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AmiTunes
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Current Progress
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08 June 2010
Since the last AmiTunes release in March (version 0.6), I've been working on the full version which is for general desktop use rather than as a jukebox on a low-end Amiga. I've taken the version 0.6 code and rewritten a good chunk of it, so it now sports an MUI interface. It's also the first time I've ever written MUI code, so it's been an interesting experience for me! Thanks to all the guys I kept pestering with silly questions :) But today I have made it to a point where it's sort of useable, so I've called it an alpha. I'm not going to release it until I get most of it working, but I'm pretty happy with the progress so far!

I've uploaded a screenshot of this early alpha version - you can see it in the screenshots section.
 

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29 March 2010
A long overdue update for AmiTunes, version 0.6 beta fixes many bugs (but still leaves a few in there!) and includes a software decoding engine which means it's no longer relying on AmigaAmp to decode the sound in the background as a "slave" player. Also, cleaned up some code I wasn't happy about but was too lazy to fix until now!

Also, updated the website so the layout is slightly easier to understand and navigate, and to give AmiTunes its very own project page, seeing as it's grown into a stand-alone project at this stage!
 

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30 July 2009
Finally have AmiTunes in a state where I think it's finished enough for me to use - it's been a while coming, and it's not perfect, but I'm happy enough with it now. I've put it up on AmiNet, and in the Amiga Software section of this very site... Go on, try it out! And let me know what you think!

And now I guess I should get cracking on finishing the Jukebox hardware - or should I work on the next version of AmiTunes, a version for high-end Amigas with a nice GUI? Hmmm... Answers on a postcard please!
 

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05 February 2009
Well, I've almost got AmiTunes finished for jukebox use, and it's working very well... On my A1 anyway. It seems to be a little bit much for my poor A1200 with its 030 processor however, and it's mainly down to having an awful lot of ARexx communication between modules. To fix this, I think I'll be integrating the I/O and LCD servier modules into the main AmiTunes executable. It'll make it bigger and more complicated, but should reduce the CPU load considerably due to not having to build, send, decode and interpret messages all the time. Also, InfraRexx doesn't seem to be working quite as well as I'd like, tending to mix up buttons with similar functions. I think this is due to the similarity in the transmitted codes, but I don't know how to improve it. Maybe aI'll try a different remote... It used to work very well for my CRSystem setup, so I'm sure there's something I can do to improve it.

I'm also at the stage where it's about time to split the source code for AmiTunes into the two branches I planned for it: The jukebox version for this project, and the stand-alone version with a proper GUI, internal MP3 decoding, and much better features for high-end Amigas. For that I suppose I'll make a new project on my website, seeing as that'll have its own progress, stories, plans and so on. Stay tuned for that!
 

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12 December 2008
It's been a long time coming, but AmiTunes had has a major update. It's almost ready for integration into the Jukebox project now, but is pretty usable in its own right. I'm using it now as my main Amiga music player! A huge amount of things were fixed and added in this update, mainly:
  • Working position slider, seek controls and timing
  • Playlist support
  • Search function
  • Better decoder engine handling
  • Lots of other stuff...
It also looks a lot better, though it's still for basic TV, low-spec use. Have a look:
sgrab_AmiTunes_002.jpg
AmiTunes Screengrab

Download it to check it out from my Software Section.
 
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10 July 2008
Well, it's working a lot better now, sorted out issues like differentiating between albums with the same title but by different artists. Can't think of any? Well, how about "unknown"? Yeah, they're quite common and cause a lot of problems... Still, fixed now. We're at version 0.3 alpha now, and the font's changed (though otherwise it looks the same), it can load and save preferences and modify song information via an Info window, and can generally do what it's supposed to do. Playlist suppport is still not there, so it only plays one track at a time, but it's really taking shape now. Drag 'n' drop is now supported for adding files and drawers recursively to the library, but it doesn't sort any other files out.

I've just released it into the wild as an early alpha, just to gauge interest. I know it's buggy and all that, but I'd like to see if people would like to see a full-sized version for higher up Amigas. Answers on a postcard please... Ooh, that reminds me! I've no contact area on this site. Must put one in sometime... Download it from my Software Section.
 

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29 June 2008
I think an update is well overdue at this stage! Well, have really been too busy recently to spend much time on my projects, but have made some progress nonetheless. The MP3 player module (called SimpleMHI) has been working well for a while now, and switching to the ARexx Blitz Includes from the latest version of AmiBlitz has solved the issues with ARexx messages crashing the machine. Since I've recently acquired an AmigaOne, development has moved to that instead of my trusty A1200, and to the latest AmiBlitz (seeing as the version I was using wouldn't work under OS4). However, the AmigaOne hardware means no MHI devices, so I did some work on the library module (called AmiTunes) to allow it to use AmigaAmp as a slave instead. But they disagree on some of the finer aspects of using quotes so I made a small ARexx script to mediate between them. Also, the interface is taking shape. I've used GadTools and a window size of 640x256 as this version will run on an AGA screen and a TV, so no graphics cards and I'd rather no interlacing. But it has the basic functionality of the browser pane in iTunes, and can load and save its library successfully, as well as adding files and folders recursively. This is how it looks under OS4:
sgrab_AmiTunes_000.jpg
AmiTunes Screengrab
Yes, it's using the Topaz font (that'll change in time), but you get the idea. Clicking on an artist filters the album and songs lists in realtime, clicking an album also filters the songs list in realtime, so you can quickly find what you're looking for. The cycle gadget (currently set to "Browser") will allow the user to switch to a playlists view instead to allow custom playlists, shuffling, and so on. But that's for programming another day...
 
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01 March 2008
Gave the MP3 player module its ARexx port and tested. Seems to work just fine :) Currently it doesn't support file seeking (so no rewind or fast forward), but that's because I haven't decided how to implement it in AmiTunes yet. Most likely it'll involve stopping playback and starting again from a given number of bytes into the file. Anyway, that's a great breakthrough, it means it's almost ready to be put into service!

AmiTunes on the other hand, has been stripped of all its playing capabilities (seeing as they're now in the MHI MP3 player module), and simply passes out ARexx commands based on user input. It seems however the RIARexx Library commands have a habit of crashing when sending messages - messages which never appear at the other side either. Hmmmm... Maybe quick 'n' dirty ARexx scripts run as a separate task instead? It worked for the CR System, but wasn't particularly fast. I might put it in for now until a better solution comes along.
 

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04 February 2008
Eventually gave up on trying to get the MHI portion of the software to work in Blitz Basic. It seems it simply can't handle the pointers correctly. Sometimes it works for several files, sometimes it falls over within a few seconds. Even a literal port from the MHIPlay C source and a version using a Blitz user library based on the .fd file of the MAS driver library had the problem. So I started modifying the MHIPlay C code to suit my needs. Did an almost full rewrite in the end to allow control during playback as the original simply played until it ran out of file or got a C-break comand. Still, it works, and the executable is now a teensy 8Kb!

Also, due to the modular layout of the software, at this stage I think the Control Module can still be written in Blitz, and could have the functionality of a music library manager independent of the Jukebox project, so I've renamed it AmiTunes. Can you guess why? :)
 

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