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Old 02-10-2010, 07:44 PM
da1writer da1writer is offline
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Default [Music UCI] Flow by El Maco

Music UCI Flow was created by and maintained by El Maco! I'm only a messenger and will try to post his updates !



So... this thread is about my third music screen UI for the S9.

I have to say it straight up: this UI is not for everyone. For example, I cannot give you that normal music.swf file because you have to build it yourself... And not just once, but every time new albums are added to the S9 or old ones are removed.

Sounds inconvenient and unpractical? It is. But its also the only solution I could come up with, because I wanted to have as fast cover art browser as possible. After a lot of experimenting I concluded that the only way to get the browser perform well enough is to embed all cover art images inside the UI program itself. This way the UI doesn't need to read cover art images dynamically because all required artwork is already available in the internal data library. As a result the browser performs quite nicely (well, there is always room for improvement but its quite good, even when music is playing and flash interface gets that infamous slow-down).

Other notable features include full-sized, anti-aliased cover art view in the now-playing-screen. You can use larger images than 272*272 without the usual aliasing artifacts, optimum size being 544*544 theoretically.

User interface is divided into four components. Below is a short description of each of them.

album browser
  • the UI will start from the integrated browser if playback is paused
  • swipe up/down to scroll the music library. Scrolling will wrap around from both ends
  • swipe left/right to swap to the now-playing-screen
  • tap an album shortly to activate it, tap again to see the tracklist
  • long press on an activated album to start playback immediately
  • long press when no album is selected opens the shortcut page
tracklist view
  • swipe up/down to see next/previous page
  • tap track name to activate, double tap to start playback
now-playing-screen
  • swipe left/right to return to the browser
  • swipe up/down to adjust volume
  • tap on the timeline to enable seek
  • tap the album cover to launch the standard browser
  • pull down command panel by swiping down at the top of the screen
  • command panel contains four buttons: play/pause, shuffle toggle, jump to settings and quit
shortcut page
  • alphabetical "quick" jump based on first letter of the album name
  • history of four most recently played albums
-----

To build the Flow UI (semi)automatically one must run a utility program called MakeFlow.exe. Some facts:
  • MakeFlow is available for Windows only (there have been reports of freezing under Windows 7... However, both my XP and Vista machines have been running it without problems so far.)
  • it does NOT support embedded cover art. Each album (=folder) needs to contain cover.jpg file in order to show up in the browser!
  • it does not support deep folder structures:
    • "X:\Music\Artist - Album" is ok (1 level)
    • "X:\Music\Artist\Album" is also ok (2 levels)
    • "X:\Music\Genre\Artist\Album" is not because it is too deep (3 levels)
    • finally "X:\Music\LargeFolderWithManyAlbums" is not a good idea because it will show up as one big album in the browser
  • Currently MakeFlow does not recongnize unicode characters. This means that any 'special' characters in filenames may cause albums to be unselectable and/or missing in the browser. Consequently, if you are unable to select some albums in the browser, check their names! The easiest way to make an album unselectable is to have a "^" character in its name (which is used internally to indicate a folder separator)
  • MakeFlow needs an external SWF linker called swfmill. That is free software which can be downloaded from swfmill.org.
Installation & use:
  1. Extract MakeFlow.exe together with resource.uci into any folder.
  2. Copy swfmill.exe into the same location
  3. Connect your S9 (and wait until the drive letter gets assigned)
  4. Create a back-up of all of your data, just in case!
  5. Launch MakeFlow.exe
  6. Select the drive letter of your S9
  7. When prompted, press "D" or "N" to skip missing covers for the first time. They can be added later.
  8. If everything went as planned, MakeFlow should finally produce the music.swf and place it in the System\Flash UI folder.
You will notice two additional cache folders created into the filesystem. These files are required for the UCI to work properly. They should be removed only if you decide to stop using this UI.

Disclaimer: You use this program at your own risk! I take no responsibility if you manage to lose data or brick your S9 (or your computer or whatever). No, it should not be possible but, you know, don't blame me if something unimaginable does happen.


Download: MakeFlow_102.zip


Changelog for version 1.02:
  • fixed crashing on 8-bit greyscale jpg's
  • added support for folder.jpg's
  • optional possibility to disable the light reflection effect on covers
Changelog for version 1.01:
  • fixed browser bug (showed only first album when language setting was not english).

-----

ps. Thanks for everyone involved in beta-testing! Special mention to uphaillife for giving a name to the uci !

Da1writer Speaking:
Here is a video of it in action for those who are on the fence !

*NEW* BLACK EDITION
Just replace the resource.uci from the original Flow download with this one below.
Download: http://www.mediafire.com/?zm1r4tndztw

Last edited by da1writer; 03-12-2010 at 04:54 PM.
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