Sunday, October 15, 2006

Media Streamer Audio Playback with Album Art

Media Streamer V1.1-2 provides Album Art in it's interface whilst playing tracks directly on the Nokia 770 or whilst controlling playback on a UPnP Player that allows for UPnP remote control such as the Philips SL300i.

I have been able to view Album Art on Media Streamer when using PMM and/or Twonky on .mp3 and .wma tracks where my initial testing seem to indicate :-
  • PMM (& I imagine Simple Center) work when the Album Art is in the same folder as the tracks and named as (folder.jpg)
  • Twonky works when the Album Art is tagged within the Audio file.
I have also tried adding Album Art to .wav using AudioShell 1.3 Beta 2, but this is not being correctly read by PMM and/or Twonky and passed to Media streamer. (If this is how it's done?)

TVersity V0.9.8.2 does not yet support album art but hopefully won't be long in coming now that id3V2 is supported ;-)

Media Streamer apparently also works with unprotected .acc files I imagine the Album Art will work in the same way as for .wma and .mp3 audio.
Here are some examples screen captures...

1) Crowded House, Weather With You in .wma format, with playback on Nokia 770.


2) Madonna, Papa don't Preach in .mp3 format, playback on Philips SL300i


3) Peter Gabriel, Downside-Up in .mp3 format, playback on Philips SL300i


4) Crowded House, Weather With You in .wma format, with playback on Philips SL300i



Issue Notes: (Probably interesting to the Media Streamer development team)

I did notice some niggles switching between the audio formats when using Media Streamer as either a controller or a player, I was using Twonky during my tests. (The playback time status gets corrupted and sometimes Media Streamer would state a playback error on completion of buffering or similar but would play the track?)

I also noticed that Media Streamer works best and most consistently when there is ONLY one Media Server on the Network. (Think something becomes confused and Media Streamer perhaps ends up communicating with more than one UPnP Server, in error)

You will note that the Album Art has a small magnifying glass indicating you can view images at full scale on the Nokia 770, this however does not work for Album Art.

Comments are always welcome...

4 comments:

Marcelo said...

Hi Mike,

I will not say I hope you eat your words, but I at least hope you give it a try once we release the packages =)

As we are a Nokia institute, we know that media streamer before the public, so I can tell you: our goal is different. No hildon, no customized hildon. A more "front-row" approach. No stylus, big texts. Not only Upnp. But other sharings(it's a linux box, so I why not, amarok, rythmbox, banshee? ) and what about itunes sharing? from windows or macs? Photo sharing? from f-spot or iphoto on the mac (maybe picasa ) and videos? Yeah we are streaming video =) And the best? Our patches to media server is going free, so even the other players can win something out of it =) Like we already helped a lot the lib that empowers the Upnp sharing on media streamer =)

We really want to make it as stable as possible, but Upnp libs available today are needing some more love and for sure there are a lot of features that we want to support but time is short for that. =)

BR

MikeL said...

Looking forward to full UPnP playback and remote renderer control capabilities via Canola on my Nokia 770 in the future. Keep up the great work on Canola, Marcelo and Canola team.

John said...

Mike,

I appreciate all the work you put into Media Streamer and Canola tutorials... definitely helpful. One thing that I cannot resolve -- and I haven't found any documentation of it -- is using Media Streamer from an external network. To your knowledge, is this possible? I can force streaming the audio through the web interface, but no luck in Media Streamer from an outside network.

Thanks,
John

MikeL said...

John

In theory if we follow an earlier blog thread and thoughts of mine, utilising Hamachi on the PC and Nokia 770, with TVersity running on a PC then it should indeed be possible.

http://mikesl300i.blogspot.com/2006/09/hamachi-vnc-and-nokia-770.html

However whilst I was able to browse TVersity served media via the Nokia Opera browser I never managed to get Media Streamer to see TVersity either. Here is a TVersity forum post where I was managing to stream mp3's via browser etc.

http://forums.tversity.com/viewtopic.php?t=1972&sid=e35ee263c1bfca7ba12dde8958428c10

hmmmm, another task to check out again and blog about again when time allows. (I believe that UPnP support is not that great yet on the Nokia 770?) Perhaps with next version of Canola and an updated OS2006 or elements of it.

John, perhaps we can compare our tests and notes at some time in future to help each other. My gmail account is: av dot media dot anytime dot anywhere at gmail dot com