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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jive user experience

    I have had the pleasure of testing Jive for 5 days now. It is indeed a beta product at the moment, so both HW and SW need some polish. I have seen significant improvements in SW during the last week, so the development is moving quickly forward.

    The user interface follows the same lines as the menu navigation on a Squeezebox. To get an impression of the user interface, I encourage everyone to test the Jive emulator. Compile and install instructions are available at the Jive Wiki pages.

    To test the ability of third-party add-ons, I installed the Snake game that was posted on the Jive forum. I downloaded the Snake Lua applet to my PC and copied the files to the Jive remote over the wireless network. This illustrates that the Jive remote continues the Slimdevices tradition of devices built around open source software with contributions from the user community.

    I also installed the InformationBrowser applet with accompanying Slimserver plugin. This enabled me to read RSS feeds fetched from the internet on Jive's screen. This illustrates that Jive is much more than a conventional remote that basically just transmits a specified IR signal.

    Jive is tailored to controlling Squeezebox/Transporter via Wi-Fi connection to a Slimserver/Squeezenetwork, but an IR transmitter is present so universal remote functionality can be made. Few buttons are available so such functionality will have to rely on screen navigation to select the desired action. Regarding universal remote capabilities, one cool plugin would be an Electronic Program Guide. Jive could fetch from internet the broadcasting schedule for the different TV channels. The schedules could then be displayed on the Jive screen and used to easily select the desired channel. My Harmony remote doesn't have the potential to do that.

    The remote has audio playback capabilities. It has both a headphone socket and a built in speaker. I was able to transfer a wav file and play it through Jive's speaker. The hardware seems capable to stream and play audio from Slimserver/Squeezenetwork, so with the right software, Jive will become a portable Wi-Fi audio player.

    I see great potential in the Jive platform as a user friendly control device for Squeezebox/Transporter. And for the geeks among us, what other remote control runs Linux with the ability of an SSH connection over your wireless network?

  2. #2
    Web Monkey mvalera's Avatar
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    Great review, thanks for the input!

    I love your idea for the electronic program guide.

    Mike
    Michael Valera
    Internet Marketing Manager
    Corsair.com

  3. #3
    Ne'er-do-well, Vagabond bklaas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvalera View Post
    Great review, thanks for the input!

    I love your idea for the electronic program guide.

    Mike
    Me too...and the open-source building blocks are already there...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XMLTV

    cheers,
    #!/ben
    Former Logitech Developer: Squeezeplay/SqueezeOS/SqueezeboxController/SqueezeCenter
    Community Developer: Nokia770Skin (r.i.p.)

    http://www.last.fm/user/bklaas/

  4. #4
    NOT a Slim Devices Employee kdf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvalera View Post
    Great review, thanks for the input!

    I love your idea for the electronic program guide.

    Mike
    Love it enough to champion an effort get registered as an approved application?

    The well-known free program guide provider, zap2it, is gone in two days. The replacement is Schedules Direct, which provides the data for a small fee (but non-profit). Their requirement is that you are using the data with an approved open-source application. In my case, I have it set up with MythTV. There was a tv listings plugin made some time ago that also used xmltv for dowloading the data. This might now be in violation, but if SS were on the approved list, then the existing plugin may be a good starting point for the slimserver side of the data handling.

    -kdf

  5. #5
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    EPG could be via an addon parser for InfoBrowser... This would then make the information available on jive and player displays.

    All it needs is an agreed source of data and a parser to reformat the data... I think Bryan has been working on something similar for BBC radio stations.

  6. #6
    Ne'er-do-well, Vagabond bklaas's Avatar
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    Excellent thought, Triode. When the time comes, I'd be happy to dink around with the data structure translation when that time comes. Sounds way cool.

    #!/ben
    Former Logitech Developer: Squeezeplay/SqueezeOS/SqueezeboxController/SqueezeCenter
    Community Developer: Nokia770Skin (r.i.p.)

    http://www.last.fm/user/bklaas/

  7. #7
    NOT a Slim Devices Employee kdf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triode View Post
    EPG could be via an addon parser for InfoBrowser... This would then make the information available on jive and player displays.

    All it needs is an agreed source of data and a parser to reformat the data... I think Bryan has been working on something similar for BBC radio stations.
    I have a cron job that calls xmltv to download the data and store it to xml (and another script that converts to a "faster loading" storable format). Should be rather easy to parse, but a bit more complicated to get the right ui on the display I think. jive/slimserver still needs to be approved in order to avoid the risk of having your listings account dropped.

    I'm not sure what there is as a downloader option under windows or osx, however.

    -kdf

  8. #8
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    I've did some checking into XMLtv after doing the BBC "What'so On" addition for Alien as I also felt that a generic solution would be better as my Alien addon uses the BBC website and hence limited.

    I think the XMLtv data can be processed easily and AFAICT the registration is only needed for N. America - the XMLTV data for UK/ireland comes from RadioTimes.

    So in terms of getting an EPG on Jive - a good UI is the key and that is what where I am ignorant and trying to see what is possible.

  9. #9
    NOT a Slim Devices Employee kdf's Avatar
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    Mythtv shows the time horizontally across the top, with channels down the left side. Simplest use of space might be to disply 3 hours at a time (80 pixels per hour) and maybe 8 channels at a time (40 pixels) with the wheel scrolling through the entire column. Scrolling right up to the top line could allow for moving horizontally through time blocks.

    The TV Listings plugin was very simple, "What's on now" going to a list of the programs at the current time listed by channel, "By Channel going to a menu of channels which once picked gave you a time sorted list of shows., then By Time which gave you a choice of half-hour blocks which then leans to a listing of all shows at that time sort by channel. If nothing else, that would still be very convenient access.

    True, only NA has to deal with the Schedules Direct, but hopefully xmltv puts out the same results from whatever source. I've atached a clip of what I'm getting. I've clipped it down to just one programme and one channel block.

    -kdf

  10. #10
    Is there a web browser for the Jive platform?

    As a MythTV user, I don't think I'd find an EPG very useful unless I could use it to record a show listed in the EPG -- ala MythWeb. ISTM it'd be much easier to copy/customize the MythWeb web UI for MythTV and point a minimal web browser at that. That might also obviate any need for SlimServer to be certified by Schedules Direct for the US/CA SD customers, and would reduce the load on SD, as MythTV/mythfilldatabase would be the only app that needed to fetch listings.

    -Peter
    owner of the stuff at https://tuxreborn.netlify.com/
    (which used to reside at www.tux.org/~peterw/)
    Note: The best way to reach me is email or PM, as I don't spend much time on the forums.
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