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Benjamin Arnaud

Greetings HMN,

It's been a year of intense (part-time) coding and I'm happy to announce that MotionBox 1.3.0 has been released !

Here is what it brings to the table:

1. Torrent streaming

MotionBox supports streaming for both torrent files and magnets. It works for video and audio files and the video browsing design completely applies to it. It's built with a cache system that lets you switch from one torrent to another almost instantly.

The DuckDuckGo integrated search engine lets you access and browse torrents directly. That means you can start from your text query all the way to playing a specific file inside a torrent. Honestly, I'm not aware of any other software that can do that.

Regarding downsides, the initial loading speed tends to be a tad longer with libtorrent than a node based torrent streaming (!). I'm not exactly sure why since libtorrent is a low level, performance centric library that should deliver on that aspect. Maybe it's related to the way it handles connections, or maybe I'm missing a configuration trick on the libtorrent side. But once the libtorrent session is warmed up it gets quite smooth to switch from one torrent to the other.

Practical notes: The libVLC library works surprisingly well with libtorrent because it handles weird streaming cases. It streams partial video files quite well thanks to the VLC "I'll see what I can do with these bytes" approach. libVLC and peer to peer are a good combination and VLC is often used alongside a torrent client. Merging them feels quite natural and I feel it's a significant progress for the end user.

Philosophical notes: When it comes to video playback I feel that embracing "what's already there" is a superior proposition than "disruption". In general I like the idea of writing software that respects what came before it and carries it further. I also think that the silicon valley "disruption model" trend is flawed from a philosophical standpoint.

2. Dynamic cover

To me, Video Browsing is also about getting the best visual information *before* playback. So I've added support for "The Movie Database" and "Last fm" backends. I'm doing a few tricks to translate the file and folder names into a proper cover. It works surprisingly well for movie files since they often provide a title and a year. It also works for audio files by matching the torrent and file titles. Heck, it even works for TV shows and retrieves a specific cover for each episode. Dynamic cover should apply for local, http and torrent files.

3. Updated full screen

Full screen used to feel like a maximized window. Now I'm introducing a better behavior that lets you switch from the browsing interface to full screen faster. MotionBox actually expands the view when switching to full screen and restores view panels when restoring the window. I've also added a timer that lets you click and switch between player modes in a more consistent way.

4. macOS support

MotionBox runs and Windows, Linux and the macOS port is on the way thanks to rayman22201. The current master branch should be able to build and runs on macOS, but we need help with the packaging of the macOS packaged application. Let me know if you are interested in contributing on that aspect and helping us with the port. Maybe rayman22201 will jump on the subject in the comments of the post !

Here is the full changelog: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/changes/1.3.0.html


MotionBox is a Free Software (as in free speech) dedicated to its user.
It does not track you and serves your best interest at all time.
This kind of software gets fairly rare these day.

Get MotionBox: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/get

Support MotionBox: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/support


Audio logs

1. Adding torrent streaming to MotionBox: https://soundcloud.com/user-53344...ng-torrent-streaming-to-motionbox

2. The long journey towards torrent streaming: https://soundcloud.com/user-533446495/motionbox2

3. Learning from frustrations, depression and "failure": https://soundcloud.com/user-533446495/the-frustration-and-depression
Benjamin Arnaud

Greetings HMN,

I'm happy to announce that MotionBox 1.2.0 has been released !

Here is a short list of what it brings to the table:

1. Complete audio support

MotionBox now supports local and remote audio files.

I've added an output section in the player settings (bottom right corner).
It lets you decide between streaming the audio or the full video.
This improves the performance and the bandwitdh when you only care about the audio.

And since it's a Video Browser you can switch between audio and video seamlessly.

2. SoundCloud backend

To demonstrate the audio support I added the SoundCloud audio backend.
It lets you access and play your SoundCloud tracks.
It also supports people and playlists.

3. Playback speed

In the player settings MotionBox adds a slider to control the playback speed.
It can be useful if you want to listen to a long presentation at 1.5x speed.

4. Native window

On Windows MotionBox now supports a 100% native window.
That makes it compliant with "snapping" and specific shortcuts.

5. Linux support

MotionBox now supports Linux (32 and 64 bit).
The archive I'm providing has been built on Ubuntu 16.10.
Feel free to build it on your own favorite distribution.

I would like to thank miotatsu for his help on that part.


As usual I've fixed a bunch of bugs and improved the application with a focus on simplicity.
Check the changelog: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/changes/1.2.0.html.

MotionBox is a distributist software.
It's a Free Software dedicated to sharing.

Get MotionBox: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/get

Support MotionBox: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/support
Benjamin Arnaud
I've just pushed MotionBox 1.1.2 on omega.gg.

It includes an improved interface, a fast startup and wide search bars.
I've also made a few fixes and improvements: check the changelog here.
If you haven't, now is a great time to run your first video browser: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/get.

MotionBox is still a young project... So what's next ?

Well, I'm working on a torrent implementation. I'm *quite* close from having something functional.
Also, I want to integrate a video downloader. Just like the one in your web browser but for videos.
This requires a few GUI improvements and even video / audio muxing in some cases.
Interested in keeping track of everything ? Just follow my twitter.

On the contribution side, progress is being made on the linux release.
Actually, I'm about to accept my first pull request. Many thanks to miotatsu and the HMN !

To celebrate, let me share 3 videos I recorded a few weeks ago.



Any feedback ? Questions ?

Just post it down here !

Benjamin Arnaud
MotionBox is now on the Handmade network, that's really cool and all... But what *is* MotionBox exactly ?

That's a tough question to answer. Mostly because MotionBox is a true innovation: something unique and new.

It's not like "Google video" nor a "Youtube" desktop application.
In fact I cannot define it with a comparison to what already exists.

It's a Video Browser, a software designed to access and traverse videos on the Internet.
Sounds abstract ? Let me give you analogy: it's a browser that accesses videos directly instead of webpages.

More importantly it's Free Software designed to serve your best interest as a user.
It's not going to spy on you, it's not going to force advertising or a preroll of any kind.
It lets you play video resources directly instead of "being played" through some obscure JavaScript API.

Sounds too good to be true ? Just check the code: http://omega.gg/sources.

Get your own build right here: http://omega.gg/MotionBox/get.

Let me share 3 videos that shows the software at its current state. Maybe it will get a tad clearer that way :-)...



Any thoughts ? Questions ?

Go ahead and post it down here !