PDA

View Full Version : So, what would you like to see in netTunes?


dnanian
09-25-2002, 10:42 AM
I'm busily working on the next revision of netTunes, and -- although this board has been rather bereft of requests -- I'm wondering what new features you, the users (and potential users) of netTunes would like to see in future version!

So -- if you've got a feature in mind, let me know!

(Note: iTunes, in the 1st half of 2003 [according to Steve Jobs] is going to be doing streaming and playlist sharing, so I'm currently reluctant to spend time putting this type of functionality into netTunes...)

Garrek
01-12-2003, 04:08 PM
I have not yet downloaded your application. The idea sounds slick but I'm unsure as to how this works logistically.

I'd like to see some explanations with maybe a sample network diagram (including stereo system) that shows how someone might use this. In addition, it would be nice if it specified how someone is connecting their system to the stereo. I believe this might bring more substance to the product as some people need a better feel for how it helps them - in other words, a real-world example would be great.

In addition, I hear a lot about ShoutCast! - is this compatibile with it? if not, is it planned?

Thanks

dnanian
01-17-2003, 05:40 PM
First -- sorry it took me so long to reply to your message. I've been on vacation for the last week or so (and, before that, I was at Macworld), and had sketchy access to the Internet.

Let me give you my own real-world example of netTunes usage -- hopefully, that'll work. I can't include a "real" diagram, but I'll provide a simple ASCII one. I'm sure, since it's pretty simple, that you'll be able to extrapolate.

My basic setup is:

PowerMac G4 (main machine, includes my iTunes library)
|
| (network, including PhoneNet bridge)
|
iMac (in room with Stereo, connected with an M-Audio Sonica, line-out, to an Aux connection on the stereo)

Other computers include some PowerBook and iBooks.

The iMac's music library is a simple, drag-and-drop import of the library on the PowerMac (referencing the PowerMac's library). I've discussed that elsewhere on this board.

So, the iMac runs the netTunes server. This makes the interface of iTunes available to all other Macintosh computers on my network (or wireless network), as long as you install the netTunes client. (If you purchase netTunes, you're allowed to install as many clients as you want -- as long as you've only installed the number of servers you've paid for.)

To control iTunes on the iMac, I simply start netTunes. The server shows up automatically, and I can either use the "direct control" buttons to start playing, or I can open the remote interface window and see iTunes -- the remote iTunes, actually running on the iMac -- on my other machine. I can then manipulate that copy of iTunes any way I'd like, including choosing playlists, searching for songs, artists...whatever.

The sound goes into the stereo which -- in my house -- is then sent around to the various other rooms. Any Mac can change what's playing by simply accessing the iMac with netTunes -- and, of course, you can also change it on the iMac itself.

Hope that helps to explain things -- let me know if anything is unclear, or if you have other questions!

tut
02-08-2003, 01:30 PM
First let me thank you for making the program I've been looking for.

I have maxed out iTunes for songs, so my G4 466 is a bit sluggish when it has to show iTunes. Is there a way to allow iTunes to hide when it is on the server machine? I have changed it to the smaller view, but a full hide would be great.

I have only had it for about half an hour, so give me time to find some other thoughts...but right now its got our house rockin'...thanks.

dnanian
02-08-2003, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the post, and for the compliments, tut!

In terms of hiding the UI, yes -- you can, but when it's hidden you can't interact with it "directly". Let me explain:

netTunes, as you might expect, needs to be able to "see" (on the server's screen) what it's going to send to the client. If it can't see it, it can't remote it. So, if you're using it by remotely interacting with the iTunes interface, you can't hide it (though, as you noticed, you can minimize it, which should help a lot).

If, however, you click the close box in the client iTunes window, and there's no one else connected to the server, it'll both disconnect from remote server display and close the window on the server.

iTunes is still running, though, so you'll still be able to use the menu-bar buttons (or the buttons in the server list window or dock menu) to control the server. And, if you connect again, it'll show the window again.

Hope that works for you -- and thanks for registering netTunes!

tut
02-08-2003, 03:07 PM
Thanks for the quick reply.

Either I wasn't clear in what I meant, or I didn't understand your reply...

I would like to simply hit the "apple-H" key combination to have iTunes hide on the server machine, when I am using my server machine.

I hope that clears up my thoughts.

I have also noticed that when using another program on the server its windows cover up the small iTunes window on the client computer. Should the other programs be showing up on the client computer?

It is working like a charm, though.

dnanian
02-08-2003, 03:13 PM
Ah, sorry to jump to a more complicated explanation/solution that you needed!

You can hide -- or even quit -- iTunes on the server as long as there's no client connected that's viewing the UI. It'll get unhidden or started again when it needs to. If there's a client connected, it'll probably keep "showing" it (rather annoyingly)...

If other programs are on top of the iTunes window -- big or small -- you will, indeed, see them rather than iTunes. I have to retrieve the image from the screen to "remote" it, and if that image is obstructed, I end up getting the obstructed image.

When you re-connect to the server, iTunes is always brought to the front, so this usually isn't a problem. Of course, if it's not fully obstructed, clicking on a part of the iTunes interface in the remote window will also bring it to the top.

Hope that helps!

rv8
05-18-2003, 10:56 AM
I'm very new to netTunes, as I have just started evaluating the various iTunes remote control solutions. I've got a G4 Cube connected to our stereo to act as an MP3 server. I thought that a combination of iHam and iRye and VNC would do what I want, but iHam and iRye choked once I copied a bunch more CDs onto the Cube yesterday.

I tried netTunes for 20 minutes, and it seems to do everything I absolutely need it to do, but here is my wish list for "nice to haves":

1. Access to the iTunes menu bar to get at functions that are not available with simple click on the screen. I am using OSXVNC and VNC Dimension to cover this one, but it would be nice to do it all in one program.

2. Ability to see the list of songs in the current playlist even if the visualizer is running.

3. Ability to edit song info on the current song (i.e. rating, genre, comments, etc) even if the visualizer is running.

I realize items 2 and 3 are not possible using the way that netTunes currently works - i.e. it transmits the screen image.

I'll continue to evaluate the different remote control options, and if netTunes wins, I'll register.

dnanian
05-18-2003, 11:14 AM
First, thanks for posting and checking out netTunes -- I appreciate the time you've spent evaluating it.

To reply to your "nice to haves":

1. This is something that I've been looking at for a while. I can get the menu bar information using a technique that would, unfortunately, require you to turn on the "Accessibility" control option. I've been a bit reluctant to do that, because it opens a potential security hole (which is why it's not on by default). I'm still looking at it.

Note that you *can* access anything that might have a shortcut by simply typing the shortcut key -- as long as that key isn't interpreted locally, thing'll open up. (Some entries, like Preferences, have two shortcuts, one hidden -- try Cmd-y .)

2. I've recently implemented a reasonable AppleScript interface that allows a number of things to be accessed, but did not implement the playlist contents due to its potential size (one big problem occurs when you try to bring across the playlist that represents the entire library...when I tried it with my library, which contains about 25,000 songs, it took forever, which was one reason I took the approach I did).

That said, I'll rexamine this issue at a later date. One potential workaround: use iTunes' native playlist sharing to see what's coming up?

3. Some of the information (rating) can be edited with the AppleScript interface very easily: you just set the rating for the current track. I can give you the exact code, should it be useful to you.

Thanks again! If you have any further questions or comments, please let me know.

mattjm
11-03-2003, 12:46 PM
I'm in the unfortunate position of having only one Mac in the house with a Windows desktop and Windows laptop (yuck). My Mac has my iTunes library and is connected to my stereo, but I'd like to control iTunes with my Windows machines around the house. Is it possible you might be willing/able to write a Windows version?

dnanian
11-03-2003, 06:34 PM
Alas, it's really unlikely. netTunes was written in Cocoa, and uses all sorts of features in the Cocoa frameworks. Even the networking level is done as cross-machine object messaging, and trying to implement all of that on Windows would be difficult if not impossible.

I wish I could say it would be easy, but it really wouldn't. It was never something I planned for from the get-go, and adding it at this late date is just impractical (especially considering that the sales such an effort would generate wouldn't really support the development time involved).

Sorry!

produnis
04-21-2004, 07:15 PM
hi...
first of all : sorry for my english... ;-)

my suggestions for further versions:

1. i`d like to shrink the "netTunes Server" window (apple+k) to a minimum, because there is only one server i have, .... (at this time, the window locks at a minimum size of 3 server-entries)

2. i`d like to toggle volume (and mute on/off) via netTunes Server - window and menu bar

3. i`d like to open/close the "remote iTunes"-window via menu bar..


greetings from germany,
produnis (27)
male-nurse

dnanian
04-21-2004, 08:09 PM
No apologies necessary: you should see my (utterly nonexistent) German!

Thanks for the suggestions -- I've got some ideas for the server window that I think you'll like, when I get to implementing them.

I've been looking at volume control in the menu bar: part of the problem is taking too much space. Still looking at this.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by opening the remote window from the menu bar: that capability is available when netTunes is the current application, and it has to be running to get the menu commands at all... what would you use this for?

produnis
04-22-2004, 10:20 AM
as my display is full of other application-windows (browser, photoshop etc...) controlling netTunes via menubar is a nice solution to crontoll without klicking through lots of applicationwindows (searching for the right one.. ;D ) ....

i'm missing the "show/hide iTunes" button in the menu bar when i want to edit the playlist (and this happends often :) ) ...

...at this time, i have to bring the netTunes window to front ....
...just thought it would be nice to do so via menubar easily.....
(as the menuebar supports all "button-function" instead of "Show/Hide iTunes")

dnanian
04-22-2004, 11:16 AM
I understand what you're trying to do here... again, I'm a bit worried about "overloading" the menu bar with too many buttons -- there's not a lot of space there -- but I'll look into it.

Thanks for your suggestions!

tgibbs
06-16-2004, 02:08 PM
Note that you *can* access anything that might have a shortcut by simply typing the shortcut key -- as long as that key isn't interpreted locally, thing'll open up. (Some entries, like Preferences, have two shortcuts, one hidden -- try Cmd-y .)

I understand that Universal Access allows you to add shortcuts to applications. Will this work to access more iTunes commands on the server? Forgive me for not simply trying it; I have a headless server, so doing anything on it directly is a big production.

dnanian
06-16-2004, 02:17 PM
It certainly should, as long as you actually add the shortcuts on the server itself (you can't add a shortcut locally and have it work remotely).

Again, as long as the shortcut isn't to something in netTunes (or global), it will pass right through to the remote iTunes.

Clutch Cargo
09-15-2004, 07:59 AM
Hi,

I have bought NetTunes and am enjoying it in my house.

3 x powerbooks (Pismo, Ti, Al) on an Airport Express network.

I would LOVE for it to:

- show me what song is playing (without having to wait for the screenshot)
- have smaller menu bar buttons
- do more via the menubar (choose playlist, show previous tracks) Synergy has some good options in this area.
- be faster in the responsiveness in general over the network

But - have to say - GREAT app. Keep it up.

Thanks

dnanian
09-15-2004, 08:24 AM
Hi, "Clutch". (Alas, I'm old enough to know Clutch Cargo... :()

Thanks for the suggestions. We're always working to improve netTunes' responsiveness and features, and I'll add yours to the list of things to consider for future versions.

If you hover the cursor over the toolbar buttons, a tooltip will pop up with the song info. That might help you! Also, there are two sample Konfabulator widgets in the Extras directory on the DMG. One, netTunes Panel, will pop-up a translucent panel with the song information when the song changes. You might like it!

lonetrotter
10-14-2004, 08:08 AM
1. Volumebar in menubar (its kind of un handy to wait for opening itunes vnc window for just changing volume - when u can flip to next track in menubar)
2. Minimized Server window (it is not nececreey having that taking desktopspace all the time. Actually, it wouldnt even have to be shown all the time. Could be a hidden preferencesthing.)

3. Posibiility of using scripts?

dnanian
10-14-2004, 10:54 AM
Thanks for your comments, Lonetrotter:

- I've been considering direct volume control for a future release. In the meantime, the volume *is* accessible through scripting (check the netTunes dictionary), and I use that support in one of the Konfabulator widgets in the Extras folder.

- Unfortunately, I need to be able to 'see' the window to remote it: minimized won't work.

- Scripting is possible, but I can't 'send' the scripts remotely. I do expose some of the remote iTunes, though -- check out the dictionary for more info! (You can also use remote applescripting, of course.)

lonetrotter
10-22-2004, 04:04 PM
How do I change the volume with script, without opening the "vnc"window (or the iTuneswindow)? I have searched for solutions, but have not found what you are talking about.

What about having a volume at least in the server window?

One more thing that could be handy is fast commands for 1:1 1:2 and 1:3 , maby Command+1, command+2 and command+3 or something...

I must say I am inpressed how mouch uyou seem to care about this little bbut very nice app.




- I've been considering direct volume control for a future release. In the meantime, the volume *is* accessible through scripting (check the netTunes dictionary), and I use that support in one of the Konfabulator widgets in the Extras folder.

- Unfortunately, I need to be able to 'see' the window to remote it: minimized won't work.

- Scripting is possible, but I can't 'send' the scripts remotely. I do expose some of the remote iTunes, though -- check out the dictionary for more info! (You can also use remote applescripting, of course.)

dnanian
10-22-2004, 04:33 PM
The following applescript command will set the currently selected remote iTunes' volume to 50%, for example:

tell application "netTunes"
set sound volume of current server to 50
end tell

lonetrotter
10-23-2004, 12:48 AM
Thanx a lot!

Now i made a folder in the doch with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% volume. That will do for a while.

Any tip at sights with this kind of info?

dnanian
10-23-2004, 08:32 AM
The script dictionary has all this information in it: just open Script Editor, then choose "Open Dictionary" from the file menu. Select netTunes, and then open the netTunes Suite. You'll find all of its scripting commands right there.

I've also provided a number of example scripts and widgets in the Extras folder for you to examine, one of which -- Glossy netTunes Remote -- has a volume control.

Hope that helps!

lonetrotter
02-14-2005, 05:21 PM
Thanx a lot!

Still, I must say, it would be much better to have volume connected and collected with the rest in the menubar, instead of having a clumpsy widget sucking cpu or go down to the dock to run a script.

Is it coming out any new version really? And if - about when? Any idea?


I must say, thats really the only thing i really am missing.

dnanian
02-14-2005, 05:29 PM
Understood. It's one of the things I'm definitely considering for a future version...

nestawasright
09-13-2005, 02:22 AM
Alas, it's really unlikely. netTunes was written in Cocoa, and uses all sorts of features in the Cocoa frameworks. Even the networking level is done as cross-machine object messaging, and trying to implement all of that on Windows would be difficult if not impossible.

I wish I could say it would be easy, but it really wouldn't. It was never something I planned for from the get-go, and adding it at this late date is just impractical (especially considering that the sales such an effort would generate wouldn't really support the development time involved).

Sorry!

That makes a lot of sense and understandable. But, could you work on it so that other applications, say WinAmp, could connect to the server side of nettunes? That would be superb!!! And many many many people would be hooked on this GREAT program.

dnanian
09-13-2005, 09:40 AM
Maybe I don't understand, nestawasright. If WinAmp "connected" to the netTunes server, it'd have to understand how to do so... and how to display the remote copy of iTunes. netTunes doesn't "serve" the music itself...

Perhaps what you're looking for is the ability for WinAmp to support DAAP, the iTunes streaming music protocol... that'd definitely be something for the WinAmp engineering team to take a look at. There's not much I can do without replacing it.

Or, you could just use iTunes for Windows. ;)

Break
09-14-2005, 01:27 AM
I'm not exactly sure how NetTunes works as my iBook doesn't have X on it yet (just bought it), but here's what I'm looking to do:

Basically I want to be able to stream music to my iBook like you easily can with iTunes, but also be able to manipulate the library (change ID3 tags etc.) and have playcounts work.

Now I understand with NetTunes I could get music to play on my server mac (which would be a G4) from my iBook, but would the music also play on the iBook?

If not, that's what I'm looking for.

dnanian
09-14-2005, 08:25 AM
Hi, Break.

netTunes will let you manipulate the playlists (etc) on the server-side, but we don't remote the audio: only the interface. To remote the audio, you can simply use iTunes to do playlist/library sharing: the changes you make to the playlists with netTunes will be reflected in the iTunes UI.

Alternatively, you can use something like Nicecast on the server and "tune" the stream locally.

Hope that helps!

Break
09-19-2005, 02:23 AM
Hmm... could you elaborate a bit on that first suggestion?

What kind of sharing? The normal iTunes sharing?

Would that alter the play counts? Play counts are pretty important to me - I rarely alter my playlists. There's got to be some way to implement this.

Nicecast is a bit too complicated for this, it seems. I don't want to have to be running all that stuff. netTunes would be perfect if it also streamed the audio.

dnanian
09-19-2005, 09:02 AM
Understood. But we don't, unfortunately -- I've used Nicecast for exactly this purpose, and it works well, but I can understand why you wouldn't want to.

I can't think of any other options, though!

mcroft
10-30-2005, 05:35 PM
Speaking of little features and/or add-ons (which we weren't, but hey...), I'd like to be able to have iChat display my "now playing on MusicServer iTunes..." song prefrences.

Because that's what I'm now listening to.

dnanian
10-30-2005, 05:36 PM
It actually does that, mcroft! We automatically rebroadcast the iTunes "iChat notifications", so it should definitely show what song/artist is playing at any given time.

mcroft
01-04-2006, 09:19 AM
It actually does that, mcroft! We automatically rebroadcast the iTunes "iChat notifications", so it should definitely show what song/artist is playing at any given time.

Indeed it does. My bad for assuming. Thanks!

dnanian
01-04-2006, 09:26 AM
I think this might win for the "most delayed response", mcroft! ;) Glad you're enjoying netTunes.

babasyzygy
01-30-2006, 04:20 AM
I don't know, this might be doable know through the Applescripting, so I guess this is a superposition of a feature request and a request for advice...

How's this for layers of indirection? I have a central iTunes server (a Mac mini), and a central iTunes *client* (on a quad G5), which plays out to my house stereo system via an Airport Express (why the extra layer? Because I want to be able to use the iTunes "browse" feature on playlists... I could also do this through a Fast User Switched 2nd account, but VNC gets strange when you try to combine it with FUS).

Now, in my bedroom I use my laptop to control the iTunes "client" with netTunes.

I'd really like to be able to use something like the Apple bluetooth remote to tell my laptop to play/pause/etc when I'm half asleep in bed. I don't actually have one, so another piece of remote control hardware would be nice, but nothing too complex - I need to be able to operate it "blind."

What should I do?

Thanks.

dnanian
01-30-2006, 09:54 AM
How about Salling Clicker (http://www.salling.com)? If you put the "server" on your "client" and on your laptop, you can connect to the Quad through the laptop, and get very effective BT-based control.

babasyzygy
01-31-2006, 12:40 PM
How about Salling Clicker (http://www.salling.com)? If you put the "server" on your "client" and on your laptop, you can connect to the Quad through the laptop, and get very effective BT-based control.
Isn't sailing clicker for cell phones and PDAs? I can't see any mention of any support for anything like the Apple remote control (is there anything else like the Apple remote?).

Thanks,

dnanian
01-31-2006, 12:44 PM
Salling Clicker is for cell phones and PDAs, but it's Bluetooth, whereas the Apple remote is not. It's also two-way, and will provide a much better experience for you than the relatively lousy Apple remote.

babasyzygy
01-31-2006, 01:02 PM
Salling Clicker is for cell phones and PDAs, but it's Bluetooth, whereas the Apple remote is not. It's also two-way, and will provide a much better experience for you than the relatively lousy Apple remote.

Ah, I hadn't realized that the Apple remote wasn't BT.

But what I want doesn't need to be two-way - I really want something that I can operate with my eyes closed while listening to music, so something with distinct tactile buttons is necessary.

Digging around, it looks like the griffin AirClick (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/airclick/) might do the trick if it can control netTunes.

babasyzygy
01-31-2006, 01:04 PM
Digging around, it looks like the griffin AirClick (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/airclick/) might do the trick if it can control netTunes.

Oops, nevermind, I misread the description and parsed "iPod mini" as "Mac mini." That's no help :(

Edit added:

But the Keyspan remote (http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/urm17a/), while not ideal because it's IR not BT, will do what I want. Will netTunes respond to it?

dnanian
02-01-2006, 07:27 PM
If you can program the remote to send netTunes scripting commands, it will. But if it doesn't support it natively, no: we have no specific support for the Keyspan.

steveluscher
05-19-2006, 03:38 PM
I would roll over like a puppy if you could add Apple Remote support to NetTunes so that my Apple Remote could control, through my Intel iMac, the iTunes sitting on the music server that I keep in the closet. That, would be heaven.

I listen to music almost exclusively on the hi-fi hooked up to this closet-music-server-mac, and love NetTunes.

What do you say? Can we get it so that using the Apple Remote on my iMac does at least the same thing as clicking on the "Play-Pause-Next-Previous" buttons in the menu bar?

Great work!
Steve...

dnanian
05-19-2006, 06:09 PM
I'm not sure what the Apple Remote does is documented, Steve, but I'll certainly consider it for a future release...

edalzell
06-04-2006, 08:07 PM
This may be in netTunes already, I can't tell, but here's what I would like.

When using a client, I would like to be able to add a file to the server library. Like when I buy a song from iTunes Music Store.

dnanian
06-04-2006, 10:09 PM
It is there, Ed. Just press Cmd-o to add a file to the library (which has to be on the "far side" -- on the server, or available on the network).

Hope that helps!