Media sources library: a library to create and customize rich user interfaces for media playback.
This library has two purposes, as explained in the following sections:
Create rich user interfaces to browse media content provided by third-party media sources. This is mainly meant to support additional media sources on top of the ones provided in the stock TomTom Digital Cockpit distribution. It also enables developers to create an entirely new frontend.
Configure the stock media frontend to add and remove support for third-party media sources.
This library expands upon appsuite_media_api_common_core, the base media library. It does not target a specific media source, but it's a flexible and generic base to expand upon.
Creating user interfaces
Whether it's about adding specific support for a source, or whether it's about creating a new frontend, this library has some useful tools. The main concepts are #panel, #media-controls and #policies, all bound together by #configuring-the-stock-media-frontend.
This library can be used to create custom media panels that fit in with the rest of the media frontend. The MediaTaskPanel is the common base class of all media panels: maximized task panels with a MediaFrontendContext to hold all relevant data.
Using this base class reduces the amount of boiler plate code to be written in panels, fragments and view models.
The media dashboard is the panel in the stock TomTom Digital Cockpit distribution that becomes visible when selecting the "Media" menu button within TomTom Digital Cockpit. When selecting one of the shown media sources, the framework uses the com.tomtom.ivi.appsuite.media.api.common.frontend.policies.MediaTaskPanelPolicy specified by a PolicyProvider to create a panel of type MediaTaskPanel to use as root navigation level for that media source. The same process is used to create other types of panels, such as a search panel. Check com.tomtom.ivi.appsuite.media.api.common.frontend.policies.MediaTaskPanelPolicy for more information.
One interesting bit about panels is on the placement of media items, the layout. Items can be displayed as a list or as a grid. The LayoutPolicy determines how each item is displayed, using the properties of the currently displayed IviMediaItems and of their parent item (container).
A media control is a visual control for any media-related command. It can be used anywhere the user can interact with active media; it usually transforms an Action into a clickable button. A media control can signal whether it's available. It is common to base this availability on whether the media source exposes a certain action as being available. When a track (or a radio station, or any kind of media) is playing, a certain number of Actions are associated with it. For example, while the last track of an album is playing, it should not be possible to skip to a next track, and thus the available actions might be: "previous", "pause", and "like this song", but not "next". The list of available actions can be found in the MediaService.
There are two types of media controls:
Standard media controls. The media controls that are built into TomTom Digital Cockpit, see StandardMediaControls. These are used across all sources.
Custom media controls. All other media controls. Usually specifically created for one source, though not always restricted to it.
The most common use case for custom media controls is to implement a custom action. Custom actions can be used by a source to extend the capabilities of the standard media controls by exposing app-specific actions, such as "like this song".
Creating a custom media control
When creating a custom media control, use one of these classes as its parent:
MediaControl. Use it because it is the simplest, most light-weight media control. It gives the developer full control over what the control should do.
Media controls are created by a MediaControlFactory.
Media content offered by media sources might be a challenge to display to the user properly, and in accordance to certification guidelines. The Android standard is quite well known and documented, but there are some areas where inconsistencies in the provided data can occur. Policies offer a way to solve all those problems.
Policies are the simplest way to customize the content offered by a media source, such that the stock media user interface can display it uniformly, and according to the source's UI certification specifications.
With policies it is for example possible to:
Split artist and song name for a source, which merges them into a title.
Ensure playlists are shown in a list instead of a grid, when the source doesn't specify a presentation hint.
Add track duration information when given in a non-standard way, such as in the wrong Android Bundle extra field.
Change the displayed name and icons for a media source, according to where and how they will be shown.
Policies are defined in the PolicyProvider class. Each constructor argument to it is a policy. All policies have default values. So, while it is possible to configure every policy, it is also possible to only alter a single policy, if just one needs to be different than the default.
Configuring the stock media frontend
Since a lot of customization is possible with policies, there is no need to create a custom frontend for media source selection and browsing, saving a great deal of effort and need for maintenance.
The stock media frontend is configurable through the MediaPolicyFrontendExtension. This is the place to activate a PolicyProvider for a specific media source. A policy provider can alter which #panel will be opened for a source, which #media-controls the user is able to access, and more. See #policies for details on available policies.
A source does not necessarily require configuration. If an installed media source has Android Automotive support, it will be picked up by the frontend, using the fallback MediaPolicyFrontendExtension. The source will be shown and will be browsable; check that class for more info about the fallback policy. Configuration is only required if a more specific PolicyProvider is more suitable for a source.
The configuration is made available inside the frontend in the MediaFrontendContext.
The configuration is based on factories. This way all panels and controls can be made at the right time, in the right context.
Note: It is also possible to configure the stock media frontend by using (static configuration options)com.tomtom.ivi.appsuite.media.api.common.config.