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Mondo+and Encore+ What’s in the latest Software upgrade

12-1-17

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.

11-22-17

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.

 

11-13-17

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.   

10-16-17

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.

Iphone/Android APP:

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).

10-1-17

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.  

9-12-17

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 update

 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 update

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.

8-30-17

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.

8-16-17

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

Spotify

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.

Radionomy

We continue to review options with Radionomy to get these stations back up.

 7-31-17

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.  

7-21-17 

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
    1. Adds the ability to connect to Bluetooth when not connected to a Wi-Fi connection (bug)
    2. 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.

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