Sep 19

Just a short note: I used the last week to severely test SqueezePad under iOS6.
So far I did not find any shortcomings, looks like iOS6 is more backwards compatible than the previous iOS versions.

So as always: have a lot of fun with SqueezePad – and if you still do find anything strange, don’t hesitate to contact me directly!

On a personal note: while of course I do like the many enhancements in iOS, not having a YouTube App (the Google one is not available for some reason in Germany) is a really big downside for me.
My 2 1/2 year old son is/was able to find the YouTube App on any iPad that was given to him 😉 … and as YouTube then presented the history of videos watched (usually all of his own kids videos as I don’t use YouTube on the iPad)  it was really impressive watching him navigate YouTube like it was a no-brainer for a 2 1/2 year old toddler.

Unfortunately he isn’t able to type m.youtube.com in the browser window yet and also the webpage isn’t as intuitive as the App. One really  really big loss for me :(.

May 06

Artwork and icon improvements in SqueezePad 1.9.5

Allgemein, News Comments Off on Artwork and icon improvements in SqueezePad 1.9.5

In SqueezePad 1.9.5 I focused on the small album art in the left menu. Of course the Retina display of the new iPad makes a huge difference but also on iPad 1 and 2 I found a bug, that made the artwork more blurry than it had to be.
On the following screenshots you can see a direct comparison. I scaled all images up to to be the same size for better comparison of the details – on a real iPad these images have a size of 12mm x 12mm.
Most obvious is the improved readability of all texts (despite the small size) – and one can also clearly see the improvements the Retina resolution can get you for the same image.


Also all icons got a makeover for the new iPad.As one can clearly see, the icons were not just scaled up but redrawn from scratch.The original set was drawn by a designer, but now I was on my own.Might look simple, but as I’m not the most talented graphics guy I guess it took me two hours on average for each icon.

Mar 17

Wow – some people already got their new iPad!

Unfortunately I’m not as fast as you, my order for the new iPad will only arrive on Monday (and I hope to catch the postman then).

I’ll then be able to see what areas of SqueezePad need improvements with the new Retina display. For instance the album art could be retrieved with twice the resolution and I’m pretty sure some icons will need some overhauling as well.

Please give me some time for the adjustments, but I’m pretty sure you’ll get an update soon!

[update 18.03.2012] I sent a first new release to Apple for review. It turned out, that most texts in SqueezePad didn’t adapt to the Retina resolution automatically. This has been fixed, lets see how fast Apple is reviewing nowaday.

[update 09.04.2012] While the first update improved the appearance of SqueezePad quite a lot, I spent some more time into improving the Retina capabilities: I’m almost finished with redrawing all icons and also the small album cover in the left menu will be retrieved in Retina resolution in the next SqueezePad version. Stay tuned!

[update 20.04.2012] the new version is out! Every corner now in high resolution – a joy for the eyes!

Dec 25

Me any my family celebrated christmas with a lot of christmas songs obviously.

A good companion of course was SqueezePad, which always showed us, what was playing right now.
Doesn’t it look nice drapped up on our board?

Unfortunately I’m not the very best at taking pictures when not too much light is around – anyway I think you’ll get the spirit 🙂

I’m subscribed to one of the many streaming services, so was able to fulfill everyones christmas song wishes.
My granny was quite astonished by all the possibilities and that my ‘library’ even had old classics she used to hear on the disc record.

I don’t think she’ll buy a Squeezebox and iPad now, but she will definitely come back next year 😉

Oct 08

If you are like me, music is not only about the tunes, but also about bands and artists.Unfortunately always looking them up and learning about them is (was) a tedious task … open the browser, surf to your favorite search engine, enter your keywords … and if you want to look somewhere else start all over.
Until now! SqueezePad 1.9.0 comes with an integrated browser ready to look up all relevant content about your currently playing song, artist or their album with a simple tap.
You’ve never been faster looking up your music!SqueezePad comes with a wealth of pregenerated links to Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, Last.FM, AllMusic, Facebook and many more. You cannot miss the new browser feature – just use the new button below the playlist button to the right.

When I open it, I’m brought straight to the Wikipedia article of the current playing artist, here the Beatles (click to enlarge):

As Wikipedia often lacks a lot of pictures, why not start a search for more images with just one more tap ?
On the left menu you’ll the links to all other sites, so let’s do a Google Image search *tap*

What about moving pictures from YouTube *tap*

Finally lets sing along – finding the Lyrics for the currently playing song is a breeze as well *tap, tap*

Other improvements in this version: the new picture viewer from Squeezebox-Server 7.7 in the Extras menu is working now.

Aug 12

Hi SqueezePad fellows,

a new version has been released to the AppStore today.

Due to popular demand I finally decided to provide buttons for shuffle & repeat on the main screen. As I never could remember what the different symbols on a Squeezebox mean, you’ll get some little helper popup to always find the correct option.
Here is a little screenshot of how it looks like:

These buttons change into ThumbsUp/Down buttons for Pandora and Love/Hate when you listen to LastFM, so you won’t need to use the context menu anymore.

SqueezePad now also renders photo galleries with really big pictures in the menu. This is very handy for the artist images of the biography plugin as you can see on these screenshots:


But also Logitech Flickr “App” and Facebook “App” will now show much bigger images in the photo gallery menus.

And finally: SqueezePad now supports switching of players: it will look out for players connected to other servers (and MySB.com) and renders them in the player menu.

If you tap such a player you will be asked if you want to switch this player (or all players) to your main server.

You will also find a new ‘Switch to MySqueezebox.com’ option in the settings menu to left.
Please note that switching players does not work for password protected servers.

Jul 18

So yes indeed – SqueezePad gets old 🙂

To celebrate an awesome year I decided to give a 50% discount this week (18.07-24.07), so if you didn’t try SqueezePad yet – now is your chance!

It all started as a little project on my vacation as I wanted to see how these App thingies worked at all. My daytime job doesn’t leave me too much time with developing stuff (all about project management nowadays 😉 ) so SqueezePad is where I do spend my nights developing when my wife and kid are sleeping.

SqueezePad has been the first iPad App for SqueezeBoxes. Only later iPeng and even later the Logitech App followed.
SqueezePad also was the first to bring you playback directly on your iPad around Christmas time – and it’s still the best playback implementation at the current time (supporting gapless playback and full synchronization over the whole course of an album).

SqueezePads main goal – back then and still today is about elegance and simplicity. I always strive to hide the complexities of the Squeezebox universe behind an easy to learn, intuitive and good looking interface. Still also advanced users are able to do whatever comes in their mind.
This is not always easy to achieve – and also comes with just not implementing everything that my users wish – hard decisions everytime!

Whats up to come in the future?

The next release (1.8) right now still in the works but almost finished will bring you some long requested features: buttons for shuffle and repeat (along with ThumbsUp/Down for Pandora and Love/Hate for Last.FM) and some means to switch players between multiple servers.

Version 1.9 will introduce a new feature I don’t want to talk about yet, as I want to keep some gunpowder for surprises.

Version 2.0 then sounds good enough to finally provide a full portrait mode.

Be aware that plans might change, but at least this is my current state of mind 🙂

 

Onward! the next twelve months are already lurking behing the corner …

Mar 05

<<update 30.03.2011>>SqueezePad 1.7.3 has been released. This version fixes all known problems with the current beta-versions of SqueezePad. So for a limited time (i.e. until Logitech again changes something 😉 ) you can have a lot of fun again with SqueezePad even when running beta-versions of Squeezebox-Server

<<update 18.03.2011>>No time to breath: in the meantime, Logitech changed the nightly 7.6 builds drastically again:  http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=618990
On my test-machine when I browse an album, ALL tracks of my library are shown. Unfortunately no workaround this time. I submitted a fix for all known problems to Apple today. If you want to use SqueezePad without problems, again I have to advise to not run the nightly beta builds of Squeezebox server.<<update>>

<<update 11.03.2011>>*sigh* Unfortunately there are still changes left, that makes SqueezePad not compatible to the latest nightlies. Squeezebox-Server now sends data compressed and SqueezePad is not uncompressing the data. There is only one workaround right now: enter the settings-screen of your Squeezebox-Server, go to Advanced->Logging and activate ‘Debug’ on the ‘network.cometd’ channel. Then hit ‘Apply’.
The debuglog will force the server to send uncompressed data. The next update of SqueezePad will be able to uncompress the data itself

<<update 10.03.2011>> As of today the major bug affecting SqueezePad has been fixed in the Squeezebox-Server Nightly 1.7.5/1.6.x Beta-Download. So if you are using beta-versions you are on the safe side again

<<update 06.03.2010>> I opened a bug-report for Logitech – please follow and vote for it if interested: http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=17030
I also documented a workaround on the forum: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=615856
<<original text 05.03.2011>>

This week Logitech developers changed some code that handles menus in the Squeezebox-Server in the latest development version of the Squeezebox-Server.
Unfortunately this change was not compatible to the way SqueezePad is evaluating menus, so anyone regularly running or updating unofficial beta-versions of Squeezebox-Server (7.6 or 7.5.4) will only see an empty settings menu now.

Right now I’m analysing the code changes and will decide whether I will adopt the code of SqueezePad or create a bug report for Logitechs developers.
Even if I decide to fix the issue it will still take Apple about one or two weeks to review a new version.

For now I can only advise to use the latest stable and official version 7.5.3 of the Squeezebox-Server (http://downloads.slimdevices.com/SqueezeboxServer_v7.5.3/) – or if you still have a copy a nightly build from last week.

As you can see, running nightly beta-builds not only might affect your Squeezebox in a negative way, but SqueezePad as well.

I’ll update this blog post, when I have further information.
Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Dec 22

Today is the last day where Apple releases updates to the AppStore (until new year arrives)… and tell you what: SqueezePad 1.7.0 slipped through in the last minutes – must be christmas – and I am so very excited !

Now SqueezePad brings you a very special new feature: Music-Playback directly from your iPad.
After a lot of really hard work now your iPad becomes a little Squeezebox on its own.

Unlike other Apps out there, SqueezePad is able to stream:
– your local music
– internet radio stations
– songs from your Apps like Last.FM or WIMP (Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody are not support due to licensing issues. Napster will play with the help of a windows-bases Squeezebox server)

You find this feature as an in app purchase (half the price of SqueezePad) in the players menu. Just hit the ‘Activate iPad Playback’ button and you can either test the feature 15 minutes each day or buy it directly.
Please note, that this feature only works with a local Squeezebox-server install.

After that your iPad turns up in the players list.

squeezebox playback on iPad

As my beta testers and I cannot test all music streams and files of the world I definitely recommend testing first 😉 – if any of your preferred streams doesn’t work please contact support so that we can find a fix for that!

The following music formats are directly supported:
mp3, aac, alac, wav, aiff, pcm.

With the help of your Squeezebox Server you can also stream FLAC and OGG to your iPad (the server will convert them to either WAV or MP3, based on your server settings). WAV works out of the box, for mp3 you’ll need to install the LAME codec.
If your Squeezebox Server runs on a Windows machine even WMA-files are possible without problems!

SqueezePad does not support synchronization to other Squeezeboxes.

With iOS 4.2 (you did upgrade already, didn’t you) you will get even more convenience:
Your iPad will continue to play music even when you leave the App. Please be aware, that when you stop your music for more than two minutes, iOS will still suspend the App. You will need to enter the App again to start some new music.
You can also control playback outside the App via the ‘iPod Controls’. Double tap the home-button of your iPad and then swipe right – here you can control volume or skip tracks as well.

Other things changed in this version:

  • when showing coverart, embedded art is now preferred over album art. This makes it possible to have different cover for each song of an album
  • the alphabetical index in menus is much easier to tap, without erroneously selecting a song
  • there was a crash, when you tried to show a context menu on a menu separator
  • sometimes the playlists didn’t reload when you reentered the App (iOS4.2 only)
Nov 14

Only five weeks have passed since the last feature update … time for a new one, don’t you think ?

This release introduces:
– playlist protection
– album/artist/image-caching for your local library
– a reworked screensaver
– automatic server detection
– Wake-On-Lan
– iOS4.2 readyness
– some bugfixes

I also started a new vote to get priorities for the next features:  http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=83106.

Let’s get into the details of the current release!

Playlist protection
Ever created a big playlist and with a single wrong tap just erased it? Now SqueezePad offers you a ‘playlist modification mode’ on the settings screen.
You can either choose to
– always replace the playlist (old behavior)
– always add songs to the end
– always add songs after the current playing song
– always have SqueezePad ask you

The last option is really nice if you don’t wan’t to decide beforehand how to populate the playlist. It’s also very nice for parties because your guest can decide on the fly.

Album/artist/image-caching for your local library
SqueezePad now keeps a cache for album-lists, artist-lists and album images of your local library.
The cache is only filled when you browse a menu the first time. If you enter the album or artist list a second time (even after a restart) they will appear immediately.
The cache will be flushed automatically when:
– you do a full rescan of your library
– you do a scan for new music and the album-,artist-, track- or genre-count changes
– you change the server-url or update your server

Furthermore you’ll find a button on the settings screen for clearing the cache if something is not right (this might be needed, if just some album covers changed).

A reworked screensaver
The screensafer now looks much nicer overall. Gone is the boring black background.
But more important: if you tap it a bar with some controls (play,stop, rewind, next and volume) appears on the top so you can use the most important stuff right from the screensafer.
This is very handy when you use your iPad with the screensaver in the dock and just want to skip a song.

Automatic server detection
When one starts SqueezePad the first time, it will automatically search and connect to your Squeezebox-Server. No more fiddling with IP and Ports on the settings-screen.
SqueezePad will remember the name of the server, so if just the IP changes SqueezePad will now adopt automatically.

On the settings screen there is also a ‘Search’ button, which will give a list of all found servers.

Wake-On-Lan
If one enters the MAC of the server on the settings-screen, SqueezePad will send a Wake-On-Lan packet to this server upon start and every five minutes.

iOS4.2 ready
iOS4.2 is on the doorsteps to your iPad. SqueezePad now fully supports multitasking once this feature is available for the iPad.

Other Bugfixes
– if you have an album with more than 100 tracks starting a track 100+ now works
– the progress bar is hidden again when playing streams (bug introduced in 1.5.1)
– SqueezePad doesn’t crash anymore when you enter invalid URLs on the settings-screen
– when you clear the playlist also the image of the last played song is cleared correctly
– erroneously selecting a track when closing the playlist is now much much harder