Speed Alteration Library Release Delayed

March 11th, 2011

Three new high-priority bugs were filed on the speedup library yesterday. There are now four bugs I need to fix before going to a broader release and the three filed yesterday all seem to have very subtle causes. Given the turnaround time I’ve seen on evaluating test APKs, I don’t think I will feel secure enough to release on March 14.

Upcoming Speed Alteration Library

February 28th, 2011

There was some discussion on Android Issue 1961 about how good Osplay is, which is awesome, but it means I need to reveal something I’ve been keeping under wraps. Here’s a copy of a message I posted in response to Issue 1961:

I’m the developer of Osplay. I was keeping this under wraps, but in the interest of saving people money…

I have completed the majority of the work on a (nearly) drop-in replacement for MediaPlayer that adds this functionality for MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files by connecting to an upcoming Service app. If that Service app is installed, that (nearly) drop-in MediaPlayer connects to it and uses the same methods that Osplay and Practice Makes Perfect do to provide speed and pitch adjustment. What this means is that any application can have this functionality if a) the developer uses the (nearly) drop-in MediaPlayer, and b) the end user has this Service app installed.

I’m hoping to backport the Service to Osplay itself, but I cannot guarantee that I will do so. The major issue is Osplay’s startup overhead is significant, which would lead to apparently degraded performance in other applications. This is unacceptable.

This Service is officially in closed beta, but I suppose with this post, the cat’s out of the bag now.

If you are a developer with an application on the Android Market that could make use of this functionality, please e-mail me and I’ll get you included, unless making this post leads to overwhelming interest.

If you are a user that already has an audio player you like, contact the developer and have them get in touch with me so that their application may be included in the development process. When the Service app is available on the Android Market, I will make a follow-up post here.

I am hoping to release an open beta to the Android Market no later than March 14, 2011, but this depends on what bugs are found as others try the Service. I would rather release late than release with show-stopping bugs. I also cannot yet say what the price will be.

Ending Osplay and Practice Makes Perfect Development

January 11th, 2011

After much thought, I have decided to cease work on Osplay and Practice Makes Perfect due to poor revenues. I will fix critical bugs, but there will be no new features.

Osplay 1.0.13

October 4th, 2010

New in 1.0.13:

Bug fixes
Add “Audio Directory (from file system)” and “Audio File (from file system)” which bypass the MediaStore. Audio Directory is the best way to load AmblingBooks files.
Files now analyzed for MIME-Type if they’re not in the MediaStore (meaning files that don’t have the right extension can still be opened with speed control if they are in the right format)
Scan media when Select Media Activity started
Support for editing playlists from the Select Media (long-click) or Play Media (press Menu) screens

Osplay 1.0.6… Er… 1.0.7

September 14th, 2010

I released Osplay 1.0.6 1.0.7 today. 1.0.6 had a problem on some systems with upgrading the database which was fixed by 1.0.7. This most notably can accept the VIEW Intent, so audiobooks/podcasts can be opened from other applications in Osplay. I threw in album art as well as a bunch of miscellaneous bugfixes. Still $5 on the Android Market.

Osplay 1.0.3

September 2nd, 2010

I just posted Osplay 1.0.3. In addition to the corrections mentioned in the previous post, it is enhanced by pausing playback when headphones are unplugged (which can be disabled in preferences) supporting media button controls (such as those found on Bluetooth headphones). You can configure the media buttons in any way you like, so, for example, if your headphones have only next track and previous track buttons, you can change them to be rewind/fast-forward. I wasn’t able to find a way to cause the buttons to do something different when held down the way that the main Activity allows you to hold fast-forward and rewind, which was a bit disappointing.

This corrects a bug with Android licensing, which I hope is sufficiently liberal that it does not interfere with anyone who gets Osplay from the Android Market. If they do, e-mail me from the app and I will relax them further.

Osplay: What’s Next

September 1st, 2010

I have been listening to feedback from the first users of Osplay. This is my current todo list.

Fix bug with very large files and related problem with deleted files
Catch Intent for opening audio
Get forums running
Pause on headphone disconnect
Bluetooth headset controls
Rearrange buttons in landscape mode
Trial version
Show album art
ID3 tagged browsing
Subscribing to Podcasts

Further Details

Fix Bug With Very Large Files and Related Force Close Problem with Deleted Files

I received a bug report this morning that a 7-hour file reached the 3:30 mark while sped up 1.5x, then the display said more time had elapsed than there was in the file. The book also stopped. Removing the file resulted in force close on open.

If you reach this bug: The force close is most likely due to Osplay trying to restore a track that isn’t there any more. Using home screen->Settings->Applications->Osplay->Clear Data button will cause the program to be able to open again, but will lose any saved bookmarks or history. I am looking into adding a “Reset Loaded Track” button on the Applications screen that will just lose the currently loaded track, which would help in this case.

As of 2010-08-01 13:43 CDT, I’ve released Osplay v1.0.2 that should resolve this bug (which actually had to do with sample rates). However, should you get force close problems on open, I have added a Manage Space option that lets you reset the open track. To use it:
Go the Android home screen.
Press Menu->Settings->Applications->Manage Applications->Osplay
Press Manage Space
Press Clear Last Loaded Track Set

Catch Intent for Opening Audio

Osplay is currently a self-contained application. It should be added to the “Complete action using” for audio files. This should cause Beyondpod to be able to be used to manage podcasts and Osplay to be able to play them. This is proving way more difficult than I feared, specifically with regard to SecurityException caused by opening an MP3 from Gmail. I also need to radically rework how the database is going, so I’m getting a few other things done first just because they’re faster.

Get Forums Running

Aocate needs an official place for support/feedback and the like. There are limited options at the moment: This blog, Twitter, and Send Feedback link is Osplay. phpBB is currently giving a Dreamhost-related error and Dreamhost’s support indicates they’re having other technical errors.
The forums are up. Here’s Osplay, and Practice Makes Perfect.

Pause on Headphone Disconnect

Pretty self-explanatory, though Preferences needs an option to turn this off. I also think the G1, the device I’m using to test, doesn’t support this at all.

Bluetooth Headset Controls

I have not implemented anything that listens for controls from a Bluetooth headset. This one is going to be tricky since I don’t have a Bluetooth headset. It’s further made difficult by the fact that android.bluetooth wasn’t added until Android 2.0, which means I can’t support this and Android 1.5/1.6 users.

As of 2010-08-02 11:55 CDT, I’ve sent out a test version to one of the users who was asking for this feature. It looks like android.bluetooth isn’t needed after all.

Rearrange Buttons in Landscape Mode

The buttons in landscape mode are too small. Some of them will need to be cut out entirely since there isn’t a lot of space there.

Trial Version

Pretty self-explanatory, though I’m not sure what limitations to put on a demo version. It’s a political, social, and technical problem.

Show Album Art

I personally don’t believe this is super-useful, but @amp68 on Twitter asked for it so I’ll at least give it some thought.

ID3 Tagged Browsing

Another from @amp68, but it might not be particularly feasible: Practically speaking I’m limited to what Android MediaStore exposes, which is a subset of the ID3 tags. I’ll need a lot more details on what this means: You can already filter by album, artist and title, but clearly that isn’t meeting his needs.
To my understanding, the objective here is to be able to play an entire album that contains a single audiobook easily. This means being able to browse albums. Artists may also be useful: It could be kind of cool to play an entire author’s collection in one go. As a stopgap measure, what can be done is go into the Music app, either Album or Artist, long-click that album or artist, and select Add to Playlist. Create a new playlist, then play that in Osplay. It’s more steps than it should be, but it can be done.

Subscribing to Podcasts

This is at the bottom because there are already podcast subscribers for Android. I’m going to see if catching the Intent for opening audio is sufficient, and if so drop this entirely.

Osplay: Play Music at Your Own Speed

August 30th, 2010

Aocate, Inc released Osplay for Android today. This is an audiobook/podcast player that supports speeding up or slowing down MP3s or Oggs.

Practice Makes Perfect Version 1.3.0 Released

June 12th, 2010

I just released Practice Makes Perfect version 1.3.0 which adds a reference section containing chords and the circle of fifths. I’m looking forward to adding to it.

Practice Makes Perfect v1.2.0

May 28th, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect v1.2.0 has been released. This radically changes the UI for the better, adds a metronome, and supports changing track speed without altering the pitch.