I had this issue on the first Android app I’m writing entirely in Kotlin and it drove me crazy!

The setup

I’m implementing Audio Focus in a podcast app. When a user wants to play an episode of the podcast, we need to request the audio focus passing by an implementation of OnAudioChangeListener (because we could lose the audio focus while playing if the user uses another app which also requests audio focus):

private fun requestAudioFocus(): Boolean {
Log.d(TAG, "requestAudioFocus() called")
val focusRequest: Int = audioManager.requestAudioFocus(onAudioFocusChange,
AudioManager.STREAM_MUSIC,
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_GAIN)
return focusRequest == AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_REQUEST_GRANTED
}

In this listener we want to react to different states:

when (focusChange) {
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_GAIN -> TODO("resume playing")
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS -> TODO("abandon focus and stop playing")
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS_TRANSIENT -> TODO("pause but keep focus")
}

When the episode is done playing or the user actively pauses the episode he is listening to, we need to abandon the audio focus:

private fun abandonAudioFocus(): Boolean {
Log.d(TAG, "abandonAudioFocus() called")
val focusRequest: Int = audioManager.abandonAudioFocus(onAudioFocusChange)
return focusRequest == AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_REQUEST_GRANTED
}

The Path to Madness

As avid of new stuff as I am I decided to implement the listener, onAudioFocusChange, as a lambda function. I don’t remember if it was suggested by the IntelliJ IDE or not, but anyway it was declared as the following:

private lateinit var onAudioFocusChange: (focusChange: Int) -> Unit

In onCreate() this variable is assigned a lambda function:

onAudioFocusChange = { focusChange: Int ->
Log.d(TAG, "In onAudioFocusChange focus changed to = $focusChange")
when (focusChange) {
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_GAIN -> TODO("resume playing")
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS -> TODO("abandon focus and stop playing")
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS_TRANSIENT -> TODO("pause but keep focus")
}
}

All worked fine as we can request the audio focus which would pause other apps (like Spotify) and play our episode.

Abandoning the audio focus seemed to work too as we get AUDIOFOCUS_REQUEST_GRANTED as a result when calling abandonAudioFocus on AudioManager.

11-04 16:08:14.610 D/MainActivity: requestAudioFocus() called
11-04 16:08:14.618 D/AudioManager: requestAudioFocus status : 1
11-04 16:08:14.619 D/MainActivity: granted = true
11-04 16:09:34.519 D/MainActivity: abandonAudioFocus() called
11-04 16:09:34.521 D/MainActivity: granted = true

But as soon as we want to request again the audio focus we are notified through the listener we immediately lost the focus by receiving AUDIO_FOCUS_LOSS:

11-04 16:17:38.307 D/MainActivity: requestAudioFocus() called
11-04 16:17:38.312 D/AudioManager: requestAudioFocus status : 1
11-04 16:17:38.312 D/MainActivity: granted = true
11-04 16:17:38.321 D/AudioManager: AudioManager dispatching onAudioFocusChange(-1)
// for MainActivityKt$sam$OnAudioFocusChangeListener$4186f324$828aa1f
11-04 16:17:38.322 D/MainActivity: In onAudioFocusChange focus changed to = -1

Why are we notified of losing the audio focus after requesting it?

What the hell is going on?

Behind the scene

The best tool to help us understand the issue is the Kotlin Bytecode viewer!

Kotlin Bytecode viewer

Decompile button

Let’s have a look at what is assigned to our onAudioFocusChange listener:

this.onAudioFocusChange = (Function1)null.INSTANCE;

We can see that lambdas are translated to generic FunctionN classes where N is the number of parameters. Its implementation is hidden here and we’ll need another tool to see exactly what is assigned but that’s another story.

Let’s check how OnAudioFocusChangeListener is really implemented:

final class MainActivityKt$sam$OnAudioFocusChangeListener$4186f324 implements OnAudioFocusChangeListener {
// $FF: synthetic field
private final Function1 function;

MainActivityKt$sam$OnAudioFocusChangeListener$4186f324(Function1 var1) {
this.function = var1;
}

// $FF: synthetic method
public final void onAudioFocusChange(int focusChange) {
Intrinsics.checkExpressionValueIsNotNull(this.function.invoke(Integer.valueOf(focusChange)), "invoke(...)");
}
}

And now let’s see how it is used. The requestAudioFocus function:

private final boolean requestAudioFocus() {
Log.d(Companion.getTAG(), "requestAudioFocus() called");
(...)
if(var10001 != null) {
Object var2 = var10001;
var10001 = new MainActivityKt$sam$OnAudioFocusChangeListener$4186f324((Function1)var2);
}

int focusRequest = var10000.requestAudioFocus((OnAudioFocusChangeListener)var10001, 3, 1);
Log.d(Companion.getTAG(), "granted = " + (focusRequest == 1));
return focusRequest == 1;
}

The abandonAudioFocus function:

private final boolean abandonAudioFocus() {
Log.d(Companion.getTAG(), "abandonAudioFocus() called");
(...)
if(var10001 != null) {
Object var2 = var10001;
var10001 = new MainActivityKt$sam$OnAudioFocusChangeListener$4186f324((Function1)var2);
}

int focusRequest = var10000.abandonAudioFocus((OnAudioFocusChangeListener)var10001);
Log.d(Companion.getTAG(), "granted = " + (focusRequest == 1));
return focusRequest == 1;
}

You probably noticed the problematic line in both functions:

var10001 = new MainActivityKt$sam$OnAudioFocusChangeListener$4186f324((Function1)var2);

What really happens is that our lambda / Function1 class is initialized in onCreate() but every time we pass it as a SAM Interface to a function it gets wrapped in a new instance of a class implementing our listener interface meaning two instances of the listener are created and the AudioManager API cannot remove on abandonAudioFocus() the listener previously created and passed to the first call of requestAudioFocus() !!! As the original listener is never removed, it makes sense we get notified with AUDIO_FOCUS_LOSS on the first instance of our listener.

The right way

Listeners need to stay anonymous inner classes, so here’s the right way to declare it:

private lateinit var onAudioFocusChange: AudioManager.OnAudioFocusChangeListener
onAudioFocusChange = object : AudioManager.OnAudioFocusChangeListener {
override fun onAudioFocusChange(focusChange: Int) {
Log.d(TAG, "In onAudioFocusChange (${this.toString().substringAfterLast("@")}), focus changed to = $focusChange")
when (focusChange) {
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_GAIN -> TODO("resume playing")
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS -> TODO("abandon focus and stop playing")
AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS_TRANSIENT -> TODO("pause but keep focus")
}
}
}

Now the same instance class implementing OnAudioChangeListener is referenced by our onAudioFocusChange variable and is passed correctly to both functions, requestAudioFocus and abandonAudioFocus on AudioManager. Yay!

The code example

You can check the generated bytecode and see the problem yourself in this Github repository.

Conclusion

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility! Don’t use lambdas instead of anonymous inner classes for listeners. I learned an important lesson here and I hope you learned from it too.

Cheers!

Postscriptum Update

As mentioned in the comments (thank you Pavlo!) we actually can declare a lambda that implements our interface:

onAudioFocusChange = AudioManager.OnAudioFocusChangeListener { focusChange: Int ->
Log.d(TAG, "In onAudioFocusChange focus changed to = $focusChange")
// do stuff
}

The whole explanation deserved its own blogpost! !