October 01, 2007

Perfect Fit

What happens when an obsessive compulsive finds the perfect tool? Peace...well, peace after furious amounts of activity.

You may already be aware I am a bit OCD about my music. Let's face it, not a lot of people organize their CDs alphabetically, then chronologically, within genre sets. I have the same issues now that the music is on my computer.

I have been fighting the good fight with Windows Media Player, but it is a big, clunky, buggy program. The problems become even more apparent the larger my collection becomes. It won't play my full collection on shuffle, it glitches and pauses between tracks, it often just locks up completely. Not to mention what a resource hog it is, limiting my other computer activities while it is running.

Enter my buddy who suggested Media Monkey.

Much smaller than WMP, much less resource intensive, much more user friendly and feature packed. Oh, and it's free - though I will probably send them the $20 for the Gold Edition, just to support the good work.

Media Monkey found all my music tracks quickly, without bogging down my computer. It didn't even get bogged down in itself - while it was scanning my computer, I was investigating it's many features.

Where does the OCD come in? Well, when you rip your CDs, you are at the mercy of the online database your chosen interface uses. Those databases are populated, almost exclusively, with user submitted info. And people are fickle, so you end up with a bunch of music with tags in many different formats. The Monkey has several tools to correct those issues.

I had many CDs that had the track or artist names stored in ALL CAPS, so annoying. Media Monkey has a script that checks, and corrects, capitalization.

Issue two: Incomplete data.
Media Monkey allows you to "Auto Tag from Amazon", connecting to the Amazon database to get track, artist, year, album art.... Very quick, very handy. For files you may have downloaded and/or that don't come up on the Amazon search, it will "Auto tag from the filename" taking your naming convention to fill in any tags that may have been missed.

Also on the incomplete data, Media Monkey has several auto-playlists to help track it down; "unknown title", "unknown artist", "unknown genre"... Handy to put all the files with missing pieces into one place where I can get completely obsessive with re-tagging them.

The Monkey also has better export ability, so listing my entire collection in a separate database took about as much effort as sending an email. I haven't tried to synchronize with my MP3 player, yet, but since WMP didn't work with my Nomad, I will be no worse off if it doesn't work, and pleasantly surprised if it does.

I have had no problem with the player, it has been shuffling easily through all of my files. No glitching, no hang ups.

No complaints.

Posted by Vox at October 1, 2007 05:15 PM | music

You are SILLY!

Posted by: D at October 8, 2007 04:02 PM


But you know how I am - how long was I messing with those music files last night....?


Posted by: Vox at October 8, 2007 04:14 PM