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! [...] 

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Progress…

May has been a month of progress on something I made a New Year’s resolution to do (but then put off for four months!): catalogue the enormous pile of ripped CD files I’ve built up over the past year or so. Click on the graph at the left and you’ll see how I’ve done: I started the month with 485.1GB of music files sitting in the ‘temporary’ area of my hard disk (which has been pretty permanent for at least 2 years now!), in the form of 10,007 individual FLAC files. As of this afternoon, I’m down to 13.6GB and just 625 files. Most of that is a ‘collected works of Messiaen’ box set, which will take ages to catalogue and tag-up properly, because French is slow to type, what with all its accents (but maybe not as slow as German. And definitely way faster than Czech!)

Undertaking all this cataloguing has meant using my own CCDT tagging program, of course. As a result, I decided to make a couple of little changes to CCDT. The important one is a new run-time switch, called ––namereplace. Run CCDT with that in the launching command and CCDT changes the way it handles music files that already have a track title tag. [...] 

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tiny…

Yeah, I know I promised last time no more tinkering with AMP and the next release would be called version 2.

But version 1.22 is out anyway, representing a tiny, tiny, puny little bug-fix! [...] 

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AMP: Are we there yet?

I am aware that as new AMP feature follows new AMP feature, it can feel like a never-ending ride to who-knows-where, prompting the ‘Oh God, not another one!’ reaction, as well as the ‘Will it never end?’ one -as well as the one alluded to in the thumbnail at the right!

For the record, I think we are closing in on a feature-complete AMP that needs no major bug-fixes nor has use for substantial new pieces of functionality. [...] 

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CAO: A Bug Fix

A quick mention that CAO (“Composition-At-Once”) has been updated to fix a mildly serious bug.

CAO turns standalone FLACs into single-file ‘superFLACs’ with an embedded cuesheet, so you still know within the one big file where all the separate tracks are meant to start and finish. CAO can also use that same information to split a superFLAC apart back into its constituent single-file FLACs. It’s an important design requirement of CAO, in other words, that it should always be completely reversible: what it joins together, it should be able to split apart later, should the user so desire. [...] 

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Another round of AMP enhancements…

Let’s start with a warning: this is quite a long post and covers quite a lot of ground! I don’t normally ‘section up’ my posts, but I will on this occasion, to try to make things clearer. So, this time we have:

  • Two new override switches for AMP
  • The removal of a switch
  • The fixing of quite a nasty bug
  • The introduction of a new composition-specific selection switch
  • An increase to the number of play ‘selections’ you’re allowed

Taking each of those in turn, therefore… [...] 

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Hi-Res Audio – Part 56

I hate to keep banging on about hi-res audio formats (especially when I am not keen on them myself), but now that AUAC can do DSF as well as ISO conversions (see my last post), some interesting things have come out of the woodwork that needed tackling. It’s also the case that as lockdown finally eases, this will likely draw to a close a period of time in which I obsess about software and not a lot else… so, it’s probably best to get these things out of the way whilst there’s not a lot else to be doing!

First off is the question of why AUAC treats SACD ISOs differently from SACD DSFs. In other words, when you say auac -i=iso, you have to specify -o=hires if you want high resolution FLAC files extracted from the source SACD ISO (otherwise you get standard resolution ones)… but, if you say auac -i=dsf, you don’t (you’ll get hi-res ones by default). [...] 

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Hi-Res Audio Software – Part 3 : CAO

A short follow-up on the last post.

I mentioned that all my software scripts were now fully updated and capable of working with hi-res audio files… except that CAO, whilst perfectly happy merging per-track hi-res FLACs into single composition-at-once hi-res FLACs was unable to reverse the process (whereas, for standard CD-audio resolution FLACs, the processes are completely reversible in either direction). [...] 

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Hi-Res Audio Software – Part 2

To re-cap: I’m not a fan of hi-res audio (i.e., anything with sampling rates and bit-depth greater than standard CD audio) myself, but I recognise that other people are, and for them my music management/playing software tools could usefully be modified to work with hi-res FLAC files. Accordingly, I have added the ability to play hi-res FLACs to AMP (version 1.19 and above). Additionally, I adjusted AUAC (version 2.05 and above) so that it could convert an SACD ISO to a hi-res FLAC, or convert a hi-res FLAC to a standard-res one.

Today, I bring the equivalent hi-res functionality to all my other tools. [...] 

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Colour Perception and Sorting

This is yet another story about AMP (my ever-evolving music player) being updated. This one, however, has a subtle twist that most of you probably won’t care about, let alone make use of.

It’s all to do with colour. In all my software, I try to use just four colours in a consistent way: (1) Terminal Default Foreground; (2) Bright Red; (3) Bright Yellow; and (4) Bright Blue. The terminal default will depend on what colour scheme you’ve configured your terminal to use. Commonly, as in the screenshot on the left, it’s bright green for me and my desktops. It’s used to display fairly ‘static informational’ text: things like the program name, the data labels and so on. Bright Red is used to display error or out-of-condition messages or alerts to program behaviours. Bright yellow is used to display user-input or fairly static information derived from user input (such as the folder path/name from which you’re currently playing music). Finally, Bright Blue is used to display fairly dynamic text derived from user input (the name of the database you’re using, for example, or any override switches you’ve specified that affects what music will be selected for play). I may not always be entirely consistent with the way I use my colours, but that’s the general scheme I try to use and stick to, anyway! [...] 

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Tweaks and Twiddles

Another round of software tweaks and twiddles -mostly minor, some a little more significant.

First, AMP has been bumped a couple of notches to 1.16. It’s mostly to do with a few colour tweaks, but also an annoying bug dealing with distros that don’t have the ‘bc’ utility installed by default.  Those should all now work fine (so that’s OpenSuse, Endeavour OS, Debian, Arch and Raspbian). [...] 

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