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Thread: a Mouse as a controller in a car??? YEA! [Long Software Description]

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Cary, NC, USA
    Posts
    39

    Lightbulb a Mouse as a controller in a car??? YEA! [Long Software Description]

    Well my car player is up and running (BookPC, 4" Parts Express LCD, 120v Power inverter, and for control, I'm using a mouse.
    The BookPC killed my orig. controller idea (X-10 mouse) and display (Serial LCD) due to its lack of Serial Ports. So I had to start brainstorming. I came up with a LOT of expensive ideas. Then it hit me: A Mouse!
    When I first prooposed the idea of a mouse in the car EVERYONE flipped out on me. I'm not using the Ball of the mouse, I'm using the wheel, and the 4 other buttons (essentialy giving me 5 buttons, since the wheel is a button as well).
    I use the wheel to scroll though Albums (or depending on the "mode" Artists, Songs, or Playlists). The wheel also come in handy when trying to name playlists. The Wheel button is the "Play this selection" button.
    I use One mouse button to switch modes (Song-Artist-Album-Playlist-Display). One Button is Shuffle toggle. One Button is Jukebox toggle (In Jukebox mode your selection adds to the playlist, in non-jukebox it replaces the playlist). Those last two buttons do double duty as "Detail" and "overview" buttons.
    If you are on a song, and press overview it brings you to the album. if your on the album and press overview it brings you to the artist.
    If you are on the Artist and press "Detail" it shows you the Albums by that artist, press detial again and it shows you the songs on that album.
    The last button is a pause, play button.

    The Software I'm running is a custom Win98 Delphi App, using mpgeplay.pas and dll toplay the MPs. Orig. I wrote it as a Winamp Plugin, but Winamp kept getting in the way of what I was trying to do. (I still never figured out how to tell if winamp was in shuffle play or not). It runs full screen (Direct X) and displays 10 lines of text on the 4" screen. It's easily readable from more than 4'.
    The wheel is a FAST scroller (going a page at a time), I can scan through 250 albums easily in 15 seconds. 2500 songs takes a little longer, and the car version doesnt have a "seek". So its quicker to find the Album (or Artist) and "detail" your way into the song.
    You can Save and name playlists via the wheel as well (Reminds me of putting my name in at the arcade!).
    The only MAJOR limitation of the software is the directory structure for songs. I Do not keep a database of the Songs, I read it in each time the player starts, but only once. But it is FAST. the structure MUST be artist/album/01_Name of song.mp3
    artist/album/02_Name of song.mp3
    I do not read the id3 tags untill the song is playing, but arn't even needed since I already have the artist, album, and song name. This makes adding songs easy, just put them on the HD and restart the software.
    If anyone would like to see the software email me. I may make a couple copies available now to get feedback. I may eve make my delphi source code available.
    Chainsaw
    -Jason
    mp3it - MP3 Software for Small LCD Screens for use in the car.
    and
    <A HREF="http://www.mp3mystic.com" TARGET=_blank>
    MP3Mystic</A> - a personal MP3 Server software for windows.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Posts
    323

    Post

    Hey, nice to hear of another MP3Car enthusiast who uses Delphi, woo hoo!

    I've used MPEGPlay.pas before too; works like a champ! I ran across some cool mixer components if you're interested; they let you control the entire Windows mixer (not just the volume control) so you can do stuff like fade in/out other audio sources and the like.

    Right now I'm working on a relational database-oriented MP3 player for my in-car PC product; it will be awesome when finished...

    Delphi is expected to be available for Linux in the near future, too; I can't wait!



    ------------------
    --Jason

    Web site: http://www.m2pc.com
    Yahoo Pager: m2pc123
    Jason Johnson
    Yorba Linda, California
    http://www.m2pc.com

    MPC Phase IV - *** PENDING ***

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Cary, NC, USA
    Posts
    39

    Arrow

    Actualy I noticed last night that in my most recent rewrite I replaced mpegplay with the Xaudio SDK. Xaudio ended up working out much better for me.

    Chainsaw
    -Jason
    mp3it - MP3 Software for Small LCD Screens for use in the car.
    and
    <A HREF="http://www.mp3mystic.com" TARGET=_blank>
    MP3Mystic</A> - a personal MP3 Server software for windows.

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Priceton, NJ, USA
    Posts
    52

    Post

    Well you can add one more to the delphi mp3 programmers list (I figured I was the only one too).

    Anyway, I tried a wheel thing too once but found a track ball was so much nicer since I could use it's original casing (much easier too). You really wouldn't have to mess with your code much to get it working either... just a thought.

    Also I was wondering how Xaudio compared to MPGplay (is better quaility, more stable, faster?)

    Last thing, If anyone needs it I also have some volume control units (freeware / full source) and I'm working on Hitachi LCD one too.

    Have Fun,
    Blackwind http://www.eclipse.net/~cevans97/mp3car/index.html

  5. #5
    Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Cary, NC, USA
    Posts
    39

    Post

    I'm Actualy not tearing the mouse appart. My Armrest has a compartment in it that is perfect for the mouse. when I want to controll it I open the armrest and thumb the wheel.. If my passenger wants control, they have to go through me to get it!!!
    The reason I switched to XAudio: It handles Variable Bit Rate MP3's better than mpegplay.pas (Returning the correct song lengths/positions etc). It seems like it may be a tad slower, but it was just as easy as Mpegplay to get working, and it is much more current (unless there is a version of mpegplay I haven't seen yet. )
    I would be willing to change my code for anyone who wanted to use a trackball with it, but you will need one with at least 4 buttons. (Useable as eithe rmose buttons, or could be mapped to keys, it doesn't matter).
    Maybe us delphi people could pool our code to compare ideas and methods.
    -Jason
    mp3it - MP3 Software for Small LCD Screens for use in the car.
    and
    <A HREF="http://www.mp3mystic.com" TARGET=_blank>
    MP3Mystic</A> - a personal MP3 Server software for windows.

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