Virtual DJ Studio Home | NGWave Home | Official Facebook Page | Unofficial VDJ Users Group

Author Topic: Minor Windows 10 Tip...  (Read 4823 times)

Offline Justin

  • Site Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
    • Virtual DJ Studio
Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« on: September 12, 2016, 08:16:37 PM »
I think soon I will create a section of the website, or possibly just a forum topic, dedicated to little things like the WIN+P key combo and other Windows tricks I've learned and any that you guys contribute as well.

Today's tip has annoyed me ever since I had to start over on a new development laptop with a clean Windows 10 install. Something bothered me, because on both my little HP and my now dead HP development computer, I had turned off "Cortana" with a click of a button. So my windows search box looks like this:



And all the stupid Tips, Suggestions, and other random little popups Cortana would do went away. I think of Cortana as the new, more annoying and system-wide Clippy...

On this laptop I was stuck with this:



So, a little Googlin' and it turns out that, to push Cortana on more people, they have REMOVED the off switch as of the so-called Anniversary Edition. Reminds me of a 2012 Furby my dad found at a yard sale... it just won't shut up and there's no OFF switch!

The fix:

DISCLAIMER:
This involves editing the registry. Don't do this unless you are comfortable with that.

Go to your "Ask me anything" box and type "regedit" and hit Enter. Click Yes to run as administrator, then navigate to:

Code: [Select]
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search
If there is an "AllowCortana" value there, double-click it and set it to "0". If not, right-click "Windows Search" and select "New" -> "DWORD (32-Bit) Value", name it "AllowCortana" (no spaces). It should be zero by default, which is what we want.

Log out and back into Windows and voila - she's as good as dead :)

EDIT: For fun, attached is "nocortana.zip". Download it, open it up and double-click "nocortana.reg", and click 'Yes' to give RegEdit permission to add the entry to your registry. You still have to log out and back in for the change to take effect.

Bonus Tip:
Even though the "free" Windows 10 upgrade offer is over for normal, non-disabled people, it is STILL available if you happen to use any of the "accessibility" features (even if you don't, wink wink). See this CNET article. That's what I had to do with this Windows 7 Acer (and for the record, I DO use the Magnifier a lot when working with graphical elements of VDJ and my website... for pixel-precision :) That is an accessibility tool and it counts, but it's not like they check).

BTW I forgot you can include inline images... I stole those from my external hard disk tutorial :)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 08:28:02 PM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

  • Site Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
    • Virtual DJ Studio
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 08:34:49 PM »
I think I will dedicate a section of the website itself for Windows tips and tricks, whether related to DJ/KJ or not. The forums don't get indexed well in search engines - but my website content does. I'll take ideas of my own and any I find on the web or here in the forums, and create nice, concise articles with proper credit/citations to where the idea came from, etc... I have a million of them in my head that may or may not be useful to some people.

Stupid things like that you can copy the contents of a Windows dialog/error box by pressing CTRL+C. Been that way since Windows 3.1 but I only learned it this year... and probably a whole section on registry hacks like above, maybe one day a simple program (freeware) to make these mods easier to perform and easily undoable (it's a word, trademark pending).

It's getting late and if I don't switch to Netflix or something, I'll be typing all night...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 02:06:39 PM »
Thanks for the No Cortana registry hack!

I can't believe you just learned about the CRTL-C !  :o

I'm assuming you know about the control-x and control-v as well?  I've been using it since 3.1 pretty much on a daily basis at my day job.  I even use it within  VDJ when someone gives me a new song and their name is either complicated or too long to type I just copy and paste it before I delete their old song.

This even works on Mac too, although their key is the COMMAND key instead of the control key (but the keys X, C and V have the same functionality).  I'm assuming Apple used it first because they had a a GUI before PCs, though I don't believe they invented it.  I believe the concept of cut, copy and paste was invented by a computer scientist.  I believe in the old days the command key was called the "open apple key"  (as opposed to the closed apple key).  The closed apple was shaded black and the open apple was not)
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

  • Site Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
    • Virtual DJ Studio
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 09:01:31 AM »
Quote
I can't believe you just learned about the CRTL-C !  :o

I've been using CTRL+C/V/X for ***EVER*** -- I only meant that I did not know it worked in a dialog box, like a Windows error message :)

Geez, I don't know where I'd be without the clipboard and my keyboard shortcuts... I sincerely hope you didn't think I didn't know how to copy/cut/paste with the keyboard lol... that wouldn't say much about me as a software developer would it?

Not to mention my own software implements those shortcuts :)

Anyway... I keep getting side-tracked with little things within VDJ. Mostly because I have made so many drastic changes and rewrites, as I go through it I keep finding little unfinished bits, or things that need cleaned up, etc... so the BETA will be soon I just can't predict when. I don't want to put anything out there that isn't at least 90% usable/functional...

I still have to build the all-new installer... I plan to do something like a "stub installer". This would be a small installer with all of the most basic elements of the program, that will then download other components that aren't already present. So for example, the first time you install VDJ 8.0 you'd probably download a lot of things (CODECs, background images, runtime DLLs etc) but when you update to newer 8.x versions only the components that have changed will be downloaded.

I'll offer a "full installation package" as well in case you want to download it for another PC or whatever, but this will save a lot of data bandwidth overall, especially when you're just doing a minor update... there will be some "optional" components (like extra background images and -- soon -- skins (or "themes" or whatever)). I've been wanting to make VDJ skin-able again (it was back in the '90s but after a rewrite I never put that feature back in) and this new interface should make that easy enough.

I plan to allow user-contributed "skins" along with user reviews/ratings, etc, all in an interface within VDJ itself to make it simple to change the look and feel... but that *might* not be in the initial 8.0 release, however all the internal things I would have had to change to make it possible are already in place...

Enough rambling, time to get coding (late start today... had to watch the Master Chef finale from last night ;) )
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 02:24:19 PM »
Quote
I've been using CTRL+C/V/X for ***EVER*** -- I only meant that I did not know it worked in a dialog box, like a Windows error message

Lol, ok...you scared me there for a minute...whew! :D

Quote
I plan to do something like a "stub installer".

This sounds like better alternative to the full one at least from bandwidth standpoint.  I bet codecs themselves are making a large portion of the download and if they don't need to be downloaded every time there is an update, it will make the download quicker.

Quote
I keep getting side-tracked with little things within VDJ. Mostly because I have made so many drastic changes and rewrites, as I go through it I keep finding little unfinished bits, or things that need cleaned up, etc... so the BETA will be soon I just can't predict when. I don't want to put anything out there that isn't at least 90% usable/functional...

Just don't keep us waiting too long!  ;D
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

  • Site Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
    • Virtual DJ Studio
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2016, 09:38:04 AM »
Quote
Just don't keep us waiting too long!  ;D

Right now I'm working heavily on the video playback support. I decided that I want all player lines to be able to play a video file just as though it were an MP3 or Karaoke file (rather than a separate video player). I don't want to release the program one way, then later change it... so I'm working on a solution.

Each player line (including the Playlist player) will play any type of file. The "preview" window (that always shows Karaoke) will always reflect what is on the main screen (currently there are two separate "preview" windows, one for video and one for Karaoke, and it may not always be clear which one is actually being shown on the second monitor -- especially in cases where the actual physical monitor may not be in clear view of the DJ/KJ).

So instead there will always be the one preview window (with two size options) so you always know what's going "out". When you "preview" a line, just like before, it will play the sound through the headphones (second audio device). It will also show a rather small preview of any karaoke or Video *on that player line*. Only when you "unmute" that line will it go over the main monitor.

The tiny line preview will take over the area where the filename is shown, much like when you use the per-line EQ.

Okay, I've made a mock-up of what I'm talking about. Note on the left is a karaoke file being played in line 4 (farthest right player showing the EQ). That is what would be also on the external monitor. Next to that line, #3, is a video file being previewed. Note the headphone icon and the mute are both engaged. I suppose I could have picked a better frame to grab but when you see the video in motion, even that small it's enough to know it's what you want for previewing purposes. Once "Mute" is turned off, or playback stops, that little video preview disappears showing the filename etc again.

So basically, this will all be about the same as the 7.x versions, except that:

- Player lines can play Video files as well as Audio and Karaoke
- The "Karaoke Queue" is now on the left with font-size options
- The Playlist Line is reworked quite a bit, also with larger list and font-size options

I think the Karaoke Preview will *always* be shown, regardless of which "tab" you're on over there... still working out all the details at this point but it's getting better.

Also I *may* be able to manipulate the audio stream directly, so videos will go through the same EQ/Mixer/AGC as everything else, and will show in the VU meters. Plus, I can (possible...) crossfade video to audio, or even video to video...

As for the CODECs, so far I'm able to support most files I run across. There are still a few that are troublesome but most MP4/MOV/FLV/MKV files (all some form of MPEG-4) are working now, as well as all of the older formats of course. I tried to support Flash video however that requires licensing from Adobe (think $$$$$$$$)... and all the rest of the formats are either open source, public domain, bundled with Windows, or otherwise freely available to use without licensing restrictions (that applies to the FORMAT, not the content of the video of course... keep that in mind when using in public)...

PS - don't mind the red background. I'm working on the "skin" or "theme" feature, and I think I really want to do that because it's fun to change the colors around every now and then so you don't get bored staring at the same thing all day every day :)

PPS - Something is wrong when the forums won't accept a JPEG for "security concerns" but PNG of the same thing is fine... I didn't write the forum code, it's a third-party thing, so I'll have to look into that... or just turn off the "security checks" since I don't allow executable filenames anyway...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline chaz

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2016, 07:10:10 PM »
That screen shot makes me so happy... Looking good... Can't wait..

Is the minimum amount of players going to be still at 4 or can we lower it to one?

Offline Fabio

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2016, 03:00:22 PM »
Wow, looking good good Justin...I actually like that red background! 

Quote
The tiny line preview will take over the area where the filename is shown, much like when you use the per-line EQ.

Here's a suggestion (not for now, as I don't want you to get sided tracked, but perhaps later), is there a chance to a double click (or whatever control you decide to use) on that tiny preview window and temporarily pop it out in a separate window to be able to preview the lyrics? Currently,  I imagine, it's too tiny to read lyrics.  This would help if a singer wasn't sure of the song and wanted to preview the lyrics.  Currently I use a stand alone separate player to preview lyrics.
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

  • Site Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
    • Virtual DJ Studio
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 05:53:08 AM »
Actually Fabio, that wouldn't be very difficult at all. Internally my player object already provides for rendering on two separate windows (for full-screen and the output preview), so during line preview I could make it "pop out" a larger overlay or something like that...

Chaz: Why would you want to reduce it down to one player line? Honestly with any less than 4, the window would be rather narrow and the music database would be too tiny to be useable... that, or you'd just have empty space in the player area... unless you have something else in mind, like making the player larger (not in my current plan at the moment)...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 09:56:08 AM »
Cool, that would be awesome!

I just noticed the "General MIDI" on the screenshot. What is that for? Are you planning to support MIDI karaoke or is that just for the MIDI controller?
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

  • Site Administrator
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 949
  • Karma: 11
    • View Profile
    • Virtual DJ Studio
Re: Minor Windows 10 Tip...
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2016, 10:56:51 AM »
Yes, I just image-searched MIDI for a generic MIDI icon. It shows grey if no MIDI controller is enabled, blue if available but not being used, and green when in use. It pops out a menu to enable/disable/configure the device(s)...

I will most likely rename that for two reasons:

a) Like you, others may confuse MIDI with MIDI audio files... as it is the most common way most (non-programmer) people interpret the word MIDI... and

b) Most DJs don't think of their controller as a MIDI device, even though that's exactly what it is. You could (and I have, for testing) control VDJ with a MIDI piano keyboard if one were so inclined :)

I have to remember that not everyone is a computer programmer, and use terms more commonplace even if not 100% accurate from my point of view :)  I know you understood, and probably came up with the correct conclusion simply because the button is next to the crossfader. However most people would likely be totally confused by it.

To be honest I only added that button temporarily for my own reasons (so I don't have to click Options --> Program Options --> Midi Options --> Configure MIDI). I've been working on handling the plugging/unplugging of the MIDI controller without problems, very handy especially with the $#!T Micro-USB cables so commonly used these days. It will simply reconnect automatically without the user even knowing it ever got disconnected (unless of course your DJ controller is also your audio device... many of them have USB audio built-in).

I'm getting ready to post a new topic with some new information on what I'm doing and why this is getting delayed -- but for **very** good reason...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/