New: Monthly Community Update

Default Nightingale Equalizer Presets

A few months ago we opened a poll asking you how you would like to get the newest news from the project. This post is the first of hopefully many to come. It’s going to be a quite big one, as it covers the last three months instead of just one month. If there won’t be enough content (aka no content) there will be no community update post.

This first edition is based on the last three developer meetings, so it’s a bit longer. Oh and yeah, we have monthly developer meetings on IRC now.

Remember that these are all things we are currently working on. Some of features mentioned bellow can already be tested in our nightly builds.

Nightingale command line helpCommand Line Playback Control

Remember the command line support extension for Nightingale (and Songbird)? Good news, that’s in Nightingale by default now! You can get an exact command set by typing nightingale -help.

MPRIS

Based on an old MPRIS extension for Songbird from loganfsmyth, freaktechnik added support for MPRIS 2. This allows Linux users to get information about Nightingale and control Nightingale via DBus. More information on the MPRIS implementation can be found in this wiki article. On the topic of wiki: we’ve found a way to fend of spam bots and as a result you get edit rights by default again!

Dock Actions on elementary OSMac & Linux Dock Shortcuts

We accidentally removed the Mac OS X dock playback controls in 1.12 when we upgraded XULRunner. Johnmurrayvi re-added dock support and added a mute/unmute item. Our default .desktop file for Linux now also contains the same actions as the Mac OS X dock, thanks to the CLI API.

Mac Extensions

Previously, a couple of issues with the old Apple Media Keys extension had been reported. Notably, there was a problem requiring the media key to be pressed twice in order for it to register. We’re happy to say that the “apple-mediakeys” and “apple-remote” extensions, originally written by whitedragon (Nick Kreeger) for Songbird, have been added into our repository and the reported issues have been resolved.

Default Nightingale Equalizer PresetsEQ Presets

Just recently freaktechnik landed the infrastructure and the UI for equalizer presets. Not only does Nightingale have a set of default presets, it also lets you save your own presets. But that’s just the beginning. It comes with a powerful API for add-on developers to create own preset sets, preset importers or any other equalizer preset related extension you can think of!

Tagging Issues

We’ve noticed a lot of issues popping up recently involving song metadata being read or written incorrectly. In our recent developer meeting during June, we discussed this problem and possible solutions. Since the meeting, new testing builds with a patched TagLib have been posted, as well as dependencies, to the patched-taglib-1.7.2-testing folder on our Sourceforge page. If you have experienced any problems you think may be related, give these builds a try. Please post any problems or comments (positive or negative!) about the builds in our forum, as we need feedback on the issue.

A Teaser for the Future

One of the biggest tasks Nightingale has set out to accomplish is updating the code so that it can utilize newer versions of the core XULRunner platform. Until now, Nightingale has relied on the 1.9 version, and updating any XULRunner application from 1.9 to 2.0 is significant step, requiring many changes, in and of itself. After an extensive amount of work, not only working on the Nightingale code, but also creating updated dependency packages, there are many signs of life from new builds based on XULRunner 9.0.1. The effort over the last year can be seen in the master-xul-9.0.1 branch of the repository, as well as the xul-9.0.1 branch of the dependencies repository. With all of these changes, the updated Nightingale builds on Linux, Mac, and Windows, and the core features are functional. The next task is changing the user interface code to provide the intended experience. For example, as seen below, the media library page has yet to be updated, and is currently inoperable. Still, even without the library page, the builds can play music!

win-xr9XULRunner 9 Build on Mac OS XXULRunner 9 Build on Ubuntu

In addition to using a newer version of XULRunner, the other dependencies are using their current stable versions as well. This includes Flac, libogg, libvorbis, libtheora, TagLib, and, most notably, GStreamer and the GStreamer plugins. The code for Nightingale’s mediacore has been updated to utilize the new GStreamer as part of the newer XULRunner builds.

developer.getnightingale.com screenshotDocumentation

We’ve finally been able to get documentation out of our code again, thanks to thebecwar. You can admire the doxygen based documentation on http://developer.getnightingale.com or build it yourself from our source, exact instructions can be found on the wiki. We’ve also started importing articles from the songbird wiki, so if you’re creating an extension, take a look at the recipebook.

An additional set of documentation has been add to the wiki as well, although it is still a work in progress. While the page on building Nightingale from source has existed for sometime, there has not been any information on building the dependency packages. This page has been created to help document the process, which can prove to be somewhat complex. The first section is intended for building the updated dependencies used in the master-xul-9.0.1 branch, while the latter section is for the current sb-trunk-oldxul branch. The dependencies currently used have proven to be a challenge, as they’re fairly dated, but they’re building on all platforms now, so the latter section will be updated with Linux and Mac instructions in addition to a finalized Windows page.

Finally, another key page has been created, involving in-line tasks from comments, such as “FIXME”, “TODO”, and “XXX”. This page lists the current task markers in the Nightingale code as of 2014/05/14.

Website Translation

While at RMLL freaktechnik and GeekShadow opened translations for the current firstrun, launch and dashboard pages plus the upcoming new main website. When writing this post there already is a French, Portuguese (Brasil), Spanish (Mexico) and a German translation. Those are nearly complete, however with each new Nightingale release we will add new strings for the changelogs, so you’ll never run out of strings to translate. To start translating, head over to the localization page on Babelzilla.

There are 4 comments in our discussion thread.

Merry Christmas from (and to) The Nightingale Team!

New (old) Hardware

I recently purchased an old 2006-era Mac Mini for our development, so that I could make sure and get a more proper Mac build out for our next release. I’m happy to say that after setting up the build environment (and reinstalling OSX once the machine arrived, as I trust no eBay seller to do that part for me), I have most of the Nightingale build dependencies built fresh.

2006 Era Mac MiniNew Mac Testing Build

I’m still fighting with XULRunner to get it to build under OS X. That said, I did compile the new TagLib, so I was able to cobble together a current trunk build for all 5 of our Mac users out there (j/k, we have at least 7 Mac users :P). You can download the testing build here. I’d love to hear of any issues you run into, as I’m using a different compiler – the vanilla gcc 4.7 – to build the dependencies and client this time around. It should provide for smaller, faster, more efficient code.

Gearing Up For A New Release: 1.12

In other news, the team and I are all working hard to get the polish all together for a 1.12 release here at the beginning of January. Short of fighting to get the FLAC albumart display working, we have a lot of great changes, as well as more stability across all our platforms. On Linux especially, we have more system integration, and only have to rely on XULRunner and SQLite as precompiled dependencies. The release after next should do away with those altogether.

New Year’s Parties – Use Nightingale, Tell Friends!

We hope you had a Merry Christmas, and happy holidays all around. Furthermore, we all wish you a very happy New Year! Make sure to use Nightingale to play the music at your New Year’s parties, and show it off to your friends! Our resolution is to make Nightingale the best desktop music player out there, and to have more people use it as well. We can’t do that without your help, so please, make sure to help us get the word out!

Discuss!

Feel free to talk about the player, discuss the Mac build, or even just let us know your New Year’s resolutions in the comments, jump into the forums, or chat with us in #nightingale on irc.mozilla.org.

Stability on Windows – and an upcoming Release

A lot of interesting work has been done behind the scenes since the last blog post. Even though we’re still low on developers (are you a dev? we’re still searching!), ilikenwf and Mook made many steps in the direction of building with a more current, vanilla XULrunner. Non-technically speaking, that means making Nightingale much faster and more reliable, with more addons and support for newer web services. I (rjtdrjgfuzkfg) just finished working on the fix for the only blocker issue we had with 1.11.

We finally have working Windows builds using a recent version of taglib (read: builds without the annoying crash issue) and that means that the basic porting for using a newer, vanilla taglib is done. Now we need your support – please download the testing build and try it out to see if everything works as expected. A huge part of the metadata handling code was rewritten, so we need to test it thoroughly. Please report any issues and all the successes you run into in the forums or at the github issue tracker, so we can fix them in preparation for releasing the next version!

We will also be working on using system taglib support on Linux, which would reduce the number of bundled dependencies, making Nightingale even more lightweight. Linux builds of the current taglib changes are not yet available due to the required dependency rebuild, but they should be rolling out very soon!

Speaking of 1.11.1, we’re moving in the direction of releasing the second and probably last release from the current code branch. There are many bugs fixed already, and we’re looking forward to publishing them in a stable build soon. Again, we need your help testing, so make sure and let us know if you see something that is not ready yet or broken.

 

Thanks for your interest into the Project!

- rsjtdrjgfuzkfg and the Nightingale Community

Progress and Current Status

We admit, we really aren’t that great at informing people what’s going on – it could be because we all have day jobs that get in the way, or it could be because our free time is always used working on Nightingale or some other open source project.  We’re really sorry about all of that, but don’t take our silence as any indication as to the amount of improvement being made in the Nightingale code! We have great things ahead!

Upstream Merges

I have been pulling in upstream Songbird updates, and also making build fixes here and there on the main nightingale-hacking git repo. Otherwise, I have pulled down a copy of the Songbird dependencies SVN repository, and am working to get the dependencies building under gcc 4.7 (where applicable) in an effort to get better speed, stability, and performance out of Nightingale as a whole. The Linux dependencies are all already working, but we’re still struggling a bit getting Mac and Windows versions of them building. Either way, this should provide a speed boost, and get us closer to upgrading the dependencies to newer and more vanilla versions.

Dependency Upgrades and Linux Package Creation

Speaking of Linux, our near future involves the transition to using system dependencies. On Linux, Nightingale currently requires three non-system packages – xulrunner 1.9.2, sqlite, and taglib. These dependencies are specifically patched for the Nightingale/Songbird code base, so our first step will involve splitting these three dependencies off into their own repositories, and build them so that they are placed wherever their configuration points them to (ex: taglib could go into /opt/songbird-taglib instead of the same directory as the nightingale binary).

In turn, we’ll be required to take the first steps on the client code, setting it up to build by grabbing all the dependencies externally on Linux, rather than relying on having them in the same directory.  By splitting these packages up, it is our hope that Linux distributions will begin packaging Nightingale and it’s dependencies, and place them all in their repositories. Further, this change will take us closer to upgrading all of the dependencies as a whole on all platforms, using newer and more vanilla versions of them than we do now.

Buildbot

GeekShadow recently created some nice nightly build scripts, which build and push fresh versions of Nightingale any time a change is made. This script currently builds and uploads nightlies for 32 and 64 bit Linux, but Windows is on the way too. You can find the nightly build directory on Sourceforge, and give them a try as you so desire.

Windows Compatibility Improvements

Rsjtdrjgfuzkfg has also been really busy – he’s done various debug builds and work to improve the client’s stability and functionality on Windows. His current project focuses on using a vanilla taglib instead of the old, patched version Songbird uses – so far, it only deals with basic ID3 tags, but progress is being made. Soon,  his work should also pave the way to using a native taglib on Linux machines, and vanilla on Mac and Windows.