Archive for June, 2010

Just Playlists 3.2.3—Donation Version, Import/Export, Other Fixes and Improvements

Monday, June 28th, 2010

With this version of the program, I’ve decided to publish both the usual free version of “Just Playlists” (JP for short) and a donation version called “Just Playlists for Donators” (JPD for short).  The programs are functionally identical.  As a thank you to those who purchase the donation version, I’ve included a couple extra display options.  The first allows you to hide the notification bar at the top of the screen.  This is nice for anyone concerned with burn-in on AMOLED screens like the one used by the Nexus One.  It also allows the artwork to be larger when in landscape mode for most screen sizes.  The second option keeps the screen on and undimmed when the phone is plugged into a power source.

I’ve also changed the color scheme for the donation version’s icon, so that it looks different than the free version; this avoids confusion if both are installed at the same time.

If you’d like to upgrade to the donation version, you can search for it in the Android Market or use the “Donate” option at the top of the program preferences, which will take you right to JPD’s Market entry.

When upgrading from the free version, the new import/export feature comes in handy.  You can now export your settings and saved playlist positions to your microSD card.  They are saved in a folder called “justplaylists.”  So, to upgrade and transfer all your settings and positions to JPD, just export out of JP, exit, install and start up JPD, and then import.  The program will exit after the import, so just re-launch it and you should be right where you were in JP.  I’d also suggest uninstalling JP when you’re done.  You can keep both around, but it can be confusing even with the differently-colored icon for JPD.

Note that the import and export don’t affect your actual playlists on your microSD card and they aren’t a part of the export.  It just saves the settings and database information.  So, if you move to another phone and microSD card and want to retain the same playlists and settings, make sure you copy the playlist files as well as the “justplaylists” export folder, then do an import into JP/JPD.

Here’s a quick list of other fixes and updates I’ve made to the program:

  • Larger progress bar for the landscape view on phones with larger screens.
  • Various small changes to layouts for different screen sizes.
  • Better grouping of preference options under sub-categories.
  • Playback pauses when headphones are unplugged from the headphone jack.
  • Playback controls on hard-wired headphones now work.
  • A message box will pop up and disappear when a new playlist is saved successfully.
  • A crash was resulting from using the “Previous track” button on headphones when at the beginning of a playlist, rather than wrapping properly to the last track.  This was fixed.

What’s next?  I’ve received great suggestions and hope to implement some of them soon.  I also want to display artwork for streamed audio tracks.  It shouldn’t be too hard to do this if a streamed track also exists on the microSD card, in which case the phone’s media database has the artwork.  I’m going to research on-line artwork repositories that I might be able to tap into.  I’m a big fan of album cover art and will see what I can come up with.

Just Playlists 3.1.1—Save Hosted Playlists, Bug Fix for Long Track Positions

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I’m doing another release fairly soon after the last due to another bug fix.  I also took the opportunity to add a new feature.

The new feature is the ability to save a hosted playlist that you’ve loaded via a web page.  If you go to a website like http://www.shoutcast.com and click on one of the “Tune In!” links and load a playlist for streaming to Just Playlists, you can now go to “Create playlist” and you’ll find a new menu item called “Save hosted playlist.”  This will let you name and save the contents of the playlist that you loaded from the Web.  The menu item won’t show up unless the last playlist you loaded was a hosted playlist.

The bug I fixed showed itself if you happened to play a track longer than around 35 minutes in duration (thanks to Scott for finding this).  The progress bar would reset to the beginning.  Also, if you tried to use the progress bar to move past about the 35 minute point, the progress bar and the current time into the track would reset.

Scott also had a couple of neat suggestions for features to add to Just Playlists that I hope to implement in the near future.  The features are the ability to skip forward or backward in a track by one minute and to go to an exact time position within the track.  Both features would be particularly useful for podcasts.