AMP Version 1.26 Released

Just a quick note to mention that I’ve today released a new version of AMP: version 1.26.

The new version contains a couple of new features, rather than any bug-fixes (for once!). Firstly, I’ve increased the maximum time-bar for a composer to 999 hours (up from the previous maximum of just 9 hours). That’s approximately 42 days, so by running amp ––timebar=999, you are effectively saying ‘don’t randomly select a composer for a new play that has previously had anything played within the past month or so’. Added as a new feature largely because I kept being offered Beethoven things to play and there’s only so much Beethoven a man can take one month at a time!

The second (very minor) new feature is that the ––stats option has been tweaked: not only is it a little more attractively formatted, but it also displays an entirely new statistic, of recordings in your collection that have hitherto not been played even once:

In my case, though my collection consists of 12,636 recordings (defined as being a composition being performed by a distinguishing artist and recorded in a particular year: so the whole of Solti’s Beethoven 5th is one recording, as his entire Götterdämmerung is a second), an astonishing 10,967 of them haven’t been played yet. Actually, that’s not bad: I’ve only been using AMP since 9th January 2021, so to have played 1,669 (13%) of them in just 5 months is pretty good going, I think. But it definitely shows that a large music collection can contain ‘dark corners’ that are seldom played, even when recordings are being selected for play at random. To address that issue, I’ll be running AMP with the ––unplayed works switch for a few months, I think!

Incidentally, don’t try to determine any one of those statistics by reference to the others: they’re entirely independent of each other. That is, you cannot take ‘Recordings total’, subtract the ‘Recordings not yet played’ and derive the ‘Play Count’. The Play Count is literally just an ever-incrementing count of the number of recordings I’ve played… but if I play the same André Previn recording of Holst’s Planet Suite 185 times in succession, that will increment the Play Count by 185 but reduce the ‘not yet played’ count only by 1. In other words, repeat plays of the same recording count as plays, but second and subsequent plays don’t improve the ‘not yet played’ statistic any.

Whilst I’m here, I’ll mention in passing that I’ve tidied up the website a bit. The ‘almost live’ listing of what music I’ve listened to (it updates 4 times an hour, so isn’t truly live, but it’s close enough) now links to the composers of the works involved. The aim is, eventually, to have the composer pages be little potted biographies and points of interest about each composer individually. But with 540 composers in the collection at the moment, writing 540 potted biographies is a bit of a tall order! Give me a couple of years and I might have every composer page contain something meaningful: right now, not many of them do. Click on a composer name in the music listing and take pot-luck, for now, basically! What used to be called ‘A List of Composers’ has similarly been renamed to be ‘A Collection of Composers‘, has been paginated by initial letter of the composers’ first names, and each item in the list of composers is now a link to the same per-composer pages that the music listing gets you to. The top menu refers to the reworked list simply as ‘Music Collection’.

Handily, however, I have made sure that each composer page lists every play of their music I now undertake. At the time of writing, for example, you can see immediately that I’ve played something by Vagn Holmboe 8 times in the past 5 months -and that I played nothing by him in April or May 2021.

Not everyone will care to analyse their music listening habits like this… but I do, so I like the ability of AMP to make this sort of thing possible!