What B2 doesn't do...yet
No B2 doesn't speak your weight - I just wanted to show the size & strength - 70kg!
When I designed JB7 it pretty much exhausted the capabilities of the hardware. There wasn’t enough memory to add features or significant improvements. The Raspberry Pi has tons of memory relatively speaking and there has been such a demand for the B2 that the initial software really just scratches the surface of what is possible.
The following list gives you an idea of the sort of thing I’ll be working on in the months and year ahead - you can upgrade the software on your B2 anytime using the Settings->Web Upgrade. I’ll publish what improvements have been made. Some items like alphabetical sorting are quite minor and will be added just as soon as time permits - I just didn’t want to delay B2 any longer. Other items like multi-room wireless speakers are more significant technically and may ultimately overcomplicate B2. So its as much a wish list as a plan.
Let me know what is important to you and any ideas that I have missed. I’ll work on what you ask for first. Send feedback here.
- Alphabetical sorting - right now artists, albums and search results are in the order they were loaded - just like JB7. I intend to add alpha sorting of all these. Added 2nd December.
- Fast forward and rewind - not implemented right now - I expect to add this in due course.
- TV output - Raspberry Pi has an HDMI output - at the moment this is unused by B2 - actually you will see lots of diagnostic information if you attach a TV. I think a TV user interface could be a great - but I’m in two minds because the Web interface can do the same and more - because you can click on web buttons and links.
- Album Art - B2 does not have provision to display cover art. I have software that finds cover art automatically on the internet - I wasn’t happy with it because it only found covers for about 50% of my albums. I’d like to work on this area even though cover art has a decorative as opposed to operational role.
- Internet Radio - I have implemented the main UK BBC Radio stations and some regional and international stations. Internet Radio has the capability to offer many 1000’s of stations but my experience of internet radio products is that that huge number can be overwhelming and ultimately there isn’t much I’d listen to twice. I’ll be doing more work on this but I’m very keen to hear from you - let me know what has worked for you. 750 UK Stations Added 27th August. 38,000 international stations added January 2016.
- DVD - the B2 CD mechanism is actually a DVD/CD combo drive and I have played DVDs on my B2 - using a Raspbmc SD card. B2 clearly has the makings of a DVD or video jukebox but I have my hands full with audio so I am not planning any video software. I’ll be happy to assist any hobbyist / entrepreneur with details of the B2 hardware.
- Web Interface - the web interface today is fairly simple and provides essential playback and search functions. I’d like to extend this as time permits to support loading music through the web (send music from your PC or phone), playlist creation and editing, more extensive browsing. Let me know what you’d like to see. Web UI cmpletely redesigned and extended August 2015. Drag and drop playlist edit. Music upload. Radio presets. The Web UI gets more powerful every month.
- Queuing - Right now if you pick a track or album and play it - B2 stops what it was playing and starts playing your chosen piece of music. I’ve always wanted to be able to Queue a piece of music - like on an old fashioned jukebox.
- Wireless / Bluetooth speakers - I hate speaker wires too - and since B2 has both Wifi and Bluetooth it sounds like it should be possible to send music over these. I have not looked into this yet - but if you have any recommendations - suggested loudspeakers or relevant standards or open source software for instance - I’ll be pleased to hear from you. Bluetooth speaker/headphone output added 4th May.
To be continued … tell me what I have missed here.
Here is a partial list of ideas from B2 owners. I'm working my way through them. They range from really useful to nice to have. Let me know what you think even if its on the list because I will prioritise according to feedback - Martin
- Random on/off through Web UI
- Random within album/artist
- Classical Mode
- Delete in Web UI
- More stats in Web UI
- Reduce latency on audio out
- Improve Internet Radio startup
- Display Album Art
- TV Output
- Bass & Treble
- Fast forward
- Album/Track/Playlist to USB
- Convert FLAC to MP3 for USB
- Rip CD to Mobile Phone
- Screen Saver
- Record Internet Radio
- Use ID3 tags