Muze: When you hit a wall

When working on an app or website or any other type of software, at some point you will some kind of metaphysical wall. At that point you start banging your head against it until you covered all square centimeters. Then, after stubbernly mumbling (there might actually be cursing) you finally concede.

In most of these situation it often helps to take a step back and approach the problem from differently. For example, you might try walking around the wall or digging underneath it.

In recent weeks a few things have been becoming rather clear whilst developing Muze. The current API's that are in use by Muze have their limits. These walls cannot be broken down whilst still keeping the current API and functionalities completely intact.

After frequent request I have been trying to implement a decent way for you to add songs to the currently playing playlist or create playlists. However, the API I have been using does not allow manipulation of playlists or the creation of so called SongCollections which can be played by the native music player control.

The API's Muze is using have been around since Windows Phone 7. Up until now using these API's has had some advantages. For example, these API's allow you to play music you have downloaded from for example Xbox Music. This is possible because Muze actually uses the native Music player which has permission to play these songs. Muze acts as a sort of remote control to the native music player. Furthermore, these API's make it easy to access the songs without doing more nasty file system operations which are more error prone.

The limitations presented by the API mean that developing more features to make Muze better and more advanced has become harder and harder.

In other news, Last.fm has been giving me a headache as well. When requesting data from the official Last.fm API, some information is actually returned erroneously or has been limited. This means for example that only a very short description of Artists can be fetched via the API and some lists are not correctly returned.

As you might see these are both walls that have been holding back the development of new features. Due to these issues, I have decided to try and move to newer Windows Phone API's to be able to provide a richer experience. Furthermore, I'm looking at ways to integrate information from different sources such as Xbox Music to provide detailed information about artists and albums.

This is all future talk and it will probably take some time to get all the basic stuff implemented with the new Windows Phone 8.1 API's. In the meantime I will tweak small stuff in the app to give a more consistent experience and squash furhter bugs.

I hope you are as happy as I am about this new approach to get around these pesky walls.

As always, if you have any feedback or if you are experiencing any problems regarding Muze or any other projects provided by us on this website, don't hesitate to contact us at support@gobblestudios.com.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Yours,
Marius

 

Muze v1.8: Search and general improvements

An update to Muze has been released to the Windows Phone store. It is available here.

This update gives you a bèta version of the search functionality I have been working on. This search functionality should make it more convenient for you to find that specific song you want to listen to.

Furthermore there are some general improvements and crash fixes that should make using Muze more enjoyable.

Please note that this update will clear your scrobble queue as it contains several fixes to the way Muze saves its data. I highly recommend that you scrobble your currently waiting plays before updating.

This update includes the following:
- Search béta: search through your phone's music collection
- Current song is now highlighted in playlist
- Time expired and remaining is shown on now playing page.
- Smoother transitions between screens
- Fixes for start-up crashes
- Other small tweaks and fixes

If you still have issues related to starting Muze, please contact us at support@gobblestudios.com.

I hope you enjoy this update and encourage you to send us feedback. If you like Muze, please consider giving us a review in the Windows Phone Store.

Thank you.

Yours,
Marius
Gobble Studios

Break Out Mini!!

Hey,

I created a new mini, this mini is the biggest mini yet!. It is a Breakout clone with randomly generated levels. It has power ups, stereo sounds(whoo fancy), and highscores. It is completly mouse driven, so download it now and try to get the highest scores!

Download

Yours,

Martijn

Another Mini!

Hey,

I created another mini! you can download it here!

It is called Evade, it is a simple game in which you have to evade all incoming red squares. It is controlled by the arrow keys, highscores are saved. Show us your highscores!

Yours,

Martijn

Pong

I created a pong clone, you can download it here! The game is made in MonoGame. The controls are the 'a' and 'z' keys for player one and the 'k' and 'm' keys for player two. First to ten points wins the game.

 

Yours Martijn