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VisualMR V1
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Questions about VisualMR V1

Questions and answers related to VisualMR V2 can be found here.


VisualMR V1.x Answers

Installation: .Net Framework Version

VisualMR is designed for Microsoft .Net V1.x. Because of its large installed basis you often don't need to worry about installing it. For example every modern PocketPC comes preinstalled with .Net V1.x in ROM. Also many Windows PCs already have .Net installed. If in doubt simply try installing VisualMR: On a PC its installer will check whether the needed version is available.

On PocketPCs the installer cannot check this. But if VisualMR doesn't start (see next chapter) it's time to install .Net V1 (can be installed after VisualMR).

In the mean time Microsoft has released .Net 3 but for now I'll stick with V1.x. Please note that .Net V2/V3 does not contain .Net V1.x. Instead the concept from Microsoft is to install both versions side by side and every application will only see the .Net version it requires. This is espcially true for Vista which comes with .Net V2/V3: .Net V1 is designed to be installed on Vista, too!

Recommendations for buying a WindowsMobile device

Here are some general recommendations for buying a WindowsMobile device to run VisualMR on:

Regarding the right choice of a PocketPC for VisualMR I've also started a Roku forum thread

VisualMR does not start up (PocketPC)

If the application doesn't start and you get only a message stating that something is missing please ensure that the .Net Compact Framework is installed correctly (see requirement 3). While the latest PocketPCs come preinstalled with it you may need to install it yourself for older ones.

In case the .Net Framework is on your PocketPC but the application still does not run you probably have an old version of it. In this case please update the .Net Compact Framework, too.

To install the .Net Compact Framework just download CF 1.0 SP3 from Microsoft and start installation on your PC.

VisualMR does not start up (Windows PC)

If the application doesn't start and you get only a message stating that something is missing please ensure that the .Net Framework is installed correctly (see requirement 3)

To install the .Net Compact Framework just download it from Microsoft and start the installation.

Connection to SoundBridge failed

If 'Control SoundBridge' fails please ensure that your SoundBridge is running the latest firmware version. VisualMR needs at least a SoundBridge running firmware version V2.5.

To verify that the IP network is setup correctly, please open Internet Explorer on your (Pocket) PC that is running VisualMR. In IEs address field (URL) please enter the IP address as entered in VisualMR but with an "http://" header.

Example: The SoundBridge IP address is "", then enter "" as the address in IE.

Internet Explorer should not display the status page of your SoundBridge. If this isn't the case then something is wrong with your network setup.

Timeout Error

If VisualMR regularly reports timeout errors this is most likely due to slow responses from your music server. Note that sporadic timeouts are to be expected: this might happen due to an error in the music server and then VisualMR will stop waiting and reset the connection to ensure a clean restart which typically fixes this.

Often this is happens because the server computer is quite slow or there are a lot of songs in your library. Sometimes a bad implementation of the server software is to blame. In those cases checking the 'Slow Server' option (located in 'File' menu) should fix the problem.

In case this doesn't help please email me the exact error message and where it occurs. Additionally please tell me the version of VisualMR you are using (including PocketPC vs. Windows PC) and the version of the music server.

Browse Album/Artist/Genre/Playlists/Composers failed

If you always(!) receive an error message ('...probably empty or not supported...') when trying to browse by album, artist, playlists, genre or composer, than your current music library (server) does not support this feature directly. This typically is a problem with UPnP servers that are not searchable (including Rhapsody) and with the SoundBridge-provided internet radio.

Please note that some music servers issue the same error message sporadically. In this case just retry and only if the error persists the server does not support this command.

If connected to SoundBridge's Internet Radio only browsing the song queue is supported. Together with a UPnP music server additionally 'Browse Folders' is supported to access all of your tracks.

Note: Currently the Roku Control Protocol does not support detecting which server we are connected to. With future SoundBridge firmware versions I hope VisualMR will be able to adapt to the capabilities of the server automatically.

Browse Folders failed

If you always receive an error message ('...probably empty or not supported...') when selecting 'Browse Folders' than your current music library (server) does not support this feature directly.

Browsing by folder is a feature especially designed for UPnP-Servers. Others like iTunes usually do not support this. In this case please use browsing by album/artist/...

Note: Currently the Roku Control Protocol does not support detecting which server we are connected to. With future SoundBridge firmware versions I hope VisualMR will be able to adapt to the capabilities of the server automatically.

Context Menu: how to access all actions of VisualMR

The buttons below the list (in 'Browse XXX') provide access to the most commonly needed actions. A lot of additional functions are available in a menu that can be opened by pressing the '...' button at the right hand side.

This menu can also be opened as a context menu associated with the list box. Context menus are accessed differently on PCs and PocketPCs: On PCs simply click with the right mouse button on a list item while on PocketPCs you tap and hold on an item to open the context menu.

Important: Context menus are available starting with VisualMR V1.0. Older versions like V0.9.5 are designed to work with SoundBridge firmware V2.3/V2.4 and that firmware did not allow for manipulating the play queue. So for these older versions only those actions are available for which a button exists below the list.

'Auto Connect' sometimes not working

The 'Auto Connect' option is only checked when the application is started. This implies that VisualMR wasn't running at the time you tapped its icon (otherwise it would only be moved to the front).

Since the upper right closebox on PocketPCs does only 'minimizes' an application (but never shuts it down), 'auto connect' will not work if you launch VisualMR after using the closebox. Therefore I strongly recommend using 'File'/'Exit' on PocketPCs instead. This will also properly disconnect from your SoundBridge and will ensure that auto connect is working as expected.

About 'Cover Art' and Amazon

The cover can be retrieved from two different locations (and due to technical limitations not from the streamed song itself):

Since downloading the cover art from Amazon requires an internet connection and sending album and artist name to Amazon you must enable cover art download by selecting the Amazon server near to you using the 'File'/'Cover Art Download' option. Note that the server is also used to open the Amazon page if you click the artwork.

If you don't want cover art download be sure to select that, too - otherwise VisualMR will keep on asking you about it.

Independent from what you have selected for cover art download as described above, VisualMR will always look for an image in its local 'CoverArt' folder which is located next to the 'Skins' folder at the location where you have installed it (typically this is 'C:\Program Files\\VisualMR' for desktop PCs and '\Program Files\VisualMR' for Windows Mobile / PocketPCs).

At least for VisualMR's default skin (BlueGlass) images should be sized 160x160 since this is what Amazon typically sends and therefore the skin is optimized for this resolution. Otherwise the images are scaled which might reduce the display quality. Especially for VGA-PocketPCs a resolution of 320x320 would be great, too.

The image for the cover art must be named according to the artist/album of the song playing. VisualMR is looking for a variety of image names to address different needs. For details please see the ReadMe.txt file located in 'CoverArt' folder.

The lookup of images from a local folder enables you to override what Amazon is sending and is also a good way to provide artwork for radio stations (a few covers for radio stations already come with VisualMR)

'Cover Art' Trouble Shouting

If you don't see any cover art in VisualMR please at first make sure that you have read the description about cover art, above.

Of course you must have selected a layout in VisualMR that displays artwork. For the default skin (BlueGlass), the default layout does NOT contain any cover art. Therefore you must select 'Info' or 'Cover Art' from the 'File'/'Layout' menu (or switch the layouts using the small up/down double arrows at the right hand side.

If you don't want VisualMR to download artwork from Amazon you must place the artwork files into the local 'CoverArt' folder (again, as described above). VisualMR currently does not fetch the cover art directly from the streamed song.

If you have selected an Amazon-server for download and still don't see any cover make sure that your PC or PocketPC can connect to the internet using your web browser. Especially a WLAN connected PocketPCs might be configured in a way that only allows a connection to your local network and not to the internet. On a PC there is a small chance that a firewall is blocking the requests, although VisualMR is using the same access method/port as any web browser this is typically not an issue.

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