» How do I find a specific song / track / title?
Use the search field above the hotlist to search for specific titles. If you don't know the title of the track (or any part thereof), use the same method to find the name of any set (album or playlist) the title appears in, then select that set and tap the "o" button until the title rises close enough to the top of the hotlist that you can find it easily. The same method works if you only know the name of the artist.
Tracks, lists and artists all appear in the hotlist, so you do not have to go to the Lists or Artists lists to find them. (Of course, you find them also there.)
» How do I use the play queue?
The play queue contains the tracks queued up for playback in ogopogo. Tap “play now” or “play later” in any list other than the play queue to place the currently selected tracks in that list in the play queue. “Play” places tracks at the beginning of the queue and immediately begins playback of the first of these tracks; “play later” appends them at the end of the play queue. Swiping an entry of the hotlist, history, favourites, etc. to the right will append it to the play queue. Swiping an entry of the play queue to the right will remove it from the queue. Of course, you can reorder the entries of the play queue by simply dragging them up or down.
When a track starts playing, it is removed from the top of the play queue; after it has finished playing, it is moved to the history.
When you add a set (album or playlist) to the play queue, all the tracks in it will be placed in the queue. When you add an artist to the play queue, ogopogo will auto-select 10 tracks by this artist and place them in the queue (this number can be changed under settings).
You can save a snapshot of the current play queue to a list (for later playback) or send it to a friend (or to yourself) via e-mail using the "export" button.
» How do I use contexts?
Contexts represent different situations or moods in which you listen to different kinds of music. On iPad, the active context is shown (and selected) in the upper left part of the ogopogo screen, left of the player display.
Select the appropriate context when you listen to music, and ogopogo will learn which music fits which context. In auto-select mode, ogopogo uses the current context to find music you may want to listen to. Obviously, this learning process can take a while, but you can accelerate it by boosting tracks, artists or lists (albums or playlists) that fit the current context, using the "o" button.
If ogopogo auto-selects a track that does not fit the current context, simply skip it, and ogopogo will learn that this was not a good fit. Of course, you can create your own contexts, under Settings > Contexts.
» How do I tell ogopogo about changes to my iTunes library?
When you launch ogopogo, it checks whether changes have occurred in your iTunes library. If your iTunes library has changed while ogopogo is running, using Settings > Sync Music Library.
» What is the hotlist?
The hotlist is your main tool for searching or browsing your music library for what you'd like to listen to. It contains all tracks, lists (albums and playlists) and artists from your music library, sorted according to "activation".
An entry in the hotlist gets activated when it is played back as well as when you boost it (using the "o" button); it also gets activated, when a context, set, artist or track it is associated with gets activated. Ogopogo learns these association when you listen to music and browse your collection. When a hotlist entry gets activated, it rises towards the top of the list; if it does not get activated for a while, it slowly descends towards the bottom of the list.
In case you were wondering, this process resembles current models of how our own memories get stored and retrieved.
» What is boosting?
By tapping the "o" button in any list or in the play queue, the entries (tracks, artists, lists) currently selected will receive activation, which makes them rise towards the top of the hotlist, where you can find them more easily, and ogopogo is more likely to choose them for playback when using auto-select.
By boosting one or more entries of a list multiple times, they receive more activation. Boosting twice in a row gets entries within the top 40 of the hotlist, boosting more often will eventually get them to the top.
You can boost tracks, lists and artists, in any list or in the play queue; this will change the order in which entries appear in the hotlist, but not cause changes in any other list or the play queue. If more than one entry is selected, tapping boost will boost all of them.
» What is auto-select?
When auto-select is turned on (via the switch at the bottom of the play queue), ogopogo will select tracks to play back whenever the play queue is empty. This selection is based on how close tracks are to the top of the hotlist (those at or near the top are morely likely to be selected), on whether they have been played back recently, and on the current context. If ogopogo auto-selects a track that does you don't like to listen to right now, simply skip it, and ogopogo will learn that this was not a good fit in the current situation.
You can control the amount of randomness involved in auto-selecting tracks using the slider to the right of the auto-select switch. More randomness means that ogopogo will be more likely to pick tracks that are a little further down in the hotlist, and therefore surprise you with less obvious choices. Even at maximum randomness, auto-select will not pick tracks completely at random (a shuffle in standard music players would do).
» What are favourites?
You can use the favourites list to collect starting points for your musical journeys. We recommend to fill it with tracks that you particularly like, and that are different from each other. The favourites list makes it easy to access these tracks, and by playing back (or boosting) one of them, you can nudge ogopogo towards certain regions in your music collection, which is handy for browsing (using the hotlist) and for providing good starting points for auto-select.
» What does it mean if a track is taboo?
After a track has been played back (or skipped after it started playing), it cannot be chosen by auto-select for a certain period of time, during which it is said to be “taboo”. Tracks that are taboo can still be played manually. The period of time after which the taboo status of a track expires can be changed in settings, and there is also a setting to hide taboo tracks in the hotlist.
If you really want to, you can manually change the taboo status of a track, in the details view for that track. Tracks that you set as taboo will loose their taboo status after the taboo period specified in settings.
» How do I tell ogopogo that I didn't like a track it auto-selected?
Simply skip it. This will make sure that this track is not going to be played back (unless you explicitly select it for playback) in the near future, and is less likely to be chosen in the current context in the future. If it were only that easy to deal with our bad memories, eh?
» Can I see the lists created by ogopogo in the iTunes Library?
Unfortunately, we haven't figured out how to make that happen. For you geeks out there: the iOS API does not give us write access to the iTunes Library. However, you can e-mail any set to yourself and then manually recreate it in the iOS Music / iPod app or in iTunes. We'll keep thinking about a way to make it more convenient.
» Why is it called ogopogo?
Because we liked the name. It's a palindrome (reads forwards the same as backwards) and was used prominently in a famous (and rather funny) 1920s music hall song, and later became the name of an even more famous serpent-like monster believed to inhabit the still and deep waters of beautiful Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada. If you really need a rational reason, think of the ogopogo music player helping you explore the depths of your music collection, the parts that otherwise would rarely surface. And think of the little creature in the song that charms everyone else with his playing the banjo (of all instruments).
» Can ogopogo play or import tracks from sources other than the iTunes Library?
Not yet, but we are working on it - stay tuned for the next version.
» How do I provide feedback / suggest features?
Don't be shy to suggest changes or new features. If we like your suggestion, and particularly, if it is one made by others as well, we might just implement it ... as soon as we get to it. Here are some features we are thinking about for future releases - if you really like one of these, letting us know may help boost its priority.
If you like ogopogo, tell your friends, like us on Facebook, write an entry in your blog, submit a review to the App Store, or get your aunt, the senior editor for Wired or the New Yorker, to write about it. The more users we have, the more energy we'll put into new features and improvements.
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