Rigelian 2.0 is in the mail

I just completed the last bits-and-pieces and posted the new 2.0 version of Rigelian to the AppStore and into the review and approval process.

When I started the development of Rigelian over 2 years ago, I had a couple of things in mind. The main goal was to create the best remote control for mpd-based players. That meant it had to be easy to setup and use (hide configuration where possible), very responsive and great looking.

But next to that I also had technical goals I wanted to achieve. To make sure that extending and supporting the app would be possible with a reasonable amount of effort, I started from scratch using the latest that Apples development eco-system has to offer. That meant Github, swift, RxSwift, cocoapods and later swift package manager, and many of the great open source packages made available by the swift developer community. And bye-bye to Objective-C after almost 30 years (yes, really 30 years, I did my graduation project in computer science back in 1990 using Objective-C on a DEC Ultrix machine).

And I wanted to use the experience I collected over the last 10 years building music remote controls: first MPoD and MPaD, and later the iOS controller for the Bluesound system. I set out to abstract the generic concepts of a music remote control, and create a front-end that could operate completely independent of the player it is controlling. For that I created ConnectorProtocol which defines a generic way to communicate with a player regarding discovery, control, browsing and status updates. The front-end will only know about the protocol, and have zero knowledge of the specific implementation. The first implementation against the protocol was MPDConnector, which has been the basis for Rigelian up-to 1.7.2. And for the last half year, in parallel to further developing the front-end I created a second implementation, this time for kodi: KodiConnector.

And by now this has reached the point that it’s actually possible to perform the main things you want to do with a music remote, and I’m releasing my newborn into the world. I’m very happy with the result where I can maintain a single code base for the front-end, and seamlessly control 2 completely different kinds of players with an app that looks exactly the same in both cases. It will also mean that future improvements like Siri support will be available for both types of players with almost no additional effort. How nice is that.

Kodi support is nearing completion

It’s 2020 and we’re back on extending Rigelian with support for Kodi. Added recently are the ‘play random album’ and ‘play random songs’ functions. Turns out that adding 100 songs in one command is very slow on Kodi, so I had to limit that to 20 songs to keep the performance acceptable.

Also the sortation of albums in various screens is completed.

Remaining now is the ability to play radio stations, and creating a player setting screen and then we’re good to go.

Kodi playlists

The implementation of browsing of playlists and adding them to the playqueue is done. Unfortunately the kodi api for this is limited and behaves weird in certain scenarios, as a result playlist editing (adding, (re)moving songs and saving a playlist) through Rigelian will not be possible.