Introduction

This document explains how to use the Gizmoot App.

The App has 3 main screens: Browse, Control and Settings. The Browse screen allows media files on UPnP AV media servers, the internet or on the smart phone/tablet to be browsed in a hierarchy and selected for playback. The Control screen allows the playback on one player device to be controlled and viewed. The Settings screen allows the various features of Gizmoot to be configured.

Typically a Gizmoot user will select a media file in the Browse screen, choose a player to play the media file, and then use the Control screen to control the playback. Gizmoot contains a local player that can be used for playing media files on the smart phone/tablet.

When Gizmoot starts it searches the home network for Android TV, Fire TV, Roku and UPnP AV devices i.e. media servers and players. The time needed for the devices to appear on the Gizmoot screens depends upon which devices are available, the number of devices in the home network, and the signal strength of the WiFi network. If the smart phone/tablet running Gizmoot is not connected to a WiFi network then only the media library files will be available for playback on the smart phone/tablet. An activity indicator in the status bar will rotate when Gizmoot is searching for devices on the network.

When a media server becomes available its name will appear in the Browse screen. When a player is discovered it will appear in the device selection list in the Control screen.

Connecting your devices to your network via ethernet rather than WiFi will result in a more reliable and faster performance i.e. it might be worth running an ethernet cable from your ADSL router to a hub behind your TV, and then connecting your media server and player to the hub.

Browse Screen

The Browse screen allows the user to navigate a hierarchy of media files and select one for playback. The root of the browse hierarchy contains the Recent list, Favorites list, Play Queue list, smart phone/tablet media library list, Internet list, Feeds list and the media servers available on the home network.

The Recent list contains lists of the music, photo, podcast, radio, television, video podcast and web page files recently played. Media files can be removed from the Recent list using the Edit button.

The Favorites list contains lists of the music, photo, podcast, radio, television, video podcast and web pages most liked by the user. When a media file is playing in the Control screen a button can be pressed to add the media file to a folder in the Favorites list. Media files can be removed from the Favorites list using the Edit button.

The Play Queue list contains lists of music media files that are queued to be played on each media player. When the Play Queue option in the Settings screen is enabled then music media files selected in the Browse screen are added to the play queue rather than being immediately played. When one song stops playing the next song in the play queue is played.

The smart phone/tablet media library contains the photo and music media files that are stored locally.

The Internet list allows services such as SoundCloud and Flickr to be browsed and searched anonymously, so an internet connection is required.

The Feeds list contains a hierarchy of RSS feeds from the internet which allow regularly published media files to be browsed. An internet connection is required. The feeds files are cached locally and downloaded again the next day.

The remainder of the root list will contain the names of media servers discovered on the home network. Underneath each server will be a hierarchy of media files stored on the server. Depending on the capabilities of the server a search option might be available at the beginning of the browse lists underneath the server.

Once the user has navigated down and selected an individual media file then a player must be selected. If only one player is available then the media file will immediately be played. If more than one player is available then the user must select the player from a list. The list of players will contain greyed out player names if Gizmoot determines that the player cannot play the media file. If the Play Queue option in the Settings screen is enabled then the selected music media file will be added to the play queue of the selected player. If the play queue is empty then the music media file will then be played.

The back button in the Browse screen navigates up one level in the hierarchy.

The refresh button in the Browse screen causes the list currently displayed to be requeried if it resides on a media server. If the root of the browse hierarchy is displayed then a search cycle will start to search for devices on the network.

When Gizmoot is busy querying media data from a media server an activity indicator will be shown in the Browse screen. The activity indicator will disappear when all of the media items have been read, or if a network error has occurred.

Control Screen

The Control screen displays information about the media that is playing on the currently selected player, and allows the user to perform previous, stop, play, pause, next, add to favorites, mute and set position/volume operations. The choose player button displays a list of players devices that can be selected as the current player. Tapping the cover art image displayed will show the related web page for the media being played if one exists.

Gizmoot regularly polls the current player for the playback position and play state while displaying the Control screen in order to display the playback position and determine when a song has finished playing. Therefore if Gizmoot is left on another screen it will probably not detect the end of the song and start playing the next song if configured to loop.

Settings Screen

The Settings screen allows the behaviour of Gizmoot to be configured.

The Loop option allows automatic playback of the next song when the current song finishes playing.

The Shuffle option allows automatic playback of a random song in the same collection (album, favorites, etc) when the current song finishes playing. The Shuffle option overrides the Loop option.

The Play Queue option allows songs selected in the Browse screen to be added to a play queue for the player so that a sequence of songs can be chosen to be played.

The Slideshow Interval option allows the next photo in the album to played after a fixed number of seconds.

The Control Volume option enables or disables the volume slider in the Control screen. This feature is useful when several UPnP player applications are used on a Windows PC and the user doesn't want Gizmoot to set the volume on these players to avoid sound volume conflicts.

The Share Photos option allows another Gizmoot App running on another device to browse the local photos on the smart phone/tablet.

The Share Music option allows another Gizmoot App running on another device to browse the local music on the smart phone/tablet.

The Share Favorites option allows another Gizmoot App running on another device to browse the local Favorites list on the smart phone/tablet.

The Share Player option allows another Gizmoot App running on another device to play media on the smart phone/tablet.

The Show Artwork option enables/disables the display of cover art images in the Control screen.

The Show Advertisements option enables/disables the display of advertisement banners in the Control screen. This option is available as an In-App Purchase from the Google Play Store.

The Sound Effects option enables/disables beep sounds when commands are sent or fail.

The Remember Devices option enables/disables storing of the devices discovered by Gizmoot so that next time the App is run the devices are found more quickly. Exiting the App with this option disabled will make the App forget the devices discovered on the WiFi network.

The Always Select Device option when enabled means that the player must be chosen each time a media file is chosen in the Browse screen. When disabled the currently selected player in the Control screen will be used.

The Device Aliases option allows aternative names to be given to a server or player e.g. Lounge TV.

The Language Filter and Language Settings options allows the media files listed in the Browse screen to be filtered to show the languages understood by the user.

The Genre Filter and Genre Settings options allows the media files listed in the Browse screen to be filtered to show the genres of interest to the user.

The Extra Internet List option allows an extra item to be added to the Internet list in the Browse screen. This is of primary interest to media content providers who want to experiment with sharing their media via Gizmoot.

The Extra Feed option allows an extra feed to added to the Feeds list in the Browse screen. This allows Gizmoot users to try out feeds not currently in the Feed list.

The IP Configuration option displays the IP network configuration to assist troubleshooting. The user can see if the smart phone/tablet is connected to the WiFi network and has access to the internet.

The Diagnostic Settings and Diagnostics Messages options allow diagnostic messages to be filtered by category and type, viewed, and sent via email to the Gizmoot support team.

The Send Feedback option allows Gizmoot users to send feedback to the Gizmoot team via email.

Supported Devices

Gizmoot uses standard UPnP AV network protocols that are implemented in a wide variety of devices, which means that Gizmoot should work with DLNA/UPnP AV devices. Unfortunately differences between devices occur which means that Gizmoot works better with some devices than others. Here is a list of devices that Gizmoot is known to work with (best ones first): One of the main factors affecting the Gizmoot user experience is the limitations of the UPnP AV Media Renderers (players) currently on the market. This was the motivation for adding a player inside Gizmoot so that another device running Gizmoot can be placed in a docking station to act as a remote player.

Sample Device Configurations

This section describes some possible combinations of devices with Gizmoot. The smart phone/tablet is normally connected to the home network via WiFi. UPnP AV Media Server and Player devices can normally be connected to the home network via ethernet cable or WiFi. For best performance we recommend using an ethernet cable where possible, and using static IP addresses rather than DHCP.

Gizmoot with no WiFi connection can browse the photos and music stored locally and play them on the local player.

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection can browse both local photos/music and the internet and play the media on the local player.

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection and a UPnP AV Media Server can browse media files locally, from the internet or from the media server, and play the media on the local player.

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection and a Player device can browse both local photos/music and the internet, and play the media on the local player or the remote player.

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection, a UPnP AV Media Server and a Player device can browse media files locally, from the internet or from the media server, and play the media on the local player or the remote player.

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection, many UPnP AV Media Servers and many Player devicess can stream media files all over the house at the same time !

Two smart phone/tablet devices running Gizmoot can browse each others local photos/music/favorites and play media on each others local players. So if one smart phone/tablet is sitting in a docking station with speakers then the other Gizmoot can act as a remote control. So no need to buy a network speaker if you have a spare old smart phone/tablet ...

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection and Gizmoot Player App running on an Android TV means that Gizmoot can play media on the Android TV.

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection and Gizmoot Player App running on a Fire TV means that Gizmoot can play media on the Fire TV.

Gizmoot with a WiFi connection and Gizmoot Player App running on a Roku devices means that Gizmoot can play media on the Roku player.

Glossary

App
Android Application e.g. Gizmoot
ADSL
Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line, internet connection over a twisted pair copper telephone line.
Android TV
Version of Android inside TVs, STBs and HDMI sticks that can run Apps (e.g. Gizmoot Player) from Google Play.
AV
Audio Video
Composite
2 cables (red & white) for audio, 1 cable for video (yellow)
Device
UPnP AV device e.g. NAS, TV, HiFi
DHCP
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, assigns IP addresses to devices
DLNA
Digital Living Network Alliance, body that creates standards that sit on top of UPnP AV.
Generally devices labelled DLNA compliant do not work very well with other devices and are best avoided.
Ethernet
Wired network connection
EZCast
HDMI stick that allows the Gizmoot apps to play media on a TV over a WiFi network.
Fire TV
Android TV STB/HDMI stick from Amazon.
HDMI
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (TV cable)
HiFi
High Fidelity
iPUSH
HDMI stick that allows the Gizmoot apps to play media on a TV over a WiFi network.
KODI
New name for XBMC.
Remote control via UPnP must be enabled in the KODI system settings in order for it to be controlled by Gizmoot.
LaCie La Cinema
Combined UPnP AV Media Server and Media Renderer (Player)
LAN
Local Area Network
M8R
Android STB that can be controlled by Gizmoot when running the Gizmoot Player App.
MED400X2S
STB that acts as a UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
NAS
Network Attached Storage, hard drive that can been accessed by other devices on the network, often contain a UPnP AV Media Server.
Panasonic VIErA
Smart TV with built-in UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
Philips HMP5000
STB that acts as a UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
Pioneer XW-SMA3
Network speaker that acts as a UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
Roku
STB/HDMI stick from Roku which when running the Gizmoot Player channel can be used as a player by the Gizmoot App running on a smart phone/tablet.
Samsung LE37C550
TV with built-in UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
Sony Bravia KDL-22EX320
TV with built-in UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
Sony SA-NS300
Network speaker that acts as a UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
STB
Set Top Box, device that sits by a TV to provide AV input to the TV
TV
Television, smart TVs often provide a built-in UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
UPnP
Universal Plug and Play
UPnP AV
UPnP Audio Video
UPnP AV MR
UPnP AV MediaRenderer - a player that can be controlled by the Gizmoot App over WiFi.
UPnP AV MS
UPnP AV MediaServer - a media file server that can be browsed by the Gizmoot App over WiFi.
WD TV Live
UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
WeShare Music
Dongle that converts an ordinary speaker into a UPnP AV MR.
WiFi
Wireless network connection
WMP
Windows Media Player which can be configured act as a UPnP AV Media Renderer (Player)
XBMC
Combined UPnP AV Media Server and Media Renderer (Player) software
Now known as KODI.