Archive for July, 2012

July 30th, 2012 Posted by tasty

Technologically Dependable

Hi Everyone,

 

Martin Legris here, in this post I will explain how I came about in choosing C#, Mono, Mono for Android, MonoTouch & MonoGame as the technologies underlying the development of the TasteFilter client. There were several factors that pushed us into pursuing alternatives to developing using native libraries.

 

 

  • I despise Objective-C. It is antiquated and counter-productive.
  • Java is a solid language, however there is much more coding involved than say Python, Scala or ..
  • The pain of having to manage multiple code-bases, in different languages.

 

TasteFilter applies well to mobile because of the tactile and multitouch aspect of the user experience, however I wanted to have the possibility to port it to desktop, gaming platforms, microsoft surface and have the openness to deliver on not yet released platforms. For this, Mono (microsoft-free C#) became very alluring. Here are some of it’s selling points:

 

  • The Mono VM is very mature, even more so than Google’s Dalvyk.

 

To quote the experts are Xamarin, who recently ported Android to C#, “Dalvik is a young virtual machine, it is not as performant or tuned as Mono and suffers from many of Java’s performance limitations without the benefit of the high-end optimizations from Oracle’s HotSpot“.

 

  • C# is a modern language, with which you can code less and produce more
  • There are a lot of open source libraries in C# / Mono that cover a wide area of functionality; some of it is core to TasteFilter.

 

By using MonoGame, you can develop once and deliver on:
  • iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod)
  • Android (all flavors)
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows
  • Microsoft Surface
  • Windows 8 Tablets, x86 & ARM
  • Linux
  • XBox Live
  • PlayStation Vita

 

That in itself is quite impressive. But is TasteFilter going to be a game? The answer is no. However the level of interaction of the application will be closer to a game than a traditional application. Things will move around, some 3D will be implemented in the near future, almost everything will response to touch gestures, be animated, hence why not use a gaming platform?

 

In the end, we decided to take the jump; buy a Mono for Android license and start coding. The first few weeks were spend developing a layout system under MonoGame that allows for the development of re-usable visual components; then we tested the abilities of MonoGame on Android & iOS, played in the framework, worked on a universal gesture handler system.  These last few weeks were spent ensuring integration of Mono For Android with different social network native libraries to ensure SSO, music playback, and web services interaction.

 

It was not an easy road, however because we are going down a road that is relatively new, this is something we had to expect.

 

In the next few days I will share some of the development efforts that we made for Mono for Android, things that if you read the documentation you think are taken for granted however… not quite.

 

That’s it for today! Take care y’all! ;)

July 27th, 2012 Posted by tasty

Today’s discovery: Aweditorium – Music Mapping

 

Aweditorium

 

Ipad Application: Awditorium.

You browse a mosaic composed of artist portraits. Zoom in and you get a full screen picture of the artist along with a tune and lyrics (very smart!). Several options are available for each artist including sharing, videos, bio, …
Scroll right, left, up or down on full screen to change artist or zoom out to return to the mosaic view.
At the top left of the screen, there’s a map where you can see your position on the mosaic. It also shows your friends or other users and what they’re listening to.

The true discovery experience isn’t really part of the app’s features. There’s no way to indicate preferences and tastes and guide the chosen tracks. It’s a database that contains new independent artists and lesser known artists which are all professional and quite good.

 

  • + Mapping system – intelligent and playful, gives the sensation of exploration.
  • ++ Lyrics – the lyrics scroll over the image as soon as the tune starts, VERY interesting.
  • - No recommendation tools – no way to skew the results according to user’s taste.
  • Only one track per artist, no player controls which is a bit frustrating. At the time of testing, the sharing system isn’t working.

 

Thanks to Aweditorium, I discovered Fitz and The Tantrums with the song Winds Of Change !

 

 

July 27th, 2012 Posted by tasty

Today’s discovery: Mp Me – Worldwide Radio Stations

 

Mpme

 

Mp Me provides access to a very large number of radio stations worldwide. Whether you’re looking for local or national, US rap or Congolese rumba, or any other style of music, you should be able to find almost any frequency however remote it is (earth only!). The interface is rather sophisticated with lots of options. Mp me also includes a search tool to find your favorite radio stations. It also can tell you which radio played your favorite artist which is great for finding stations that suits your tastes. There’s also a playlist function, radio station and artist biographies, and sharing via social networks.

Despite this, the experience of discovery is limited to radio stations and the programs it offers. The user doesn’t have the option to provide their preferences and get recommendations based on them. Too bad.

 

  • + Radio database – you should be able to find any radio station – the ones you listened to as a kid or the one you listened to while on vacation halfway around the world.
  • ++ Interface and Navigation – simple and fluid, you’ll feel comfortable controlling the interface after just a few minutes of use.
  • - Discovery experience limited to musical genres (based on station’s style), unable to make connections between artists, or even between stations.
  • We only can listen to the song that plays live on the radio, unable to access last played tracks.

 

Thanks to Mp Me I discovered Tycho on Cliqhop Radio !

 

 

 



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