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 Post subject: Support application for MCE Remote Control
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:52 am 
AlbumPlayer Developer
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Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:09 pm
Posts: 4754
There is a small support application available to be able to use MCE-Remote with AlbumPlayer. With introduction of AP V5.0 this support application is not always necessary since for several keys, the remote sends multimedia commands which can be handled directly by the AP. But there are also buttuns like Info and the 4 color buttons, which have special meaning in AP that should be handled with this special support software to be able to use them.

Also an advantage of this support application is that you can still control the AP even when switched to the desktop of another user. This would not work with only multimedia key support!

Image

You will just need a MCE Remote Control and Windows XP or Vista

---------------------- Version 1.1 (to be used with AlbumPlayer V5.0) -------------------------

Remote control software (2-3-2009):
http://www.albumon.com/remote/ap_remote ... upV1_1.exe

Two important notes:
1. As soon as first command is send from Remote to AP, AP will not longer accept multimedia keys. Reason is that commands would be executed twice otherwise.
2. The first remote command will be executed twice since multimedia keys are not disabled yet. Should be improved in future.

------------------------------------------ Other Stuff ----------------------------------------------

On Windows XP Home, an MCE remote driver might be needed. You can find a driver which works overhere:
http://www.albumon.com/remote/MCE_remote_driver.rar

For those AP users who have the Microsft MCE-remote, and did not receive a manual, here is a link to the manual (important to read when you want to control your amplifier volume with the remote):
http://oem.microsoft.com/static/Worldwi ... Manual.pdf

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Last edited by Peter van der Burg on Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:45 pm
Posts: 55
Fantastic!!!! Can't wait to get rid of the My Music junk in MCE2005.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:12 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Hi Peter, I'm a new user and loving AP so far!

Is there an APi or interface available for writing add-ins?

I'm involved in the xPL Project - a Home Automation protocol, and one of the things we have done is add support for things like Slimp3 players and so on.

I would like to add xPL support - it would allow anything else which can talk "xPL" to either respond to info from the albumplayer (like display the current track info on other devices) or to control the actions (like adding in the transport controls).

An example of how this can work is to have the sound pause or the volume drop when there is a phone call, or having the music start to play as an alarm in the morning.. or possibly turning on the amplifier in a given room when albumplayer is launched.

I'm using AP on a server, whose sound card output is then fed to amps around my home - I have the same music playing everywhere, and leave it on Autocue through my collection.

it would be great to be able to enhance this!

Ian.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:09 pm
Posts: 4754
Sound interesting. :)

There is an interface, although it is a little bit limited. You can change volume with it but you are not informed about current volume. I can add that for you.

Currently there is no mute (should be added to AP in first place), but it will be added too.

It is possible that a whole much more extensive new interface method (for instance message queues) will be introduced to support MCE remote Control, but that is not defined yet.

Here you find what is currently available: http://www.albumon.com/attachments/AP_info_interface.txt

You can email about further questions, or start a new topic. I want have this thread reserved for remote control to keep things clean.


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 Post subject: AP_RemoteControl
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:59 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Lisse, Netherlands
Hi AlbumPlayer users,

I have made a program called AP_RemoteControl.
It is a small (.Net 1.1) program which enables MCE-Remote Control support for the AlbumPlayer.
It is a windows forms application which stays on top of your desktop and sends some MCE-remote commands to the AlbumPlayer.

The following commands are currenlty supported:
Volume up/down, next track, previous track, play, stop, pause and resume.

Installation notes:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1) Download the program overhere:
http://www.albumon.com/remote/AP_RemoteControl.zip

2) Unzip and place AP_RemoteControl.exe in a directory of your choice.

3) Do not to forget to plug-in your MCE remote ;)

4) Startup AlbumPlayer and AP_RemoteControl.

System Requirements:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- AlbumPlayer 4.0 and newer
- Windows XP (Home or Prof.) with Service Pack 2 (this included .Net 1.1 runtime)
- MCE remote (see first post).

Note 1: On Windows XP Home, an MCE remote driver might be needed. You can find a driver which works overhere: http://rapidshare.de/files/25377838/MCE_remote_driver.rar.html

Note 2: There is one setting for this program which can be set when pressing the info button on the remote when the AP_Remote program is running. The volume can be passed to the operating system (when your windows version supports this), or passed to the AlbumPlayer (default).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:40 am 
AlbumPlayer Graphics Designer
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:55 pm
Posts: 482
Location: Germany
Hi Vincent,

great job, thanks a lot! Hey, can you tell me something about the remote controls, I am not exactly sure, which one I should buy, because there are a lot of clones out there.

Thanks in advance,
Jan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:59 pm
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Location: Lisse, Netherlands
Hi Jan,

I have not much experience with MCE remotes, but one of the most commonly used MCE remote is the Microsoft MCE remote.
There are two versions (version 1 and version 2).
I use version 2, which is also refered as model 1039.
A picture of of both versions can be found here:
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/MCE_Remote

This model has a good receiver range, is easy to use, has backlight and you can control your stereo volume (learn mode).
I use it with Win XP Prof. Its also not to expensive (range: euro 25 - 35)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:45 pm
Posts: 55
I don't understand how this can be helpful as it stands right now. You still need a keyboard to get AP started and for choosing the album to play. So while I need the KB for this why have 3 input devices cluttering up my area? Just trying to understand because I would really like to see AP loaded into MCE.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:59 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Lisse, Netherlands
The current AP_RemoteControl application is just the first step.
Currently it is usefull for the AP users who have connected their amplifier to the computer, so the do not have to walk to the computer to change volume, skip track etc.

In near future we think of using the navigation keys and the red, green, yellow and blue buttons on the remote to allow more AlbumPlayer commands like:
- control (create, delelete) the playlist and see what is playing
- use of filter / search
- browse through albums
This work is not started yet, but gives insight into our intentions with the Remote Control support. This is usefull for those AP users who have connected their TV/LCD/PLASMA on the computer.

A MCE-plugin and/or MediaPortal-plugin are also on the roadmap.

And remember......all things start small..... :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:45 pm
Posts: 55
thanks for the explaining. I have my HTPC connected to my 61" samsung. I have the receiver in the same cabinet as the computer and the Liteon dvd recorder. I use a wireless rf keyboard with built in trackball. That is why I ask about the remote. The idea of a AP plugin for MCE is fantastic. The My Music in MCE quite frankly Sucks. Thanks again for taking the time to explain.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:14 am 
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Vincent, the way (and the fact that) volume control is handled in windows is really a problem. I thought at my computer windows is not touching volume, but it does. It is even worse, if I change master volume there is strange behavior (not because of remote control). The master volume slider goes down but volume doesn't change until it is down then it mutes. I think it is because I use digital output. To my believe it is important that there is a way to avoid windows handles the volume command of the remote otherwise it doesn't make sense to have an option to send the volume to the albumplayer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 7:59 pm
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Location: Lisse, Netherlands
Peter, it looks like that the volume behaviour is different for several users.
It might be caused by different audio drivers and or different WinXP versions (Home, Prof. and MCE).

I use for instance also the digital output of my computer (spdif) and if I use the (windows) master volume then it has no effect on my volume.
If I use the album player volume then this works for me.

It looks like that this volume issue is difficult to make it work for everyone, because windows/drivers work differently.
I might have to make more settings/choices to make the program more flexible, but I have to study first what the possibilities are.

You can also bypass this volume issue if you control the volume of your amplifier, which can also be done from the MCE-remote. The MCE remote has a learn mode to control your amplifier volume. You can also turn on/off your amplifier. But you have to make a choice, do I want that Windows handles the volume, or my amplifier. You can't have both :(
http://www.eirikso.com/2005/11/16/how-to-program-the-buttons-on-your-mce-remote/

Note: Not all MCE remotes can be programmed to control your amplifier. (Even not all Microsoft MCE-Remote controls).


Last edited by Vincent on Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:02 am 
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For those AP users who have the Microsft MCE-remote, and did not receive any manual (like me), here is a link to the manual:
http://oem.microsoft.com/static/Worldwide/file/MCE_Remote_Manual.pdf


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2003 5:09 pm
Posts: 4754
Vincent wrote:
You can also bypass this volume issue if you control the volume of your amplifier, which can also be done from the MCE-remote. The MCE remote has a learn mode to control your amplifier volume. You can also turn on/off your amplifier.


This is really good news because I don't like to change the AlbumPlayer volume at all. I always use the amplifier volume. I programmed it now and it works perfectly. My amplifier and he MCE-receiver are close to each other, so I just have to point in the same direction. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:03 am 
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Strange enough, "mute" can't be reprogrammed, which is very related to volume control. It can still be handled by the AP, but can only be recovered by pressing mute again, because the volume buttons will be send to my amplifier. It looks again as an "You can't have it all". :( But not a really big problem I think.


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