MythMusic

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Revision as of 08:36, 4 January 2008 by Bernard S. Jansen (Talk | contribs)

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MythMusic is a sophisticated mythTV plugin that allows you to play and manage music and audio files .i.e MP3, Ogg, FLAC, wav etc. It is specifically designed to be operated by a normal remote control.


See the section on MythMusic Installation if you are having problems getting MythMusic to work

Configuring MythMusic

For global MythMusic configuration. Go to the Utilities/Setup->Setup->Media Settings->Music Settings->General Settings. In particular you can set up which directory your music is stored in here.

There is also a set of music Tools at Utilties/Setup->Music Tools. Here you can rescan your music library, etc.

Using MythMusic

Because MythMusic has been designed to work with a remote control, people often struggle with it, especially when building and editing playlists. Once you become familiar with how it works, which does not take long, you will be amazed at how much more accessible and enjoyable it makes listening to your music collection.

Building your music collection from CD

Before you start to import a CD into MythMusic there are a few things you should check.

  • Make sure that your system is not set up to mount the CD and begin playing it automatically. This is normally configured in your desktop environment ie KDE or Gnome.
  • It helps to have your system connected to the Internet, so that MythMusic can locate the information about your CD.
  • Insert the CD before selecting "Import CD".


To import (rip) a CD goto Optical Disks ->Import CD

After a few seconds MythTV will query the Internet freedb database for your CD information and the Import CD screen will show, with the Artist, Album and tracks information.

MythMusic1.png

Check that the Quality setting is what you need. The options are :-

  • Low -Low bit rate, low quality, very small file sizes .ogg or .mp3
  • Medium -Medium bit rate, medium quality .ogg or .mp3
  • High -High bit rate, high quality .ogg or .mp3
  • Perfect - Rips to Lossless FLAC file format. This is CD quality but compressed by about 50%

You can make changes to any of the items on the screen at this point before you finally select the "import this CD" button.

You now see the progress screen showing each track as it is ripped and transcoded, as well as the overall progress on the whole album. Once import has finished you can configure your CD to be ejected.

MythMusic2.png

MythTV stores your ripped music on your hard drive in a structured manner. See the page on MythMusic File Organization. All your music files will also be tagged using the ID3 standard

Adding in an existing music collection

If you already have an existing music collection then you can have MythMusic scan for this. Point MythMusic at the directory in which your music collection is, by changing the location of your music library in Utilities/Setup->setup->Media Settings->Music Settings-General settings.

Then goto Utilities/Setup->setup-Music tools->Scan for New Music.

MythTV will then scan for music and add the information into the MythTV database.

aac files

If you have files that have been ripped to Apples aac format this should be no problem. Either copy these files into the MythMusic directory and then scan for new music, or mount your collection onto the systems file system and point your MythMusic directory to it as above.

Playing Music

There are three ways to select music to play

  • Directly select an Artist,Album or track to play
  • Add tracks to the Active Playlist and play the Active Playlist
  • Create a new Playlist/Choose an existing Playlist

Before you start playing music it is highly recommended that you configure the MythMusic Player to show your entire music tree. This is probably the single biggest reason that people struggle with MythMusic GUI. You can set this in Utilities/Setup->Setup->Media Settings->Player Settings->show entire music tree


  • The Play screen (set up to show entire music tree)

MythMusic3.png



Direct music selection

You don't have to create a Playlist just to play an album or song.

With the "show entire music tree" configured, you will see your Playlist's to the left of the Play pane as per the picture above. More importantly you will also see a default Playlist called "All My Music". Once you select this Playlist you will see all your music organized alphabetically by Artist.

Use the Left and right arrow keys to switch between the Playlist pane and the Play pane. Use the up and down arrows to select your Playlist and the the right arrow key to select the Artist then right arrow again to select the Album then right arrow again to select Song etc. Press select to play at any point either the Artist, Album, or Song. Press the left arrow button to backtrack.

Play from the Active Play Queue

When you first start using MythMusic you will find two entries in the Playlist pane already defined.

  • All My Music -Exactly that, use this to directly access any Artist, Album, Track from the Play pane.
  • All My Playlists -Exactly that, with an initial playlist called the Active Play Queue


Active Play Queue

This is a temporary playlist that you can add and remove entire Albums or individual tracks to create a Playlist. Once this has your songs you want you can then save it to a named play list. Of course you can play the Active Play Queue just like any other playlist.

Add songs to the Active Play Queue

To add songs to the Active play Queue you need to enter the playlist management screen by pressing 3 from the "Play" screen or by selecting the "Select Music" option from the Music Tools menu.

The Playlist Management screen

MythMusic4.png

In the above picture you can see the 4 items on the menu that you can select:-

1. All My Music -Add files from your collection to the Active Play Queue.

2. The album you have in your CD drive -Select songs to play.

3. All your play lists previously defined (initially empty)- Select which playlists to perform actions on.

4. Your Active Play Queue -Select what actions to perform on your Active Play Queue.

From the the Playlist management screen you can browse the entire collection from "All My Music". Add tracks to the current queue by pressing 'Select' to toggle the checkbox next to it's name. Entire Albums, Genres or Artists may be added in one go.

If you don't have all the items in a sub menu selected it will show as a Grey tick.

MythMusic5.png


Press the ESC key to go back to the Play screen

Create a Playlist

When you are happy with the selection "All My Music", go back to the top level menu in Playlist management screen and then scroll down to "Active Play Queue" and press the Menu/m key. Type in the playlist name and then select "Copy to New Playlist". (If you are using a remote for text entry, don't forget to enable your on screen keyboard)

MythMusic6.png

When you return to the Play screen, you will see all your playlists

MythMusic7.png

Edit an existing playlist.

From the playlist management screen, browse existing playlists from "All My Playlists". Highlight the playlist and press the I/Menu key. Select "Move to Active Play Queue" from the menu. You can now modify the "Active Play Queue" like normal, adding songs and playlists by selecting them from the song tree.

When you are done, highlight the "Active Play Queue" in the selection tree and press the I/Menu then select "Save Back to Playlist Tree".

  • Rearrange the songs in a playlist. Highlight a song and hit the "space" bar, the song will now have pair of red arrows in front of it. Use the up and down arrow keys to move it around in the playlist. When you have it where you want it, hit the "space" bar again.
  • Delete an item from a playlist. Highlight the item in the selection tree and hit the "d" key.
  • Edit a text field without a keyboard. Press ENTER in the empty line edit control. A keyboard will pop up; you can use this keyboard to enter characters.
  • Delete a playlist. Highlight the playlist in the selection tree and hit the I/Menu key then select "Delete this Playlist" from the popup.

Auto Playlist

MythMusic Auto playlists allow you to create playlists automatically. From The Play screen press the Menu/m button. A pop up menu will show the following options

  • Smart playlists -create playlists based on parameters, see section on Smart Playlists
  • Search -Text search for music
  • From CD - Play your CD
  • All Tracks -Play everything
  • Tracks by current Artist -Insert or append to current playlist
  • Tracks from current Album -ditto
  • Tracks from current Genre -ditto
  • Tracks from current Year -ditto


Smart Playlist

This allows you create playlist based on parameters options include

  • Decades -1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's,2000's
  • Favorite Tracks -Define your favorite tracks
  • New Tracks -Never Played Tracks

Define favorite tracks

From the Smart Playlist menu you can define your favourite tracks based on a collection of logical operations including artist, albums, Title, Genre,Year, Track no, Rating, Play count,Compilation, Last played date, date imported,

MythMusic8.png

Once you have defined the criteria, you can select the "show results" button to get a sample of the tracks that would form the playlist.

Visualizations

Nothing beats listening to your music collection and having an accompanying visualization on your large flat panel TV.

There are currently a number of visualizations for MythMusic that will be displayed in a small window while the Play window is visible, but will be displayed full-screen when you change the visualization mode with by pressing 630.png on your remote. Press the 430.png to cycle through the available visualizations. Which of these visualizations are to be used can be specified as a space-separated list in the Setup menu for MythMusic.

Visualization Name Comment
Random Switches to a different visualization for each song.
Viz2.png
MonoScope Standard spectrum analyzer, as found on many MP3 players such as XMMS and WinAmp.
Viz3.png
StereoScope Another spectrum analyzer. Left and right channels are drawn separately.
BumpScope Similar to Monoscope above, but drawn as a "raised relief" on a flat surface (3D visualization)
Viz5.png
Goom The classic visualization of crazy lines and patterns.
Viz6.png
Synaesthesia A more amorphous visualization similar to plasma clouds displays
Viz7.png
Spectrum A classic sprectrum analyser
Viz8.png
Squares
Viz9.png
AlbumArt This displays the album art for the currently playing music. Basically, any image in the same directory as the music file currently playing is treated as if it might be album art, and one is selected randomly for display.
Viz10.png
Gears It's the GLXgears demo.
Viz11.png
Blank Useful if all you want to do is listen to music, saves potential screen burn, as well as putting less stress on your CPU
Viz12.png
LibVisual Gives you the libvisual visualisations if you have MythTV 0.21 SVN onwards
Viz13.png
projectM/LibVisual Gives you the projectM visualisations if you have MythTV 0.21 SVN onwards and ProjectM installed

Missing Visualizations after upgrading from 0.19 to latest SVN? The visualizations are now selectable via the Setup menus and by default you won't have any selected. Navigate to Setup > Media Settings > Music Settings > Player Settings and on the third page you'll find the Edit Visualizations button where you can select which visualizations you'd like to show up as options.

Shuffle Modes

  • None - plays songs in sequential order
  • Rand - plays songs in random order
  • Smart - plays songs in smart order. Smart order is calculated using following components, each component weight can be configured in MythMusic Player settings:
    • Rating - songs with greater rating are played more
    • Play Count - songs with smaller play count are player more
    • Last Play - songs not heard recently are played more
    • Random - random component
  • Album - plays songs from the current album in random order
  • Artist - plays songs from the current artist in random order

Useful keys to know

(note these are based on the default key mappings, you can re-assign these in MythWeb)

Remote Control Keyboard Key Function Remote Control Keyboard Key Function
130.png 1 Change Shuffle Mode RemotePause.png P Pause
230.png 2 Change Repeat mode - 2 RemoteStop.png o Stop
330.png 3 Edit Playlist menu - 3 RemoteProgdown.png z Next
430.png 4 Switch to Visualization screen N/A f Filter All My Music
530.png 5 Blank the screen N/A CTRL+S Show incremental search dialog
630.png 6 Select Visualization N/A CTRL+N inc search find next match
730.png 7 Decrease track rating RemoteMute.png F9 Mute
830.png 8 Refresh music tree N/A > Next track in play list
930.png 9 Increase track rating N/A < Previous track in play list
RemoteInfo.png i Edit track information
RemoteVolup.png ] Volume up
RemoteVoldown.png ] Volume down

Troubleshooting

You may run into errors when running MythMusic.

When I run MythMusic and try and look up a CD, I get an error message

The full text of the message will say:

databasebox.o: Couldn't find your CD. It may not be in the freedb database. More likely, however, is that you need to delete /.cddb and /.cdserverrc and restart mythmusic. Have a nice day.

If you get this message, you should go to the home directory of whatever user MythMusic is running as and type:

   rm .cdserverrc
   rm -rf .cddb/

These files aren't automatically deleted because of a conscious design decision by the author that programs that automatically delete things are bad.

The files are used to locally cache CD lookups. If you are re-inserting CDs, your machine will not actually have to go out to the Internet to determine what is on them. However, the URL used to access the freedb database has recently changed, so the stale information in the files from previous runs of MythMusic would cause the error above. Once the files have been deleted the stale information will be gone and your local database will be rebuilt as you use CDs.

The default cddb server in .cdserverrc doesn't seem to be working very well all the time, here's a list of servers you can add:

 SERVER=cddbp://freedb.freedb.org:8880/ CDDB
 SERVER=http://freedb.freedb.org:80/~cddb/cddb.cgi CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp://at.freedb.org:8880/ CDDB
 SERVER=http://at.freedb.org:80/~cddb/cddb.cgi CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp://ca.freedb.org:8880/ CDDB
 SERVER=http://ca.freedb.org:80/~cddb/cddb.cgi CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp://cz.freedb.org:8880/ CDDB
 SERVER=http://cz.freedb.org:80/~cddb/cddb.cgi CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp://no.freedb.org:8880/ CDDB
 SERVER=http://no.freedb.org:80/~cddb/cddb.cgi CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp://uk.freedb.org:8880/ CDDB
 SERVER=http://uk.freedb.org:80/~cddb/cddb.cgi CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp://us.freedb.org:8880/ CDDB
 SERVER=http://us.freedb.org:80/~cddb/cddb.cgi CDDB
 

MythMusic Development

As with all MythTV development work, modifications are worked on as "tickets" on the MythTV Trac Server. To have a look at the latest developments on the active tickets for the MythMusic module, scroll down to the MythMusic section of the Active Tickets by Component page.

Wishlist

The wishlist for MythMusic development ideas is part of the Feature Wishlist (Plugin Addons) page of this wiki. Before editing this page however, please read the guidelines on the Feature Wishlist page.