the steering wheel right?)

    Suggestions? I kindly ask that you keep the category headings or add new ones, and to keep point seperated. It would really help in collecting these later.

  2. #2
    My man uses Levitra. Peoples's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    needs a database, maybe bsddb to handle the 1tb music collections
    PC Components:
    Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
    My work log

  3. #3
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    London, UK
    file indexing may sufice, but very good point

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    St. Asaph, UK
    auto volume up is allready fitted to most new ish cars, they use the speed input to increase the volume
    2001 Passat 130TDi Sport - Via Epia 15000, 1gb, 100gb, 220w psu, 7" lilliput motorized touch (chopped and in dash as a fixed), bluetooth, bu-303 gps, 7 port usb hub, tiny keyboard, netgear 54mb wifi, optima yellow top, ryder rt1170x, freecom dvb

  5. #5
    FLAC sama's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    London, UK
    sure, what I mean a noise based version. so if you have your windows open and there's lots of noise from the ouside, or the air heater/AC fan goes on too loud, then the volume would increase.

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate redbullah's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    My dream is a standalone carpc software which boots without an OS(so it makes front-end itself an OS). easy touchscreen access and specially some ibus features. Mute button for passengers!..

  7. #7
    FLAC SnyperBob's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Do you have a programming language in mind?

    Free file hosting, picture gallery hosting for installs, PM me.

    Internet's first Front End Skin browser, featured installs, downloads, links, informative articles - all free to registered users.

  8. #8
    FLAC sama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    London, UK
    Yep .net, I will be using C# (closest to Java) for the low-level and back end stuff, and my brother will be using for the visuals

  9. #9
    FLAC sama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    London, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by redbullah
    My dream is a standalone carpc software which boots without an OS(so it makes front-end itself an OS)
    I don't think that would be the best way of doing things. Back in the 386 days, some company made a game called Commanche, which loaded itself in that way. it was written purely in machine code and performed super fast. However any code you write there will be purely for that os. so if you want to play divx's, you'd have to write your own codec, same for mp3's, dvd's and the rest. It's much better to use something like a linux or windows base, as it already provides a common interface to other people's codecs. Code reuse as it's called.

    Quote Originally Posted by redbullah
    easy touchscreen access and specially some ibus features. Mute button for passengers!..
    mute button for passengers could be an interesting idea

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    MULTIPLATFORM!! or at leats that it can run in linux

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