1. syplex's Avatar
    Hey guys, I posted this to icanmakeitbetter, please go there and vote it up if you think it is a good idea. Also add your comments!
    Improve Music Player for Podcasts and Audio Books @ icanmakeitbetter

    The basic idea is to make it easier to use the phone to listen to podcasts and audio books. I listen to several podcasts that are 2-3 hours in length daily, and several of the steps I have to go through can be greatly improved. After thinking about this for awhile I wrote everything down. It is long, so I apologize in advance to all the tl;dr's!

    First some background of the use-case:

    1. When listening to a podcast or book each individual mp3 or similar file is very long (on the order of *hours*).
    2. You often need to go back a short amount of time to re-listen to a part that you missed.
    3. You often want to skip forward over a boring section, commercial, or song
    4. Often a listening session may span several days where each session includes listening to a portion of the file. For example, people often listen only during the morning commute, at lunch, or on the weekend.
    5. In between listening sessions you want to be able to listen to music and other recordings without losing your place.
    6. Podcasts are often distributed via paid or free websites as MP3s or similar files.


    Navigating the podcasts
    Because the podcasts are long, it is necessary to be able to easily skip short sections of time in the music player (forward and backward). Currently the only way to skip is by dragging the slider bar. The slider bar is not precise enough on a long recording to skip short sections of time. In addition, as soon as you grab the slider bar you lose your context and cannot see what the current position is. So if you want to skip backward 10 seconds, you have to memorize the current time while sliding the slider backwards.

    1. Add a visual indicator of the play position when sliding the play slider so you can tell where you were.
    2. Add extra controls, accessible by double-clicking the slider bar (or long-press the play button) to bring up more options (5 and 30 second skip buttons). These extra options stay up to allow you to press them several times (or hold down) and disappear when clicking off of them.


    My idea of how this could look:
    Improved user experience with podcasts, audio books, and other long media files-bb-music-player-1.png

    Smart Save of Play Position
    Rebooting the phone or using the media player for something in-between listening to podcasts completely resets the play position. Often I listen to a voicemail (wav file in my email) or a downloaded audio file but dont want to lose my position in a podcast or audio book. Other times the battery dies, or the OS needs a reboot, and I dont want to lose where I was.

    1. Auto-magically save play position. When another audio file is loaded externally (ie, from the browser or from email) this play position is saved. When loading that original audio file again, the audio player asks if you want to start from the beginning or continue.
    2. Add a button/control to save the current play position which can be recalled next time the audio file is loaded (ie, a manual way to save the position that is done automatically in #1).
    3. In the future more advanced bookmarking could be added, but adding #1 and #2 above would be a big bang for the buck.


    Accessing the podcasts
    Loading the podcasts is cumbersome. Ideally you could simply open it from the download link in the browser, but this opens the music player inside the browser and makes the browser unusable for anything else. After you listen to 30 minutes of your podcast you may want to browse something, and you cannot exit or you will lose your place. Also, in the most recent 10.3 versions of the OS, the music is organized by artists and albums, but there is no way to see recently added files, which is necessary to be able to load what you just downloaded (to avoid holding up the browser). Some podcasts do not have any artist/album information filled in, and are very difficult to find by the name.

    1. Spawn the music player when opening an audio file in the downloads page of the browser
    2. Show recently downloaded or added audio files in the music player
    10-28-14 07:08 PM
  2. Richard Buckley's Avatar
    That's a lot of changes. Have you thought of using an application written for playing podcasts? I use bPod.

    Posted via CB10
    10-28-14 07:44 PM
  3. syplex's Avatar
    These changes also would benefit books and long movies. And if BB makes their media player better, everyone who uses one will have a better experience and feeling toward the brand.

    Looks like bPod isn't free. I don't feel like paying for something that is so simple. I'm not asking BB to support podcast downloading, subscription, and listing services within their music player, just to make it easier to use it for things like podcasts.
    10-28-14 09:47 PM
  4. Richard Buckley's Avatar
    These changes also would benefit books and long movies. And if BB makes their media player better, everyone who uses one will have a better experience and feeling toward the brand.

    Looks like bPod isn't free. I don't feel like paying for something that is so simple. I'm not asking BB to support podcast downloading, subscription, and listing services within their music player, just to make it easier to use it for things like podcasts.
    Well actually from the section titled accessing podcasts it sounds exactly like you want BlackBerry to support podcast, or at least media downloading.

    I, on the other hand prefer more tools that do one thing well, rather than compromise on how well they do many things. But good luck with your request.

    Posted via CB10
    10-29-14 04:14 AM
  5. syplex's Avatar
    Well actually from the section titled accessing podcasts it sounds exactly like you want BlackBerry to support podcast, or at least media downloading.

    I, on the other hand prefer more tools that do one thing well, rather than compromise on how well they do many things. But good luck with your request.
    Actually, I am just talking about how to launch audio files that were downloaded with the browser. This is just a small tweak which is to launch the music player when tapping on an mp3 in the download list instead of embedding the music player inside of the browser app. Doesn't really change the paradigm of doing one thing well. And in the music player, a small tweak to allow sorting music files by date (which was possible previously, but is missing in recent 10.3.1 builds).
    10-29-14 12:43 PM
  6. AdamThatsIt's Avatar
    Stitcher is free. Audible works just fine also.

    Posted on CB 10 (Passport)
    10-29-14 03:52 PM
  7. syplex's Avatar
    Stitcher is free. Audible works just fine also.
    I have audible, but you can't listen to files downloaded to the device outside of audible.

    Just installed Stitcher (with Snap) and its actually pretty cool! But it doesn't solve my problem because my podcasts and books aren't available inside of it.
    10-29-14 04:17 PM
  8. AdamThatsIt's Avatar
    Oh that stinks! I'm not sure about other apps for that but stitcher is a great option. Good luck

    Posted on CB 10 (Passport)
    10-29-14 04:36 PM

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