Feedback on RC1 (r755)

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sbooth
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Feedback on RC1 (r755)

Post by sbooth » Fri May 04, 2007 10:39 pm

I've just uploaded Play-r755 and called it Release Candidate 1 for 0.1.

Play is in a feature freeze for 0.1, so I will fix showstopper bugs only at this point.

I would appreciate feedback in this thread on how it is working for you, and for what kind of file types. Especially if you have an Intel Mac!

Since this will be the first public release, it is important that Play work properly even if certain features are lacking.

Maurits
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Post by Maurits » Sat May 05, 2007 12:48 pm

When a track automatically switches over to the next track in the queue, the name of the window only gets updated for MP3's. Not for FLAC, Ape, AAC, Ogg and MPC where it'll revert to just "Play".

SciFi
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Play Queue highlighting is inconsistent

Post by SciFi » Sat May 05, 2007 2:22 pm

On the Play Queue, after a fresh list is created (Cmd+Enter from the Library Queue or d&d directly to Play Queue), the first track seems to stay highlighted in full grey when finished and going on to the next track. The next track(s) from then on has a sort-of "half stripe" along the entire line and so on, making it look rather much lighter and harder to spot. It's probably using a different widget for highlighting at this point i.e. not consistent. Hitting Shift+Cmd+J will temporarily change the half-stripe to full grey (slightly darker & as expected). Also, double-clicking on any Play Queue track will immediately show the half-stripe and erase the full grey line wherever it was before. No I don't have any of those GUI mods/hacks, I've seen this on the last several revs (sorry not able to report it sooner), so I'm wondering if & why I'm the only one seeing this? I could try up'ing some screen-grabs if needed. I have this Apple 23-inch HD display calibrated with ColorSync's eyeball method, so those different grey styles are rather hard to spot. ;) Thanks.

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Post by sbooth » Sat May 05, 2007 2:30 pm

Maurits wrote:When a track automatically switches over to the next track in the queue, the name of the window only gets updated for MP3's. Not for FLAC, Ape, AAC, Ogg and MPC where it'll revert to just "Play".
Thanks, I just fixed this. It actually wasn't format-related, but would happen if the streams had different PCM representations (channels, etc) or channel layouts.

SciFi
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gapless FLAC & mp3 still having problems

Post by SciFi » Sat May 05, 2007 2:32 pm

Hi again so soon. r755 still has noticeable skips between tracks on those trance/house CD-rips. I believe the last decently-working rev in this regard was the one before 722 (didn't back it up here, wish I could verify), as r722 was when some changes were introduced that might've affected this. (hmm I did do svn checkouts from your repo, maybe I can try reverting it that way.) Thanks.

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Re: Play Queue highlighting is inconsistent

Post by sbooth » Sat May 05, 2007 2:34 pm

SciFi wrote:On the Play Queue, after a fresh list is created (Cmd+Enter from the Library Queue or d&d directly to Play Queue), the first track seems to stay highlighted in full grey when finished and going on to the next track. The next track(s) from then on has a sort-of "half stripe" along the entire line and so on, making it look rather much lighter and harder to spot. It's probably using a different widget for highlighting at this point i.e. not consistent. Hitting Shift+Cmd+J will temporarily change the half-stripe to full grey (slightly darker & as expected). Also, double-clicking on any Play Queue track will immediately show the half-stripe and erase the full grey line wherever it was before. No I don't have any of those GUI mods/hacks, I've seen this on the last several revs (sorry not able to report it sooner), so I'm wondering if & why I'm the only one seeing this? I could try up'ing some screen-grabs if needed. I have this Apple 23-inch HD display calibrated with ColorSync's eyeball method, so those different grey styles are rather hard to spot. ;) Thanks.
This is actually by design. The "full grey" highlight you are referring to is the default behavior for selections in tables when the table doesn't have the focus. The "half stripe" highlight is one of the ways the Play Queue shows the currently playing track, the other being the little speaker icon. Since table selection takes priority over all, if you have selected the currently playing track in the queue but that table doesn't have the focus you will see the full grey highlight.

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Re: gapless FLAC & mp3 still having problems

Post by sbooth » Sat May 05, 2007 2:36 pm

SciFi wrote:Hi again so soon. r755 still has noticeable skips between tracks on those trance/house CD-rips. I believe the last decently-working rev in this regard was the one before 722 (didn't back it up here, wish I could verify), as r722 was when some changes were introduced that might've affected this. (hmm I did do svn checkouts from your repo, maybe I can try reverting it that way.) Thanks.
What file format are the files? If MP3, what were they encoded with?

It is worth mentioning that if you seek in an MP3 file, gapless playback is out the window for that track. This is a compromise I made for speed of seeking.

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Re: Play Queue highlighting is inconsistent

Post by SciFi » Sat May 05, 2007 4:06 pm

sbooth wrote:
SciFi wrote:On the Play Queue, after a fresh list is created (Cmd+Enter from the Library Queue or d&d directly to Play Queue), the first track seems to stay highlighted in full grey when finished and going on to the next track. The next track(s) from then on has a sort-of "half stripe" along the entire line and so on, making it look rather much lighter and harder to spot. It's probably using a different widget for highlighting at this point i.e. not consistent. Hitting Shift+Cmd+J will temporarily change the half-stripe to full grey (slightly darker & as expected). Also, double-clicking on any Play Queue track will immediately show the half-stripe and erase the full grey line wherever it was before. No I don't have any of those GUI mods/hacks, I've seen this on the last several revs (sorry not able to report it sooner), so I'm wondering if & why I'm the only one seeing this? I could try up'ing some screen-grabs if needed. I have this Apple 23-inch HD display calibrated with ColorSync's eyeball method, so those different grey styles are rather hard to spot. ;) Thanks.
This is actually by design. The "full grey" highlight you are referring to is the default behavior for selections in tables when the table doesn't have the focus. The "half stripe" highlight is one of the ways the Play Queue shows the currently playing track, the other being the little speaker icon. Since table selection takes priority over all, if you have selected the currently playing track in the queue but that table doesn't have the focus you will see the full grey highlight.
Okay I see that the full grey line becomes blue when tabbed to bring Play Queue into focus. But we seriously need to try another set of colours (or make it user-selectable) when it's not in focus – that grey is confusing matters, because the half-line is barely visible, and your eye is drawn to the full grey line instead. Or are these colours based on SystemPrefs -> Appearance by any chance? (maybe those GUI tweakin' apps can fix this?) Thanks.

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Re: gapless FLAC & mp3 still having problems

Post by SciFi » Sat May 05, 2007 4:11 pm

sbooth wrote:
SciFi wrote:Hi again so soon. r755 still has noticeable skips between tracks on those trance/house CD-rips. I believe the last decently-working rev in this regard was the one before 722 (didn't back it up here, wish I could verify), as r722 was when some changes were introduced that might've affected this. (hmm I did do svn checkouts from your repo, maybe I can try reverting it that way.) Thanks.
What file format are the files? If MP3, what were they encoded with?
I'm mainly using FLAC, trying very hard to not use lossy formats. ;)
sbooth wrote:It is worth mentioning that if you seek in an MP3 file, gapless playback is out the window for that track. This is a compromise I made for speed of seeking.
Most testers such as myself won't sit to listen to an 8-minute song just to see if the gapless feature is working. I'm bettin' this will also generate many complaints from general users once your app goes "golden". Please reconsider. ;)

Edit: While typing this, I did let several FLAC trance tracks play thru without using the seek-bar, and there are noticeable gaps betwix'd them. These tracks played fine with the pre-r722 version as noted. Thanks again.

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Re: gapless FLAC & mp3 still having problems

Post by sbooth » Sat May 05, 2007 4:32 pm

SciFi wrote:I'm mainly using FLAC, trying very hard to not use lossy formats. ;)
FLAC should be gapless, regardless of if you seek or not. I just tried a set of gapless FLAC files and playback worked correctly for me. Could you please go to http://sbooth.org/Play/gapless_samples/ and download the FLAC files, enqueue them in order, and see if they are truly gapless for you?
Most testers such as myself won't sit to listen to an 8-minute song just to see if the gapless feature is working. I'm bettin' this will also generate many complaints from general users once your app goes "golden". Please reconsider. ;)
This was a design decision on my part for fast MP3 seeking. There is no truly sample-accurate seeking in MP3, so without actually decoding all MP3 frames up to the desired seek frame there is no way to prevent this.

Feel free to download the gapless MP3 samples (VBR and CBR) from the links above for testing purposes.

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Re: Play Queue highlighting is inconsistent

Post by RonaldPR » Sat May 05, 2007 7:44 pm

SciFi wrote:Okay I see that the full grey line becomes blue when tabbed to bring Play Queue into focus. But we seriously need to try another set of colours (or make it user-selectable) when it's not in focus – that grey is confusing matters, because the half-line is barely visible, and your eye is drawn to the full grey line instead. Or are these colours based on SystemPrefs -> Appearance by any chance? (maybe those GUI tweakin' apps can fix this?) Thanks.
The selection color (any chosen selection color) turning into light grey when a window is out of focus is the normal behaviour anywhere in MacOSX GUI. In my opinion it would not be a good idea to change that behaviour. Maybe the line of the track that is playing could get a more conspicuous color. The "half-line" is not only less conspicuous than the grey selection, but it also makes the text difficult to read because the line appears as if it is divided in the middle.

SciFi
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Re: Play Queue highlighting is inconsistent

Post by SciFi » Sat May 05, 2007 11:52 pm

RonaldPR wrote:[…]but it also makes the text difficult to read because the line appears as if it is divided in the middle.
This was precisely going to be my next complaint. It's as tho the shaded part of the half-line is "dithered", making the fonts look corrupted. I know it's suppose to be solid colour (I'm in 16m colour mode), it's just unnatural to spill paint across half the character cells like that, and I wonder if it's against Apple GUI/HI standards. Well, I do have the source now, I guess if the author won't change this then I can figure out how to do it on my own, but I'm predicting end-user complaints will be coming in this area, too, when it goes "golden". Y'all heard it here first. ;)

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Re: gapless FLAC & mp3 still having problems

Post by SciFi » Sun May 06, 2007 12:21 am

sbooth wrote:
SciFi wrote:I'm mainly using FLAC, trying very hard to not use lossy formats. ;)
FLAC should be gapless, regardless of if you seek or not. I just tried a set of gapless FLAC files and playback worked correctly for me. Could you please go to http://sbooth.org/Play/gapless_samples/ and download the FLAC files, enqueue them in order, and see if they are truly gapless for you?
Most testers such as myself won't sit to listen to an 8-minute song just to see if the gapless feature is working. I'm bettin' this will also generate many complaints from general users once your app goes "golden". Please reconsider. ;)
This was a design decision on my part for fast MP3 seeking. There is no truly sample-accurate seeking in MP3, so without actually decoding all MP3 frames up to the desired seek frame there is no way to prevent this.

Feel free to download the gapless MP3 samples (VBR and CBR) from the links above for testing purposes.
(thankfully we have "wget -r" eh? ;) )

Results of my repeated tests with your samples (orchestral music):

FLAC = gaps between every track

MP3-CBR = no gaps noticeable at all

MP3-VBR = gaps between/after tracks 15 & 16 (yes tried several times), not noticeable on other tracks

WavPack = gaps between every track

I can understand the trouble with MP3-VBR, it's the "V" that's tricky, and it seems to be a common problem in many players. Perhaps the MAD project could use some tweakin' in this area (I believe the person known as "tmkk" in Japan has some Altivec patches for libmad, I'll find the URL and update this post if needed; s/he also has a big set of Altivec patches for LAME).

The way FLAC stands now, tho, is that I cannot find a player that'll do on-the-fly gapless playing now. I am active in the ffmpeg/mplayer projects, I keep up with their svn commits, and so far they can't do gapless very well at all, either, with most compression / encoding formats.

I did mention I'm using a Dual G5 2.7GHz with 3.5GB of properly-paired SDRAM, comes with a stock ATI 9650 card, etc. Thus this ought not be an issue related to CPU power. ;) I use the optical digital output going to a Pioneer amp that's only a couple years old (fairly recent model). The Audio MIDI panel is set to match 44100Hz and 16-bit there.

Also I have been fooled into applying Apple's software updates, but this time I'm holding off due to excessive reported problems esp. with Airport (my lifeline right now) and including QT-7.1.6. So I'm waiting a week or so to see how the dust settles. I am running 10.4.9 with the previous security updates (not this week's release). This shouldn't affect the gapless problems with Play, as I haven't changed the system at all between the pre-r722 that worked quite well and the post-r722 versions that aren't working well here now. Personally I'm super-worried about FLAC since I don't archive things with lossy codecs.

If there's anything I can try to help figure out this discrepancy, please hollar. Thanks again.

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Post by Maurits » Sun May 06, 2007 12:48 am

Play has a "Most popular" list in the Browser. I assume it bases this on playcount of each track. When in "Most popular" view, maybe a column with the playcount for each file would be nice. Then one could sort on popularity...

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Re: gapless FLAC & mp3 still having problems

Post by sbooth » Sun May 06, 2007 2:25 am

SciFi wrote:Results of my repeated tests with your samples (orchestral music):

FLAC = gaps between every track

MP3-CBR = no gaps noticeable at all

MP3-VBR = gaps between/after tracks 15 & 16 (yes tried several times), not noticeable on other tracks

WavPack = gaps between every track
I'm not sure how to explain this. I've listened to all these files/formats literally a hundred times, and I've even saved the audio output to a file instead of piping it to an output device. This goes for FLAC, even when I seek back and forth several times.

I'm not running a high horsepower machine either- a PowerBook G4.

In any case, there is an audible click about 1.5-2 seconds into track 16. This is a defect in the source material, and could explain the issue you reported with the VBR MP3s.

For FLAC and WavPack I'm at a loss. I will see what changed from r722 onward, but I don't think it was much to do with decoding. I did change things so that FLAC (and every other format) is converted to 32-bit floating point before being sent to the output device, but this would not affect gapless at all.

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