Target Achieved!

Back on 5th November, I wrote about how I was steadily listening to more and more of my previously-unplayed (in Giocoso, at least!) recordings. With some graphing and a line or two of best-fit, I predicted I might get to the 50%-unplayed mark by about “December 3rd or 4th” -though with some uncertainties around Benjamin Britten Day and the ever-constant acquisition of new recordings, maybe causing that date to blow out a bit.

Well, the graph at the left tells you the original prediction was fairly accurate after all: the 50% unplayed/50% played mark was finally achieved late on November 30th. [...] 

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Giocoso on [K]ubuntu

Back in April of this year, as I mentioned previously, I bought myself a new Minisforum UM250 small-form-factor PC. The experiment with using it with Arch and/or Manjaro proved less than successful -so I reverted back to my vintage 2012 PC and retired the UM250 back to its box, in which it has sat ever since, on one of the bookshelves in my study.

Around June of this year (I think), I happened to be laid up in bed (after one of my Covid-19 vaccine shots) and was thus using an old laptop for browsing the web. It was a 2016-vintage Dell of some bog-standard sort. But way-back-when, I had installed multiple operating systems on it, so I could boot into Windows 10, Ubuntu 18.x and Manjaro as and when I chose… and I happened to notice that the laptop’s fan noise was considerably worse when booted into Manjaro than it was if I booted into Ubuntu. I can’t remember if it was any worse or better in Windows, but it struck me at the time that in the presence of laptop-style hardware, Ubuntu seemed to have a better lid on thermal management than Manjaro did. I don’t know if that’s actually true or not -or, if it is, why that might be. But if made me think that if I had conducted my earlier Minisforum experiment with Ubuntu (or one of its derivative flavours) rather than with Arch or Manjaro, maybe it would have run more quietly too, and thus the outcome might have been happier all round. [...] 

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A Musical Guessing Game?

I don’t know about you, but if I tune into the radio randomly as a piece of classical music is playing, I then like to test myself and see if I can guess the composer of the piece before the announcer returns to give away the crucial information. I’ll maybe even try guessing the name of the piece, if I’m feeling particularly confident. Once or twice, I’ve even gone for a guess as to who the conductor or soloist might be: those ones usually don’t pan out so well, but I’m pretty good with composers and not so bad at the piece-names.

Anyway: I’ve been using Giocoso since June 2021 (and AMP for six months before that) to play all my classical music and thus have built up a ‘listening history’ of some 6000+ recordings in just over 9 months, as you can see from the bottom of my ‘all time graphs’ listening history page. And since Giocoso says I’ve listened to all those pieces of music, I ought to be able to recognise them when I hear selections from them again, right? [...] 

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Giocoso Bug-fix for Dual Screen Setups

Another small bug-fix, this time to Giocoso.

It was occasioned by my switching away from using a 4K TV as my monitor and replacing it with two 1920×1200 monitors in a dual-screen setup. Since I had never used a dual screen display before, I had not realised that when Giocoso is asked to display album art as a new recording plays, it would break when confronted with the decision as to which monitor it would display the art on! [...] 

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Giocoso – First Update

Somewhat annoyingly, I just discovered an error in Giocoso’s ––stats reporting function. It’s not a particularly terrible one: more a question of labelling the various numbers.

The stats report shows how many recordings you’ve got that last for various ‘time bands’ (i.e., 0 to 5 minutes long, 5 to 10 minutes long and so on). One of the bands said ’10 to 30 minutes’… but the actual query  submitted to the Giocoso database was querying for durations between 600 seconds and 1200 seconds. [...] 

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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[...] 

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