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[Shield/Android TV] Add function to pause playback via bluetooth


Weevillo
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Currently, activating the pause-command on a Bluetooth headset doesn't pause playback on Android TV. I was wondering if this is something that's possible to add/enable? It's working with other apps such as Youtube, Prime, SmartYoutube etc.

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Hi.  If you install this app on the device, does this work?

 

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1 hour ago, ebr said:

Hi.  If you install this app on the device, does this work?

 

Would I have to emulate this release and/or are there any specific steps I need to make?

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FrostByte
18 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

Would I have to emulate this release and/or are there any specific steps I need to make?

Just download the apk, and install/sideload it on your Shied.  You can use a usb drive if not using smb3.  Then just use a file manager app like X-plore and click the file to install.

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38 minutes ago, FrostByte said:

You can use a usb drive

I do not own the pro version, is it somehow possible to download via a downloader like AFTVNews?

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FrostByte

I've never used that tool.   If it can download a file and save it to your Shield it should work.

Another option is to enable "Transfer files over local network" on your Shield.   Then you can just drag and drop it into a Shield folder from any other client like Window 11.

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54 minutes ago, FrostByte said:

Transfer files over local network

I managed to set up the network folder, but in which one do I drop the apk? Or does it not matter since X-plore'll pick it up regardless perhaps?

Screenshot 2022-02-04 174159.png

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FrostByte

It doesn't really matter as long as you have access to it with X-plore.  I use Download, but you could create a new one also if you prefer none of the default folders 

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@ebrI managed to side load the apk and tested with my bluetooth headset, It's working (pausing the playback that is). Though, did you just want to see if it worked on the mobile app or is this the final solution on my part? Using the mobile apk is somewhat laggy and non-streamlined for TV usage.

Though, I REALLY think you guys should adapt the mobile UI to the TV version as well. It looks so much better and minimalistic. Or is this a suggestion that I should bring up in feature requests? I know I got kind of side-tracked here.

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GrimReaper
2 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

Though, I REALLY think you guys should adapt the mobile UI to the TV version as well. It looks so much better and minimalistic. Or is this a suggestion that I should bring up in feature requests? I know I got kind of side-tracked here.

It has been brought up few times before, and that is certainly something there's a lot of division on, some prefer standard app looks, some prefer TV app looks (I, for one, do, and would never want it to look as standard app), current arrangement satisfies all: pick your poison.

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1 minute ago, GrimReaper said:

It has been brought up few times before, and that is certainly something there's a lot of division on, some prefer standard app looks, some prefer TV app looks (I, for one, do, and would never want it to look as standard app), current arrangement satisfies all: pick your poison.

UX and UI designs must be a frustrating undertaking since there's no objective truth on what's right and wrong. You say you like it, I'm not totally against it, but it does scream "dated" somewhat. Some examples are the fading black area (especially bad since it's not transitioning smoothly with the opacity); the HUGE poster of the show, I mean I know what show I'm watching, does it really serve a purpose being there in the first place?; the buttons are fat and too small on that as well, it feels like someone tried to fit a huge ball in a Pringles can; the "info" and "people" buttons could do away with since it's just bloat, again that's already outside the OSD no need for it twice.

The mobile app doesn't come without its flaws as well, the buttons are huge and why open a whole new screen just to change the subtitles/audio? The animation thing it has going for it is too slow as well.

Now I'm just pandering but I do feel like the current OSD for the TV version needs simplification and a revamp, it currently just feels like someone from the team had their personal preferences made default.

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8 hours ago, Weevillo said:

the HUGE poster of the show, I mean I know what show I'm watching, does it really serve a purpose being there in the first place?

Hi.  Exactly where is this?

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8 hours ago, Weevillo said:

the buttons are fat and too small on that as well, it feels like someone tried to fit a huge ball in a Pringles can

Which buttons?

8 hours ago, Weevillo said:

the "info" and "people" buttons could do away with since it's just bloat,

You mean on the OSD?  Those were both highly suggested enhancements (to be able to see cast and summary without stopping playback).

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11 hours ago, ebr said:

Hi.  Exactly where is this?

On the shield at least it appears when you double-press down on the remote. It's also weird that if you just pause it opens only the progression bar, but if you press down it doesn't? Again this OSD feels like someones personal preferences and isn't designed from a neutral, industry-standard perspective. Industry standard basically meaning minimalistic and neutral.

11 hours ago, ebr said:

Which buttons?

Up on further inspection I'd like to clarify that the proportions between the OSD icons and the green highlight area animation are skewed in a way that doesn't come across in a nice way. So to answer your question, all buttons (pause, fast forward, CC etc.). The mobile UI's got a large green circle around an icon when selected which works since the icons are more spaced out. The progression bar on mobile is something though that the team really should consider adapting to the TV version, because the TV version's not only small (width-wise), it's also dark grey/black and that together with the fading background makes it almost invincible.

 

11 hours ago, ebr said:

You mean on the OSD?  Those were both highly suggested enhancements (to be able to see cast and summary without stopping playback).

I can't speak for the Emby user base and I don't know how long ago "were highly suggested" is, but I doubt it's actually a desired function. Look at Amazon prime: It's got this X-Ray function with the same functionality as Emby's people button and is the only major streaming service to include one, but it's not a praised function, I'd actually make the case that it's an annoyance and unnecessary function using valuable screen estate. The only situation I could think those buttons "deserves" space among the other ones are for movies (since you don't want to exit the video and break the mood/flow), you'll most likely use it once or twice for checking out that actor/actress, but for series where you'll watch multiple episodes it just makes sense to check that individual out when you're done watching the episode. And making a video-type specific OSD is just a peculiar move.

I know obviously that this OSD is designed with suggestions in mind, but I think it's gone too far trying to appeal to every wish. Let's look at what Netflix does right and the TV app doesn't (right/wrong as what characteristics are least triggering/personal):

1245493163_Screenshot2022-02-05135210.thumb.png.9c2b8754c6728979d2d8e416ba033849.png

  • Uniformed button design. The "people" and "chapter" (why have two ways to open chapters?) buttons are sticking out from the rest in Emby's OSD.
  • Non-obstructive. Emby's OSD have this huge black area behind it making it not only harder to view the OSD (since everything's either grey or darkened) but it's not transitioning smoothly at that too.
  • A clear progress bar. Where the red dot is Emby could do with a green one, we're watching on a TV it's not easy to see 2 shades of grey from meters away (or just a green bar that suffers form the small width, colour depending on your selected theme).
  • Episode information in-between buttons under progress bar. Emby places this information above obstructing even more of the screen and making it look out of place. It also says as an example: "S1 E5 Episode 5", that's just... repeating E5 again, pick one. After "Episode 5" is also the date which feels really out of place, instead place it on the right side with the clock and let the user choose if they want to have a clock or not (again with the personal preferences philosophy in design).

An OSD, in my and probably most peoples opinion since that's what being used everywhere (Netflix, Jellyfin, Plex, Disney+), should leave the least amount of foot print it can. Netflix achieves this by designing from a "contain everything within this rectangle"-philosophy.

Pardon if I come across as aggressive or frustrated but I really do feel like Emby's falling behind in good user experience practices, and I was hoping to help by providing what's been said.

Edited by Weevillo
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7 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

On the shield at least it appears when you double-press down on the remote. It's also weird that if you just pause it opens only the progression bar, but if you press down it doesn't? Again this OSD feels like someones personal preferences and isn't designed from a neutral, industry-standard perspective. Industry standard basically meaning minimalistic and neutral.

Okay, but I'm a little confused.  On the one hand you are asking for minimalistic display and then you say you don't like that, on pause, you get only a minimal display (because nothing other than progress is really necessary when you pause).

10 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

On the shield at least it appears when you double-press down on the remote

Okay, that is specifically a display designed to show you detailed information about the item playing.  The image can be an important part of that.  It isn't seen unless you request it via a button or the double down shortcut.  Not sure how that is in any way interfering with normal operation.

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19 hours ago, Weevillo said:

It's working (pausing the playback that is). Though, did you just want to see if it worked on the mobile app or is this the final solution on my part?

It sounds like maybe you prefer that interface so yes that probably is your best solution at this time.

19 hours ago, Weevillo said:

Using the mobile apk is somewhat laggy and non-streamlined for TV usage.

Can you please be more specific here (open a new topic) so that we can get it so that those aren't issues?

Thanks.

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1 minute ago, ebr said:

Okay, but I'm a little confused.  On the one hand you are asking for minimalistic display and then you say you don't like that, on pause, you get only a minimal display (because nothing other than progress is really necessary when you pause).

To put [my feelings]it into words: I don't like the progress bar to begin with, and the one you get when you pause is just the regular one strapped of everything but the huge black area behind is still there, making the progress bar (that already is too small) look like it's floating in a void. If the idea was to let the viewer pause to experience the frozen frame then it's a good idea and I like it, but the execution doesn't fulfill that aspiration.

 

5 minutes ago, ebr said:

Not sure how that is in any way interfering with normal operation.

You can have too many commands. The risk of double-pressing is big as is, there's probably a reason I've never experienced a OSD prone to miss-clicking-tenancy commands. Also, if it just displays what's said before hitting play on the episode then again, I can't see the reason? Is there really a majority of users out there that start the episode only to read the synopsis again/for the first time in the middle of watching?? Do you have a reasonable argument for it's existence?

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6 minutes ago, ebr said:

It sounds like maybe you prefer that interface so yes that probably is your best solution at this time.

I'm not against the idea of using the mobile apk, but I can only do that with good conscious knowing more or less that what I've said here today is the minority opinion. I feel like I've said reasonable things and you haven't really given me a counter argument on any of my points, it's only "could you clarify" this thus far.

 

8 minutes ago, ebr said:

Can you please be more specific here (open a new topic) so that we can get it so that those aren't issues?

Thanks.

Gladly, should I do so in the Android thread?

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35 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

if it just displays what's said before hitting play on the episode then again, I can't see the reason?

There are a number of ways for something to start playing.  Perhaps you played it directly from the home screen (where there is no detail).  Or, perhaps, this is a subsequent episode that started automatically.

35 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

Is there really a majority of users out there that start the episode only to read the synopsis again/for the first time in the middle of watching?? Do you have a reasonable argument for it's existence?

Yes, user requests.  I cannot say whether or not it is a "majority" but I can say that it was requested a number of times before it existed.

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32 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

Gladly, should I do so in the Android thread?

Please create it in the Android TV section since you are specifically addressing TV layouts.

Thanks.

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49 minutes ago, ebr said:

Or, perhaps, this is a subsequent episode that started automatically.

Valid point, but since you have the different OSD depending on how you pause I'd rather go with Netflix way which tone in the synopsis after 10 seconds or so of pausing rather than having a command that's so prone to miss-click.

 

51 minutes ago, ebr said:

Yes, user requests.  I cannot say whether or not it is a "majority" but I can say that it was requested a number of times before it existed.

I understand, perhaps I'm the minority or it's just that people don't care to comment on it. Was therefore wondering: Do you guys do surveys? I think it would be helpful and enlightening to ask the user-base about the current state of Emby (perhaps in announcements for maximum exposure?), just food for thought.

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@Weevillo Not sure how long you have been using the Android TV app, but the way is is presented now, has been the agreed UI, honed over many years. 

Yes, there are a few things that might grate for a new user, especially if you compare it to other applications, but this is the way it is. 

If you search through the Android subforums here, you will find many discussions surrounding the OSD and other aspects of the ATV app. 

I do agree with you about the OSD when playback is paused though. 

You will find a lot of resistance to anything that is changed, that doesn't have an option to "unchange" it, so good luck with your FR's 😀

Thanks. 

 

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18 minutes ago, CBers said:

I do agree with you about the OSD when playback is paused though. 

Thanks for your acknowledgement.

But yeah in all of Emby's lifetime I've only been part of a fraction of it, I barely know how things are done here. The support is the best out of the three main home media server players, but what it gains in that aspect makes it lack in the request department from my experience thus far. I've got everything I need for a functioning ATV app since you guys honored my request on adding Hi10p AVC on the Shield TV, anything else is quality of life requests on my part.

23 minutes ago, CBers said:

You will find a lot of resistance to anything that is changed, that doesn't have an option to "unchange" it, so good luck with your FR's

I would like for an option in the settings for switching between "Mobile layout" and "TV layout" (perhaps not with those names, it would certainly be confusing) to appear. I'd be settled for years to come then. This both solves the "non-regression" part and my requests.

Anyhow thanks for your attention😁

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sydlexius
13 minutes ago, Weevillo said:

I would like for an option in the settings for switching between "Mobile layout" and "TV layout" (perhaps not with those names, it would certainly be confusing) to appear. I'd be settled for years to come then. This both solves the "non-regression" part and my requests.

Anyhow thanks for your attention😁

One area that has won the day here is that the browser version Emby *does* allow to switch layouts:

image.png.dd00c0908e893db0cc1464c4d7cccba9.png

Clearly someone wanted this capability, and I don't think it's terribly unreasonable to ask for this on more than one platform.  Potentially this capability could allow the merger of the two Android Emby clients, which in the long run would cut down on development/QA/Test resources. 

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3 minutes ago, sydlexius said:

One area that has won the day here is that the browser version Emby *does* allow to switch layouts:

Oh interesting! Does this switch the OSD layout as well?

 

3 minutes ago, sydlexius said:

Clearly someone wanted this capability, and I don't think it's terribly unreasonable to ask for this on more than one platform.  Potentially this capability could allow the merger of the two Android Emby clients, which in the long run would cut down on development/QA/Test resources. 

So basically: One core app and the option to switch the layout? The same principles as OneSky where one string is translated and can then be used in any client? If I've understood it correctly then it does sound like a wonderful solution. Should I go out of my way to make a feature request or is this already noted?

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