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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

 

Banshee GSoC-2014 projects under Gnome umbrella

Here we are, at the beginning of a great summer!

This time, Google has given plenty of slots to the GNOME project, so we could accept many participants, including 3 brilliant students to work on the Banshee project. In case they haven't blogged about it, or didn't give much detail, I'll elaborate a bit about what they will be aiming to do these months:

  1. USB can work for the first sync, but whenever you update your library, I never remember to connect my phone again with my cable, or I'm too lazy to do it. Now imagine that whenever your phone is near your computer (and of course if you have Banshee running), they could negotiate together to update the sync without the need of moving a finger!
  2. Wifi could work also for the use case I just explained, but getting Wifi to work, compared to Bluetooth, would involve creating an app for the phone that could talk with Banshee. And we all know what are the problems associated with that: we would need to be cross-platform for at least the 3 main mobile platforms out there (well, iOS wouldn't even work neither with this nor with Bluetooth, because there are no public APIs to integrate with the music database of the OS, sigh iTunes...), and that means a lot of maintenance burden (even if we choose a same-language native platform like Xamarin), and a user experience that is not so seamless (as it would require the user to install an app first).
As you can see, most things are work under-the-hood this year, with little UI work. That's good for me because I'm no design expert. However, there is one area which we could do with some help: the new backgound tasks that will be implemented will need a way to notify the user (i.e. SongKick: when a new gig is discovered; AcoustID: when new/better metadata is found). In this respect, maybe Hylke Bons (our chief designer for the last Gnome .NET hackfest) and Garrett LeSage (assistance that Hylke proposed now to avoid getting himself swamped!) will be able to help! (BTW, if you're interested in participating in this year's Gnome .NET hackfest, message David Nielsen, which started to plan it recently.)

I'm very happy about starting the mentoring of these projects this year. And I'm specially jealous about my students... I became mentor of GSoC myself without being GSoC student first! (Maybe I should switch roles in the future?)

Wish them good luck! It was actually just yesterday when GSoC really started! (gotta love mondays)

UPDATE: Fixed embarrassing typo: I meant AcoustID, not OpenID!

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Comments:
Bluetooth sync is awesome, I've wanted this for the longest time - when I'm near then automatically shuffle a random selection of songs (up to %megabytes size%) into %folder%.

The other feature, is to link with a player on the phone, so it can automatically continue playing what I was listening to when I get to the house.
 
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