External Control Plugin Version II - ideas please!

samuel337

Portal Pro
August 25, 2004
772
0
Melbourne, Australia


Ok, now that most of you have seen my proof-of-concept external control plugin (i.e. in MPWebControl), its time to turn this proof into a full-blown plugin.

I'm in the process of rewriting the plugin, incorporating many, many more features.

Are there any particular parts of MP that people want access to?

Currently on my list:
- access TV programs/recordings database
- access Music database
- access Videos database
- ability to send actions to MP (e.g. play, pause, stop, previous menu, up, down etc)
- ability to manipulate the playlist
- ability to display message dialogs in MP (e.g. for Caller ID support)

Sam
 

MrSensitive

Portal Pro
May 18, 2004
239
0
Belgium
the webcontrol is a great concept. and it has very good potential for a lot of things..

- it can be the first step towards a PocketPC client
if this would be the case, then just about everithing of mediaportal should be accessible via the plugin

add to your list:
- now playing information(coverart, song ttile, movie title, etc..)
- next playing (if playing a playlist or album..)
this information should not be the result of a webserivce call, i noticed on my system that this was not very responsive.
maybe this should be broadcasted (UDP packets?) to subscribing applications (such as a PocketPC application)
 

samuel337

Portal Pro
August 25, 2004
772
0
Melbourne, Australia
I will take your points into account.

MrSensitive said:
this information should not be the result of a webserivce call, i noticed on my system that this was not very responsive.
maybe this should be broadcasted (UDP packets?) to subscribing applications (such as a PocketPC application)
The reason it was a webservice call is that I needed PHP to work with .NET - the webservice was the 'glue' so to speak. Before you ask, I'm using PHP because someone else started a project using PHP and I didn't want to repeat their work.

You're true its not very responsive - this is because there is in effect two communication layers happening (webservice and .net remoting). For all .NET apps, I'm only using .NET remoting, which is better than web services performance wise.

I'm not very flash on broadcasting UDP packets - maybe an idea for later. It should be that hard to do it once I get my head around it, but just not sure if its the right way to go.

Sam
 
M

MadAxeMan

Guest
I'd be interested in any conclusions you draw as I'm working on a not so dissimilar plugin at the moment.

I'm trying to write a plugin to control MP through a VFD, and also show status info when input is inactive.

I have started by creating a MediaPortal.State class to toy around with. I was hoping to keep all the code seperated out of the current code, but initial signs are not good. Having said that my time has been pretty limited so I am still digging.

One possibility I have stumbled across is hooking into the GUI action code to update the State class (keep track of current window/available actions/last action highlighted/executed). I haven't got as far as media information states.

It would be good to get a generic State interface sorted though. Should be of use to a lot of projects.
 

MrSensitive

Portal Pro
May 18, 2004
239
0
Belgium
Yes, of course,

VFD interaction would also be great.
My case has 6 buttons below the VFD wich can be used as up/down play pause etc.. functions.

it would be great if I could navigate my medialibrary using only the VFD.

a pocket PC application would make this a bit obsolete, but having more than one way of controlling MP just add's to the already great flexibility of it..
 

MrSensitive

Portal Pro
May 18, 2004
239
0
Belgium
rethinking the whole concept..

i think that MadAxeMan is probably right about the state interface, if something like this exists, a lot of plugins will benefit of this.
including the external control plugin.

maybe someone should fovus on this?
(I wish my programming skills were better, i'm just starting to learn C#)

anyway, i would be glad to help out in all means possible, just let me know..
 

Smirnuff

Portal Pro
December 7, 2004
630
0
United Kingdom
Only had a quick (very quick) read through so this may not be of use but I believe you'd benefit in taking a look at the GUIPropertyManager stuff, this is where you can get information regarding the currently playing song, active window and even the current Tetris score if Tetris is being played at the time ;).
 
M

MadAxeMan

Guest
Thanks Smirnoff I will check that out (is it in the current build [don't have it to hand at this sec]?).

I also have quite a lot of experience of building Pocket PC apps for controlling Windows Servers, but all this was in C++ through a proprietry protocol. C# seems real easy to pick up though so I'm sure I can do a PPC app as a further project - although I would have thought a web interface + Pocket IE might just be the ticket anyway...
 

Smirnuff

Portal Pro
December 7, 2004
630
0
United Kingdom
GUIPropertyManager (guilib\propertymanager.cs) is available in the current CVS. You'll be pleased to know that it offers a delegate named OnPropertyChangedHandler which you can use to receive notification of property changes, so you don't have to modify any of the existing code to hook into the property changes.
 

FullMoon

Portal Member
October 10, 2004
38
0
getting back to the features (and I know I've mentioned this before on other threads but here goes again)

It would be ideal if it is to be able to scroll through music, picture, video, tv databases, radio, recipe databases. These are the ones I use, mail and other may apply to others. I haven't found a contacts plugin (something that reads info from say outlook and displays it, that would give you calendar and addressbook, especially if someone integrated a dialer to call people through your tv set etc etc (either through modem or VOIP, but I digress here)

My main use would be to use a pocketPC over Wifi as a remote control for the program, and the main reason for having this send data to the pocket pc to view is so I can pick songs from my music database to play from MP into my stereo from any room in the house. I currently do this using Winamp and the Webamp plugin, also web based interface. The previous plugin work had issues with PocketPC's and prontos and the likes, and I thought you weren't going in that direction, but that would probably be the #1 use of this plugin.

To be honest, the other databases (except for tv maybe) really only benefit if streaming is involved. For example, If I am sending my MP output to a tv network throughout my house, then I can view movies, tv, videos, pictures etc on each tv and just use a wireless remote with extenders to control everything, the tv's give me output, I don't need output on the control device. For tv I could see how you use the output on the control device to view the program guide or schedule stuff while watching tv and be able to see the tv full screen, etc. With streaming or drive access, then I could send the output to my PDA or computer, and again for a computer it is not necessary because I could just install MP on that computer and access hard drives on the server computer to view videos or pictures, etc. THe main advantage again is for PDA's, or web access. The big exception is music which then you can do without a tv or monitor to view.

And then stuff like the recipe plugin, that would be great to be able to scroll through recipes on my PDA off of MP on a server and have it display them on my PDA. Or through bluetooth on a phone, etc.

Anyway, my two cents on the subject (inflation adjusted).
 
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