Questions about Play usage and related...

Discuss Play, an open source multi-format audio player.
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stormmind
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:05 pm

Questions about Play usage and related...

Post by stormmind » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:12 am

Hi everybody!

I'm new to Mac and trying to find the software that best suits my needs. I love foobar2k for win and Play seems very similar in focus (sound quality, formats and simplicity). I figured I could ask some tips from people here who seem to have similar preferences. First, am I right in my assumption that all Play does is keep an internal database with metainformation about my files and doesn't move/change/delete files themselves (excluding Tag-integration which obviously edits files).?

1. Tagging. Is it possible to add custom tags to files (like "party", "blaeish", "chill" etc) and use Play to search for those (using smart search?)? What software is best to use to manage such tags? "Tag"? This may sound noobish, but I have only found how to edit genre, artist, etc. I want my own tags =)

2. Managing library. I have a large library and very specific preferences on how it should be ordered. I want software to ASSIST me, which I can trust will not do any magic-stuff. Basicly I have my files in a location ordered the way I like and nothing should mess with that (thats why I like Play - it has a meta-library, without actually affecting the real files), but hopefully I could have some gui/integrated with play maybe to help me move/rename/retag/delete/add music.

3. Visualizations. Is there anything that integrates with Play or some standalone software with good visuaization?

4. Crossfade. How can I have crossfading tracks with Play?

5. Gui. Saw some thread about adding albumart to Play. Such visual elements would be great. It would be nice to be able to configure the interface in Play a la foobar, but better. I imagine something like a theme, which can be easily distributed as one file. This may be falling out of Plays focus, though. On the other hand, simplicity doesn't exclude polish =)

I apologize if this post is sort of OOT, but I'd really like to find answers to these questions because they would make my life so much better =)

Thanks to everybody for reading this and writing useful replies ;)

Cheers!

/ Storm

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sbooth
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Re: Questions about Play usage and related...

Post by sbooth » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:52 pm

These are very good questions! I'll try to address each one.
stormmind wrote:First, am I right in my assumption that all Play does is keep an internal database with metainformation about my files and doesn't move/change/delete files themselves (excluding Tag-integration which obviously edits files).?
Play will not touch your files unless you do two things. The first is open the Edit Tags... sheet and make changes, and then click OK. The second is Replay Gain scanning.
1. Tagging. Is it possible to add custom tags to files (like "party", "blaeish", "chill" etc) and use Play to search for those (using smart search?)? What software is best to use to manage such tags? "Tag"? This may sound noobish, but I have only found how to edit genre, artist, etc. I want my own tags =)
Not currently, but a future version will probably support custom tags in one way or another. Tag is great for FLAC tagging, but it doesn't support MP4 or MP3 files. Play works well for me when it comes to tagging formats not supported by Tag.
2. Managing library. I have a large library and very specific preferences on how it should be ordered. I want software to ASSIST me, which I can trust will not do any magic-stuff. Basicly I have my files in a location ordered the way I like and nothing should mess with that (thats why I like Play - it has a meta-library, without actually affecting the real files), but hopefully I could have some gui/integrated with play maybe to help me move/rename/retag/delete/add music.
I plan on porting the Guess Tags... and Rename Files... features from Tag to Play.
3. Visualizations. Is there anything that integrates with Play or some standalone software with good visuaization?
Play doesn't have any visualization plug-in architecture (in fact it currently has no external plug-in architecture at all, which will change).
4. Crossfade. How can I have crossfading tracks with Play?
You cannot.
5. Gui. Saw some thread about adding albumart to Play. Such visual elements would be great. It would be nice to be able to configure the interface in Play a la foobar, but better. I imagine something like a theme, which can be easily distributed as one file. This may be falling out of Plays focus, though. On the other hand, simplicity doesn't exclude polish =)
I've thought about theming, which is a little bit counter to the OS X philosophy. I believe it could be done using WebKit to render an HTML/JavaScript page with the communication to the real app going through JavaScript to Cocoa. Unfortunately I have no experience in this area and I am not a very good graphic designer, but it is something I have thought about.

The long term plans for Play are as follows:
  • Release one more 10.4 compatible version
  • Port some of my homemade code to use the new features in 10.5
  • Release a 10.5 only version, which all ensuing versions will be
  • Add album art support
  • Add streaming support]
Of course there are more features I have in mind, but my time has been extremely limited lately so I don't want to bite off too much. My first priority right now is getting a Leopard friendly version of Max out the door.

stormmind
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: Questions about Play usage and related...

Post by stormmind » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:27 pm

Thank you so much for your answers! Really good to know. Here are some follow-ups =)

First, I'm a software developer myself, but been doing mostly Java, though I've recently written a small softsynth in C. I also don't have time to actively contribute. But, if there's need for testers of patches/etc things that require more knowledge than just running the prog, I'd be glad to help. If you have need for that, please direct me to the correct place to apply =)

Plugins. Most players seem to follow some kind of chain-thinking when it comes to sound-processing, which makes plugins not hard to implement: input (formats) -> ... -> DSP -> output.
Crossfade could be just a processing plugin in some way in the chain (I may be completely off here). Where's visualization could be one of the output plugins. So if the architecture is thought out, you could kill both flies.

As for themes, the most important thing is put down good possibilities and make it stable, and you won't have to wait long until designers all over the place will be doing stuff. Here I don't even have a clue about how os x works. In both cases (plugins and themes) it's important to come up with stable api, since you'll be losing lot of great contributions otherwise (they tend to be a one-time affair). And whenever you will be implementing this, consider creating a central place for making contributions public. Forums are good, but do not provide an easy overview. Also posts get old, links invalid, etc. Just a tip =)

Streaming support (both reading streams and writing?) would be great! =)

Well, I think you are doing a great job fixing all these things and being active on the forums as well! Hats off! =)

Cheers!

/Storm

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