Plugins and third party support for media players comes out almost every other day to enhance the overall media experience. Some plugins add better library options, some provide hotkeys, while others bring support for a wide range of audio and video codecs etc. Most advance users rely on third party extensions to extend the native functionality of the media player. For instance, lyrics plugin for Windows Media Player and Winamp lets users automatically download lyrics of the songs and embed them into tracks’ ID3 tags. Similarly, tag organization add-ins are programmed to download the album art and other missing tag information, like year of release, artist name, original track number, album name etc. A few months ago, we covered Flutter for Mac, an application that allows users to control iTunes and Spotify using hand gestures. It has recently been ported to Windows, with support for additional media players, including Windows Media Player and Winamp. As of now, it can only play and pause the media file, but the developer will add more gestures for track navigation and changing playlist shuffle mode in the next iterations. Flutter requires nothing except a webcam to detect and read the hand gestures. When it reads the pre-defined (play/pause) hand gesture, it immediately plays/pauses the current track and displays an on-screen indicator.
It is highly advisable to use a high end webcam, so that it can instantly read the hand movement and play/pause the media file. Other than the major advantage of not having to click the play/pause button or use a hotkey combination, Flutter works even if the player window is inactive. Of course, you need to load a playlist or track into the media player before using the hand gesture function. As stated earlier, it sends a notification, indicating that track has been resumed or paused. Once the application is installed, load a track or playlist in the supported media player, and check whether the webcam is properly configured or not. Once everything is in place, launch the application and use the Stop Hand Gesture to play/pause the current track.
If for some reasons, it fails to respond, close the media player, disconnect your webcam and then connect it again. Once plugged in, launch the media player and then use the stop hand gesture to check if it pauses/resumes the playback. The application works on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Both 32-bit and 64-bit OS editions are supported. Testing was carried out on Windows 7 64-bit.