[All] To build a better music player

Helge Hafting helge.hafting at hist.no
Mon Jan 19 14:37:04 CET 2009

Dylan Reilly wrote:
> One of my primary uses for the openmoko is a music player, and I have
> spent some time trying to improve my listening experience with it. I
> wanted to make a web page or such on the subject but I am highly
> unmotivated to do so. In lieu of that, I am posting my findings here.
> Audio Quality
> -------------
> IMO, good audio quality can be achieved with proper tweaking of the
> alsa mixer. Some of the settings do nothing while others make the
> openmoko sound like crap (e.g., bass boost). The state file [1] is
> what I am using. One can utilize this by over writing the like-named
> file in /usr/share/openmoko/scenerios . I even find the bass decent,
> but not ideal. This is a known, and much discussed, hardware issue.
The bass is too low, but this can apparently be fixed by using
a bluetooth headset.

> Audio Player
> ------------
> When I started my quest, there was no music player that met my needs.
> The two that were close were pythm and mokoko. Mokoko has more
> potential, I believe. However, it has (had?) issues resuming from a
> suspend (crucial for me). That seems to imply an issue with gstreamer
> - which it utilizes for playback - and that is something I do not want
> to bother fixing. So, for the short term I turned to pythm and began
> hacking away at it. The following is a list of changes I made to the
> 0.5.1 version:
> 1) Improved responsiveness, especially with regard to starting the
> next song in a play list.

Nice! I always wondered what it was waiting for. The current delay is 
variable too - sometimes very long.
> 2) Lowered processing overhead during main update loop.
> 3) Tweaked the GUI. Most notably, the buttons are larger.

Perfect! the old ones was too flat for fingers.

> 4) Read ID3 tag info at play list load time using python ID3 library.
> 5) Optionally (default true) disable suspend through enlightenment
> while song is playing. Change the no_suspend option in the [mplayer]
> section of /etc/pythm.conf.
> 6) Automatically pause playback when phone call received, resume on
> hang-up. Only if running on FSO-based framework (not qtopia
> phone-kit).

That was really needed.

> 7) Hook directly into alsa for setting/getting the volume.

Will this get more useable volume levels? The current slider
only has a few positions:
max: slightly too loud.
max-1: slightly too low, although useful when talking to someone.
max-2: can barely hear that there is any music playing.

The 5 other positions are lower and not useful.

> 8) Tweaked nice levels for more consistent playback.

The only thing I miss then, is an easier way of selecting
several songs in one go. currently, clicking one
song deselects the previous one. It'd be perfect
if I could click all the songs I want, and then click
the add button once. I usually pick more than one song
from each album. So multiple selection would be nice.

Perhaps an "add all" button when you want the entire album too.

Helge Hafting

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