As I mentioned a couple of posts back, I recently re-installed Manjaro on a new small form factor Lenovo PC. All has been running well, except that in the last couple of days I noticed that Giocoso had developed a strange habit of not displaying "accented characters" properly: that is, Giocoso suddenly didn't seem able to display letters with their correct diacritic marks, such as é, ê, ß, ö, ç and so on.
For example, this is what Giocoso displayed this morning: [...]
Not that it makes much difference in the great scheme of things, but just in case you use a VPN service that has servers in either Russia or Belarus: I've blocked visitors from both those countries from accessing this website, until further notice.
Of course, any Russian or Belarusian citizen will be able to VPN their way around such a block, fairly trivially, in their turn... but maybe every little helps. [...]
Well, it seems a bit superfluous to release a slightly-modified version of Giocoso on the day Russia decided to invade Ukraine, on zero rational, reasonable pretext.
But I'm going to do it anyway, albeit briefly: version 1.10 is out, with a new --autocolor (or --autocolour) option. This simply applies the Monopoly™ colour combinations mentioned in the post announcing version 1.09 in a sequential manner, depending on what day of the week it is. If it's a Monday, you'll get Old Kent Road colours; if it's a Tuesday, it'll be the light blues of the Angel Islington; Wednesdays will be Pall Mall purple; Thursdays will be Vine Street Orange; Fridays the scarlet of the Strand; and Saturdays will be the bright yellows of Piccadilly. Finally, on Sundays, you'll get the rich green of Bond Street. All the colours occur in sequence, as though you were traveling around the Monopoly™ board progressively. Unfortunately, because Monopoly™ has 8 colour sets and there are only 7 days in a week, the Park Lane/Mayfair colours would never ordinarily be used by the autocolor option, but I've added an extra bit of calculation: if it's the first day of a month, regardless of what day of the week it is, those Mayfair colours will be used anyway. [...]
Four months in, and for some unknown reason, my Minisforum UM250 running Kubuntu decided to go all graphical-glitchy on me, as it had previously done in Manjaro and Arch. It then seemed to get better after a while, before going all wonky once more. Currently, it's in an 'OK' phase, but who knows how long that will last! I assume some software got updated somewhere along the line -maybe a driver of some sort- and this introduced instabilities where there were none before. But, frankly, at this point I don't care any more: the Minisforum is destined to be retired from desktop duties and instead will be translated to the loft, where it can run something 'server-like' that doesn't require a GUI nor day-to-day interaction with it. I haven't thought what, precisely, it might end up doing, but I'm sure I'll think of something before too long!
It's a shame (not least, because it wasn't cheap!), but I can't be having my daily driver desktop doing random things at random times. [...]
Another month, another little update to Giocoso.
This time, the version number is bumped to 1.09 because I've found that picking appropriate colours for the album art caption bar is harder than it should be! That is to say, when Giocoso starts playing a new piece of music, if album art is being displayed, it will try to display the composer and composition name in a coloured bar underneath the actual album art embedded in the FLAC file being played. [...]
To recap the story so far: I organise my music on disk in a Composer/Genre/Composition hierarchy. I sometimes play music via the Emby Media Server. Emby does not, however, really support a Composer/Genre/Composition hierarchy, tending to go directly from Composer to Composition. Fortunately, if you use Folders view, Emby will mirror your physical layout of files and folders on disk exactly. But -and this is the point we reached in the last post- Composer artwork you may have applied to Emby's Artist View doesn't display in the Folders view... but, if you arrange for JPGs of each composer to be present in each composer folder, named precisely the same as the folder, it will display composer artwork in Folders view automatically.
This gets us 90% of the way to a usable Emby interface -but, unfortunately, it leaves us with some fairly ugly display screens to wade through on the way to finding a particular piece of music to play. [...]
I began this mini-series by reiterating the way I catalogue my music. Fundamentally, it's just organised in Composer/Genre/Composition order. Then, in the second episode, I explained how I used Emby Media Server to share my music around the house, to the car and to overseas hotel rooms... but that Emby didn't honour the cataloguing hierarchy I'd adopted, but instead simply displayed things in Composer/Composition order, missing out the Genre. This was a failing I could live with, though, since Emby isn't the main way I listen to music. [...]
Sometimes, it takes someone asking a question to make you realise you've been doing something dumb for quite a long time! This post will tell the story of one such question, realisation and (most importantly) the fix! So, my thanks to Jeff in advance for having asked the question that made me realise I've been doing Emby wrong all these years!
But first, of course, I have to explain what 'Emby' is! Well, it's a mostly-free, but not open source, media server. You install it on a spare computer and it catalogues whatever media files you point it at. They can be music, photographs or videos -so Emby can manage a collection of movies or photo albums as well as a large classical music collection. By the power of networking, this Emby server makes the assorted media it knows about available to any other device that you can point at it. These Emby clients can be nothing more complex than a web browser, but they can also be dedicated apps, available for all sorts of operating systems and devices. To put it as simply as I can, then, Emby lets my carefully-curated music collection be accessed from a phone in a car; or from a laptop in a Polish hotel when I'm on holiday; or from a new Android tablet I might be using when score-reading in the garden. [...]
A reader recently got in touch to ask about my Axioms of Classical Tagging article, giving me the strong impression that my article makes it all sound too hard to tag things correctly... and I think he may have been right on that score! So I thought I'd simplify that article here, reducing its long, discursive justification of things to a few simple principles. If you want to understand why things should be as I'm about to spell it out, read the full article. For a short-cut guide to tagging correctly, however... read on!
There are just three basic principles to grasp from the outset, namely: [...]
A small announcement that I've just released a new version of Giocoso: the current version number is accordingly bumped to 1.08.
The changes made in this version are really quite minor and inconsequential. Principally, they consist of a better tidying up of temporary files when the Giocoso player is interrupted (by a Ctrl+C) or has finished playing something. In earlier versions, if a 'cuesheet' had been produced for a play, that cuesheet would be left lying in the $HOME/.local/share/giocoso folder when the play had finished (or been terminated early). Now, the program deletes such cuesheets as soon as the play terminates for whatever reason. [...]
An autopilot, says Wikipedia, is a system used to control the path of an aircraft, car, marine craft or spacecraft without requiring constant manual control by a human operator. Autopilots do not replace human operators. Instead, the autopilot assists the operator's control of the vehicle, allowing the operator to focus on broader aspects of operations (for example, monitoring the trajectory, weather and on-board systems).
In that spirit, I've long wanted to produce 'autopilot full scores': that is, full scores of orchestral or choral works which have controls that allow swift and accurate navigation by the reader through the score, without requiring constant manual (and maniacal) page-turning whenever a repeat or a jump is called for. They won't replace the reader's intervention completely, but they should be able to let the reader focus on more important things than mere score navigation -like, the spectacular nature of the orchestration being employed by the composer or the economy with which the composer achieves a particular effect or other. [...]