Negation…

Another day, another new version of the AMP Player!

This one is a fairly minor release to version 1.10, bringing with it a new command line switch: ––negate and some miscellaneous and fairly minor bug-fixes.

Sounds exotic, perhaps, but it simply reverses the sense of the other four ‘override switches’ I added to AMP back in version 1.09.

In other words, if you’re happy saying ––genre=opera to make AMP randomly play an opera, ––genre=opera ––negate will make it play anything but opera.

Similarly, where ––composer=britten means ‘play me something composed by Britten’, ––composer=britten ––negate means ‘play me something not composed by Britten’. And ––performer=karajan ––negate means ‘play me something where Karajan isn’t the conductor’ and (lastly) ––comment=callas ––negate means ‘play me something where Callas is not mentioned in the COMMENT tag’.

See if you can see why I might have wanted to invent this new switch! Here are my music plays since January 9th, measuring the number of times each genre of music was randomly selected:

You will note that my opera plays are about equal with my keyboard music plays, and considerably smaller than my orchestral and choral music: I don’t play opera very often, basically.

But now lets check this:

That’s basically the same data set, but now it’s counting the number of minutes of each type of music I’ve listened to since early January, not the count of the number of times a genre has been played. Spot the problem: the trouble with operas is that they go on for hours! So, although AMP is not randomly selecting them very often to play, when it does so, they play for many, many minutes. Thus, in this second graph, you will note that opera towers over every other form of music I have, in terms of how long I’ve had to listen to it!

Hence I wanted a way to tell AMP (for a while at least): go pick something to play at random… but please don’t let it be an opera!

I probably won’t use the new capability very often, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

I should conclude by mentioning that I’m wondering about giving AMP the ability to select something to play with a ––minduration (and maybe a ––maxduration), for those times when it’s 10.30pm at night and you’ve got a quick 20 minutes to go before it’s time to turn in for the night. That will be AMP 1.11, if I decide to go ahead with it. But after that, I can’t see that AMP really needs many more features. So I hope to declare it ‘feature complete’ before too long and the pace of new releases can ease off a bit!

The new version is downloadable from the usual place. Download to $HOME/Downloads, then just:

chmod +x $HOME/Downloads/amp.sh
sudo mv $HOME/Downloads/amp.sh /usr/bin

If prompted at the point of the final move as to whether you want to over-write the existing file, the answer is (obviously, I hope!) ‘yes’. Happy negation.

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