08-27-2015 11:58 AM
57 123
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  1. luke_f's Avatar
    music | mode

    Disappointed by the bad performance and usability of the official Music app, as well as the few alternatives available, I started developing my own music player app for Windows 8 a while back. It is still rather new in the store but already has quite a lot of unique features. So I decided to showcase it here for you now.

    Feedback and suggestions are very welcome!

    Note: This is currently a Windows app - a Windows Phone version is planned but not started yet (waiting for new phone!)...

    Download Link

    Start Screen:
    start.png

    Browse albums by artist:
    artists.png

    Albums (Cover Wall):
    albums.jpg

    App-Features:
    • Fast and intuitive navigation through your local music collection
    • Works very well even with very large music collections
    • Sleek user interface with smooth animations - freely scalable to any size!
    • Different "auto pilot" modes will keep your music running
    • Crossfade support for smooth song transitions
    • Uses online databases to retrieve missing music metadata
    • Build and edit playlists using drag+drop
    • Manage and cleanup your music library using drag+drop
    • Play FLAC and ALAC (Apple) lossless audio format (free for one month, then requires 'Pro Version')
    • Fully functional even when snapped to the screen side
    • Play music to a different device with "PlayTo" (free for one month, then requires 'Pro Version')
    • Connect to your last.fm account for playback statistics
    • Add music from other folders, e.g. from your SD-Card
    • Enqueue files to be played next (limited in free version)
    • Import playlists from m3u, m3u8 and pls files


    Please note that the free version can be used forever, but there are some features that will be limited or disabled after 30 days. Upgrading to the Pro Version is recommended to support the development of the app, and to unlock the special features again. The upgrade to the Pro version is 3.99$ in the US, you local rate might vary depending on exchange rates and taxes.

    Download Link
    Dnamb and WP8_Lover like this.
    10-16-2014 11:31 AM
  2. Jazmac's Avatar
    Looks killer. Can't wait to try it out.
    10-16-2014 06:49 PM
  3. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    It seems to be working great! Is it possible to arrange for the app to keep playing random albums from any category? I see it can already play random tracks, albums from a single artist and tag, but didn't find an option to play an album and when it finishes play another from the library.

    Thank you,
    Pablo
    10-17-2014 05:58 AM
  4. luke_f's Avatar
    Is it possible to arrange for the app to keep playing random albums from any category?
    Hi Pablo, you mean like "totally random"? The current random modes always stick to either the artist or the genre tag(s). Why not add a total random mode, unrestricted? Definitely a good idea - I will add this for the next version! Until then, "Albums by Tag" will be the closest you can get, it will pick random albums from the tag(s) of the current album (and when all these were played already, it will look for "related" tags, broadening the search range).
    10-17-2014 07:44 AM
  5. Makm's Avatar
    Make an app for windows phone
    10-17-2014 07:49 AM
  6. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    Excellent! I like my music collection, it is big and broad, so I want to go through it one random album at a time. Having that, and a go to next album button, I can be happy! =)
    10-17-2014 07:55 AM
  7. luke_f's Avatar
    Make an app for windows phone
    Definitely planned! Still have to decide on my new phone though. I just had a Lumia 830 in my hands today - looks great! But maybe I like the smaller size (and price) of the 735 better. 735 is still not really available here, 830 just arrived in some stores...
    Makm likes this.
    10-17-2014 08:33 AM
  8. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    Also, maybe you need to check your memory consumption. Right now, I'm at something like 1Gb of Private Bytes being consumed. That is A LOT. I think that something related to this is that the app is very slow on starting up (something that also happens to be a problem if you pause your music and wait for Windows to automatically close the app).

    Things to check maybe?

    Thank you,
    Pablo
    10-17-2014 12:42 PM
  9. luke_f's Avatar
    Also, maybe you need to check your memory consumption. Right now, I'm at something like 1Gb of Private Bytes being consumed. That is A LOT.
    Agreed - that does not sound normal. May I ask how many albums you have? You can see the album count on the start screen. I have about 3000 albums and I am at 150MB after starting the app. Also the app starts very fast for me, about 1-2 seconds and it is all there.

    However, I do keep an in-memory cache of all album thumbnails to allow extra fast displaying of all album art. In case of extremely large collections this might become a problem at some point. The cache is loaded during startup, so if the album count gets massive, then the startup times will also go down at some point.
    10-17-2014 02:28 PM
  10. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    I have a grand total of 2473 albums, so that's not it...maybe Windows version? I'm using Windows 8.1 U1 with all the patches applied...
    10-17-2014 02:31 PM
  11. luke_f's Avatar
    I am also on latest Win81 U1 so his should not be a problem. I have sent you a PM to get more detailed info.
    10-18-2014 05:00 AM
  12. luke_f's Avatar
    A new update is available that should drastically reduce the memory consumption, especially on systems with high-dpi displays, and improve startup times. Some bugs were fixed as well. Please check out the new version!

    Plus, I am looking for translators right now. If you like this app and would like to help with some translations into your native language, please drop me a PM. I will open a web based translation project soon.
    10-27-2014 09:01 AM
  13. luke_f's Avatar
    The latest update brings some nice UI enhancements. So now you finally get the track duration and position displayed. Plus there is a new setting that allows you to hide the album description overlays on the covers. The default is still to always show them, but you can turn it off now, so they will fade in on mouse hover (and they are always visible for albums that do not have a cover). Looks nice and clean, so if you know your albums well, I recommend you to give it a try!

    Be sure to check out the other options as well, there is quite some stuff that can be customized!
    Pablo Montilla likes this.
    11-20-2014 06:22 AM
  14. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    I have one request. I've noticed that you correctly bundle multi-disc albums when their names end with " - Disc #'. I have some albums that have titles on their discs so, for example, from Hammer of the Gods: 'Two Nights In North America - Disc 1 - One Night in Montreal', and 'Two Nights In North America - Disc 2 - One Night in New York'. Other examples are bonus discs (e.g.: 'Snow - Disc 3 - Bonus').

    Would be good to have them come as a single album.

    Best regards,
    Pablo
    11-20-2014 06:48 AM
  15. luke_f's Avatar
    Hi Pablo, the difficulty here is to be really sure that they actually do belong to the same album. You surely do not want two albums merged that do not belong together. So if the album titles are "too different", I do not join them automatically. But I added the possiblity to fix this manually in such cases: Select the artist in the Artists view to list these "partial" albums. Now you just drag+drop Disc 2 on Disc 1 and confirm the album merge. Now drop Disc 3 in there too. Finally, change the name if required (press edit button, remove "Disc 1" from the album title). Now you have a three disk album!

    I only have very few multi disc albums that are not correctly identified. Do you have many of these cases? I could possibly further improve the detection, but I thought that these are only rare cases which can be fixed manually if they appear. Most music players perform much worse with multi disc albums (keep them all separated, or even worse, "mix" them into one album)...
    11-25-2014 05:01 AM
  16. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    I don't want to mess with the MP3s metadata, I've maintained it correct for a long time using a simple utility I wrote, so that on disk structure matches (mostly) ID3 information. I normalize titles, and allow to specify dictionary entries for acronyms, etc. so metadata should not be touched.

    I'll list you some examples that deviate from the " - Disc #" pattern. I understand that this is a bit picky so no worries if you think this is something that shouldn't be implemented, but it seems simple enough, and (probably) common enough to warrant your attention...

    Machine Head - Disc 1 - Remixes
    Machine Head - Disc 2 - Remasters

    (This one is worse, because each disc has its own year)
    The Most Beautiful Dream, Anthology - Disc 1 - Nadzieje, Niepokoje
    The Most Beautiful Dream, Anthology - Disc 2 - The Most Beautiful Day
    The Most Beautiful Dream, Anthology - Disc 3 - Supernova
    The Most Beautiful Dream, Anthology - Disc 4 - Hazard
    The Most Beautiful Dream, Anthology - Disc 5 - Singles Collection

    So the rule should be, "{album name} - disc # - {subtitle}...
    11-25-2014 07:05 AM
  17. luke_f's Avatar
    Alright, I think I can optimize the parsing to also capture this kind of multi disc albums. Of course the rule needs to be a bit more refined to also match other similar naming schemes. If it works well, I will try to get this into the next version.
    11-25-2014 10:05 AM
  18. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    Awesome.

    Thank you!
    11-25-2014 10:09 AM
  19. AppLevel's Avatar
    Wow, thats an awesome app.

    I really mean it, its good that I've registered here xD.

    Haven't tested much yet, but im impressed of the UI^^, I know how hard it can be to work with all possible VisualStates, and you did a great job, really!

    I think I can learn a thing or two of this app. After more testing I'll post a little review on the store.
    11-28-2014 02:23 PM
  20. lamxung55's Avatar
    Nice, i will try
    12-03-2014 01:09 AM
  21. luke_f's Avatar
    Wow, thats an awesome app.

    I really mean it, its good that I've registered here xD.
    Thanks, glad you like it! Let me know what you think once you gave it a good try. Any feedback is very appreciated!
    12-03-2014 04:03 AM
  22. luke_f's Avatar
    A new version is available in the store! It fixes a problem in the FLAC decoder. If you use the PlayTo function to stream music to a different device: You can now start streaming more easily by clicking the speaker icon besides the volume bar!

    So the rule should be, "{album name} - disc # - {subtitle}...
    This is included in the latest update! Please note that it will only be used for new albums. If you do not want to completely reset your database, you can rename the folders to get them re-scanned (and perhaps change the name back afterwards).
    12-12-2014 12:39 PM
  23. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    Hi Luke, I was about to report to you that the app no longer played albums that were separated in discs, but its probably due to the library needing a reset, so I just did that and will try it and see if it works.

    Thank you!
    01-16-2015 11:48 AM
  24. Pablo Montilla's Avatar
    I did the reset, but it still working the same way as before...even worse than before, it is now selecting second discs for play instead of starting with the first disc in an album...

    If you need more information, I'll give it to you, but I think it was better before...=(
    01-16-2015 12:35 PM
  25. luke_f's Avatar
    Hi Pablo, can you give me some more details on this? I am not sure I understand you problem completely. Is the multi disc album correctly detected, do you see the "Disc 1", "Disc 2" headers in the track list? What happens when you click on the first track of Disc 1?

    I cannot see any issues here. If an album has disc number tags, it will be grouped and sorted by disc, and playback works well and starts at the first track of the first disc. I also did a library reset and still see no issues.
    01-17-2015 09:07 AM
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