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dnanian 09-25-2002 09:42 AM

So, what would you like to see in netTunes?
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 03:08 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?


dnanian 01-17-2003 04:40 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 12:30 PM

Next Version:
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 12:53 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 02:07 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 02:13 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 09:56 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 10:14 AM

Some solutions for you.
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 11:46 AM

Windows version?
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 05:34 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).


produnis 04-21-2004 06:15 PM

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)

dnanian 04-21-2004 07:09 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 09:20 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 :) ) ... 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 10:16 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!

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