Giocoso - A New Randomising FLAC Player

Today, I'm announcing the initial release of Giocoso, the randomising FLAC player for Linux, which is a replacement for my old AMP program. Giocoso is built on much the same code-base as AMP, but with quite a few changes. The most significant differences between Giocoso and AMP are, probably:

  • AMP scrobbled by default and had to be told not to; Giocoso does not scrobble by default, and has to be told to do so if it's required.
  • AMP scrobbling required the installation and running of a separate 'amp-scrobbler' script. Giocoso uses no external functionality to scrobble: it's all built-in to the main program.
  • AMP had acquired a bunch of 'statistical overrides' (such as --levelup, --xlevelup and --xxlevelup); those are now gone from Giocoso.
  • AMP could only apply --minduration and --maxduration filters after selecting something to play. This could result in a significant pause before stumbling across something randomly selected that happened to have the correct duration. Giocoso now knows the durations of pieces from the get-go, so duration-based selections are done successfully within fractions of a second.
  • AMP only displayed album art; when Giocoso displays album art, it adds a 'caption' to it, with its text derived from the ALBUM tag of the music being played: the album art can therefore now visually provide you with all information about what, precisely, is being played.

There are lots of other differences, detailed in Appendix A of Giocoso's User Manual, which is available for download on Giocoso's new product page.

It's important to note that Giocoso is compatible with AMP, by which I mean that it is possible to export the record of PLAYS already made by AMP and have those imported into Giocoso. Changing your music player shouldn't mean you lose the history of your plays over time ...and Giocoso ensures there's no need for that to happen. This website's own display of what music I'm listening to is coming from a Giocoso database ...and it still manages to show plays I made in January 2021, when Giocoso hadn't even been thought of, proving that what was played in AMP back then has been pulled into Giocoso now, perfectly well. See Section 11.5 of the User Manual for some more specifics of how to transition from AMP to Giocoso.

Giocoso as a musical tempo marking, as you'll already know, means 'lively, humorous, joyful' or, particularly, 'playful'. Being playful about playing classical music is what this website is really all about, so it seemed an appropriate name for my principal music player. The use of equally playful party cats as the program's new mascot therefore seemed equally appropriate: you've already seen Joe Playful in the top-left of this post. Expect plenty more party cats to appear on all pages associated with Giocoso going forward (and in the User Manual!).

From today, then, you are encouraged to install Giocoso (it can happily co-exist with AMP until you are comfortable using it) by issuing three simple commands:

bash abc_installer --giocoso

Simultaneously, the AMP product is withdrawn and can no longer be downloaded or installed in an automatic fashion, though it will continue to function just fine if you've already installed it. The software archive page will still list it and the old versions can still be downloaded manually if you really insisted on it. But there will be no more bug fixes or enhancements to it: it's a dead product and you're well-advised to leave it be. Giocoso works better, and is where all future enhancements will show up.