I’ve had a crash occur using Just Playlists 3.0.1, as well as receiving a report of the same crash from someone using the program. It seemed to occur when Just Playlists was running but idle in the background. I found the underlying cause and have fixed it in this version of the program. The reason I know someone else had the crash is that developers now receive crash reports via the Android Market if someone using the program indicates they want to report the crash by responding appropriately via the dialog box that comes up after the crash. This is extremely helpful and I encourage anyone having a crash in any Android program to report it thus.
Archive for May, 2010
Just Playlists now supports the streaming of audio files and SHOUTcast/Icecast streams over the network. If you place an HTTP-based URL into a playlist that links to either an audio file or a streaming server, Just Playlists will attempt to connect to and play it. You can have mixed local audio files and URL’s or just a list of URL’s in a playlist. For SHOUTcast and Icecast streams, if there is stream and song information embedded in the received stream, it will be displayed on the main screen. And, if you go to the “Now Playing” screen, you will also see information about streams in the playlist entry listings and can hold-click to bring up a bit more info, including the stream bitrate.
Being that streaming audio comes over the network, a lot of things can make streams not play or stop playing. I’ve tried to work around most of these and give good error messages when I can’t. In rare cases, you may not be able to get any of your streams to play once one fails. In that case, restarting the program should fix things up.
The program will now display and load playlist files from your microSD card ending in .pls that are in the PLS format. It doesn’t actually use any of the extended information from the PLS file except for the track or stream data. And, you can load both PLS and M3U playlists that are linked into web pages. For instance, you can go to http://www.shoutcast.com and click on the “Tune In” links to play a stream in Just Playlists. The “Tune In” links are just URL’s pointing to PLS files with stream URL’s in them.
Another new feature that anyone saving playlists with URL’s in them should know about is system playlist deletion prevention. It turns out that as Android scans your microSD card when you first boot your phone or re-insert the card, if it finds any playlist files containing tracks that it cannot locate on the microSD card, it will delete the playlist files. That means if you have just URL’s in your playlist file, Android thinks it contains no useful information and deletes the file. You can prevent Android from doing this by going to the playlist chooser screen in Just Playlists, navigating to your playlist directory, and choosing “Create .nomedia File” from the menu. This creates an empty file called “.nomedia” in your directory. When Android sees this, it won’t scan this directory or any below it and thus won’t delete your playlist files if they just contain URL’s. It will also stop Android from scanning in the ID3 tag information for any song files in this directory or below it, so it’s a good idea to keep your playlists in a separate directory from your music files if you’re using the .nomedia file.
Lastly, I have tested Just Playlists with Android version 2.2—also known as Froyo—and it is working well. You may have heard that Froyo allows you to move applications to your microSD card as long as the applications allow for it. I’ve set up Just Playlists so it will let you move it to your card.
I had to do a lot of re-engineering of the program to allow for streaming audio, so if you find any bugs that have cropped up, please let me know.
I hope to do more work on streaming, making it more reliable. A feature I hope to add will allow you to save playlists that you load from websites. So, if you go to SHOUTcast.com and load up a stream that you like, you’ll be able to permanently save it to your microSD card for later use, with a name of your choosing.