Androku

Some Notes on Androku (current state) problems etc.

Androku lets you remote control your Roku Soundbridge

The code is sort of beta – it’s only tested with one Soundbrige (M1001) and one phone (HTC Desire), so reports about errors are welcome!

Known limitations:

  • supports only displays in bitmap mode (no Soundbridge M500 or below, though when you uncheck ‘Bitmap Display’ somewhere in Settings…, you get info about the current song)
  • no localization
  • still some crashes

Troubleshooting

If connecting doesn’t work, do the following checks:

  • soundbridge firmware version is >= 2.3
  • soundbridge network control is enabled (System Configuration -> Network Control)
  • the IP address is correct
  • Wi-Fi is enabled on the android device
  • internet is accessed via Wi-Fi and not via Mobile network
  • in rare cases, when things are screwed up, a reboot might help

If you have come across other strange situations, please let me know!

v0.1.12:
– avoided connecting, when mobile network is active

v0.1.9:
– device detection via SSDP
Please tell me, if it doesn’t work – it’s just a first trial. I don’t know, if models sold as Pinnacle SoundBridges have Roku as manufacturer.

As this project is basically an exercise in order to get familiar with Android, there will be limits to what I think is reasonable to do.

For this implementation I took the easiest approach: reading the bitmap display and sending remote control commands. The RCP specification of Roku allows much more, but then everything becomes much more complex and I don’t think the effort is worth for something that seems to be already pretty dead. (no updates for some years and none of the protocol enhancements promised some years ago).

So there won’t be any support for old soundbridges without bitmap mode (unless there were a protocol update that would allow sending display information as promised) – no special treatment for spectrum analyzer …

Localization: could be done easily – only the file ‘strings.xml’ has to be translated. If anybody thinks, it’s worth it, just leave a message.

Other errors and problems:

  • There are still some crashes, usual suspects are threads. Will be improved continuously.
  • There were reports that connecting wasn’t possible. It’s difficult for me to find out the reason without knowing anything specific. Whenever it occurs to me, rebooting usually helps.
  • M2000 screens certainly don’t look good in protrait mode. Currently I offer the possibility to stretch the display vertically. I don’t know if it helps. Another way would be to split the soundbridge display in the middle and display the two parts one below the other. Don’t know if that looks any better. Third possibility: I could try to lock the display in landscape mode.

Two Screenshots from my HTC Desire (480×800 px).

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42 Responses to Androku

  1. Alex says:

    Hi! I would love to use your app, but I just can’t enter the ip-adress. The field accepts only one dot. Even if I copy and past the ip from somewhere elese, the dots are gone…
    My phone is htc legend, android 2.1. Regards, Alex

    • bebopfreak says:

      Worked on my htc desire – could be, because I use ‘en’ as localization.
      I uploaded a new version, with relaxed input restrictions for the IP field.

      • Alex says:

        Hi! Thank you for your quick answer and update! Works great now. I left a comment and gave you 5 stars.
        Alex

  2. Foxkat says:

    Please add support for high resolution display of Motorola DROID. Images, graphics, and text are tiny and hard to read. Otherwise it works well. Only not working right now on my DROID but I don’t think its your program’s fault. I may have a conflicting program. I plan to uninstall and reinstall to see if that resolves black screen.

    • bebopfreak says:

      It looks ok on my HTC Desire (480×800) – see the screenshots above.
      So I wonder, what’s different, when using the DROID? Screen size of the DROID should be 480×854, only a bit longer than the Desire.
      Are the icons smaller? Which text is too small?

      I tried the emulator with 480×854 and 240 dpi density and it looks basically like the screenshots above.

      Do you know by any chance how to define an abstract device for the emulator, to achieve your effects?

      • FoxKat says:

        All problems solved. Reinstall worked like a charm. I have an M2000 and love how it works! I do have a wish list but it is short. In portrait mode the screen image is really to small to read the text when the SB is set for two line display but looks OK in one line display font. In landscape mode it is spectacular. I only wish the spectrum analyzer updated more frequently but when I increased polling frequency it caused it to become unresponsive. Music stalled and display fragmented. I tried to use presets but many wouldn’t start. Also, once preset screen is open, I dont know how to close it again. Please feel free to email me with your phone number. I was heavily involved in beta and troubleshooting for JamCast server for SB. I also know the developer, Scott well and I am sure he would help if needed. I want Rio help you make this app perfect and enhance it if at all possible. There’s also the possibility of incorporating control for JamCast server to merge or make compatible two great utilities for far greater benefits. No matter what, this is a fantastic “pre beta”.

      • bebopfreak says:

        What would be best for the M2000 display: vertical stretching, splitting the sb display or locking to landscape mode?
        With the last upgrade it should be possible to swipe back from the preset screen. You could always swipe in the roku display area. I’m going to look, if there is a problem with preset buttons.

  3. Stu says:

    Hi

    just a quick note to say this works great on my HTC Desire with an old m400px I bought off ebay. Only thing that doesnt is display on phone reflecting whats happening on soundbridge….just experimenting just now, buying a new house in September and sorting out the AV strategy! much more interesting than soft furnishings and wallpaper 😉 any chance you will develop it to display tracks etc for older devices or should I just get a 1001 and put this one in the kitchen/toilet/shed/garage…!

    thanks

    • bebopfreak says:

      As I explained above, I won’t support the old SBs (you might ask Roku for a firmware upgrade 😉 ). My AV strategy is DLNA (DLNA Server, DLNA Controller (Nokia 700, hopefully HTC Desire soon), DLNA Renderer (Soundbridge, PC, new TV!).

  4. Mirko says:

    Hello bebopfreak,
    i want to install your program androku but it isn’t aviable in the market.Please sent me via mail.

    thanks

  5. Scott says:

    When can this program be downloaded for my EVO in the market??

    • bebopfreak says:

      It’s in the market for Android 2.1 and higher. I don’t know about EVO – which Android version, device specific market restrictions ??? You might try the direct download mentioned above.

  6. matthew says:

    can you please explore support for the Pinnacle Soundbridge homemusic. Application looks great but cannot get to work on the above. Thanks

  7. Markus Vuori says:

    Hi! Thanks for great sofware! Any plans to add more complete support for M500? I’m running your software with M500 and Galaxy S (Froyo) and I can help by testing the software and reporting bugs. I’d love to see also more complete UI for browsing albums and/or playlists (perhaps a tab/view for each sound source, like the existing dedicated view for internet radio channels).

    • bebopfreak says:

      The current approach is very simple: it’s basically a remote with the addition of the screen (for bitmap display models). Changing that approach and allow browsing of servers and radio channels would amount to a much more complicated rewrite of the application – which is simply too much work for an outdated (no firmware update for years) model – even if people don’t like to hear that. If you have a UPnP media server, you might try out some UPnP control software from the market!

  8. Steven says:

    Nswplayer player is not coming up as an option to use as a player.

    To keep a short story short, it’s the only player that will work for me on my android pad (I’ve only gotten two players to work with it and the other one has problems with my media server software…).

    Thx

  9. Jason says:

    I have a soundbridge (M1000), which works fine with this app (on an LG540 running Android 2.1). A lot of my song titles are in Hebrew, which show up on the soundbridge as latin characters with accents. Is there any way that on the android screen, these could be rendered as a different font (it should be Windows-1255 / ISO 8859-8)?

    • bebopfreak says:

      UPnP uses utf-8 encoding. It’s the task of the media server to produce correct utf-8 text strings (extracting tag information and converting it into utf-8). So either your tracks aren’t tagged correctly or the media server doesn’t convert them correctly (id3 tags allow to store the character encoding).

  10. Jason says:

    You are probably right that the tracks are not tagged correctly (I am using windows media player on Windows 7 as the server), but even if they were, the soundbridge does not have Hebrew characters so could not display them if they were in correct encoding. I am still not clear though whether your app just displays the screen on a pixel-by-pixel basis received from the soundbridge (in which case my request is non-trivial), or whether it receives the actual characters which you then render.

    Regardless, thanks for the great program!

    • bebopfreak says:

      My mistake – I thought you were using my app UPnPlay … In Androku there are two modes: one is displaying the bitmap the other one is showing strings (uncheck Settings… > Appearance > Bitmap Display). In the second mode there is a conversion from bytes to utf-8 strings, but I don’t know yet which encoding.

  11. illiac4 says:

    Hi! Best program for Soundbridge. It works great. I’d only suggest a few improvements if possible.

    (1.) Add the alarm function. All soundbridges are able to work as alarm clock. For example http://sbcommander.sourceforge.net/using.html

    1. telnet into your soundbridge on port 5555.
    2. type w/o quotes: “IrDispatchCommand CK_ALARM”
    3. press enter.
    4. refer to the soundbridge UI to continue.
    5. when done press the <- button on your remote.

    (2.) I assume that you are using port 4444 or. 5555 to send commands to the soundbridge. At the moment it is not possible to enter as IP/name address the name and port like: name.dyndns.org:1234 which will then the router port forward to internal IP(of the soundbridge):4444.
    This feature will allow you for example to control the soundbridge when you are not at home and users at home do not have skills to control it, so you will be able to control it.

    (3.) Add support for Home radios (M400). They do actually work but there is no screen. They are using the same commands as big brothers.

    Cheers

    • bebopfreak says:

      1) you might have overlooked the clock symbols
      2) with port forwarding you could probably control one device. But I don’t see a necessity for you to terrorize your family.
      3) there are already lots of comments concerning SoundBridges without bitmap display

      • illiac4 says:

        No to terrorize 🙂 My mother or father sometimes wan.t to have specific station and so it can be done.
        Not treu about controlling only one devise. One port forward can be from example.dyndns.or:1234 to internal ip:4444, second could be example.dyndns.1235 to internal it:4444,……….

      • bebopfreak says:

        I meant: you could ALREADY control one device. I’m using port 5555 – so if you map your soundbridge with 5555 to external port 5555 you should be able to control your soundbridge as long as it’s done via WiFi – detection doesn’t work of course!

  12. illiac4 says:

    Ok cool would be if the ip dialog would except IP/name and port like name.dyndns.org:1234

  13. Ethan says:

    I just installed UPNP Play on my Xoom. Excellent work. I hope you continue development. It would be great to be able to download content from my media server directly over wifi.

  14. ThyMaster says:

    Works fine on Honeycomb 3.1. Albeit buttons are somewhat huge ;o)

  15. Lars says:

    It’s working fine as an pure rc-replacement!
    On minor thing would be to group the buttons somewhat better. Otherwise i like the purity of the app 🙂 There is an other app outthere with browsing capabilities. So thank you for keeping this one as straight as it is.
    Lars

  16. D. Grant says:

    I’d like to try this on a Blackberry Playbook – do you have a direct download link?

  17. D. Grant says:

    As of the new OS 2.0, the Playbook will run Android apps.

    There is a conversion process. I expect to have it working by next week.

    DG

  18. Pingback: Androku - osimg

  19. Jim Grice says:

    There is no visible menu on Android lollipop systems…love this app and am hoping you update with an in app menu or a settings button so I can search find and connect to my devices….thanks for the app its awesome!!!!

  20. Marmite Sandwich says:

    Doesn’t seem to be a work around for Marshmallow.

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