Just Playlists 5.0.0—Gapless Playback, Streaming Re-starts, Android 4.x UI Features

I’ve added some pretty significant updates to Just Playlists and am thus increasing the major version number from 4 to 5.  The biggest one, at least for my personal music collection, is gapless playback.  This means that, for music files that are ripped from consecutive tracks of an album where there was no silence between the tracks, there will be no silence between the music files as played back by JP.  This is something that fans of Pink Floyd (including me) should enjoy, since many of their albums are a nearly continuous flow of music.

Gapless playback is only available for devices running Android Jelly Bean/4.1.  The necessary tools for enabling it were introduced in this version’s SDK.  Before this, any app implementing gapless playback had to have custom music playback code written for it.

Another new feature is automatic stream playback restart after playback is interrupted abnormally by a network traffic glitch.  Before, the stream had to be restarted manually.  I used to get around this by having a stream as the only track in a playlist and having playlist repeat play enabled.  But this is much better, since I don’t generally like my music playlists to loop and it was a hassle to go into Preferences to turn off repeat play.

Google introduced a new visual style to the user interface referred to as “Holo” in Android 3.x and greater.  This includes a new “Action Bar” at the top of apps with three vertical dots at the far right as the “menu button” and a menu that is laid out vertically down from the top of the screen rather than horizontally along the bottom of the screen.  I’ve adopted this visual style and the Action Bar.  But because I didn’t want to have the Action Bar steal screen real estate except when absolutely necessary, tapping on the playlist name at the top of the screen will hide the Action Bar.  Tapping it again will bring it back, making the menu icon available again, as well.

With the menu being laid out vertically, it seemed to make more sense to have the “Exit” button at the bottom of the menu list.  I moved it there.  This also means that, in previous versions of Android, the “Exit” button in the horizontal list at the bottom of the screen will be at the lower right corner of the menu.

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