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Author Topic: Busy as heck working on 7.0...  (Read 75376 times)

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2013, 10:28:31 AM »
Now that the UPnP stuff is out of the way, I've been working on the QR code, and I came up with a very simple solution: if the option is checked, the QR code shows on the Karaoke screen in a fixed position (lower-right). It renders last, meaning it will be on top of anything that might end up behind it - so you'll have to choose your "upcoming singers" display accordingly.

It disappears when a singer is up (there isn't enough room on the screen for it not to be in the way). I can't just slip it into the margin as it will be too small - I've tried making it smaller, and on my 37" TV it just won't work any smaller than what it is now. Turns out a 25x25 pixel QR can't store enough data for a full URL... so I'm at 37x37, which seems to work well. It's then scaled up to your TV resolution of course, along with the rest of the Karaoke screen.

I also had to put some white border around it, but in all it looks pretty good. I've been testing with ScanLife, which sucks (it sometimes gets stuck in a loop making obnoxious noises) so now I'm using DroidQR and it seems to be more reliable.

Note that it includes the "passcode=" in the QR code, so patrons at your bar will never even need to know there IS a passcode if they snap the QR.

I'm working on a "print QR code" method, and a "copy to clipboard" as well. All coming soon...

I decided not to put instructions - if they don't know what it is, they probably don't have a smart phone... or aren't that smart... or lived in a cave for the last 10 years... :)


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   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2013, 04:34:39 PM »
Quote
I've been working on the QR code, and I came up with a very simple solution: if the option is checked, the QR code shows on the Karaoke screen in a fixed position (lower-right)

You've been been busy!

I had a busy morning at my day job so I haven't had time to post until now.

I can see why you're putting it there to leave room for any length of the "upcoming singers" but it does look a weird when you only have 2 singers with pics and 5 or less singers "text only" singers.

Question:  Will the QR code stay the same (if we use the same code or no code) because we're using your link (ex. www.vdj.net/dj/fabio/)?

In other words, is it possible to have a static version so I can print it and include it on the printed books?

By the way, I find QR Droid to be the best android app for reading them.

Quote
Last time I tried DD-WRT I Bricked my Linksys WRTG router

I thought I had done that before with a new router I got (WRT610n).  There is supposed to be a version for it but none of them work well.  This one has a dual radio too.  It kept dropping the connection.  On one of those attempts I did brick it, but I found a site that listed a way to unbrick it via a shorting of two legs of a chip on the motherboard. It did work but I had to break into it voiding my warranty...not that loading DD-WRT wasn't voiding already.  Unfortunately, I needed it to bridge with a second wifi router so I could get Wifi in my backyard where I've built a man cave with a pool table, darts, foosball and a large screen TV to watch various sporting events  ;D )  My house has metal siding which doesn't let the signal travel much outside the house.  Anyway, the basic firmware it comes with doesn't have bridging capabilities which is why I need to install DD-WRT on them.  My main E1000 works really well with DD-WRT but the WRT610n doesn't really like it.





Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2013, 05:15:18 PM »
Quote
Question:  Will the QR code stay the same (if we use the same code or no code) because we're using your link (ex. www.vdj.net/dj/fabio/)?

There is a field in the server settings dialog (attached) for the URL. You can either hit the "copy" button to copy your local IP (with http:// added) or just type/paste in your VDJ URL. Whatever you use will generate the QR code for that text plus (if you have a passcode set) "?passcode=1234".

When I add the "print" or "copy to clipboard" options, I'll be sure to ask if you want it w/o the passcode part, so that you can put it in your songbook and it will work every time. Only difference being, if you do use a passcode at a gig, they will have to enter it. By using the dynamically generated one on the screen, it'll automatically put the passcode in the URL.

Quote
By the way, I find QR Droid to be the best android app for reading them.

Agreed, been playing with it all day, it works much better than ScanLife. I like that you can even create QR codes with the app...

BTW, I've seen them around before, but when your mind is on something you start seeing it everywhere. Today I saw QR codes on pamphlets, grocery items, in the sale papers, even on restaurant signs... and I was only out of the house for about an hour! These things are gaining in popularity.

Our local Family Dollar store sometimes has items on sale *only* if you scan the stupid code on the shelf. Usually Coke & Pepsi products.

Heck, I'll probably start carrying around the Droid + my tracfone everywhere I go now. There's WiFi pretty much everywhere I go - McDonald's, Dairy Queen, this little Mexican restaurant we like... and our small 10,000 people town has no less than 13 bars in it, all with WiFi. Next time I go out for a few, I'll be testing my request app (and showing it off to my DJ friends :) ) (I keep changing the number of bars as I think of more... we also have two very large liquor stores and about 8 pizza places that also serve alcohol.. says a lot about Cedar Lake, Indiana ;) )

Oh, wanted to address this one:

Quote
...but it does look a weird when you only have 2 singers with pics and 5 or less singers "text only" singers.

What makes it look "weird"? I guess you have to see it up on the monitor, it really looks better (I just cropped out the karaoke preview screen for the attachment). I'll attach the second monitor screenshot. Also note that the QR can be oriented in any direction, and I change it so the three dots "anchor" it to the lower-right corner. Just an aesthetics thing but it just looks better... I could make that an option as well, the orientation and placement of the code.

Edit: oops, instead of adding an attachment I wiped out the other one :)

[attachment deleted by admin]
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
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   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2013, 05:22:36 PM »
Now that I look at it... what I need to do is go back into the Karaoke code, and make the entire image that is displayed a 16:9 aspect. The lyrics would still be in the 4:3 "safe area", and on a 4:3 TV it would crop (instead of letterbox). Then, the QR code can be pushed as far right as your screen allows.

I might take this on for the 7.0 release; wide-screen TVs are much more pervasive in bars today, and HDMI-capable laptops are very common as well. It will be a bit of work, but worth it, to re-organize the graphics (there are quite a few steps done in a specific order to "build" the resulting image on the screen). Remember as well that I have to take "overscan" into account even on a flat-screen; unfortunately most TV manufacturers still overscan, to account for garbage data that some TV shows have in the "unseen" parts of the screen. Since my TV is hooked to a home-brew DVR via a VGA cable, I actually see this sometimes.

Point being, if I push anything too close to the edge, it might get cut off by the TV monitor. Way to think ahead, TV manufacturers... I wish they'd just treat any signal like a computer output, with a 1:1 pixel ratio... but this is the real world...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2013, 06:34:30 PM »
It looks weird because it's off center I guess...

Quote
wide-screen TVs are much more pervasive in bars today, and HDMI-capable laptops are very common as well

Yup, this is true, all of the bars I host at have wide screen TVs.  Although as I found out when I got my laptop a few months, not all wide screen TVs have an HDMI port.  One of the bars I host at has a large wide screen TV that only has 1 DVI port.  Luckily I came prepared and had an HDMI / DVI adapter that came with a HDMI spliter/hub.  The owner has a directv box plugged in with S-Video, he did say he would buy a new one soon to replace it...but that was a few months ago and I'm still using the adapter.

Quote
wide-screen TVs are much more pervasive in bars today, and HDMI-capable laptops are very common as well
Maybe this can make the QR code stay on the screen if the KJ is using it on a wide screen TV.

Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2013, 07:16:09 PM »
Maybe an option could be to, instead of *centering* the Karaoke lyrics on the wide screen, there could be an option to shift it to the left or right, leaving twice as much room on the other edge for the QR code, and possibly other information...

I still think the bottom of the screen is best, since most bar TVs are mounted up high... but bottom-right (or left) with maybe some text, or even pictures of upcoming singers in the "blank" area...

The possibilities are all there, it just comes down to implementing them in a way that's easy enough to configure for the DJ/KJ, and not too time consuming on my end.

Food for thought I suppose...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2013, 07:19:12 PM »
I suppose I could make a configuration window where you literally drag and drop to arrange the various items represented as images, such as the Lyrics, header/footer text, QR code, upcoming singer #1 and so on. That probably would not be all that difficult; once you "apply" the settings the program just goes through the coordinates you configured, and displays accordingly.

I'm going to work on a mock-up of this and see what I think, and I'll post some shots of the mock-up for feedback.
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2013, 08:16:23 PM »
Something along the lines of the attached window. The "lyrics" box is to scale, I didn't realize just how much *more* space is on the left and right because I shrink it down for the header/footer text. Seeing it to scale with the outline really makes one think...

Anyway the idea is you design your own CDG screen, and each "element" if you will, can be selected as "Visible Always" and "Visible when Not Playing Karaoke". I thought about adding an option to change the order (eg, what's behind or in front of what) but that gets way too hairy for my liking... just positioning information should do just fine.

Maybe it can save a separate scheme for when you are on a 4:3 screen, so if you do two bars, one with HDTVs and one with older sets... or in my case, I have an older LDC 20" monitor I use at outdoor gigs, and it's 4:3... but at bars it's almost always 16:9...

Edit: in case it wasn't clear, each outlined element would be drag 'n' dropped into place wherever you like... perhaps you could save your layouts as "schemes" and choose which one is appropriate for the occasion...

Just thinking aloud again...

Edit again: changed the screenshot to show the 4:3 "safe area" in the yellow dotted-line box.

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 08:35:43 PM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline vcationguy

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2013, 05:18:04 AM »
Hadn't seen anything posted for a while, so I figured you were busy with 7.0.  You guys are amazing!

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2013, 09:18:57 AM »
So I slept on it, and my brain still kept working. I'm definitely going to rewrite the display code to always output a 720p image (1280x720). On a 4:3 TV, you have a choice to go "full screen" or "letterbox", like on a TV tuner. Also, on a wide-screen, there will be an option to "shrink" the width down to 4:3 - I know a lot of DJs who still use S-Video or Composite, and in this mode it would be a 4:3 picture being stretched to fit the TV; this option would make the aspect ratio look correct in this configuration.

Now, on to the CDG editor screen. Attached is what I've got so far. Note that it looks super-busy, but this is just the development environment. Not all of those elements will be seen at the same time; you'll choose either "Standby Mode" or "Karaoke Mode", and edit the screen layout for each of those modes separately. So if you want the Header/Footer to not show while someone sings, or the QR code, or a different background, or ... the list goes on. You will even be able to, if you wish, show the next singer's picture while someone is singing...

So it's all drag 'n' drop layouts. I will have some pre-defined "schemes", and you'll be able to save your own as well (for different venues with different TV configurations, or just different tastes in how the screen looks).

Any thoughts? I'll be working on making this mock-up actually function today...


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-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2013, 09:29:41 AM »
Sorry I haven't posted. I had my regular Wednesday gig last night and over slept.... running late for my day job.  So I'm posting from my phone (Thank God for swipe). Anyway, I'l just post a short message.  I just wanted to say I really like this  customizer of the cdg screen ;)
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2013, 11:20:45 AM »
It's really fun to play around with it. I don't have the underlying code to actually do anything with the settings yet, but the actual drag 'n' drop interface is working nicely. You can select whether to see outlines on the elements, the focus rectangle, etc.

It automatically snaps elements to a (unseen) 4x4 grid, but holding CTRL while dragging lets you move with 1 pixel resolution. It's exactly how it works in the VB6 environment, and I think other design programs have similar settings.

Note that 1 pixel = about 3 actual pixels in the full 720 result. I think this should be quite sufficient.

Still a bit of work to do, but this will completely replace the "karaoke settings" under the preview screen. Screenshot of current implementation attached :)

Edit: I'm going to save each "scheme" in an .ini file as well, so you can edit them or copy to another computer. I'm trying to get away from storing things in binary data and/or the registry, so that things can be edited/copied by the user. The "saved singers" might get a revamp in this same manner as well. The only thing I'm keeping in binary format is the Music Database, as it would be entirely too inefficient if it were in plain text files.

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 11:24:00 AM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2013, 12:07:25 PM »
Wow, that looks really cool!!  8)

It looks like you can have 3 pictures PLUS the text list too...am I wrong?..that would be the best of both worlds, specially when you add the ability for users to send their pictures when they use the web app.

Thinking about this web app as well I was recently browsing at touch screens and I found this:

http://www.chinavasion.com/china/wholesale/Home_Audio_Video/LCD_Monitors_TV/10_Inch_Touchscreen_USB_TFT_Monitor

I wonder if you you set this up to run the web app in kiosk mode on it and people would be able to make request as well. It's not that expensive either at $139 for the 10 inch version.  I also saw a 7 inch version at $116 but with the difference in price I'd rather get the 10 inch version.  The only problem in my case I'd have to get a USB powered hub as I'm out of USB ports or perhaps a universal dock.



Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2013, 12:23:16 PM »
I suppose that might work. You would have to set up a browser and put it in full-screen mode. However there wouldn't be much stopping users from doing other things on your computer, intentionally or not... but as long as someone is keeping an eye on things it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

It certainly would look really neat though. I would probably recommend disabling "preview" though, unless you took the time to configure Windows to use the display device's audio - probably wouldn't do a lot of good anyway though.

As for the CDG screen editor, for fun I've compiled an .exe that runs just the one window. It doesn't do anything useful yet, but it will let you play around with it and get a feel for the interface. Actually it's just VDJ set to just show the one window (hence the file size :) )

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-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Busy as heck working on 7.0...
« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2013, 12:33:08 PM »
Just for my own reference later I'm posting this here. In the Header/Footer text area, I will allow for a few variables:

%NOWPLAYING%
%URL%
%PASSCODE%

Probably will think of some others later...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/