I am routinely wanting to play samples of various files to give audio context. I have successfully used the "Start time:" and "Stop time:" attributes in the Details tab of the File Properties dialog, but setting those changes the play behaviour of the song until those settings are removed. Under other circumstances I might want to play all of that song without the start and stop timing.
Options I have discounted for having both full and sample versions of a file include
- Have a play control in MM which enables or disables any start/stop timing that might be set. - doesn't exist
- Have MM record two file entries for the one file, with one entry being the whole of track and the other entry being with start/stop timing for the sample - does happen but seems to be an error condition - see below
So, my question is (and sorry for the long preamble) - what is the best way to safely generate a duplicate of a song in MM?
<Rabbithole warning> I can advise of one way to NOT do it. A duplicate could be via copy/paste, and there is a Copy command in the context menu for files in the main list. Unfortunately, having copied the file it is not apparent where I might get to Paste it. With a file copied, Paste was greyed out if I stayed in the album folder (unlike Windows, which will happily duplicate a file with an appended filename). So I tried another album entry under the Albums node to see if Paste was available there - BAD IDEA. The Paste control was now available and the pasted entry turned up there, but then the database entry inherited the artist and album data of the album it had been pasted into. That's not an unreasonable assumption on the part of the programmers, but it is an assumption that has been hardcoded in and it's annoying to find out the hard way. Still, I had what looked like two database entries pointing to the same file (Path value was the same for both DB entries), which could solve my problem. But still, I didn't want this particular variant of the file so I selected remove with the Just from database option, thinking that it would remove this latest duplicate DB entry for the file. WRONG. It deleted the pasted entry plus the database entry for the original track in its original album! FFS! Fortunately Add/Rescan files restored the track to its original album location in the database. Unfortunately I now have one file in that album with "Added" set to today rather than 2009, which is when it actually went in (GRRR - refer separate thread about preserving "Date Acquired"). </Rabbithole>
So my process is now to create a separate "Sample Temp" folder in my music store folder structure, and in MM use that via the Locations node as the Paste destination for Copied DB entries. That does safely create a separate file in that folder, and doesn't overwrite album/artist metadata. After adding -SAMPLE to the album and track title I use Auto Organise to return the track to a folder next to the original.
Is there a simpler way to duplicate a file that I might have missed?