Saturday, June 5, 2010

KD Player

KD Player is a free skinnable Java ME-based media player created by Russian developer Knyzhov Dmitry. It is designed for mobile phones running Operating System Embedded platforms. The program can play back audio files that are supported by the phone model, most commonly MP3, wma and wav audio files. KD Player can be downloaded depending on the screen display that a mobile phone would support. The current screen displays available are 128×160, 176×220, 208×208 and 240×320 for different screen displays.


KD Player (Knyzhov Dmitry Player) was developed with the idea of an option for mobile phone users to replace the standard audio player with a sufficient and customizable player as translated from the author's description. The earliest version, 0.56, was released in the earliest of 2007 just as a small project to demonstrate the use of basic audio and video playback within the boundaries of Java ME. The author saw the need to further develop the application as the demand for a choice alternative media player grew from online mobile phone forum members.


Playback options are as what can be found on any media player and are play, fast forward, rewind, shuffle and repeat in which playlist repeat and single track repeat are supported. The applications also hosts its own volume control which is separate to the volume of the mobile phone device it is running on. KD Player supports full reading of ID3-tag data (v1 & v2) in common mp3 files. The user can specify which folders to scan on either the mobile phone's in built memory or inserted memory card of the mbile phone. KD player stores the scanned folders in a music library from which the user can further read and create playlists and similarly create bookmarks to audio files. The application can use the number keys on a phone for operation in playback and menu selection, such as 5 for play/pause/select in menu and 6 for fast forward/next track/go right in menu in menu with all other number keys with a use. KD Player can be comparable to the Walkman software player found on specific Sony Ericsson mobile's, however unlike the Walkman player the user must manually update the music library by the selecting the feature 'update library' whenever music is added or removed from the mobile phone. For the updating of the library to work the user must first select all necessary folders where desired and supported audio file formats are located.
Scanning of subfolders can be enabled and disabled in the 'preferences' option. In some models particularly Sony Ericsson JP-7 and later based phones, the player can be minimized and left working in the background. KD Player also supports the reading and display of album art as one of its primary features. An image file supported by KD Player (jpg, png, bmp) has got to be already made available in the folder of corresponding audio files which will serve as the album art image that is displayed. The reading and displaying of embedded metadata album art is also supported.
The creation and management of playlists is supported.


KD Player supports UTF-8 text encoding and has been translated into several languages including the foremost English by the contribution of its users.


One of the most sought after features of KD Player is the ability to custom change the theme design by the use of designed skins created by users to enhance the player's visual look. Skins for KD Player have shown that the album art can be made bigger depending on the skin's layout. Skin's created are screen display dependent. The entire skin consists of a kdi and a kds in order for the skin to be used. The '.kdi' is a simple image file (typically a .png file) with all the necessary image elements for the skin. The '.kds' is text file that contains markup code which controls all the image layouts of the kdi in addition to font sizing with RGB colour.
Skins made for KD Player are known to have conflicting support issues with Nokia phones although this has not been clearly explained. It had been speculated that skins using any form of transparency will fail to load on a Nokia phone. On KD Player's official website, skins that will support Nokia phones have "Nokia: Yes" under the preview.
The skins are available to download for free on KD Player's website as contributed by its users. A full tutorial for creating skins, that is written in Russian, is available on the website also.


KD Player requires the presence of JSR-75 also known as File Connection API as well as the JSR 135 or the Mobile Media API (MMAPI) on phone devices in order to both search for files able and playback audio files. To utilize the player efficiently, the user must fully enable file access rights that KD Player will request when any attempting to play or search for files. The prompts for file access can simply be disabled on most phones for example, selecting 'Never Ask' for the application permissions on a Sony Ericsson K810.
Since version 0.95 the inclusion of an equalizer has been made as to being a much requested feature from its users. The equalizer is only accessible on certain phones with newer compatible Java ME platforms (JP-8).

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