Sunday, December 28, 2008

A New Version of MediaBox Media Center

Finally, after several months of work I have now released MediaBox 0.96, which was really overdue... ;)

A lot of people were very helpful and regularly tried out the code fresh from SVN during the last few months and provided lots of feedback. Thanks to you all!
Special thanks also go to Hugo Baldasano for his work on asynchronous networking and for good help with UPnP event handling!

The long wait is now over and MediaBox 0.96 is available in the maemo-extras repository for Chinook and Diablo. The .deb packages for users of OS 2006 (yes, that's Nokia 770) and OS 2007 will be made available soon on the MediaBox homepage.

UPnP Streaming



UPnP/DLNA is a great technology for streaming music, videos, and photos to your
tablet. Simply put an UPnP media server in your home network and MediaBox
will discover it automatically for browsing and streaming its contents.

Playlists and media bookmarks

Playlists can be created and edited and are saved automatically. You can reorder the items at any time, and you can mix audio, videos, and images in a playlist.

You can now also set media bookmarks in any (seekable) file to mark the best spots and to find the place where you stopped listening to your audio book or podcast the last time. Simply click on the star-button to set a media bookmark for the current position.

Shuffle and Repeat

I don't think I need to say much about these features anymore, except that MediaBox can do it now, too.

Car-Mode


Car-mode is what I call the fullscreen mode of the music player because it's very handy to use while driving a car. Big buttons for previous, next, and play/pause, along with big cover-art and a big title label make MediaBox perfect for this situation. I use this mode frequently with a shuffled playlist when driving.

Themes



It seems like every media center these days needs to be themable. MediaBox follows this fad so you can give it a new skin by downloading themes from the maemo-extras repository.
The first extra theme available is called "DarkBox", and hopefully others and betters will follow. I'm going to give more details on theming and building theme packages later. It's really easy, so get your GIMP or Photoshop ready! :)

Plugins



MediaBox can be extended with plugins, and I'm going to cover plugin development later. Some plugins are already available for download:

  • a FM radio (for the N800),

  • a YouTube browser

  • and internet radio with SHOUTcast directory.

4 comments:

thp said...

it would be awesome if mediabox could read gpodder's download database and let the user browse podcasts in mediabox this way. gpodder is written in python, so integration should not be too hard :)

Martin Grimme said...

Thanks. This is a good idea for a new plugin.

JC said...

Thank you for such a wonderful app! The new version is great. I have one question, I visited http://mediabox.garage.maemo.org/ and it says that mediabox is a "opensource media center optimised for touchscreen devices", so are there any plans to port it to other OSes other than Nokias' Maemo? With the rise of MID's and touchscreen devices it would be really cool to see it on other platforms, (WinX, Linux, etc..)

I have an EEE that am planing to transform it into a touch tablet with the Aeeeris kit and would love to have mediabox as my default player.

Congratulations on all your hard work. I never thought any App would take Canola's place on my n800 but it definitely triumphed over it.

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