Mobi-Babble – 31st August, 2014

Mobi-Babble

Since the ‘lows’ of last week, I think it is fair to say that my state of mind, whilst by no means being free of depression, has improved a little.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about my overall health which seems to be taking a turn for the worst. The diarrhoea and stomach pains have returned – not all the time and nowhere near as bad as they were before I saw the specialist, , but enough to cause discomfort and yet more worry. I have also had some mild pain attacks in my upper abdomen, from which I have been blissfully free, ever since I went on my current medication regime.

I can’t help thinking that after taking these meds for around 9 months, my body is slowly becoming immune to their effects, although this goes against the advice from my specialist who told me on my last visit that I could to slowly start to wean myself off them.

Anyway, I am due to see the eminent medical professor again on Friday so I will see what he has to say.

*

We seem to be making progress at the bar, and after those few days last week when the number of customers all but dried up, we seemed to have turned the corner and on almost every day since, we have done enough business to pay the bills.

The end of the month is almost nigh, and provided we don’t have a disaster on our final two days of business, I can confidently report that August will be better than July, and that we may have even made a tiny profit.

I will give you chapter and verse on this next week.

*

Music Video Playlists

These past few weeks I have been much preoccupied with  a complete revamp of my video music tracks and the related ‘playlists’ that I use in the bar.

After 2 + months of trading I came to the conclusion that the old method of playing my music was not at all satisfactory, and decided that it was time to start over.

The main problem with the old system was that although I had built up a number of separate playlists lasting 12 hours or more, which could be played on successive days, the lists were by no means perfect and required a high level of manual intervention.

Many of the tracks were simply not really suitable to be played in a bar, and those that were, often contained a lot of ‘crap’ at the start or end (or both) which had to manually skipped over to keep the music flowing. In all, I had about 3,000 video tracks, but in truth, less than 1,000 of those tracks were suitable to be included in my playlists.

The need for me to be constantly on hand to manage the daily bar music was clearly unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, so I made  the decision to start over and create new  playlists  that would run ‘hands free’.

I am still working on this, but a vast majority for the work has now been done and any time soon I will be able to completely hand over the operation of the daily playlists to Noo and let her get on with it.

I now have a master spread sheet, (in alphabetical order by artist), which contains details of nearly 4,000 music videos, of which around 1,000 have been selected as being suitable to be included in the bar playlists.  From this master I can see what tracks have been selected for each playlist.

All the individual playlists are supported by a hard copy of the  video files that are in that playlist, and in addition I also have a ‘master file’ of all the video files, in all the playlists, again in alphabetical order by artist. This enables me to go ‘off piste’ and manually select tracks form any of my playlists, should the occasion demand it.

Additionally I am working on other ‘specialist’ playlists, such as ‘disco’ (already completed), ‘oldies’ (30’s -50’s), ‘60’s and others.

I also have a complete back-up of all these video files and lists, just in case…

I had originally tinkered with the idea of playing all the music directly from YouTube, which can be done by building playlists within a YouTube account.

This would have obviated the need to download any video tracks, but in end, I decided that although YouTube playlists work quite well, they do have drawbacks.

The major problem with YouTube is that any blip in my internet connection will crash the music, and on top of this there is there is no facility to play ‘cropped’ videos in full screen format.  YouTube allows you to ‘crop video tracks, but for some inexplicable reason, they cannot be played in full screen format.

Of course, YouTube has been the major source of my music tracks, and once downloaded I have had to go through every file individually, to check the ‘starts’ and ‘ends’ and then use my editing software to crop where necessary to ensure a smooth flow of music.

I have barely covered the outline of this massive project but I think you can see how much work has been involved. Some days I would spend over 7 hours on this project and on most days it would rarely be less than 5 hours.

Anyway, I am almost there and I am sure that it has been well worth it. From now on, anyone in the bar will be able to play the music video tracks without my presence, although for other reasons I will continue to be on hand for much of the time.

This project has certainly kept me very occupied, when not at the bar, and hopefully now it is almost finished, I will be able to relax a little.

(My apologies to those readers who have no interest in the ‘nuts and bolts’ of building ‘playlists et al…)

 

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