While the ickStream project is still a work in progress we will share more details about different aspects of the platform in the following newsletters.
In this newsletter we will show the different components of the ickStream Music Platform and also how we handle playlists.
The ickStream Music Platform components
The controller component is responsible for providing the user interface to the ickStream Music Platform.
It will automatically discover ickStream resources available on the local network and online through the ickStream P2P component.
It will merge all the resources together to display an interface to allow you to browse and search across all available content services and initiate playback on available players.
The player component is an autonomous component responsible to stream music from a content service.
As well as actually playing the music it will manage the current playlist, meaning it can continue playing without a server to manage the playlist.
The player implements an ickStream API which will make it possible to control it from any ickStream controller component. The system supports both headless players without any display or hard buttons but also rich players which have a user interface and hard buttons on the device.
The Content Services
The content service component is responsible to provide music to play.
The content service implements an ickStream API, making it possible for ickStream controller components to browse and search the content and provides streaming references which are used by the player devices to stream music.
Depending on the content service implementation streaming can be handled by the content service itself or handed off to a separate streaming service provided by someone else.
Typically a content service is an abstraction on top of an existing music source, such as a local music library or an online streaming service. Content services can execute on a device on the local network or on an online server depending on the requirements of the content it provides.
The P2P Component
The ickStream P2P component is the central "glue" that ties all other components together; it is embedded in each ickStream component on the local network and provides the discovery mechanism which makes ickStream resources automatically available for usage in your ickStream controller without any configuration.
The ickStream Cloud
The ickStream Cloud is an online component which hosts other services.
It manages a number of content service components which integrates with various online services but also offers functionality to manage your ickStream account together with some other services which will enhance your ickStream experience.
It's based on a stateless design to ensure high availability and scalability with lots of users.
Access to ickStream Cloud is required during initial registration but after this it's possible to use an ickStream system for local music without access to ickStream Cloud. To satisfy integrity interests you can register either a separate ickStream account or you can use your existing Facebook or Google account to login to ickStream without the need to remember another password.
All components are based on documented API's and can be provided by the ickStream team or by third parties, we will provide components for the most important platforms ourselves,
but we hope third parties will be interested to provide components for the platforms we can't prioritize ourselves.
Exact licensing terms have to be discussed in each case but the idea is to have a competitive license model that makes it interesting both for non commercial projects as well as commercial vendors distributing devices in small or large quantities.
Let us know if you are an individual developer or company who is interested to provide an ickStream component for your favorite platform.
ickStream Playlist management
One of the unique advantages of the ickStream Music platform is the Playlist Management System, which is managed globally.
This means that you can build playlists containing files from any music source available.
It allows you to access and enjoy all your music and you don’t have to remember whether it is in your local library, in a music service or internet radio service.
The current playlist menu is the other part of the playlist management system, which allows you to edit the playlist and access all “Now Playing” content.
You can see the current playlist menu hereunder and a description of the available options.
The buttons are for:
The big Play button is to jump to the track
- "+" is for "Add to Library" and "Add to Favorites", there will be a submenu/popup
- "Action" is for sharing
- "Love" is for our "loved tracks" service
- "Thumbs down" is for banned tracks
- Trash is for deleting a track from the current playlist.
This Newsletter will be sent from time to time when we have updates to share, and will also be posted on our blog at: http://blog.ickstream.com
Thanks everyone for your support and interest, you'll hear from us soon, so stay tuned !
The ickStream Team