Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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VisualMR V2: SoundBridge remote control from PC or WinMobile

Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:36 am

What is VisualMR
Use VisualMR to remote control your SoundBridge from any Windows PC. Or better use it on a WindowsMobile device as a touch-enabled, graphical, wireless remote control to your SoundBridges.

Highlights
- Browsing by artist/album/genre/UPnP-folder/... as well as full RadioRoku browsing by language/location/genre
- Coverart display (from Amazon or iTunes)
- Lyrics from Lyricswiki.org
- Modify your play queue on the fly: add/remove/move songs
- Works with any Server supported by SoundBridge including Firefly, WindowsMedia or iTunes
- Easy to setup and use
- completely skinnable

About V2
It took me two years to get release VisualMR V2. Sorry for the long wait. It really was quite a lot of work, especially building a version that not only works just for me but that can be released to the public (let me thank those who donated - otherwise I certainly wouldn't have bothered with this cleaning-up work).

I consider V2 a beta because of limited testing, some minor known bugs and some missing features I planned for a final version. Don't count on a 'final' version soon - I prefer adding new features instead :wink: . For those who prefer final there is still V1.6 but I would really recommend V2(I never used V1.6 for a very long time) and I'm optimistic that all that worked in V1.6 still work in V2.

Some of the new features in V2
- Full browsing of RadioRoku including Radio-Jukebox on PC
- CoverArt from iTunes
- Lyrics for current song
- improved Vista-compatibility (user rights, no need to install .Net)
- fast browsing with improved caching (optional persistent caching)
- play by rating
- more (see version history at my VisualMR homepage)

My personal favorite (apart from lyrics) is selection of albums while browsing artists:
Image
Click on the artist name selects all from this artist (as before) but clicking on a cover will select this album (you can scroll through them by clicking on a cover in the back). Now play at the bottom plays the selected album. BTW: you need to enabled persistent cache for this feature.

And on the PC: the new RadioRoku Jukebox:
Image

Note about Updating from V1.6
- CoverArt folders have been reorganized so that old covers won't be found (see included CoverArt readme).
- I've moved to .Net 2.0 (or newer) so in some rare case you'll need to install the latest .Net framework (see my homepage).
- V2 requires the current SoundBridge V3 firmware (V3.0.37 or newer)

Download/Description and more
As usually on my VisualMR homepage

Discussion thread
I started this new thread for V2. Discussion of V1.x please in the rather long old VisualMR thread
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
Miraculix
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:34 pm
Location: Bavaria

Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:55 pm

Thanks for this great work. I love my Roku's and your Software.
I've a problem with the persistent cache, I only got error messages if I try to activate this feature.

Are your SW able to control a Roku with a connected SlimServer, I can't get this work. This is not my normal use case, but sometimes I had to use this combination.

Thanks for your great work once more

Thomas
Music Home; M1000; M1001
I'm looking for a M2000
 
tal
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Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:50 am

Miraculix wrote:
Thanks for this great work. I love my Roku's and your Software.

Thanks :)

Miraculix wrote:
I've a problem with the persistent cache, I only got error messages if I try to activate this feature.

What server are you using? The cache works only for "Browse Genre"/" Browse Artist" / "Browse Album" that means it must be either iTunes/firefly or a searchable(!) UPnP server like Windows Media. Servers that only support browsing by folder are currently not supported by the cache.

Miraculix wrote:
Are your SW able to control a Roku with a connected SlimServer, I can't get this work.

Not really. The SoundBridge's control protocoll only supports very basic control when using SlimServer (I don't have SlimServer but my understanding is that using that server your SoundBridge is like the SqueezeBox just a dumb Screen with Audio-out controled entirely from the server).

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
Miraculix
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:34 pm
Location: Bavaria

Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:00 am

Hello Thorsten,

I normally use a firefly server running on a synology DS508. The "build in" UPnP Server didn't work with my roku boxes.

"Browse Artist"
This is I've waiting for :-)

Thanks
Thomas
Music Home; M1000; M1001

I'm looking for a M2000
 
Eben
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:27 am

Much Appreciated.

Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:11 am

Thorsten,

Thanks for the new enhancements for Visual MR. The filter feature is very nice. It makes looking for everthing so much faster and easier. With the new lyrics feature, I will now be able to sing the actual words to the song instead of making them up. Great work.

Eben
 
airflow
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Vienna
Contact:

Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:38 pm

I just found that the new version of VisualMR is out. What a nice surprise! :)

I like the new features, and it works very well so far. I didn't find any way to save playlists (neither saved on the media-server nor locally) - can it be done or is this unsupported?

Thanks again,
airflow
 
airflow
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:40 pm
Location: Vienna
Contact:

Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:00 pm

I just ran into another problem. I wanted to use the version installed on my PC to import the iTunes-covers, but this process is interrupted with an errormessage: "Ein Fehler ist aufgetreten iTunes(R) Cover Fetch: System ApplicationException: Error while reading from iTunes cover info for _Youth Novel Details= Beim Aufruf einer COM-Komponente wurde ein HRESULT E_FAIL-Fehler zurückgegeben.".

I tried changing different settings (like having iTunes open or not when trying this or unmarking the checkboxes in the import-dialogue), but the problem persisted.

This is not a big problem, as I will otherwise try to write a script which extracts the covers from the musicserver and saves them accordingly to VisualMR-rules, but this feature would save me some time.

regards,
airflow
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:53 am

airflow wrote:
I like the new features, and it works very well so far. I didn't find any way to save playlists (neither saved on the media-server nor locally) - can it be done or is this unsupported?

Saving playlists isn't supported - it's almost impossible to do it right with current SoundBridge firmware.

airflow wrote:
I just ran into another problem. I wanted to use the version installed on my PC to import the iTunes-covers, but this process is interrupted with an errormessage: "Ein Fehler ist aufgetreten iTunes(R) Cover Fetch: System ApplicationException: Error while reading from iTunes cover info for _Youth Novel Details= Beim Aufruf einer COM-Komponente wurde ein HRESULT E_FAIL-Fehler zurückgegeben.".

Difficult - the iTunes COM interface really isn't very verbose about error messages. Did it extract any covers? If it did then maybe the meta data for the album "Youth Novel" is corrupted in iTunes. I did run into such a problem when Windows Media Player and iTunes both wrote their tags into the same mp3 file - seems like they aren't really compatible with each other. I would recommend openening the album in iTunes and updating the meta data for all its songs in iTunes.

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
wideasleep1
Posts: 2664
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 10:14 am
Location: Sausalito,Ca
Contact:

Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:10 pm

What a pleasant surprise! :shock: 8)

My wife had made a wonderful 80's playlist in VMR, and it played for days, before a power interruption fried my router. She wanted to play the same playlist again (it took her over an hour to assemble, I have 70K tracks!), alas she forgot that VMR cannot save playlists. /sigh. I just checked and discovered this new build, downloaded and installed it, and so far it works a treat..cheers for doing this, and making it available to us! :D I am getting a timeout error when trying to save my cache (Twonky), saying it cannot detect the soundbridge...odd, considering it's connected and playing at the same moment. Any clues? Still wished we could save playlists after their creation, hope you find a way! :D
Then as it was, then again it will be
An' though the course may change sometimes,
rivers always reach the sea

M1000x2,M2000,Twonky 4.3.3 RC1 beta on LinkStation HGLAN400gig,Buffalo whr-g54s on DD-WRTfirmware-luv'in it!
 
agibaut
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:10 pm

Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:03 pm

Tal,

Thanks once again for continuing the development of VisualMR. I've just discovered, downloaded and installed V2.0 and everything works fine except (there's always an exception!! :wink: ) the coverart display. With the previous version I had no trouble downloading the files to the appropiate folder and naming them according to VisualMR convention (artist_track name) and it worked perfectly well. But now it doesn't seem to recognize the same files. I've read the Coverart Readme file but it was of no use: I couldn't find the CoverFull and the rest of subfolders inside the Coverart folder. After creating them and moving my original jpg files to the CoverFull subfolder (inside the Coverart folder) VisualMR does not find any file when I use the Update Cover Previews function. I'm surely doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what!!!

Thanks a lot.
 
jtbse
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:45 am
Location: USA East Coast

Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:08 pm

Hi Tal...

Have been putting this version through its paces for a couple of weeks. Wanted to be sure I understood the new features before posting.

I have to say...what a great version! I can tell you've really put lots of work into making an already great app even better.

Really love the new album art handling, and the lyrics lookup are a really nice bonus as well.

I also love the Internet Radio Station playback options, and the new functionality of the jukebox ....very cool! Can't quite get the hang of naming art files for radio stations though...not sure what I'm doing wrong here.

I'm also having a bit of problem with persistent cache, but instead of a timeout, I get the following message when trying to build the cache from my Firefly server on my NAS:

An error occurred Toggle Persistent Cache:
System.ArgumentNullException: Key cannot be null.
Parameter name: key


Interestingly, the build of persistent cache seemed to work correctly at first (took a looong time!), but no file ever showed up in appdata\VisualMR\ServerCache. And since that initial build attempt, I always just get the above error when trying to build or rebuild persistent cache.

With the new album art handling, I ended up with a very long and laborious task of copying jpegs to the new coverart folders. I didn't have a complete set of jpegs for my library before, since I had been depending on the album art download function for displaying cover art before.....and alas, I don't use iTunes, so the new import function wasn't of use in this regard.

I wonder...couldn't there be a way to save the album art persistently from the download function? (maybe you're avoiding copyright issues??)

For me, these are just minor issues...still a great piece of software and a great upgrade.

Anyway...Thanks again for a great version of VisualMR!!
Maxtor 500GB USB->Linksys NSLU2 Unslung->Firefly svn-1696 * M1000->Onkyo TXSR502->Boston Acoustics front, Audiosource surrounds and sub * M500->Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:32 am

bregent wrote:
Hi Thorsten, I read in another thread that Amazon is changing its methods in August and that code that access their cover art made need to change.
Is the current release of VisualMR set to handle this change? Thanks again for a great app!

Yes Amazon has changed their API and the current Version of VisualMR will not be able to doenload cover art from them anymore starting August 15th (and during some "planned outages" by Amazon before that day). I haven't had time to look into the new api and see how much work it is to update VisualMR to it. Since I'm travelling a lot these weeks, I'm sorry to say that I can't promise that there will be an update in time for August 15.

On a side note: Personally I don't use this feature anymore: I once made the jump and downloaded all covers (using iTunes) to have the covers available while browsing, too.

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:40 am

wideasleep1 wrote:
I am getting a timeout error when trying to save my cache (Twonky), saying it cannot detect the soundbridge...odd, considering it's connected and playing at the same moment. Any clues?

Building the cache is a tedious task and with your 70k number of songs will take a very, very long time. It is quite likely that this is to much work for either Twonky or your SoundBridge. You can try to restart your soundbridge before building the cache and see if this improves the situation but to be honest I don't think that the cache is usable with such a large number of tracks because building the cache will take very long (and a single failure inbetween puts you back to start). If you manage to build the cache, then of course the cache would work just fine with the large number of albums. Anyway I'll see if I can find a way for restarting on errors.

wideasleep1 wrote:
Still wished we could save playlists after their creation, hope you find a way! :D
Me too :wink:

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:14 am

agibaut wrote:
I've read the Coverart Readme file but it was of no use: I couldn't find the CoverFull and the rest of subfolders inside the Coverart folder. After creating them and moving my original jpg files to the CoverFull subfolder (inside the Coverart folder) VisualMR does not find any file when I use the Update Cover Previews function. I'm surely doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what!!!

If you didn't see the CoverFull folder and the like then you are most likely not looking at the right place, since these folders are created by the installer. With V2 the VisualMR settings had been moved to
Vista: C:\ProgramData\VisualMR\CoverArt
XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\ProgramData\VisualMR\CoverArt

to make up for the stricter security in Vista. To make matters worse (a bit :wink: ) although this is the recommended place by Micorsoft to store such settings, the folder is typically hiden and can't be seen in XP. To help find the folder I've included a 'CoverArt_Shortcut' to C:\Program Files\tl-it.de\VisualMR to make finding the covers more easy into a new (inofficial) version that can be downloaded here:
http://www.tl-it.de/media/download/visualmr_ff_201.zip

Apart from this shortcut this version only addresses a special problem with persistent cache (see post below).

BTW: The naming itself (at least for the main display) hasn't changed in V2 so your old cover files should work just fine (if they are in the right place).

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:42 am

jtbse wrote:
I have to say...what a great version! I can tell you've really put lots of work into making an already great app even better.

Really love the new album art handling, and the lyrics lookup are a really nice bonus as well.

Thanks - those are my favorite additions (along with the persistent cache - if you get it to work :wink: )

jtbse wrote:
I also love the Internet Radio Station playback options, and the new functionality of the jukebox ....very cool! Can't quite get the hang of naming art files for radio stations though...not sure what I'm doing wrong here.

Names for radio stations are bit mixed up on the SoundBridge. The name is EITHER the artist name (second line in VisualMR's display) OR for streams without metadata the song (first line in VisualMR). If you name the cover exactly like what you read there (including spaces and replacing ':' and such as in my RadioStations_ReadMe.txt in the RadioStations folder) and of course adding .gif/jpg/... then it should show up in VisualMR (at least it does for me).

Two notes:
- On the SoundBridge the name might change ofver time: At start the name is taken from your Preset or RadioRoku and then later replaced by the streams meta data (if there is any).
- VisualMR caches the cover for better performance: so if it doesn't find one once it won't look again unless you switch channels or more secure shutdown/restart VisualMR.

jtbse wrote:
I'm also having a bit of problem with persistent cache, but instead of a timeout, I get the following message when trying to build the cache from my Firefly server on my NAS:

I've just uploaded a new (inofficial) update that can be downloaded using this direct link:
http://www.tl-it.de/media/download/visualmr_ff_201.zip
Apart from the CoverArt-shortcut mentioned in the post above it only fixes a problem with the persistent cache. To be honest I don't think it'll fix your problem but it also adds a more descriptive (at least for me :lol: ) error message if building the persistent cache fails. So if you can't get the persistent cache to work please use this Version V2.0.1. and email me a screenshot of the error you'll get. Thanks.

jtbse wrote:
I wonder...couldn't there be a way to save the album art persistently from the download function? (maybe you're avoiding copyright issues??)

Exactly - there are some minor technical problems but the legal problems are more severe.

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR

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