As with our hardware, we place high demands upon the software with which the user controls our music servers and streamers (HD-Players) and listen to his music collection. Therefore, we did not follow the common approach of sourcing standard software and simply adapting it to our design. Instead, we have developed the software for our HD-Players from scratch according to our specifications. In the course of which, we have – on top of what standard software delivers – paid particular attention to:
- Smooth and efficient user flow
- High quality graphical interfaces
- Possibility to sub-divide the music archive and create and manage sub-archives (e.g., for „Classical” music only or „Jazz“ only or „HighRes-Music“ only or whatever)
- Extensive cover art presentation, retaining some of the look and feel of LP covers from the vinyl era in the playback of digital files:
- Large front and back cover art presentation
- Liner-Notes presentation – that is the booklets familiar from CDs, so that the user can savour the additional information material familiar from CD or LP covers
- Integration of further multimedia material about the artists or composer from internet sources such as Wikipedia or Google (biographies, catalogue of works, tour calendar etc.)
- Possibility to edit music file tags
I. REMOTE CONTROL
All HD-Players can be controlled through a tablet as remote.
The user interface consists of two main screens:
- Player-screen and
with further sub-screens. Switching between the main screens happens through the cogwheel button on the top left.
1. The player-screen enables music file management and playback:
The player-screen has two parts:
- The left hand quarter area consists of the „Now-Playing“-area, which displays information about the currently loaded playlist and where the settings for playback can be selected.
- The right hand three-quarter area consists of the „Music Archive“-area, which displays all information about the music archive and where selections for playback can be made.
The Now Playing-area shows the currently loaded playlist with the album cover and metadata for the currently playing track. A click on the album cover opens the cover art screen, displaying full screen cover art, which can be switched between front and back cover art as well as liner notes.
The Now-Playing-CoverArt-screen displays the cover art of the currently loaded music file. The display can be switched with the respective buttons.
The Music-Archive-area displays a list of all albums in the music archive, sorted according to either
- album name,
- genre or
- record label.
Additionally, the music archive can also be displayed as a folder structure or a track list. Furthermore, a list of all playlists can be displayed. The relevant buttons are in the top row.
The sorted music archive (according to album, artist, composer, genre or record label) can be filtered with the definable buttons in the second row. The user has three pre-defined filters (recently added, 24bit and DSD music files) and can freely define six further filters (e.g., “Classical”, “Jazz”, “Soundtrack”, “Rock/Pop”, “Favourites’” etc.).
In the music archive, a click on any album opens another pop-up window with details of the album, such as tracklist and album cover, where either the whole album or individual tracks can be selected for playback. The whole album or the individual tracks selected will be added to the playlist or replace the current playlist in the Now-Playing-area, depending on the relevant settings in the Settings Menu.
2. The „Settings“-screen offers system- and player-settings
The Settings-screen gets activated through the button with the cog wheel symbol at the top left. It offer s a choice between
- Add music files
- System Settings
- Player Settings
- System shut-down
Clicking on one of the buttons opens the respective sub menu. Clicking on the button with the back-arrow brings the user back to the music archive screen.
a. Music Archive:
In the Music Archive screen the user can manage his internal music archive as well as create backups. He can also select an manage online streaming services.
b. System Settings:
In the System Settings screen the user can view information about the operating system, software version, displays and network connection, respectively change the corresponding settings.
c. Player Settings:
In the Player Settings screen the user can view information about music archive management and playback, respectively change the corresponding settings.
By pressing the button „System-Shutdown” the system will be shut down and the HD-Player switched off.
II. ON-DEVICE OPERATION
Additionally to the remote control, Models 2 & 3 can also be operated directly on the device with the keys and screen.
The on-device screen has 4 tabs on the left: Now Playing, Albums, Playlists und Settings. The user can browse through the tabs with the keys of the navigation area to the right of the screen.
1. The ‘Home’-Screen is the ‘Now Playing’-Screen
The Now-Playing-Screen displays the currently loaded playlist with associated cover art and metadata. The user can control the playback functions with the keys of the transport key area below the screen.
2. The ‘Albums’-Screen
The Album-Screen shows a list of the cover art of the entire music archive, sorted according to firstly artist name and secondly album title. Clicking on an album opens the album in the Now-Playing-tab.
3. The ‘Playlist’ Screen
The Playlist-Screen displays a list of all playlists. Clicking on a playlist opens the list in the Now-Playing tab for playback.
4. The ‘Settings’ Screen
In the System screen the user can retrieve information about system status and settings such as software version, network connection, hard drive capacity utilization and temperature as well as screen settings. At the same time the screen displays information about the music archive and its associated settings.