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Wear Media3 Backend library

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The media3-backend module implements many of the suggested approaches at These enforce the best practices that will make you app work well for users on a range of Wear OS devices.

These build on top of the Media3 player featuring ExoPlayer which is optimised for Wear Playback, and is the standard playback engine for Wear OS media apps.

All functionality is demonstrated in the media-sample app, and as such is not described here with extensive code samples.

Bluetooth Headphone Connections

Any extended playback such as music, podcasts, or radio should only use a connected bluetooth speaker. See for principles applying to Media and Wear OS apps generally.

When not connected, the default Watch Speaker will be used and so this must be actively avoided.

Horologist provides the PlaybackRules abstraction that allows you to intercept playback requests through your UI, a system media Tile, pressing a bluetooth headphone, or other services such as assistant.

public object Normal : PlaybackRules {
     * Can the given item be played with it's given state.
    override suspend fun canPlayItem(mediaItem: MediaItem): Boolean = true

     * Can Media be played with the given audio target.
    override fun canPlayWithOutput(audioOutput: AudioOutput): Boolean =
        audioOutput is AudioOutput.BluetoothHeadset

The WearConfiguredPlayer wraps the ExoPlayer to avoid starting playback and also pause immediately if the headset becomes disconnected. It will prompt the user to connect a headset at this point.

The AudioOutputSelector and default implementation BluetoothSettingsOutputSelector are used to prompt the user to connect a Bluetooth headset and then continue playback once connected.

public interface AudioOutputSelector {
     * Change from the current audio output, according to some sensible logic,
     * and return when either the user has selected a new audio output or returning null
     * if timed out.
    public suspend fun selectNewOutput(currentAudioOutput: AudioOutput): AudioOutput?

Audio Offload

In line with, Audio Offload allows your app to playback audio while in the background without waking up. This dramatically improves the users battery life, as well as decreasing the occurrences of Audio Underruns.

The AudioOffloadManager configures and controls Audio Offload, enabling sleeping while your app is in the background and disabling while in the foreground.


The media3-backend module interacts with ExoPlayer instance, but many events may be required for error handling, logging or metrics. Your can register your own Player.Listener with the ExoPlayer instance, but to receive generally useful events you can implement ErrorReporter to receive events and report with Android Log or write to a database.

Other things in the Horologist media libs will report events, and they all consistently use ErrorReporter to allow you to understand all activity in your app.

public interface ErrorReporter {
    public fun logMessage(
        message: String,
        category: Category = Category.Unknown,
        level: Level = Level.Info


repositories {

dependencies {
    implementation "<version>"