State of the Squeeze

It’s been a long, long time since I had a post here. Over four months! Chalk it up to nothing particularly important to say and no time to say it.
Did you know that Orange Squeeze 2.0 Preview is available on over 4,000 different devices on Google Play? Sometimes it feels like even more. Work has been slow but steady on feature development, refinement, and bug fixes for Orange Squeeze 2.0. At this point, I’m honing in on what I would like to think is pretty much the core feature set for the release. It’s hard to even enumerate every single update, but here are the major changes that have happened since my last post in late May:

  • New UI based on the Android action bar and navigation drawer patterns.
  • Grid mode for tablet-class devices. This was a long time coming, because I wanted the artwork loading to be fast and seamless on a wide variety of devices. It’s working well on most devices that I am aware of.
  • New artist artwork generation technique — it uses a more traditional grid instead of the overlapping cards model in the past.
  • The current playlist view is updated to include some nice gestures, such as swipe-to-remove and also long-press to reorder. Overall the current playlist view is faster and more robust than before.
  • Orange Squeeze will now broadcast track and player metadata, allowing consumption of track and player metadata by third-party apps.
  • New track download backend that works around some issues with the previous one based on the Android download manager. Truth be told, this isn’t an area that I want to focus on, but I do want it working well enough for everyone so you can get the job done. Spit and polish for this feature will have to take a backseat to most other issues.
  • Browse fixes so that lots of plugins that weren’t working, now do. Examples include Lyrics plugin, album review, more advanced Album Artwork plugins, etc. Expect some additional improvements to browsing as well.
  • Improved media key button handling. There is more to come on this front, as additional options are added.

I truly appreciate the work that the you alpha/beta testers are doing. I know it’s frustrating when the app crashes or when it just doesn’t work how you want it to work. I’m working hard to understand everyone’s unique use case — the Squeezebox ecosystem is so varied and flexible that people are finding ways to use Orange Squeeze in ways I hadn’t even intended. I’m excited about where the app is headed and look forward to wrapping up this release!

Thanks everyone!

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