[Sugar-devel] Fwd: Testing Summary - Wellington, 9 Oct 2010

Art Hunkins abhunkin at uncg.edu
Sun Oct 10 18:46:35 EDT 2010

Tim and Alastair,

Thanks for your helpful feedback re: FileMix.

My comments, in no particular order:

1) A set of default soundfiles is included, and I believe the on-screen text indicates that.

2) The name "FileMix" *is* a verb - or at least can be thought of that way (I do). Mix is here a live, real-time activity; indeed no output file "mix" is created. I realize the title is somewhat open; it is meant to suggest that you can record your own files and then "live mix" them. I'd considered "mix," but thought that term *too* wide open.

3) Yes, there is an issue with "MIDI controllers." I'm assuming that if you don't know what that means, you don't have one, and should try the two options that don't require them. MIDI can get complicated, and certainly requires teacher input. I've made a recommendation re: an appropriate, inexpensive MIDI controller, but currently it's hidden at the beginning of the filemix.py file. It should be made visible in a .txt file included in the XO bundle; I'll eventually add one - though I don't know how much that will help. (Even *more* text.) This will happen after I get #4 solved (next item).

4) I'm currently working on incorporating student-generated soundfiles into the activity, as you may have noted from mail on this listserv. I'm trying to get ObjectChooser to import sound objects from the Journal into FileMix. I'm still struggling with this, but the end result will eliminate the renaming issue. The Record activity is the obvious vehicle for soundfile-making. In the last analysis, the XO-1.5 (Sugar 0.84.x) is the *only* version of Record currently creating useable recordings. (I've filed tickets about this - even SoaS 0.84 has problems, and the XO-1 Record doesn't produce a file type [Ogg Speex] that FileMix can use.) So - development here is in process. My basic problem is that I can't seem to get the (Journal's) sound object filename communicated to Csound. (I'm working with Csounders on this issue.)

5) Thanks for your other suggestions as well. I wish I had the technical expertise to implement some of them. As far as illegal soundfile types and missing/maladjusted MIDI controllers are concerned, all I can say is that things don't work (i.e., no sound) in such cases (*some* helpful clues as to errors appear in the Log file). At least (to my knowledge) there are no system failures.

Art Hunkins

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tim McNamara 
  To: Sugar Developers 
  Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 12:16 AM
  Subject: [Sugar-devel] Fwd: Testing Summary - Wellington, 9 Oct 2010

  Forwarding to Sugar-devel..

  ## filemix-2
  Tim =>
   - perhaps rename activity to "mix", in keeping with Sugar HIG 
     (Activities as verbs)
   - neat icon
   - no pulsing icon on load :(
   - immediate thoughts: super cool concept
   - perhaps use the user's colours, rather than olive green for the buttons?
   - had no files to test with

   - *lots* of text
     - I would like to tuck lots of this away in future versions
     - "You are urged to make your own" 
       - perhaps reference a sound recording activity?
     - "midi device required"
       - how do I know if I have one?
       - shouldn't the activity be able to let me know?

   - suggestions for future versions:
    - make files selectable, renaming to soundin.1, ...  ,soundin.4 is a lot of work
    - run through a diagnostics dialogue with sample files:
      - can you hear this? MIDI, MP3, OGG, WAV, ...

  Alastair =>
   - no audio to test with

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