Sunday, May 23, 2010

gPodder 2.6 for Maemo 5: A visual tour

gPodder 2.6 (an app for Maemo that can subscribe to and download podcasts, YouTube videos and tracks from Soundcloud) has been released today. The package is in Extras-Testing, so please test it and vote for it! A package for Diablo (Maemo 4, N8x0) is also available already, and includes some Diablo-specific fixes (the "New episodes available" selection was broken, but works correctly now).

I've prepared some screenshots to compare the UI of gPodder 2.5 for Fremantle with the UI of gPodder 2.6. Here are a few examples:


The episode actions dialog now has a dedicated "Delete" button for downloaded episodes


The settings dialog has proper "Save" semantics now (close the dialog to discard changes, click on "Save" to apply changes) - this has been suggested during UX-Week 1


The progress bar for the episode list has rounded corners (useless, but looks better)

Another feature that isn't visible at first: If you get "New episodes available", and you can't decide from the title of an episode if it's worth downloading, just long-tap the episode and choose "Shownotes" from the context menu to display the complete shownotes in a window.

This release includes improved gpodder.net support (easier configuration, restoring of subscriptions now works on first run), and will feature more fine-grained episode playback status synchronization with the (yet-to-be-released) new version of Panucci.

Monday, May 17, 2010

U-Bahn, Keyboard Repeat Switcher and an updated RaeMote

The last three days can be described as one of the more productive weekends - at least in terms of app count. Two new mini-apps have been uploaded to Maemo Extras: U-Bahn, a scrolling subway plan for Vienna and the Keyboard Repeat Switcher widget. While the former might only be of interest to Viennese locals and the occasional tourist, the latter is really useful when you do more serious work in X Terminal and want your hardware keys to have the "repeat" functionality in the yet-to-be-released PR1.2 firmware update. If you have PR1.2, please try them out and vote for these new packages.

And last but not least: a new version of RaeMote has been released, which adds missing dependencies to the packaging information and also changes the display name of the package to be shorter and searchable. RaeMote is still not in Extras, so your votes are again very welcome on this one.

Coming up: A new version of gPodder is already in the works, bringing you lots of bug fixes and UI refinements that we introduced during the last weeks. Some progress is also being made on getting the new version of Panucci ready, which will bring play position syncing when used in conjunction with gPodder and gpodder.net.

Monday, May 3, 2010

N810 + pyDance + USB Host Mode + Dance Mat

Most of the cool hacks these days are done using the N900 for obvious reasons. For this little experiment, I needed the good old N810 with its USB Host Mode (as the N900 doesn't support USB Host Mode right now) to get things going. An alternative approach would be to use BlueMaemo running on a N8x0 (with a USB device attached) acting as Bluetooth HID device for the N900 and running pyDance from the N900 on the big screen with its TV-out.

Here's a walkthrough video on how it's done:

I hope to post the packages needed to get this going shortly. Attila was kind enough to package the joydev.ko kernel module for Diablo, so we're just missing pygame/SDL_mixer with OGG support in the repositories. It's not Stepmania, but it works just as well with only minimal code changes.