AMP Per-Cycle Pause

Today, I’m releasing yet another new version of AMP (version 1.28 if you’re keeping count).

It’s main reason for existence is that it contains a new feature: you have been able to get AMP to do multiple ‘cycles’ of play since the very earliest versions, by setting the ––selections=x run-time parameter. Replace ‘x’ with 2, for example, and AMP will randomly select one piece of music to play, play it from start to finish, then pick a second piece of music and play it from start to finish, and only then stop playing anything further.

The new feature is the addition of a ––pause=y run-time parameter, where y is the number of seconds you want AMP to pause between play cycles. In other words, run amp by typing the command:

amp --selections=3 --pause=30

…and AMP will play something, wait 30 seconds, play something else, wait 30 seconds and then, finally, play a third piece of music. Previously, without this parameter, AMP would have played the three pieces one after the other without noticeable gaps… which, I discovered by accident this week, can result in quite jarring musical transitions: Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand followed by a Sonata for Virginal is a transition you probably don’t want to happen immediately, I can tell you! Instead, it seemed a much better idea to let the symphony finish, give your ears a rest for a few seconds at least, and only then move on 🙂

If you don’t specify a pause, the default is now a 10 second moment of silence between plays. Any positive integer can be supplied as the pause length, however: there’s no upper bound. Try supplying a non-number, a negative number or a number containing decimals, however, and the default of 10 seconds kicks in. Zero seconds is valid, though: it means AMP will play continuously, without noticeable pause, as it has always done hitherto.

As ever, run amp ––checkver to get the latest version installed automatically (with a single prompt for a sudo password to allow it to complete).

In passing, I’ll mention that this is, guaranteed!, the last-ever update to AMP. I know this for sure, because I am already working on AMP’s nicer-named replacement, though when it will be ready for release, I can’t yet say. Watch this space!

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