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Author Topic: Media Monkey 3 is the most exciting audio player yet  (Read 13202 times)
CWuestefeld
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« on: February 10, 2008, 02:17:55 PM »

I've always been a fan of MediaMonkey (http://www.MediaMonkey.com), but with it's recent version 3 release it's become the most exciting music player out there. MM has been just another one of a half-dozen or so leading players, but the scripts that its latest version is enabling make it top-of-the-heap.

The merits of music players is a frequent topic around here, and the tastes generally run to the utilitarian. This frequently means minimalist, but I wonder if that's because so much of the feature set in today's apps is eye candy and other junk that introduce complexity and bugs. The scripts that I'd like to tell you about really have use, so I hope they escape that criticism.

What to listen to?
My collection is large, so the biggest problem I've got is deciding what to listen to. There are external services to help you put together playlists (MusicIP is a good one), but I don't know of any that's well-integrated. Some folks have written MM scripts that I'd never have though of, but do a great job in building me a list of music to listen to.

Last.FM Node
This plugin builds a "best-of" list for an artist, or find tracks having a given tack, or research related artists, all based on actual Last.FM data. For each of these tasks it submits requests, then searches your own database looking for what you've got on that list.

The most basic operation is the "best-of" for an artist. Simply add a Favorite Artist, and it will get the top tracks for that artist from Last.FM:


But you can do other things with the artist. It's in a tree structure, so you can open up its node to see a list of related artists. In this picture I've opened Dream Theater, and within that, continued to drill down into Symphony X. For each of these artists, you can click on the node to see the "best of".


You can also get lists of top tracks having a given tag. Just add a Favorite Tag node, and click on it to retrieve your list. You can also drill into this to see top musicians having that tag, and repeat the process above to see their best songs.


You can read more about Last.FM node and download it here: http://www.mediamonkey.co...rum/viewtopic.php?t=24879

MagicNodes
If you don't like to rely on other people's taste, you can derive lists from your own database. A script called MagicNodes (http://www.mediamonkey.co...rum/viewtopic.php?t=19168) allows you define criteria for building a tree of music according to properties in your database. You might specify "Tracks from between 1970-1979 having Rating 4-5 classified as Soft Rock, organized by Artist". The list is navigable, and dynamically built as your collection evolves.

Cleaning Data
I'm pretty particular about my data, and I've got the lyrics for most of my music thanks to Zortam. However, I do run into occasional holes. When this happens I use the WebNodes script (http://www.mediamonkey.co...rum/viewtopic.php?t=25845).

When a song with missing lyrics comes up, I go to "Search the web". This opens a panel that contains one of various pre-seeded searches. Using the one for "lyrics-songs.com" I've never missed in finding the lyrics. Then just select them with your mouse and click the Lyrics button; they're automatically saved into the tracks ID3 tag.

Seeing what you're hearing
I really don't like visualizations, but I do like to see what I'm hearing. The MonkeyRok script (http://www.mediamonkey.co...rum/viewtopic.php?t=14494) displays some basic info about the track, but also lists the other tracks of the album that it's from, and lists other albums from the same artist. You can click these to add to the "Now Playing" list.

Improving the sound
The quality of sound from a PC isn't the best, between small speakers and occasional 128kb MP3s (before I knew any better). There's a DSP plugin (MM supports the same DSPs that WinAmp does) that seems like magic to me in the way that it improves the sound of the music. I'm sure purists will object that it's then not playing what the artist intended, but to my ears the sound is much more pleasant.

You can find the Sound Solution DSP here: http://www.soundsolution....ound_solution-t966.0.html

I hope these improve your pleasure in music listening as much as they have for me.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2008, 02:24:16 PM »

I agree, MM would be the finest player out there (thanks to the scripts)... if it worked. For me it's been the application with most bugs in my entire history. A pity.

And, yes, it takes Winamp plugins, but the ones I tested crash the application in a way that ony reinstall will fix.

I have a love-hate relationship withh this app, similar to the one I have with Opera. I don't know if I'd rate these apps a 1 or a 5 (out of five)!
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Darwin
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 03:12:50 PM »

Chris - nice little review, why not post it in the mini-review section? You've made me want to give MM a try for the first time  Thmbsup
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 03:44:43 PM »

What, and no comments about it being the best tool to tag mp3 out there? smiley

PS: should i move this to the mini-review section?
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 03:55:37 PM »

What, and no comments about it being the best tool to tag mp3 out there? smiley

PS: should i move this to the mini-review section?

If you think it's more appropriate with mini-reviews, I don't mind it being moved. But personally, I didn't think it was complete enough for that treatment.

And I don't think MM is the best tool for anything but supplementary tagging.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 04:34:14 PM »

If you think it's more appropriate with mini-reviews, I don't mind it being moved. But personally, I didn't think it was complete enough for that treatment.
Ok, then i shall leave it here. Maybe later you can complete it Wink

And I don't think MM is the best tool for anything but supplementary tagging.
Really? I thought it was the best one out there... What do you use?
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CleverCat
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2008, 12:28:16 AM »

I can't get Favourite Node script to work? Sad
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CleverCat
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2008, 02:01:32 AM »

All fixed with a new script which fixed a bug... cheesy
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Dr-Leech
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2008, 04:10:52 AM »

3.0 is a really amazing music player. I've switched back after using Foobar from long time.

The only reason I think it's not perfect is that it don't manage single file albums (stripped with cue sheets) by default like Foobar does.
Foobar add each cuesheet track as a separate track, which it let you edit it's tags, rating, stats, etc., search by song, and scrobble tracks of course!

It's the only missing feature I found in MM.

There's a script to read cuesheet, but sucks.
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CleverCat
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 05:05:32 AM »

I've bought the lifetime Gold licence.... Cool
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Beth UK
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 06:46:49 AM »

I agree that MM is a fantastic music manager - I've been using it for as long as I can remember. It doesn't seem to like the latest Last.FM plugin (it uses the WinAmp one I think) but the MM fans on Last.FM have made the old one available anyway which works just fine.

I actually think the music manager that was nearly the most exciting yet is Helium by Intermedia Software. http://www.helium-music-manager.com To my mind Helium has always been 'on the verge' of greatness but never quite gotten there - it does have some fantastic catalogue features and also superb tagging ... but it has never quite reached it's potential and has been prone to the odd bug or two.

It would be a useful project maybe to do a comparison of the two - if someone had the time (I don't right now)?

I own copies of both ... but MM is my current fav! Kiss

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Darwin
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 08:08:40 AM »

A beta for Helium MM 2008 was released on Feb. 11 - have you tried it, Beth? Just curious - I'd never even heard of HMM until you posted and followed your link!
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Beth UK
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2008, 10:41:49 AM »

Quote
A beta for Helium MM 2008 was released on Feb. 11 - have you tried it, Beth?

Yes I saw that and I've been trying to avoid it - I suffer from beta addiction and am trying to break the habit! undecided Maybe you should try it Darwin (addiction by proxy!)?

Thing is that the world of music managers changed for me once ipods arrived - because only iTunes ever seems to reliably (ish) work with ipod synching, yet iTunes as a music manager is completely inadequate. As good as Media Monkey is I have only ever encountered problems when using it to manage an iPod (although it does have that ability).
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Darwin
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2008, 10:53:50 AM »

I resolved the iPod issue... by assiduously avoiding the purchase of an iPod! I bought first a Samsung K3 and then a T9 (K3 was stolen 3 months after purchase)  tongue (An aside - if anyone buys a Samsung mp3 player, stay away from the bundled music organizer. It installs a really annoying, and AFAICT impossible to remove, DRM service).

I'll wait for the final release of Helium MM 2008 to "go live" as I've never tried it and I've already got a number of media players on the go!  At the moment, I'm pretty happy with WinAmp 5.5 but also have MusicIP Mixer Pro, GOMPlayer, and WMP 11 installed. On the strictly player side I have XMPlay installed as well and on the strictly organizing and tagging side I have mp3 Collector (by collectorz.com)...
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2008, 12:14:32 PM »

I have tons of podcasts on my ipod - MM really caused alot of damage (syncing / deleting podcast issues), although it was able to read them off the ipod ok. I ended up using sharepod.
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Dr-Leech
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2008, 12:17:46 PM »

Only bad thing is that I've an iPhone and I can't sync with MM3, but well.. I've a clean iTunes install (no music, only music is the one I want to put in my iPhone so few albums, and delete them when I remove from phone) and it makes iTunes a little faster.

So my all-day-player is MM3 smiley
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urlwolf
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2008, 09:57:20 AM »

One caution note on Media Monkey 3, "the most exciting audio player yet".

I have submitted quite a few very detailed bug reports. While 3 of the team members have corresponded with me (showing they do have interest in fixing them), it's been over two weeks and they have yet to solve even the most benign of them.

In the mean time, I keep finding new ones. I just don't bother submitting them anymore, because they don't get solved.

Maybe I'm just finding the hardest bugs in the history of MM smiley

Problems:
- keyboard shorcuts don't work properly
- album art is sometimes ignored, even when it's clearly there.
- DSP plugins crash the app when closing (e.g., Izotope Ozone); granted, they are winamp plugins. Still they worked in 2.5 but not in 3.0
- Lots of convoluted stuff to get last fm working
- Fonts are screwed in many skins

etc

I agree that this is a very promising player; but you will pay dearly with your own time chasing bugs if you decide to use it.
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kartal
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2009, 12:53:10 AM »

And the worst media player. I own Mediamonkey and I love it. But I have a problem with its name, the name is mediamonkey but it only plays audio files.
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CleverCat
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2009, 02:22:36 AM »

There is a plug-in for Video....but I can't get it to work!
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