Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:30 am

Webreaper wrote:
It might be worth mentioning with each skin whether it works on PPC, PC or both. :) E.g., the itunes skin is great for PC, but is all squashed up on Pocketpc.

You are right - it is really a good idea to indicate which paltform (resolution / window size) is supported by a given skin!

Cheers
Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

EasyIcons skin 0.9.5 available

Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:22 pm

Hi everyone -- I made a few more changes to my "Easy Icons" VisualMR skin, which is now available to download at:

http://www.zuovo.com/download/VMR_EasyIcons_skin.zip

This skin is for QVGA PocketPC Portrait layout only. Here is a capture of the Now Playing screen:

Image

See below for installation and usage notes from the README file for this skin. Enjoy!


----------------------
Supported Platforms
----------------------
- QVGA PocketPC (240x320) Portrait layout only
- VGA, Landscape, Square, and PC layouts are not currently supported
- tested in VisualMR 1.5.0, Windows Mobile 2003SE


----------
Install
----------
1) install VisualMR on your PocketPC (see http://tl-it.de/media/pages/visualmr.php)
2) copy the entire EasyIcons/ directory into Program Files/VisualMR/Skins/ on your PocketPC
3) (re)start VisualMR
4) select File>Skins>Easy Icons in the VisualMR menus

(Optional) To change the color of the Windows Mobile navigation bar to match the color of this skin:

1) copy "Putty.tsk" from this directory into the Windows/ directory on your PocketPC
2) select Start > Settings > Personal tab > Today > Appearance tab
3) select the "Putty" theme from the list

If you prefer to create your own PocketPC theme, the background color for this skin is A0A080.


----------
Usage
----------

The top row of buttons provide the following actions:

    Previous, Volume Down, Pause/Play, Volume Up, Next

The bottom two rows of buttons provide the following actions:

    Preset 1, Preset 2, Preset 3, Select Server
    Browse Playlists, Browse Artists, Browse Albums, Browse Genres

You can also:

    - Tap the current artist or album name (in the center of the screen) to browse the CURRENT SONG QUEUE.

    - Tap the icons to the right of the song details to select SHUFFLE and REPEAT modes. Green highlights indicate shuffle-on, repeat-all, and repeat-one modes.

    - Tap and hold the volume up or down buttons for a popup of absolute volume settings. Tap a number in that popup to set the volume.

    - Tap and hold any preset icon (1-3) for a popup option to browse ALL PRESETS. Tap that popup again to actually bring up the the list of presets.

    - Tap and hold the artists icon (in the bottom row) for a popup option to browse SIMILAR ARTISTS (same genre as the current song).

    - Tap and hold the albums icon (in the bottom row) for a popup option to browse SIMILAR ALBUMS (same genre as the current song).

    - Tap the small icons to the left of the song details with a stylus to directly browse SIMILAR ARTISTS OR ALBUMS.


----------
License
----------
This skin is provided under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/) and the GNU Lesser General Public License (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lgpl.html). See LICENSE.txt for details.
Last edited by zuovo on Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

EasyIcons skin CAB file available

Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:30 pm

Quick update - I have packaged this Pocket PC skin as a CAB file, for easier installation and removal. You can download it from:

http://www.zuovo.com/download/VMR_EasyIcons_skin.CAB

And the README:

http://www.zuovo.com/download/VMR_EasyIcons_README.txt

I also added an alternate layout that assigns "PlayPreset(C6)" to the server icon instead of "BrowseServers", for faster server switching if you have just one server. See the README for details.

Thorsten, feel free to post these files on your VisualMR skin page if you like.

Enjoy!
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Updated wishlist

Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:16 am

Thorsten,
It was great fun creating a new PocketPC skin for VisualMR. Thanks again for such a great program!

FWIW, here is my updated and prioritized wishlist for future skinning enhancements:

1) PlayPlaylist(n) action for skin elements (mentioned in this thread).

2) Larger scrollbar thumb (e.g. 32px width and min-height) on browse forms for fingers-only control.

3) Configure double-tap action on browse forms. Personally, I would like to double-tap on the Albums, PlayLists, and Songs lists to *Play* immediately (not List Songs or Add).

4) Replace browse form buttons with a toolbar of 32px icons. These would be easier to tap with fingers, and they would fit almost twice as many commands in the same space (e.g., the "Back" and "Now Playing" commands would now fit in this toolbar).

5) Configure background color of browse forms to match the rest of the skin.


Also, I was wondering, do you have a slider component in your toolkit? Thinking about the future...when Roku adds a seek command to RCP, it would be great to have a <slider> node and/or popup slider to control the playback position. But I know, I'm getting ahead of myself... :)

Cheers!
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

RadioSurfer skin for VisualMR

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:10 pm

Radio Surfer is another VisualMR PocketPC skin, which is designed to surf a collection of Internet radio stations. It removes all of the stuff that is not used for Internet radio (e.g. track times), and it provides a large bank of finger-tappable preset buttons:

Image

This skin is for Pocket PC, QVGA, portrait mode only. Download here: http://www.zuovo.com/download/VMR_RadioSurfer_skin.CAB


You can customize the buttons with your own labels for genre, mood, time of day, or whatever you like. Look in the "blanks/" subdirectory for red, green, and blue template images. Personally I use the following color coding:
* red - very high energy, demanding music - psytrance, hard dance, breaks...
* green - busy music, good background for energetic entertaining environments - electro, idm, lounge, jazz...
* blue - everything else - mixed radio, rock, ambient, talk, whatever...


This skin is most useful if you assign radio station playlists to your presets, instead of individual stations. For example, tapping "Chill" on my system starts playing a random station from a playlist of 11 ambient/chillout stations. You can scan through those stations with the Previous and Next buttons, or you can tap on the station/song details to view the list of stations and jump directly to some station.

Radio station playlists require a server (e.g. Firefly), and they are a bit tricky to add to the SoundBridge, but they allow you to surf an unlimited number of radio streams. See the README included with this skin for configuration info.

If you assign individual radio stations to your SoundBridge presets, the Previous/Next buttons will still scan them, but you will be limited to 18 stations. You can also mix single-station and multiple-station presets. For example, I use the buttons labeled 1-4 in this skin for newly-discovered stations. The SoundBridge Presets web page lets me quickly add these stations, and if I like them, they "graduate" to the playlists later.

Enjoy! And feel free to send me any suggestions... :)
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Re: Updated wishlist

Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:04 pm

zuovo wrote:
1) PlayPlaylist(n) action for skin elements (mentioned in this thread).

If it's not much work I'll add it in the next version.

zuovo wrote:
2) Larger scrollbar thumb (e.g. 32px width and min-height) on browse forms for fingers-only control.

That will be in the next version, too (not via skinning but as an application option)

zuovo wrote:
3) Configure double-tap action on browse forms. Personally, I would like to double-tap on the Albums, PlayLists, and Songs lists to *Play* immediately (not List Songs or Add).

I think this would again be better as an application option than a skinning option because of having a consistent ui across skins from different creators. I've added it to my list.

zuovo wrote:
4) Replace browse form buttons with a toolbar of 32px icons. These would be easier to tap with fingers, and they would fit almost twice as many commands in the same space (e.g., the "Back" and "Now Playing" commands would now fit in this toolbar).

I was thinking about making the whole browse forms skinnable, too. Buit either way it's abit to much work for me at the moment so it'll have to wait.

zuovo wrote:
5) Configure background color of browse forms to match the rest of the skin.

This will be a feture of the next verison, too.

zuovo wrote:
Also, I was wondering, do you have a slider component in your toolkit?

Not yet. I've postponed it because there are some difficulties (for exaple the slow feedback via RCP) and only limited application. I'll plan on adding an Action-attribute to the progress control, though. This way you click on a position to change the displayed value (for example usable for volume control).

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:

Re: EasyIcons skin CAB file available

Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:10 pm

zuovo wrote:
It was great fun creating a new PocketPC skin for VisualMR.

Great work (on both skins)! :D

zuovo wrote:
Thorsten, feel free to post these files on your VisualMR skin page if you like.

Thanks! I finally manged to upload both of your skins to http://www.tl-it.de/media/pages/visualmr_skin.php

Sorry that it didn't manage to upload it earlier but I'm currently very busy with my "real" work and therefore cannot spend as much time on VisualMR as would like to.

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:

Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:17 pm

Beautiful skin, zuovo! :)
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!
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:32 pm

tal wrote:
Great work (on both skins)! :D

wideasleep1 wrote:
Beautiful skin, zuovo! :)

Danke schön, and thank you! The VMR skin system and docs were so good, I couldn't resist using them. :)

Thanks Thorsten!
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Re: Updated wishlist

Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:19 am

Thanks for the replies, Thorsten!

FWIW...my #1 enhancement request is to quickly save the current song info from an Internet radio station, as mentioned in http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?t=10868. From a skinning perspective, this could be a SaveSongInfo action, which appends date/time, title, artist, and album fields to a text file, e.g. /My Documents/VMR_save_song_info.txt. Any file name and location works for me as long as I can find it :) I hope this is still on your list. It would be an incredibly useful tool to research and purchase new music that I hear on Internet radio stations.

It would also be nice to have a SetSkin(x) action, to easily switch between, e.g., a music library UI and a radio station UI. I know, you already provide SetLayout(x), and I could rework my separate skins as layouts. But it feels cleaner to me to put different functional UIs in different skins, and use sublayouts mostly for the size and position of the controls.

A few followup comments on the other items...

tal wrote:
zuovo wrote:
1) PlayPlaylist(n) action for skin elements (mentioned in this thread).

If it's not much work I'll add it in the next version.

I'm using the SoundBridge playlist presets instead for now, and one nice benefit is that SB presets save the shuffle state. Now I have some playlists that always play in the same order (e.g. my News stations), and others that always play in a random order (e.g. my Lounge stations). So if you do implement a PlayPlaylist action, please consider supporting the shuffle state as well. I guess this could be with a second parameter, e.g. PlayPlaylist(n, shuffleFlag), or with a separate action, e.g. PlayPlaylistShuffled(n).

tal wrote:
zuovo wrote:
2) Larger scrollbar thumb (e.g. 32px width and min-height) on browse forms for fingers-only control.

That will be in the next version, too (not via skinning but as an application option)

Fantastic!

Related to this, it would be great if VisualMR supported D-pad (5-way button) navigation on PocketPC. This is another way to control the program with your fingers.

On the Browse screens, the left/right buttons could move through large lists one viewport at a time, or through A-Z like the Roku remote, or by sqrt(listLength) items to minimize the number of button presses (at the risk of confusing some users).

On the Now Playing screen, left/right buttons could be Previous/Next, up/down buttons Volume +/- 5, and the center button Pause/Play.

This seems like a good first step toward SmartPhone support, since all SmartPhones have a D-pad.

tal wrote:
zuovo wrote:
4) Replace browse form buttons with a toolbar of 32px icons. These would be easier to tap with fingers, and they would fit almost twice as many commands in the same space (e.g., the "Back" and "Now Playing" commands would now fit in this toolbar).

I was thinking about making the whole browse forms skinnable, too. Buit either way it's abit to much work for me at the moment so it'll have to wait.

If/when you do consider this, I suggest limiting the skinnable aspects to just the actions and images for that row of buttons, at least initially. IMO the browse screens do not benefit from free-form skinning like the nowplaying screen, and a fully skinnable form is more difficult to skin... But if that is the easiest thing for you to implement, full skinnability is better than no skinnability. :)

Cheers!
 
nypan
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:53 am
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:08 am

Hi there..

I´m a new and very satisfied owner of a Pinnacle Soundbridge M1001. One of the best buys ever in my life.. :D

I think it´s very nice to controll the SB from my PC, especially when there's a party going on and everyone would like to listen to different songs, then it´s nice to que 'em up in VisualMR.

I have now come to that conclussion that VisualMR works best for me, however, i´m not satisfied with the very few skins that are available out there, I´ve only found 2 or 3.

There have to be alot more skins made of guys, right?

Can´t you post 'em up here so everyone can enjoy your work..?

Would be very greatful if you would..

Have a nice day!

/ Johan
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:36 pm

nypan wrote:
There have to be alot more skins made of guys, right?

Can´t you post 'em up here so everyone can enjoy your work..?

I know at least of a few more skins. The problem with them is that they use icons from sources that don't allow spreading them around for free.

Would be cool to see some more skins! Personally I'm still looking for a WMP11 like shinny black skin :)

Thorsten
Easily control your SoundBridge from your Windows PC or wireless PocketPC with VisualMR
 
zuovo
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:10 pm

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:51 pm

Hi Johan-

I'm sure there are more VisualMR skins being used, but you probably won't find them for public download. Most skins modify or copy images from other skins, so they cannot be redistributed. Also, custom skins often have very personal style and functionality, so it is not worth the effort to package these skins for other users.

That said, if you know what you want, the VisualMR skinning system is very flexible. And this is probably the best place to ask for help! :)

Edit: Oops - it looks like Thorsten already said the same thing... :)
 
VGER
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:54 pm

Sat May 12, 2007 5:24 am

Isn't it possible to use no skin at all and have just a plain-and-simple Windows interface? Or do you need a skin for that too? ;-)
 
tal
Topic Author
Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Contact:

Sat May 26, 2007 9:12 am

VGER wrote:
Isn't it possible to use no skin at all and have just a plain-and-simple Windows interface? Or do you need a skin for that too? ;-)

A VisualMR skin isn't just for the visual apperance of the controls but it allows to build your own now playing screen and add or remove controls at your will. Of course you could build a skin without any icons but that wouldn't be much fun. So you either draw your own buttons or you look around for free icons.

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

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