Customize media

Media belongs to a suite of system apps (for example, Dialer and App Launcher). These apps share common styles and assets defined at different levels in the AOSP structure.

  • framework/base. All Android base styles are defined here.
  • packages/services/Car/car_product/overlay. Contains build-time overlays that modify standard framework/base resources to produce the AOSP look-and-feel of Android Automotive OS. OEMs may opt to exclude this overlay and use their own.
  • packages/apps/Car/libs/car-ui-lib. This library defines AAOS components and resources common to system apps and unbundled apps designed for customization. For details, see the Car UI Library Integration Guide.
  • packages/apps/Car/libs/car_app_common. Common colors and styles shared between Automotive system apps. OEMs can use overlays to customize these elements (similar to car_product/overlay described above).
  • packages/apps/Car/libs/car_media_common. Contains elements shared between Media and other media UIs. For example, the Home screen Media widget.
  • packages/apps/Car/Media. All system apps use their own theme, which extends from Theme.CarUi, as defined in car-ui-lib.

Android Automotive AOSP provides two presentations of media.

  • Media UI. Enables users to sign in, browse content, and use detailed playback controls.
  • Home screen media widget. Enables the use of core media playback control features to the Home screen.

Media user interface

This figure describes the structure of the Media UI:

Media UI

Figure 1. Media user interface.

For details about UX and UI guidelines as well as the spatial structure of the different components of Media, see Spatial model.

AppBarView: Toolbar

The Media UI toolbar is a component shared with other system apps, such as Dialer and Radio. To learn how to customize the toolbar, see the Car UI Library Integration Guide.

Media maximum artwork size

To notify media apps of the maximum size of the artwork to fetch, you can overlay media_items_bitmap_max_size_px in your system. To do so, send EXTRA_MEDIA_ART_SIZE_HINT_PIXELS as a root hint. As a result, you'll save bandwidth when downloading images. To learn more, see MediaConstants on

Browse fragment

Browse consists primarily of a Car UI RecyclerView, which handles scrollbar position, arrows, and margins and can browse items of different types, such as headers, grid items, icon grid items, list items, and icon list items.

Minimized playback controls

When the browse fragment is being displayed, and when a media item is selected, a minimized playback controls view is displayed. The following figure illustrates the structure of this view:

Minimized playback controls

Figure 2. Minimized playback controls.

Browse list

Developers can use a set of style hint (see Apply Content Styles) to customize the presentation of media browse content. OEMs must adhere to these styles, adjusting presentation to their design system.

Supported item types and the respective layouts are located as follows:

Playback screen

To display this screen, expand the minimized playback controls:

  • Currently playing media item medata (including title and subtitle).
  • Complete playback controls.
  • Playback queue (used to display recently played or next items to play).

Components of the Playback screen are identified in the figures below.

Playback screen

Figure 3. Playback screen.

The Playback screen doesn’t share the toolbar with the rest of the app. Instead, this screen individually manages the elements on the top of the screen.

Audio formatting attribution

When apps set the KEY_CONTENT_FORMAT_TINTABLE_LARGE_ICON_URI or the KEY_CONTENT_FORMAT_TINTABLE_SMALL_ICON_URI in the extras of the currently playing media item. OEMs must render the appropriate vector drawable as indicated by the URI.

The large version of the Content Format icon must be used on the main playback view. On secondary views, such as a smaller playback bar, OEMs can use the smaller version of the Content Format icon. The ContentFormatView renders the optimal icon based on its logoSize attribute.

When apps set KEY_SUBTITLE_LINK_MEDIA_ID or KEY_DESCRIPTION_LINK_MEDIA_ID, OEMs must render the subtitle or description in a way that suggests they can be tapped, and then open the Browse view to show the linked media item upon a user tap.

Playback controls

The Playback screen includes an extended set of playback controls, organized in control rows. The secondary row (displayed below as the row on the top) is only displayed if the space on the first row is not enough to display all the actions returned by the media app from PlaybackStateCompat#getActions().

Playback controls

Figure 4. Playback controls.

OEMs can customize the icons of standard actions, but they must present custom action icons as they are provided by the media apps.

Home screen media widget

This widget is implemented as a fragment in car-media-common. This fragment includes a minimized version of the Playback screen described above. All the same customization rules and capabilities apply.

Home screen media widget

Figure 5. Home screen media widget.

The App Selector button displayed above uses the switch functionality described in Media Source Switching User Flow.

To use the current Media Source icon for the App Selector button, overlay the use_media_source_logo_for_app_selector flag defined in platform/packages/apps/Car/libs/car-media-common/res/values/bools.xml and set it to true. With this change, the Media Source icon on the opposite side of the app toolbar will be hidden. The customization also applies to the Media Center app and the reference Radio app.

Media App Selection button

Figure 6. Media App Selection button.

Play, Pause, and Stop button layout

The Play/Pause/Stop button layout can be customized for "Now playing" and the minimized playback controls view. Both layouts are defined in packages/apps/Car/libs/car-media-common/res/layout/.

To customize button layouts, apply build-time overlays to play_pause_stop_button_layout.xml and minimized_play_pause_stop_button_layout.xml.

Highlight the current item in the play queue

The state of the current play queue item is set to selected, so it can be customized using state resources such as color state lists (see Color state list resource ) and state list drawables (see Drawable resources). To apply the necessary styling changes, you can override the queue item layout packages/apps/Car/Media/res/layout/queue_list_item.xml, or a separate

You can also show an icon next to the current play queue item:

Figure 7. Highlighted current item in play queue.