I received a tip from Harmonium’s creator, Charles Perry, including a press release (below). Harmonium looks like a fairly nice music player, and it is nice to see some new HME working being done these days, despite the dearth of support from TiVo. It supports HD display on the TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD with an HD UI on those systems, as well as displaying album art from ID3 tags in HD, and the screenshots look quite nice. It uses the information in the ID3 tags to automatically sort your collection. It also supports M3U playlists and, nicely, it supports the creation of playlists from within the player itself. It is free and open source, released under the GNU AGPL license, and it is cross platform, running on pretty much any platform with a Java VM. There are also builds designed to run as a service under Windows or Linux.
Unfortunately, I can’t use it. I have over 14,500 tracks in my digital music collection, and all but a handful are AAC (unprotected). Harmonium currently only plays MP3 files via TiVo, so it won’t handle my music. If Charles ever adds AAC support to Harmonium, I’d definitely give it a try. I’m hopeful, since it is only up to release 0.3.1 at this point, still early days. If you have an MP3 collection and a TiVo, you might want to check out Harmonium for your TiVo music streaming. If you do, leave a comment letting me, and other readers, know what you think.
The press release:
A NEW MUSIC STREAMING APPLICATION FOR THE TIVO DVR
Harmonium Music Player (http://harmonium.dazeend.org) is a newly released application that streams music from a PC to a TiVo DVR, and is now in an open
beta testing period.
Although there are other music streaming applications for TiVo, Harmonium has features that set it apart:
- Harmonium uses information from ID3 tags in your MP3 files to automatically sort your music collection. (Harmonium honors the Album Artist tag when it is found, so albums that contain songs by different artists or combinations of artists are grouped together.)
- Harmonium supports high-definition televisions and displays album art in large format high-definition when possible.
- Harmonium has integrated playlist support. Native playlists can be created and edited on-screen. M3U playlists are also supported.
- Harmonium is easy to use. Installation is as simple as unzipping a file, editing a few lines of text, and starting the application. Using Harmonium is easy too. Harmonium uses TiVo usage conventions when possible to make its interface familiar to anyone who’s used a TiVo.
- Harmonium is cross-platform. There are distributions prepared that install Harmonium so that it starts on Windows and Linux after reboots. There’s also a distribution that should run on any operating system that has Java installed (including Mac OS X).
- Harmonium is free. Licensed under the GNU AGPL, Harmonium has no cost to use and its source code is available to modify and distribute.
More information including screenshots, downloads, and system requirements is
available from its project web page: http://harmonium.dazeend.org