A Letter to the Dev: thoughts about Audiosurf 2's "Autofind Music"

Posted on Thu 15 January 2015 • Tagged with Video Games

Dear Dylan,

First of all, I tremendously enjoy playing Audiosurf 2. I bought it as soon as it was available on OS X. I longed for that to happen since one of my favorite games I had to leave behind when switching operating systems was Audiosurf (1). While I personally find Mono a little harder than in AS1 (or do I recall it having an “easy” mode?) I still love every minute I play.

However, I am of the confound impression that the “autofind music” feature is not well implemented. From this forum thread I gather that before you were not scanning external disks. Right now, you are doing some things that are worse and will probably result in the scan never finishing its run. Here are some recommendations on how to make it better.

  • Build either a blacklist or whitelist of folders, with the content of that varying by operating system (Windows, OS X, Linux)
  • Exclude system folders
  • Set a maximum amount of depth that you follow symlinks / NTFS junctions. The lower, the better.
  • Think about implementing a time-out. (This is not necessarily a good idea, just something to think about when you’re scanning for more than, say, 30 minutes.)

Here are some suggestions for exclusions, prefixed by operating system for your convenience:

  • OS X: ~/Library (contains preferences, caches, etc for your user account)
  • OS X: /Volumes/Time Machine (contains the external copy of time machine, the Apple provided backup system)
  • OS X: /Volumes/MobileBackups (contains the local version of time machine, enabled for all laptops on which Time Machine is active)
  • OS X: /Volumes/BOOTCAMP (NTFS volume which is there when someone enables dual-booting with Windows on their Mac)
  • OS X: Generally don’t read outside of a user’s home, unless it’s a portable device (/Volumes/…)
  • OS X: Don’t access hidden folders (starting with “.”)
  • Windows: C:\Windows (system components)
  • Windows: C:\Program Files (installation data)
  • Windows: C:\Program Files(x86) (installation data for 32bit applications on 64bit systems)
  • Windows: %appdata%, %localappdata% and %appdata%/…/locallow (Microsoft explains this better than I would)
  • Linux: Generally don’t read outside of a user’s home, unless it’s a portable device (/mnt/…, /media/…, /mount/…)
  • Linux: Don’t access hidden folders (starting with “.”)

I have built this list in order to try and help you make AS2 an even greater game which actually finishes automatically finding my music instead of digging through my local and external backups, accidentally indexing music that might be gone the next time and following potential symlink circles. I sincerely hope this helps you.

Regards GhostLyrics

I originally wrote this in the steam forums, however it might be useful to keep around in case someone needs advice on the same topic.