Welcome to Neon, release Chakra

As an early Christmas gift we are today proud to present Neon – release Chakra!

artists

Since the previous release we have worked hard with all the feedback we have received to fine-tune the existing functionality as well as adding new features. A big thank goes out to our testers that as always have helped us a lot to fine-tune this release.

Primary goals with release Chakra

  • Correction of reported bugs and fine-tuning of features related to feedback
  • Implementation of a first version of the Music explorer view.
  • Creation of a new spreadsheet based Tag editor with support for all tag-fields
  • Implement a tool to convert files to different file formats whilst preserving tag information
  • Implement a tool to split files based on CUE files, sub-track information or manual data. The tool should optionally be able to convert the resulting files to another audio format.
  • Create a Now playing pane which can show more information about the playing track. This first version supports lyrics with basic HTML formatting.
  • Downloading of album pictures with the available plug-ins, the end-user should be able to select which specific resulting picture he/she would like to apply.
  • Create an optional filter for the artists view which will allow end-users to show all artists or only album artists.
  • Extend the information about a specific artists releases, splitting them into two different tabs, Discography and Appearances. The presentation should be grouped by release type-
  • Implementation of some of the more common options in an Options view to allow easier and wider configuration of the Neon.
  • Expose more and configurable columns for track lists (Music explorer, Playlists view and Tracks view)
  • Implement a landing page for Statistics with drill-down information for a specific day
  • Implement supports for calculating Bpm (Beats per minute) automatically and manually from both tag editors.

Worth to mention is that we have also worked hard on performance optimizations, added automatic replay gain support in the player and refined a lot of the user interface and the user experience flow.

What’s not included in this version

A lot of new features are implemented as you can see, but template editors, full customization of tools/view are not yet in place since we are still working on our core functions. The tag editor does not yet support the album mode, but this is planned for our next release.

If you miss a specific feature/configuration or such, please let us know!

What’s next?

For our next release, Deedrah, we plan to implement these functions:

  • Subtrack editing
  • The album mode in the Tag editor
  • A first version of web services
  • A first version of the File rename wizard
  • Advanced search
  • A Discogs plug-in

Download and installation

Click here to download Neon, build 318

Before installing this version, be sure to uninstall your previous version and delete your old settings files. The settings files can be found under C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Imploded Software\Helium. Simply delete all entries in this folder before installing the new release.

Helium Streamer 3

The work on Helium Streamer 3 is ongoing as well. The following new features can be used in this release:

  • Multiple user support.
  • Playing tracks now saves playing history and reports progress to Last.fm if enabled from Neon.
  • Rating of tracks can be done from the player.
  • Setting favourite on tracks can be done from the player.
  • Transcoding of FLAC and OGG is now enabled. You will need to change the user which the Windows Service (Helium Streamer) is running under to an account with access to the files.
  • Persistance of play queue between sessions.

We have also made good progress on some features that will be released in an upcoming version of the Helium Streamer. This includes the creation of a database and adding of files without the need to run Helium. Since the Streamer runs as a service this means that your database can always be up-to-date if you allow background updating of your library from the Streamer. It also allows for stand-alone installations of the Streamer which can be interesting for new users who may not need or want Helium at first.

Download and installation

Click here to download Helium Streamer 3, build 913

Before installing this version, be sure to uninstall your previous version and make sure that the folder at C:\Program Files (x86)\Imploded Software\Helium Streamer is emptied. It’s important to reboot the computer before installing the new release since the Windows Service that Helium Streamer uses can only be uninstalled upon a reboot.

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17 thoughts on “Welcome to Neon, release Chakra

  1. Great news, I am experiencing some (seemingly) caching issues with Helium Streamer, are you collecting user input at this stage? If so, which e-mail address should I use ?

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      1. Hello Fredrik, thank you for your response. That sounds great, if you could send me an invite for Basecamp, I would be more than happy to participate in the beta testing.

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  2. Guys is this a Universal Windows App? I am very excited if it is, be my one and only reason to get a windows phone. Also might make it easier to get it on other platforms. I guess I could look at it more closely but I am starting Universal apps myself and it sure looks similar!

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    1. This application itself is not a Universal application, but it is using a similar framework.
      We are planning to release universal applications for the Windows 10 platform (including Phone) for out Streamer and Remote applications.

      Edit: Neon will of course run on Windows 10 as well as Vista, Window 7 and Windows 8.

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  3. This release is fantastic, you all have done such a stellar job. I think around 8 years of using Helium and still innovating the product so well. I did some Azure testing with the database and while nothing in the DAL seems to be breaking Azure, there are some interesting performance issues with it. It is pretty clear there may be a cache being used but I can’t really tell what is going on because after the first load there is not much being sent back. What I am wondering is, would it be possible to have some type of Lazy Load for Azure and other cloud stored databases? Like an option to select. I feel like this was in Helium at some point. I want to use a cloud database in the future and I have been testing different price costing models on Amazon and Azure. Wondering if I can help profile and test these or if there is some effort to do so to make it perform well in these environments. I would be glad to help in any way I can.

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  4. @Joe: First of all, thanks for the positive feedback! Glad to hear that you like how Neon evolves.
    As you noticed we are using a cache system to get the best possible speeds no matter which database that is used. When using different views though, different queries will go to the DAL though. At the moment no lazy load implementation is planned but it might be possible for a future release after all the core functions and views are in place.

    The API used mainly for our apps is under construction and will be included in our final version. The same applies to the plug-in API.

    If you are interested in testing on a deeper level, we can add you to our Basecamp group where you will be able to download test releases as well as leaving feedback.

    If this is of interest, please let us know.

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  5. I am very interested in testing and producing feedback, I do a lot of database development and some wpf which I am sure is what is near and dear to Neon 🙂 Anyway I love the product and would love to help make it a solid release.

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  6. Will Helium Streamer ever be able to remap filepath “on the fly” from mapped network drive such as X: to use the corresponding UNC path instead such as \\MACHINENAME\FOLDER? I am aware that Remap Path utility exists, but i’m also using library on a laptop with portable HDD attached.

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      1. ATM i have mapped drive to X and when i go away, i use X for portable drive aswell. Yes, i’m using network version of HMM on several machines with MySQL DB.

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