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Thread: My numpad controlled custom MP3Car software - need your opinions

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb My numpad controlled custom MP3Car software - need your opinions

    Greetings all!

    I've been spending the past few weeks writing my own custom software (currently named MP944, after my own MP3Car project) that allows for album lists, playlists, queing support, random track selection, plus many other features, all from a 17-key numeric keypad. It even can set itself to load instead of windows (SYSTEM.INI's Shell= statement) and back if you like.

    Now, here is my question. Through my development of this software, I've been hard coding things specificly for my project, but many things are stored in .INI files or customizable otherwise. A friend of mine suggested the other day that I try and sell this software. Now, at first it seemed like a great idea, but I don't know how the MP3Car community would respond to such an idea. So, let me know!

    If I get enough positive responses about this, I will spend the time and make EVERYTHING customizable and usable on any system, write a little friendlier user-interface, write documentation, and make 2 version: full and limited. Limited would be free for all to download and use (but would be fairly limited feature-wise), and the full would include all the features I am working on (and future ones!).

    So, what do you guys think about paying for MP3Car software? Are you appalled by the idea? Would you be willing to? How much would be reasonable, assuming this software gave complete control of your music system with just a numeric pad?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated... Thanks for your time!
    -Zach, aka Xak (zach .:[at]:. xak.us)

    Car: 1987 Porsche 944
    Sound: 4x6" Pioneer front speakers, 1" custom-mounted tweeters, 6.5" Pioneer rear speakers, 400watt Pioneer 12" sub in custom box behind driver's seat running bridged off an Autotek 300watt amp.
    Comp: (In progress...)

    Progress: [##########] (100%)
    Everything was installed and working in car, but is currently being worked on...
    Latest News: N/A

    My MP3Car:
    X-MP3Pad software:

  2. #2
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    Well, I for one, would be interested in seeing what you've done. You could start by posting some pics of the interface you've created.

    some questions:

    1. is it a complete audio solution or does it require another player such as winamp to to work?

    2. Is it made for people running graphic lcd or character lcd or both?

    3. How cpu intensive is it? There are a number of people running machines based on p166, 200 etc...


    As for the prospect of making a little money for your time, I definitely support it. There are a few other members here charging for their talents.

  3. #3
    j3
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    In short:

    $5: Yes
    $10: Maybe
    $20: It would have to be pretty sweet

    You are going to have a big problem with piracy if it is more than 5 or 10 bucks.

    -j3

  4. #4
    Rob
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    I agree with the points raised, also, if your going to distribute it then might be worth looking into IR support.

    Rob
    And you say people actually pay money for M$ Windows?
    www.mp3mini.co.uk (Does what it says on the URL) www.openclassic.co.uk (The new car, with zero rust!) www.rob-web.co.uk (My other site)
    Total re-design underway: on the whole progress is very slow as the car is taking up too much time :)

  5. #5
    FLAC
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    definately IR support. and yeah it would have to be pretty sweet to wanna pay for it. Alot of guys here are very tech minded anyway and can belt out their own custom software, like myself.

    when my new TFT mp3car is done im gonna let it out in the wild for free tho. I just like it when ppl use and like your software. Have done this in the past with programs, just let em go as freeware - such as my minidisc titling software I wrote a while back. got a good response from that...

    anyway what are the specifics of the app? char LCD/TFT/etc.... I would be interested on your thoughts on queing tracks too....

    keep in mind too that Charles doesnt charge for his 'Cobra' applications, which from what I hear from here are pretty sweet. altho im not sure if his next version will be pay per use....
    Project - GAME OVER :(

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Thanks for the feedback!

    Thanks to everyone who replied. Now to answer your questions...


    To Dama:
    1. It is a complete audio solution, and requires NO other software whatsoever. The way I personally will be running it will run as Windows' shell, not loading anything else but itself.

    2. It is strictly made for graphical LCD screens. I have no current support for character LCDs and do not intend to program this in, merely for the facts that I'm not interested in working on this enough to actually make a substantial amount of money, and I'm never going to have a character LCD in my car.

    3. It ran perfectly on my Pentium 166 (non-MMX) with 32MB of RAM, and also (obviosly) on my new Pentium 200 MMX.



    To j3:
    Thanks for the feedback on the dollar amounts. I was thinking (just a number I essentially pulled out of my ***, nothing concrete) around $15-$20. IMHO, it is pretty sweet, namely because it impliments every feature I want ;-) but of course I myself designed it...

    What do you mean about piracy? I can't see it getting onto the binaries newsgroups or anything, as MP3Cars are kind of a novelty kind of thing in the first place. I wasn't thinking of actually selling more than a dozen copies, if that.



    To magnetik:
    I understand it would have to be sweet for people to be willing to pay for it, but again, I think it is pretty sweet =). But I wrote/am writing the program with (mainly) myself only in mind, so I'm going to make it just how I think would be best. I'm not THAT much of a weirdo, so I assume other people will find it acceptable at worst.

    MP3Car people definately tend to be more tech-minded than most, I do understand that, but what about one's time? I would write myself my own operating system if I had the time... But I don't. If a person had the choice of spending 40+ hours writing their own MP3 player or paying me $15, they might want to give my software a shot.



    About IR support:
    The program is written in Multimedia Fusion (don't laugh, it's actually quite powerful and effecient for this type of application), and I would have to find a plugin/object that would work with IR, or write my own in C++, which I have only very limited experience. Again, I am not (probably) going to have IR in my car, and I'm not really into becoming rich off of this, so I doubt I would put it in. However, IR is one of the features I would consider. It's still in the development stages, so I'll consider IR when the time comes.




    As far as other features (someone asked how I felt about do queing) and details about the program, I think I'd rather remain a bit mysterious for now. If I get enough personal E-Mails from people interested in beta testing, I expect a (watered-down) beta version within two weeks for people to try. E-Mail me if you'd like to get in on it. I'm looking for about 8-12 people to really hunt for bugs hard, and who are willing to take some time to set up their system (MP3 file structure, my custom album/playlist files, etc.) to utilize all the features of MP944. Ahh, that brings me to another topic. What should I name it?! That's probably a better suited question to when I release a working version... But keep that in mind =)



    Thanks again everyone for your feedback... I look forward to hearing from you via E-Mail ([email protected]) if you wish to be a beta tester!



    ***NEW: SCREENSHOTS!***
    Sorry if they seem a bit cryptic or you can't figure out what anything is... You'll just have to wait until I release a beta =)
    http://www.xak944.com/images/mp944/screen1.gif
    http://www.xak944.com/images/mp944/screen2.gif
    -Zach, aka Xak (zach .:[at]:. xak.us)

    Car: 1987 Porsche 944
    Sound: 4x6" Pioneer front speakers, 1" custom-mounted tweeters, 6.5" Pioneer rear speakers, 400watt Pioneer 12" sub in custom box behind driver's seat running bridged off an Autotek 300watt amp.
    Comp: (In progress...)

    Progress: [##########] (100%)
    Everything was installed and working in car, but is currently being worked on...
    Latest News: N/A

    My MP3Car:
    X-MP3Pad software:

  7. #7
    Rob
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    Re: Thanks for the feedback!

    Originally posted by PorscheMP3
    Thanks to everyone who replied. Now to answer your questions...

    About IR support:
    The program is written in Multimedia Fusion (don't laugh, it's actually quite powerful and effecient for this type of application), and I would have to find a plugin/object that would work with IR, or write my own in C++, which I have only very limited experience. Again, I am not (probably) going to have IR in my car, and I'm not really into becoming rich off of this, so I doubt I would put it in. However, IR is one of the features I would consider. It's still in the development stages, so I'll consider IR when the time comes.

    You mentioned a plugin/object for IR. Now I have no knowledge of Multimedia Fusion, but if your software contained some kind of plugin support it would really kickass, and would definately take the load off you.

    Also you might want to make it so people can change the piccy of the Porsche, not that I have anything agaist the 944, it's just that it would look a bit out of place in my car!

    Rob
    And you say people actually pay money for M$ Windows?
    www.mp3mini.co.uk (Does what it says on the URL) www.openclassic.co.uk (The new car, with zero rust!) www.rob-web.co.uk (My other site)
    Total re-design underway: on the whole progress is very slow as the car is taking up too much time :)

  8. #8
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    Arrow Re: Re: Thanks for the feedback!

    Originally posted by Rob


    You mentioned a plugin/object for IR. Now I have no knowledge of Multimedia Fusion, but if your software contained some kind of plugin support it would really kickass, and would definately take the load off you.

    What I meant about plugins was that my development program supports plugins, not my finished program. Let me say this to all people who would be interested in IR support: I'm thinking about it, and I'll look into it when I get a '1.0' version of my program (i.e. all features I currently want implimented, and bug-free).



    Also you might want to make it so people can change the piccy of the Porsche, not that I have anything agaist the 944, it's just that it would look a bit out of place in my car!

    Rob

    If I end up selling the program, I will add support for custom splash screens.
    -Zach, aka Xak (zach .:[at]:. xak.us)

    Car: 1987 Porsche 944
    Sound: 4x6" Pioneer front speakers, 1" custom-mounted tweeters, 6.5" Pioneer rear speakers, 400watt Pioneer 12" sub in custom box behind driver's seat running bridged off an Autotek 300watt amp.
    Comp: (In progress...)

    Progress: [##########] (100%)
    Everything was installed and working in car, but is currently being worked on...
    Latest News: N/A

    My MP3Car:
    X-MP3Pad software:

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