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Flic button as page turner
#1
Hi,

I have recently bought a Flic 2 button, see https://flic.io
I sing in a choir and recently more and more singers are using tablets to read their scores. For iPad users (who use ForScore), the Flic 2 button works fine (one click = turn forward, two clicks = turn backwards). During a live performance, when the tablet is attached to a stand, sometimes we are performing some king of choreography (dance move etc.), and for that the Flic button is ideal as compared to a pedal. My question is if anyone has succeeded in getting the Flic button to work as a pageturner? If not, is it because the integration in MobileSheets is missing?
I am sure that this feature would be very useful for a lot of users. 

maz
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#2
The Flic 2 button requires applications to integrate with the Flic SDK. The Flic buttons communicate in a different way than bluetooth pedals. That is why the Flic buttons don't currently work with MobileSheets - I have not integrated the Flic SDK and added all of the processing necessary to support them. This is on my list of things to do, I just haven't had time for it yet. I haven't really received very many requests for this, so it hasn't been particularly high on the priority list, but if more users request it, I can try to add support sooner.

Mike
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#3
Wow. Pricey! You know that the cheap Bluetooth remote buttons for cameras which you can buy for about 2-3 € work fine with Android and W10 MSP?
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#4
(02-02-2020, 04:38 AM)maz Wrote: Hi,

I have recently bought a Flic 2 button, see https://flic.io
I sing in a choir and recently more and more singers are using tablets to read their scores. For iPad users (who use ForScore), the Flic 2 button works fine (one click = turn forward, two clicks = turn backwards). During a live performance, when the tablet is attached to a stand, sometimes we are performing some king of choreography (dance move etc.), and for that the Flic button is ideal as compared to a pedal. My question is if anyone has succeeded in getting the Flic button to work as a pageturner? If not, is it because the integration in MobileSheets is missing?
I am sure that this feature would be very useful for a lot of users. 

maz

I've been using presentation remotes such as this one for years, they work perfectly fine at least with Windows :

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32828101461.html

T
hey are much more reliable than Bluetooth, and very cheap too. I could even link several remotes to the same receiver (it's a little USB dongle), which makes it very easy to connect different instruments to the same tablet.
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#5
For sure I would appreciate basic support for flic button, i.e. only the processing from the flic app and without configuration in MSP. 
@BRX: No I did not know that. Do you have an example for such a button? How are the commands processed?
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#6
I don't think you can just have processing from the flic app without configuration in MSP. I have to write code to receive the broadcasts from the flic app and respond to them. The user has to be able to specify what action to take when the flic button is pressed. If i'm wrong, please link to the documentation on this so I can research it further.

Thanks,
Mike
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#7
I don't think that any configuration in MSP would be necessary. Please have a look at this video. The entire connection/pairing with the button is done within the flic app. Then you can define (also from within the flic app) what action should be  done when the paired button is pressed once or twice. For this, the respective app will have to support flic. For further information please see this page. Thank you. 

Best regards,
maz
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#8
I was talking of the cheap BT remote controls you can see for instance here

https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?cat...te+control

But I can only talk about the ones I purchased (it was a batch of cheap ones from China) which work fine with my Android Z4 and my Windows Surface Pro. 
At first I ordered one from a shop in Germany (probably manufacture in China as well) which didn't work well. But at that price I was willing to test more and the ones I got after that work perfectly for me.

I'm using only the simple one with two buttons. I just saw on the URL above that there are similar controls with more buttons now which interest me.

You connect the control just as you would with a BT pedal. I think you should test one or a few of these cheap controls before you commit to the flic button which essentially does the same with MSP.
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#9
Maz,

Have you actually dug into the Android SDK that is linked from the page you linked to? Read this:

Why do I need the Flic app? The fliclib works with the Flic app so that you don't have to worry about handling the Flics, scanning the Flics, or monitoring the communication with them. All of that is taken care of by the Flic app.
  1. Download and install the Flic app. It's free and you can find it in the Google Play Store.

  2. Connect all your Flics to the app.

  3. That's it! Now you will be able to use the Flic Grabber and get access to the Flics inside your own app. Don't worry, we'll go through how this is done soon.
It then proceeds to explain all of the code that has to be written in the Android application to interface with the Flic button. You do not get anything for free here. You can't just use the flic app to communicate with other apps with no code changes and no configuration. Additionally, something needs to be put in place to determine what action to take when a single button press is detected versus a double. In fact, their code doesn't even do that for you:


Code:
@Override
  public void onButtonUpOrDown(Context context, FlicButton button, boolean wasQueued, int timeDiff, boolean isUp, boolean isDown) {
    if (isUp) {
      // Code for button up event here
    } else {
      // Code for button down event here
    }
  }

That means you have to track when the down is pressed, and then up, and then see if another down/up is triggered within a certain time interval. So no, I can't just add MobileSheetsPro support for the Flic button without having to change code as I described to you in our email conversation. I'll post that again here:

Quote:That isn't the whole picture though. What is missing are things that would need to be done such as:

1) Building the UI components to initiate the connection with the Flic button and allow the user to pick which flic button they are communicating with. If I need to support connections to multiple buttons at once, this would require more work in terms of managing multiple connections and letting the user map each button to different actions.
2) Either modifying the existing pedal actions settings screen to allow the flic button to be used for that, or creating an entirely new settings screen to allow the flic buttons to be mapped to actions (the latter makes more sense). What may be necessary is a dropdown or toggle on the pedal settings screen that lets the user choose whether they are using a standard bluetooth pedal or a flic button. If multiple flic buttons are supported, another dropdown needs to be listed to determine which button is mapped to which actions. This also facilitates the need to save this information in a new format somewhere.
3) Code to automatically reconnect to buttons (if possible) so the user doesn't always have to manually initiate the connection to the buttons every time they start MobileSheetsPro.
4) I need to actually get flic buttons to test with and sign up with flic to one of their allowed "friends"

It looks like flic only supports Android and iOS, which will probably be a disappointment to Windows 10 users, but there isn't much I can do about that. As you can see, adding support for the flic buttons is not a simple task that will take 30 minutes. It's going to take a fair number of hours for all of the development and testing.

Also take a look at this: https://partners.flic.io/partners/develo...w-it-works

You, as the developer, have to specify what actions are supported through the Flic button. This is done through code changes and as part of the registration (I assume).

Mike
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#10
Hi Mike,

sorry I didn't intend to play down the efforts that are necessary to support flic buttons, of course I am aware that some code changes will be required to enable that MSP can interface with the flic app. I was just a bit "surprised" at first when you mentioned UI and configuration changes because during the setup on my iPad Pro with Forscore, there was nothing to be done in the Forscore app. The procedure, if I remember correctly, was like this:
- download the flic app and create a flic user account
- log in to the flic app
- turn on bluetooth, scan for new buttons and press the button to be paired
- After pairing, a button icon will appear and will react to button presses (single, double or long) optically and accoustically.
- Then, also within the flic app, you can configure the button actions. The app provides a list of supported apps, you take your choice [e.g. Forscore], and then you get a list of supported actions [e.g. next page, previous page, ...] and which button press you would like to assign to this action [e.g. single press]. You can also choose if a sound should be played when a button is pressed.
- Save.

That worked fine for me, however it only works with the flic app running in the background.
There are 2 version of the flic button: Version 1 only worked with the flic app running whereas with the new version 2, native support is possible without the flic app. However native support is not a must IMHO.

Matthias
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#11
Matthias,

I see what you are saying. In creating the list of supported actions through the registration with the Flic app, that eliminates the need to have that list in MobileSheetsPro itself. I wonder how Flic handles translations into other languages? I'll have to dig into that a little. If there are no UI changes required in MobileSheetsPro, then I can certainly slip this into the next update. Would you like to help me test a build with Flic support? I don't currently have a button to test with, so this would let us quickly see if it works. 

Thanks,
Mike

UPDATE:
I'm trying to apply for a partnership with Flic, but their partnership application page just returns an error after submitting. I've contacted them about this, so I hope it can be resolved quickly.
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#12
Mike,

exactly, you don't need the action list in MSP! Of course I will help you with testing Smile, if there is anything I can do (besides from programming) just let me know. 

Thanks a lot,
Matthias
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#13
Flic got back to me, indicated that I should just write all the code myself to interface with the buttons and not rely on the Flic app. Even if I do rely on the Flic app, I still have to write the code to list what actions are supported by the Flic button for single press, double press, etc. That code is not something that is part of the Flic app itself. The Flic app returns to your app in order for the user to choose an action (according to their documentation and the person that responded). So there is no easy implementation for this unfortunately.

The Flic support person did indicate that the Flic 2 firmware is being updated in the Spring to support MIDI messages. MobileSheetsPro supports triggering actions through MIDI messages, so that may be an option that doesn't require any additional changes. I imagine it will be MIDI over bluetooth though, so we will have to see how well it works on Android.

Mike

UPDATE:
One more piece of information - Flic partnered with forScore a long time ago and added native support for them in the Flic app. They aren't doing this anymore, so my only option is to use the SDK.
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