Niente Version 3.0 - Now Released

As promised (rather longer ago than I'd like to admit!), Niente Version 3.0 has finally been released. It's my 'FLAC checker' tool, just as Giocoso is my FLAC player and Semplice is my FLAC tagger.

It's a very substantial re-working of the Version 2 code, so upgrading is non-trivial and you'd basically better commit to completely re-working your crontabs to schedule it, and so on. The principle new feature is that it now runs on MacOS and Windows.

The other significant new feature is a much streamlined scanning and verification process, along with new checks for things like presence of album art; quality of album art; possibility of adding a volume boost to the music without distorting it, and so on. Basically, my somewhat long-in-the-tooth article on the Axioms of Classical Music Tagging has been turned into a tool which can now enforce those axioms. Or, at least, tell you when you're breaking them. Niente never actually enforces anything: it merely reports on rule and consistency 'violations'. Even if you don't agree with a single one of my axioms, however, Niente might still prove useful in being able to detect internal 'bit-rot', or physical corruption, of the audio stream within a FLAC file.

To obtain it from scratch, type the commands:

bash abc_installer --niente

To upgrade from an earlier version of Niente to the latest one (bearing in mind that the huge changes between versions 2.x and 3.0 mean a lot of work changing the way you invoke and schedule the program), just type:

sudo sed -i 's/PROGNAME="Niente"/PROGNAME="niente"/g' /usr/bin/
niente --checkver

That first command looks a bit nasty but is unfortunately required because, by mishap and idiocy, I accidentally included the program name with an initial capital letter in Version 2's files, and the presence of "PROGNAME=Niente" in the shell script will prevent an upgrade to version 3. The sed command swaps it for some text reading "PROGNAME=niente", where the program name is (correctly) all in lower-case. That then allows the upgrade to happen normally.

The new user manual is available to consult at: You will note from the manual -and, indeed, from this very post you're reading- that squirrels have made an apperance or 406. I like squirrels and have only recently started feeding them (with peanuts that appear to follow Einstein's theory of Special Relativity: they disappear at the speed of light). They are my new animal mascot and I'm sticking with them... Anyway, my software offerings can now be summarised as 'The Squirrel, the Raccoon and the Cat', and I'm comfortable with that 🙂 .

As mentioned, I've tested it running on macOS from Catalina to Monterey (not Ventura), Windows 10 and 11, and 20-odd Linux distros, so you'd be pretty unlucky not to be able to get it working for you (unless you're a FreeBSD user, I guess 😉 ). The only major no-show is OpenSuse, since it ships with an ancient version of Bash that I can't use effectively. Rolling versions of OpenSuse, such as Tumbleweed, are fine however, as they ship with much more modern Bash versions that I can work with just fine. I guess FreeBSD users are going to be disappointed, too: but I hear the three of them regularly meet in local hostelries to drown their sorrows, so I expect they'll get over it.... (Just joking: I like FreeBSD. I just can't write shell scripts for it!)

Feel free to get in touch to tell me how you get on, anyway. In the meantime, I commend the new software to you and hope it helps you gain confidence in the integrity, physical and logical, of your ever-growing digital classical music collection.