All entries for October 2006

October 18, 2006

Winamp Features

Recently, the Winamp team have added a load of new features.

First is a ReplayGain plug-in. Don’t bother, it takes far to long to analyse your music to bother with it. Its a good idea in principle and would be great if it worked in the background slowly analysing your music whilst it played for the first time so on the second time through it played at a sensible volume and storing the information in the Meta data tag. It would also be good if it was hooked up to the shuffle/random button and knew when to change from track normalisation to album normalisation. Or that it had its own button so you don’t have to go traipsing through the preferences. But it doesn’t so forget about it. Also, it takes ages to process your music but once it is processed there is no easy way to see which have been processed, not useful if you cancel halfway through or add extra music to your collection.

Second is Predixis MusicMagic. This has changed its name since being incorporated into Winamp. There is almost no help. And the plug-in doesn’t work with Vorbis… which is my codex of choice so forget it as well. I did download the MusicIP software standalone which works with Vorbis. It is supposed to scan through all your music and then create play list that don’t have style discontinuities but this doesn’t work very well until it has thoroughly analysed your music which takes forever, then it still is crap. Very disappointing. Not even worth wanting Vorbis support adding to the Winamp plug-in.

Finally, Autofill. Winamp is now able to automatically fill your portable media player. It randomly chooses songs from your collection and adds them to your player until it is n% full (with n being a variable you can set – slight sarcasm). It is more likely to pick songs that are played more often or have high recommendation ratings. This is great for making a mix of songs from my laptop. My media player uses .ogg (and you can tell Winamp what files your player supports) which is great for reasonable quality music with small file sizes. As my laptop has a reasonably small hard drive all the music is in q1. This quality is OK for playing through tinny laptop speakers and through the cassette adaptor in my car. And its is small in size which is great for my player as it is only 512Mb. There is also a transcode feature but as Vorbis is not supported this limits me to using the files on my laptop and not from my main music repository which are at q6 which is transparent (lossless to your ears). I have far too much music for a large player and hence knew that I would need to change the music on my player often so didn’t bother with getting a bigger one. I also like quality sounds and hence chose the a Samsung player as they support Vorbis, have long battery lives, are drag-n-droppable in Window & Linux.

So, one of the new-ish features of Winamp are OK but the others are crap…


October 17, 2006

Sarcasm

Sarcasm is very useful, but it can sometime be hard to work out if someone is being sarcastic if,
1, You don’t know the person very well.
2, Can’t see their face to interpret their facial and tonal expressions.
3, Both of the above due to them writing a blog.
It’s handy that blogs have sarcasm tags that clearly explain when people are being sarcastic.
Please take note to use them or at least explain that you are being sarcastic.


October 13, 2006

Rant About The Killers Lyrics

With their new album out people have started again with “the Killers lyrics are soo good”. If one more person says that the Killers lyrics are so good because they are original and no one else could come up with them I am going to have to hit them. OK I’ll give them “I’ve got Soul but I’m not a Soldier”, but the whole of “Mr Brightside” is homage to David Bowie “Queen Bitch”. As proof here are a few of the Bowie Lyrics …


Now she’s leading him on
And she’ll lay him right down
But it could have been me
Yes, it could have been me

David Bowie


And I’m phoning a cab
‘Cause my stomach feels small
There’s a taste in my mouth
And it’s no taste at all

David Bowie

Sound familiar! No-one in music is truly original. It is an art form and hence is built on the things that have gone before. It evolves and changes. Sometimes improving and sometimes not. Please people remember that by listening just to modern music you’ll have no idea if it is good or not! Don’t assume that the piece of music that you are listening to is the best so far… keep listening to music that you haven’t heard both new and old. And I’ll leave you with another of the original “Thin White Duke” quote from Queen Bitch…
“She’s so swishy in her satin and tat, In her brown coat and bipperty-bopperty hat” (which is in no way referenced in Mr Brightside but it is great anyhow).


October 12, 2006

Matlab, Beer(RGB)=BlueMing(BGR)

I was playing around learning Matlab and the suggested .jpg was of a apple… this seems much better. In this I have just swapped the RGB values of the image to give false colour shuffles of the file. Yes… I could have done this in Photoshop… but this is more impressive I think! What is worrying is BlueMing is beer with the colours reversed!

Beer!


Learning Matlab

I can’t wait for my new computer! At the moment I’m trying to learn enough Matlab for multi-variate analysis of SIFT and E-Nose data on a reduced version of Matlab on my laptop! The version of Matlab has no toolbox’s (handy when PCA and stats toolbox’s are referred to in the literature) and as my laptop only has 256Mb of RAM (Matlab requires a minimum of 512, and prefers a gig!) so my laptop is prone to crashing every time I try something new!
I have managed to make basic bar graphs of some of the data I have been given and am beginning to see the benefits of all variables as matrices but I’m not too keen on the fancy environment that Matlab provides.


October 06, 2006

Update 06/10/06

Well, its been a long time since I blogged and a lot of things have changed. I’ve moved flat. I’m now living in Bedford just of the Embankment which is a nice part of the town overlooking the river. Me and e looked at loads of places in Bedford and many of them were awful.
My MSc thesis has been completed and handed in… I’m just waiting to find out when my viva will be so I can defend it against all the harsh criticisms that are bound to be thrown around.
And, I’ve just started a PhD. It has something to do with computational data analysis of chemistry related machinery looking at biological molecules to try and determine if badgers have TB or not. So this should be interesting … though at the moment its just reading lots of biochemical data analysis papers and learning Matlab. Anyhow, enough time wasted… back to work.


October 2006

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