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Author Topic: DOSCab/WinCab updates  (Read 3842 times)

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Chris

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DOSCab/WinCab updates
« on: February 23, 2005, 12:33:03 pm »
I've split this off from another thread to avoid a thread hijacking.

Chris,

Add MIDI support to WinCAB?  That sounds like a great idea, if it really is extremely simple.  I have acouple of MIDI files that I actually listen to, and the jukebox could work for karaoke that way, too.

Maybe in Beta 7?  I think a lot of people are looking forward to Beta 6.
It would probably take all of 5 minutes to add basic MIDI support.  What would be harder is .KAR support; .KAR files are essentially MIDI files with embedded lyrics.

I've been debating whether to release what I have now as Beta 6 or push forward with trying to get CD skins working. There are actually a lot of changes in the version currently on my hard drive, but I'm not sure any of them are big enough to warrant a release.  Here's my changelog for this version.

Version 3.0 b6:
==============
- Moved symbols into source code.
This means that jukkebox.dat is no longer necessary; it avoids issues where jukebox.dat and the executable were not from the same version.

- Added critical error logging even when logging is disabled.
- Added ability to load alternate display font and pointer sets.
This isn't really meant to be a "feature", per se, but it does give me some flexibility if one of these two things needs to be changed.  The display fonts and pointers are not in any standard format, so this isn't useful from a skinning point of view.

- Added ability to flip the text in a skin and created a "flipped" skin to go with it.  Images are not flipped, so skins need to be designed "flipped" to take advantage of text flipping.
This was a one-off feature for someone who had the juke in a Space Invaders cab, where the image is bounced off a mirror first.  I doubt it'll ever get used again...

- Renamed skin files to *.skn.
This way I don't have to have to burn 4 letters of my 8-character DOS-compatible filenames on the word "skin".  These are still plain text files.

- Moved Controls, KeyRepeatRate, AutoSelect, AlphaToggle, and Mouse settings to a new [Controls] section in jukebox.ini.
Just reorganizing, but for people who are upgrading, they'll need to rearrange their jukebox.ini to match.  Ah, the perils of beta.

- Added MaxRandomSonglength setting to control the maximum length of a song that can be randomly selected
For those of you with 90-minute mixes on your juke.

- Added more validation and debug logging to random song selector
- Added escape valve to random song selector to prevent loops after 20 attempts
Bug fixes.  Move along, nothing to see here.

- Changed random selection algorithm to use the popularity list; songs closer to the top of the list will be more likely to be randomly selected.
- Added a BTN_RANDOM key, which randomly queues a song.
Hey look, an actual new feature!

- Added an Escape key to indexer to cancel indexing.
For my own sanity during testing.  This is strictly a debugging key, so it is not remappable.

- Added a KeyboardLEDsOff setting to jukebox.ini.
This used to be hardcoded.  Controlling LED's may not be possible on all versions of Windows.

- Added basic screen saver.
Hey, another actual feature!  It's not a true visualization, though, because my MP# and OGG libraries don't give me access to the raw sound buffers.

- Added rotation symbols: HORIZONTAL, VERTICAL, VERTICAL RIGHT, UPSIDE DOWN, and VERTICAL LEFT.
- Added support for setting rotation by degrees.
As opposed to 0, 1, 2, and 3, although you can still specify rotation that way.  So Rotation=0, Rotation=90, Rotation=Vertical, or Rotation=Vertical Right all mean the same thing.

- Added support for titlestrips to be specified as grids in skins. Titlestrips may be defined now as Strip, StripGrid, StripX, or StripGridX.  All are interchangeable as long as numbers aren't repeated.
This makes setting up a new skin so much easer.  You can use multiple grids, and the default grid size is 1x1, meaning that skins using the old method of specifying each label location individually still works fine.

- Added a redraw of the tracker dialog when applying the skin.
This way you see the icons and labels while the indexer is running.  Looks cleaner.

- Changed default skin to use titlestrip grids.
- Changed alerts to add fatal crash logs.
- Added song year to database.
Preparing for a later feature that allows you to filter by year.

- Fixed precision issues regarding scaling math.  Skins may need to have coordinates tweaked to account for the correction.
Oops.

Does any of this excite anyone enough to make this a release point? 

In fact, I was actually considering making this a release candidate for an "official" 3.0 and just saving CD skins, genre filters, etc for 4.0, since they involve some fairly large changes.  My real goal for 3.0 was rotation, skins and multiple resolutions, and we've had that for a while now....

If this does become a release point, are there small fixes/changes people were expecting or hoping for in this version that I've missed?

--Chris
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

Dermbrian

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2005, 12:53:28 pm »
Thanks for moving this.  I realized I was hijacking the other thread right after I hit 'post'.

I think the following features, combined with the stability improvements, warrant an official 3.0 (non-beta) release. 

Screensaver
Size filtering option

I do think basic MIDI support (not .kar) would be great.  If people want lyrics, they can print a book of lyrics for next to their jukebox.

I do wish an standard  fonts could be used instead of the LED font for the information about "now playing", "coming up", "credits", etc.  That looks nice and appropriate on your jukebox screens, but does end up difficult to read at smaller sizes on personalized skins that I'm trying to make for myself.

Too bad about visualizations not being possible.   On that topic, I guess it must be just impossible for the winamp gurus to do a simple three channel color organ visualization in software.  Geiss and Milkdrop are OK, but I've never found a setting that reflects the music as well as a set of lights flickering to the bass-midrange-treble components of as song.  I guess I'll eventually invest in a color organ hardware kit and build something to my liking.

Thanks for asking.

Brian


 

Chris

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2005, 01:43:45 pm »
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

garyh

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2005, 03:28:50 pm »
Chris,

FWIW I vote for CD Skins rather than documentation and skin designers.

Regards

Gary


Chris

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2005, 03:35:42 pm »
Who reads documentation anyway?  :)
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2005, 08:52:55 pm »
Quote
- Changed default skin to use titlestrip grids.
- Changed alerts to add fatal crash logs.
- Added song year to database.
Preparing for a later feature that allows you to filter by year

Sounds like you've got to put this one off due to backend changes.... Never mind, I'll look forward to v4! Its the one thing stopping me using WinCab right now (too many mp3's!)

Good work!

Chris

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2005, 09:49:02 am »
Sounds like you've got to put this one off due to backend changes.... Never mind, I'll look forward to v4! Its the one thing stopping me using WinCab right now (too many mp3's!)
The word to the wise is always plan for scalability.  When I originally wrote DWJ, it was just for myself and I knew I'd never have more than a few hundred songs in it...  :o

The question is do I hack it now or do I do it right and put in an SQL back-end...
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2005, 07:34:38 pm »
Honestly, despite wanting the feature, I'd stay wait and go for Sql.

I've recently had to delve into Mysql for a few things, and I've highly impressed - that thing is *fast*. And quite easy to use due to the high-level language of searching. (ie build your databse, the run a "select * from mp3db where year=1979" - bingo - all ready in about 0.02 seconds.)

I hope you'll find it not too hard to integrate, but then its probably a lot more complicated then I've suggested!

Chris

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2005, 09:25:12 pm »
Honestly, despite wanting the feature, I'd stay wait and go for Sql.

I've recently had to delve into Mysql for a few things, and I've highly impressed - that thing is *fast*. And quite easy to use due to the high-level language of searching. (ie build your databse, the run a "select * from mp3db where year=1979" - bingo - all ready in about 0.02 seconds.)

I hope you'll find it not too hard to integrate, but then its probably a lot more complicated then I've suggested!
I'm actually looking at SQLite, which looks much more appropriate for an application such as this, as it doesn't require a server process to be installed.  I don't think MySQL will run on DOS.

Of course, I've been writing SQL queries for 14 hours today at work, and I'm not sure it's something I want to do when I get home for an unpaid hobby....  :o
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2005, 09:44:24 pm »
hah - looks like your way ahead in SQL than me!

I realised MySQL would not be good for you, but am not knowledgeable of other variants....

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2005, 09:32:09 am »
2 things I didn't see listed were changing the colors of labels by song genra, and checking the keyboard buffer so simply touch touch bar input could be used.   

I really love the way your jukebox looks like a traditional jukebox, and find that there are tons of other cd skin jukeboxes already out there.

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2005, 04:54:17 pm »
2 things I didn't see listed were changing the colors of labels by song genra, and checking the keyboard buffer so simply touch touch bar input could be used.   

I really love the way your jukebox looks like a traditional jukebox, and find that there are tons of other cd skin jukeboxes already out there.

I just wanted to agree on loving the way the jukebox looks like a traditional jukebox.    Just seeing a random screen of songs from my collection gets me to choose songs that  I'd probably never pick using an album based jukebox.   When I'm in an album mood, I can fire up SK Jukebox.   But it's awfully sweet to see my daughter's piano recital piece show up on the WinCAB screen!  Both apps work great now that I've edited my MP3's to have "XX - " as the track number in the filename and in the ID3 tag. 


The color coding by Genre would be a super nice touch, and faithful to the interface.

Brian
Brian

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Re: DOSCab/WinCab updates
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2005, 01:36:53 am »
I really love the way your jukebox looks like a traditional jukebox, and find that there are tons of other cd skin jukeboxes already out there.
I just wanted to agree on loving the way the jukebox looks like a traditional jukebox.
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com