Unofficial Triple J Now Playing Android App
Current Version 2.4
This little app uses the feeds from the ABC website for Triple J’s program information and implements a very simple favourites and track history system.
What does it do?
Clicking the star next to the track that is playing saves it into a list of favourites that can then be shared via any of the default Android sharing mechanisms (i.e. Email, SMS, Facebook etc…). The track history gives you up to the last 20 or so song that were played, so even if you don’t get to your phone immediately to find out what’s playing, you can look it up and add it to your favourites later.
The app also comes with a home screen widget which displays all the information about what is on the air as well as providing a quick way to add the track to your favourites, manually refresh the data and launch the app directly.
In 2011, Triple J (the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s youth radio station) created an iPhone app which compliments their broadcast by providing number of features. The most enticing of which was the ability to get info about the track that was currently playing. Sadly, at the time the ABC felt that there was no market for Android users and to this date has not released a comparable official Android app. So, I took it upon myself to build a stripped back simple Android app for the Android using Triple J lovers out there.
- Program Info about the current Triple J Host (Limited to Eastern Standard Time zones)
- Artist and Title of the track “Now Playing” and “Previously Played”
- Simple “Add to Favourites” system
- Sharing of Favourites using the standard Android sharing tools
- Automatic background updates or Manual Updating
- Track History
- Time synchronisation with global time server to ensure accuracy
- Home Screen Widget with integrated launch, refresh and add to favourites buttons
- Control over automated operations for balancing data and battery with functionality
- Android Phone or Device running Android 2.2 (Froyo) or later
- Internet access for downloading the Triple J XML Feeds
- 300k available space for installation
- 200k – 1Mb storage for data depending on your device and behavior
Recently TripleJ contacted me requesting that I change the name of the app, remove the TripleJ drums logo and remove any image that is sourced from the TripleJ website. So unfortunately there are no nice images of the presenters or the official TripleJ logo.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What happened to all of the TripleJ Drums Logos and presenter / radio host photos?
A: The inevitable happened and I was contacted by Triple J and asked to change the name of the app, remove all instances of the TripleJ drums logo and any images that were sourced from their website. I have no major grudge against this request as it’s all technically their intellectual property. But the app sure is bland now!
- Q: Why does it keep saying “No Information”!?!
A: Unfortunately, the app is at the mercy of TripleJ and their XML feeds. Usually this means that the current radio host is broadcasting from a studio that is not supported by their computerised playlist system or they are playing from a medium that is not tied to their music library (i.e. from a Vinyl or CD). This is actually a problem that affects any of the “now playing” utilities including the Triple J website and the Triple J iPhone app.
- Q: My app keeps saying “Unable to Update”. What does that mean?
A: There are several reasons that could be preventing the XML feed from downloading to your phone. The most common of which is the lack of internet connectivity due to aeroplane mode or low signal. Some devices even cause problems when switching between internet sources like WIFI to 3g and vice versa. However, if that’s not the problem there also seems to be a recurring instance of this just after midnight EST/EDT every night that definitely has something to do with the ABC and Triple J websites. I suspect it’s some kind of scheduled reboot or backup. Typically this problem resolves itself before 1am.
- Q: Is this the official Triple J Android App?
A: No, this app is not endorsed by Triple J or the ABC. It’s simply a little side project that I wanted to develop for my own use which I though would benefit all those other Android using Triple J lovers out there.
- Q: My app is behaving strangely and telling me that there’s no information, but every few minutes I can actually see what is playing. How do I fix this?
A: Since version 2.0 of the app, the feed location from the ABC Website is chosen automatically based on the timezone of your device. There are five feeds from the ABC website. Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth. All of the states and territories around Australia use one of these feeds. So if you are in Tasmania and listening to the analogue radio, all you need to do is ensure that your clock and time zone are correctly configured on your device (Settings -> Time and Date). After which time, the app will automatically get the feed information based on the correct feed, which for Tasmania is the Sydney feed.
- Q: I’m tired of Triple J not supporting us Android users and I want to contribute to your efforts! How can I help?
A: Helping is easy! You can contact me with suggestions on ways to improve the app, or simply show your appreciation by donating to my paypal account via the link on the front page.
- Grouping of the Favourites List by Date and first alpha character of the Title or Artist
- Sorting of the Favourites List by Date, Artist and Title
- Grouping Track History by Date or Program / Presenter Name
- Add more control over the Widget layout to remove the favourite star or app launch icon if desired
- Add a Frequency Finder