Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

Faking the Code

The Rockbox software, being open source, allows the user to write their own protocols for the remote control display. This means that all of my obsessive cataloging and anal-retentive id3 tagging is now paying off. When I started transferring music to the Creative, I realized that if I was going to keep it organized I had to use encyclopedia style tags for the filing system. This was great to find stuff, but it just doesn't look as nice when displayed, so I was rather pleased when I got the iAudio that the native software didn't use the tags. While the Rockbox software does allow for searching by id3 tag, I much prefer using the file-tree structure instead. This renders the tags completely cosmetic.

When I first looked at how .wps and .rwps files (text files with the display codes in them, .wps for the main screen, .rwps for the remote screen) were set up, I nearly had a heart attack. However, I was able to determine that the language was very simple, but the substitions required to account for people who don't know how to tag their music made them look rather daunting. Because of the fact that nothing ever gets loaded onto Artoo without getting at least a cursory run through Ultratagger, I knew that I didn't have to worry too much about substitutions. The only one I needed was that if there was no "composer" available then it would go to "artist." I didn't have to worry about any of the tags missing because even if I downloaded something tagged in a manner that is unlike my own, I always change the tags to make it when importing it over to Artoo to make them uniform (the one case where that isn't always true is the comment field, which I sometimes credits into and sometimes don't). A neat feature that I was able to incorporate was the ability to display details from the next song in the folder or playlist. I put that information on a single line which cycles through the title, composer (or artist) and album.

Another nifty aspect of this whole affair was that, in order to write and test my own protocols, I had to download one of Rasher's simulators, which creates a little iAudio X5 running Rockbox on my desktop! It works exactly like the real thing (the arrow keys, spacebar and enter are all analogs to the remote and unit controls), and allowed me to make minute changes without having to load the file onto Artoo until I was finished with it.

For those who care about such things, here is the code:
%s%?it<%it|Title Unknown>
%s%?id<%id|Album Unknown> (%iy)

%ac%fs%kbps ?fc < mp1|mp2|mp3|AIFF|wav|vorbis|flac|mpc|a52|wavpack|
alac|aac|shorten|SID|ADX|NSF|speex|unknown> %fv
%alNext: %t4%?It<%It|Title Unknown>;Next: %t4%?Ic<%Ic|%Ia>;
Next: %t4%?Id<%Id|Album Unknown >
%ac%ca, b e, Yc
The top line of the remote's display shows the battery volume and time, so I didn't need to include any of that here. Instead, I have the track title (%it) and the composer fields (%ic; artist [%ia] if composer is not available) on each line individually. The title of the album (%iy) is displayed on the same line as the year (%iy). These lines are justified left by default, and scroll if they are too long for the display (%s).
The next line is a peak meter (%pm), followed by the progress bar (%pr). Centered (%ac) under the progress bar is track current time (%pc), total track time (%pt) and remaining time (%pr). The next line shows the file size (%fs), the codec (?fc) and the bit rate of the file (%fv). The following line is one of the cooler features of the software; you can display details of the next track, which I have done here as a line that cycles through the next song title (%It), next song composer (%Ic; next song artist [%Ia] if composer is not available) and next song album (%Id), each displaying for four seconds (%t4)... I may change that last, as I think that it might be better off cycling faster. The bottom line simply lists the date (%c is the date code open, a is the day of the week, b is the month, e is the number of the day and Y is the year; the last c is the date code close).

melancthe has informed me that it is National Cleavage Day. You know, it never occured to me that there should be a day devoted to cleavage, but now that I do think about it, I am glad that such a day exists.

Yoinked from suitboyskin is this:

  1. So, what did you do all day?: I woke up, got a call from suitboyskin, had an interesting chat with melancthe and wrote some more code for Artoo's remote (see above).

  2. What is the most expensive thing you've bought recently?:
    I spent quite a bit putting new brake pads and additional repairs for The Bronze Mist.

  3. Last concert (or show) you attended:
    ....and you will know us by the Trail of the Dead, several months ago.

  4. Coolest thing you've gotten in the mail lately:
    A bunch of 11" x 17" movie posters, a dynamic collage for Seven Samurai, a version of the Conan the Barbarian artwork I'd never seen before, the classic "streak" Superman: The Movie and the "Have You Seen This Wizard" poster from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. A few others are on their way, but are backordered.

  5. Describe your favorite article of clothing:
    Hm. I guess that would be my cabbie's cap.

  6. Last video game played:
    I tried out jailnurse's Wii on Sunday.

  7. How many CDs do you have by any ONE artist or group?:
  8. What's for dinner?:
    I'm thinking Chinese at the moment.

  9. Do you have any collections?:
  10. What was the last board game you played?:
    Er... does Risk played at the computer count...?

  11. Who won?:
    I was about to, but Battlestar Galactica was coming on.

  12. Do you subscribe to any magazines?
    Douglas Pratt's The DVD-Laserdisc Newsletter, Video Watchdog, Skeptic. I used to have a subscription to Film Score Monthly, but they don't do print issues anymore.

  13. Last movie you saw at a theater:

  14. Last movie you watched at home:
    Casino Royale.

  15. Do you have any special traditions only you or your family does?:
    Die Hard is our Christmas movie. Trading Places is our New Year's movie. Young Frankenstein and Mønti Pythøn ik den Høli Gräilen are often quoted at length.

  16. What was the last thing you created:
    An version of The Mummy with more music than the official CD; it is not the complete score, rather the additional material is combined in a form similar to the way tracks on the album are.

  17. Are you reading any books right now?:
    I'm breezing through a collection of Carl Sagan's Gifford lectures called The Varieties of Scientific Experience.

  18. Do you remember your favorite book from childhood?:
    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

  19. What do you do when you can't fall asleep?:
    Lie in bed and try to sleep. Or come up with reasons why I can't make it into work tomorrow.

  20. Have you ever randomly bumped into a actor/actress/or other generally famous person on the street?:
    Not really. I ran into Lars Ulrich in a bar in Williamsburg once, though. He was an asshole.

  21. Are you more likely to read a book you've never read before if it's been made into a movie?:
    A movie might make me want to read a book, but I tend to read hard sci-fi, which doesn't often make it to cinema.

  22. Have you discovered what podcasts are yet? Do you have a favorite?:
    I've heard a few. I really think they're neat, although I don't follow any. I tend to download a few at a time and listen to them. I like the ones over on FSM and lehah's at MoF.

  23. What is your favorite kind of food that you only get to have once a year:
    Gefilte fish with chain (the sharpest horseradish this side of wasabi). And if you shuddered when I mentioned "gefilte fish," you don't know what you're missing.

  24. What's that noise?:
    That would be the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid performing "Building the Barn" under the baton of composer Maurice Jarre.

  25. Last dvd box set you bought?:
    The Forbidden Planet set with the lobby cards and the little Robby the Robot figure inside.

  26. Are there any musical artists that you used to like but don't anymore because their style of music changed too much?:
    Well, there's James Horner, who used to write interesting derivative scores and now writes boring derivative scores. On the other hand, part of the aforementioned conversation with melancthe was about how I liked Hans Zimmer's sound when he first appeared on the scene (Paperhouse, Black Rain, Backdraft, etc.), but now, four million identical Media Ventures scores later it is starting to get really grating to hear any of it. I would say that's more annoying than an artist you like evolving in a way you don't like.

  27. Are there any covers you think are better than the original?:
    Bruce Broughton's recording of Miklós Rózsa's Julius Caesar. Joel McNeely's recording of Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo. Many of Charles Gerhardt recordings. John Williams own revision of E.T. for LP. Jimi Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

  28. What food(s) do you go to the store for ASAP when you run out?:
    Desserts. ;)

  29. Isn't there another appropriate response for "I love you" besides "I love you, too."?:
    "I know." I admit that I cribbed this from suitboyskin, but I can't come up with a better response.

  30. Last new artist that you listened to and really liked:
    Alexandre Desplat.

  31. Last new one you hated:
    Whoever the last boring Media Ventures acolyte was.

  32. In which country do you wish you'd been born?:
    I'm pretty happy having been born in this one.

  33. When was the last time you were scared shitless?:
    When we found out that my grandfather had cancer.

  34. Do you like it when old ladies refer to you as "Dear", or "Hon", or "Sugar"?:
    I believe that such honorifics are annoying as all hell. They mean well by it, so I don't complain, but it gets on my nerves.

  35. What is your favorite physical flaw:
    I like how my third arm (which grew a few months after the nuclear power plant went blooey) can hold a flashlight while I do precision work. Seriously, what kind of a question is that?

  36. Share random fact about yourself:
    While I shower daily (often more than once a day), I haven't actually taken a bath in several years.

  37. What's the best field trip you ever went on?:
    When I was in the Boy Scouts, my troop would do a three week trip every two years. The one I got to go on was of New England and lower Canada. The greatest photograph I have ever taken was of a canon being fired at the Citadel.

  38. Have you ever dressed up for Halloween at work?:
    Yes. I showed up one Hallowe'en for at my obligatory fast food job as Franz Kafka. Nobody got it, although the spider wigged a couple of people out.

  39. Do you have any clothes that you pilfered or inherited from your parents?:
    Oh, good heavens no!

  40. How old is "old" to you?:
    Did you see Bubba Ho-Tep? That's old.

  41. What was the last free thing you've gotten?:

  42. What's your favorite black and white movie?:
    I don't have any single one favorite film, much less a single favorite black and white film. There's just too much, and many of my favorite filmmakers worked often in black and white. There's really no way for me to even start a list that would begin to answer this question.

  43. What color would you like to bleed?:
    Concentrated acid.

  44. Do you know any Furries?:
    I've met a few.

  45. If you have a wall calendar, what is it?
    I do not have a wall calender.

  46. Have you ever been to a convention?:
    Yes, just recently. And it sucked.

  47. If you were to dress up as a musician, which one would you be?:
    Benny Hill!

  48. Do you have a thing about ruining new stuff by personalizing?:
    How does that ruin it? It's mine.

  49. Ever have those moments when you realize that you somehow just cheated death?:
    Not really. I've heard it builds character, but I'm okay not having had such a moment. No, really. Thank you.

  50. Does it boggle your mind?:
    Nah. I'm pretty good at Boggle, actually.
Tags: audio, memes

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