Archive for the ‘Just Playlists’ Category

Just Playlists Back on Google Play With Same Package Name, Hoping For The Best

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

I’ve been doing more on-line research regarding Google’s warning to me about being in violation of policies for apps on Google Play. Some information I found makes me think that the problem may have been the album artwork I was using as part of my app listing and which I replaced. I’ve found many apps that use the term “android” in their package name. I’ve decided to re-publish JP and JPP with the same package name and hope that I am now in compliance with Google’s policies and that using “android” in the package name is not a problem. If I’m wrong, my apps may be pulled, at which point I will repost them with new package names without the word “android” in them.

Just Playlists Will Be Unpublished From Google Play For A Short Time

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I received an email message from Google on Friday, October 3, titled 7-day Notification of Google Play Developer Terms Violation.  It indicates that Just Playlists Plus may be in potential violation of Google’s policies on impersonation or deceptive behavior and/or intellectual property.  The email is boilerplate and doesn’t really tell me exactly what I’ve done to violate the policy.  The best I can guess is that the package name of the app is what triggered this notification.  When I first created the app in 2009, I chose the package name of org.journeyman.android.apps.justplaylists for Just Playlists following the common practice of basing it on my domain name in reverse order, going from most general to most specific dot-separated elements.  I used the term “android” simply in a descriptive manner of the nature of the program I was developing.  I had no intention of presenting JP as an official Android application, and it didn’t occur to me that this could be a potential copyright violation.

But I believe that Google sees this as copyright infringement and wants me to change it.  I have absolutely no problem doing so, but due to the rather silly way that Google Play uniquely identifies apps by the package name, I cannot just remove the term “android” from the package name.  Doing so will cause Just Playlists to be recognized by Google Play as a new app.  Thus, I am being forced to unpublish the current versions of Just Playlists and Just Playlists Plus and will soon publish them again with new package names that will cause them to be treated as new apps on Google Play.

This will mean that if you have installed Just Playlists or purchased Just Playlists Plus, you should still be able to see the app listed as installed on your phone but not in the Google Play store.  You will no longer get upgrades and will need to install the re-published version of JP or JPP if you’d like to receive future updates.  That will also mean, if you purchased JPP and want to continue to get updates, you’ll have to purchase a copy of the new version.

I am very sorry to have to do this, but I don’t think I have a choice.  If I don’t unpublish JP and JPP by Friday, October 10, Google will probably remove them and may suspend my account.  I hope to re-publish the new versions of JP and JPP with the sanitised package names within a few days.  I will also post another blog entry that will describe how to go about transitioning to the new apps, if you’d like to.

Thanks to all those who use JP and JPP.  I hope to continue to support and update both for a long time to come.

Just Playlists 5.3.4—Music Playback Not Pausing When Headphones Unplugged or Bluetooth Headphones Turned Off

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

A user reported that music playback wasn’t pausing when he unplugged headphones from his device. This should have worked but, it turned out, unless the option to enable headphone buttons was selected within Preferences, it wasn’t working. I’ve fixed this. Now, whether this option is selected or not, music playback should pause when headphones are unplugged or Bluetooth headphones are turned off.

Just Playlists 5.3.3—More Icon Tweaks and Fixed Bug in Shuffle on Reload of Current Playlist

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

The pure white of the rounded rectangle of the Just Playlists icon was getting lost against some of the Google Play store backgrounds. So I added a light gray shading with a left-to-right gradient.

I also found that when the current playlist was reloaded without a query, it never shuffled, regardless of the user preference and last shuffle type. This was fixed.

Just Playlists 5.3.2—High Resolution Icon and Default Album Artwork

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

I’ve made a new icon for JP that is higher resolution and will scale appropriately for all screen sizes. I’ve also replaced the default album art logo image with a high resolution version of the icon.

Just Playlists 5.3.1—Fix for Disappearing/Non-updating Notification and Code Updates for Current API Level

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

The notification for Just Playlists hasn’t been consistently updating with the current track information and sometimes was just disappearing altogether. I’ve fixed this. I’ve also started the process of updating the code for JP to use the most recent API features, getting rid of calls and dependencies on deprecated features. I started with creating what is known as a content provider as an interface to the underlying SQLite database that I use to store playlist information.

The next work I’ll be doing on JP is a way to work around the new “feature” in Android 4.x that doesn’t allow apps to save or delete files from arbitrary locations on an external microSD card. If you search the Web, you’ll find all kinds of discussions about this. I won’t add to the frustration being expressed, but I certainly share it. Android will still allow an app read/write access to its own private area on external storage, so I’m hoping to use this to add a feature to JP that allows a user to easily get to this area and use it. In the meantime, you can create and delete playlists on your device’s internal storage, so I’d suggest storing playlists there—they can still reference tracks on external storage.

Just Playlists 5.3.0—Disable Shuffle Query Box with Choice of Default Options, “Show Playlist” Easier to Find

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

I’ve had a lot of requests to provide the option to disable the shuffle query box that always has appeared when a new playlist is loaded or an existing playlist is reloaded. I’ve added the “Disable shuffle query box” option item in the “Preferences”. The default action when this is enabled is not to query but to leave the playlist unshuffled. To change this default, use the “Disabled shuffle load action” item. You can choose to shuffle, not to shuffle, or to do the same thing to the playlist on reload as was chosen last time it was loaded or reloaded. I find this really handy, since most my playlists are always either shuffled or not shuffled, depending on whether they are a mix list or a list of albums. For a new playlist being loaded when this option is active, the list will not be shuffled.

You can still force the shuffle query box to appear when the disable option is active by going into the “More…” sub-menu and choosing “Reload playlist with query”.

The “Show playlists” menu item has also been moved from the “More…” sub-menu to the main menu. Folks were having trouble finding it.

Just Playlists 5.2.7—Fix for Artwork Display Problem on Devices with “Virtual” Buttons

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

A user reported that the album/artist text was being covered by the artwork display.   It turns out my method for sizing artwork didn’t take into account the screen real estate taken by things like the notification bar, action bar, and soft/virtual buttons on Nexus-style devices.  I’ve fixed this.

Just Playlists 5.2.6—Metadata Passed to Bluetooth Devices Under Android 4.3; Dynamic Artwork Size; Version Freeze

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Android 4.3 is now properly passing stream and track metadata via Bluetooth to connected devices.  Just Playlist now supports this, as well.

If the device has a display and can handle this metadata, it will be shown.  For instance, car stereos with a display and support for the metadata will show track, artist, and album information.

I also am now detecting the actual width and height of the device display and using this to set the artwork size for display.  This should mean that any phone or tablet will give the best possible view of album artwork.

The last change I’m making is that, starting with this version of Just Playlists, new features will only be rolled out for devices running Android versions 4.0 and above.  Older devices will still be able to run version 5.2.5 of Just Playlists.  I don’t like to do this, but there are so many new features only available for the newest versions of Android that it is making it difficult to maintain backward compatibility when I only have a limited amount of time to devote to program development.

Just Playlists 5.2.5—Better Audio Focus Handling, M4A files, Disable Gapless Playback

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

I found that after upgrading my phone to Android 4.2.2 that headset button presses were sometimes not being recognized by JP.  I’ve added code to better follow the most recent Android SDK rules for handling audio focus—that is, making sure to interact properly with other audio apps.  I believe this has helped.  If the headset buttons aren’t being recognized by JP, just go into the app and stop and restart play.  This will allow JP to acquire audio focus and also start recognizing headset button presses.

And thanks to a person using JP by the name of Joe, I found out M4A audio files are supported by Android, so they can now be added to playlists.

Finally, I’ve had a couple reports from Samsung Galaxy S III users that JP will randomly hang up during track changes.  Working with my trusty friend and beta tester Dan, we concluded that it has something to do with the gapless playback code I added a while back.  So, if you have this problem, you can now disable gapless playback in the Preferences and it should go away.  It’s a workaround and not a fix, but I can’t duplicate and isolate it on my Galaxy Nexus, so this’ll have to do for now.