Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Windows 8 Audio Player Demo


I need to include a podcast player in the app I'm writing, so I decided to write a prototype app to demo the Windows 8 audio capabilities

Source here: https://bitbucket.org/webbercross/win8audioplayer/


I wanted to include the following:

  • Background capabilities
  • Live tile glyph updates
  • A custom re-templatable control
  • Hardware interaction
  • Fully working demo with all required tasks

Background Audio

I've previously use the Background Audio Agent in WP7 and was expecting something similar. There's no direct equivalent but the MediaElement is Windows 8 provides new features different to Silverlight. The new MediaElement has an 'AudioCategory' attribute which can be set to 'BackgroundCapableMedia' to allow it to continue playing while the page is not active or when the app is suspended, but not closed.

<MediaElement x:Name="mediaElement" AudioCategory="BackgroundCapableMedia" AutoPlay="False"/>

The manifest needs modifying to have a Background declaration with 'Audio' and 'Control channel' properties:

Additionally, a wide tile must be used.

Live Tile Glyph Updates

I wasn't sure at first if this was done automatically by the task, but it's not, it needs doing manually, so I wrote a helper class to do it:

public enum Glyphs

public class BadgeHelper
  public static void UpdateBadge(Glyphs glyph)
    // Get badge xml content
    var content = BadgeUpdateManager.GetTemplateContent(Windows.UI.Notifications.BadgeTemplateType.BadgeGlyph);
    var element = content.GetElementsByTagName("badge")[0];

    // Set new glyph value
    element.Attributes[0].NodeValue = glyph.ToString();

    // Update badge
    var notification = new BadgeNotification(content);

Normal tile:

Tile with play glyph:

Custom Template

This is the same as Silverlight and WPF, I put in some visual states for play and paused mode. The template is in the default Templates\Generic.xaml location.

Hardware Interaction

The MediaControl object has a number of events which can be subscribed to.

The Demo

[Edit] The demo is now finished, enjoy!

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