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noob: playing/pausing a video from a binary 1/0?

Nov 24 2010 | 3:50 pm

Hi All,

I’m a complete beginner @ MaxMSP ( and fairly new to programming too! ).

I’ve got a bank of flonums equaling either 0 or 1, depending on earlier variables… if/when a flonum equals 1, I want it to play it’s own individual video, if the flonum then changes to 0, I want the video to remain on-screen, but paused until the same flonum next equals 1, when it would continue from where it left off.

Does that make sense?

I’ve messed about with VIZZIE, but can’t get it to react to a binary on/off.

Any ideas?

Many thanks in advance!


Nov 24 2010 | 6:33 pm

Not sure what part of Vizzie the "it" refers to, but here’s the deal: Everything that passes between data inlets and outlets in Vizzie is a floating point number in the range 0. – 1.0. Everything.

Since that’s the case, using 1. and 0. to turn things on and off may not be useful, so *all* Vizzie module inlets understand the words "off" and "on."

If you send an "off" to the video inlet of a Vizzie module, it’s like honking on the pedal of a stompbox – the effect stops and the movie passes through the module without being modified.

If you send an "off" to the data inlet of a Vizzie module, It turns the inlet "off" – no data it receives will change anything until the inlet gets an "on" message. Characteristically, this can be cool for creating jumps/starts/discontinuous effects.

Since Vizzie is nothing more than a bunch of Max patches, you could certainly use something like this to convert 1. and 0. to messages that would turn modules on or off….

-- Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. --

Nov 24 2010 | 9:30 pm

[if $i1 then on else off]

but greg, if you use symbols, one could as well use ints, as they are also not floats.

Nov 24 2010 | 10:13 pm

That’s true, but the basic idea with Vizzie (for better or worse) was to go with only three possible kinds of inputs: video, floats (0. – 1.0), and the words "on" or "off." Keeping it simple was in no small way informed by our experience with workshops and what constituted the same problems we say users having with Max. That’s not the only way to have done things, and I’m sure that someone else might have done it differently.

But in Vizzie, there’s only one numerical data type, and its range is set as well.

That said, I think we’re going to add a "read" message to the PLAYR. SO there will be four. :-)

Nov 24 2010 | 10:14 pm

sorry. "…problems we *saw* users having with Max."

Nov 24 2010 | 10:43 pm

okay, so at least there are really only these two (or four) messages, then it makes
sense to use messages.

but watch out that vizzie keeps remaining compatible to the 110.modular industry
standard or you might loose your patching license.


Nov 26 2010 | 12:29 pm

Thanks for your help guys… most of that makes sense!

Converting 1/0 to on/off is simple enough, but how do I send a "start playing" command to the PLAYR module? I know it’s a daft question… but I can’t fathom it out! Is Vizzie the correct thing to be using, or is there an alternative?

Thanks again,


Nov 26 2010 | 4:25 pm

according to greg there are four commands: "on", "off", and "read".

choose one.


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