Thursday, February 26, 2015

Week 8 - Progress

It has been a great week for progress. Last week, I was having an impossibly difficult time loading all the ringtones quickly and correctly. I needed to get information from each audio file, that was incomplete using the system MediaStore. I have officially fixed this. I have 1400 Media files on my phone, that load instantly with all the correct media information, Which is already a lot better then the version that is on Google Play. The code is much cleaner as well :)

Next thing I did was hook up a list adapter. The job of a list adapter is to take a list of items that has a large amount of data, and turn each one into a presentable element that the user can interact with. Those elements are then placed in the list you see. I then also added a Media Player that will sit at the bottom of the screen. I haven't quite finished the functionality of the Media Player but the aesthetics are officially in place. I'd like to add the ability to minimize the Media Player while the user isn't interacting with it, but I'm thinking that won't be too hard. I'll make it happen :)

Here's a pic:

I really like it looks. I've tested it on an older phone on Ice Cream Sandwitch, a Phablet, and a tablet. The experience has been consistent and, looks good on all devices. I'm getting pretty excited as pieces start coming together.

I'm hoping to keep up this progress. I think, once I get through a lot of the specific GUI issues, progress will really speed up.

Anyway have a great week!
Tyler -- DizWARE 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 7: File Browser

Sorry about the really late post. I had a half written one from last week, and never came back to finish it, so I'll recap. Last week, I started working with the File Browser. There really is no way to get any further in the app without a way to set up playlists properly. Previously, I would make a playlist in the old version of ShuffleTone, uninstall, install the new version of ShuffleTone, and the used a little tool I wrote that converted the files to the new format. It was a horrible process. 

Anyway, one of my goals is to do a better job handling loading the ringtones from your phone. A lot of people have brought up issues of incorrect length songs, which I would like to fix if I can. I've created what's called an AsyncTask, which basically allows for work to be done in the background but also keep the user informed on the main view. I attempted to pull Metadata from the media files, but it's really slow. This is obviously not the solution, but it's a good start. 

Most likely what's going to happen is that loading metadata will happen in a reduced scale, like maybe just prior to displaying each item. This would leave only a need to load the file info and media id when the application loads the file browser, and loads the media info as needed. Another possible solution is loading the metadata in the background after the ringtones have been gathered together into a playlist, starting with the ones the user is seeing first.

Once I've finished with this issue, I'll be working on adapting the data to something that can be displayed and eventually used properly. This will take all this data that is loaded from your internal and external memory, and allow you to click, manipulate, listen to and otherwise set up your playlists. 

Anyway, till next week! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 6: Them Colors Though

Not much to report this week. I had kind of a unexpectedly busy week that kept me away for almost all my free time. But don't worry. After I finish this blog post, I'll be tinkering for the rest of the night. :)

This doesn't mean I didn't get anything done though... I am really trying to squeeze as much time out as I can. One of the bigger things I dedicated some time to was upgrading my phone to Lollipop. This is a pretty essential step since testing notifications is fairly difficult in the Device Emulator. Now, my phone hasn't received Lollipop officially, but it should get the job done for testing. I also put Ice Cream Sandwitch(Android 4.0.3) on one of my older phones. This should cover all the Android versions that I'm targeting for testing.

I played with the colors of app. I'm trying to find a really good theme for the application that I can make consistent throughout the application. I really liked this, and will probably try this and see how it works. Let me know what you think :D

I also spent some time working on some logistics, which I drew out on my white board :D I took a pic of the diagrams that I drew. The File Browser is going to be my first focus. I want to get something at least temporary to work with. So this was the first steps and discussion... I coded up some of it already so we'll see where it goes :)

Anyway, that's it for this week. See you next week :D