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View Full Version : I'm tempted to try MusicIP again, but...



MeSue
2008-10-08, 14:25
I gave up on MusicIP a while back for a few reasons… one, because it always seemed to cause weirdness in my music library, like albums listed twice with songs split between the two listings and rescans took forever. Another reason is that I have a lot of music in my library that I don't care to hear in mixes. MIP can filter by ratings, but it can't read ratings from tags. So when I used MusicIP before, it was a pain always trying to keep ratings in sync with my files and MIP.

I deal with this now by using Trackstat and Custom Scan to read the ratings in my tags and give me Dynamic Playlists that only select songs with a rating of 3 or higher. But I am really tempted to give MIP another try.

Have there been any new developments that would enable what I want to do, which is only have MIP use songs that have a 3 or higher rating?

MeSue
2008-10-08, 14:49
I was looking at Custom Scan options. Would the "MusicIP Statistics Export" in Custom Scan keep my ratings in sync with MIP automatically?

bonze
2008-10-08, 15:40
Gave up on MusicIP myself a while back.
Seems like a good idea, but the mixes it gave were just 'weird'
Jumped from Gary Numan > Celine Dion > ABBA, and whatever I changed didn't seem to make the slightest bit of difference.

esbrewer
2008-10-08, 16:05
I'm sure some folks here would disagree, but I found the MusicIP install (at least on Mac OS) very awkward and unstable. It crashed constantly (more than any piece of software I've ever used) when making the original scan, and never seemed to pickup on new tracks that had been added to my library. I suspect it also did some damage to some of the tags on my files. The MusicIP forums I looked at for help seemed to be full of helpful people who have come to reluctantly accept the shortcomings of the software.

The mixes it created were interesting, but not worth the additional hassle. Perhaps my experience with the PC version would have been different.

Philip Meyer
2008-10-08, 16:24
>I gave up on MusicIP a while back for a few reasons… one, because it
>always seemed to cause weirdness in my music library, like albums
>listed twice with songs split between the two listings and rescans took
>forever.
>
That sounds very fixable.

I didn't like the way that the MusicIP plugin messed with the content of my SC library, so I changed the plugin. With my patch, it's possible to configure it so that it only uses MIP to determine if a track is mixable; i.e. it won't then read the MIP library tags at all. This also radically improved the SC library scan time (especially scans for new files).

>Another reason is that I have a lot of music in my library that
>I don't care to hear in mixes.
>
I can immediately think of solutions for that:
1) configure an MIP filter to eg. not play music in a certain genre, by a certain artist, less than a certain duration, etc. Then configure the plugin to only make mixes based on that filter.
2) use CustomSkip to skip songs in SC that don't meet your requirements.

>MIP can filter by ratings, but it can't
>read ratings from tags. So when I used MusicIP before, it was a pain
>always trying to keep ratings in sync with my files and MIP.
>
I find that the MIP libarary is automatically fed ratings set from SC (via TrackStat). I must admit that I don't know how this happens (is this via MusicIP plugin or TrackStat or CustomScan?).

The first time I used CustomScan to export ratings to MusicIP. This took a little while to copy stats across, but since then whenever I set a rating in SC (or play a track), the stats are synced across automatically to MIP too.

>Have there been any new developments that would enable what I want to
>do, which is only have MIP use songs that have a 3 or higher rating?
Yes. In MIP, set a filter to match songs where rating is greater than 2. In SC, create a mix based on that filter.

Philip Meyer
2008-10-08, 16:28
>I'm sure some folks here would disagree, but I found the MusicIP install
>(at least on Mac OS) very awkward and unstable.
Seems rock solid on my PC. I have never experienced a crash.

>never seemed to pickup on new tracks that had been added to my library.
That also works fine for me.

>I suspect it also did some damage to some of the tags on my files.
>
Yes, I've experienced problems with loss of tags in mp3 id3v2.3 tags when performing archive analysis, so I don't bother to archive analysis mp3 files (FLAC seems fine).

MeSue
2008-10-08, 19:45
Okay, I got MIP installed and running headless. I don't know why it is saying it has to validate 12,678 tracks when I had archived analysis when I used it before. I know those aren't all newly added songs since I last used it. Or is validation different from analysis?

Sounds like Custom Scan may be the piece of the puzzle I was missing before. Any reason to wait for validation to finish before doing an initial Custom Scan Export?



I didn't like the way that the MusicIP plugin messed with the content of my SC library, so I changed the plugin. With my patch, it's possible to configure it so that it only uses MIP to determine if a track is mixable; i.e. it won't then read the MIP library tags at all. This also radically improved the SC library scan time (especially scans for new files).

Is your patch publicly available?

I guess my next step is to peruse that huge thread on MIP.

erland
2008-10-08, 20:25
I find that the MIP libarary is automatically fed ratings set from SC (via TrackStat). I must admit that I don't know how this happens (is this via MusicIP plugin or TrackStat or CustomScan?).

The first time I used CustomScan to export ratings to MusicIP. This took a little while to copy stats across, but since then whenever I set a rating in SC (or play a track), the stats are synced across automatically to MIP too.

Unless something has happened very recently with the MusicIP plugin, I think the ratings transfer works through Custom Scan and the "MusicIP Statistics Export" scanning module provided by TrackStat. The key is that you have checked the "Dynamically update statistics" parameter in this scanning module.



Sounds like Custom Scan may be the piece of the puzzle I was missing before. Any reason to wait for validation to finish before doing an initial Custom Scan Export?

TrackStat doesn't check the mixable status so it will work from the TrackStat side. However, I think there were someone that tried to export while validating which resulted in that MusicIP lost information about already validated tracks and the whole validation had to be executed again.

So I would personally wait until the validation had finished, and I would then also completely restart MusicIP to make sure the validation result have been written to the cache before I try to export ratings.

MeSue
2008-10-08, 20:33
So I would personally wait until the validation had finished, and I would then also completely restart MusicIP to make sure the validation result have been written to the cache before I try to export ratings.

Thanks. I stopped analysis in MIP, closed it, and am currently running the Custom Scan export. When it finishes, I will resume the MIP analysis/validation or whatever it was doing.

MeSue
2008-10-08, 21:26
Is your patch publicly available?

Never mind.. found it, got it installed.

mherger
2008-10-08, 23:10
> I'm sure some folks here would disagree, but I found the MusicIP install
> (at least on Mac OS) very awkward and unstable.

I'm no expert, but I think quite a bit of the bad reputation they have for
crashing is due to the Java UI used in earlier versions on non-Windows
systems (not sure they still do). I've been running it for years without a
single crash I can remember - but headlessly, without UI. This is
sometimes running for months without a restart (on Linux).

For development work I'm running it on OSX and occasionally on Windows
too. Though they never have to run more than a few hours. But they looked
pretty stable to me recently.

Michael

Philip Meyer
2008-10-09, 01:04
>Thanks. I stopped analysis in MIP, closed it, and am currently running
>the Custom Scan export. When it finishes, I will resume the MIP
>analysis/validation or whatever it was doing.

You can do the export and validate at the same time, BUT only if you are using the same application to access the MIP database. i.e. if you are using MIP in headless mode, SC will write via the headless server, so you should do the validation/analysis via the headless web UI too.

I guess you are using the dedicated MIP GUI to analyse, which has a copy of the MIP DB. Remember, whenever you do anything in the MIP GUI, you need to save the library (or exit the GUI), and then refresh the cache in the headless webUI.

It's therefore best to use one or the other, not both at the same time. SC (with CustomScan and TrackStat) will write to the MIP cache (eg. via the headless web interface), and thus reloading the cache if changed via the MIP GUI would lose any stats dynamically sent since MIP GUI was started.

My preferred way of working is to only open MIP GUI to find new music to be analysed. Then exit the GUI and reload the cache in the MIP web UI and analyse from there.

Philip Meyer
2008-10-09, 01:07
>Okay, I got MIP installed and running headless. I don't know why it is
>saying it has to validate 12,678 tracks when I had archived analysis
>when I used it before. I know those aren't all newly added songs since
>I last used it. Or is validation different from analysis?

No, it's the same thing. I guess that if you have analysis tags in your files (you could check if the tags are present via Mp3Tag), then a fresh install and scan would still need to analyse the files, but it should be faster (just read the info from tags, rather than scan the music content).

It may take some time over the first few if these are newer items without analysis tags, and then go faster when it finds your older tracks?

Phil

MeSue
2008-10-09, 06:46
Thanks for all the great explanations. I think I have it pretty much under control now... just waiting for validation.

After I did the custom scan export, I switched to the headless Web UI to resume validation. But there it reports around 2,000 more tracks requiring validation compared to the MIP GUI. Wonder why?

Another discrepancy is SC reports my total songs as one more than MIP, but I'm not going to worry about a difference of 1.

If I set the desktop program to watch the same music folder that SC watches, will that have no effect on the headless server?

MeSue
2008-10-09, 16:21
After I did the custom scan export, I switched to the headless Web UI to resume validation. But there it reports around 2,000 more tracks requiring validation compared to the MIP GUI. Wonder why?

I think I figured this out. In the desktop version it excludes things like podcasts and audio books. It has been validating all last night and today and it still hasn't gotten past my audio books folder... ugh.

Philip Meyer
2008-10-09, 16:29
>After I did the custom scan export, I switched to the headless Web UI
>to resume validation. But there it reports around 2,000 more tracks
>requiring validation compared to the MIP GUI. Wonder why?
>
Did you save the MIP GUI and then reload the cache in Headless web UI before the custom scan export, or any other activity in SC? eg. playing a song would pass a new playcount to MIP and therefore overwrite the cache?

>Another discrepancy is SC reports my total songs as one more than MIP,
>but I'm not going to worry about a difference of 1.
>
SC supports more file formats that MIP, so that could explain it. Or a song has moved and an SC rescan is required to delete an extra song that doesn't exist anymore?

>If I set the desktop program to watch the same music folder that SC
>watches, will that have no effect on the headless server?

The MIP desktop application and MIP headless server should be configured to use the same MIP library cache. The headless server doesn't automatically scan any folders - you have to tell it to look for new files by entering a path each time. I find it easier to start the MIP desktop app to automatically find new music, then stop analysis, save the library, then reload the library cache in the headless web UI.

When adding new music into the MIP library, you should add files using the same music folder path as SC (i.e. same drive letter).

MeSue
2008-10-09, 16:57
Did you save the MIP GUI and then reload the cache in Headless web UI before the custom scan export, or any other activity in SC? eg. playing a song would pass a new playcount to MIP and therefore overwrite the cache?

Yes, and all my Squeezeboxes were idle the whole time so I don't think SC would have updated anything. I think the extra 2000 songs reported by the Headless Web page are podcasts and audio books - the number seems about right. Any way to exclude these from validation?

Philip Meyer
2008-10-09, 17:28
>I think the extra 2000 songs reported
>by the Headless Web page are podcasts and audio books - the number
>seems about right. Any way to exclude these from validation?
>
In MIP application, File > Preferences > Exclusions, you can enter exclusions for adding songs to the library (eg. don't add songs where the genre is Podcast, or where the music library starts with M:\Music\iTunes\, etc).

You can also allow the songs to be added into the MIP library, but not analyse them via the "Don't analyse songs like this" exclusions.

Phil

egd
2008-10-09, 18:13
I didn't like the way that the MusicIP plugin messed with the content of my SC library, so I changed the plugin. With my patch, it's possible to configure it so that it only uses MIP to determine if a track is mixable; i.e. it won't then read the MIP library tags at all. This also radically improved the SC library scan time (especially scans for new files)Phil, is (has?) this enhancement going to be implemented as part of SC is it going to remain a patch?

MeSue
2008-10-09, 18:59
In MIP application, File > Preferences > Exclusions, you can enter exclusions for adding songs to the library (eg. don't add songs where the genre is Podcast, or where the music library starts with M:\Music\iTunes\, etc).

You can also allow the songs to be added into the MIP library, but not analyse them via the "Don't analyse songs like this" exclusions.

Phil

Right... but I'm trying to do validation via the headless server (to avoid overwriting the cache from SC), and it seems the headless server has no knowledge of those exclusions which were set in the desktop version.

Or, quite possibly, I am doing something wrong...

Philip Meyer
2008-10-10, 00:07
>Right... but I'm trying to do validation via the headless server (to
>avoid overwriting the cache from SC), and it seems the headless server
>has no knowledge of those exclusions which were set in the desktop
>version.
>
Oh, I understand your issue now.

I haven't noticed that behaviour myself, but I don't have any tracks that I scan and don't analyse (as I prevent things like podcasts from being scanned).

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-10-10, 00:09
>Phil, is (has?) this enhancement going to be implemented as part of SC
>is it going to remain a patch?
It has been applied to 7.3.

MeSue
2008-10-10, 07:18
Well... after 2 nights and a full day of validating songs on my HP server, it has still done less than 1,000 songs.

Last night I installed MIP on my quad core desktop, pointed it to the same music, set it to use 3 cores, and let it analyze overnight. This morning, it's done! I knew the desktop would be faster but I didn't expect it to be that much faster since it had to access the files over the network.

So, I'll copy this cache file over to the server and replace that one, then redo the Custom Scan export.

exile
2008-10-10, 07:48
once you get past the scanning process, the fun will finally begin. I've been running MusicIP for quite some time now on my system and it does work very well and consistently without crashes. Also, all of the benefits of dynamic playlists can be utilized within MusicIP. All you need to do is set up filters in musicip to determine what music gets mixed into playlists and then you're off and running. Also, the trackstat ratings transfer perfectly into musicip so you have full control over what kinds of rated tracks get mixed into playlists.

good luck!

MeSue
2008-10-11, 06:02
Okay, looks like all my stats are synced up now.

I understand about filters and using them as a mix base, but I can only define which filter to be used in the SC Web interface, right? There's no way to have the player prompt me for the filter when a mix is created, is there?

What do the rest of you have your MIP reload interval set at? If I rely on a daily SC "scan for new and changed music" is it okay to set the MIP reload to zero? Do they do the same thing?

Philip Meyer
2008-10-11, 10:06
>I understand about filters and using them as a mix base, but I can only
>define which filter to be used in the SC Web interface, right? There's
>no way to have the player prompt me for the filter when a mix is
>created, is there?
>
Yes there is (for SB PlayerUI - not sure what happens on an SBC).

In the MusicIP settings, you can set "Player settings for each mix" to "Yes". Then, when you hold down play button, you get to select Mix Size, Style, Variety, etc. From that menu you can also select the Mix Filter.

>What do the rest of you have your MIP reload interval set at? If I rely
>on a daily SC "scan for new and changed music" is it okay to set the MIP
>reload to zero? Do they do the same thing?
Yes, leave the MIP reload at 0. I don't see the point in that option. Just scan for new/changed music when you know you've added new music.

MeSue
2008-10-11, 17:01
In the MusicIP settings, you can set "Player settings for each mix" to "Yes". Then, when you hold down play button, you get to select Mix Size, Style, Variety, etc. From that menu you can also select the Mix Filter.

Ah, thanks. I see it now when I use the buttons or remote, but you don't get it when using the Controller. But I should be able to do it via the Retro Browser applet for the Controller on those occasions where I want different settings.

Thanks for everyone's help and encouragement. I really enjoyed the mixes I got from MIP before, and I'm glad to have it back. Looks like I got it set up just in time for the new SugarCube version which makes it even better!