blob: 56ec90a8ad63d3ffe3aaf5e6ad9b1cdbc8ae6a5a [file] [log] [blame]
page.title=Providing Audio Playback for Auto
page.tags="auto", "car", "automotive", "audio"
page.metaDescription=Learn how to extend your audio apps for use in Android Auto devices.
<div id="tb-wrapper">
<div id="tb">
<h2>Dependencies and Prerequisites</h2>
<li>Android 5.0 (API level 21) or higher</li>
<h2>This class teaches you how to</h2>
<li><a href="#overview">Provide Audio Services</a></li>
<li><a href="#config_manifest">Configure Your Manifest</a></li>
<li><a href="#implement_browser">Build a Browser Service</a></li>
<li><a href="#implement_callback">Implement Play Controls</a></li>
<h2>Related Samples</h2>
<li><a href="{@docRoot}samples/MediaBrowserService/index.html">
<h2>See Also</h2>
<a href="{@docRoot}shareables/auto/AndroidAuto-audio-apps.pdf">
User Experience Guidelines: Audio Apps</a>
<li><a href="{@docRoot}training/managing-audio/index.html">Managing Audio
<li><a href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/media/exoplayer.html">ExoPlayer</a>
<a class="notice-developers-video wide"
<p>Devbytes: Android Auto Audio</p>
Drivers want to access their music and other audio content on the road. Audio books, podcasts,
sports commentary, and recorded talks can make a long trip educational, inspirational, and
enjoyable. The Android framework allows you to extend your audio app so users can listen to their
favorite tunes and audio content using a simpler, safer user interface.
Apps running on mobile devices with Android 5.0 or higher can provide audio services for
dashboard systems running Android Auto. By configuring your app with a few settings and
implementing a service for accessing music tracks, you can enable Auto devices to discover your
app and provide a browse and playback interface for your app's audio content.
This class assumes that you have built an app that plays audio through an Android device's
integrated speakers or connected headphones. It describes how to extend your app to allow Auto
devices to browse your content listings and play it through a car stereo system.
<h2 id="overview">Provide Audio Services</h2>
Audio apps do not directly control a car dashboard device that runs Android Auto. When the user
connects an Android mobile device into a dashboard system, Android Auto discovers your app through
manifest entries that indicate what audio services your app can provide. The dashboard system
displays a launcher icon for your app as a music provider and the user can choose to use your
app's services. If the user launches your app, the Auto device queries your app to see what
content is available, displays your content items to the user, and sends requests to your app to
control playback with actions such as play, pause, or skip track.
<p>To enable your app to provide audio content for Auto devices, you need to:
<li>Configure your app manifest to do the following:</li>
<li>Declare that your app can provide audio content for Auto devices.</li>
<li>Define a service that provides a browsable list of your audio tracks.</li>
<li>Build a service that provides audio track listing information extending
<li>Register a {@link} object and implement the
{@link} object to enable playback controls.</li>
<h2 id="config_manifest">Configure Your Manifest</h2>
When a user plugs an Android mobile device into a dashboard device running Auto, the system
requests a list of installed apps that include <a href=
"{@docRoot}guide/topics/manifest/manifest-intro.html">app manifest</a> entries to indicate they
support services for Auto devices and how to access them. This section describes how to configure
your app manifest to indicate your app supports audio services for Auto devices, and allow
dashboard system to connect with your app.
<h3 id="manifest-car-app">Declare Auto audio support</h3>
You indicate that your app supports cars capabilities using the following manifest entry:
&lt;meta-data android:name=""
This manifest entry refers to a secondary XML file, where you declare what Auto capabilities your
app supports. For an app that supports audio for cars, add an XML file to the {@code res/xml/}
resources directory as {@code automotive_app_desc.xml}, with the following content:
&lt;uses name="media"/&gt;
For more information about declaring capabilities for Auto devices, see <a href=
"{@docRoot}training/auto/start/index.html#auto-metadata">Getting Started with Auto</a>.
<h3 id="manifest-service">Declare your media browser service</h3>
Auto devices expect to connect to a service in order to browse audio track
listings. You declare this service in your manifest to allow the dashboard system to discover
this service and connect to your app.
<p>The following code example shows how to declare this listing browser service in your manifest:</p>
&lt;service android:name="<em>.MyMediaBrowserService</em>"
<strong>&lt;action android:name=</strong>
The service your app provides for browsing audio tracks must extend the
{@link}. The implementation of this service is discussed
in the <a href="#implement_browser">Build a Browser Service</a> section.
<p class="note">
<strong>Note:</strong> Other clients can also contact your app's browser service aside from Auto
devices. These media clients might be other apps on a user's mobile device, or they might be other
remote clients.
<h3 id="manifest-icon">Specify a notification icon</h3>
The Auto user interface shows notifications about your audio app to the user during the course
of operation. For example, if the user has a navigation app running, and one song finishes
and a new song starts, the Auto device shows the user a notification to indicate the change with
an icon from your app. You can specify an icon that is used to represent your app for these
notifications using the following manifest declaration:
&lt;meta-data android:name=""
android:resource="&#64;drawable/ic_notification" /&gt;
<p class="note"><strong>Note:</strong> The icon you provide should have transparency enabled, so the
icon's background gets filled in with the app's primary color.</p>
<h2 id="implement_browser">Build a Browser Service</h2>
<p>Auto devices interact with your app by contacting its implementation of a
{@link}, which
you declare in your app manifest. This service allows Auto devices to find out what content your app
provides. Connected Auto devices can also query your app's media browser service to contact the
{@link} provided by your app, which handles content playback
<p>You create a media browser service by extending the
{@link} class.
Connected Auto devices can contact your service to do the following:</p>
<li>Browse your app's content hierarchy, in order to present a menu to the
<li>Get the token for your app's {@link}
object, in order to control audio playback</li>
<h3 id="browser_workflow">Media browser service workflow</h3>
<li>When your app's audio services are requested by a user through a connected Auto device, the
dashboard system contacts your app's media browser service.
In your implementation of the {@link
onCreate()} method, you must create and register a {@link} object and its callback object.</li>
<li>The Auto device calls the browser service's {@link onGetRoot()} method to get the top node of
your content hierarchy. The node retrieved by this call is not used as a menu item, it is only used
to retrieve its child nodes, which are subsequently displayed as the top menu items.
<li>Auto invokes the {@link
onLoadChildren()} method to get the children of the root node, and uses this information to
present a menu to the user.</li>
<li>If the user selects a submenu, Auto invokes
onLoadChildren()} again to retrieve the child nodes of the selected menu item.</li>
<li>If the user begins playback, Auto invokes the appropriate media session
callback method to perform that action. For more information, see the section about how to
<a href="#implement_callback">Implement Playback Controls</a>. </li>
<h3 id="build_hierarchy">Building your content hierarchy</h3>
<p>Auto devices acting as audio clients call your app's {@link} to find out what content you have
available. You need to implement two methods in your browser service to support
this: {@link
onGetRoot()} and {@link
<p>Each node in your content hierarchy is represented by a {@link} object. Each of these objects is
identified by a unique ID string. The client treats these ID strings as
opaque tokens. When a client wants to browse to a submenu, or play a content
item, it passes the ID token. Your app is responsible for associating the ID
token with the appropriate menu node or content item.</p>
<p class="note"><strong>Note:</strong> You should consider providing different content
hierarchies depending on what client is making the query. In particular, Auto
applications have strict limits on how large a menu they can display. This is
intended to prevent distracting the driver, and to make it easy for the driver
to operate the app via voice commands. For more information on the Auto user
experience restrictions, see the <a href="{@docRoot}shareables/auto/AndroidAuto-audio-apps.pdf">
Auto Audio Apps</a> guidelines.</p>
<p>Your implementation of {@link
onGetRoot()} returns information about the root node of the menu
hierarchy. This root node is the parent of the top items your browse hierarchy.
The method is passed information about the calling client. You can use this
information to decide if the client should have access to your content at all.
For example, if you want to limit your app's content to a list of approved
clients, you can compare the passed {@code clientPackageName} to your whitelist.
If the caller isn't an approved package, you can return null to deny access to
your content.</p>
<p>A typical implementation of {@link onGetRoot()} might
look like this:</p>
public BrowserRoot onGetRoot(String clientPackageName, int clientUid,
Bundle rootHints) {
// To ensure you are not allowing any arbitrary app to browse your app's
// contents, you need to check the origin:
if (!PackageValidator.isCallerAllowed(this, clientPackageName, clientUid)) {
// If the request comes from an untrusted package, return null.
// No further calls will be made to other media browsing methods.
LogHelper.w(TAG, "OnGetRoot: IGNORING request from untrusted package "
+ clientPackageName);
return null;
if (ANDROID_AUTO_PACKAGE_NAME.equals(clientPackageName)) {
// Optional: if your app needs to adapt ads, music library or anything
// else that needs to run differently when connected to the car, this
// is where you should handle it.
return new BrowserRoot(MEDIA_ID_ROOT, null);
The Auto device client builds the top-level menu by calling {@link onLoadChildren()}
with the root node object and getting it's children. The client builds
submenus by calling the same method with other child nodes. The following
example code shows a simple implementation of {@link onLoadChildren()} method:
public void onLoadChildren(final String parentMediaId,
final Result&lt;List&lt;MediaItem&gt;&gt; result) {
// Assume for example that the music catalog is already loaded/cached.
List&lt;MediaBrowser.MediaItem&gt; mediaItems = new ArrayList&lt;&gt;();
// Check if this is the root menu:
if (MEDIA_BROWSER_ROOT.equals(parentMediaId)) {
// build the MediaItem objects for the top level,
// and put them in the &lt;result&gt; list
} else {
// examine the passed parentMediaId to see which submenu we're at,
// and put the children of that menu in the &lt;result&gt; list
<h2 id="implement_callback">Enable Playback Control</h2>
Auto devices use {@link} objects to pass playback control
commands to an app that is providing audio services. Your audio app must create an instance of
this object to pass to the dashboard device and implement callback methods to enable remote
control of audio playback.
<h3 id="registering_mediasession">Register a media session</h3>
<p>An Auto device using your app as audio service needs to obtain a {@link} object from your app. The Auto device uses the session object
to send playback commands requested by the Auto user back to your app.</p>
<p>When you initialize your browser service, you register that session object with your {@link} by calling the {@link setSessionToken()} method. This step
allows clients such as an Auto device to retrieve that object by calling your browser service's
{@link getSessionToken()} method.</p>
<p>In your browser service's {@link onCreate()} method,
create a {@link}. You can then query
the {@link} to get its token, and register
the token with your browser service:</p>
public void onCreate() {
// Start a new MediaSession
MediaSession mSession = new MediaSession(this, "session tag");
// Set a callback object to handle play control requests, which
// implements MediaSession.Callback
mSession.setCallback(new MyMediaSessionCallback());
When you create the media session object, you set a callback object that is used to handle
playback control requests. You create this callback object by providing an implementation of the
{@link} class for your app. The next section
discusses how to implement this object.
<h3 id="playback-commands">Implement play commands</h3>
<p>When an Auto device requests playback of an audio track from your app, it uses the
{@link} class from your app's
{@link} object, which it obtained from your app's
media browse service. When an Auto user wants to play content or control content playback,
such as pausing play or skipping to the next track, Auto invokes one
of the callback object's methods.</p>
<p>To handle content playback, your app must extend the abstract {@link} class and implement the methods
that your app supports. The most important callback methods are as follows:</p>
<dt>{@link onPlay()}</dt>
<dd>Invoked if the user chooses play without choosing a specific item. Your
app should play its default content. If playback was paused with
{@link onPause()}, your
app should resume playback.</dd>
<dd>Invoked when the user chooses to play a specific item. The method is passed
the item's media ID, which you assigned to the item in the content
<dd>Invoked when the user chooses to play from a search query. The app should
make an appropriate choice based on the passed search string.</dd>
<dt>{@link onPause()}</dt>
<dd>Pause playback.</dd>
<dd>Skip to the next item.</dd>
<dd>Skip to the previous item.</dd>
<dt>{@link onStop()}</dt>
<dd>Stop playback.</dd>
<p>Your app should override these methods to provide any desired functionality.
In some cases you might not implement a method if it is not supported by your app.
For example, if your app plays a live stream (such as a sports
broadcast), the skip to next function might not make sense. In that case, you
could simply use the default implementation of
<p>When your app receives a request to play content, it should play audio the same way it
would in a non-Auto situation (as if the user was listening through a device speaker
or connected headphones). The audio content is automatically sent to the dashboard system
to be played over the car's speakers.</p>
<p>For more information about playing audio content, see
<a href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/media/mediaplayer.html">Media Playback</a>,
<a href="{@docRoot}training/managing-audio/index.html">Managing Audio Playback</a>, and
<a href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/media/exoplayer.html">ExoPlayer</a>.</p>