UPnP Searching

Posted on Jul 17, 2010

I’ve been pretty quite about GSoC progress. But I had a great time at aKademy and forgot all about blog posts. So the current status is thus. If programming was just about getting things done, I am done! But its not, which means although everything I was supposed to do is done in a big picture way, the next few weeks will see bug fixes, optimization and ensuring that certain things can be done faster, more accurately or in a more user-friendly manner. I also have to port the code over to use Solid, now that fellow GSoCer Paulo Romulo has improved UPnP support in it.

Last time I gave a glimpse of the Browse based collection. UPnP MediaServers have two methods of accessing their content. Browse() is similar to going through your hard-disk directory by directory. As you can see, this can be quite inefficient for a Collection since it has to keep track of a large number of tracks. The other method is Search(), wherein users can query the MediaServer to give tracks/media matching certain criteria, such as belonging to a specific artist, or containing a certain pattern in the name. This is much more efficient because all the work is done by the server and we just need to handle the results.

That has been the crux of my work this past month. Due to the restricted format of the UPnP search standard, it required a bit of work to handle more complex queries. In addition, due to the way the Amarok Collection and QueryMaker code works, I have to always ask the server for tracks rather than telling it to return on Artists or Albums. It took quite a bit of experimenting to understand these two things. But two days ago the collection started working with actual searching for simple patterns.

Here is the Search based collection with no search.

Here it is with a search term.

I should point out that the code is intelligent. It will contact the server and ask it if it supports Searching, or only Browsing and use the appropriate collection.

Other than that there are several bug fixes in the slave and in Amarok and support for reference IDs to prevent duplicate items ( every FOSS software server I tried still doesn’t support refID properly though ).

By the way, I passed mid-term evaluations. Yay!

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