MusicBrainz Android App: Adding BrainzPlayer in Android App

Greetings, Everyone!

I am Ashutosh Aswal (IRC nick yellowhatpro), pursuing my bachelor’s from Punjab Engineering College Chandigarh, India. As a Google Summer of Code’22 contributor, I worked for MetaBrainz, on the MusicBrainz Android app and added a music playback feature to the app, which we call BrainzPlayer.

During the GSoC period, I was mentored by Akshat Tiwari (akshaaatt). Through this post, I will be summarizing my journey throughout the summer with MetaBrainz.

Let’s begin!! ( •̀ ω •́ )✧

Project Description

The project’s target was to introduce BrainzPlayer, a local music playback feature, into the MusicBrainz Android app. After this feature integration, users can play locally saved music directly from the app.

My pull requests.

My commits.

Coding Journey

We started with setting up the Music Service, Exoplayer, and the related Media APIs, which allow playback to be possible on the device, even when the app is in the background.

After this, we defined the Media Source, which accesses our local storage to search the media items and make them accessible within the app.

After accomplishing this, we worked on the notifications feature, which shows the metadata of the currently playing media item, and lets us control the playback, like seek, play, pause, etc., directly from the notification panel without opening the app.

Notification Panel

Now we worked on a service connector class that contains the functions to deal with the playback commands within the app.

After this, our app was ready to play songs. Now was the time to add some cool UI.

The UI is written in Jetpack Compose, Android’s latest toolkit for building awesome UI. Using Compose we worked on the Player Screen, which contains the playback features.

Now that we have the music playback feature, we worked on different entities: song, album, artist, and playlist.

To achieve this, we introduced a local database within the app. We introduced the various entities, including the required data and logic layer.

We wrote multiple database queries and added repositories for the entities in the data layer. Then we worked on the logic part and created functions that took in account the data layer and would show the result in the UI.

After working on the data and logic layer, we focused on creating the UI for the different entities. Each entity has its screen, from where the user can play songs. For this, we coordinated with aerozol, and I would thank him for coming up with beautiful designs and our BrainzPlayer logo. Then finally, with the designs in hand, we could execute them in compose.

By the end of the program, we were able to add some animations, and find out bugs and fix them.

Finally, the BrainzPlayer feature is merged with the master branch, so we can expect it to go into production soon. \^o^/

Preview of the upcoming feature:

Acknowledgement:

I want to thank my mentor, akshaaatt, for his immense support and guidance. Under his mentorship, I could learn, experiment, and improve my code quality over the time.

I am also indebted to the MetaBrainz team for their kind and supportive behavior, which made the journey incredible and unforgettable, and makes me motivated to work with them even beyond.

That’s it from my side.
Thank you for having me !! ヾ(≧▽≦*)o

MusicBrainz App

Greetings, Everyone!

The MusicBrainz Mobile App developers have been working at full capacity, improving the user experience, incorporating more features and functionalities, while making sure the core purpose of the app remains as promised.

Since its inception in 2010, the MusicBrainz Official App has come a long way. The App currently is highly maintained and has been actively open for contributions. A systematic approach is being followed and updates are being made on a regular basis.

The most important revamp which has been worked on for the past few months is the Tagger feature available in the MusicBrainz Android App.

Functionalities like fetching the local album arts, searching through all your local music files at one go, retrieving the cover art from the server, and heading to the recording directly are some of the key highlights of the upcoming Tagger.

Picard has finally made an official entry to the MusicBrainz App where users can now send their releases to the original Picard desktop app with the click of a button. This has been worked on in collaboration with the Picard team and proper documentation on its usage will be shared soon.

The completely new addition of Listen and Critique showcases the functionalities of ListenBrainz and CritiqueBrainz websites natively from the app. Currently, these will be available as advanced features on the app.

A well-prepared Onboarding and About section will take you through every important detail on the app and make sure you are aware of all the functionalities in the best and optimized way possible.

Proper documentation of every feature is being prepared. The App is finally out in Production, do head to the stores and give it a try!

We are really excited to make the MusicBrainz App as user-friendly as possible for you, while we take care of all the wonder behind it!

Play Store: MusicBrainz – Apps on Google Play

F-Droid: MusicBrainz | F-Droid – Free and Open Source Android App Repository

Github: metabrainz/musicbrainz-android

Thank you!