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Alchemy Desktop - touch friendly control interface for HQPlayer for Windows


dean70
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Alchemy Desktop - touch friendly control interface for HQPlayer to browse music library and build custom Playlists on-the-fly. Browse by Artist/Album or Folder structure.

 

- Filters can be selected based on input format, genre or individual Albums/Playlists.

- Tracks can be automatically loaded into Ramdisk before playback with optimized rewrite data process! (3 copy methods available). Ideal with Softperfect RAM Disk.

- Library is color coded based on sample rate/format, eg: Redbook, hires PCM or DSD.

- Replay gain function which reads replay gain tags and takes control of volume levels.

- Suitable for remote control from a tablet using TeamViewer or nomachine remote desktop software.

- Runs in Server 2012 core mode.

 

Alchemy Desktop

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A nice idea, but it isn't working here. Is there a start up manual or something as I cannot get a track to load onto the right window.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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A nice idea, but it isn't working here. Is there a start up manual or something as I cannot get a track to load onto the right window.

 

You have to be connected to HQPlayer on the local machine. This will then show up as a completed chain link on the middle button when it connects to HQPlayer.

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OK, gotcha. Now it is working!

You have to be connected to HQPlayer on the local machine. This will then show up as a completed chain link on the middle button when it connects to HQPlayer.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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There seems to be a virus in your downloader. Even my anti-virus-free HQP build is discarding it via Chrome.

You mean the Windows SmartScreen prompt? This can occur for newly released installs that have yet to establish a reputation. It relates to the certificate on the setup program not being a fully vetted EV Certificate.

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No, Avast called it an infection...but I overcame it and installed it. My issue is that I scan for a start to my library, it finds my files, lists them in blue, I hit the check mark and nothing shows up on the main screen. Where did my library scan go?

 

The above example was setting up library in direct (?) mode. Folder mode worked, but now I want to delete that directory (it was a test) and there seems to be no way to do that.

 

What is difference in direct, folder, local and shared folders library setup modes?

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To save the library scan, hit the check on the Alchemy Library window and the Alchemy settings window. The application will close and reload with the library contents. Also ensure the correct folders are listed under Paths to Scan in the Library window.

 

I will check the app with Avast - could be a false +ve.

 

A Getting started guide PDF will be posted up soon.

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A Getting Started PDF guide is now available https://www.origen.net.au/Alchemy/Download/Win/Getting Started.pdf

 

Thanks. Makes more sense now.

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Two issues:

1) I tried my first library (test) populate function using "folders" on a small subdirectory oif my music. I don't like that view and want to delete them. I can't find a way (even uninstalled the application but likely registry entries kept it around).

2) Alchemy crashes often, but normally only when setting up a library. It has crashed (closed itself never to come back) several times when attempting to do a "local" scan. It has frozen a few times, too, but that was when I attempted to do any action (forgotten cover art checkbox, etc) during a scan (one would assume that is not possible, but instead it took my action and froze the application).

 

So currently I am left with a small "folder" library that I can't delete and a larger set of files that crashes the app in local scan, before adding them to the library. The folder library works fine and synchs with HQPlayer fine, but I don't want those folders in my library anymore.

 

I am running this (HQP and Alchemy) on my large HQP build documented here a few times (i7 6700k Win10 Pro with AO).

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The folder view only looks at the "Paths to Scan" library setting. You can remove that path using the - button. To display a Folder view, the Scan function does not need to be run, only the "Paths to Scan" folders are required.

 

I will change the setting to block the check for Cover Art during the scan. It may be having an issue with some of the tags when scanning, which I can improve the error handing during the scan function.

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Still no luck adding "local" to library. It scans, lists the files in blue, then when I hit the checkmark, it goes back to the main screen and show me nothing.

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Just check that the main Settings window is not still open in the background. It needs to be closed also with the check button. Then the library scan will save.

 

There will be a 1.01 release posted soon to improve the library setup functions.

 

Thanks for taking a look at my library xml file. Look forward to 1.01 and thanks for the great service.

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New version 1.0.1.0 released. The changes below have been made:

 

1.0.1.0 - Fixes            28/08/2016
   - Fixed library load failure in fields that contain &, <, > or "
   - Show library load failure dialog with reason error message
   - Correctly escape any embedded &, <, > or " chars on library scan and unescape back to original chars after load
   - Correctly disable transport & active playlist buttons when no tracks or HQPlayer unloaded
   - Show missing tags message during load of library window
   - Option to auto fill missing Album and Artist fields from folder structure and filename
   - Read into .dff and .wav files for sample rate, channels & duration info during library scan & track loads
   - Change settings windows behaviour so they dont appear on taskbar
   - Pressing tick on Library scan window after scan will force reload regardless of what method used to close main settings window
   - Library window will show (folder mode) when this is selected in main settings and disable all scan functions
   - Library load will show main window and status of load for large libraries. Same with Library window.
   - Renaming or deleting a playlist when tracks are playing will replace or clear the active playlist tracks unexpectedly.

 

Try out the Ramdisk function - this can be pointed to an empty folder on an SSD & enable one of the MMX or SSE2 rewrite data methods. This should improve sound quality even if you dont use a Ramdisk.

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Dean, if you are a representative of Alchemy - I sent you an email via the "Contact Us" button. In it, I pointed out a few deficiencies on the software - no volume control, etc. I'm not sure if the email got through as I never received an acknowledgement that my email was received.

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I did email them :) After I posted the above message, I received an email reply. This was my email:

 

Dear developers,

 

Thank you for writing this piece of software. I have been waiting for

a SIMPLE interface for HQPlayer with ability to browse through folders

for a very long time!

 

I am writing to you because your software almost fits the bill.

However, there are a few issues I thought I would bring to your

attention:

 

1. No volume control.

 

2. The default colour scheme is no better than HQPlayer's. Would it be

possible to make the interface panels resizable, preferably movable,

and allow users to create colour schemes or themes?

 

3. There is no full screen mode.

 

4. Some of my folders in my music directory have subfolders inside

them. On HQP, I simply drag the main folder (which contains all the

subfolders) into the playlist and all the tracks are loaded into the

playlist. This is not possible with Alchemy. A single click of a

folder simply opens it.

 

5. Would it be possible to specify an image to use as cover art for

each folder. In Windows explorer, each folder contains an image called

folder.jpg which Windows uses as cover art for that folder.

 

6. No ability to play CD.

 

Once again, thank you very much. If these are implemented in a future

release, I will definitely buy a license. Although AUD$12 is very

reasonable, at the moment I do not feel that it offers very much over

and above the default HQPlayer interface to be worth it.

 

... and this is their reply:

 

The interface will be getting a makover in the next release. It will be themed with selectable colour schemes.

The main window will be able to be maximised full screen.

The folder drop into a playlist will be added to add tracks for all sub folders. Each folder will be able to display an image file.

There are no plans for a volume control or CD playback in Alchemy. Volume should be accessible via the mulimedia keyboard functions in HQPlayer. Alchemy is mainly a control interface for HQPlayer offering additional functionality.

 

That's great. I'll wait and see what the next update brings.

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List of features planned for this release

 

  • Revamp the UI to a themed flat control scheme that can be customized.
  • Full-screen mode and resizable main window
  • Settings window will be reorganized to a single tabbed view with the existing multiple windows in its own tab
  • Allow editing of Artist, Album and Genre tags from Library Scan results
  • Connect to a remote instance of HQPlayer on any OS and control local playback from Alchemy
  • Existing Ramdisk function will be renamed to Drive Cache. Add the option to transcode flac and aiff files to wav when when loading into the Drive Cache using the rewrite data process.
  • Improve library load time on startup
  • Album view will be revamped to select grouping from main window. Group by artist, genre, year or view as folders
  • Multiple named libraries that can based on particular folders, or filtered by genre, format, sample rates or channels. Active library view will be selectable from the main window
  • Enhanced folder view to show image file for a folder and drag-and-drop entire sub-tree onto the active playlist. This will load all tracks in sub-folders
  • Sleep timer function to stop playback after specified time or at a specific time. Option to shutdown local PC
  • Zone function to allow individual active playlists to be sent to a remote HQPlayer instance

 

Existing licenses will be entitled to these feature upgrades as they are released.

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I would like to know if it's possible to use roon and Alchemy together.

To be more specific, I would like to use roonserver with the ipad remote, but would also like to take advantage of Alchemy's scriptable source format - output modulator/frequency routing at the same time. Both roon and HQPlayer haven't yet implemented this very very helpful logic.

 

I'm already a roon lifetime subscriptor, but I would definitely buy Alchemy for this feature.

Consultant to Taiko Audio

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