UMP (Unified Media Platform)

6.1 Playing Music

 

Playing Music is an important function of the UMP, and there are a number of practical functions that have been implemented in this device, which are not directly apparent.

 

Before getting started with the Music section of the device, please note that this device has absolutely no DRM or DRM-bypassing mechanisms. This means that protected music may not play exported from applications like Windows Media Player or iTunes.

 

 

In the Music Menu choose the location where your audio files are located, and play an audio file by highlighting it and pressing the Enter button on the remote control (UMP-R-1XX). This opens a new screen, referred to as the Audio Player.

 

Like most other media sections of the UMP-OSD, the Clipboard function is available, which allows you to move or copy files and directories locally or to and from the network.

 

At the top of each directory you will find an additional entry labeled Random playlist. This has the same function as selecting the directory and choosing Random Play all Items from the Action Menu.

6.2 Playing Music over the Network

 

Playing Music over the Network is no different to playing locally stored audio files, with the exception of the Clipboard and Delete functions obviously, if the network source is not connected with read and write permissions.

 

Almost any common network these days is fully capable of providing sufficient bandwidth for streaming audio, especially when dealing with highly compressed data like MPEG layer 3 or Windows Media Audio.

 

If you are using extremely high quality WAV files or FLAC files with low compression for instance, you may want to verify that the bandwidth supplied is sufficient.

 

MP3

CBR, VBR, >=320k tested

MP2

CBR, VBR, >=320k tested

MP4

CBR, VBR, >=320k tested

WAV

PCM up to any plausible bitrate. 24bit 44100hz tested. Other formats may also play.

WMA

CBR, VBR, Lossless, >= 256k tested

AAC

CBR, VBR, up to any plausible bitrate. VBR

FLAC

Up to any plausible bitrate. High compression (-8) tested.

OGG

Theoretically up to any plausible bitrate. VBR tested. >=256

 

Device does NOT support DRM in any form.

6.3 Playing Music from Optical Media

 

Playing Music from optical media is greatly enhanced in the UMP, as opposed to many similar devices which concentrate highly on video functionality, but provide inadequate audio support. Because not all UMP devices are equipped with an optical drive by default, and the range of drives available is huge, a highly abstracted interface has been implemented, attempting to conceal the inner functions, but providing sufficient flexibility in configuration for advanced users to adjust the relevant settings as desired.

 

The UMP fully supports autoplay for Audio CDs and Data CDs and DVDs containing audio data. Note that there are a few restrictions, separate from the restrictions imposed by the drive (if the optical drive was not installed by default).

 

A data mode CD or DVD containing audio files should use the ISO9660 filesystem for optimal support, though most types of UDF are supported (not including 2.0 or later). If a disc is inserted which contains audio files (either in subdirectories or in the root directory) it will be treated as an audio disc, and the default title will be played automatically if the UMP OSD is in the Main Menu.

 

If a data mode CD or DVD is inserted which contains more than one type of media, such as video files or images, the audio data may be disregarded in preference of the video files. Note that audio files have precedence over image files for autoplay. When a data mode CD or DVD containing audio data and images is inserted, the images will be queued at the end of the automatically generated playlist.

 

Note that even though CD+G (CD-TEXT) or Karaoke CDs will generally play, provided the optical drive supports them, though the lyrics cannot be displayed. See the Audio Plugins section at the end of this chapter for alternatives.

 

Audio CDs in all common formats are accepted, provided the optical drive supports the media as well. The Audio CD playback is performed digitally, and therefore supports external (USB) drives as well, though an internal drive is recommended for intensive usage.  Note that there may be some delays when navigating between tracks on Audio CDs due to the way some drives index and cache their data. Please also note that only one single optical drive should be connected at one time.

6.4 Playing Music from Online Sources

 

Playing Online Music and Internet Radio is a commonly desired function which a constantly increasing number of similar devices also support, but due of the variety of different streaming sources and their sometimes short existence, few devices can keep up with the developments. The UMP however contains a number of interfaces to common Internet Radio sources, and provides the possibility of adding your own Podcasts and radio stations. Currently, the following sources are supported, and there is generic support for audio Podcasts:

 

The following sources can be used by means of available Plugins:

 

-         http://www.shoutcast.com – Shoutcast.com, one of the largest providers of streaming Internet radio

 

-         http://last.fm  - Last FM, a large portal to streaming Internet radio stations

 

-         http://xmradio.com/ - America's #1 Satellite Radio Service

 

 

These functions are represented by the following Plugins, which can be enabled or disabled in the Web Interface under Plugins -> Video:

 

-         audio.shoutcast

-         audio.lastfm

-         audio.xmradio

 

 

Note that the bandwidth required to play Internet radio streams is not much, but buffering problems can occur due to heavy load on the remote service providing the stream. Although the UMP will avoid streams with the maximum number of listeners already connected, there are circumstances where the service simply disconnects existing clients to make room for new listeners.

 

If the Audio Player hangs during the playback or while buffering data from an Internet radio station or stream, press the Exit button on the remote control (UMP-R-1XX) or the Escape button on the keyboard (UMP-R-2XX, UMP-R-3XX). After a maximum of 20 seconds, the Audio Player should close, and the previous menu should be displayed. If this fails, use the Start/Stop OSD button on the remote control to exit and restart the OSD.

6.5 Music Related Plugins

 

Here you can see an overview of the currently available audio plugins. Please note that some plugins are still experimental, and may not have been tested by the UMP development team.

 

 

audio.album_tree

This plugin displays albums as a filetree. It cannot interpret all folder structures, though.

audio.xmradio

A UMP interface for XM Radio

NOTE: you will need a valid XM Radio account to make use of this plugin.

audio.detach (default)

This plugin allows you to detach the audio player to the background, so that you can perform other tasks while the music is playing.

audio.apodcast (default)

This plugins allows you to add any number of audio Podcasts. A few sources are configured by default.

audio.lastfm

Last FM player client for the LastFM Internet radio services. NOTE: some functions may require a valid LastFM account.

audio.icecast (default)

A UMP interface to play Icecast Radio streams both locally or via the Internet.

audio.shoutcast (default)

Browse and play Shoutcast Radio streams in the OSD. This plugin offers more than just a playlist, it retrieves data on the fly.

audio (default)

This is the main Audio Plugin which handles all kinds of audio items.

audio.audioscrobbler

Submit information to the AudioScrobbler project which uses these statistics entirely anonymously.

audio.detachbar (default)

This plugin adds the detached audio player to the IdleBar instead of leaving an ‘icon’ on the ‘desktop’ of the OSD.

audio.playlists (default)

This plugin allows you to create playlists for music items and enables playlist management in the OSD.

audio.coversearch

This plugin allows you to search for album art on Amazon.com. Please note that this requires an Amazon.com development key.

audio.lyrics (default)

A UMP interface for downloading song lyrics from www.leoslyrics.net. Note that restrictions may apply to usage of the service imposed by the service provider.

 

Read more: 6.5 Music Related Plugins