OSX usage help.

  • toninus

    toninus - 2007-10-15

    Hi there.

    I'd first like to thank you so much developers for this great app. It's a great and very promising thing.
    I've installed moreamp on my ppc OSX box both gui and command line versions and they've been running flawlessly. I love its speed and the great Eq31Band!

    However, I've got a few questions about its usage:

    1. How can I disable the default "random" play?

    Comments: It's very annoying when you like to listen to your whole albums from beginning to end as they were recorded, specially when you're listening to live concert albums.
    I've unticked the "Random" item on the gui version and saved as "default settings", but it doesn't seem to work.
    The command line play is also random by default.
    "Random" should be optional, not default.

    1. Is there a way to use the command line version interactively, or at least being able to show the current playlist and being able to navigate through it in order to choose a specific song or go back to a different one?

    Thanks for the attention and for the help (in advance).

    • toninus

      toninus - 2007-12-03

      Hi there pmisteli.

      Sorry for taking a long time to get you some feed back on it.
      Thanks for making 0.1.20b available as I know it takes a lot of effort and work on every new version of something you create.
      Unfortunately though, in my system this beta version is not working as expected.
      I explain it:

      1. Settings can't be saved. Every time I open the app it shows me the factory settings as default and I have to reset them to my taste again and again.
      2. Previous button remains the same. It won't take you to a previous song, but to the beginning of your current song.
      3. CLI version is not working at all. It complains that there's not enough memory even though I had saved (or at least thought I had) the settings in the GUI version for "direct" memory use, no buffer.

      So for now I'm sticking to 0.1.20 version as it is a lot more stable.

      Many thanks.


      • Nobody/Anonymous


        I'm sorry that there are still problems... but I can't duplicate them here.

        Here are some possible explanations:

        1. Settings can't be saved.

        I suspect there is some confusion with the "madrop" settings and the "Default" settings.

        When you drop song files on the MoreAmp icon, or when you give song files as arguments to the moreamp cli command, MoreAmp (re)creates a songlist named "madrop" using the settings that were last saved for that "madrop" songlist. It doesn't use the settings you last saved as "Default".

        The "Default" settings you save with "Save Settings As Default" are used only when you make a new songlist (other than madrop or macda), or if an existing songlists's settings file has been damaged, or the first time the "madrop" songlist is created (e.g. by dropping song files on the MoreAmp icon).

        Try this to get a feel of how it works:

        • Drop some song files on the MoreAmp icon, which will open MoreAmp with your song files in the "madrop" songlist
        • Set the settings to your taste
        • Save them with the "Save Settings" menu
        • Quit MoreAmp

        • Drop some new song files on the MoreAmp icon, which will open MoreAmp with your new song files in a new "madrop" songlist, using the "madrop" settings you last saved.

        • Quit MoreAmp

        • Launch a cli moreamp with some song files as arguments, which will create a new "madrop" songlist, using with the "madrop" settings you last saved.

        In short, to change the settings for playing song files that you drop on MoreAmp or that you pass to the cli moreamp command, save your "madrop" settings with the "Save Settings" menu, not with the "Save Settings As Default" menu.

        1. Previous button remains the same.

        2. If you build from the MoreAmp-0.1.20b-src.tar.gz sources and set the settings to Direct mode, Random off, ReptPlayed on ("normal" settings), then Previous and Next should move up or down the songlist as expected.

        3. One exception to this : if LoopLoaded is set, then Previous or Next will restart the current song.

        4. CLI version is not working at all.

        5. For now we can assume that yes, the "madrop" settings were not saved and they still have the "Mem" mode instead of the "Direct" mode set, and that your song file is larger than the Mem buffer (16 MB factory setting).

        6. Check that you don't have both a "MoreAmp" and a "moreamp" folder in your home dir. There should only be "MoreAmp". Previous versions used "moreamp" for cli builds (unix builds).

        Other things to consider about saved settings:

        • New settings must be expressly saved, they are not saved automatically on quitting the app.

        • Settings are not shared accross multiple instances, so that if you launch a cli app while a gui app is open, the cli app will start as "moreamp 2" and use the settings for "moreamp 2", not the settings you may have saved with the current (first) gui app. To save settings for "moreamp 2", open a second (GUI) app, set and save the settings you want (for "madrop" or whatever other songlist) then close that "MoreAmp 2" GUI app.

        • Opening the "madrop" songlist from the "Open Song List" or "Open Recent" menus keeps the current settings instead of loading madrop's saved settings (useful for copying settings).

        • Opening a songlist from the Open Song List or Open Recent menu while holding down the Shift key (or the Alt key on some platforms) keeps the current settings instead of loading that songlist's saved settings (useful for copying settings).

        If the comments above aren't helpful perhaps more information would help :

        a. Your system hardware (PPC or intel) and OS X version.

        b. Which MoreAmp gui you use (MoreAmp with the wxWidgets GUI, or MoreAmpN with the "native" GUI, or moreamp with a unix wx/gtk gui).

        c. What build options and/or what build scripts you use (for the cli moreamp, and for the gui MoreAmp).

        d. The moreamp log file, if one was generated. On OS X that would be file YourHomeDir/MoreAmp/maLog.txt


    • pmisteli

      pmisteli - 2007-10-15
      1. Thank you.

      2. Just uncheck "Ramdom", then click the menu "Settings/Save Settings" (not "Save Settings as Default").

      This will save the settings for the current songlist, which is "macda" if you're playing a cd, "madrop" if you just dropped some files on MoreAmp, or whatever name you've given the songlist (with the "File/Save Song List As" menu).

      Remember that each songlist has its own settings. The "Default" settings are only used if MoreAmp can't find settings by songlist name: the first time you play a cd or drop files on Moreamp, or when you feed MoreAmp a songlist created outside MoreAmp, or if a songlist's settings are missing or broken. If the "Default" settings are missing or broken, then the "Factory" settings are used instead.

      Normally cli and gui players share settings (of the same instance number), so you can use a gui player to change settings for a cli player (NOT while both are running, the instance number must be the same), BUT on Mac OS X the cli player is built as a unix application and creates and accesses "~/moreamp", while the OS X gui players create and accesses "~/MoreAmp". This is a problem if you want to use OS X gui players with cli players.

      You have two solutions for changing the cli player's settings:
      a (simple). Delete "~/moreamp" and create a link to "~/MoreAmp". Do not make an alias from the Desktop gui, but, in a unix shell, in your home dir, run ln -s ./MoreAmp moreamp (MoreAmp must already exist). Then the cli player will access the same settings as the gui player. Note that with this solution you cannot mix cli and gui players in multiple instances.
      b (better). Build a unix version of moreamp (see script test/mamkosxwxgtk2T.sh) and use that to change songlist settings (unix moreamp creates and accesses "~/moreamp").

      "Random" will be off in the Factory settings of the next release (0.1.21), and the unix "moreamp" dir name on OS X will be changed to "MoreAmp", so that unix and OS X versions can share settings and mix in multiple instances.

      1. The cli version accepts the same keyboard commands as the gui versions, but it only prints the songlist name and the song currently playing, and for navigation you only have the "Previous" ('y' by default) and "Next" ('b') keyboard commands. There are no plans to improve on this. In the gui versions you can navigate through the playlist (or through the "Loaded" list) with the up/down arrows then double-click or press return to choose a song to play.


    • toninus

      toninus - 2007-10-16


      Thanks for your reply.

      1- Random
      I had already done every single thing you suggested here, including the "ln -s" thing on the same day I installed it and started dealing with it.
      After having realized that every song list has its own settings I simply removed all of them and created a default setting that would get as close as it could to my taste. From then on I started creating song lists again and they would now (kind of) work the way I intended.
      Well, the thing is, "non-random" works only when I point and click the "play" button. Whenever I click, say song #3 and hit enter (by this I mean listening to the whole album in order starting from song #3) it will play that song and default to "random" again. Which means the "random" thing is really persistent and "unticking" it is not working properly.

      It's good news to know that Random will be off default on "0.1.21". When is its release due? Any idea?

      2- CLI
      Now, IMHO you would get a lot of command line users out there if you could improve the CLI version a little. You know, being able to navigate through your music directory, or at least through your current song list and being able to choose your next song... I know you don't plan to, but please, is there any chance you'd rethink that? Is it really difficult to implement such thing?
      The reason I'm using MoreAmp is because I was googling one day for a "command line music player" that could handle flac files on Mac. I couldn't be happier with the playback quality that I found out I now had with MoreAmp.

      3- Previous
      One more thing...
      The "Previous" button doesn't work properly. It only takes you back to the beginning of your current song, not to the previous one, no matter how many times you click it. (Perhaps a little bug?)

      Please, take these lines as a simple feedback from a Mac user.

      Keep up the good work.



      • pmisteli

        pmisteli - 2007-10-16

        Thanks for continuing this discussion. Feedback is welcome.

        1. Random
          It looks like your problem is not the random setting but the way moreamp plays songlists.
          Moreamp works the way it does so that the system can put the hard disk to sleep while moreamp keeps playing.

        First I explain what seems to be happening, then what to do about it.

        When you open a song list moreamp presents this list in a window named 'MoreAmp Song List'.
        When you point and click the "play" button, moreamp goes through this Song List selecting songs it hasn't marked as already played. It does this sequentially from the beginning of the song list or at random if 'Random' is set,
        loading the selected songs into the mem Buffer and building a list of these songs in a second window named 'MoreAmp Songs Loaded', until the mem Buffer is full.
        Then moreamp plays the songs from the mem Buffer in the order they appear in this 'Loaded' list, marking a song as having played when it finishes playing it.
        When all the loaded songs have played, moreamp loads a new batch of songs into the mem Buffer, presents a new 'Loaded' list, and plays these newly loaded songs. And so on.

        Now, when you start play by double-clicking on an entry in the Song List (not the Loaded List), instead of with the 'Play' buttton, moreamp loads that single song into the mem Buffer and presents that single song in a new Loaded List, and plays it.
        When that single song is over moreamp marks it as played and restarts playing as if you had clicked the Play Button, i.e. it starts from the beginning of the Song List looking for unplayed songs, etc. etc., as explained above.

        So, if you start play by clicking on song 3, then when song 3 is over, if song 1 hasn't played yet, song 1 will play next, not song 4 as you would like.
        Then, if you try clicking song 3 again, when song 3 is over song 1 has already played, but if song 2 hasn't played yet then song 2 will play. Not only is this still not song 4, but it is a different song fron the last time you tried this, so it will look to you as if the player is playing songs randomly.

        Note that for the discussion above the mem Buffering is selected and Random and ReptPlayed setting are off. Now if ReptPlayed is set on then moreamp will always restart playing from the first song in the songlist, instead of at the first unplayed song. Since in this configuration there is no good reason to always restart at the first song, that I can remember, this may be a good place to change something, i.e. to have it restart at the next song in the Song List. If this change tests ok then it will be in the next release. Releases come out when someone discovers a major bug, or when there is a major enhancement, or when updated dependencies force it. Probably around Christmas 2007.

        So that's the explanation. For now, here's one way to get the behavior you want:

        You set the mem Buffer big enough to hold your whole album. Then, after you've started the player (after Zeroing the list or setting ReptPlayed, and LoopLoaded) all your songs will be loaded and you can work from the Loaded List instead of from the Song List. Songs will play sequentially from where you double-click in the Loaded List (not the Song List), and you can navigate through the Loaded List as you expect, with Previous and Next buttons, arrow keys, etc.

        If you don't have enough memory you can use the VDisk setting instead, using real disk instead of a virtual disk (see the VDisk section in the README). It's easier to set the size you want while Mem is selected because it increments by 16MB instead of 1MB. I'm guessing a cd's worth of flac is a bit over 400 MB, so a 500MB VDisk should do it. Moreamp prompts for a VDisk location the first time you try to use one, which can be any folder, where it then creates another folder named "mavdisktmp1". The downside of this workaround is the wasted disk space and the time moreamp takes to copy song files to the VDisk every time you Start, and of course moreamp won't play without the hard disk spinning.

        1. CLI
          I'm curious to know why you use a CLI player. The idea behind the CLI version of moreamp was that you just give it a songlist and leave it alone, to avoid the overhead of a GUI, and that if you wanted to navigate through a songlist you'd use a GUI version. And even a GUI version of moreamp is lightweight compared to players that use a full-blown DBMS and internet lookups to manage your whole music collection with sophisticated playing algorithms and album cover and lyrics displayed, and use streaming servers and clients for playback.
          All this to say I'm undecided about adding playlist display and navigation to the CLI version. But I welcome suggestions for some simple implementation.

        2. Previous (and Next)
          That's also related to the normal functioning of moreamp. These buttons work on the Loaded List, i.e. only on the songs that are loaded. If you start play by clicking a song in the Song List, only one song gets loaded and the Loaded List has only one entry. Same if you give moreamp little memory and only one song gets loaded. Search for 'previous' in the README, it tries to explain some of this.
          The behavior of Previous and Next may improve in Direct mode in the next release, but for now you can either use the up/down arrows and press return or double click above or below the current song.

        Thanks again,

    • toninus

      toninus - 2007-10-20


      Thank you so much for the long and detailed explanation.
      Some points or suggestions you may consider:

      1- Random
      I've got your point and I understand moreamp better now.
      It'd be really cool though if you could give the user some kind of option for a more normal or standard behavior. By this I mean, being able to choose between moramp's behavior or a different one, say a more "standard" (music player) behavior when dealing with song lists. You know, sometimes I wanna listen to my whole album again, but starting from song 3 or whichever other song I choose and have moremp play that one and follow the album's order to its end.

      2- CLI
      In my case, I use the command line a lot. My tabbed terminal is working nearly 24/7 with a torrent client, a video editor and I'm sometimes coding html and css, so having a CLI music player that can handle my needs (flacs) and yet give me some kind of freedom to choose the songs I want to listen in the order I want them without having to open another GUI app would be definitely VERY convenient.
      Sometimes when I need that I use "cmus", but its playback quality (no equalization at all and sometimes quirks on a busy system) is not even near that of moreamp.
      I also happen to be a musician, so sometimes, for study purposes my song list order really does matter.
      Other than these, a fancy, good looking app wouldn't really get my attention, because I simply don't have so much time to be using it, you know, checking album covers and so on. Those are cool things, but I can do without them. Any GUI player I use is always minimized at the dock anyway.
      By the way, the following would be very cool:

      shell: moreamp -mksl

      Where the option "-mksl" would be "make songlist" and would take me to my music directory and prompt me to choose what folder or files I want to be in my new songlist.

      3- Previous
      Forgive me, but in a standard player behavior the "previous" button should take you to a previous song, unless you're playing song #1... Moreamp doesn't do that whether I click its previous button or I type its keyboard shortcut.

      Once again thank you so much for MoreAmp as well as for your attention and time spent here.



      • pmisteli

        pmisteli - 2007-11-12

        thanks for your comments and suggestions.

        I posted a pre-release source archive (MoreAmp-0.1.20b-src.tar.gz) that has some changes and fixes.

        1- Random
        You should now get a 'standard' play mode with these setings:
        - Buffer set to Direct
        - Random off
        - ReptPlayed on

        2- CLI
        The List Window shortcut ('q' by default) now dumps the songlist to the terminal window, and there is a new PlayIndex function ('?' by default) that prompts for the index number of a song to play.

        Also, the View Keybings shortcut ('h' by default) now dumps a list of shortcuts to the terminal.

        These should help CLI users, though they're hardly a tool to navigate through dirs to create and re-order songlists.

        Don't forget that you can give arguments to moreamp : either a list of full-paths to songs to play, or a mix of full-paths to dirs and/or music files and/or cd drives, and/or links any of these.

        If you do .../moreamp /.../newlist.maf it should play the songs in newlist.maf using default settings, or the settings of an existing 'newlist' if one was previously saved with moreamp.

        If you do .../moreamp /.../dirA /.../dirB it should play the songs in dirs A and B using the 'madrop' setings.

        It may be easier to create a custom tool to create and feed songlists to moreamp rather than to implement a full-blown file browser inside moreamp.

        3- Previous
        This should now work as you expect, in the 'standard' mode. The new README has updated info on this.

        Any more comments/suggestions are welcome, before the next full release (0.1.21), around mid-December 2007.


        • pmisteli

          pmisteli - 2007-11-12

          Hello again,

          I forgot..

          The 0.1.20b build needs a new moreamp/masettings/makeybindings.txt file. You can either fix your existing file, or just remove it and let moreamp recreate a new one at startup.

          To fix it, add the PlayIndex"?" entry as done in this line:

          FILE OpenList"-" MakeList"L" SaveListAs"+" PlayFile"l" PlayIndex"?"

          The text layout and function labels in makeybindings.txt is arbitrary, moreamp only looks at the order and content of the pairs of quotes.



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