Tagged: music

CyanogenMod 9 Music App

From Seeingpixels.org, via Andrew Neal, and, Cyanogenmod:

CyanogenMod 9 Music

Last October I started playing around with the old, stock Music app. I was making small UI changes and, like anything, they were far from amazing at first. I’ve been teaching myself Java for a little over a year and starting to seeing the Music app progress has been a nice reward for time spent learning and using Java. The more I started playing around, the more exciting it became to experiment with what I could do. Eventually, I reached a point where the app could go places, and today I’m happy to announce where that is. 

Introducing the new CyanogenMod Music app.

      
Fling up to control your music. Long press for Party Shuffle. Long press for queue.


The app comes with a degree of customization that you won’t find in any other Music app, or possibly, in any app. You can shop the Android Market for the currently playing song at the push of a button, share what track you’re listening to with all your social outlets, set your favorite song as ring tones, delete unwanted tracks, and search your music from anywhere in the app. 
Rich and custom notifications. Drag & Drop queue and playlist. Custom lockscreen.

The Music app is all about customization. Recently, I’ve been in the process of integrating a theme engine into the app. The theme engine is thoroughly customizable, allowing designers to touch every UI element in the app. Every drawable (images, backgrounds, etc), all text views, and each seek bars can be themed using the theme engine. I’ve had a lot fun using it and I’m excited to see what everyone will bring to the table. That being said, I’m also releasing the Music Theme Template for everyone to download today. You can use this to create the themes, and below is an example of what you can do with the theme engine.This is a “Google Music” theme, based on the latest version of the Google Music app. It also doubles as the theme template for the app.

The Music app also comes with native Shake and Flip actions. Quickly play and pause your music by flipping your phone face down, then back up again. You can customize the Shake Action to control you music in more detail. Both of these actions run in the background and can be used no matter where you are in your phone. There are also several other customizations and features that I’m sure you’ll find fun and useful. Here are a couple screen shots of the Music app on the new Galaxy Nexus and one of all the new widgets. 









Keep an eye out in the Music app in the Market over the next couple of weeks (I’m still looking for a name, suggestions are welcome), and watch for it in CyanogenMod 9. 

Music app – http://goo.gl/CckWp
Google Music Theme – http://goo.gl/DQC5u
Music Theme Template – http://goo.gl/eYx7F

(From OldAndroid – Looks very cool. giving it a whirl right now.  Click the links at the top and follow them on Google+!)
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Music added to Android Market (for some)

An overnight update has added the Music category to Android market for some users. The version number still remains the same at 3.3.11, though the new option is there.

To use the music feature you also have to download the new Google Music app from Android Market.  This should give Android devices a little bit of an edge over the iPhone with all it’s new features that iTunes lack.

Stay tuned for a more in depth look.

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Music Files

If you have an android phone you probably use it for music. And when it comes to digital music the process can be a little overwhelming. First is the question of how to get the music, either from CDs, or through a download service. Plus what format should you use? Do you need to convert your music or will it work in the current format.

Well let me start with the music format question. Android devices will play music in any of the following formats:

Type Format / Codec Encoder Decoder Details Supported File Type(s) / Container Formats
Audio AAC LC/LTP Mono/Stereo content in any combination of standard bit rates up to 160 kbps and sampling rates from 8 to 48kHz • 3GPP (.3gp)
• MPEG-4 (.mp4, .m4a)
• ADTS raw AAC (.aac, decode in Android 3.1+, encode in Android 4.0+, ADIF not supported)
• MPEG-TS (.ts, not seekable, Android 3.0+)
HE-AACv1 (AAC+)
HE-AACv2 (enhanced AAC+)
AMR-NB 4.75 to 12.2 kbps sampled @ 8kHz 3GPP (.3gp)
AMR-WB 9 rates from 6.60 kbit/s to 23.85 kbit/s sampled @ 16kHz 3GPP (.3gp)
FLAC
(Android 3.1+)
Mono/Stereo (no multichannel). Sample rates up to 48 kHz (but up to 44.1 kHz is recommended on devices with 44.1 kHz output, as the 48 to 44.1 kHz downsampler does not include a low-pass filter). 16-bit recommended; no dither applied for 24-bit. FLAC (.flac) only
MP3 Mono/Stereo 8-320Kbps constant (CBR) or variable bit-rate (VBR) MP3 (.mp3)
MIDI MIDI Type 0 and 1. DLS Version 1 and 2. XMF and Mobile XMF. Support for ringtone formats RTTTL/RTX, OTA, and iMelody • Type 0 and 1 (.mid, .xmf, .mxmf)
• RTTTL/RTX (.rtttl, .rtx)
• OTA (.ota)
• iMelody (.imy)
Vorbis • Ogg (.ogg)
• Matroska (.mkv, Android 4.0+)
PCM/WAVE 8- and 16-bit linear PCM (rates up to limit of hardware) WAVE (.wav)

Seems a bit confusing?  Well right off the bat:  Wave and MIDI are formats that you don’t see too much anymore.  WAV is uncompressed so you end up with large file sizes and MIDI is a digital form of music that is transferred in digital form so it sounds more like an old school phone ringtone.  You won’t run into either of these two much anymore…  Also AMR/3GP were designed for use on 2G/3G phones, also a format that you don’t see too much.


What we have left in the list are MP3, which is the most common of formats, along with AAC, which wikipedia describes as: “Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format”.  They also state that it has better sound quality at similar bitrates.  Basically saying that it sounds better at a similar (or smaller) file size.  So the main 2 that you are going to see are AAC and MP3.

The other 2 (OGG and FLAC) are open file formats.  FLAC is a lossless format, meaning that it plays the music back without any form or modification like the popular formats do.  OGG can be both a lossy and lossless, depending on the file itself.  Both of these 2 are a lot less popular, mainly because the file sizes can be much larger.  

My suggestion based on all this info would be to go with MP3 or AAC, just because of the availability. MP3s are really easy to make from CDs, simply download an app (or use Windows Media Player, iTunes, or AmaroK).

Downloading music is also very simple.  Music purchased through a few major services (iTunes in particular) will not let you transfer your music beyond it’s devices and software.  A great alternative is the Amazon MP3 app (which is either preloaded on your phone, or is a free download on the Market) which sells it’s music files in a nonprotected MP3 file, which can be transferred wherever you want.

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Free C25K workout/music app from Amazon

Ever wanted a personal trainer with you (Nintendo Punch Out styled) to run with you and keep you going, all with a great soundtrack? Well that’s what this app does.  It plays your music all while timing your workout and giving you personalized  information as you progress.

Free only today, and only at the Amazon App Store…

http://amzn.to/iXr997

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Music (From the Cloud)

No, I am not talking about some psychedelic concept that the Beatles came up with in the 60’s, but instead a technology that allows you to stream your own music – from the cloud.

Before I get ahead of myself I wanted to explain what the cloud is and how it works. In it’s simplest form a cloud computing system is just a service that stores your data remotely instead of locally on your own computer. So in these examples your music is stored remotely, and accessed through an internet connected application. This saves you a bunch of space on your memory card for other things!

So try out the following 2 services. If you need an invite leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do!

Name: Google Music
Description: Official Android player for Music Beta by Google.

The Music application features a redesigned UI and now supports Music Beta by Google.

Music Beta is a new service from Google that gives you instant access to your personal music collection on the web and your compatible Android devices without the hassle of wires or syncing.

Available in the U.S. by invitation only and free for a limited time.
Request an invitation at music.google.com.

Not a Music Beta user? You can still use this player to listen to music on your Android device.

Name: Amazon MP3
Description: Introducing Amazon MP3 for Android with Cloud Player
The new Amazon MP3 app for Android, available for free in the Amazon Appstore and Android Market, includes the full Amazon MP3 store and the mobile version of Amazon Cloud Player. You can use the app to shop the Amazon MP3 store, access music stored in Amazon Cloud Drive, and music stored locally on your Android device. Shop for your favorite music by searching or browsing the Amazon MP3 store. Play, download, and manage your Cloud Drive music right from your device using Cloud Player.

Shop the Amazon MP3 Store on the Go
Shop over 15 million songs and over a million albums
Find what you want by searching, browsing genres, or exploring bestsellers
Get the same low prices, special deals, and free music you can find on the Amazon MP3 website
Check back every day for the Daily Deal and Free Song of the Day
Enter promotional or Amazon.com Gift Card codes
Save new Amazon MP3 purchases directly to Cloud Drive for free

What’s Cloud Player?
Cloud Player plays the music you save to Cloud Drive, Amazon’s secure online storage space for your music, photos, and other digital files. Save your music to Cloud Drive in two ways:

Shop the Amazon MP3 store and choose to “Save to your Amazon Cloud Drive” when prompted after order completion.
Using your PC or Mac, upload your music collection to Cloud Drive so you can access it on your Android device via Cloud Player.
Playing Your Music in Cloud Player
Simply open Cloud Player from the Amazon MP3 app for Android and stream your music collection from Cloud Drive. With the Amazon MP3 app for Android, you can also play music from your device’s built-in storage.

Note: When streaming over a mobile carrier data network, you should consider changing your application settings to stream only when connected to Wi-Fi unless you have an unlimited data plan with your carrier. If you have questions about your data plan, please contact your mobile carrier.

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Wiz Kid Jr. – Free amazon Appstore App of the Day 8/8/11

Name: Wiz Kid Jr.

Description:
Defend your mana from a horde of hungry spirits in the arcade puzzle adventure Wiz Kid, Jr. With the guidance of the Elder Wizard, chain together totems to increase your mana while beating back a steady onslaught of hungry spirits. You lose if the spirits eat up too much mana, but if you hold those hungry spirits off for long enough, you just might become an Unstoppable Wizard!

Wiz Kid, Jr. isn’t your ordinary block-matching game. You must trace a single straight line of at least three totems of the same color to eliminate them. But these totems won’t be dismissed so easily. Six types of hungry spirits lurk within the totems to add mayhem to the gameplay.

Feeding Frenzy
Each dangerous spirits has its own special attack to thwart your magical housecleaning. Some spirits munch up your mana, while others are ticking time bombs that create even more spirits if not dealt with in time. As you go up the levels, even more powerful spirits await to challenge your magical skills.

Say Hello to My Little Friend
Fortunately, you can access four additional magic spells to send those hungry spirits packing. You start off with a hammer that can knock out one totem. This bludgeon comes in handy when there’s a hungry spirit munching away, and you have no way of getting rid of it. As you progress up the levels, you’ll earn more powerful board-clearing spells to let those spirits know you mean business. But keep careful track of your mana. You don’t have an unlimited supply.

Wiz Kid, Jr. comes with detailed instructions and two game modes. Classic Arcade is a traditional campaign. In Super Free Play, you can select wave speed, spirit anger, and any three spirits to combat. Super Free Play is a fun way to figure out the best method of fighting the spirits. You’ll also enjoy the old school arcade music and fun sound effects as you clear out those pesky spirits.

Reviews “This is quite a solid puzzle game. There are plenty of strategies to be discovered as you try to find the best way to eliminate the spirits while keeping your mana up. Lots of fun!” – Android Rundown

“Wiz Kid, Jr. is an excellent example of arcade puzzle design. From simple, solid gameplay, it creates a frantic, mesmerizing, and entirely unique experience…” – Pocket Gamer
“Overall, Wiz Kid Jr. is a stellar game. The scary, training wizard man up top looks great, as do all the stylized fonts and accents. It runs smooth as butter, and has a kickin’ soundtrack, to boot.” – Android Central

Download Link: http://goo.gl/icSEv (Amazon.com)

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Android Ringtones – How to get/make them.

Ringtones. You would imagine the your options for ringtones would be so much better than on a normal non-smart phone, and you would be correct in that assumption. There are multiple ways to get ringtones and even multiple ways to make your own ringtones onto your phone.

For starters, the way that android organizes his ringtone management is (in my opinion) very well laid out. On your memory card there are a bunch of folders.  If you look very carefully you will see a folder called “media”.  If you don’t have one, create it.  then inside of that folder you should have an “audio” and a “video” folder.  Then inside of the “audio” folder you should see the below group of folders “alarms” “music” “notifications” and “ringtones”.  This is the place on the SD card where the Android OS looks for sounds.

So if you want to make a tone that is for a phone call put it in the “ringtones” folder.  For an alarm put it in the “alarms folder, etc.  Modern android phones (version 2 and up) will support multiple file formats.  The main ones are .ogg and mp3.  So you can manually cut down a music file with a desktop application and copy it to your phone’s memory card in this folder and you are good to go.  But wouldn’t you like something easier?

The easiest method of making a ringtone is to do it right through the "Music” icon that is preloaded on your phone.  Let’s say you are listening to your MP3 collection and you hear a song that you want to make your ringtone.  No worries, just press the menu button at the bottom of your phone (while the song is playing) andyou will see an icon called “Set as Ringtone” (see image below). That’s it.  It will do the dirty work for you – create the tone and set it as your default.  Can’t ask for an easier option. Although there is a pretty big downfall to this.  It creates the tone just for the first 30 or 40 seconds of the song.

When your phone rings you don’t always want the intro of the song (although the beginning of the pictured Radiohead song is pretty badass).  Let’s say you want the tone to start at around 2:42 when the hard part kicks in.  So you need a solution that will let you pick that certain chunk of the song and make that your tone.  That’s where RingDroid comes in.

RingDroid is an app that lets you create a start and stop point of an MP3 file and turn it into a ringtone/alarm/notification.  All right on the device, Plus it gives you an option to set it as your default tone.  The best part of the app is that it is a FREE app available from the Android Market, or through the Google Code site. See the image below:

Name: RingDroid
Description:
Create ringtones from your own music library, or record new ones on the fly!
The original open-source ringtone editor for Android, first published in 2008 and downloaded by millions of users worldwide.
Create your own ringtone, alarm, or notification sound from an existing audio file, or record a new one directly on the device.
This application is compatible with most Android devices running system versions 1.6 (‘donut’) through 2.3.x (‘gingerbread’).
Download Link: http://goo.gl/x08x0

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Spotify – Easy 5 Minute Invite

So Spotify has been released in the US. 
(as you may have seen their little welcome message from their site)

But the downside is that you have to sign up for an invite…  And you might notice the wording: “…as soon as we can.”

Well I signed up for an invite on day 1 and still hadn’t hear back from them.  Then I stumbled across a link from Coca-Cola that saved the day.  All you have to do is enter your email and they send you a free invite.  The whole process takes 2 or 3 minutes.  Then once you have signed up you just have to download the Android app.  
To get that invite click here.

Name: Spotify
Description:
Spotify brings millions of tracks to Android. Your music is always with you. NOTE: Requires a Spotify Premium subscription – you may be eligible for a free trial! Spotify opens up your Android to a world of music. Take your existing Spotify playlists with you on the go – listen to them during your commute, in the gym or on a flight. With ‘Offline mode’ you can listen even when no connection is available. Wirelessly sync your local files to your phone to merge your catalogue with ours, no cables required! Download and get started directly from your mobile.
Download Link: http://goo.gl/oJON6

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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