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A Heads-up on the AMX UI module 1.65

DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior MemberPosts: 4,584
I'm in the process of upgrading a bunch of panels that used a design based on the old Platinum panel design and a much-hacked older UI module. In the process, I've discovered a few quirks with the new 1.65 UI module that might save someone else some aggravation.

1) There is a search feature in the new module that uses the STRING output of a keyboard popup. The module watches port 1 of your panel for this regardless of what port your pages are assigned to, as it must. However, in creating the DEV with the proper port number for this, for some reason, the module hard-assigns it to system 1. Naturally, if you aren't running on a master assigned as system 1, it's not going to work. I edited the module to assign it to 0, though I suppose it may be better to use the .SYSTEM structure member of the original panel device.

2) There is a big black box under the "Now Playing" section of the MUSIC page. There is a popup group with six "Now Playing" popups that fit ever so nicely in this space. However, there is absolutely nothing in the panel that will cause these to appear, nor in the module code. Forcing any of them to show results in them being unpopulated. The tech I spoke to believes them to be unimplemented, though he wasn't willing to say that with absolute certainty. I just deleted the big blank box and re-centered the rest of the controls. I left the pages in my files, because I see this a substantial shortcoming - I want to be able to see the tracks of the currently playing title so I could skip around; this is pretty much a standard feature on other brand media servers. I hope they get implemented before my customer asks for this and I'm force to implement it myself.

3) When doing a CD genre search, my title fields all populated correctly, and the genre list itself works a heck of a lot better than the old Platinum UI did. However, when I chose a genre and hit the "Play Genre" button, it did not play the selected one, but the one in the list prior to it. If I was in the first position on the genre list, it locked up the MAX so entirely, I had to reboot it. I modified the code to increment the resulting genre reference by one to prevent this from happening, but TS told me this is indicative of a corrupted MAX database (lovely). So, if this happens to you, call them up and get your database fixed up.

4) The DVD SCAN functions are broken. Scan forward works as you would expect when you press the button, but you can't get out of it by just hitting play. You have to pause first, then resume. In one case, I hit the play button when it was scanning forward, and the title restarted from the beginning (at which point my frustration level peaked and I was disinclined to play around with it anymore). Scan reverse does absolutely nothing, and a tech told me the command has not been in the server protocol since the very earliest version - well why the heck is there a button using it in the module then? Fortunately for me, I also have direct IR control of my AVM's ,so I just put a button in that sends the "normal" play speed to the AVM, thus providing a more graceful way to stop the forward scan. I replaced the non-functional reverse scan with it.

I've been working with MAX for over a year, and I still feel like it's in beta. This current UI module is substantially nicer than the previous, but it still lacks the kind of polish one would expect in a mature product.

Comments

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Some more annoyances in this module:

    5) For some strange reason, somebody thought it would be a good idea to put an ONLINE event in for the touch panel that popped up either the MUSIC or MOVIES page depending on how it was last selected. Which would be fine, if this was the only component in your project (not very likely). It was driving me crazy that every time I reloaded a panel, it would pop p on a MAX screen, even though the system was off, or on another source. Yet another reason I am not a big fan of a lot of page flipping inside the module. This should have been left to the calling program.

    6) The cover art browse pages often would not render all of the covers, but leave several blank. They say it works fine at AMX on their demo units, but they are not running a 5 master system with over a dozen instances of the UI module. It's clearly a matter of too much data at once, and the panel not being able to render it or perhaps the mater missing some of the stram from the MAX due to all the chatter of multiple modules). I cut the number of covers displayed in half, and it's fine. This one is probably dependent on system size.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    I've had the same recurring problem with using the AMX touch panel designs. The 'chatty' online/offline messages always bring up the MAX page. So the client sees it popup anywhere from 1-3 times every 5 minutes to about every 20 seconds. I finally had to rename all the pages and get rid of thier navigation altogether. Strangely, the server was NOT going offline at all. It's always there, ready and willing...

    I typically have to redo all their layouts anyway since my touch panel designs only use one 'Page' and several popups. I put all my main navigation on the page and have every discipline call up a set of popups. I do end up with many 10s or 100s of popups. However, the look is so much more slick and whatnot.

    thanks for the post! very helpful info...
  • max transport buttons

    hi DHawthorne,

    i've reported that transport issue before. earlier versions of the module (pre 1.6x i think) would use the TRACK=MaxZone:+ or TRACK=MaxZone:- for both DVDs and CDs.

    but that changed. this UI now uses CHAPTER commands for DVDs, TRACK commands for CDs. ie. CHAPTER=MaxZone:+ or -

    i modified my code to send TRACK commands for CDs and CHAPTER commands for DVDs. i don't recall all the details, it was a few months ago, and with so many issues, i forget what was what. once i get a program working, i don't wont to revisit it if i can help it :)

    the popup Keyboard issue you mentioned.. i thought that had been fixed. but i actually use a modified UI from AMX Australia and since it does work i haven't 'fixed' it :)

    if you need more info on that patch i'd recommend you ask TS. i'll provide my source's name if you message me.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Actually, it's not the chapter commands, it's SCAN. SCAN+ works, but SCAN- does nothing.

    Everything else I have worked out.
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    DHawthorne wrote:
    I've been working with MAX for over a year, and I still feel like it's in beta. This current UI module is substantially nicer than the previous, but it still lacks the kind of polish one would expect in a mature product.

    I couldn't agree more. I actually had to re-write this post because my first iteration was filled with frustration and as a result wasn't very constructive.

    Thanks for taking the time to post some of your fixes Dave. When I have some more time, I'd like to post some of the minor modifications to the UI that we've done.

    I think that AMX needs to also put some serious priority on getting their database issues resolved as well. There are a host of problems that result from their database implementation, and these are the things that influence the customer's perception of the MAX right away.

    By the way, we also have issues with cover art not populating properly in different areas of the UI.


    --John
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    IR through the API

    Just got a call from a customer needing support on the MAX, and now I'm thinking about this again...

    Dave, did you actually run an outboard IR emitter to the AVP, or are you using the Send_Command dvMAX, "'AVP_KEYS=xxx'?; command to send a normal play command during a forward scan to avoid the problem of the way the MAX stops, then plays sometimes losing it's position? I haven't used the "AVP_KEYS=? commands, but I'm trying to decide if I should change some of the buttons to send commands using the IR equivalents, or if it will still exhibit the same set of issues without emulating the remote using an IR emitter. I hate getting calls like this before a weekend... now I'm going to be thinking about this the whole time.

    --John
  • LegacyUserLegacyUser Posts: 0
    hi John,

    i have one customer using an AVP with IR only control of a local DVD (it's on an old Max MMS200, waiting for an upgrade).

    for what it's worth, i've never had a call about control issues that way. but this isn't calling movies of the max server, so i am not sure if it's what you needed to hear :)
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Just got a call from a customer needing support on the MAX, and now I'm thinking about this again...

    Dave, did you actually run an outboard IR emitter to the AVP, or are you using the Send_Command dvMAX, "'AVP_KEYS=xxx'?; command to send a normal play command during a forward scan to avoid the problem of the way the MAX stops, then plays sometimes losing it's position? I haven't used the "AVP_KEYS=? commands, but I'm trying to decide if I should change some of the buttons to send commands using the IR equivalents, or if it will still exhibit the same set of issues without emulating the remote using an IR emitter. I hate getting calls like this before a weekend... now I'm going to be thinking about this the whole time.

    --John

    I'm using an emitter. The AVP_KEYS command is inconsistent, and does not work exactly like the actual keyboard commands work. One truly egregious example is the ESC key - while media is playing, this pops up a command bar with transport controls. Using direct IR or a keybaord on an AVM, the ESC key toggles the tranport bar. Using AVP_KEYS, it calls it up, but you can never get it off the screen again. This is just one example of many that made me take the position I was going to control the AVM directly rather than through the server, and leave server commands for database operations only. It may be they have fixed these kinds of issues, but I am using second generation AVMs, not AVPs.
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Thanks Richard and Dave,

    I'm going to head out to this job site today to play with the "AVP_KEYS=" command. The thought of running an emitter down the outside of an actual AMX device kills me. A wired IR jack on the back in addition to the TCP/IP controls would have been nice for redundancy, or better yet, make the TCP/IP and the module work completely.

    What prompted the support call was that the DVD was skipping in the client's standard DVD player so he decided to try placing the DVD in the AVP player. Everytime he would hit the Menu button on the touchscreen it would exit the local DVD and revert back to the MAX server, when I suggested he not hit the menu button, but just use the fast forward buttons to get back to his starting spot, he would hit 'forward', then 'play', then the unit does it's traditional stop->go blank screen->play a second later action, but again it would revert back to the MAX server. Pretty much, he was constrained to using the play button one time only, and using the fast forward key to repeatedly cycle from high speed search back to normal speed.

    Hopefully the AVP_KEYS= command will work properly and consistently for the AVP. If that's the case, then I'll re-work the UI buttons and add my own code for the transport and menu functions using the AVP_KEYS= command instead.

    I'll let everyone know what I find.


    --John
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    O.K., I've changed several of the button numbers on the AMX supplied UI to match up with the "IR Equivalents" (UI buttons 561-615). Now the 'Play' button exits gracefully out of a search without stopping the movie, blanking the screen, then re-starting 2-3 seconds later, but it does introduce a new problem. If you stop the movie from the MAX server then try to hit 'play' again, the AVP on screen menu activates and you can't get your movie to restart again.

    I have to see exactly what's going on, but I'm thinking that I might determine which 'play' command to issue (there are 4 I think) by intercepting the FF and REV search buttons and setting a conditional variable to flag when they're in use. Maybe it could be checked against the transport query (TRANSPORT?[<zone>]) to make sure the flag doesn't get screwed up and out of sync. By doing this, I'm hoping to be able to more accurately exit the search modes, and also issue the correct play command depending on if you're trying to play a local DVD in the player or a DVD off of the server.


    Also, I did find two hidden buttons on the TP4 file under 'Play' on the "movies" page. If you delete the normal 'play' button, there's a smaller 'play' button, and 'play AVP' button hiding there. The 'play AVP' button doesn't seem to work properly either.

    The reliability of the IR Equivalent commands (AVP_KEYs=) seems to be o.k. on the AVP's loaded with current firmware, but I'll keep testing it to make sure. I'll post what I come up with in this thread.



    --John
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Also, there's an annoying problem when you try to close the DVD menu popup on the supplied TP file. When you close it by hitting the 'x' button, it hides the popup but it also stops the dvd, blanks the screen for a few seconds, then tries to resume play. I'm not sure if it was a mistake or if it was intentional, but the 'x' button is assigned a channel code of 24 which acts like you're hitting the 'play' button. Setting the channel code to "none" closes the popup properly without affecting playback or what you just selected in the menu. We haven't seen any adverse effects to deleting the channel code.

    The popup page is "Menu- DVD" and the button number is 1:24.


    --John
  • adysadys Junior Member Posts: 395
    more bugs I found

    6. Zone is going offline when master is rebooting, after restarting panel its ok.


    7. When browsing music atists, choosing an artist and then "play selection", the album starts playing, but the main screen is not updated. Not the album info and not the play button status is updated, but the album is actualy playing.

    You have to skip a song or to press play button(also skip a song) to update the screen.

    "Play all music" button is working ok, and the same both scenarios is working ok in movies.

    This problem happenes only when selecting an artist to play .
  • ImpaqtImpaqt Junior Member Posts: 155
    While Playine a movie, if you go to Music on the TP, Select a Song and Hit play, the MAX Pauses the Movie.... But does not play the song..... Just Hangs until you start the movie againg, hit STOP, then go to Music.
  • adysadys Junior Member Posts: 395
    8. Bookmark rename does nothing...
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