Media Monkey Specific Features

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sirandar
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Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by sirandar »

MM4 for Windows is my very clear choice for my music library.....

For Android I use PowerAmp but I would love to use MM for Android but it doesn't seem to have any MM4 specific features that would make it a clear choice over the very polished and well functioning PowerAmp.

For me, getting to the tracks I am in the mood to play as quick and easily as possible is of prime importance to me. In previous and probably current versions of MMA even the ratings of each track isn't displayed and isn't searchable. If you have >5000 tracks, the rating and MOOD field are quite important when you are looking for music to match your mood quickly, but MMA has no support for this field or any other field that PowerAMP doesn't already support. Rating is a big one and I am surprised that the devs of PowerAMP and MMA haven't added support for MM4 rating tags yet) ..... Any way more fields from MM4 for windows can get supported? Without that there is no reason to even use MMA IMO.

The search function is also a generic Android search which also really isn't nearly as useful a a MM4 search.

Spending so much effort on syncing via WiFi also puzzles me because as a MM4 user and music lover I would never ever get a phone without microSD and these memory cards are big enough that you don't ever need to sync anyway ..... I just copy my whole library in native format and never sync unless I get new tracks at which time I just take the card out and copy directly .... nothing is quicker. Syncing always has one issue or another no matter what device and program you use and is never worth the time anyway.

In my opinion both you and many phone manufacturers (not Samsung thank goodness) are way behind the times when it comes to mobile music. Syncing is so very inconvenient and you are almost bound to not have the track you want to listen too on the road if you rely on syncing. And it is tedious and a waste of time. On-line music services like Google Music are useless if you already have a good collection and uploading your music isn't even close to being there yet.

The very clear solution is having your whole collection on a microSD card. Nothing can compare to the flexibilty and almost zero maintenance. Almost any library can fit on a 32GB or 64GB card with a little compression.

Two years ago I had a HTC Desire Z with a 32GB microSD card that had my whole library in OGG 105kps. It was fantastic 2 years ago.

The HTC 32GB microSD way to play the tracks I want on the go
1) Open PowerAMP, choose tracks, play them anytime, anywhere even in airplane mode ..... the ultimate in simplicity and empowerment

The Other way to play tracks on a phone on the go (sync)
1) Get up in the morning plug my phone in and try to guess what tracks I wan to play on the go ( I will probably even forget to do this)
2) Spend time syncing and try to remember what I already have on there
3) Go somewhere and try to play something BUT my mood may have changed since the morning
END RESULT I waste a lot of time and probably don't have the track I want to hear in the end.

I know which one I is better as I have tried both. MicroSD is >2 year old tech that is rapidly being removed from phones because most of the phone makers except Samsung don't want you to have it. Why? Because almost everyone except Samsung is trying to force us to ON-line music AND a good cell phone with a 64GB microSD card is an IPOD killer (and piracy). It is way better and you always have it with you because your phone is always with you.

So really the only thing missing what is missing is being able to see all the data fields in my MM4 library in Android. With that MMA would be just as good as MM4 for Win for playing tracks and could actually completely replace a PC if you could output to the HDMI port on many phones or WiFi.

If you think on-line music storage (like Google Music or Apple Cloud) is a good replacement for microSD, try them both and compare, I did. On-line music storage slow uses precious bandwidth, not cataloged, skips if WiFi isn't good, takes forever to upload (weeks sometimes) and the providers are spying on you to know what to populate their music store with. And they won't be free for long...

Syncing is passe and it is time to make the MMA every bit as good and MM4 so that you can quickly find the track you want to play in your whole library on the go. That requires at least rating and mood to be displayed and searchable.

This is the only way you can distinguish yourselves from PowerAMP which already had millions of users and is a very functional and polished product.
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jiri
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by jiri »

Hi,

thanks for the feedback. Just 2 things:
1. Note that wi-fi sync is useful for more things that just getting files to the SD card. It can for example make sure that your playlists and ratings are in-sync in your devices. Or it can foe example backup your mobile purchases to PC.
2. Advanced features will certainly come, very soon after v1.0 final release. As you mentioned, e.g. better searching, browsing by Mood, etc.

Jiri
BigInJapan
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by BigInJapan »

Hi sirander. You seem to be confused on the difference between sync and transfer. Throughout your commentary on the uselessness of sync, you only address transfer issues. It's certainly true that it's better to not be constantly transferring content on and off of the device, but sync is so much more than that. Sync means being able to have your music files stored in multiple locations and each copy of the same track always having the same meta data. Suppose I have the same song on my tablet, my phone, and my PC, and I decide I want to change the Genre field. With sync, I can make that change on whichever of those three devices I happen to have in my hand at the moment and then have that change automagically applied to that same track on the other two devices. Then suppose I have an auto-playlist that populates based on the Genre field. With sync, changing the Genre tag on the copy of the file that's on the tablet, for instance, can then automatically cascade into a playlist update on all three devices.

Consider also the idea of tracking playcounts and last played dates. MMW gives us the ability to factor that information into auto-playlists. Up until now, those playlists could only factor in plays that happened on the PC. With sync, those playlists can now be aware of when and how often the track was played anywhere in a user's entire gadget-verse.

I imagine a good number of MM users would scoff at your notion that nobody has a library bigger than 64 GB. That point's somewhat moot though, as sync has tremendous value regardless of whether or not a user's entire library can fit on a microSD.
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Lowlander
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by Lowlander »

Mood: already requested: http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... hilit=mood

Wifi Sync: This is actually an essential feature for many and is what sets MMA apart from other apps. Also many MM users have more than 64GB of content, some having several TB's, many have devices that won't accept 64GB cards or even cards at all. Add Podcasts that some will want to sync through MMW and syncing is an essential feature of any application managing devices.

Behind the times: You seem to contradict yourself by first claiming all people's music fits on the phone and then claiming that syncing (how you get the files on the phone in the first place) is out-dated. As I see there is only 2 methods to listen to your music on your phone (on the road), either you sync it to your device or you use an on-line service (and hope there is data coverage where you are going).

Rest: It seems you misunderstand what syncing is. Syncing is how you get the files on your phone (even if your whole Library fits on the device you may want to once in a while sync new acquisitions to the device). Thus in the way you use your device it is an essential requirement. The nice thing is that MMA with MMW 4.1 allows you to do this wireless instead of having to hook your phone to your PC (you can still do this too).
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dtsig
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by dtsig »

sirandar wrote:The very clear solution is having your whole collection on a microSD card. Nothing can compare to the flexibilty and almost zero maintenance. Almost any library can fit on a 32GB or 64GB card with a little compression.

Two years ago I had a HTC Desire Z with a 32GB microSD card that had my whole library in OGG 105kps. It was fantastic 2 years ago.
Sirandar, I have only 150K tracks (800gig) and many many here have way more than I have. How do you have "whole collection on microSD card"? And whether you drag&drop onto card or usb to phone or use more 'formalized' sync .. you still have to get it there one way or another. Since I can't get all 150K tracks on my phone i have playlists of albums that just move as wanted.
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sirandar
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by sirandar »

I do understand that syncing is more than just getting the tracks on the mobile device but I really don't use that metadata much. Play count can be useful. Playlists I never use because they are pre-canned and don't reflect my mood and you end up playing a small fraction of your collection if you rely on them too much.

I know a certain proportion of end users have 150,000 track collections, but not many people are willing to spend 150,000$ on music (or are engaging in a little piracy). If you have a 150K library it would take over a year of listening 24hr per day 7 days a week just to listen to it once and give it a rating and mood tag. That is simply out of the realm of human possibility. Even then because microSD cards are now hot swappable you could buy 10 of the 64Gb cards and logically split up your library, then have your collection with you at all times. If you are willing to spend 150K$ in music then 40$*10 = 400$ isn't much money to never have to sync again.

I have about 9000 legal tracks that I have gathered over 30 years and every one is fully tagged. That is barely manageable in actual human listening terms. These tracks easily fits on one 64Gb microSD card in their native 160kps to 192kps MP3 format. If I converted to 105kps OGG which I consider almost indistinguishable on a mobile device, a 64GB card would take 18000 tracks and you could stick an additional 10,000 on the phone partition if it is 32GB to get 28000 tracks. That is a lot of tracks.

I don't downconvert to OGG on my Samsung S3 because the audio quality is so good with a decent quality headphones that I don't want to.


dtsig wrote:
sirandar wrote:The very clear solution is having your whole collection on a microSD card. Nothing can compare to the flexibilty and almost zero maintenance. Almost any library can fit on a 32GB or 64GB card with a little compression.

Two years ago I had a HTC Desire Z with a 32GB microSD card that had my whole library in OGG 105kps. It was fantastic 2 years ago.
Sirandar, I have only 150K tracks (800gig) and many many here have way more than I have. How do you have "whole collection on microSD card"? And whether you drag&drop onto card or usb to phone or use more 'formalized' sync .. you still have to get it there one way or another. Since I can't get all 150K tracks on my phone i have playlists of albums that just move as wanted.
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dtsig
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by dtsig »

sirandar wrote:I know a certain proportion of end users have 150,000 track collections, but not many people are willing to spend 150,000$ on music (or are engaging in a little piracy). If you have a 150K library it would take over a year of listening 24hr per day 7 days a week just to listen to it once and give it a rating and mood tag. That is simply out of the realm of human possibility. Even then because microSD cards are now hot swappable you could buy 10 of the 64Gb cards and logically split up your library, then have your collection with you at all times. If you are willing to spend 150K$ in music then 40$*10 = 400$ isn't much money to never have to sync again.

I have about 9000 legal tracks that I have gathered over 30 years and every one is fully tagged.
<G> I have been collecting for over 50 years ... in fact I have a Beatles album I got in 1964 just before I saw them live. It isn't in great shape but I have ripped it (like the vast majority of my vinyl). So in 50 years it isn't hard. Your estimate of $1/track i think is way off but no use to argue that ... rounding numbers is understandable. But for many many of the years an album was under 4 bucks and cds we less expensive than now. And the majority of my purchases are used ... so the assumption (you know what happens when you ASSUME) about non-legal ...

The idea of a bunch of 64gig cards can be a problem. With the GS3 you have to take the back off to put a new card in. So Shutdown, take of the cover, take off the back swap cards, put the back on, put the cover on. Being some form of plasic the back clips will wear out. PLUS ... many phones do now work reliably with 64gig cards.

But that is all fodder for the mill. Syncing has proved to be a good way to maintain a select 'selection' of tracks. It does take time to put on a new playlist but generally I have a selection that is there always ... just add and remove.

Once again ... just fodder. You need to use it the way you like ... and if swapping cards works for you great.

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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by Lowlander »

This seems a classic case of my way is the way everybody does or should use their media.
sirandar wrote:Playlists I never use because they are pre-canned and don't reflect my mood and you end up playing a small fraction of your collection if you rely on them too much.
This is why AutoPlaylists exists. As their criteria based they can be of great help in getting you the songs you want (like Mood AutoPlaylists). If you use multiple criteria like Rating, Genre, Mood, Last Played or Played# you can get very good results.

9000 files times ~25MB (FLAC) = ~200-250GB of files which won't fit on a 64GB card. Many won't be willing to compromise with low bitrate files. That 64GB card all of a sudden only fits 2000-2500 files, going WAV will reduce that even more.

Add video to the mix and 64GB or even 128GB if you're lucky enough that internal storage also is 64GB is not a whole lot of storage. Additionally many will be using devices that won't support 64GB cards and will have less than 32Gb internal capability. It makes much more sense that MediaMonkey can work for users with small capacity devices than to tell users to spend hundreds to upgrade their device to one that supports 64GB.
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sirandar
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by sirandar »

You do make a number of good points.

0.99$ per track is just a guestimate. Good music on CD format used to me quite a bit more than 99cents a track, now you can buy good music for about 50 cents per track. So it kind of balances out to about 99cents per track for people who have been buying music for a long time.

Actually for the Samsung S3 there is no need to turn the phone off to swap cards .... that is a myth. Simply use android to dismount the card, pop the card out and insert the new one and it will mount. The cover may look flimsy but when I was testing 64Gb cards I must have removed and replaced it 100x ... It just doesn't break .... it is an axample of engineering that appears weak but is actually quite robust.

It does take PowerAMP about 5 minutes to recatalog the card though and that is not all that convenient and it would be quite impossible to play tracks from different cards at the same time. Not a very good solution but perhaps still better than syncing.

Obviously I am not a fan of syncing and my modest sized library allows me to do away with it, but it you have a big library I can see why you may want to do it.

dtsig wrote:
sirandar wrote:I know a certain proportion of end users have 150,000 track collections, but not many people are willing to spend 150,000$ on music (or are engaging in a little piracy). If you have a 150K library it would take over a year of listening 24hr per day 7 days a week just to listen to it once and give it a rating and mood tag. That is simply out of the realm of human possibility. Even then because microSD cards are now hot swappable you could buy 10 of the 64Gb cards and logically split up your library, then have your collection with you at all times. If you are willing to spend 150K$ in music then 40$*10 = 400$ isn't much money to never have to sync again.

I have about 9000 legal tracks that I have gathered over 30 years and every one is fully tagged.
<G> I have been collecting for over 50 years ... in fact I have a Beatles album I got in 1964 just before I saw them live. It isn't in great shape but I have ripped it (like the vast majority of my vinyl). So in 50 years it isn't hard. Your estimate of $1/track i think is way off but no use to argue that ... rounding numbers is understandable. But for many many of the years an album was under 4 bucks and cds we less expensive than now. And the majority of my purchases are used ... so the assumption (you know what happens when you ASSUME) about non-legal ...

The idea of a bunch of 64gig cards can be a problem. With the GS3 you have to take the back off to put a new card in. So Shutdown, take of the cover, take off the back swap cards, put the back on, put the cover on. Being some form of plasic the back clips will wear out. PLUS ... many phones do now work reliably with 64gig cards.

But that is all fodder for the mill. Syncing has proved to be a good way to maintain a select 'selection' of tracks. It does take time to put on a new playlist but generally I have a selection that is there always ... just add and remove.

Once again ... just fodder. You need to use it the way you like ... and if swapping cards works for you great.

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sirandar
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For clarity, here are my thoughts distilled

Post by sirandar »

1) For at least Samsung phones, the memory capacity is getting bigger. A Samsung S3 has 32Gb of Internal Memory and up to 64Gb of microSD storage = almost 100Gb

2) If you just pull the microSD card out of the phone, put it in a PC microSD card reader and copy them over about 15000 160-192kps MP3 files will fit and this takes about 45 minutes. Downsampled to 105kps OGG about 30,000 tracks will fit.

3) If you have a library less than 15000 tracks (or 30K if you are willing to downsample) you can have your entire library with you at all times and never lift a finger to do more work unless you get more tracks. You simply play whatever track you want whenever you want. I would call this a good thing.

4) In my hands syncing simply is not reliable no matter what program you use. I am guessing it is also an absolute nightmare for the devs to support.

5) Even if your library is bigger than 15K presumably if you are going somewhere for any appreciable time, you would like to have more music with you than less.

6) Once you get above about 2000 tracks it is pretty hard to remember which ones are the best and what mood each track has and that means you have 3 choices
a) make playlists and use them (but that's work and relying too much on playlists means only part of the library gets listened to)
b) Let MM4 generate random playlists (not a bad solution but it is very passive)
c) Pick the tracks to exactly match your current mood

7) I think at least some people would like to be able to do a) b) and c) but it is really hard to do c) because every single Android player I know of doesn't display any tag data in the library view. PowerAMP promised this in 2010 but never delivered and probably never will. I don't think this is technically impossible it just seems nobody wants to do it. PowerAMP has its own rating system but nobody would have patience to re-rate 10000 tracks just because PowerAMP can't read and display MM4 tags. One Android player Player Pro reads MM4 rating tags but only actually shows them for the currently playing track and that is not very informative ....... yup its a great track. To be actually useful the rating needs to be visible in the library view so you can see it as you are picking tracks.

So why is this feature so elusive? Probably most people never even bother to rate their tracks let alone give them mood and tempo tags BUT Media Monkey has always been for people that do properly tag their tracks .... That is why the MM devs used SQL and wrote the best tagging engine known to man IMO so people could actually Tag their music properly.

The second reason is that for many the rating tag is pretty meaningless because far too many tracks are rated 5 star and they are the only ones that get listened to. I had this problem myself and still do. In the end I had to create a Custom Field called "Master Composition" to identify tracks that trancended the rating system. Mood Tag doesn't have this limitation and is very very useful if you bother to do it. Tempo is also quite useful as it can be very jarring to cue up a load of tracks and have one in the middle that it too fast and it spoils your mood. In the end my 5 star rating system is really a 3 star system. 0-3 stars = never played, 4 stars = sometimes played, 5 star = played by default, Master Composition = played by choice. I say this to warn those starting a collection that rating tracks properly is a tricky task that was only partially successful in my case. But even my rating system is still useful. I wish a MM script writer could write a MM script to reduce the rating of every track in the library by one star and then I could give my Master Composition tracks 5 stars ..... I will take a look in the forums EDIT Silly Me MM4 can easily do that without a script

PowerAMP is broken because they very unwisely decided to abandon the standard MP3 ID3 tagging method to use their own wonky rating system that nobody uses I think. The PowerAMP devs can't easily fix this or they probably would have already.

Despite PowerAMP being a very mature and polished app I would dump it in 1 sec for a reliable app that actually could display rating and mood and do a proper search.
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BigInJapan
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by BigInJapan »

Thanks for distilling that. Your point is perfectly clear now. ;-)
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BigInJapan
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by BigInJapan »

So to be a little more helpful than that...

While we wait for more tags to become available in MMA, could you work around your issue via AutoPlaylists in MMW? I see that Mood is available as a selection criteria in AutoPlaylists. If you created one AutoPlaylist for each of the Mood values that you use, and had that as the only criteria in each list, and then synced those playlists over, would that not essentially replicate the functionality of being able to browse by Mood?
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sirandar
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by sirandar »

BigInJapan wrote:So to be a little more helpful than that...

While we wait for more tags to become available in MMA, could you work around your issue via AutoPlaylists in MMW? I see that Mood is available as a selection criteria in AutoPlaylists. If you created one AutoPlaylist for each of the Mood values that you use, and had that as the only criteria in each list, and then synced those playlists over, would that not essentially replicate the functionality of being able to browse by Mood?
Thanks for the advice

I have a feeling my posts may be interpreted as being inpatient and critical but really nothing could be further from the truth .....

I desperately would like to see MMA fly and would like to use it .... MM for Windows was a gift for people who actually catalog and listen to a lot of music.

The reason I am so much now is because once the devs get too invested in what they have they may become extremely resistant to change and it will be too late to.

I wiill give you an example with PowerAmp. Early in the development cycle the PowerAMP devs decided to implement their own wonky rating system that doesn't use tags. Now they are stuck with it and they are too stubborn to change. Now they are unable to support displaying ratings tagged in any PC based player including MediaMonkey .... They promised it but they never delivered and they probably won't. Other than that PowerAMP is a first rate player that would be quite untouchable on the Android market.

So here is may 2cents on where MMA needs to go (for what its worth)

1) In terms of functionality, just look a MMremote by Erland Dahl on the market ..... It does everything MMA should do except display mood and have good list scrolling.

2) I think it is a really bad idea to rely on the built in Android file catalogger "mediaserver". It is stuck in the mid 1990s in terms of fields catalogged and you are at the mercy of Android developers and intrusive carriers when your program relies on it. Android 4.1.1 was released with a bug that makes Mediaserver unusable for music and that type of bug can happen at any time and carriers take forever to release updates. PowerAMP has its own media scanner that functions extremely well and allow users to specify which directory on the phone contains music. It is one the the reasons PowerAMP is so successful IMO. The default Android search is also very primitive for real world searches. It either gives too much unrelated crap of too little of what you are looking for. When you have your own media scanner you have control over your process and MMA only needs to look in one or a few directories for music ....... this reduces the battery problems associated with mediaserver constantly scanning every time you sync.

As a side note I hope Android continues to support the .nonmedia file method of preventing Android from catalogging directories.
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by jiri »

2) Just a short comment here - I completely agree, but note that we already have our own DB in MMA, so we are more than ready to support pretty much anything MMW does. It's just that we use the Android MS for MMA 1.0 in order to have it ready asap, for future versions we plan to port our high-quality tagging code from MMW, i.e. we will be able to read/write all tags.

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dtsig
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Re: Media Monkey Specific Features

Post by dtsig »

jiri ... just a question...

I am trying to understand. I get from your post above that you have a db (database) on MMA which I 'assume' is saved there. If that is the case then why are so many of us having a problem with MMA forgetting what tracks we have? I would think that it would be a simple 'get info from db'. Sure I am over simplifying this for brevity. Just wondering
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