If you have been following this writer’s work, you will know that I am a fan of the open platform. I would imagine many of you are too, running with a N900 and all. One of the best parts of the open platform is being able to improve and innovate further on what is already in place, and that’s where Open Media Player comes onto the main stage.
Open Media Player is the child of maemo.org legend MohammadAG, who is also responsible for the Sociality Facebook app, and works with the Community Seamless Software Update. The work came about due to the need to have open source components, and Nokia refusing to open up the code once they officially ceased Maemo support. So here we have a work in progress, written in Qt, with the attempt to mimic the current media player, while also enhancing it.
Currently in its Alpha release, Open Media Player isn’t really ready for everyone, but it is nice to have a peek at what’s being worked on by our amazing community. It’s interesting to note that when ready, Open Media Player may be integrated into the CSSU.
Upon giving Open Media Player a spin, I made it replace the classic media player, forcing me to sail into the unknown for a while (it can be run side by side if desired). The experience so far is an interesting one. The media player overall is rather useable, it runs everything fairly nicely, and it even seemed to play videos better. When opening up my default list of ‘All Songs’, I was greeting with my whole list in its entirety in seconds, much better then the stock media player was capable of.
With every plus there must be a minus though, being still in development it’s expected. One major issue this release is its inability to play from large playlists, and since ‘All Songs’ is one giant playlist, it struggles. Once playing music, upon trying to render the playlist, Open Media Player tended to crash. The other annoying issue is that it can slow the whole device down at times. An interesting feature though is that when closed or crashed, the music continues to play, so at least you can continue to dance around your room to Barbie Girl. Monster playlists aside, Open Media Player handles quite well. I kept throwing albums, and artists at it and it had no issues, which is encouraging.
A welcome addition to the media player is portrait mode support, and it works very well checking out both current playlist and progress. Another addition is the entertainment view, which looks similar to the standard play mode, but lacks portrait support. It also looks a lot more visually simpler, with only the necessary information being presented. The album covers also tend to swaps around playfully with the information every now and then. What comes to mind for me is that it would be useful when your N900 is connected to a TV, being used as a media player, as its much more interesting to look at then the default view.
At the end of the day, it was good fun checking out a work in progress that worked so well. If you’re game enough to try it for yourself, you can follow the post here. Once again being an Alpha release, use caution when installing, and I take no responsibility should your device spontaneously combust. I have much praise to MohammadAG for his great work, and I eagerly look out for updates to see how this little beauty unfolds. Personally I’m hopeful for a hover board feature.