Today’s release 146.145 doesn’t have any new features just some fixes of some annoying bugs.
- Bluetooth transmit to earbuds/headphones: Speed up the buffer time for many stations before they started playing on the earbuds. There is still more work to do here but depending on the station you listen to the buffer to play time is significantly reduced. The bluetooth transmit feature is not being promoted/marketed,because it is still a work in progress and only works with limited types of bluetooth earbuds/headphones.
- Firmware update process: Don't show an error if the firmware check was already started…
- Sleep Timer fade out bug: Those who used sleep timer with the volume fade out feature on would find that the next time they turned the radio on the volume would be zero instead of the previous volume that was set.
- Preset turning on radio: When using a sleep timer the night before the radio would not be able to turn on by pressing a preset. This feature is now working again.
- Click sound: There is still a bug where on some radios there is a click sound when changing stations. 95% of radios don’t have this sound at all, a few have a click sound but barely audible but a small subset of radios have a very noticeably annoying click sound. This will be one of our priorities over the next couple weeks.
Today we are releasing version 146.143.
Known bug on version 146.143:
# 1: There is bug related to the new Sleep timer fade out function. After using the sleep timer with the fade out feature activated (fade out is activated by default) the next time you play the radio the volume will be zero.
If you would like your radio to remember the previous volume level( before the fade out volume take the radio to zero volume level – which is why the volume is zero the next time you turn the radio on) turn the fade out feature off. Please go to Radio’s home page and select ‘radio settings’ then select ‘alarm, clock and timer Options’ then select ‘sleep timer fade-out’ then un-check the ‘fade-out enabled’ box.
#2: After using the sleep timer, whether fade out was enabled or disabled, you cannot wake up the radio by pressing a preset.
#3: Some users are noticing a loud click or 'thunk' when switching between presets. This is being addressed in the corrections as well.
We anticipate to have these bugs fixed in the middle of January.
The update was released and we found a bug, so it was stopped.
The new software is version 146.135 and is for the Mondo+ and Encore+.
Note: We have also released new iPhone and android remote control apps. If you use the current remote control app, it will not work well with this new software, so please update your remote control app as well if you use them.
New features bug fixes:
Alarm audio through internal speaker when earbuds/pillow speaker plugged in: For those who fall asleep with earbuds or pillow speakers plugged into the radio, the alarm will now also play through the built-in speaker as well as the earbuds/headphones. You can turn this feature on/off. Go into the Radio settings menu, then Alarm, Clock & Timer Options menu, then the 5th item down is “Alarm Output”. You can select the box active or inactive. If the box is NOT selected that means when you have earbuds plugged in the alarm will only sound through the earbuds (or pillow speaker).
Alarm Auto off: When an alarm currently turns on, and you do not shut it off, it will play indefinitely, many people asked us to add an alarm duration feature. This feature is great if you wake up and leave the house before the alarm goes on as it allows you to set the duration ( time) that the alarm will on. As a default, this feature is now turned on, and your alarm will shut off in 1 hour automatically (of course you can always turn it off whenever you want before that). You can select the duration from 1 second to 23 hours and 59 minutes. Go into the Radio settings menu, then Alarm, Clock & Timer Options menu then the 3rd item down is “Alarm Auto Off’.
Alarm bug fixes: We found a few use cases where the alarm failed to alarm. Most cases had to do with using the optional buzzer alarms. There may still be a few stray bugs, but we think we tackled the vast majority of the edge use cases. If you still see any issues, please let me know what alarm / issue you saw, so we can try to emulate it in the test labs (we need to emulate bugs to be able to fix them..).
Time of day backlight settings: Now you can set your back light settings differently for day time and night time. For example many people want the active, standby and inactive back-light settings to be very bright all day long but they want the settings to be very dim at nighttime. You can find this menu in the Display Settings section then select ‘Display Brightness’. You will need to select a start time and end time for your night time mode. Of course if you want the settings for night and day to be the same, just make them all the same.
Sleep Fade-out. You can select this feature on / off. If the feature is on the music volume level will decrease over time up to 120 seconds. This feature helps those who wake up if audio is shut off suddenly. This feature is in the Alarm ,Clock and timer menu, then select “Sleep timer Fade-out’’ . Check the box if you want to enable the feature then select up to 120 seconds for the fade out.
Aux in audio for multi-room: There was a bug that would not allow an aux in source to be played to multiple Grace Encore+ / Mondo+ radios. This is now fixed.
Chromecast audio upgrade: This was a major code change that was required by Google. It doesn’t provide great features. It does make the Pandora app integration a tad more stable but it’s still very poor. Both Google and Pandora have known about this issue for 6 months. It really is a Google issue… we keep pushing them… that’s all we can do L. I get Pandora to work 75% of the time now. Sometimes it takes up to a minute but Pandora will cast … we are sorry about this, but nothing we can do about it except keep bugging them to fix it. The issue is not with our software but rather an issue Pandora has with integration of the Texas Instruments processor that we use as well as many others…
Added Bluetooth transmission to a Bluetooth headphone ( so now you can use the internal Bluetooth as receiver or transmitter) *
Bluetooth transmission to a Bluetooth headset
- When in Bluetooth Headphone mode the internal speaker on the Mondo+/ Encore+ will be turned off. (You cannot use this solution to have the Mondo+ or Encore+ internal speaker to play at the same time as the Bluetooth receiving device).
- It does not work with Google Chromecast built in audio. ( This is a limitation of Google’s)
- It does not work when the Mondo+ or Encore+ is in multi-room mode.
* Note – there is a major bug on the Bluetooth transmitter software. When listening to an audio source that uses AAC protocol there is a very long buffer time ( like 1 minute before audio plays). Non AAC radio stations work fine. iHeartRadio as example uses AAC and so do many radio stations. Not sure when this will get fixed, so while I am telling our early users and devoted customers, we will not be marketing this feature on our web site or any other retailer’s web site until the bug on this new feature is fixed.
Please see the list of the feature upgrades for version 146.122.
On a related note, we made upgrades to both our android and iPhone remote control apps last month. If you haven’t updated them yet, you might want to.
Red Clock/black background option: Sleep experts indicate that red light is best for a good night sleep ( actually no light is best- but if you do have light in the room red is best). So for those who use the radio in your bedroom and don’t turn the display completely off at night ( you can turn the backlight on/off when the radio is in standby by rotating the select knob to the left or right. This will not change your default settings. It’s just a temporary change). You can check out the new red option in the following menu:
- Radio settings > Display Settings > Clock Color
Dimming of optional inactive clock screen: The two lowest backlight display settings available for the standby screen are now also available for the alternative inactive clock menu. There is a bug in this feature though. If you want the inactive clock screen to be at 0-2 level you must also have the standby setting at 1-2 as well. This will be upgraded in the next release.
Additional Time Zone: Added international time zones that are 30/45 minutes offset. Some examples are: Newfoundland Standard Time is UTC−03:30, Nepal Standard Time is UTC+05:45, and Indian Standard Time is UTC+05:30).
Stuff that just needed to be done
- Update Radio.com logo
- Fix setup wizard jumping to FW Update screen in early stage
- Fix showing deviceName edit window in setup wizard
- Fix starting cast after update
- Only use lower case letters for MAC in hostname
- powerManager: Make it possible to switch from Inactive directly to Standby (needed for apps)
- systemManager: Never use the Ethernet MAC as primary MAC address (relevant for OTA for single device)
- Fix setup wizard jumping to FWUpdate screen in early stage
- Fix showing deviceName edit window in setup wizard
- security upgrades: prevent DNS binding attack
We have just released a new version of software V146.115.
The changes are as follows:
Radio.com: As many of you know Radio.com has pulled all their stations off of TuneIn. We now have all of the stations available in the music services folder. You will no longer see the CBS radio icon in the music services folder. Entercom bought CBS radio late last year and are calling their service radio.com. All Entercom and CBS stations are in the new radio.com music services app.
USB Alarm: You can now select a USB drive as an alarm. Note, that there is no way to select what songs on your thumb drive are used for the alarm, it will just play the song in the root of the drive. If you select USB drive and you don’t have a USB drive plugged in or some other error, the buzzer alarm will be activated within 1 minute.
iPhone/ Android apps: Some of you have had issues where the smartphone remote control app periodically will not see the radios. We are not 100% sure this upgrade fixes all of the issues, but it has proven successful in our development labs.
Sleep sound menu: We removed one unnecessary menu level for easier access.
Chromecast built-in: We have made some fixes to improve Chromecast functionality. However, the new Pandora app still does not work with the software. We have notified Pandora but they have not found a solution. Their android app works with our radio but their iPhone app does not
Spotify connect: we have still not been able to restart the Spotify testing but as noted previously, the Spotify app does work with Chromecast built-in so it’s a very similar experience. We are not giving up.
Amazon music: We just released the test software into our labs, it will still be many months but we are now at the testing phase.
Podcast: Fixed the ability to fast forward podcast.
The new software release today, 146.93 has the following changes:
Adds support for RTSP streams
- Adds a default Sleep timer bar setting. You can still change the sleep timer when activating it but this new setting is a global setting which changes the default sleep time for 1 press of the button. Go into radio settings, select Alarm Clock and Time Options, Default sleep Time.
- Adds the ability to use the shift button to access presets 6-10 in various standby / sleep modes
- Adds the ability to long press the up/down arrows on the infra-red remote control to quickly scroll through various large list such as music folders on a thumb or media player drive.
- Fixes an iHeartRadio station artwork metadata bug that was introduced in the previous upgrade
- Note- if after the upgrade you are still seeing extra characters on the metadata line after playing an iHeartRadio station via a pre-set please re-save the station by going into the iHeartRadio menu then selecting the station from the list then press and hold the pre-set. This will upgrade the pre-set to the new correct format.
- Changed the order of the audio services in the list to the ones that are used most frequently (of course not everyone will like the order, sorry)
- Changed the name of this folder from Music Services to Audio Service since we have podcast, talk radio, sleep sounds etc in there.
- Added the ability to turn on/off the volume fade in feature
- Other slight UI modifications.
On a separate note some people have noticed that Pandora and iHeartRadio is not casting well. We have been notified that their latest apps have some bugs and Google has notified them to resolve the issues. Hopefully they will resolve them soon.
we will be releasing the ability for the alarm to play out of the speaker when earbuds are plugged in. This has been a major customer request. We are still testing it, but we will release that feature in October.
We're pleased to announce our new software upgrade, version 146.91. It includes the following upgrades:
- Sleep sounds: Throw away that old Sleep Sound machine and enjoy over 50 sounds to fall asleep by. Fall asleep to a mountain stream, ocean surf, thunderstorm, tropical rain forest or one of multiple white noise sounds. Find them under Music Services/Sleep Sounds/genre will give you all the options.
- Calm Radio: With over 250 HD music channels for relaxation and the largest online collection of classical channels in the world you can’t beat Calm Radio. To access Calm radio please register your radio on our portal www.myradiosplus.gracedigital.com and enter in your Calm Radio credentials. Calm Radio has both a free service and an awesome premium service (contact www.calmradio.com for pay service terms and conditions).
- Screen display idle time out: In the settings menu go to Display Settings to change the duration of the active backlight time from 10 to 120 seconds. I personally like my display to dim so I use 10 seconds. However, if you like it to stay at your active display setting longer you can set it up to 2 minutes.
- New Alarm volume fade in: You can set the alarm volume fade in time via the clock/alarm/snooze menu in the Radio Settings folder off the home screen. It is settable from 10 – 60 seconds. If you set your alarm volume real loud you may want to select 60 seconds fade in so that the volume ramps up gradually instead of startling you. Please note that this menu option is in the main radio settings only, it is not in the individual Alarm menu on the home screen as this is a global alarm setting, not an individual alarm setting.
- New Alarm Buzzers: We added some fun new alarm buzzer sounds. We have alarms that sound like a car alarm, birds chirping, old fashion 1970 or 1980 alarm, even a guy screaming (this one is pretty fun… at least I think so) then of course you can wake up to any of your stations saved on one of your ten presets.
- Sleep timer message bug: There was an errant pop up when using the sleep timer, this has been fixed.
- Station retries: created more robust process to retry stations when there are network or radio station server issues / bandwidth limitations.
We are still dedicated to adding Amazon Music and Spotify Premium connect (over and above the current availability via Chromecast built-in), but currently no forecast on when that will be released to the radios, we also have a few more features and upgrades that we will be releasing next month.
Released Version 146.84. This version finally fixes the no audio issue that a small percentage of you had, and doesn’t introduce additional major bugs like previous versions did to fix that issue. It was a herculean task to fix that issue but the major part is behind us. Now, finally time to go back and add some features and functionality.
We found too many issues with the last version of software. This new version basically reverts all the changes back to the previous software even though it has a new higher number (we could not just revert back to old software so we had to create a new build with a higher number so the auto software mechanism would work). We anticipate to launch a new version next week which fixes the no mute issue without introducing the new bugs.
New version 146.81
It’s been awhile since we did a software update. We haven’t had many resources available to work on updating software and the limited resources we had were focusing on a major bug that took months to resolve. Some customers’ (not a bunch but those who have the issue it bothers them a lot) radios would get into a no audio state (like the audio was playing but mute was on) and the only way to get the audio to sound again was to unplug the radio and plug it back in. Obviously, that’s annoying. We hope you were not one of them that experienced that issue, but if so we have a good fix to that in this release today.
The fix does not resolve the issue completely but makes a better solution. If the no audio problem occurs, you simply change the channel, or pause the channel or put the radio into standby and back on and the audio will come back on. Less than great, but MUCH better than having to unplug the radio. (this bug was especially bad if the radio went into mute mode when it was supposed to alarm, this update fixes that situation as well).
So the new update is 146.80. The fixes are:
Resolves the no audio issue that a small percentage of people were experiencing. We will have an additional enhanced fix to this later in Q2 where no involvement is needed.
- Changes the way the infra-red remote control changes volume. You currently have to push the volume up / down button for each incremental increase. Now you can just press and hold the button and the volume will go up / down.
Now that we are done with the no audio issue we can go back to other initiatives such as:
- Provide another release to Spotify for Spotify connect approval
- Adding Amazon music
- and a bunch of other more fun stuff (instead of boring bug fixes) . We will let you know what we add as it occurs.
I anticipate a new release in 2-3 weeks.
We just released a new version (146.75) of software.
1) Got Podcast back working again. We just finished our migration from Audiosear.ch (since they stopped offering podcast service) to iTunes. We have some clean-up work to do still but the core integration is now complete and working. So for you Podcast lovers, enjoy!
2) (For Mondo+ users there is no change) We made some significant improvements in the bass response of the Encore+ that you will hear right away (sounds a ton better!). Some may even want to reduce the bass response a tad (previously there was not enough bass and the bass setting did not change the response enough) .
My favorite setting is 'bass -1' and I select the profile 'Jazz'.
I expect another release late next week to make some additional alarm improvements / GUI upgrades for the Mondo+ and Encore+.
As some of you noticed the last software release broke the snooze button. We are VERY sorry. It is fixed in this release version 146.73.
We have just released version 146.72. We haven’t added too many fun features as we have been working on an issue that has been plaguing us since launch. As many of you have noticed when listening to (typically smaller) radio stations and the station has glitches our radio had a hard time recovering. After many months and many tries we believe we have finally gotten resolution with today’s build. So please let me know how everything goes. Now that the major bug is fix ( well at least its worked perfectly in our labs) we will move our attention to a few other items. In the meantime, the changes in the software are below.
- Properly retry if we run into an "end of stream" during live playback: This is what I mention above. We believe this also fixes a no audio bug that very very few have experienced. But waiting for confirmation as we never could duplicate the bug on our radios.
- iPhone / Android apps: We have now integrated a proper sleep timer menu. You will need to update your app to see this upgrade. The new app will be available later next week.
- iPhone / Android apps: We have now integrated a snooze alarm menu. You will need to update your app to see this upgrade. The new app will be available later next week.
- iPhone / Android apps: We have added a folder that shows the radio’s presets for easy access. You still can only add/change the presets directly on the radio. We will look at adding the ability to add/change presets on the app as well but that is actually a lot of work so we will look at doing that after we optimize many other items.
- Add factory reset via button on boot: In the event that the radio is in a very bad state where a user can’t even select the Factory reset item in the Radio settings menu . The way to force a reset is with the radio unplugged press and hold the snooze button down then plug the power into the back of the radio. Keep the snooze button down until you see factory reset on the radio. Hopefully, none of you will ever need this function but it’s now there if need be.
- Spotify connect: We believe we have resolved the core bugs and are submitting the new software to start the approval process again with Spotify by the middle of next week.
Podcast: We are still working on the iTunes integration now that audiosear.ch closed doors… Soon, we will have the new podcast search on the web portal www.myradios.gracedigital.com up and integrated with iTunes. So you can search online and save them to your radio. I’m 90% confident that podcast will be up and working correctly again by this time next week. But we will still need to do some tweaking over time.
We have a new software version available, 146.70. It only has 2 changes.
- Removed Audiosear.ch from our radio. We are now linked to iTunes. However, we still have a bunch of optimization to do so it will be another week before we fine tune (pun intended) everything
- Added a music note to the optional Clock standby screen so it looks different than the actual standby screen so you don’t accidentally turn the radio on / off.
A more substantial software update will be sent out late next week.
Have a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving.
In the new release today 146.69 we have the following updates:
Live 365: Added the new Live365 service directly on the radio which has thousands of new radio stations already. You can check it out in the music services folder
- SHOUTcast: Is now available in the music service folder. According to their web site they now have 72,794 active stations. However, please note that they own radionomy which no longer supports streaming in the US on internet radios. SHOUTcast said they will update their integration so we will only be sent working SHOUTcast stations and delete the radionomy stations. They said it will be done by the end of November (but they moved the date out on us twice already so who knows when it will be updated). Even without the radionomy there are over 50,000 active stations so it’s a nice addition to our radio.
- End of Stream message: Certain stations send end of streams messages to our radio then the radio stops playing that stream. However, it seems that we have been a tad sensitive to those messages so we have now implemented the ability for our radio to restart a radio stream after it gets that message. We have tested this pretty well but please let me know if you have any stations where you hear any audio segments repeated as this could be a negative by product of this upgrade. We have not seen it in our labs or homes but as there are so many audio stream formats and variations there certainly could be some fringe cases.
- Podcast: Properly store podcast on presets as well as added the ability to fast forward and rewind within a podcast. When you Fwd./Rwd. a track the audio will be paused during the function.
- Volume level: We doubled the number of increments for volume control. This is especially useful for late night / bedtime listening as our previous increments between soft and really soft were not as granular.
- UPnP/USB: Optimized skipping (back/forward) between tracks as well as ability to Fwd./Rwd. within a track (song). When you Fwd./Rwd. a track the music will be paused during the function. Note: we removed the repeat / shuffle mode buttons from the radio. So if you want to repeat or shuffle you will have to do that within the iPhone/android apps. We did that as the functionality in the code is the same as the Podcast functionality.
- Universal remote control: If you like using a universal remote control, attached are the remote control commands to program. I’ve never used a universal remote so I don’t know how to program them, but I assume those that use them, know how to program
- ch: On a sad note, at the end of November Audiosear.ch is closing the doors. So that service is no longer offered. We have integrated iTunes in the back end. iTunes has a much larger catalog but not as good of a search function. I recommend searching on our web site then saving to the radio as its easier to search on the web portal. Also right no searching by category and genre are still pointing to audiosear.ch while the free form input field is now pointing to iTunes. In 2 weeks the genre and category functions will not work and we will delete those options in the future. We will also look for future improvements
- Wi-Fi: Created a security fix for WPA2. For those who don’t know it was a global issue made widely known a couple weeks ago. It wasn’t really an issue for our radios but we added the fix anyway.
- Spotify connect: The developers have fixed all but 1 of the bugs so we still can’t start retesting with them. The last one has been difficult to fix so don’t have a time for release yet.
- Amazon music: Is still on the road map but no forecast of when it will be released.
We have a made a few more bug fixes as well some enhancements.
Version number is 146.63. Changes are:
Multi-room audio: While we have always supported multi-room audio via Chromecast built-in we now also support multi-room audio of regular content you find on the radio such as NPR, iHeartRadio, SirisuXM, your my stuff folder etc. So if you already have or are interested in buying another Mondo+ or the upcoming Encore+ you can play different or the same synchronize audio on multiple radios around your home. This feature is in the music services folder of the radio. The only option on the radio is to pick another radio on the network that you want to follow to play the same music.
On the iPhone/android apps you can create /name groups of radios, ungroup and play music to a group etc. (we do not currently support multi-room audio for our Bluetooth audio source).
Mystuff: Now all items are listed alphabetically on your radio to match our web portal listings.
Podcast: Added the ability to pause, and to be able to skip to different podcast episode in a series (this function only works until you turn the radio off. If you turn the radio off then back on you will have to select the series again to be able to skip between episodes within a podcast series). This works for podcast saved on our web portal to your radio as well as via audiosear.ch podcast. We are working on adding the ability to fast forward / rewind within a podcast. That functionality should be added next week.
More alarm/ snooze/sleep timer fixes/optimizations:
- Alarm: Don't show play control buttons during buzzer playback
- Alarm: Show message when disabling snooze timer due to exiting standby
- Alarm: Skip snoozed alarm if user exits Standby
- (edited to correct to Snooze Timer)
- Snooze timer: The default snooze timer is automatically set for 10 minutes an you can always change it when the menu pops up. We have now added the ability to adjust the snooze timer default setting. So you can make it 5,10,20 etc. You can still change it when you press the snooze timer to anything you want .. this is just a new master default setting. You can find this setting in the Radio settings menu, then go into the Clock, Alarm/Snooze menu.
We were able to move the presets out of the Music services folder and moved to the top level of the menu for easier access. We push this listing from the radio to the app so you do not need to upgrade the app. You will see it the next time you open up the app (after the radio upgrades to 146.63).
The version number is 146.57. The changes are as follows:
- Alarm: Don't show time bar while playing buzzer
- Alarm: Fix buzzer repeating bug (it sometimes stopped after 20 seconds)
- Alarm: Fix mistake in AM/PM handling when setting alarm at the 12:00am/pm times.
- Snooze: Fix skipping snooze (in some instances the snooze would not snooze…. Not good L)
- Snooze: Added the ability for the snooze to be deactivated. For example if you press snooze and there is 10 minutes left on the timer but you want to get up, just press and hold the snooze timer for 2 seconds and the snooze will be deactivated, and you can now get up and not wake up your spouse 10 minutes later J .
- Timer: Never show less than 1 minute for snooze / sleep timer ( just looks better … it used to show 0 minutes left but the snooze/sleep didn’t go off since we don’t show seconds. So now at less than 1:59 seconds the various timers will show 1 minute and continue to show 1 minute until it reaches 0. It was too difficult to add seconds.. and not really needed. )
There is one more snooze bug that we found that we hope to get released end of next week.
In other news
- Spotify is communicating with me now. (I sent them the radios a while ago and they just started testing them this week) They said they will have a response if we pass / fail Spotify connect approval within 10 business days. Spotify connect requires a premium account. If you have a free Spotify account you will have to use the Chromecast built-in function already in the software.
- Amazon music: unfortunately, our partner software house is 100% preoccupied with other initiatives (with super huge audio companies, so I get pushed to the back burner such is life) so they are unable to integrate Amazon music into our radio this Q4…. They have already written the code, but not ready to release it to us to start testing with Amazon. I’m really bummed but my hands are tied. I hope I can get them to update the code in Q1 next year.
- We will be working on integrating SHOUTcast and Live365 into the radio and should have that updated in a few weeks
- We have a few UPnP / USB bugs that are still out there but as we share the software stack and the bug is in the core (not my branch) we are unable to get those bugs fixed in the near term until the core team addresses the issues, but we have not forgotten about them….
- The Encore + is currently in Google labs and should be available the 3rd week of November. For anyone who has an Encore, the Encore+ audio sound is leaps and bounds improved … it’s really awesome what our audio guys did … the GUI and feature set, content is the same as Mondo+. Encore+ will automatically support Spotify connect when it launches as the software is the same software being approved by Spotify right now.
Version number is 146.54. Changes:
- Alarm: Fix wrong postponed time calculation
- Alarm: Clear snoozed alarm if original alarm setting is removed or disabled
- Alarm: Clear the repeat value when snoozing alarms
- Headset: Fixed audio issues mainly caused if headset were plugged in during power or factory reset.
- meta-gracedigital: add init-iw-reg to initialize Wi-Fi regulatory domain (this will fix some rare wi-fi connectivity issues)
Updates to the web portal
- Added integration with SHOUTcast and Live365. So now when you do a station search you can search our database, SHOUTcast or Live365 and save them to the my stations folder. We will add both of these services into the radio’s music services folder in the coming months.
- You can also create custom folders as well as move stations between folders (we don’t support drag and drop so if you want to move an entry to a new folder you will need to select edit.)
Radionomy gave us an official update that they are not allowing internet radios (mondo+) to play their stations, only iTunes and their custom apps. In the meantime, if you select stations from either SHOUTcast or the Grace station database you will get their annoying messaging indicating the stations won’t play. However, Radionomy indicted to me that sometime in November they will create the ability for us ( and others of course) to easily decipher which stations in the SHOUTcast directory are Radiononmy, then we can delete them from both SHOUTcast searches as well as searches in the Grace database.
Pandora officially will not allow us to integrate their service into our radios. They only allow it via Chromecast built-in. We have not given up but it seems highly unlikely.
Amazon Music Update
The core software is approved by Amazon. However, we are still a couple months away from them to approve based on their response last week (they are just severely backlogged).
Spotify connect Update
We finally fixed all our bugs. Spotify has our radios in their labs and has the special software we made that has Spotify connect on it. We are just waiting to hear back from them. It’s an automated process so we don’t have anyone I can really talk to… so it’s just a waiting game for them to respond to us.
As a reminder you of course can now use Spotify via Chromecast built-in. Also when we add Spotify Connect it will not allow a full feature set, Spotify connect is just a subset of their features (Spotify defines the feature set, not us) but will allow the ability to save channels / line ups etc as presets and to skip and pause stations directly on the radio. And anything saved on the presets can be used for an alarm.
Note that Spotify connect requires a paid Spotify premium account. So if you prefer to only use the free service then you will have to continue to use Spotify via Chromecast built-in as that feature will not go away.
We have just released a New version of software (146.49) with the following changes:
- UI: Moved Equalizer feature off home screen and moved into radio settings and replaced it with the alarm allowing quicker access to modifying all alarms (of course you can still modify 1 alarm when the radio is in standby by pressing the home button).
- UI: Add year to date string on Now playing, standby, and alternative inactive display screens
- UI: Added music note and folder icons for items in your my stuff menu and various locations
- UI: Fix disappearing stop soft key in certain circumstances
- UI: Remove icon when showing "empty" string in empty folder
- UI: Remove unnecessary additional level to select a Firmware Update
- UI: Show New SW version pop up message after successful background update.
- UI: Show folder icon for all folders and new note icon if the selection is a playing item ( podcast,station etc)
- Alarm: Fix various snooze bugs
- Bluetooth: Fixed playback when switching to sleep timer mode
- Defconfig: Fixed black square on screen in upper left hand corner in various situations (mainly after factory reset)
- Firmware Update: Fix silent update mechanism (your radio is not currently upgrading in the background when new software is released. It is supposed to due to our agreement with google. This function is now fixed.)
- Buffering: fixed a buffer bug that caused periodic 1 second audio stopping on networks or stations with congestion.. however, we still have more fixes in this area that we are working on.
- Wi-Fi: When you scan for networks now the network with the strongest signal will be the first selection.
- Stations search: removed the need to select a genre as the last step when doing a search by location
- Web portal: Added ability to modify URL’s/ names for My podcast/ My streams etc.
- Bluetooth: improved reconnect to the last Bluetooth device function
- Remote apps: updated iphone and Android apps : general bug fixes and support for some older operating systems that were not available on the initial release.
To see what is in all past releases please see: https://support.gracedigital.com/hc/en-us. You can also see the modified manual showing the above and other new features here: https://support.gracedigital.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001382274-Mondo-user-guide
That manual shows information about Spotify but we are still not approved yet, so ignore that section but I wanted to get the manual updated for the pending release.
Your radio has new software available. See the changes below.
Also, I previously explained the software upgrade procedure improperly (I misunderstood the new process). Since we have some software in our radio from Google they require a certain software upgrade process. The radio will look at our upgrade servers once a day between 10am – 5pm (your local time). It will look for an upgrade only when the radio is not playing music. So if you are playing music all day long every day the radio will never update. But if you listen to it 5 days a week, it will upgrade on one of the other 2 days.
However, the auto update mechanism broke in the last version of software (we will fix it in the next release later this week or early next week), so at this point in time you need to go into the radio setting menu and select firmware update (we do have a way to force the update that we will do to the general population, but I thought I would let you all know that you can just go update your radio now as the force update could look like the radio is crashing to someone not knowing what’s happening, so we will wait a week or so before we do a force update to get everyone on the latest version).
Version: 146.41 changes:
- Internet Radio: When using our iPhone and Android apps the Country and states were not showing up correctly. You can now search for stations on the app.
- Internet Radio /and Web portal: Implement saving RSS feeds on the web site and new MyStuff folder handling (more on this below)
- Podcasts: Enable prev / next for podcast service
- Podcasts: Fix playing from podcasts search results
- UI: Abbreviate day and month in date string ( longer months aren’t showing up correctly on the display). However, the guys made a mistake when they changed it. We will modify it again in the next release to add the year.
- UI: Rename battery saving menu
- Changed the menu item names:
1) Power Management to:
Increase Battery Life
2) Network Standby Power Mode to:
Turn Wi-Fi off in Standby
For those who have a battery in their Mondo+
The “Increase battery Life’ option will turn your Wi-Fi stick off when you go into standby (only if you have a battery installed). Also when you go into standby you should turn the large select knob to the left to turn the display off as that uses a ton of battery. Note when you turn the radio back on it will not quickly play the last stations like it does normally. It will first have to reconnect to Wi-Fi, so it’s a much slower start up. If you want the radio to go into a real deep sleep when not using it and not plugged into power you can press and hold the power button for about 5-6 seconds until the display turns off .. then you can leave the M+ not plugged in for many days with very little battery drain.
New My stuff option on the portal
We created a new menu tree on the portal. This basic tree implementation will allow us to add the ability ( in a couple weeks) to drag and drop items between folders and for end users to create sub folders (we are still debugging this so had to turn this feature off for this release).
Also you can now click on the add audiosear.ch podcast button on the portal and save a podcast show. Then when you go into your audiosear.ch folder on your radio you will see each show that you saved, then when you click on the show it will come back and show you all the resulting episodes. We are still working on optimizing this functionality as its not working perfectly on all the different 10’s of thousands of shows but we will fine tune that over the weeks to come.
One item we will be adding shortly too is we will change the icons the radio shows in my stuff. It will show a folder icon if it’s a folder to delineate between folder’s and stations ( this will be very usefull once we turn on the ability to create custom folders).
In other news
We were able to fix the final Spotify software bug. So we will redo the Spotify self-test next week (our head of DA and testing has been in Asia) . Spotify already has our radios so we just need to send them the results later this week then they will schedule a test window for the Mondo+ to go through their internal testing. (probably still 6-8 weeks before approved)
As a reminder Spotify Connect requires Spotify premium (pay service) . Also Spotify connect is similar to Chromecast which you can already use to cast Spotify (free or premium). The main differences for Spotify Connect and Chromecast (from my point of view) is that with Spotify connect you can save Spotify playlists and stations to a preset.
Since the user can save Spotify Connect to presets that also means you can use them for alarms.
You can also skip songs and go back to previous songs but you were able to do that with Chromecast as well already.
We continue to review options with Radionomy to get these stations back up.
We just loaded version 146.40 to our upgrade servers. Your radio will check the servers later today and twice daily until you upgrade or if you want to upgrade now check the ‘Firmware Update’ item in the radio settings menu.
- Alarm: Immediately stop audio playback when snoozing an alarm ( it used to stop after 5 seconds while waiting for snooze confirmation)
- There was also a fix that may resolve the snooze timer bug. We could not reproduce the bug in the lab but we fixed a few related items so hopefully this fixed the bug.
- Kernel: Update WiFi driver: some people experienced stations stopping playing and network connection lost. We tested this on many networks and it seems to be fixed. However, if you see that bug still please let us know the details so we can further improve. Very very few people have this issue, but when you do it’s certainly annoying…. It’s usually in very noisy Wi-Fi environments ( condos / apartments).
- History folder: Now the most recent stations played will be at the top of your history folder which stores the last 100 stations.
- History folder: Set UPnP and files to not be tracked in history, now it is only Music services in the history folder
- Presets: In both the Android and iPhone app you will see a ‘Preset folder’. We will enhance the functionality later but this is a quick fix to see/ play your presets from the app. You do NOT need to update the apps, the radio is pushing the folder to the app. We know some people want the ability to save / change / modify presets from the app and it’s on the list. For now you will have to change the presets on the radio and the apps will be updated.
- Standby to play via presets: We added the ability for the radio to wake up out of standby by pressing a preset. Press a preset and the radio will wake up and play the preset.
- UI: Add second dim level for standby clock screen ( now both the level 1 and level 2 have black backgrounds instead of the standard blue background and charcoal color font to minimize the brightness while sleeping.).
- UI: Remove ignoring first button press while in inactive state ( in the last software version you had to press a button twice when in standby mode. First button woke it up from standby and 2nd press did the action. We deleted the two button press function so now it works like previous software versions.
The priorities are:
- working on updating myradiosplus.gracedigital.com web portal to allow customers to create custom folders as well the ability for the radio to play RSS feeds and save audiosear.ch podcast shows on the web portal and the radio will be able to see the resulting show episodes on the radio.
- Additional optimization for those experiencing periodic network issues
- Further review of the snooze bug / alarm issues.
- We contacted Radionomy and were able to get permission for the Mondo+ to listen to their stations again. However, this will take 3-4 weeks to resolve.
- Many other smaller house cleaning item - some items will be noticeable by users but others in the background just to make a better radio.
- Playing of some portable hard drives is not working.
As always, we are not sure what will be in the next release as we don’t know until we see what fixes / enhancements pass testing.
Below is the list of changes in software build version #146.39 On your radio home menu select ‘radio settings’ then ‘update firmware’).
The fixes/changes that are in this build are:
- Changed the font color on the date and alarm clock icon on the standby screen for back light setting 1. We also made everything a tad darker.
- Deleted the Year on the standby screen and instead added the Day of the week
- Inactivity timer is now 35 seconds
- Fixed a few metadata bugs
- Added an optional Now Playing screen (you can now display the large clock and date instead of album artwork as a default inactivity screen)
- Added variable buffer capability (in settings menu)– for those people who have significant amount of audio buffering because of network congestion, distance from your radio, or just if a radio stations streaming server is slow or congested. You can now set the amount of buffer that the radio saves at the beginning of a session. The only reason NOT to add more buffer time is if you want a quick start time for playing music. Since adding more buffer time is done when you select a station it will delay the playback time by 2-5 seconds depending on how much buffer you add.
- Updated networking software to fix a few fringe networking issues.
- Bluetooth – we deleted the time bar for Bluetooth because there is a known bug where it does not sync with the actual song progression. The time bar will be added back later when that bug is fixed.
- Fixed bug for when you were on the now playing screen and pressed the now playing button a second time that it added additional duplicate information on the core Now playing screen
- Added more stations to our database.
Upcoming stuff for the server side of things (myradios.gracedigital.com) in the middle of August
- We will merge the old database with our new database so we will have the best of both worlds for the Mondo+ (finally got approval to do so). This will add about 3,000 stations to our database. Note that this is a one-time merge. Grace will continue to add and update stations our new Mondo+ database and Qualcomm will continue to update their database. We do not have the rights to make universal changes to both databases.
- Ability to customize folder names in the My stuff folder
- Ability to save RSS feeds used for podcast and shows in the podcast folder
7-13-17 we have just released a new version of software on your radios. When your radio updates it will now use version 146.36.
The enhancements made on this release are:
- Enable preset usage during Sleep Timer Mode
- Added a History function. You can find this in both the Internet radio folder and music services folder ( SXM is missing from the history folder but we will add that in soon)
- Screen time out function change to 30 seconds (increased from 15 seconds)
- Added the Date to the standby screen and Now Playing screen
- Added a Master power off selection in the settings menu for those who use the Mondo+ battery pack. You can use this feature to reset your radio as well if required. Additionally this is a good feature to use if you have a battery installed and aren’t playing the radio but you don’t plug it into the wall. It will save significant battery life. (When the radio is just in normal standby mode it is still connected to Wi-Fi and the display is still on so it uses nearly the same amount of battery as when the radio is on and playing).
- Genre search – We deleted the requirement to select a state when searching for a particular station by genre.
We will continue to make improvements and bug fixes. However, please note that we do not publicly discuss what software features are in upcoming releases as final software QA testing may at the last minute add or subtract features being currently released.
146.33. The fixes added in this release are
- Finding Bluetooth. Some have identified this as an issue although most have it working now. We need to make a few more tweaks in the coming weeks but this upgrade optimizes the process and
- Adds the ability to connect to Bluetooth when not connected to a Wi-Fi connection (bug)
- Shows a disconnect message if you select disconnect
- Backlight display for inactive state. Now the inactivity display brightness (whatever you set it to) will be used after 10 seconds of not touching any buttons or using the remote control app. We will later in the week change this to 20 seconds but the software build was already completed before the change was requested.
- Fix for local station search
- We were showing some duplicate stations, that was fixed.