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Old September 11th, 2012, 09:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Music Player (Remix) - an upcoming music app

UPDATE 12/23/12: Music Player (Remix) has been released in the Play Store!

You can get it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hedami.musicplayerremix

And the 14-day free, fully-functional trial version can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hedami.mprtrial

*************************************

Music Player (Remix) is a music app currently in development. It's being designed from the ground up with the purpose of providing an enjoyable listening experience. It blends powerful features along with a fun and easy-to-use user interface.

I've just posted a preview video on YouTube that showcases the Now Playing screen and the overall UI design concepts of the app (be warned it's 15 minutes long...lots to cover!): Early preview of Music Player (Remix) on Android - Now Playing screen & UI design - YouTube

The app is being packed with useful features, some of which you won't realize you ever needed until you start using them. Some of these features include lyric downloading and caching, karaoke/remix mode, faves list for quick access to your favorite songs/albums/artists/genres/playlists, auto-generated playlists based upon your listening habits, extensive bookmarking features, and much more.

But the primary focus of the app is going to be its user interface. I wanted to re-think how a music app should be designed. A lot of thought is going into how you use the app on a daily basis. The most common controls have large, finger-friendly tap areas and are easy to reach while holding your device one-handed. Accessing common functions like the Now Playing list, music library browsing, playlists, etc. are just one swipe away from anywhere within the app. And the user experience will be customizable including custom wallpapers & color themes, user-defined preset buttons on the Now Playing screen, and custom swipe gestures.

Music Player (Remix) is being designed to take advantage of the latest ICS and JB features; however it will also be fully compatible with Gingerbread and Honeycomb devices. The app is going to be optmized for all screen types and layouts. The interface on tablets will take advantage of the extra screen real estate.

As I mentioned, the app is currently in development but things are moving along rapidly. Eventually the app will be ready for beta testing. I'm not sure whether or not I'll have a full-blown open beta or a more limited closed-beta, but all news related to the app's progress and beta testing will be posted on Twitter @MusicRemixApp.

I'll also be using this forum thread as a means to receive feedback, suggestions, ideas, etc. And of course you can also contact me on Twitter. So please let me know what you think. Feedback from the Android community is going to be very important in shaping the eventual final version of the app. Music Player (Remix) was originally developed and released as a webOS app. It started off as a homebrew app becoming the most downloaded on precentral (now webosnation). There was a huge amount of community participation in the evolution of the app and I'm hoping for the same types of interaction here.

In addition to the video I posted above, here are some screenshots of the app (keep in mind the wallpaper is customizable so it's up to you how the app will look!):

Now Playing screen on phones (portrait orientation):


Now Playing screen on phones (landscape orientation):


Now Playing list revealed by swiping up on any screen within the app:


Thumbnail playlist preview mode:


Access your music library from any screen within the app by swiping the right side of the screen:


Access your faves, playlists, and autolists from any screen within the app by swiping the left side of the screen:


Some of the options available when interacting with songs:


Large, finger-friendly tap areas to control your music:


Notification with large, spaced-out music controls:

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Old September 12th, 2012, 06:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I move this here so folks looking for new apps can find it.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 06:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm very excited to announce a new feature that I just finished up. It's going to revolutionize the way people interact with their music apps. Wouldn't it be nice if you could bring up rich music controls and scroll through your current playlist all while within another app? Imagine you're viewing a web site, browsing your Twitter timeline, or reading a book and you'd like to control your music. In Honeycomb/ICS/JB, you have access to simplistic, albeit tiny controls in the notification area. But now with Music Player (Remix), if you swipe up from the bottom of the screen within any other app, a music control popup (I call the "mini-player") will appear. It displays large album art with finger-friendly music controls overlaid on top. And tap another button to scroll through your current playlist and select another song.

Here's the demo video: Music Player (Remix) preview - music and playlist controls from within any app - YouTube

Here's the mini-player on top of the Dolphin browser:



And here it is in playlist view on top of my home screen:

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Old September 14th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks great! If you need testers, let me know!
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Old September 14th, 2012, 06:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherri View Post
Looks great! If you need testers, let me know!
I'll announce beta testing plans as I get closer to completion, so keep an eye out.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Seems like a very good idea.
i always found it frustrating to have to close one app to go change the settings on my music player.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinji01 View Post
Seems like a very good idea.
i always found it frustrating to have to close one app to go change the settings on my music player.
Android has the ability to do multitasking like this, so why not take advantage of it?
Just swipe up, do what you gotta do, then resume where you left off.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The mini-player now has a scrubber bar!

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Old September 15th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Exactly what is a "scrubber bar"?
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Old September 15th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Exactly what is a "scrubber bar"?
The slider that changes the current position in your song.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 04:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ahhh! Thanks! Looks great...
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Old September 15th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherri View Post
Ahhh! Thanks! Looks great...
And speaking of the scrubber bar, you may have noticed it has the ICS/JB Holo theme. This will work even on Gingerbread. I incorporated a custom theme that will allow the scrubber bar to appear this way even on Gingerbread. Because frankly the Gingerbread slider is quite ugly.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 07:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Again, when you are ready to test, I volunteer!
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Old September 18th, 2012, 06:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'll be posting a demo video of the new "Songs" screen, but in the meantime here's a quick preview:

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Old September 21st, 2012, 07:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Here's a demo video of the Song and Album browsing screens. It shows off the multiple sorting options as well as other features: Music Player (Remix) preview - Song and Album browsing - YouTube
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Old September 21st, 2012, 07:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I forgot to demo landscape mode. Here's a screenshot:



All the screens in the app are being designed around various layouts (phone & tablet). So you'll always have the optimal user experience no matter how you hold your device or which device you're holding.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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These all look amazing....
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:16 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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These all look amazing....
Thanks a bunch!
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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This looks so cool. Thanks for sharing!
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuiguodao View Post
This looks so cool. Thanks for sharing!
Anything in particular that really stands out to you? Or is the whole app just cool?

I'm interested in hearing what features seem most appealing to everyone. Personally after using the app myself, I think the mini-player (revealed by swiping up within any other app) is the most compelling feature. It's something that just isn't possible on other platforms and really showcases the power of multitasking.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 02:29 PM   #21 (permalink)
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When you say "karaoke mode", does that mean "scrolling lyrics" like TuneWiki? Actually one of my favorite features...
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 02:38 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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When you say "karaoke mode", does that mean "scrolling lyrics" like TuneWiki? Actually one of my favorite features...
It'll display lyrics, but not scrolling. To auto-scroll lyrics, I would need access to a database with lyric files tagged with time positions. I'm not aware of any publicly available lyrics service that provides that data.

Karaoke mode will allow you to record yourself singing along to the song while viewing the lyrics. You'll then be able to pull up your karaoke recordings and listen to them.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 05:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The only app that seems to offer scrolling lyrics is Tune Wiki....
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 05:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The only app that seems to offer scrolling lyrics is Tune Wiki....
I agree that would be a cool feature. But without a lyrics timestamp database, I'm out of luck.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 11:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Actually, TTPod does this well, as does the native music player in the MIUI ROM. TT POD would be the best, except the album art is wrong.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Actually, TTPod does this well, as does the native music player in the MIUI ROM. TT POD would be the best, except the album art is wrong.
I searched around and the only lyrics service I found that had LRC data (for auto-scrolling) is LyricFind. However it's a paid service. There's a way to get an evaluation API key which would be free to use; however it would be against their policies to use it in a commercial app (i.e. a paid app).

Right now I'm going to stick with another free service I found. I used it in the webOS version of my app and it always generated very accurate results.

If you find another service that has LRC data for auto-scrolling that is free to use, let me know.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I just finished up the Songs, Albums, Artists, Genres, and Composers screens (actually Composers is still being worked on). They all have list and thumbnail views with various sorting options. For instance, on the Songs and Albums screens you can sort alphabetically (A-Z, Z-A) or by release date. On the Artists screen you can sort alphabetically or by song count.

In both list and thumbnail views you can quickly scroll down the list (using the slider on the right-side of the screen) and view an on-screen section indicator. For example, if you're sorting by release date, it'll show you on-screen which year you're scrolling through.

Here's the Artists screen in thumbnail view:



Here's the Artists screen in list view:



Here's the Genres screen in thumbnail view:

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Old September 25th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Looks great!
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Old September 26th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I've been working on a really cool, unique feature called "NuPlay" and it's now ready to demo. When you add new music to your device (by downloading from a music service or copying files from your computer via USB or wifi), Music Player (Remix) will automatically detect the new songs and issue a notification. Tap the notification to play the new songs, along with the rest of your music collection sorted by the date you added them to your device.

When you add new songs to your device, in most cases you're going to want to listen to those songs, so now you can without having to manually load up the app and search/browse for those new songs. The NuPlay feature will be able to be disabled in Preferences for those who don't care to receive these types of notifications.

Here's a demo video for NuPlay: Music Player (Remix) preview - NuPlay (new song notifications) - YouTube
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Old September 29th, 2012, 05:27 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Here are a few screenshots of the album detail screen.

Album song list:

uploadfromtaptalk1348957585770.jpg

Swipe left to reveal inline Wiki info:

uploadfromtaptalk1348957605890.jpg
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Old September 29th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Added nav buttons to the wiki screen so you can easily browse through various wiki pages (album songs, artist info, etc.) and navigate back to the original page.
Attached Images
File Type: png remix_wiki.png (143.8 KB, 13 views)
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Old October 1st, 2012, 06:24 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Here's the artist detail screen. Swipe to switch between the artist's song list, album list, and wiki page. Songs and albums can be viewed either in list or thumbnail views.

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Old October 6th, 2012, 10:47 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Music Player (Remix) has extensive bookmarking features which I've demo'd here: Music Player (Remix) preview - Bookmarks - YouTube

Save manual bookmarks in a song with visual indicators on the scrubber bar. Switch between bookmarks using the next/previous buttons. Or bring up the bookmark viewer and select an individual bookmark to play or delete. This bookmark viewer is available on the Now Playing screen or any screen that lists songs (by tapping the ellipsis next to a song). Also you can tap "Bookmarks" in the menu to bring up a list of songs containing bookmarks.

In addition to manual bookmarks, the app will automatically save a bookmark in every single song you play. So if you leave the app, switch tracks, or load up a different playlist, you can go back to any song and resume where you left off. Just bring up the bookmark viewer and tap "Resume last position". This can be handy if you;re listening to an audiobook and decide to start listening to some music. If you forgot to save a manual bookmark, it's no problem. Just go back to the audiobook, select "Resume last position", and you're back where you left off. Or if you're listening to a song and switch tracks by accident, just go back to the previous song and you can resume where you left off.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #34 (permalink)
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In addition to regular playlists, Music Player (Remix) will have something called "Autolists". They are auto-generated playlists created based upon your listening habits and other factors. You can see a demo here: Music Player (Remix) preview - Autolists - YouTube

In the initial version of the app, the following 9 autolists will be included:

1) NuSongs: Songs recently loaded on your device
2) Favorites: A random mix of your most played songs
3) Chart Toppers: Songs you listen to the most
4) Déjà vu: A random mix of recently played songs
5) Oldies But Goodies: Songs you used to listen to often
6) Memory Lane: A random mix of songs long forgotten
7) New Experiences: A random mix of unlistened songs
8) Album Picker: A random selection of albums
9) Artist Picker: A random selection of artists

Each autolist will have several choices on how to configure it. For instance, you may choose to listen to the music you've listened to in the past week ("Déjà vu") or your top 10 most played songs ("Chart Toppers").
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Old October 18th, 2012, 11:15 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Building a new playlist in most music apps is cumbersome. You have to go to the Songs screen, pick a song, open up the options menu, select the playlist, then find the next song, open up the options menu, select the playlist, and repeat that over and over until you complete your playlist.

Music Player (Remix) is going to do things a bit differently. You have the ability to open up an options menu on any song, album, artist, genre, or composer and add it to a playlist. But there will be an additional option called "multi-add". Open up the options menu on any playlist and select "multi-add". Now go to any screen within the app and just tap on any song, album, artist, genre, or composer to add those songs to the playlist. Or tap the Search button and select any song, album, or artist in the search results. Keep tapping away until your playlist is complete. A running count of songs and the playlist's current duration is displayed at the top of the screen. When you're done, just tap the "X" at the top of the screen and you're ready to enjoy your playlist.

Here's a demo of the new Playlist MultiAdd feature: Music Player (Remix) preview - Playlist Multi-Add - YouTube
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Old October 19th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Looks good....waiting to see an alpha or beta release...
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Old October 19th, 2012, 09:22 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Looks good....waiting to see an alpha or beta release...
No alphas, but there will be a beta once a few more features are complete. I don't want to go into beta until I think the app is basically complete. Other apps release betas early in the development, but the problem with that is that people get a bad impression if the app is buggy or missing features. I'd rather have the app's first impression be a good one.

The purpose of the beta will be to test the app under conditions I'm not able to or haven't considered testing. For instance, I only have access to certain types of devices, so I'll be looking for folks with other types of devices to test it out.

But I have a lot of the app done, so there's not too much left to do before it's ready for beta testing. I'll post beta testing news on Twitter (@MusicRemixApp), so be sure to follow me there if you're interested in beta testing.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 10:26 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Will do!
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Old November 1st, 2012, 10:47 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Here's a demo video for the Lyrics & Karaoke feature I just finished up: Music Player (Remix) preview - Lyrics & Karaoke - YouTube

Music Player (Remix) allows you to download lyrics for the currently playing song, or any song you browse within the app. And the app will automatically embed the downloaded lyrics within the music file itself so the next time you load up the song, the lyrics will be displayed immediately.

Think the font size on the lyrics screen is too small or too large? No problem...just pinch & zoom to select your desired font size. The app will remember your setting the next time you view lyrics.

Now that you have the lyrics for the song in front of you, why not have some karaoke fun? Tap the record button and the app will start playing the song and record you while you sing along. Tap the karaoke list button at the bottom of the lyrics screen to listen to your previous recordings for the current song. Or go to the Karaokes screen and view all the songs that have recordings. And of course you can delete your recordings directly from within the app.

I only have one more major feature to implement (album art downloading) before I release the first beta. So we're finally getting close to the finish line after 2 1/2 months of development. Beta announcements will be made on the app's Twitter channel (@MusicRemixApp), so be sure to stay tuned there.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 11:11 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Now that is a very nice feature! Like that it embeds the lyrics.
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Old November 1st, 2012, 11:13 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Now that is a very nice feature! Like that it embeds the lyrics.
Yep, best way to do it.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I just finished up the last major feature I'll be adding to the app prior to the beta which is album art downloading. Other music apps have implemented album art downloading, but Music Player (Remix) does things a bit differently:

- You can search for album art for a song or album on any of the app's screens (now playing screen, all songs list, artist albums, artist songs, genre songs, etc.).
- Downloaded album art is not stored in an app-specific cache directory. The album art is embedded within the actual music files. So no matter where you open or copy those files, the album art will be available there.
- Search results are going to be very accurate. There's a high probability that no matter what album you search for, it'll find several relevant album art selections. The user is able to scroll through the selections (displayed with large thumbnails and image dimensions) and choose the one they like the best.

As I mentioned, now that I finished all the major features within the app, the beta will be coming soon. I just have a few more things I need to clean up. All beta announcements will occur on Twitter (@MusicRemixApp), so be sure to stay tuned there.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 09:01 AM   #43 (permalink)
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The first beta has been released! I've sent invites to all the twitter followers of @MusicRemixApp.

It's a big day for me. I've worked 3 months on this app and it's finally ready for public consumption. Hopefully if beta testing goes well, the Play Store release will soon follow!
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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:52 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I guess not ALL your followers!
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Old November 10th, 2012, 12:55 PM   #45 (permalink)
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I guess not ALL your followers!
Yes all! Here's the tweet I sent to all of my followers earlier this morning: https://twitter.com/MusicRemixApp/status/267267475530477568

It contains instructions on how to enter the beta, if you followed me on Twitter prior to today (which you were...so go get it!)
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Got the link as a reply on Twitter, but when I go to it, page is not found...
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Got the link as a reply on Twitter, but when I go to it, page is not found...
I just tried the link and it's good. Alternatively, go to my Twitter feed and you'll find the post from this morning with the instructions on how to join the beta.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Tried in different browser and it worked. Sorry! Waiting for the 2nd email....to activate account.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 01:50 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Tried in different browser and it worked. Sorry! Waiting for the 2nd email....to activate account.
You're activated! Go grab it!
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Old November 21st, 2012, 11:41 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Update: private beta is going really well. Making a lot of progress on the app.

And I'm starting to work on the tablet layouts. Here's a sneak peak of the Now Playing screen on my Galaxy Tab 8.9:

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