This page details how you can use Google Music to supplement your Zombies, Run! running experience, without having to download your music collection to your device. This page has been created using the Android version of the ZR app and this information here does not work with the iOS version. There may be an equivalent tool or app for iOS, but I have no intention of checking or writing up an article on such an app.
I am NOT affiliated or connected to Bubblesoft (the gmusicfs developer), or Six to Start (the Zombie’s, Run! developers), this article is simply written by a fan for the fans. If you have any problems with the setup detailed below, drop me a comment so that others can see as well. If it is an app issue, then I’ll direct you to the relevant people. If it’s a problem I have experienced before (and I’ve used this setup for a long while), then I’ll assist if I can. Should many people be getting the same problem, I’ll add it to the article.
As of 18th July 2014, this document will no longer be updated. For more details and background, see this post.
NOTE: As of 16th April 2014, Zombies, Run! 3 is released. The screenshots (bar one) in this article were taken using Android Jelly Bean, Zombies, Run! 2 (NOT 3) and gmusicfs 1.0.12. As the expression goes – your mileage may vary.
If using gmusicfs with Zombies, Run! 3 please ensure you read the Caveats at the bottom of this article.
Here is an example of my “before” installation. You can see that the playlists available inside the ZR app and in Apollo are only a few: “Running” (which is my music collection specifically for runs, and they are local MP3s stored on my SD card), and “Favourites” (which are tracks automatically queued onto this playlist when I mark them as favorites)
Now, start the application. You will be prompted for superuser permissions (allow gmusicfs to use superuser) — your prompt maybe different depending on which superuser interface you are using (I’m using SuperSU, but it’s recommended you use the standard Superuser. Using non-standard Superuser often causes timing problems due to one superuser app having to approve the other.)
You’ll be given a brief welcome screen. Click on OK, and you’ll see the main gmusicfs menu. Ignore the Beta message – I was testing a Beta version for the developer.
Before you click anything on the main window, I strongly recommend you change a few settings. Click on the Settings tab and scroll down. Change “Append Mode” to “Album Name + Track Title”, and tick “Start on Boot”.
Changing these settings means that gmusicfs will start up as soon as your homescreen starts, and the Append option means that when your music is listed or played, it will have “[gfs]” tagged after it. Here’s an example from one of my runs:
Now that you’ve set the settings, you can commence the sync. First, signin using your Google Account by clicking on the “Account” button. Depending on your configuration of your device, Google might ask you to authorise the app to use your account. If so, say yes.
gmusicfs will now connect, download your album collection’s metadata, then build the albums and set Android’s media engine to scan your collection. This will take a long time if you have a lot of music. For me, it took over 12 hours to sync 20,000+ tracks. It is at this stage where you will find out whether or not gmusicfs will work for you. The app doesn’t work with all ROMs and all kernels. Some kernels do not like gmusicfs and will generate an error like this (screenshot taken using Android KitKat and Unorom-based kernel):
Once the albums have been built, gmusicfs will download your playlists, mount the directory and start scanning (you’ll see the icon in the taskbar). Any tracks that fail or are unable to be scanned will be indicated after the scan completed (V1.0.13+ only)
Once the synchronisation has finished, you can go into the Zombies, Run! app. When you access the available playlists, you’ll see both your local playlists, AND your Google Music Playlists. You can select any of your Google Music playlists now, and start the run.
IMPORTANT: For gmusicfs to work correctly, you must REMOUNT the library after starting the app. Usually the app does this by itself, but I usually prefer to do it manually. If you don’t do it manually, you may end up with 2-3 ZR audio clips playing back to back until gmusicfs realises and auto-remounts. The reason is ZR THINKS it is playing a track, but gmusicfs does not give it the data properly, leading ZR to think it’s a zero second length track, so it moves onto the next audio clip. To remount manually, once the ZR app starts the first audio, hold the HOME key and switch to gmusicfs. Click on “Remount”, and wait for the remount to complete. Then, press the HOME key again, and switch back to ZR, and start running. If all goes well, the run should start and you should start hearing your music being streamed from your Google Music collection. Android KitKat seems to do this fine by itself without manual intervention.