My life

Ow! I broke my finger…

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! The holiday fell on my birthday this year, so happy birthday to myself!

I also broke the ring finger on my left hand.

Last night, while unfolding a stepladder, I somehow managed to smash a finger tip between one the steps and the metal bar it snaps onto underneath. It actually latched on completely, so the stepladder was fully open, with my finger wedged inside. It hurt. It was even more painful when I managed to unlatch it and pull my finger out. It was a bit misshapen and the bottom of the fingernail actually popped out of the skin. It looked disgusting. (It still does, but I put a band-aid over that part so I don’t have to see it anymore.) I actually almost fainted, got all sweaty and weak.

So we went to the ER and they took an x-ray and confirmed a small fracture. Also got an extensor tendon disruption, so I can’t straighten out the end of the finger, so I’ve got a minor case of “mallet finger”. Hopefully the tendon is not completely torn and it will heal with no need for surgery. (Fingers crossed, but not that one.)

I’ve got a splint on the finger now. The pain has subsided with some pain meds, but still hasn’t gone away. I have to hold the hand up a bit, otherwise the finger throbs with pain. Fortunately I’m right-handed, so the loss of dexterity is not too extreme. I can also still use the index finger and thumb of my left hand, I just can’t bend the middle finger or pinky very much with the ring finger in a splint.

The doctor said not to do any work whatsoever for at least a year. I can only stay in bed and watch movies. Really wish I could do some work, but… *sigh*… oh well!

By S P Hannifin, ago
Interesting things

Fun with AI generated art

Over the past week I’ve been having some fun generating bizarre digital art with AI via a couple of websites. You generate the art by simply giving the AI a text prompt, such as “castles in the sky” and, after a couple of minutes, out pops the AI’s somewhat abstract but interesting interpretation:

Castles in the Sky

Since the results are rather abstract, it helps to use words that lack specific forms, such as clouds and landscapes. If you ask for an animal or human, you’re probably not going to get anything that actually resembles their shape, but rather only some abstract colors and textures that resemble them. For instance, here is “dolphins eating sandwiches”:

Dolphins Eating Sandwiches

It also helps to give the AI some hints as to what the result should look like. For instance, the exact prompt for “castles in the sky” above was actually: “An enormous castle floats in the sky beautiful artwork”. Adding the tags “beautiful artwork” help give it a more painterly look.

The art is also limited in resolution; the AI just takes too much memory for larger pics, so the smaller resolutions are the norm.

I’ve been using two websites to create such art:

  1. NightCafe Studio’s AI Art Generator. The site features a very nice user interface, lets you set some optional settings, and allows you to save and share your work while exploring the works of others. It does make you create an account and limits how much you can create with it using a credit system. You can buy credits or earn some. You can check out my profile here: https://creator.nightcafe.studio/u/Seanthebest
  2. NeuralBlender has no user interface or options, but does not seem to limit use. You do have to wait for the AI to finish its current image before starting a new one if you want to see it in your browser.

I have not yet tried it, but if you do a bit of Googling, you can find resources on how to set up your own AI art generator without having to use one of the websites above; the tech is called VQGAN+CLIP and is available to all. A “GAN” is a generative adversial network … and I have no idea what the other acronyms stand for (obviously you can Google that too). So I’m not sure how long the above websites will stay in service considering the tech is not proprietary, nor do I think the AI produces artwork of enough controllable quality to be of widespread use beyond offering an amusing spectacle.

Still, it’s fun to play with. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve generated so far:

Colorful Clouds

Airship

The Sky Is Cracked

Blue Sky at Night

Stone Palace

Library

Library 2

Library 3

By S P Hannifin, ago
Movies

Movies watched in May 2021

I’m a month behind already, so here are the movies I watched this May.

Wish I Was Here

In this 2014 film written and directed by Zach Braff, an actor struggling to find work decides to home school his kids after his dying father (Mandy Patinkin) can no longer afford to pay for their private schooling.

These indie comic tragedies are hit or miss for me, usually miss, and this one was definitely a miss. A lot of the humor was just not my style, such as kids cursing and being crass. Most of the more “serious” dialog didn’t work for me either, felt too obviously scripted. “I know you don’t believe in God, but maybe you can believe in family…” What is that supposed to mean? The main character getting all Walter Mitty daydreamy also made little sense to me. I couldn’t figure out Many Patinkin’s character, why did he seem overly judgmental at random times? His dialog just didn’t feel natural.

Overall, the film was just too thematically all over the place, I have no idea what it was really supposed to be about. Is it about death, unfulfilled dreams, responsibility, fatherhood? All those issues can play a part, of course, but thematically you gotta pick one so the overall story has some focus.

Things Heard & Seen

I honestly already forgot what this 2021 film was about. I think it was some kind of ghost story? Whatever it was, it was boring and forgettable. It did feature (and take its title from) a book from a 1758 called Heaven and its Wonders and Hell From Things Heard and Seen by Emanuel Swedenborg, an account of his spiritual visions, which I thought sounded interesting (though perhaps heretical from a Catholic point of view).

Third Person

This 2013 film from writer / director Paul Haggis was similar to his 2004 film Crash in that it features a small collection of characters with interrelated stories. They all share a similar theme, as they seem to involve a parent coping with losing a child to a pool drowning. As the film goes on, you start to understand what stories are only in a writer’s head and what is real. Overall, though, the story left me rather unsatisfied.

Come Play

In this 2020 horror film, a non-verbal autistic child is haunted by some kind of strange monster from an ebook on his tablet who apparently wants to take him to his creepy monster ghost world. If that sounds like a weird premise, it is. Somehow a phone recognizing a face just behind you that you can’t see isn’t really all that creepy. The film is ultimately more silly and stupid than it is creepy. The child does enjoy SpongeBob though, so it features some great SpongeBob moments.

The Suicide Song

In this 2007 Japanese horror movie, a popular song with mysterious origins seems to be involved in a series of suicides, a creepy premise that unfortunately doesn’t deliver. The story is too convoluted and confusing, jumping between too many characters and side stories, and the ending feels so random and out-of-nowhere that it doesn’t satisfy. Perhaps something was lost in translation; Japanese horror films do tend to have their own style and tropes. But I think this one was just too ambitious for its own good.

Objectified

This 2009 documentary is supposed to be about the design of everyday things, the ubiquitous items we use everyday whose designs we just take for granted. Unfortunately rather than actually explore the creative decisions designers make, the documentary makes the same sort of mistake as last month’s Steinway documentary; it turns into a bunch of talking heads sitting on stupid-looking chairs talking about their random opinions about their work. It’s such a lazy way to make a documentary. The viewer doesn’t learn much.

In Their Skin

In this 2012 horror / thriller, a family arrives at their vacation house and meets some new neighbors who are a little too friendly and won’t go away. It soon becomes apparent that these new neighbors want to kill them and take on their identities. Why? Because… whatever! The plot is nonsense and the dialog is bland. Another forgettable movie.

A Little Princess

I saw this as a kid, but hadn’t seen it in decades. Based on my 4x great aunt’s classic children’s novel, this 1995 film tells the story of Sara Crewe who is dropped off at a decadent but stiffling boarding school while her father (played by a younger Liam Cunningham of Game of Thrones fame) goes off to war. When news of her father’s death reaches the school, Sara finds herself in complete poverty, and must strive to keep her spirit alive after having her belongings and social status pulled out from under her. Although the film’s music and cinematography are fantastic (cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki would go on to work on films like Gravity, The Tree of Life, and The Revenant), the screenwriting leaves something to be desired. Still, the overall story still works well enough.

 

Let Him Go

In this 2020 drama, a pair of grandparents set out to rescue their grandson and daughter-in-law after their son dies and his wife remarries an abusive guy from an abusive family. While the overall story was a bit bland with some stretches that just moved too slowly for me, it had some good suspenseful moments.

The Sleepover

In this 2020 family film, a standard sleepover turns upside-down when children realize their mother is a former master thief living in witness protection. Her former criminal colleagues try to force her to pull another job, leaving the overly clever and resourceful children to set out to find her. It’s a family adventure comedy, so of course everything is ridiculous and over-the-top, but it’s a fun little movie as long as you don’t try to take it too seriously.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

This 2016 animated film is a tie-in (I think a prequel) to the Final Fantasy XV video game. I haven’t played the video game, and perhaps that’s the reason I understood nothing at all in this film. A lot of action, but I didn’t know who anyone was or why anyone was doing anything.

Minari

This 2020 drama takes place in the 1980’s when a small Korean family moves to rural Arkansas to try and start a farm. With little money and a lot at risk, family tensions run high. A sort of slice-of-life drama, it was a little too slow-paced and meandering for me. It didn’t feel like it ever really went anywhere, I think it needed more emotional focus. It got great reviews though, so it obviously worked for a lot of people, but wasn’t quite my cup of tea. It was funny how they thought Mountain Dew was a healthy drink though.

The Woman in the Window

In this 2021 psychological thriller, a woman with agoraphobia (Amy Adams) meets a friendly neighbor from across the street who then disappears. Fearing she’s been murdered by her abusive husband, she discovers the neighbor apparently never existed. Maybe her extreme anxiety is making her delusional? Or are her neighbors hiding some dark secrets? While it’s not a brilliant genre-shattering mystery, it’s a decent movie, perhaps reminding one of Hitchcock (though not quite a masterful). It’s perhaps a bit slow at times, but it comes to a satisfying (if predictable) conclusion.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Problems

Cantor’s infinities are meaningless and stupid

Overall, this video provides a good intro to some important math ideas:

Here are some random thoughts on the video:

I don’t think principles like undecidability necessarily imply a “hole” or “flaw” in mathematics. It only appears to be a “hole” if you’re assuming something should be there, like decidability. But that’s based on your assumption that it should exist in the first place.

The video soon turns to Cantor, giving me the perfect opportunity to finally rant about how foolish he was! (I’ve been intending to do so for some time.)

Cantor’s infinities are a bit of a pet peeve of mine. His foolishness, and the foolishness of those who nod in bedazzled wonder and agreement with his nonsense, stem from a lack of understanding the implications of infinity. Infinite size means no size. That can be confusing, because in this instance “no size” does not mean a size of 0. So how can something have no size without the size being 0? By being infinity. One must stop thinking about infinity as a number, but as a concept parallel to that of number.

So when Cantor asks (at 4:30 in the video): “Are there more natural numbers or more real numbers between 0 and 1?”

Woah, back it up, back it up, beep, beep, beep!

That is a nonsense question. It’s like asking: “What is five divided by green?” By definition, there cannot be “more” or “less” of something that has no amount to begin with. There are infinite natural numbers. There is not an amount of natural numbers, because there are an infinite amount, which means there is no amount. So there cannot be more, or less, or the same. There can be no comparison whatsoever because what you’re trying to compare is the amount, which does not exist.

Does infinity equal infinity? If you’re intending to compare amounts, the question is again meaningless nonsense. Infinity cannot, in this sense, equal or not equal infinity because you cannot compare them like finite amounts.

As the video shows, Cantor goes on to (rather stupidly) compare two lists. His methods are meaningless because his premise (that infinities can be compared) is already flawed. He then finds with his “diagonalization proof” that you can’t logically define a pairing between every natural number and every real number between 0 and 1, and in the depths of his infinite stupidity thinks that this somehow proves that there are “more” real numbers than natural numbers.

Uh, no it doesn’t, Mr Georg without an “e”. All you’ve shown is that you didn’t actually succeed in defining a pairing. You haven’t proven anything about sizes because infinite sets do not have sizes. Whether or not you can rigorously define a pairing (a one-to-one corresponce) implies nothing at all about sizes. It only proves your definition of the pairing to be paradoxical nonsense. You can’t say “let’s assume we’ve paired all natural numbers to real numbers between 0 and 1” and then say “here’s a real number that can’t be in the list!” That just means we didn’t actually pair the sets to begin with!

The crux of the paradox doesn’t lie in the “sizes” of the sets anyway (which don’t exist). It lies in the inability to express all real numbers with finite decimal places in the decimal system. If we take for granted that we could instead express some otherwise undefined real number with an arbitrary symbol (like, gee I don’t know, a natural number), the paradox is completely resolved. There is nothing to “diagonalize” and the one-to-one corresponse is complete. Logic 1, Cantor 0.

At 6:45: “Cantor’s work was just the latest blow to mathematics…” Perhaps more of a blow to mathematical philosophies than to math itself. Aside from being complete nonsense, it had no implications aside from morons thinking “oh wow, different size infinities sure is amazing, derp!” which is about as meaningful as thinking, “oh wow, five sure is colorful, derp!”

At 7:27: “On the one side were the intuitionists who thought that Cantor’s work was nonsense. They were convinced that math was a pure creation of the human mind and that infinities like Cantor’s weren’t real.”

Perhaps, but whether or not an infinity can be “real” is really not the issue with Cantor’s illogic. Also, his lack of logic in this particular area does not necessarily imply inherent weakness with set theory in general.

The video goes on to speak of set theory’s self-reference paradox. It is indeed a paradox, but is by itself really no weakness of set theory anymore than the existence of paradox itself is somehow a weakness of the human mind that conceives of them. In fact, one could say the ability of a system to define a paradox is actually a strength.  It’s like trying to make a programming language that doesn’t allow for infinite loops by taking out the ability to have any loops at all.

I really like the video’s explanation of Gödel’s work with using; actually, perhaps because it’s visual and tangible, I think it may be the best explanation I’ve seen!

At 31:34: Haha, what is this artsy-fartsy shot? “Look at my back as I gaze at the sky and ponder the deep thoughts of the world…”

The video ends by circling back to the “hole” in math, which is now defined as not being able to know everything with certainty, which seems a rather imprecise way of summing up undecidability and incompleteness as it takes for granted the meaning of “certainty”. I guess we could say: “Hey, Gödel, if math is incomplete, then your proof is incomplete and therefore not a proof! Hyuck hyuck!”

By S P Hannifin, ago
Interesting things

UFOs: Are they projections?

I was just randomly thinking about the strange ways in which UFOs seem to defy the laws of physics:

  • Anti-gravity
  • No visual propulsion system
  • Maintain insane speeds
  • Accelerate with insane force
  • Observed in air and water

But what if we’re taking it for granted that the UFO is a unit unto itself?

This isn’t a perfect analogy, but think about shining a laser pointer on the wall. With the rotation of the wrist, we can give the dot of light similar physics weirdness, albeit limited to two dimensions. The point of light doesn’t propel itself, so it doesn’t need a propulsion system. Likewise, insane speeds and accelerations are actually derived from magnified wrist rotations, and so are not nearly as insane as they seem.

Granted, this doesn’t quite explain the anti-gravity. Gravity’s effect on light is negligible from our typical standpoint; it’s generally not until we’re studying blackholes or light across galactic distances through telescopes that gravity’s effect on light becomes measurable. Assuming UFOs are not just light, it seems they’d still have to contend with gravity. Still, maybe whatever is “projecting” them provides the force needed to hold them aloft.

The analogy also breaks down dimensionally. The dot of light from a laser pointer projects onto a wall and bounces to our eyes. Without the wall, the light would just keep travelling and disappating into space. If UFOs are projections, what are they projecting onto? (This is also the obvious challenge of developing the sort of 3D hologram systems often seen in movies like Star Wars. How can we seemingly get light to reflect at a specific point in empty space?) And, for that matter, how can one project actual physical matter rather than just light?

I have no clue, I just thought it was an interesting idea.

Regardless, I’d love to know what their weird UFO things are and what exactly they’re doing out there.

By S P Hannifin, ago
Movies

Movies watched in April 2021

I haven’t done a “movies I watched” post on this blog in something like 8 or 9 years. But let’s get back to it, shall we? So here are the films I watched for this first time in April 2021:

The Sign of Four

This is a made-for-British-TV Sherlock Holmes film, based on the Arthur Conan Doyle story of the same name. The mystery itself was not very deep or engaging, but the film was entertaining mostly because of its dated cheesiness. A digression: I’ve never been quite impressed with Holmes as a character, as his deductive powers mostly rely on the author giving him the power to correctly guess what the author wants him to based on the clues the author gives him for that exact purpose; that is, it’s all what I call a “cleverness cheat“; making successful deductions in the real world is hardly so convenient. Anyway, they also filmed The Hound of Baskervilles the same year with the same actor playing Holmes, so I hope to watch that at some point as well. (According to Wikipedia, they originally intended to film six Sherlock Holmes stories, but I guess that didn’t work out for complicated business reasons.)

Greyhound

This 2020 war film starring Tom Hanks is based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester (best known for his other book The African Queen, the classic movie adaptation of which I still haven’t seen). The film is about a bunch of ships fighting in the Atlantic during World War II. And “fighting in the Atlantic” is really all the plot consists of. The screenplay was written by Tom Hanks himself, and I guess it shows, because it’s really not that great; no change in pacing, no character development, no subtext. Just a bunch of commands from military people and boats fighting.

One Hundred and One Dalmations

I of course have seen this 1961 Disney animated classic before, but it’s been a long time. If I recall my Disney animation trivia correctly, this was their first film to use Xerox machines to transfer the animators’ line drawings to cel sheets for coloring, a process which had to be done by hand before. This saved them a lot of time and gave the drawings a bit more of an organic look, which of course blends well with the film’s jazzy blocky-colored backgrounds. Everyone probably knows the story: a bunch of puppy dalmations are kidnapped by Cruella de Vil (you know you’re asking for trouble when you name your kid something like that), who wants their fur. They are then rescued, along with a bunch of other puppies that had been stolen. By the way, why does Roger assume he gets to keep so many stolen puppies? One thing I noticed that I never had before was the What’s My Line? parody that the puppies watch on TV while kidnapped, called What’s My Crime? That must’ve been completely over my head as a kid.

Rat Race

This 2001 comedy, very obviously inspired by the star-studded 1963 comedy It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, features a bunch of people racing from Nevada to New Mexico in hopes of being first to nab some treasure for the entertainment of a bunch of wealthy people betting on them. Nothing profound, but a fun comedy.

Godzilla vs Kong

This is the first film I’ve watched in theaters since the beginning of 2020. I mostly wanted to see it in theaters because it was in 3D, and there have been hardly any releases in 3D for the past year, thanks to both the pandemic and dwindling interest in 3D movies in general. Unfortunately the 3D conversion was not great, nor was the weird story, which involved taking Kong to the mystical realm deep inside the earth to find a mystical weapon to defend the world from Godzilla’s destruction. It really made no sense, but I suppose one must not think too much with a movie like this.

WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

This 2021 documentary tells the bizarre tale of the company WeWork, whose phenomenal valuation came mostly from a bizarre CEO’s ability to convince investors of it. As far as I can tell, nothing illegal actually happened; a lot of people just got drunk on the promises, perception, and larger-than-life energy of a CEO, only to realize the company wasn’t nearly as valuable as it seemed. Interesting story, but I still get the sense there’s a lot more to the over-valuation than just what the documentary presents. What really made people believe the company’s crazy valuation without solid verification?

Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037

This 2007 documentary chronicles the creation of a Steinway piano from start to finish. Unfortunately it’s not very informative in terms of the how’s and why’s of piano building. Instead we just watch the workers doing random work while listening to them talk about their backgrounds and how they got into piano building. This is spliced with interviews of famous musicians waxing poetic about how pianos have their own personalities, as though anyone willing to watch a documentary on piano creation would think otherwise. I don’t think I learned anything interesting from this film.

Boss Level

This 2021 action-comedy is about a man who’s stuck in a time loop. Everytime he dies, he wakes up to start the same day again. The day mostly consists of assassins trying to kill him as he in turn tries to figure out why they want him dead, and why he’s stuck in a time loop. It’s a bit like Edge of Tomorrow, but without aliens. It’s a fun popcorn movie, but don’t expect anything deep or profound.

Suspiria

This 1977 Italian horror (though it’s in English) is considered a classic among horror fans, though it was too cheesy for me. It’s about a girl who enters a ballet school and slowly discovers its sinister (albeit chiché) secrets. Not sure why it’s considered such a classic; nothing about it seemed all that interesting to me.

Grand Isle

In this 2019 drama, a young man has the misfortune of being stuck with a creepy crazy Nicolas Cage and his crazy wife during a storm. Hilarity ensues. Actual, a rather dull and bland story ensues. This one’s pretty forgettable.

The Darkness

This 2016 horror is also bland and forgettable. A young autistic boy finds some weird stones in the wilderness. When he brings them home, the spirits of evil Native Americans begin to haunt the house. It follows the standard horror movie template. Not much of interest here.

Captain Phillips

“I am the captain now.” This 2013 action drama starring Tom Hanks tells the true story of how Captain Phillips narrowly survived his cargo ship being hijacked by Somali pirates. Things get especially tense when, having failed to steal much of value from the ship itself, they take Phillips hostage and wind up in a long stand-off with the US military. An interesting story but a mostly average film. Not bad, but not great.

Agenda: Payback

This 2018 action drama mostly consists of an unsavory Sean Patrick Flanery getting tied up and tortured by various figures in his life who seek vengeance on him for past misdoings. There’s a lot you can do with a minimal set and cast. Misery for example. But you’ve gotta pace yourself, vary the dramatic arcs, give it space to rise and fall. This movie is a great example of how not to do it. It’s bland, boring, and forgettable.

The Boys from Brazil

This 1978 thriller follows an old Laurence Olivier as a Nazi hunter investigating some Nazi activity and uncovers a shocking and horrible Nazi plot! I won’t spoil it, but the plot turns out to be more ridiculous, silly, and convoluted than it is all that shocking or horrible. Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck don some rather silly-sounding German accents as well.

Dolphin Tale

Watched this in my search for family friendly films. This 2011 drama is loosely inspired by the true story of a dolphin being rescued and given an prosthetic tail after being found trapped in ropes on the shore. A rather low-stakes cheesy story, but a nice family film I suppose. It’s also a rare film that was actually filmed in 3D, and so offers a very good 3D picture. The extra dimension doesn’t add much to the story here, but I still love 3D movies, especially ones actually filmed in 3D (rather than cheap conversions, like Godzilla vs Kong).

Awakenings

This 1990 drama stars Robin Williams as a doctor and Robert De Niro as a catatonic patient in a New York City hospital. After an experimental treatment, De Niro gains control over his body again and is eager to explore the world after decades stuck in the hospital. It’s based on a book by Oliver Sacks, so is supposedly a true story, yet it’s very obviously Hollywood-ized. Also, De Niro did not seem right for the role. Not sure if it was his acting or just the association of his persona with his more famous roles, but I just couldn’t see him as the character he was trying to portray. (Robin Williams, on the other hand, always seems to play doctors very well.)

By S P Hannifin, ago
Tunesage

TuneSage progress update 4

It’s already been two weeks since the previous update? Bleh, I program too slowly. The undo / redo system was a bit tricky to implement, as was exporting MIDI files. The saving and loading pieces from a MongoDB database is also tricky, but that’s mostly because I’m having to reacquaint myself with how it works. It should only take about another day’s worth of work to finish that up, I hope.

I’ve added just one more thing to the list that I want to finish before I start focusing more on the back-end, and that’s implementing chord markers. The first thing I’ll implement on the back-end is a chord progression generator, since that’s pretty easy (and hardly innovative), so of course I’ll need a way to display them.

After chords, I can move on to melodies and accompaniment, which is where I hope things will get more interesting.

  • Playing features
    • Play from a selected position 
    • Play or loop a selection (skip!)
    • Show play location in minutes / seconds (skip!)
    • Pause play (saves play position) 
    • Show / hide measure numbers 
  • Move / create tempos (or tempo groups for accelerandos?) (skip!)
  • Note editing
    • Move / create / delete / edit notes or note groups (skip!)
    • Copy / paste notes or note groups (skip!)
    • Edit note velocities (skip!)
  • Measure editing
    • Delete / create / edit measures 
    • Delete / create / edit sections (measure groups)
  • Track editing
    • Load track instrument from MIDI file 
    • Edit track instrument 
    • Edit track volume / stereo positions (skip!)
    • Auto-color tracks differently (skip!)
  • Chords
    • Create / delete chord marks (only triads and 7ths for now)
    • Color lines by chord voice
  • Load / display / edit key signatures (skip!)
  • MIDI loading
    • Load note velocities from MIDI 
    • Fix MIDI loading bug: Extra note at end of file (skip!)
  • Saving / exporting
    • Save / load music pieces to / from personal database
    • Import / Export MIDI files
    • Export music to WAV or MP3 (skip!)
  • Bookmark sections of a piece (skip!)
  • Zoom in and out (horizontally) 
  • Undo / redo support (Ctrl+Z) ✓
  • Import soundfonts from computer (low priority) (skip!)
  • Account
    • Confirm email (if necessary) (skip!)
    • Log in / out / reset password (skip!)
    • Edit optional personal info (skip!)
    • Usage stats (skip!)
  • Final design pass (make everything look good) (skip!)

By S P Hannifin, ago
Tunesage

TuneSage progress update 3

A few more things checked off the list. Added a couple “measure editing” tasks. Quite a few tasks I think can probably be skipped for now, as I’d like to get back to working on the back-end so I can then work on integrating the back-end with the front-end. Most of the skipped items should not be overly difficult anyway (though difficulty is always easy to underestimate). Excluding the skipped items leaves the items in bold: measure editing, save / load / export stuff, and an “undo” system, which I guess will be better to tackle earlier than later.

I still need to have a good think about what features the back-end should include at launch; that is, what specific music-generating features would be most useful. I’ll do that in another post a bit later, I suppose.

  • Playing features
    • Play from a selected position 
    • Play or loop a selection (skip!)
    • Show play location in minutes / seconds (skip!)
    • Pause play (saves play position) 
    • Show / hide measure numbers 
  • Move / create tempos (or tempo groups for accelerandos?) (skip!)
  • Note editing
    • Move / create / delete / edit notes or note groups (skip!)
    • Copy / paste notes or note groups (skip!)
    • Edit note velocities (skip!)
  • Measure editing
    • Delete / create / edit measures
    • Delete / create / edit sections (measure groups)
  • Track editing
    • Load track instrument from MIDI file 
    • Edit track instrument 
    • Edit track volume / stereo positions (skip!)
    • Auto-color tracks differently (skip!)
  • Load / display / edit key signatures (skip!)
  • MIDI loading
    • Load note velocities from MIDI 
    • Fix MIDI loading bug: Extra note at end of file (skip!)
  • Saving / exporting
    • Save / load music pieces to / from personal database
    • Export music to MIDI
    • Export music to WAV or MP3 (skip!)
  • Bookmark sections of a piece (skip!)
  • Zoom in and out (horizontally) 
  • Undo / redo support (Ctrl+Z)
  • Import soundfonts from computer (low priority) (skip!)
  • Account
    • Confirm email (if necessary) (skip!)
    • Log in / out / reset password (skip!)
    • Edit optional personal info (skip!)
    • Usage stats (skip!)
  • Final design pass (make everything look good) (skip!)

By S P Hannifin, ago
Tunesage

TuneSage progress update 2

It’s been five days and, judging by the to-do list, it doesn’t look like I’ve done much. I actually spent a bunch of time fixing various bugs.

Also I added a few new things to the to-do list; “auto-color tracks differently” will be easy; that’s just a matter of cycling through hues when a MIDI is loaded, the same sort of thing I did in the Java-based MIDI animator.

I also want to allow the user to import their own soundfont from their computer. (Although honestly that’s probably a feature that can wait until after launch, so that one’s iffy.)

Finally, we’ll need an “undo / redo” feature so that when the user presses Ctrl+Z, it will undo the last change. Not really sure of the best way to implement that, but we’ll figure it out.

  • Playing features
    • Play from a selected position 
    • Play or loop a selection
    • Show play location in minutes / seconds
    • Pause play (saves play position) 
    • Show / hide measure numbers 
  • Move / create tempos (or tempo groups for accelerandos?)
  • Note editing
    • Move / create / delete / edit notes or note groups
    • Copy / paste notes or note groups
    • Edit note velocities
  • Track editing
    • Load track instrument from MIDI file 
    • Edit track instrument
    • Edit track volume / stereo positions
    • Auto-color tracks differently
  • Load / display / edit key signatures
  • MIDI loading
    • Load note velocities from MIDI
    • Fix MIDI loading bug: Extra note at end of file
  • Saving / exporting
    • Save / load music pieces to / from personal database
    • Export music to MIDI
    • Export music to WAV or MP3
  • Bookmark sections of a piece
  • Zoom in and out (horizontally)
  • Undo / redo support (Ctrl+Z)
  • Import soundfonts from computer (low priority)
  • Account
    • Confirm email (if necessary)
    • Log in / out / reset password
    • Edit optional personal info
    • Usage stats
  • Final design pass (make everything look good)

By S P Hannifin, ago
Programming

TuneSage progress update 1

There’s still lots of work to do on TuneSage. I’m hoping if I regularly blog some short progress updates, it may encourage productivity, as it did last year with Trovedex.1

Right now I’m working on the front-end. As always, it’s a bit of a balancing act deciding what features need to be included and what features can wait to be added after launch. So far, the completed features include:

  • Load a MIDI from file
  • Mute / solo tracks
  • Change track colors
  • Show / hide tempo marks (from MIDI)
  • Edit / delete tempos
  • Show / hide measure lines
  • Show / hide pitch lines
  • Play MIDI

Features on the to-do list:

  • Playing features
    • Play from a selected position
    • Play or loop a selection
    • Show play location in minutes / seconds
    • Pause play (saves play position)
  • Move / create tempos (or tempo groups for accelerandos?)
  • Note editing
    • Move / create / delete / edit notes or note groups
    • Copy / paste notes or note groups
    • Edit note velocities
  • Track editing
    • Load track instrument from MIDI file
    • Edit track instrument
    • Edit track volume / stereo positions
  • Load / display / edit key signatures
  • MIDI loading
    • Load note velocities from MIDI
    • Fix MIDI loading bug: Extra note at end of file
  • Saving / exporting
    • Save / load music pieces to / from personal database
    • Export music to MIDI
    • Export music to WAV or MP3
  • Bookmark sections of a piece
  • Zoom in and out (horizontally)
  • Account
    • Confirm email (if necessary)
    • Log in / out / reset password
    • Edit optional personal info
    • Usage stats
  • Final design pass (make everything look good)

That’s not counting the further work of integrating the back-end with the front-end.

Anyway, my goal is to finish all the above before the end of this month (April 2021), and then I can move on to integrating the back-end (which still needs a good bit of work itself).

Feel free to suggest any features you’d like; though, like I said, I’m only trying to do the minimum needed to launch.

By S P Hannifin, ago