Practice

Introducing Practice!

Dance practice: a time to learn choreography and how to finagle your music player to start right before the chorus, so the group can practice that one bit, one more time. Hopefully, Practice! helps with this little aspect of dance life.

Let's, first, go through the history before we get to the future.

  • Tape Decks - Hold down rewind kind of half way, hope that the screeching in't ruining your tape, and let go when you think you're in the right place. Press play to check. After a minute of rewinding and checking, announce to the group, "Ok, ready?"
  • CD Player - Hold down "rewind" for two seconds, hope that your finger doesn't twitch and take you back to the beginning of the track. Yell, "dang it" and tell the group, "one second."
  • Winamp - Pretty decent, actually. It has quick keyboard shortcuts for play/pause and forward/rewind. Why isn't this the default music player for dance practice?
  • ITunes/Windows Media Player - As music players shift from focusing on the track to the collection we lose critical keyboard shortcuts. You must now use the mouse to navigate; one of humanity's true regressions. Your guesswork with the mouse means the group will waiting an extra couple of 8-counts to get to the right spot.

Are you ready for the future? Practice! does two things:

  • Restores keyboard shortcuts for play/pause and seeking within a track.
  • Allows one-button access to any part of the song.

FAQ:

  • Q: How does it work?
    A: Thanks to Google Chrome, HTML5, jQuery, and some javascript, Practice! captures keystrokes and manipulates the audio tag.
  • Q: Will it work offline?
    A: Sort of. You need to visit the tool while online, so long as you don't close its tab/window, you should be good. I'll see about saving it for a true offline version if there's interest.
  • Q: Why only Google Chrome?
    A: Firefox won't play MP3s, IE makes me mad, no clue about Safari.
Posted: December 13, 2011 | | comments

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