"Search by letter" in Android Auto

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aag
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"Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by aag » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:58 pm

It seems that when navigation uses "Search by letter" mode, the resulting list is limited to 12 entries when driving. Not sure if it's AA/Google, or MMA limitation. In either case, the list presented includes 6 entries forward, and 6 entries back, so for example, when searching for 'S', there would be 6 entries for 'S', and 6 entries for 'R', and maybe 'Q'.

Would it be possible to always present the relevant letter only, and maybe (Google gods allowing), present the entire list for that letter? Because the voice search is close to useless, currently some music may be inaccessible while driving.

oblivioncth
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by oblivioncth » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:11 am

aag wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:58 pm
It seems that when navigation uses "Search by letter" mode, the resulting list is limited to 12 entries when driving. Not sure if it's AA/Google, or MMA limitation. In either case, the list presented includes 6 entries forward, and 6 entries back, so for example, when searching for 'S', there would be 6 entries for 'S', and 6 entries for 'R', and maybe 'Q'.

Would it be possible to always present the relevant letter only, and maybe (Google gods allowing), present the entire list for that letter? Because the voice search is close to useless, currently some music may be inaccessible while driving.
I believe this is an Android Auto limitation that it automatically applies to ListViews within apps while moving. Technically, it probably could be circumvented but it would require purposely awkward and less efficient programming from the dev's and could land them in hot water if anyone at google noticed and cared to do something about it. Potentially could be a legal issue in terms of liability.

Given that MMA is already a tad less prioritized than MM desktop, I'm guessing the Android Auto functionality is decently down the pipeline (for example the recentish change to album art music on Android Auto broke the display of said art in MMA while in AA mode and I'm curious to see how long it will be before a fix; though, I did just start using it with Android Auto so I could be wrong and they care more about it then I think (even if they don't its understandable because the people using the app with Android Auto is definitely a small part of their userbase).

What would ultimately make this less of an issue is if the voice search was excellent, and as you touched on it ranges from hit and miss to outright sucking. I'm not sure of the specific problems you have with it, but I know the main case I'd like to use it in is when you hit the end of a list and click the "Search By Voice" button. Google assistant should know the context since you're pressing the button from MediaMonkey, but I'll I get is "Sorry I'm offline blah blah blah, you can still play music or blah blah blah" well no shit that's what I'm trying to do, but you're clearly trying to look for the song on Google Play Music instead of the music player I'm already in like would be obvious. Even if I specify "in MediaMonkey (which I shouldn't have to since the button was from that app) it still doesn't work. I'm pretty sure my 4G has been on when I've tried this, though it shouldn't need it.

Clearly that button in MediaMonkey is just bringing up the generic Google Assistant prompt and not a special "in context" version that is just listening for what you say so that it can basically speech-to-text it and put that into a search box for the app. While I would hope by now Google would have several methods for this in the Android language where you can pass context (in language) from the call to assistant and that feature different returns types depending on what you need (i.e. String TextSpeechFromAssistant() ). If that was the case they could easily have a search function in the Android Auto view of MMA that searches just like you do when using it on your phone alone, but grabs your input from the speech Assistant hears instead of your keyboard. Heck, you can essentially already do this in non-Android Auto MMA by hitting the microphone button on the keyboard.

While it is possible that Google Assistant has this functionality and that MMA is simply not implementing it properly/making use of it (or that they are and there's simply something wrong with my Android Auto setup in particular), I'm more willing to suspect that the calls to Assistant in Android Auto supported apps are heavily restricted/basic due to limitations imposed by Google in the Android language.

All-in-all, it would be really nice if the letter search (and all list searches for that matter) had more entries, or the voice search worked... well, at all. My most used playlist is one entry short of making it to the restricted list so I have to browse through E to get to it instead and can't start it from the Playlist section directly. If I feel like listening to a certain Artist, Track, Genre, etc, I better pray its within that entry limit. If not, like you said its litterally inaccessible unless I pull out my phone, which is dumb because that's way less convenient and safe then if the Auto interface was just more usable

I get wanting to give themselves as little liability as possible, but the only option before AA and CarPlay was to pick music from your phone directly, unless your car could read the files on your android device correctly. But let's be honest, most these days use a streaming app and dont store local media, therefore most likely using it via bluetooth and therefore choosing songs through their phone except when skipping. I'm willing to bet (and admit for myself in my old car without AA) that people were using their phones to pick more specific tracks and not simply saying "Well this is unsafe so I can't hear that song". All that being said, I think even a fully unrestricted version of AA is already way safer than fumbling with your phone in your car, so I feel like there should be an option to turn off the limitations even if you have to agree to something to do so. But we know that's never gonna happen in a million years. All we can do is pray they drastically improve voice search.

aag
Posts: 16
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by aag » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:19 am

I've had a chance to use AA some more since my original post, going back and forth between MMA and BlackPlayer Ex and made a few more observations.

1. MMA is definitely inferior when it comes to voice search. On many occasions, I'd hear "Okay, asking Media Monkey to play [fill album name here]", followed by "Track [fill album name here]" is not found". Almost never happens with BlackPlayer, using the same albums.

2. When the album is located, and being played as a result of voice search, it'll be played in alphabetical, not track order. If the same album is selected through menu, it plays just fine.

In general, I feel MMA has a great potential; I'd have no problem paying a few bucks a year to keep it updated -- but updates becoming available slowly is a bit disappointing.

Peke
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by Peke » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:01 pm

Hi aag,
Updates: Yes, they are bit slower ATM, but usually they are much faster. Have you applied for MMA Beta?

Voice: MMA was never fully optimized for voice search and that is something we are planning to improve in MMA 2.0. I have bought Android Head unit that would fully benefit of voice search (Even have steering wheel dedicated button for it)
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oblivioncth
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by oblivioncth » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:50 pm

I'm in the same situation as Peke with the new car I just got. Something was definitely wrong with assistant because now the voice search works decently in some areas (though is still terrible in others) instead of just outright not working.

EDIT:
Also just wanted to add that another annoying thing with "by letter search" is when you try to use it to browse through songs on now playing (i.e. to pick a certain song within a playlist and stay within that playlist when the song ends) MMA reports all of the song titles as their names with a number prefix based on their position. This has the side effect of Android Auto seeing all of the titles as stating with numbers so you're essentially stuck to the first 12 tracks PERIOD of the now playing list and not the first 12 tracks of each letter like you are usually.

iamgabrieler

Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by iamgabrieler » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:36 am

oblivioncth wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:50 pm
EDIT:
Also just wanted to add that another annoying thing with "by letter search" is when you try to use it to browse through songs on now playing (i.e. to pick a certain song within a playlist and stay within that playlist when the song ends) MMA reports all of the song titles as their names with a number prefix based on their position. This has the side effect of Android Auto seeing all of the titles as stating with numbers so you're essentially stuck to the first 12 tracks PERIOD of the now playing list and not the first 12 tracks of each letter like you are usually.
+1 on that

I really think this behaviour should be changed. Whenever you use Android Auto, MediaMonkey really should not list the tracks with numbers first.

Peke
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by Peke » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:40 pm

Hi,
Too bad that you can't simply say "OK, Google -> Start playing of track 72" :(

My daughter favorites playlist have 300+ tracks and it is driving distraction to jump tracks.
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oblivioncth
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by oblivioncth » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:31 pm

Peke wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:40 pm
Hi,
Too bad that you can't simply say "OK, Google -> Start playing of track 72" :(

My daughter favorites playlist have 300+ tracks and it is driving distraction to jump tracks.
I'm more surprised that you/she can remember exactly which songs are at which positions in the playlist lol. But yea there are a lot of limitations that AA imposes that quite frankly make it less safe then the non-AA approach of just quickly using your phone to pick a track at redlights, stops, in traffic, etc. That was already sketchy and non-ideal but was the only option I had other than skip track in my old car. AA was supposed to make things faster and safer but time and time again the limitations will have me wanting to just use the phone instead or cause me to have to look at the screen for much longer than I would my phone resulting in a greater distraction time. :x

Peke
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by Peke » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:58 pm

Hi,
It is he not she ;)

Old DJ habit to remember exact position, time and BPM of tracks. Number is more for my daughter we practice mathematics that way eg. "me: We are playing Taylor Swift - Blank space at 273 position. Where is track Fifth Harmony - Don't Say You Love Me? she: 135! me: How many tracks I need go back to Play Fifth Harmony - Don't Say You Love Me on position 135?" :lol: Then we come to point of AA limitations. On old car stereo I had remote and simply type 135 which played that track.
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oblivioncth
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by oblivioncth » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:14 pm

Haha that's pretty cute.

I mean't you/she as in you/your daughter.

Peke
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by Peke » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:44 pm

Hi,
Thx, I find it cute also, we have lots of fun playing number/word games in car, father/daughter bonding.

;) Then it seams that my English is not perfect, but I almost fooled you even it is not my native language.
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oblivioncth
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by oblivioncth » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:07 am

Peke wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:44 pm
Hi,
Thx, I find it cute also, we have lots of fun playing number/word games in car, father/daughter bonding.

;) Then it seams that my English is not perfect, but I almost fooled you even it is not my native language.
I'm glad. It's a very creative way to add entertainment and education to something thats normally quite mundane.

"even *though* it is not my native language" :wink:

Ha ha ha. Kidding. Your english is exceptional compared to many foreigners. I always feel bad for people that need to learn English or Asian languages. The first has as many exceptions as it has rules, and the latter are extremely different fundamentally compared to most other languages.

Peke
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Re: "Search by letter" in Android Auto

Post by Peke » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:55 pm

Hi,
100% true. Try my native Serbian (or Croatian which is 80% similar) or for example Hungarian (I am trying to chew it ATM) that is completely different concept language.

FYI one of my common mistakes is where and when to use "though" in sentences ;)
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Admin of Free MediaMonkey addon Site HappyMonkeying
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