Our latest doubleTwist Music Player Android update brings something magical: now you can blast your favorite Magic Radio stations on your AirPlay-compatible speakers or stream music through your Apple TV, directly from your Android phone.

With our long history in digital media interoperability, we are proud to offer the only streaming service on Android that supports AirPlay out of the box. We have also added support for Qualcomm AllPlay, an open audio streaming platform that will soon be bundled into wireless speakers by companies such as Panasonic.

And as if that wasn’t enough, we are releasing a system image you can install on a Raspberry Pi, so you can inexpensively build your own streaming box. Whether you are a developer or a music enthusiast, you can quickly turn a Raspberry Pi into a music streaming endpoint, without getting locked into proprietary platforms.

So go ahead, remove your headset, relax and pump up that volume!

AirPlay Magic Radio

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In Android 4.1 Google introduced a system-wide plugin API for streaming devices. Originally developed for the Nexus Q, Google now uses the API for their Chromecast device. The same API was also recently used by Sonos to enable the Google Play Music app to stream cloud music to Sonos devices.

Today we released an “AirPlay for Android” package that adds an AirPlay music streaming plugin using this new API. Applications that take advantage of Android’s new plugin API automatically gain AirPlay music support when our plugin is installed. This includes Google Play Music, with one caveat: the Google Play Music app is currently using a whitelist and filtering out plugins other than Nexus Q and Sonos. If your device is rooted, we automatically patch the whitelist so that you can enjoy your Google cloud music on your favorite AirPlay device.

Instructions:

  1. Install the doubleTwist AirPlay for Android package
  2. Launch the Google Play Music app and tap the Cast (streaming) button
  3. Grant root access when prompted (this patches the plugin whitelist)
  4. Force stop the Google Play Music app and relaunch it
  5. AirPlay devices on your WiFi network should now appear when tapping Cast

Note that occasionally you may need to redo step #4 (Force stop) due to Google redownloading the whitelist from their servers.

 

AirPlay support for Google Play Music

Back in August last year we were in the middle of redesigning the doubleTwist Music Player. Following the best practices of the platform we included a navigation drawer to quickly switch between the available top level categories within the app.

doubleTwist’s UI has long included a sort of ‘bottom drawer’ as well, much like what the Google Play Music app has these days. So, instead of integrating the support library’s DrawerLayout, we decided to create our own ViewGroup that allowed for drawers on all sides of the screen. ADrawerLayout was born.

On top of drawers on arbitrary sides of the screen, ADrawerLayout also allows customisation of how the content behaves when scrolling any of the drawers. We weren’t quite sure of how we wanted it in the end so we added a few adjustable parameters to experiment a little bit. Those parameters included:

  • the content paralax factor for both the x and y axis (independent), which tells you how much the content will move as you slide any of the drawers, 
  • dimming color/alpha of the content overlay
  • scale, alpha and xyrotation animation parameters for the content view.

In contrast to DrawerLayout, ADrawerLayout will accept swipe movements starting on any part of the screen, instead of just the edge. But it also includes a setRestrictTouchesToArea(int drawerId, int areaSize) method that allows you to customise this behavior, should your content require it (seek bars, some scrollable views, etc).

Additionally, ADrawerLayout has a peekSize{Right|Left|Top|Bottom} parameter (dimension) that makes a drawer always show a little bit of itself. By default, a ‘peeking’ drawer will only be draggable through touches inside its ‘peek area’.

We’re making ADrawerLayout publicly available for all the Android developers out there so if you are one and have been looking for something like this, give it a try and let us know how it works for you. Bug reports, pull requests or just comments are all very welcome!

See it in action:

– Filipe Abrantes, doubleTwist

Over the past several weeks we heard from a lot of PC users who were asking us to bring doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder to Windows. We heard you loud and clear: now you can start saving iTunes radio streams for offline playback on your Windows PC.

doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder for Windows works just like the Mac version and appears as an AirPlay device in iTunes.

To start recording radio from iTunes:

1) Select ‘dT Recorder’ from the AirPlay menu in iTunes
2) Start playing an iTunes audio or online radio stream

Recorded audio is saved to your Music folder under “Recorder”. You can record 10 sec samples for free, or upgrade to the full version for $9.99.

Download doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder for Windows.

WinAirPlayRecorder

Today we are launching our popular doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder on the Mac, bringing Mac users the ability to save iTunes radio streams for offline playback.

doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder is easy to use and appears as an AirPlay device in iTunes.

To start recording:

1) Select ‘dT Recorder’ from the iTunes AirPlay menu
2) Start playing an audio or radio stream in iTunes

Recorded audio is saved to your music folder under “Recorder”. You can record 10 sec samples for free, or upgrade to the full version for $9.99.

Download doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder for Mac (requires Mac OS X 10.7.3 or higher).

MacAPR

doubleTwist apps are handcrafted with ❤ in San Francisco.

doubleTwist KitKat release
Our new release today brings KitKat support and introduces a delicious new UI that takes advantage of the full screen real estate of an Android device, automatically adapting to tablet look for larger screens, while maintaining a consistent design language across all form factors.

When you launch the app you’ll be welcomed with a rich visual experience, making heavy use of album and artist images, tailored to today’s higher resolution screens. We also addressed the challenge of managing music in a touch interface by introducing a powerful new multi-select mode, simplifying common music player actions such as playlist management, play queue editing and creation of new Magic Radio stations based on Artists, Albums or Playlists.

More specifically, the new doubleTwist release brings:

  • Artist bios & images for a visually-rich music browsing experience
  • Multi-select mode for easier music management: you can now easily create new playlists, batch-add songs to the Play Queue, delete songs, etc
  • Ability to launch Magic Radio stations directly from your music library: you can now easily create new Magic Radio stations while browsing your music library by Artist, Album, Song or Playlist.
  • Navigation, album art and album search improvements.
  • Free, ad-supported Podcast management for users who have not upgraded to doubleTwist Pro.

It’s easy to dismiss a minimal redesign as easy. After all, how hard can it be when the amount of visual elements is reduced? It was actually quite a challenge to create something minimal and well balanced that still communicated our ‘signature’ style to users. Our application had matured quite a bit, offering lots of complex features, from Magic Radio to playlist management, that are more easily presented with more complex visual elements. To present things well and preserve a great-looking layout, we did a lot of experimenting.

A good example is the navigation: we didn’t want to simply give it a new coat of minimal paint, but redesign it so it felt at home with the new conventions of slide-out navigation in Android KitKat. It was also designed to be consistent across all devices, from tablets to phones.

We’re really happy with how our redesign turned out — and hope you’ll love it too!

doubleTwist is handcrafted with ❤ in San Francisco.

doubleTwist Sync for Windows

We completely reinvented the doubleTwist Windows app to make it lighter, faster and more powerful.

The new app — doubleTwist Sync — features a beautiful UI and brings highly requested features such as:

  • MTP support: now you can quickly sync thousands of songs to your phone or tablet from your local music library over USB.
  • Complete integration with iTunes: doubleTwist Player on your Android now automatically pushes ratings, playcounts and playlist edits back to iTunes, keeping everything up to date.
  • More sync options: You can now sync music based on Artists, Albums, Genres or Playlists you previously created in iTunes or Windows Media Player.

The new Windows app works seamlessly with doubleTwist Music Player for Android to deliver a truly amazing music experience whether you Sync, Listen or Stream. From doubleTwist Sync, to doubleTwist Music Player and Magic Radio, you can now do it all without sacrificing ease of use.

Our vision has always been to deliver to you music without boundaries and we believe doubleTwist Sync is another step in that direction, breaking the artificial walls that Apple, Google and Microsoft build around their platforms to constrain you.

May 282013

It’s no secret that at doubleTwist, we’re constantly working on improving the design and usability of our apps. You can read about our long design process for something as ‘simple’ as an Alarm Clock app – we are still very proud of doubleTwist Alarm, and its success! For our latest major release, the newly updated doubleTwist player, I’d like to take a little trip down memory lane so I can explain what made us a little slower to introduce this new, ‘Holo’ version of doubleTwist.

When our Android player first came out, Android looked very different:

In fact, it was a given that Android was still in a phase of dynamic and constant change. The user interface of Android was simply struggling to find an identity, a visual style that it could truly own and be recognized by. At doubleTwist, we’d certainly found our own look and feel, but it’s a real challenge for a designer to come up with a design for an application on a platform that hasn’t truly found its own ‘native’ appearance yet. Not only was Android rather garish looking, it was also changing its UI guidelines and styles very often. When we first launched, it had just made several complete U-turns on design guidelines: for instance, where Google at first advised icons to be designed in a slanted, 3D perspective, icons were now to be flat, without any kind of perspective, using minimal decoration. This trend of sudden drastic changes in design styles continued as Android grew older: the system font for Android changed, green and orange highlight colors were phased out, and with Android version 3.0 a new design style called ‘Holo’ was introduced. I was very interested in Holo: I felt like the design team at Google was on to something with its simple lines and flat surfaces.

However, as you may be able to understand from our history (and Android’s!), we were reluctant to adopt an entirely new design style for doubleTwist. We hadn’t simply pushed out a design and maintained its appearance: as Android shifted in its user interface conventions and appearance, we tried our best to change with it and look like we belonged and fit in, without investing too much into the visual style of a single Android release.

Fortunately for us and all developers, Google stuck to Holo – and while it is refining the style, its basic concepts and core principles remain somewhat consistent. We’ve waited long enough: it’s time for doubleTwist to adapt. We’ve heard your requests and Google’s and we’re now pushing out what is the first part of a major redesign: the Holo Release, stage 1.

screen1framed_Album Grid w Multi Select AB Alt

We haven’t simply adopted Holo, but worked to incorporate everything great about Google’s latest and best designs to bring doubleTwist fully in line with their conventions and design patterns. Navigation throughout the app now uses the Up button, we use the system action bar with accessible actions for any screen (for instance, switching between methods of viewing albums in Album view), but we haven’t lost our smooth and good-looking dark style in the process. We took a lot of care to balance the clean and crisp look of Holo with our own aesthetic and I think it turned out fantastic.

doubleTwist Player now has a whole slew of new screens that work in both portrait and landscape, with often optimized layouts for landscape devices and usage modes.

landscape

But hopefully you’ll also see smaller changes: with the care we put into typographically redesigning every single view and changing the color and layout to be more pleasing, something as simple as a list view of songs now looks fantastic. We really minded the details: even though we had very intensely custom-designed alert dialogs and prompts in the past, but we’ve completely redesigned these to be Holo-compliant. Our new alerts are lightweight and designed with clean, well laid out typography and with occasional use of color highlights.

songs listalert

All in all, we left no stone untouched. From the basic look and feel of icons in the main grid view, to the actual little app icon, to the smoothness of animations, we’ve worked very hard to make this new, lighter and redesigned doubleTwist a pleasure to use and feel absolutely perfectly at home on Android – right now, and in the future.

We have more drastic changes and improvements planned for the future that will bring the doubleTwist experience to even more devices. We are also optimizing doubleTwist for larger screens and devices to create a stellar app that will blow you away. We hope you expect nothing less from us.

doubleTwist is handcrafted with ❤ in San Francisco.

– Sebastiaan de With, Chief Creative Officer

Today we released an exciting update to doubleTwist Player that gives you the ability to share the music you are listening to on Twitter or Facebook. You control how, what and when you want to share your favorite songs. It’s up to you. When your followers/friends click on your Facebook or Twitter link they’ll be welcomed by the artist’s bio, concert dates, news and the corresponding music video. Thanks to our partners at The Echo Nest and 7Digital for helping power this new feature. Get the free doubleTwist update on Google Play and let us know what you think!

doubleTwist is handmade with ❤ in San Francisco.

Twisters, we are happy to announce a major new milestone: 2 million daily active users. People from all around the world are enjoying their music, videos and podcasts on their Android device using doubleTwist on their way to work, at the gym or school, or while lounging at home.

To celebrate we are doing a sale (50% off!) on our most popular apps, including doubleTwist Player in-app upgrades, AirSync and doubleTwist Alarm Clock. The sale will start tonight California time so stay tuned and keep an eye on our Twitter account or Facebook page.

doubleTwist is handcrafted with ❤ in San Francisco.

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