8 Sep

Music App update – Sep 8th. 100th rev and v 0.6!

Happy 100th revision! For me this is truly a milestone. I mean, 100 revisions since Music was just a basic UI concept. Now look at it. It plays music, sorts tracks by artist, album, has playlist support, shows cover art, seeks and starts to look pretty darn good.

We celebrate by giving you Music 0.6!



  • HUD support (Daniel Holm)

  • New app icon (Sam Hewitt)

  • New album view (Victor Thompson)

  • New artist view (Victor Thompson)

  • New first page with last played and genres (Victor Thompson)

  • New Add to playlist page (Daniel Holm)

  • Playlists now shows number of tracks (Daniel Holm)

  • Currently played track is highlighted all over the app. (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Animation when jump to next track. (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Clicking on a track bring the user to the queue. (Victor Thompson)

  • Merged together Queue with Now Playing, which has become the central part of the app (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Swipe to delete (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Adding apparmor manifest for when running confined. (Sergio Schvezov)

  • Updated Autopilot to (Victor Thompson):

    • Test Next song.

    • Test Use Oggs.


Bugs fixed:

  • Fix when adding item to queue from album page that album data does not
    appear in the play queue. (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Playlist Null property (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Play Queue cache (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Add to queue album page (Andrew Hayzen)

  • Fix location of added music content (Victor Thompson)

  • Debian fix common folder (Andrew Hayzen)


New Queue - Now Playing

Victor has made a lot of progress with integrating the new Mediascanner (which will be system wide in Ubuntu) into Music. Packages for using it – together with Grilo QML bindings – are landing in the Core Apps PPA. This is one of the most heavy (important) things that will have to be done by the time of 1.0 release.

The UI/UX is undergoing a real facelift to look like Lisette Ledgers design: http://design.canonical.com/2013/08/music-app-focus-on-the-content/

The focus is on the content with the Queue now playing a central role. The new design are coming a long nicely with both large and small fixes coming in continuously.

The main theme of the discussion me, Victor and Andrew right now is the Toolbar and the expanded listitems, which will make a lot of change.

We are also awaiting the API to make the app stay awake (keep playing music) after screen off.

So there you have it. The changes to and the release of Music 0.6.

There’s still a lot that needs to be done for 1.0 in October, but we’ll get there.

24 Aug

Quiz App Update, 24th aug.

Hi all,

Back from a lot of work and studying for an exam. Back to my app submissions to the Ubuntu App Showdown.

The Quiz app, which I’ve written about earlier, is coming along nicely. Yesterday and today, I’ve been working on rebuilding some of the backend. Previously Quiz was only able to add a question, with an answer, and then list all of the questions, and if you wanted to answer a question you had to write it down. Then I added four buttons, one which contained the correct answer – no need to type it yourself.

Now, I removed those old buttons, updated the tables for the questions database so that you can add alternatives to your question, and each of them (max four, min two) gets an old button automagically since I’ve rebuild the backend to use ListModels instead of manually doing it. Each alternative is saved in an array, foreach.append to ListModel = done!

Result is found in the images above. I just need to deactivate all of the buttons when one alternative is pressed, instead of just the one that got pressed. Also the alternatives will be in a random order later on.

Later on I will create a way for the app to download new questions from a server, and also bundle the app with some inital questions. Untill then you have to add your own.

24 Jun

Web apps for Ubuntu Touch.

I got my Galaxy Nexus last week and immediately installed Ubuntu Touch on it, and have run it ever since. I really like the way to jump between applications in the UI, but don’t really like having many tabs running on a smart phone/tab – also I don’t want to input the site I want to check out every time I know what I want to do. Therefore I started to create apps for Ubuntu Touch just like the one for Twitter and Facebook: a simple launcher that opens a new browser window with a set URL.

I started two night ago with testing and yesterday I started to setup and build packages for all of them (moved to let Launchpad to the building now, instead). Today I’ve added a few more.

I started out with the ones I need personally:

  • Swedbank (Swedish bank)

  • Ping Pong (app for Swedish Universities)

  • Wikipedia

  • Västtrafik (Public transit where I live)

  • tv.nu (Whats on TV right now – Swedish channels)

  • IMDb

  • SR (Swedish Radio)

  • SJ (Train)

  • Wunderlist (todo service)

Might be more… they’re building.

They’re all in by PPA: https://launchpad.net/~danielholm/+archive/touch-apps

You can find the code here: https://code.launchpad.net/~danielholm

In the coming days I will post a simple guide the describes how you can do this too – it’s really simple. The only thing that’s hard, really, is the packaging stuff and setting up your environment, which isn’t that hard either.


19 Jun

Music App update – June 19th.

This is the first update of the Music app in the Ubuntu Core apps project – the official Music application of Ubuntu Touch.

At the time it’s been me (Daniel Holm) and Victor Thompson that’s been developing the application for a couple of weeks now.

Victor has put in some really good work to populate the library of meta data of each track in the users music directory, and then show the results in the app. This had to be done, due to that it’s hard to extract meta data of each and every track on each start up. Instead the music directory is scanned on first run and each tracks meta data is saved in a database, which is used later to create each of the tabs now used:

  • Music – Contains each seperate track in music dir.
  • Artists – Not done yet, but will show each artist.
  • Albums – Shows coverart (those who have) of each album in music dir.
  • Playlist – not done yet. More on that later.

The function to populate the library was quite hard to do in a QML way. We made a move to Nemo.FolderListModel(), which Victor sumbitted some changes upstream to.
Victor also has worked out the shuffle function so that works. Also the Now Playing dialog together with the ability to swipe for next/previous track.

This past week I’ve been working on integrating some of Lucas’ ideas about the UI, together with integrating scrobble support and support for Playlists:

  • We now use tabs (might switch to a nother way later on)
  • Some inital code to support scrobble support to Last.fm (not yet complete, so it doesn’t yet scrobble).
  • Tab, functions and database for playlists. Will include import playlist files, that the user already has.


Lucas yesterday submitted a demo of his thoughts of how the Music app should work:


Music 0.3 just landed in trunk and the package should be in the Core Apps PPA later tonight. Altough Victor’s upstream changes has not yet landed in Nemo.FolderListModel(), which unfortunately makes it unable to run before you got the latest changes. But a PPA package for that is under way.

29 Maj

My Music app on it’s way to Core apps.

Great news! My Music App, which I showed the to the world a week or so, ago is now being developed together with Canonical and the Community to become one of the Core applications in Ubuntu Touch – the default music application!

I just had my first meeting with Michael Hall, Alan Pope and Victor Thompson, where we discussed how to proceed with the development.
The application will be based on my code, which is great. Also we will adopt the UI design from Lucas Romero Di Benedetto, which you can see above.

I’m so excited!


19 Feb


Jag börjar smått förstå hur det måste kännas för Apple-fanboys när de har en keynote. Om en timma ska Ubuntu släppa något nytt, och bevisen pekar på en tablet från HTC. Jag är lite pirrig.


Jag har använt Ubuntu som mitt primära OS sedan 2005, och mitt enda OS sedan 2006-2007. Jag är väldigt förtjust i det, och jag är faktiskt en av dem som uppskattar Ubuntus förändringar.


När jag började använda Ubuntu istället för Windows så var det för att jag sökte något nytt – något med frihet. Ubuntu underhåller sig själv nu och ger mig nya saker utan att jag behöver äventyra min frihet.


Jag gillar Unity, det är simpelt och snyggt. Och jag är väldigt förtjust i HUD för det är något helt nytt! GNU/Linux-communityn har länge arbetat för att ta fram alternativ till proprietär mjukvara som existerar för OS X och Windows, men utan att göra dem på ett alternativt sätt – de har alla liknat och fungerat som sina alternativa, proprietära, program.

Kontorsprogrammen, har liknat varandra, och menyerna – och jag ser inget fel i det, i sig, för hur många andra sätt kan man göra det på? Men HUD är nytt, och något som man aldrig sett förut. Unity är enhetligt och modulärt och tillåter vem som helst att bygga ut det.


Sedan smartphonens entré har jag velat köra Ubuntu på den. Jag minns hur jag var i kontakt med någon telefontillverkares support för att höra mig om möjligheterna att flasha Ubuntu på den – det var väldigt länge sedan. Och inte gick det. Sedan kom Android och slog på stora trumman, och jag tycker om Android – men det är inte Ubuntu. Samma sak gäller på tablets, och även om det går att installera Ubuntu på den, så har det inte funnits ett användargränssnitt som faktiskt har gjort det behagligt att använda det.


Så kom Ubuntu Phone! Åh, vilken grej. Jag visste det!, tänkte jag när nyheten var lös. Och även detta gränssnitt, Ubuntu Touch, med Unity och all dess funktionalitet, såg nytt ut. Det är nytt. Jag vill ha det. Swipe-dit, swipe-dit. Ett gränssnitt för media, och enkelt att hoppa mellan applikationer. För det är något som jag stört mig på i Android – finns inget Alt+Tab på ett smidigt sätt. Nog har de att man kan lista alla applikationer som körs, men jag vill inte ha de animationerna, eller den latensen som uppstår i hoppen. Jag vill hoppa direkt från en applikation till en annan ”utan att passera Gå”. Smartphones eller tablets kommer inte kunna ersätta min dator om man inte kan multi-taska på det viset.


Ubuntu Touch ska släppas nu i veckan, kanske tillsammans med den påstådda tableten nu vid kl 17, och jag kommer flasha det på min telefon så fort det bara är ute för min telefon.

Samma sak gäller Ubuntu Touch för tablets, och som fungerar på min. Båda vilket jag antar kommer att ske med tanke på den enorma community som finns.


Så fort Ubuntu TV kommer så kommer jag vilja ha det med, och jag ser verkligen med spänning på hur den utvecklingen sker, nu när även smart-TV blir allt mer utbrett.


Jag älskar Ubuntu, med en förändrades mitt sätt att se på världen – öppenhet och frihet. Det har blivit en synonym. Jag vill ha Ubuntu på alla mina enheter för att jag tycker att det är fantastiskt, och framtiden. Jag är väl helt enkelt en Ubuntu-fanboy.


EDIT: Det var Ubuntu Touch för tablets, och det var magiskt.