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App for playing backing tracks live

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Gascat, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Gascat

    Gascat Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi everyone,
    I just posted this request in another section by mistake so now I think I have found the right place.

    I am a guitarist/vocalist who plays mostly solo and duo and I (like many thousands like me around the world) have the need for backing tracks as our accompaniment. Most of us use lap tops, net books, mini disc players and iPods and now droid devices. With the arrival of the Android Tablet, many musicians like myself are moving across to this media.

    I am just a simple musician who has no clue where to even begin to write such an app, but I do foresee and huge need in the market for an app like this. Because of Droid Tablet technology I am expecting a huge swing to this type of device for musicians using backing tracks and possibly a nice little earner for the person who gets in on the ground level with it....That


  2. Best Answer:
    Post #4 by Gascat, Sep 6, 2011 (1 points)

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  3. jonbonazza

    jonbonazza Android Expert

    Why not just put the backing tracks on the SD Card and play them with a music player? I really don't see the difference between what you need and the millions of music players already out there.
  4. Gascat

    Gascat Lurker
    Thread Starter

    jonbonazza, my problem with using a "music player" is that every music player I have seen in designed for "listening to music" and not a tool designed for the specific purpose of playing and selecting tracks in a live gig situation which is very different to using players for our "listening enjoyment"

    I can't find one that has an auto pause funcrion the pauses the track after it has finished playing and I have found only one music player that has scalable fonts which is needed to make seeing the playlist on stage a whole lot easier.
    if you know of one please tell me as my searches have come up with nothing.

    Non musicians may find it harder to understand the requirements of live playing but be assured a player that is as basic as it can be with auto pause would be a far better too that a standard player with all the bells and whistles.

  5. Gascat

    Gascat Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Here is an image of how I see it could possibly look. I have placed it on an Acer Iconia A500.


    Attached Files:

  6. glastogaz

    glastogaz Lurker

    I want one, I'm rehearsing a lot of my own stuff and would love to be able to choose between backing tracks or not, depending on how I feel. Your idea is good, though I'd be happy to just have the playlist large and perhaps just tap the song to start it. All good.
  7. DevRange

    DevRange Lurker

    Ok , this is interesting ...
    So could you help us by stating what are the differences between the backing track player and a normal music player ,

    What are the functionalities that you want to see in this player that is not exists in other MPs

    I might be up for this app :)
  8. Gascat

    Gascat Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi DevRange,

    Using a music player at a live gig is what a lot of solo, duo and trio performers do.
    We (guitarists, keyboard players etc) use a MP to play backing tracks (like drums, bass, other instruments etc) as we don't have the full band as backing.

    I will break it down to some basics as an example live gig that I do.
    BTW I have been using a 10" netbook for that past few years and now have an Acer Iconia Tablet........

    I play guitar and sing & have 300 or so MP3 backing tracks.
    When playing live I need:
    A layout that is uncluttered and easy to read....
    scalable large fonts, no album art, no file extension etc. (See image in previous post)
    Easy to navigate....
    folder selection on LHS of screen and contents of folder on RHS (See image in previous post)
    Auto Pause at the end of each song....
    I have other things to do whan a song finishes like talk to the crowd, quickly tune my guitar or even sometimes I might not even be next to my Tablet at the end of the song.
    No Auto Start....
    No song starts automatically at any time. Even when a new folder is selected. Song always starts when the play button is tapped. Note that while the current song is playing, I need the ability to tap another song title (called queing up the next song). Then when the current song finishes, I just have to hit the play button when it's time and the next song starts.
    No Album Art, No play by artist....
    This is a working tool not a visual / listening app.
    Playlists or folders....
    (The Windows program I use is structured for folders).
    Either one is ok. I usually make my folders up as sets on my PC then copy them as folders to my Tablet.
    Shuffle option os ok...
    Alphabet down RHS of screen to find a song quickly...

    I hope this is enough at this stage to give you a concept of the player.
    There are may many thousands of muso's out there who may have their own special requirements but this is basically what it's all about.

    BTW the windows program I use on my net book is called 1BY1
    It has all the functions I have mentioned and a lot of options in the settings (a lot of which aren't needed).

    The App I am using at the moment is 'MusicFolderPlayer' by ZorillaSoft.
    It was the closest thing I could find in the market place that even came close to what I could use live. The author (Steffen) very kindly made a couple of enhancements to it like add 'Musician Mode' which is auuto pause at the end of each song and fonts that are able to go above 40.

    Steffen may or may not delv into creating something like this but at this stage he has other things on his agenda i believe.
    I'm sure that if there's apps out there for working musicians they will cross over to Tablets and start jumping on an app like this. I'm sure who ever creates this app will be in a situaltion to sell it in the market place and make a few bucks!
    I have about 5 or 6 fellow muso's who would love this App and would help in beta testing it so it gets more than just my opinion of how useful it is.

    Enough rambling for tonite.

  9. waynedear

    waynedear Lurker

    Hi Gascat I know exactly what your talking about as I am in the same position, I use winamp onstage on my laptop and want to try useing a tablet occasionally, now I dont know if this is any use to you but Apple have an App called Backtrax which does exactly what we need, you can create playlists and save them and it auto pauses after every song, I just hope that they bring out an Android version at some point because I'm a little hesitant to purchase a Transformer Tablet until they do as it would be pointless, I have an iphone abut am fed up with apple and a little bored so I really do want to explore the android, If I knew how to write the code etc I could make a killing with a good functional and simple app for us.

  10. gordonw100

    gordonw100 Lurker

    A few years ago there was a program called "Onstage Performer" made exclusively for professional performers but because it wouldn't run on the new Windows 7 (or vista) the company has disappeared..... I am still using it on XP...... It does all the things you want (and more) Including!!! you could insert lyrics on a time line, to play in time to the music if required.... which is brilliant for learning new songs. I am also using a "double" sd + usb mp3 player which is a 2U, 19" rack mountable (if required) By Citronic..... Its made for the DJ market but is perfect for solo singers or giging muso's using backing tracks...... at the touch of a button you can access either player, with either sd card or USB stick... even have both players playing the same imput at the same time..... another button selects single play or Continuous play on each player, changeable at anytime even when playing a track + id3 tags in large bright letters for even poor sighted people (like me)...... check it out on ebay...... Citronic SD 2 (There are other makes available)
    Hope this has been helpful although nothing to do with Android!
  11. minimattapps

    minimattapps Lurker

    I am going to take this on. Any chance you could give me a dot point list of what features you want, and once you have that I should have a beta version done in a couple of days.

    Thanks Matt
  12. C0L1N

    C0L1N Lurker

    I too was looking for a program to do exactly what you were after. I couldn't find anything I wanted so decided to write my own windows application.

    It also has a programmable lyrics display function. Programmable in so much as you can create the files in a text editor and change the font, size, alignment etc even within a song.

    Also you have the ability to save and load playlists.

    one of the most useful functions is the ability to start/stop and select songs from the current playlist using footpedals wired to a standard serial port (or usb to serial).

    I would love to attach some pictures of the software but apparently as a new user I am not able to do so.

    The whole point of writing this is I too would like to port to android tablets and would welcome any feedback.


    Attached Files:

    Phases likes this.
  13. fantanafest

    fantanafest Lurker

    Hi there,
    just joined this forum. I'm a solo artist and I've been using my laptop like yourselves. I also have been using Winamp. I have now got a Motorola Xoom and I believe there's a massive gap in the market for a similar App that has AUTO PAUSE and other functions. The winamp app is unstable and keeps crashing so I don't know if this has the same functions. I've scoured the web and no joy. Please let me know if you've discovered something.
    Cheers and good luck!
  14. insat5

    insat5 Lurker

    Hi Gascat,
    Has anyone already made this app for you? If not let me know, I can create this app for you.

  15. fantanafest

    fantanafest Lurker

    Hey Guys,
    really intriguing thread. I'm baffled as to why all the music apps out there don't have the Auto Pause function. It would be a great addition to most of them as live artists would surely switch to this format instead of
    laptops or mini discs. I'd be really keen to be kept in the loop on this one or help out in any way like beta testing. One more thing, an app called Astro Player claims to provide the function in the guise of unchecking the continuous playback facility in the options. However I have tried the options and they don't appear to work using the play list.


  16. jtcady

    jtcady Member

  17. eva lan

    eva lan Lurker

    Hi everyone,

    I too liked this idea and made an application. It's called Backing Track Player and can be found here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hotcakeapps.player

    It does everything Gascat asked for + supports building a playlist. And it's *free* :)

    I tried to make the app as user-friendly as possible but there is always room for improvement , so please let me know if you'd like to see something extra, or modified, or if it doesn't work on your device as well as it should.

    I'd really appreciate your feedback and if you would spread the word among other people who might be interested in this.

  18. mistermisfit

    mistermisfit Lurker

    Hi Eva lan,

    I have a musician friend who will get great use from this app. I will let you know how it works out for him.

    Thanks! :)

  19. stevethejones

    stevethejones Lurker

    Hi Eva Lan

    Your backing tracks app looks good. I currently use backtrax, I'm an iphone user but am seriously thinking of changing to android with a galaxy note 2. In your app, is the next song in the playlist highlighted and ready to play as it is in backtrax. If not, would it be possible to add this function, also, does it operate in landscape and portrait mode please ? Thanks in advance - Steve
  20. Pete Kirk

    Pete Kirk Lurker

    I can't seem to get the app to function properly on my Samsung Galaxy pad 2 10.1. Hope there will be an update soon as it seems to be exactly what I'm looking for!
    Pete Kirk
  21. SteveJphoenix

    SteveJphoenix Lurker

    Backtrax on iphone is fantastic. One track is good but not quite right. Can any developer copy the features in Backtrax ? I tried the app mentioned earlier in this post but it won't work on the Galaxy Note 2 that I've just got. I need an android version urgently. Please help !!
  22. Rockman59

    Rockman59 Lurker

    Hi Eva...just wanted to let you know that I am using your backing tracks app and it works great. The most important feature is that the app stops the tune at the end and does not continue automatically to the next song. I am running it on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0...it took me awhile to figure out all the features such as adding my own playlists. I download my mp3s into the "music" folder then drag or copy each tune into the proper playlists that I have created under the "Playlist" main folder. I do three 45 minute sets on my gigs so I have playlists #1, #2, and #3, plus another labeled "extras" for songs that I may get requests for, etc, or that are not on one of my main playlists. And I can add or subtract songs very easily if I want to change the set list order of play. Thanks for doing a great job with this app.
  23. F0nix

    F0nix Lurker

    Just wanna throw my app out there. Its called jamdroid and it interfaces the popular guitarbackingtrack.com website with your android device It is meant to download tracks from the site, but it would do a good job of playing any track that you provide in btracks directory.
    It is a pay app because we do have to pay for bandwidth on the site.

  24. TenorTrev

    TenorTrev Lurker

    Hi Eva
    I've installed your backing track player app and would just like to say that it's simplicity is one of it's strong points.
    I can only see that 1 (one) playlist can be created and I cannot find a way of creating (and saving) other playlists (a playlist per folder would be good). I tend to perform 3 x sets and like to add the files for each set into folders.

    For your feedback I would be interested in the following features.

    1) Each folder to be a separate playlist (ie. just select the folder and the tracks will be listed). Therefore the screen showing 2 columns would be fine (explorer on left and track list on right)

    2) Auto-select next track in list ready to be clicked.

    3) Font and background colour options plus more Font Size options.

    4) Would be great to have checkboxes at side of each track in playlist. When ticked then that track would be autoplayed after the previous track. If not clicked then that track would be selected but NOT autoplayed (allows for introducing song to audience etc.). Just click the track to start it playing.

    5) Copy / move / paste tracks from one folder to others. (ie. build your sets on the tablet rather than on PC then copy to tablet). The only thing the PC would be needed for then would be to copy tracks over to the tablet into say the Music folder.

    6) Finally, I and I'm sure that all contributors to this forum who are interested in your app would willingly pay for these features to be available in it.

    Could you please answer me one question.
    "As the app currently stands, is there a way of using multiple playlists and be able to save and access them (if it is possible then I am missing it somehow? It's not in the help / instructions). Does it depend on me having a SD card inserted, because I don't have one yet (new tablet - JoyTab 9.7 Jellybean 4.x

    Just like to thank you for your time and for making this app available for free. You don't seem to have posted for a while so myself and others would be really excited to know your thoughts / timescales for updating the app. I look forward to your reply.
  25. Rockman59

    Rockman59 Lurker

    TenorTrev asked: "As the app currently stands, is there a way of using multiple playlists and be able to save and access them (if it is possible then I am missing it somehow? It's not in the help / instructions). Does it depend on me having a SD card inserted, because I don't have one yet (new tablet - JoyTab 9.7 Jellybean 4.x"
    Plug your JoyTab into your main computer, go to program folders on your computer (using the "start" tab) and find the listing for the backing track app (BT Music Machine) and click on it....you will find a folder titled "music". I load all my backing tracks from my main computer into the "music" folder file by either dragging or copying.. Now then,scroll down to the "playlists". Open the file "playlists"...you should now be able to right click and get the "new folder" icon....pick a a name such as Set List #1 and then you can copy whatever files you want from the "music" file to your Set List #1 file. I have 8 different set lists set up...you can pretty much make as many as you like. I am using a Samsung Tab 2 7.0 with 8 gigs..so far I have not had need for an SD card...so you don't need the card to create your own playlists. You are using your main computer to add music to your JoyTab, also to setup your individual playlists and the order you want to play the tunes. Once you get familiar with the system you will find it works well. I have been using this backing track app in my live gigs for about 8 months now with no problems. Hope this info help.
  26. deardroid

    deardroid Lurker

    Hi Eva....new user here. Tried to download app but I have a tablet not on the google listing...sooo I could not do the 'white shopping bag' thing!
    Mine is a Versus touchtab 7 Dual Core tablet which is not listed, presumably this means I cant access your application?... I thought I could download to my PC then somehow put it onto my tablet via USB..... am I missing something, or do I have to have a listed tablet?
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