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Front Ends
Front end applications provide a nice user interface that makes the functionality provided by the core more accessible.

Win32 GUI
Currently the only AMaMP Front End is a Win32 one written in Visual Basic. It originally used its own (very slow) internal mixdown engine, but the with the core recently starting to work properly it has been updated to offer that as a mixdown target. Here are some screenshots.

There are still plenty of things to do in the VB front end. The following should most likely be done for the 0.2 release of AMaMP:-

  • Removing the old mixdown engine - it can go for good after the first point release of the core (it's happened!)
  • Getting it to work with PCM Wave files of any sampling rate. The core can handle this - the old mixdown engine cannot, but it's going anyway.
  • The drag and drop arranger could probably use a re-write. The new re-write should:-
    • Support more than 12 tracks (a theoretically unlimited number would be good).
    • Have support for times rather than bar numbers, though bar numbers should be an option. Unifty the BPM setting into the dialog where the choice is made.
    • Internally store positions as something other than a semiquaver offset. It was a good idea before, now it's not suitable.
    • Add the ability to nondestructively trim samples - the core supports this already.
    • Tied with the above, we should be able to associate general data with placements. For example, later on we should be able to support for effects being associated with samples placed on tracks.
    • Allow the window to be resized!
  • At least some kind of Help file (yes, it IS important if people are going to use this)
  • The sample editor could use some work to get it to support wave files of other sampling rates, multiple level undo would also be nice. There should also be a Save option, rather than destroying the old file immediately, like it does now.
  • Make effect application work faster in VB (until we get something better).
  • Trim functionality in the sample editor can be done by the core now, so make it so it is.
  • Better file format. The current one completely sucks. All data should go in one file. XML? Or maybe not. :-)
  • Play and Stop buttons. Fingers crossed, the 0.2 release of the mixdown engine will support it.

Longer term goals (but if they are done in the next release, they can go in) are:-

  • Export options screen - not a big priority, but will be more important when the core can support stuff other than PCM wave.
  • Nicer UI - the delete thing is ugly and it'd be nice to be able to sort samples into useful groups.
  • It'd be even nicer if you could have a sample library that you could use accross multiple arrangements.
  • Keep AMaMP up to date with stuff going on in the core. For example, one day the core will be able to handle effect application, and/or will be able to feed back useful data to the VB app about supported filetypes and metrics of a file. That allows the front end to become symetric with the core in terms of file support without any massive changes.

Developer? Want to create a front end?
Having the core and front end separate from the start has a large number of advantages for those developing on both sides of the fence (along with anyone who manages to exist on both sides of the fence at once). A front end can be developed in practically any language, provided it is able to write a text file and run an external executable (and very preferably check it ran successfully).