About a month ago Soundgraph finally decided (after lots of people complained for months) to release a "plugin api" for their iMON LCD / VFD product line. It is a first shot and works quite well (as always there are some drawbacks but it's better than nothing). The API called "iMON Display API" allows to take control of the display (of course only one plugin at the time) through iMON Manager and display icons/text/equalizer data.
So I decided to combine that API with the new JSON RPC API of XBMC and started working on a tool which will display information about the file currently played within XBMC on the display.
I first started with the C# xbmc-json library developped by dstruktiv to communicate with XBMC but found out it was lacking support for JSON RPC Announcements (a very nice feature, thanks topfs2). Because introducing it would have required quite a rewrite of his library I decided to roll my own called XBMC JSON RPC# (just released the first beta version as well if anyone wants to give it a try).
The download archive contains a file called "README" with all the needed information (so make sure to read it) but I'll list the most important ones here:
This is the very first release and it is released as a beta version as I only did limited testing (personal use) so far. Furthermore I only possess an iMON LCD and cannot test on an iMON VFD. If anyone with an iMON VFD is willing to act as a tester/advisor for me please let me know.
Requirements: (download links and detailed instructions in the README)
- Of course you need either an iMON LCD or VFD (or both although that doesn't make much sense )
- Windows XP or newer
- Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
- iMON Manager v7.91.0929
- XBMC Dharma Beta 1 or newer
- If you do not see any information about the currently playing file there are two (known) possible causes:
- You started playback from Files Mode or you are playing a file using an addon (this will be fixed in the next release)
- Some other program on the machine running XBMC uses TCP port 9090 which is used by XBMC to provide information about currently playing files. Currently there is no way of configuring this port in XBMC so if possible you should either close the program blocking port 9090 or try to change the port in that program to something else. You can use Nmap to scan the TCP ports in use.
- The information on the display does not change when using a remote to navigate through XBMC: There seems to be a problem in the coordination of the remote receiver and the display controller in the Soundgraph software. Whenever you press a button on the remote the display freezes for a short time. If "XBMC on iMON Display" tries to change something on the screen in that exact moment (or a bit later) the display won't notice it and will continue showing its old state.
If you notice anything strange or are sure you detected a bug please report it here and create a ticket in the projects TRAC at https://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/xbmc-on-imon/. Feature requests and ideas are welcome as well.
Plans for the future:
This first release is just a first shot. I released it because I can't test on a VFD and the more people test it the better the application gets. Everything visible on the display is more or less hard coded. I plan to provide configuration options for as many things as possible (e.g. customizing how a tv episode should show on the display) so that everyone sees exactly what he wants and only that.
Screenshots (v0.1.2 Beta):
Changelog (v0.1.4.0 Beta):
- About dialog
- About dialog
- New version of iMon Display API Wrapper# (v0.1.0.7)
- Increased maximum delay after scrolling to 5s (from 2s)
- Option to show/rotate the disc icon during playback
- Default values for Music / Music Video Playback text
- Formatting option to add leading zeros (format: %keyword:length%)
- Show system time instead of other text