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Thread: RockCar Frontend Update

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate Hessian's Avatar
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    RockCar Frontend Update

    Download:
    The setup files for the Front End and Skin Builder are attached to this thread.

    Updates:
    I've been busy with other development projects but I've made changes where I needed them most.
    I run this as my front end full time and have been for about a year.

    • You can now select items in your WMP library or select from folders on your drives.
    • Edit and move groups of items in the skin editor (click Ctrl to select multiple items)
    • Buttons now have a click color your can assign to them.
    • New default skin.


    In Development:
    • HD Radio support
    • Application embedding feature
    • Embed iGuidence
    • Embed 3sixty.2 app


    Features:
    • Uses WMP 10+ for the media library and album art. Both audio and video.
    • Install takes about 20 seconds.
    • Multi-language capable interface.
    • Skinable interface with themes.
    • Skin Builder is included to make your own skins.
    • Plugable interface so it is possible to create extended features.
    • External controls plugin interface that allows external controllers (joysticks, etc.)
    • Flexible core engine that can be leveraged in plugins.
    • Built in C#


    Requirements:
    • Windows XP or Vista 32bit
    • Windows Media Player 10+ (RockCar uses your WMP library)
    • .NET 2.0 Runtime (free from Microsoft)


    Plugins Included:
    • Head - Main control surface.
    • Media Selector - Selects media from the WMP library.
    • IE Browser - Internet Explorer web browser.


    Translations
    English, German, Spanish, French, Russian and Japanese Translations Available
    I used Babel Fish for the translations, so I apologize if any translations are incorrect. PM me if you would like to help out with

    translations.

    Change the translation to the language you want by editing the GlobalOptions.xml file and changing the "Culture" to:

    en English
    de German
    es Spanish
    fr French
    ja Japanese
    ru Russian

    Modify a Skin
    To modify a skin start by duplicating one of the existing skins.
    Experiment with the themes and layouts to see what you can do. Make sure to save your changes.
    Click test on the layout tab to see the results.

    Create a Skin
    I would suggest modifying an existing skin to get a good feel for how the skins are organized.
    If you woul like to try from scratch here is a short 'how to':

    1. Click 'New' on the skins tab.
    2. Name your skin and click update.
    3. Click the 'Themes' tab.
    4. Click the + to add a new theme.
    5. Rename the theme and click update.
    6. Add and name an image for the background.
    7. Add a surface theme for a button.
    8. On the Layouts tab create a new layout called "RockCarHead"
    9. Add an exit button using the surface theme just added.
    10. Click 'Test Skin'
    11. Experiment with adding buttons to your skin.

    Layout Switching
    Layout Switching - Each feature (player/GPS/etc) of the front end has a layout that determines where the controls are placed. Switching

    layouts allows the skin designer to create multiple layouts for each feature. This helps in creating skins with minimal controls on the main

    screen that link to sub-screens with controls specific to the function. The subscreens can be multiple levels deep.

    The skin builder now allows to create skins to do this:
    1. Create a new layout from the Layouts tab.
    2. Create a button on the main parent that switches to the new layout, make it's funtion 'LayoutSwitch' and set the argument to the name of

    the layout.

    Graphic Artists and Skin Builders Needed:
    I need some better looking skins. I'm good with Photoshop, but I need someone with vision to create some something really cool.

    Developers:
    RockCar has an easy to use plugin framework. I'm looking for developers who would like to develop features for RockCar. GPS with iGuidance

    would be awsome, but I've not had time to learn the code to accomplish this.

    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Newbie
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    is it going to be free or for sale?

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate Hessian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kloves2fly View Post
    is it going to be free or for sale?
    It will be free.

  4. #4
    Mo' Programming Mo' Problems
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    gonna give this a go today. Looks promising.. especially with its plugin availability. Does it have the ability to embed an external application?
    mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
    Find my plugins on the MP3Car App Store!
    Follow Me on Twitter or Facebook
    Live mp3Car Facebook Chat

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate Hessian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
    gonna give this a go today. Looks promising.. especially with its plugin availability. Does it have the ability to embed an external application?
    Thanks for trying it out. I'm working on embedding now so I can add iGuide.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate SjLucky's Avatar
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    First off, looks like a killer start and I will be giving it a wirl before I offer up some chop time to a skin for it. Just got a couple questions and comments.

    I'm not complaining nor telling you how to do your F.E. but why WMP10? The only reason why I ask is, I have always had issues with WMP (classic and new) be it the library, the shuffle, codecs.

    Maybe you could explain a little more on the layouts. Is that the button layout or the entire screen layout (i.e. Changing the layout would just change the buttons or everything including text locations and whatnotz)? Like on the screen shot you gave, if I change the layout would I just changing the button locations or can I play with everything including where it gives the artist, title, and time. How are the layouts saved? Are they something that has to be edited in program or can it be a notepad headache?

    You said you have ran it for a year. What issues have you had and corrected or still have? Just curious and wondering what to expect.

    Thats all I can think of here at work. When I get home and get my head right I'll load it up and come back with a slew of more questions...

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate Hessian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SjLucky View Post
    First off, looks like a killer start and I will be giving it a wirl before I offer up some chop time to a skin for it. Just got a couple questions and comments.

    I'm not complaining nor telling you how to do your F.E. but why WMP10? The only reason why I ask is, I have always had issues with WMP (classic and new) be it the library, the shuffle, codecs.

    Maybe you could explain a little more on the layouts. Is that the button layout or the entire screen layout (i.e. Changing the layout would just change the buttons or everything including text locations and whatnotz)? Like on the screen shot you gave, if I change the layout would I just changing the button locations or can I play with everything including where it gives the artist, title, and time. How are the layouts saved? Are they something that has to be edited in program or can it be a notepad headache?

    You said you have ran it for a year. What issues have you had and corrected or still have? Just curious and wondering what to expect.

    Thats all I can think of here at work. When I get home and get my head right I'll load it up and come back with a slew of more questions...
    Thanks for checking it out.

    I used WMP because that is what I started with when this was just going to be a one-off custom front end for my 07 Mustang. I've not had any problems with WMP and think it works well.

    A skin WYSIWYG type editor is included and yes you can change just about eveything. The editor could use some work and some instructions.

    Mostly I've just been adding features. The basics of the front end work great. I've added support for flac, playing video, album covers, etc.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate SjLucky's Avatar
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    Hmmm its has the smell of a new born baby. Its lighting quick even on my slower rig (cant remember specs). Its leaves alot to be desired but a wonderful start. When I get some time I've been itching to skin Ill see if I can do anything with it. Keep up the good work. I'll be watching.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate Hessian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SjLucky View Post
    Hmmm its has the smell of a new born baby. Its lighting quick even on my slower rig (cant remember specs). Its leaves alot to be desired but a wonderful start. When I get some time I've been itching to skin Ill see if I can do anything with it. Keep up the good work. I'll be watching.
    Thanks. There are a few must have features (Navigation, embedding, etc.). If this thing gets a small user base I might up the development schedule.

    Right now I'm mostly developing for myself and to play around with the tech.

    I have a full time job and contact work, plus endless car mods, so this gets low priority. It would be great if other people got some use out of it.

  10. #10
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    justchat_1's Avatar
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    Not a bad start....might want to look into how to use threads in c#

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