iTunes to MM Transition Package

Get answers about the current release of MediaMonkey for Android

Moderator: Gurus

LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

Does anyone know if there's a comprehensive document that details the process of transitioning an iTunes library to MM for Android? I've tried stumbling through it myself, but I see that there are many errors that have already popped up. First, there is some missing album art between iTunes and the desktop MM (don't know why - all images are copied JPGs), and inexplicably, there is album art in the desktop MM that is missing on the Android phone (I don't even know how this can be). Furthermore, there is a mismatch between the number of imported files in MM vs. what is displayed in iTunes. I could understand a few mistakes, but my iTunes library is fully audited.

I'm expecting a couple of cleanup tasks when migrating, however, what I have right now is such a mess (52,000 songs in the library), that it would take me weeks to clean it all up, and besides, there is still the matter of issues between MM desktop and MM Android. I'm getting the typical useless "cannot be done" errors when MM attempts to sync with the phone - real showstoppers in any decision to migrate.

Lastly, using MM to manage the transfer has killed my vehicle app - no artwork, no search, no FF/RW, no playlists, etc.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated, including the honest "Don't try this - it can't be done." Thanks.
Lowlander
Posts: 47889
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: MediaMonkey 5
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by Lowlander »

iTunes partly stores things in a proprietary format not-compatible with other software. So somethings including Artwork may need to be re-done.

MMW works best if you have the Album files and the Artwork for the Album in the same folder, and not files from other Albums in that folder. Than simple scanning should pick up (make sure scan file directories for Artwork is enabled (Tools > Options > Library)).

Sync problems:
http://www.mediamonkey.com/support/inde ... tion-fails
http://www.mediamonkey.com/support/inde ... ork-at-all

As for MMA, it works best if files are synced from MMW to MMA as that allows MMW to update the MMA Library directly, thus more information will come across: https://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index. ... oid_device

What vehicle App are you using?

Also make sure both MMW and MMA are up-to-date as fixes and improvements are constantly made and often relies on both being up-to-date.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

Thanks, Lowlander. I'm using BMW's iDrive app, but I've since learned that this is a lost cause, so I guess I can't hold Media Monkey liable for that one. I've followed the rest of your advice and things seem to be working very well now, although I can find no rhyme or reason why there is missing artwork. Sometimes, the missing artwork is in the song/album folder, sometimes not. Sometimes in shows on the Artwork tab in the Properties in MM, sometimes not. Sometimes the artwork needs me to designate what type it is (e.g., Cover), sometimes not.

The above is treatable with a few tricks I've developed, but the one that is the most frustrating is when the artwork is fine on my desktop, but even after a copy and/or sync, it's still missing from my Android app. I don't understand how this can be, but there doesn't seem to be a way on my phone to "jog" the song/album.

Other than this, I can say that I am highly impressed with MM - blows iTunes away. Thanks again for your help!
Lowlander
Posts: 47889
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: MediaMonkey 5
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by Lowlander »

Have you tried rescanning in MMW? It may pick up the missing Artwork (as long as that option to scan file directories for Artwork is enabled).

Make sure you sync between MMW and MMA and Artwork should be synced over with the files. There are settings in the Device Profile on how Artwork should be synced. You may have set it to remove large Artwork on sync.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

Hi Lowlander:

Yes, I've tried deleting everything and rescanning, but I don't feel that the issue is adequately addressed simply by rebooting. This doesn't reveal what is actually causing the problems when the issue arises again. For example, I'm assuming that you examined the screencap I attached to my previous email. This illustrates an issue right within in the application itself: Two different areas of the interface that are seemingly unaware of each other. This is an issue inside MMW and nothing to do with MMA.

However, there is another issue that occurs that is even more bizarre: the sync between MMW and MMA "goes away" after a while. In other words, in MMW both areas of the window are properly displaying the correct artwork, but it either disappears entirely from MMA or it displays an entirely different image after a couple of days with no sync involved at all. In addition, it will select some of the songs on the playlist and continue to duplicate them with each sync when I do sync - in other words, it doesn't seem to know that it has already loaded the song.

Lastly, there is a large discrepancy between MMA and Android Auto. I don't even know where to begin: missing playlists, missing tracks, missing genres - the content and layout of MMA as displayed and controlled by Android Auto. This is the biggest disappointment because as you can see from my original post, I dumped Apple after many years and countless hours of constructing my database. MMW is an awesome product in terms of its database capability - I can't say enough about it. However, it has - as yet - been quite frustrating in terms of its rendering of the music for me to listen to: missing artwork in MMW and MMA, and missing music in Android Auto.

Thanks.
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

Downloaded and installed v.1895 and nothing has changed in terms of stability and sync for me. MMW is still not displaying artwork correctly (displays in the Selected area, but not in the main table). It still doesn't "see" my Android phone unless I unplug and plug it back in, then the connection will vanish and I have to repeat the procedure. It still keep displaying "problem" windows - messages that say there was a problem, but don't tell the user what the problem is so that it can be addressed. If something *does* manage to transfer to the phone, if the song is already there, then it won't update the metadata (including artwork), forcing me to delete the tune then re-sync.

On the phone, MM is pretty good. Every time I poke something, it comes up. The app is responsive and has a nice design to it. My only nit would be that it's difficult to switch gears when listening to music on the phone. The app forces the user to back in and out of tree structures instead of being able to jump to something right from the interface. For example, let's say that I'm listening to a playlist that has a Frank Sinatra tune in it and I decide that I would like to abandon the playlist and listen to more Sinatra. Well, I can't poke the "Frank Sinatra" text on the screen and have the all display all my Sinatra stuff from the Artists menu. Other apps allow me to do this, but it's not a showstopper.

MM for Android Auto is an unmitigated disaster. It doesn't load all my Genres and Playlists, and when I hit Artists, Albums, and Tracks, a yellow circle just spins and spins and never loads anything. For some reason, the voice search takes me to Google Maps instead of anything in MM. (No, I'm not using the blue mic tool but the search in MM.)

On the whole, it's a shame that the performance of MM is so hideous. As I've mentioned, the interface is awesome - someone has really done their homework. Maybe the UI team could go to the system programmers and tell them to get a clue? It's been many months now and after paying for the "Gold" versions of my applications, there is little joy.

MM's developers seem to be aware of this lack of quality, however. When I browse to the website, whomever has written instructions for troubleshooting doesn't have a clue as to what causes the problems and instead instructs users to "try this" and "try that". Why do you write code that isn't instrumented? Even a failure code would be *some* improvement. "There was a problem..." is childish and insulting to your customers.

I would appreciate it if the dev team quit hiding behind this blog and fix my product. Have some pride, folks!

Thank you.
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

Update:

After doing some digging, it appears as though the unofficial 'recommended' way to sync is over wi-fi and not USB. I read a few things about USB drivers being problematic, so I decided to try wi-fi.

There were indeed some improvements over USB sync. The process did not freeze or drop on the MMW app and the incessant disconnect problems I was having using USB requiring me to unplug then plug my phone back in went away. However, this is basically where the improvement story ends.

Wi-fi sync is insanely slower than USB. It took me nearly 13 hours to sync 11K songs - something that with USB required only about two. Furthermore, the wi-fi sync seemed to not 'understand' itself very well. When the first pass (finally) ended, I decided to see what would happen if I simply started the sync again. Well, it wanted to do 3500 songs over!

I let this next process run, then ran it again. This time, it only wanted to resync 11 songs. Interestingly, out of 11K songs, there were only five errors. It would have been helpful to know why MM had problems with these files so that I could fix them, but I guess this is a small enough number to manage.

Disappointingly, nothing changed in terms of artwork. There is still the huge inconsistency between the "Selected" window on the right, the artwork displayed in the main table area, and what is displayed on the phone. As I've mentioned before, the "Selected" window never fails, but the table view and the phone fail regularly. This means that I can never tell if I'm going to have my artwork on my device or not, and I can never learn why the artwork is having such a problem.

Lastly, and - to me - the most serious problem is that for some strange reason, wi-fi sync has a huge problem with Playlist metadata. When I performed random browsing of my library on my Android phone, I noticed all sorts of 'new' music showing up in Playlists that it shouldn't. MMW table view has everything correct (after a month-long editing process once I had migrated my iTunes database), but weirdly, the playlists on the phone had songs in them whose Playlist designator was incorrect.

Postscript: The wi-fi sync method was of no help to the problems MM is having with Android Auto. I have cited all these in a previous note.

Thanks.
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

Another peculiarity of the wi-fi sync method is that it will mis-assign tunes to smart playlists. My smart playlists are simple - only one criterion per: Genre. This doesn't seem to matter to MM when using wi-fi sync. In most of my smart playlists, there is a handful of songs that aren't supposed to be there because they don't match the criterion, yet MM puts them in there, anyway.

Why is this happening? I can upload screen caps, if necessary. Thanks.
Lowlander
Posts: 47889
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: MediaMonkey 5
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by Lowlander »

Does MMA show that the Genre isn't matching the AutoPlaylist's Genre Criteria when viewing the files Properties in MMA?
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

The Genre in the Properties field for each mis-assigned song is correct. MM is listing the Genre correctly as well. I double-checked the criterion for the Smart Playlist and there is no issue. I even performed a manual change - changing the tune to some other Genre, then changing it back. This doesn't fix the problem.

Thanks!
Lowlander
Posts: 47889
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: MediaMonkey 5
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by Lowlander »

Are you using Genre contains or Genre equals as Criteria for the AutoPlaylist in MMW?

You can try File > Maintain Library with complete optimization checked and see if it fixes the problem.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

I performed an experiment with a single playlist. (Apologies for using the Apple moniker for the AutoPlaylist!). I deleted the playlist, then created it again and this time, only the proper songs appeared in it. As expected, when I performed a wi-fi sync, the process saw the playlist as "new," so it synced the whole thing. It appears as though the rogue songs are no longer present.

Thinking through it, I'm wondering if there isn't some sort of different flagging system between USB syncing and wi-fi syncing. The original playlists were all USB updated. If I have to go through my library and delete the playlists and re-add them, then I suppose this isn't too high a price to pay for upgrading the performance of my sync process. However, it would still be nice to be able to solve my other two issues: missing artwork and missing playlists from Android Auto.

(As to this last issue, I performed tests again with JetAudio and BlackPlayer and these do not have the problem.)
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

One of the issues with the album art inconsistency is that the various displays appear to be linked to different elements of Song Properties. "Album Artist" forces the application to choose between different images and group them no matter which image is assigned to which song. This results in the common image being displayed in the Artwork thumb while the "Selected" area displays another. If I remove data from the Album Artist field, this now separates the entries in MMW app, but the MMA app now chooses one and assigns it to all the entries.

As is evident from this thread, what I am doing is trying to reinvent the wheel here. It sure would be helpful if there was documentation to show how the two applications "see" the metadata - the links, the dependencies - so that users can configure their databases accordingly.

I would have hoped that the Song would be the root record ID. This would mean that if there was anything different at all from song to song, then the app would split the entries, including artwork. Next, would come Album Artist, since there can be more than one Artist on an Album Artist, followed by Artist. This would then be the combining sequence that MMW would follow, and MMA would faithfully display.

iTunes was terrible at doing this and blogs were rife with "tips" as to how to get the song combining feature to behave properly, e.g., place a space in the Comments field for one of the songs. This is shameful, since it reveals a complete lack of understanding as to how audiophiles classify music.

For me, yes, I have "albums" in my collection, but I also have a great deal of singles, as well. These singles also many times had closed sleeves for them, and in the cases where they had open sleeves, I've captured images of the 45's themselves to use as artwork.

Apple used to call the slot for images Album Artwork, indicating that if users inserted images in this space, then the images were going to be tied directly to fields related to Albums. Even when we could assign the artwork to individual songs, there was no checkbox like there is in MM that specifically directs the assignment to apply to all the songs on the album. However, this gets down to the definition of "album".

To me, if no Album Artist is assigned to a song, then the application should not group the songs as if they all belonged to the same album. It might sound like a no-brainer, but since there seems to be no way in MM to indicate that a song is a single, an album unto itself, I use the designation "(single)" in the Album field.

With a blank Album Artist field, "(single)" in the Album field, the common artist in the Artist field, and different artwork assigned to each track, MMW seems to split the songs up nicely, displaying each with its own artwork. Why doesn't MMA follow suit? There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how it chooses which artwork image to display.

For example, I have six singles in my collection from The Guess Who. All are displayed separately with their own artwork images in MMW, but on my phone, four are displaying the same image, with the other two properly displaying their individual images.

Any recommendations for solving this would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Lowlander
Posts: 47889
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: MediaMonkey 5
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by Lowlander »

MMA only uses 1 Art per Album.

MMW does have Artwork per file, but will use 1 Artwork per Album when displaying Albums (like in the Filelisting).

An Album is where the Album and Album Artist value is the same for files. So if you want individual Artwork for individual files you'll need to make files individual Albums by tagging them with a unique Album and Album Artist combo.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
LittleReg
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 12:24 pm
Contact:

Re: iTunes to MM Transition Package

Post by LittleReg »

Lowlander:

If Album Artist is blank, does MM "see" the blank as a value, or does it require both Artist and Album Artist to have data in them? If it's the latter, then we have a problem. Example: Artist = Hank Snow, Album = (single), Album Artist = <blank>. If "(single") and "<blank>" are seen as an "album," then I would indeed need a workaround.

I've attached an image that seems to show that MMW takes a blank as a value.

Thanks.

Image
Post Reply