Android Media Player Widget?

Has SAB implemented the ability to see/control media from the Android system level?

For my podcast app, music playing app, Youtube, audio book app, etc., when the media is playing (or even not currently playing but was last playing and not closed), there is a “media control widget” both in the settings/control screen when dragging down from the top and also visible/useable from the lock screen. But my SAB app doesn’t seem to bring up the media control widget so I’m wondering if it hasn’t been implemented, if I’m missing a setting, or there’s another issue.

I do see that the iOS version of my app does have “media control widget” functionality on iOS so I was surprised not to see it in the Android version.

There are several issues with media playback in the Android app. We have been using the standard Android MediaPlayer library. Google has released a separate library that isn’t tied to the Android version (called ExoPlayer) that will fix issues and is required to implement the media control widget. It is a fairly large task, but I believe that we will be attempting this change this year.

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Just to clarify, you said “we have been using the standard Android MediaPlayer library”…

Does this mean that in some cases, the media player widget will work for a SAB app but other times it won’t (which is why I’m not seeing it currently)? Or that you’ve used the standard Android mediaplayer library in the past but currently it isn’t included?

@lasnider,

Since the beginning of SAB, we have used android.media.MediaPlayer, which is a component that is part of the Android Operating System since the very first version of Android. So currently, the media player widget will not work until we upgrade (in some future release of SAB).

Google released an application level media player (ExoPlayer) to deal with the design flaws and limitations in the standard MediaPlayer library. It is not released with the Android OS but packaged in the apps. This benefits deploying to a large number of Android OS releases (since bug fixes and new features in the library will be included in the app and not dependent on the OS being updated – on many phones it is never updated).

ExoPlayer supports back to Android API level 16 (Android 4.1). It will allow supporting the player controls in the lock screen and notification area and will support correctly playing WebM audio on older phones.

Chris

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