When I first started working on Auracle, I wanted a music player that could play music the way I wanted it to be played. I wanted to be able to choose whatever song came up next, or even make an album or playlist play next. I would often forget the name of a song, but I knew the words, so I wanted to be able to search by the lyrics. I also wanted it to be beautifully designed, but alas… I was only a programmer. My visual design skills included a basic understanding of Microsoft Paint, and that was about it. I could make something work, but making it a joy to look at and use was a different matter. I was determined, so I decided to start with what I knew best: the code that went into making an app.
Fast forward a couple of months and now I have a very basic prototype which could play music, shuffle, skip songs, and add songs to a queue. It’s a cool spring day in April of 2014 and I’m browsing /r/Android, when a post by /u/jessecoleman caught my eye. It was a submission to Taylor Ling’s (a Google Developer Expert and Material Design Award Winner) Android Design contest. In his submission, Cole had designed a beautiful music player by the name of Eve. It featured work that clearly showed how much he cared about controlling the music playback experience with a queue. The contest wasn’t over yet, but I had to reach out to him.
I sent Cole the app I had so far, and after getting it working on his phone, he agreed to work with me on making his mockups, now our dream, a reality. A few weeks later Cole was announced a winner of the design contest and now, we finally have a working beta to share with you!
This is Auracle's Now Playing screen. It acts like a zoomed in version of the queue, so it scrolls vertically. Because of this, you can peek at the next song without actually skipping to it. The background of Now Playing takes colors from the album art and smoothly transitions from song to song. Tapping on the album art pauses playback. Tapping the play count cycles through song metadata such as bit rate, file size, and year of release.
This is the queue. As you can see there are two sections. Up Next are the songs you've added to the queue and All Songs is the rest of your library. Auracle's Queue allows you to swipe to remove songs and drag to rearrange songs in the queue.
Here is the All Songs screen. Clicking on the yellow shuffle button at the bottom brings up the miniplayer. The miniplayer is also a representation of the queue so it scrolls vertically. You can stop playback by swiping away the miniplayer and the shuffle button is revealed again. Both the miniplayer and the shuffle button hide on scroll.
Each song has a "+" icon next to it so that you can add it to the queue. Long pressing on the "+" icon brings up more options.
For those who like to browse music by folders, that's also an option. In addition, Auracle allows you to add entire folders to the queue.
The screen for an artist. Swiping left and right goes through their albums in chronological order. The big button with the "+" icon adds the entire album or all of the artist's songs to the queue.
When it comes to searching for music I always want to find what I’m looking for as quickly as possible. I can be extremely lazy with my search and still find what I’m trying to play. Typing in “sum ch” brings up one of my favorite songs, Summer Friends by Chance the Rapper, because it has a partial match on the song title, and a partial match on the artist.
Auracle also supports partial matching on the album, so you can type any combination of a partial title, artist, or album to find a song. And if I don’t know the title of the song, I can hit the overflow menu to search by lyrics. Swiping to the right allows me to search for albums and artists. These searches also support partial matches.
Use the built-in equalizer to fine tune your music
Tag Editing. Clicking on the download button downloads the album art from Last.fm and embeds it into the music file.
Playback can be controlled via a notification. The bottom line indicates the next song that will be played.
App Shortcuts: Pin your most listened to playlists to the home screen, or pin the shuffle action for quick access to your music
For all you widget lovers, I provided homescreen widgets in two sizes. The larger widget indicates the next song to play at the bottom.
• An intuitive queue management system
• Playlist support
• Export playlists to m3u
• Enqueue songs, artists, albums, genres, and playlists
• Folder Browsing
• Google Now integration
• Search for songs by lyrics
• Downloadable album art from Last.FM
• Tag editing
• Homescreen widgets
• Lockscreen playback controls
• Song play count, skip count tracking
• Music pause on headphone unplug
• App Shortcuts - Pin your most listened to playlists to the home screen, or pin the shuffle action for quick access to your music
• Option to not duck or pause audio when receiving a notification
You can join the beta and download Auracle using this link:
Auracle Music Player, App for all devices (see above for details)
Current Beta Version: v0.1.3.3
Beta Release Date: 2017-07-25
Last Updated 2017-07-25