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Android XBMControl for Android (updated 28-11-2012) - Pre alpha download - Printable Version

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XBMControl for Android (updated 28-11-2012) - Pre alpha download - Bram77 - 2012-09-01

After wanting to do this for over two years I've finally found the time and energy to build a new Android remote app for XBMC. I've played with the source of the original XBMC remote but got a bit frustrated by it's complexity every time. The code is pretty sophisticated and likely a lot better then mine (this is the first real Android app I'm developing, apart from some half-finished projects). Eventually I did figure stuff out, but I lost motivation to continue.

So... I decided to develop my own Android remote which hopefully is a bit easier to understand for other developers. Why? Because it's fun to do and I'm taking a slightly different approach then other remote apps do. It will only support the JSON-rpc api (so no XBOX support, sorry) and the Event server. At this moment I've 'borrowed' the EventClient code from the official app. Luckily it's easier to implement the library then it is to maintain the code Smile.

- I'm not distinguishing between library and file mode because in my experience that's confusing a lot of users (not me). I'm trying to make the remote work in some kind of hybrid mode, middle-ground between file and library mode. This is looking pretty good so far, to my taste!
- It will not show artwork in the media lists because it's not very useful on such a small screen and makes the app a lot slower. For every item artwork will be available via the items context menu. Much like the 'media info' views in XBMC.

I've got a lot of respect for the developers of the official remote. It's clear to me now how much effort has been put into it. I mean no disrespect towards them whatsoever!

I will release the source once it's reached a point of some stability. I've only been working on it for about a week, in my spare time. So all I've got for you at this moment are some screenshots of a work in progress.

What's working at this moment:
* Volume controls using phone buttons
* All basic remote function
* Hide watched video items
* XBMC Playlists directory available as source
* Play/pause/stop/prev/next in every screen
* Hybrid file mode (file mode with library cherrypicks)
* Recently added movies/episodes/albums in home screen (3 of each, horizontally scrollable blocks)
* Start playback of music, videos and pictures
* Play directory (not recursively yet, unfortunately this is not yet supported by the api)
* 'clicking' a audio file will ad the complete directory to the playlist and start playing at the index of the file clicked. This means the next songs will play automatically unlike the official remote does where playback stops after the selected sons is finished.
* Simple configuration. One host only a.t.m. I will add support for multiple hosts soon.
* I've disabled almost every animation android applies by default. This makes the app feel smoother and faster. I will add custom animations (already added some subtle ones) where of value.

What's in the pipeline:
* Add "Play on XBMC" support like the official remote does (excellent feature!)
* Show navigation controls instead of play controls in every screen when no media is playing
* Scale recently added artwork properly (according to it's original proportions)
* Now playing information in the homes screen
* Basic controls need to be aware if something is playing (otherwise hide them)
* Extended configuration options
* Adding support for library updates, system shutdown/restart, WOL support
* Scan a single directory or file to the library
* Playlist management
* Implement caching wherever possible (I'll do this in a later stadium)
* Build the detailed media info screen for every media type
* Make the android keyboard forward input to XBMC
* Search for media in the remote
* Multi language support (don't expect this soon)
* ....there will probably be much more soon... Smile


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UPDATE 28-11-2012:

First test version 0.6.1 (not even alpha yet): http://ubuntuone.com/6iZTZnNWr5qCVSk6wCSGTX

- It might not work at all on your device.
- There are some buttons and options available that have not been linked to the underlaying functionality.
- The app will not be bug free
- The app supports the JSON-RPC api only and has only been tested with the daily builds of the last couple of months! So no XBOX support!

RE: XBMControl for Android (screenshots) - Bram77 - 2012-11-28

I've added the download link to a personal test version. I haven't had the time to really improve the app, but it does do all the basics. Since the latest builds of XBMC con't come with the old HTTP api anymore, the know Android XBMC remotes do not work anymore. This remote (although far from finished or stable) will allow you to control the basics of your cutting edge XBMC installation.

Re: XBMControl for Android (updated 28-11-2012) - Pre alpha download - Bram77 - 2012-11-30

I've created this topic 3 months ago. There have been no replies at all. Should I deduct from that that I'm the only one interested in a new Xbmc remote that supports the Json RPC api?

There must be more users that use daily xbmc builds and can't use the existing android remotes anymore because the http api has been dropped. I'd love to get some feedback Smile

RE: XBMControl for Android (updated 28-11-2012) - Pre alpha download - Millencolin007 - 2012-11-30

There are actually at least 3 full featured remotes supporting json-rpc which are also working with the newest xbmc froyo builds. They already mostly support your "what's in the pipeline"

- Music Pump XBMC Remote,my favorite of course, since it is the remote I wrote ;-)

- Yatsee Widget:

- Tom's build (fork of the official remote):

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