Music in KolibriOS: full review and latest news

    How cool to work while listening to music! I’ve launched a playlist, he’s playing, and you’re doing your own thing. But here's the problem - in modern players, music libraries have started to be used without a trace, without them soon you won’t normally open a file without having scanned the entire hard drive before. I’m a person from the 90s, and I have a folder called “” on someone’s hard drive, someone has it “Music”, “Muzychka”, for some (we will not point fingers) it’s “Junk” or “100% make out this year". All I want is to go to the folder with audio recordings, run the file and enjoy the music! I don’t need a combine that “catalogs”, “synchronizes” and brews coffee - I need a player with MP3 support: simple, fast and pretty. Therefore, I tried to write this for my favorite operating system Hummingbird.

    Overview of Existing Applications

    Because the most popular audio file format is MP3 and most of the music on my computer is in this format, let's look at existing audio players with its support for Hummingbirds:

    1. AC97SND - comes with the distribution, located in / rd / 1 / media /. The name of the program is due to the fact that previously it only supported audio cards of the AC97 standard, now it also added support for the HD Audio codec.
      Pros : support for MP3, WAV, XM, has a playlist and supports downloading them in the M3U format, an audio progress bar is displayed, volume control, and looping of the composition.
      Cons : the computer freezes when playing many audio recordings.
    2. Listplay is a playlist player (M3U, LAP, ASF) via AC97SND. While writing an article, I fixed a bug in listplay - the path to ac97snd was incorrect. Now AC97SND starts when you select a track, but the music still does not play.
    3. MiniMP3 - MPEG Audio Layer III decoder, a program that does not have a window (plays music in the background), also exists as a library for playing MP3 files. It plays tolerably, sometimes it cannot "chew" a file, and then crackling is heard from the speakers.

    As you can see, there are few audio players in Hummingbirds, and they all have their own significant drawbacks. Even turning a blind eye to the fact that Listplay and AC97SND cause the system to freeze, their appearance is bad and there is no way to open the music folder: you need to either open one file or have a playlist; MiniMP3 does not have a window in principle.

    Hey, Pixie!

    There is a problem - you need a solution. And now, after a week of development, I am ready to introduce the world to Pixie (somewhere around here fanfares sounded, trills rattled and rose petals fell from the sky).
    Pixie is an audio player, or rather the front-end for a program that plays sound (MiniMP3). Don’t be scared - everything is very simple: Pixie downloads a list of files, controls the start of playback and stops, the volume is just like a normal player, but it doesn’t play audio recordings, it’s another process that does not have a window, but you can see it in the task manager , eg. The shadow process (back-end) for playing music can be any program or library - MiniMP3 / AC97SND / LibFlac / etc. What is the plus of this approach:
    1. separation of functionality from the GUI and the ability to fully concentrate on the development of the player (i.e. front-end GUI)
    2. You can connect any background player of audio files; for different file formats - different players
    3. if the background process of the player accidentally crashes, nothing bad will happen, the player will be alive and take care of it by opening the next song

    So, as we see, there are obvious advantages from this approach. Let's look at the functionality of Pixie.
    The window can be of three modes: normal, collapsed into the title and compact. Of the topics at the user's choice, two are available: light and dark, you can apply them by pressing F1 or F2, respectively.

    When you first start the player will ask if you want to assign it the default MP3 player. In case of failure, the player will still be available through the "Open with" menu in the file managers.
    Right-clicking on the title will hide the playlist, and on the list area will show a little help.

    At the moment, the player does not have the “Open file” function or folder, instead you need to go to the folder from the file manager and start the composition from there. There is also no way to edit the list, in version 1.0 this functionality is not provided, but it will certainly appear in future versions.
    All program settings are saved after restarting the program: position and type of window, selected theme. After closing the program and opening it again, the window will appear in the same place as before closing, the window type and theme are saved. A folder opened at the last start will begin to play.
    If the file could not start correctly, the player will proceed to play the next song in the list. When a new song starts playing, a message is displayed.

    Interesting Pixie Facts:
    1. The first working prototype of the program was written in one day! On Saturday from 9am to 2am with food breaks. Already this version could be used comfortably, the subsequent revision lasted for a week and a half.
    2. the name comes not from the pixel, as you might think, but from the Pixies group, which I have been a fan of for a long time. It turns out the pun “Pixie Player” can be translated as a member (guitarist) of the band Pixie.

    Volume - system volume control

    Specially for Pixie, a program was written @Volume- a system-wide volume mixer, author of e-andrew (@ var-log, I mean) (Andrey Krasnobaev).
    Management: hot keys in the system: Ctrl + Alt + Left (lower volume) and Ctrl + Alt + Right (higher volume), as well as Ctrl + Alt + Home / Down (turn on / off silence). When the window is open, the volume also changes with Left, PgDown (volume lower), Right, PgUp (volume higher), Up / Down, Home / End (enable / disable sound).
    It is possible to start with parameters and interact with the program through shared memory.

    Other sound programs

    In addition to those described above, there are several other applications that should be mentioned.
    1. FPlay is an excellent video player based on the FFmpeg media processor, because it reproduces everything that is possible: mp3, ogg, mkv, avi, mp4, mpeg, flv, webm, vob, mov and this is not a complete list. The hummingbird version supports video files with a high bitrate, and supports vertical synchronization for Intel video cards (it works in conjunction with the corresponding video driver). Keyboard control: spacebar - pause, Enter - fullscreen mode.
    2. MidAmp - allows you to play Midi-files using the built-in computer speaker. It has an interface and hot keys very similar to WinAmp.
      Del - delete selected tracks;
      z - previous track;
      x, Enter, double click on the file - playback;
      c, Space - pause;
      v - stop;
      b is the next track;
      Esc - close the program;
      m - enable / disable sound;
      PgUp, PgDn - swap 2 adjacent tracks;
      BackSpace - rewind the track to the beginning;
      Home / End - increase / decrease the tone of the melody and play it from the beginning (displayed next to the inscription 'tone').
    3. CDPlayer - a simple music CD player (* .cdp), is currently out of date.
    4. LibFLAC - FLAC 1.3.0 decoder port. It works on the principle of MiniMP3 - the program does not have a window, plays a FLAC file in the background and closes at the end. It has the following limitations: a decoder (not a library) understands only 16-bit stereo, does not work with files larger than 4 GB.

    Almost all popular (and not so) sound card models are supported: AC97SND, HDAudio, Sound Blaster 16, SIS. With a probability of 99%, the sound on your car will be. A more detailed list of supported audio cards can be found on our wiki .


    As you can see, now in Hummingbird there is a wonderful Pixie audio player, convenient Volume control, FPlay video player - all this makes the work in Hummingbird even more convenient and enjoyable.

    Posted by Lipatov Kirill 2015
    Success to you and prosperity.

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