I got sent home from work early tonight and I wanted to get some work done on my game since I hadn't worked on it today.  While going through my sound files I went through the same thing I've experienced during each of my previous games, dozens if not hundreds of sound files and I can't find the one I'm thinking of!  One after the other I opened each file to see if it was the one I remembered from some past time I was going through them.  It is time consuming and very frustrating!

The problem with the sound files is that you have to take the time to hear each one before you know if it is the right one.  When it comes to images, sighted individuals benefit by being able to arrange images as thumbnails and quickly scan over them to find the one they want.  For those of you who have never been able to see, this might be hard to grasp, but scanning through image thumbnails means our brain can get basic information about dozens of images at the same time.  When one stands out as being similar to the one we are searching for, we can quickly put more attention on it to verify if it truly is the one we seek or if it is merely similar but not quite the same.  If it is not the right one we can instantly switch back to spreading our brain power over a lot of images simultaneously.

This whole process is a lot like opening up many windows on your computer so that each one can be doing something different.  It is much faster than doing each window, waiting for it to do its job, and then opening the next one.

My huge annoying list of sound files got me wondering if the same basic principle could be applied to sound files.  From what I can see, people in this community collect sound files in the same way sighted people collect image files.  With that being the case, odds are each of you could have hundreds of collected sound files on your computer.  Like images, sound files are hard to specifically name.  Sure you can name one "Dog barking" but that doesn't help when you are looking for 1 particular bark and you have 50 recordings of dogs barking.  Bad example I know, but hopefully you understand what I mean.  Many sounds simply cannot be given proper names either, like all of the many beeps and buzz sounds that would be hard to associate to a file name.

I threw together a tool that arranges sound files into a series of thumbnails for quicker searches.  At the moment there are 2 files but I plan to take it down to just 1 if people think this is useful.  Stick the files into a folder you're storing sound files in and run it.  Each of the folder's wav files will be laid out in a 2 dimensional array.  Use either the arrow keys or the mouse to move between them.  To get the true thumbnail effect you'll need to use the mouse or a track pad.  Sliding through them will allow you to hear each get louder or softer as though they are each little radios on your desk that you are moving over.  Because you can pick up multiple sounds at the same time, this attempts to simulate the eye's ability to spread attention among multiple objects simultaneously to save time.  Move over the one you want and left click to copy it to the windows clipboard.  Shift + click will add or remove more files to the list in the clipboard.  Once you've grabbed the ones you want you can press Escape to close the program and now the desired files can be pasted wherever you wish using Ctrl+V as usual.

While navigating you can press the right mouse button to center yourself on whichever sound you are closest to.
Holding shift and pressing Up or Down will adjust the volume.
Pressing spacebar will display every file in the current directory, pressing a letter or number will only show the files that begin with that letter or number.  When jumping back and forth between files that begin with certain letters, the program will continue to remember which files are selected so that you can keep adding to it.
Arrow keys will jump you between sounds but they do not let you spread your attention between multiple files, and therefore, are not the thumbnail experience.
Enter works the same as the left mouse click to select a file.
Shift + Enter works like pressing shift and clicking, where new files are added to the selection list or existing files are removed.

This was just something that got me side tracked so please let me know what you think.  If this tool is not useful then don't be afraid to tell me, I'm just testing to see.  Any suggestions are welcome also of course.

www.kaldobsky.com/audiogames/thumbnailwavs.zip (27 KB)

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[wow], aprone, another side project. you are just unbelievable! :-)
thanks, this sounds like a really interesting idea. I'll certainly try it out when I have more time, these next few days will be quite hectic for me, and when I have more sounds to scroll through. :-)
Thanks once again,
Lukas

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Yeah I know, I need to stop with all of the side projects lol.  When the idea occurred to me I only intended to harmlessly check to see if I could manually add files to the windows clipboard.  The next thing I knew a few hours had passed and I had the thing up and running, so I polished up a few little things and stuck it online for you guys.  I can't resist sometimes.  tongue

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This is quite interesting. Some time ago I wrote a utility that would let you pick afolderr, then it'd load up all the sounds into an invisible array. You could then arrow through them and optionally you could hear the file name announced.
If I can suggest anything could there be a way to make this into a 1-dimentional array IE no left/right movement?

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That would imho take the thumbnail experience away, as the shrunk versions of images in this view mode are placed on the screen in a 2D array as well, if memory serves and I remember what I've been told correctly. It would also slow the achievable speed of the scrolling and listening to the file samples down considerably but these are just my thoughts.
Lukas

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Exelent util. Very cool concept.
Before I read the description of your utility, it reminded me of apple's quick look feature on mac. This feature somewhat simulates thumbnails on windows, as you can quickly arrow through sounds and find the one you want without launching an alternate window. Just thought I'd throw that out there, if the mac people weren't aware.

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Pitermach, I think I agree with Lukas on this one, but I see no reason I can't make that an option for people who want it.  Even though the keyboard commands ruin the thumbnail experience, I put those in because I knew the first sentence posted would be someone wanting to use the arrow keys, ROFL!  big_smile

It bothers me that it doesn't allow you to move between directories, but I'm not quite sure how to add that feature in a good way.  I could put sub folders along the top of the 2D array, but it seems like it could be slow and clunky to find the one you want.  Sticking the program into the folder was just a quick way to test stuff, and I never bothered changing it.  Any ideas on this are appreciated.

I should also let you adjust the distance the sounds are spread apart.  With images, the closer they are spaced together the more fit into your field of vision and the faster the search goes.  With sounds, I'm not sure of what amount of sound would simply overwhelm the user and make the tool useless.  Obviously if a person could handle 5 sounds but I have them spaced so you only hear 2, then the tool isn't as efficient as it could be.  Maybe with the option to resize, you guys could determine that for yourselves.

I'll toss those features in real quick so that I can stop being side tracked and get back to the Daytona expansion, lol.  big_smile

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8 (edited by Aprone 2011-01-20 19:43:47)

Ok guys, I've tossed in 2 features that will help.  Press F1 through F5 to adjust the zoom level.  The current sub folders are listed among the sound files now, as well as a "Home" option that brings you back to the directory the program is in.  I know a "back" button usually takes you down 1 tier in the folder structure but it was easier for me to just jump you back to the program's main folder.

ADDED:
Aw crud, I forgot to add Pitermach's suggestion.  Oh well, i'll add it later when I get home.

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hi aprone,
Your programme is giving a error.
run-time error 5!
Please tell me what I do?

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dhruv, what version of windows are you using, and when does the error occur?  Does it happen the instant you try to run the program, or does it happen at some other point while using it?

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I useing windows XP and on starting the programme, this error akurd.

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hi aprone,
do you looked that error? still that error!

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Hi, I  think that this will be very useful, as my blind 5 year old is already accumulating 100's of sound files and searching through them to find something is painful, but, I am a novive software user and having downloaded the files into his sound file folder could only get error messages when I tried to run them.  am I doing something wrong, or is this file the problem???
thanks

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hey aprone, you said that this is for wav files, but what about ogg, mp3, mp4a, ect.?  i guess my ultimit question is if it will work for other sound file types other than wav?

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accesssoundsmama, what did the error say?

Kyleman123, it only works for wav files.  This was mostly meant as a test of concept, so maybe eventually someone will take this idea and make it into a far more useful program.

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16 (edited by hemat 2013-11-02 13:10:23)

thank you guys, i found my answer here in this thread

kasbah ait ben hadou

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I think you posted in the wrong topic! Either that, or you need to be more specific about where your question was in the first place...

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Could be a spambot. Hard to tell without another post from him/her/it.

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Hello everyone (especially Aprone). I was wondering if there was any way this program could be expanded upon? I've had this program for years but I actually never got around to trying it out. If the support of other file extensions could be added, I would be forever grateful. I suppose also being able to choose which directory the program looks in instead of having to copy it everywhere could be useful as well, but I am most definitely not complaining. This program is an excellent tool and an excellent idea.

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