MythMusic is a sophisticated MythTV plugin that allows you to play and manage music and audio files .i.e MP3, Ogg, FLAC, wav etc and play radio streams from the likes of Shoutcast and Radionomy. It is specifically designed to be operated by a normal remote control.
Supported Formats and Containers
- Audio CDs
- Vorbis Audio (OGG + OGA)
- AAC (iTunes)
- Wav + WavPack (WV)
- Windows Media Audio (WMA)
- Sony OpenMG (OMA + OMG)
- Sony ATRAC (ATP, AA3)
- Real Audio (RA)
- Matroska Audio
- Audio Interchange Format (AIFF)
- True Audio (TTA)
- Shockwave Audio (SWA)
- And more
- OGG Vorbis Audio
The best approach is to follow the installation guides for MythTV and MythMusic that have been developed for your Operating System and distribution.
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.
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
There are three ways to add music to MythMusic. You can rip existing CD's, copy your tracks to the existing music directory and do a rescan or you can also import tracks from another location into your music directory. Each method will be explained below.
Before you start to rip 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.
- Gnome: System→Preferences → Removable Drives and Media Preferences.
- KDE: There are two ways to do this (the first is easier):
- Insert an audio CD, which will trigger a pop-up window. Select "X Do Nothing", tick the "Always do this for this type of media" checkbox and press OK.
- Go to System Settings → Notifications → Storage Media Notifications → (Notifications tab) Medium types, select: Audio CD. "X Do Nothing" should have "(Auto Action) after it. If not, press the "Toggle as Auto Action" button.
- It helps to have your system connected to the Internet, so that MythMusic can locate the information about your CD
- Set up how you want your CDs to be ripped, including default quality settings. See the section on CD Ripper Settings
To import (rip) a CD, you need to select the "Import CD" menu item. This can be found in two places
- Optical Disks → Import CD
- Utilities/Setup → Music Tools → 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.
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.
Scanning the music directory
If you have copied some new music to your music directory or if you want to scan 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:
- Utilities/Setup → Setup →Media Settings-> Music Settings → General settings.
- Utilities/Setup → Music tools → Scan for New Music.
MythTV will then scan for music and add the information into the MythTV database.
You should also do a rescan if you changed the tag information using a tool outside of MythMusic so it will pick up any changes. Note: for MythMusic to notice the changes the modification time of the files needs to have changed.
Alternatively of course, you can copy your existing collection across to the folder that MythMusic has already begun building your collection to.
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.
Importing music to the music directory
If you have some tracks you want to add to your music directory then one easy way to do it is to import the tracks using MythMusic. It will copy the tracks to your music directory for you creating the necessary directory structure and renaming the files based on the preferences you have told MythMusic to use.
Using Album Art
MythMusic supports the display of album art found in the same directory as a music file or embedded in MP3 files with ID3V2.3 or ID3V2.4 tags.
The metadata editor also allows you to search Google images for any suitable cover art, artist and genre images. It's up to the user to determine if they are allowed to use any of the images they find.
MythMusic works on the principle that any tracks you wish to play must first be added to a current (working) playlist. There are many ways to add tracks to this playlist like browsing for them in the playlist editor views, searching for individual tracks on the search view or using the quick playlists on the popup menu.
- The Current Playlist View
- The Playlist Editor - Tree View
- The Playlist Editor - Gallery View
The Playlist Editor views allow you to browse your music collection looking for tracks you would like to play. Pressing Select (MARK/t in the gallery view) on any node in the tree will allow you to add or replace any tracks below the current node to the working playlist. A couple of examples will hopefully make things a little clearer (both the tree and gallery views work in the same way though it's easier to see what is happening in the tree view until you get used to it). Lets say you want to play all your Christmas tracks, in the tree on the far left move to 'Genres' then move right to the list of genres, find 'Christmas' in the list then press Select. You will be given the choice to replace or add the tracks on the working playlist.
Lets try a more complex example, say you want to play all you favourite tracks from Dire Straits, in the far left of the tree select Artist and move right, find Dire Straits in the artist list and move right, select 'Ratings' and move right, in the list of ratings press Select on the highest rating to add/replace the tracks on the working playlist.
MythMusic's Quick Playlists allow you to create playlists automatically. From any view showing the active playlist press the Menu/m button and select 'Quick Playlists'. A pop up menu will show the following options
- All Tracks
- Tracks by current Artist
- Tracks from current Album
- Tracks from current Genre
- Tracks from current Year
- Tracks with Same Title
Selecting one of the options will allow you to either replace or append any matching tracks to the working playlist based on the currently playing track. So for example if a track is playing that you would like to hear the rest of the album you would choose 'Tracks from current Album' which would either replace or append all matching tracks to the working playlist.
Saving a playlist
Lets say you have added many tracks to the working playlist and you would like to save it so you can add the same tracks again in the future. On any view that shows the current playlist press Menu then 'Playlist Options' then 'Save to New playlist' and when prompted enter a name for the playlist. Alternatively you can choose 'Save to Existing Playlist' which will prompt you to choose from a list of existing playlists to save to.
When you later want to add the tracks to the working playlist on any of the Playlist Editor views choose 'Playlists' in the tree then move right to choose one of the saved playlists you can then add/replace the tracks as usual.
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,
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.
FIXME: how can I get these smart playlists to show up in the "All My Playlists" screen?
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 on your remote. Press the 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.
|Random||Switches to a different visualization for each song.|
|MonoScope||Standard spectrum analyzer, as found on many MP3 players such as XMMS and WinAmp.|
|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)|
|Goom||The classic visualization of crazy lines and patterns.|
|Synaesthesia||A more amorphous visualization similar to plasma clouds displays|
|Spectrum||A classic sprectrum analyser|
|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.|
|Gears||It's the GLXgears demo.|
|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|
|LibVisual||Gives you the libvisual visualisations if you have MythTV 0.21 SVN onwards|
|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.
- 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)
Linking Pre-Existing Audio Archive with MythMusic
Here is how I sync'd MythMusic with an already established iTunes setup. All of our music is stored on a laptop (my wife is a DJ so it must be portable) that runs Windows XP. I wanted to back the music up to our myth box, and also make the songs and the playlists that were already created in iTunes, available via MythMusic. First, I decrypted any purchased iTunes music using QTFairUse. The decryption was only necessary to allow MythMusic to play music purchased from the iTunes Music Store (Please don't steal music!).
Then I configured the Windows XP laptop to share the iTunes folder (stored in My Documents\My Music by default) on the network:
1. Right-click on the iTunes folder 2. Click Properties 3. Click the "Sharing" tab 4. Select "Share this folder" 5. Note the share name, e.g. "iTunes" 6. Click Ok
On the myth box, I used Samba to mount the laptop's shared iTunes folder, and rsync to copy all files from the laptop to the mythbox:
$ su # mkdir /mnt/iTunes # mount -t smbfs -o username=<user> //<laptop IP address>/iTunes /mnt/iTunes Password: # mkdir -p /storage/music/iTunes # this is where I keep my music, change as necessary # chown -R mythtv:users /storage/music # su - mythtv $ rsync -q --recursive --perms --times --timeout=600 --delete /mnt/iTunes/ /storage/music/iTunes ***This can take a while*** $ exit # umount /mnt/iTunes # exit $
In mythfrontend, I setup MythMusic to look for music in /storage/music and performed a scan for new music. It found all of the music and populated the database (Note: you must have AAC support enabled for MythMusic to find AAC files).
Next, I wanted all of my iTunes playlists to appear in MythMusic. I found this page that provides a utility script that creates MythMusic playlists from an iTunes library xml file. Since I'm using myth 0.20, I downloaded this version of the script. Versions before 0.20 should download this version. There's a small bug in the 0.20 script as is, so I had to open the script in an editor, search for "playlistid" and replace it with "playlist_id" (Note the underscore). I also had to change the values of the variables at the top of the script to suit my system. Then I ran the script and my playlists were imported into MythMusic.
I finally setup cron scripts to periodically attempt to sync with the laptop (using the same rsync command as above), and rerun the mythtv-itunes.pl script to keep the playlists up to date.
Filename Matcher Script
I wasn't happy with a couple of things that the previous scripts did, and so I started changing them here and there, and eventually most of the thing was gutted. So here's my version of the above scripts, tested and found working on Myth 0.21.
Previous scripts have been more general in that they searched the MythMusic database for similar Artists and Song Name and Album and then they called that a match. I didn't like this behavior for a couple reasons. I could never get non-ascii characters in the ID3 tag to map properly. The script would just give up on those songs. Similarly, I have a few songs where the Album field is blank, but the Song Name and Artist are the same (different recordings, live shows, etc) and the previous scripts would simply match all these to the first finding of the song in the database.
By matching on filename, we actually get the correct matches and the matching is much faster. Instead of accessing the database once for each song in your iTunes library, it accesses the database once for the entire library. Tests thus far have shown a speedup of 400% over previous scripts! We also don’t have to worry about the ID3 tag containing "non-standard" characters, the songs will still map. So you can keep your Latin and German music with it's non-standard characters and still have matches.
A couple of gotchas though. I'm no character encoding genius, in fact I'm probably a character encoding idiot, but from my little research for this project I noticed iTunes will store non-ASCII characters just fine as escaped hex values in the iTunes library XML file. MythMusic, on the other hand, doesn't seem to store that information, being a Latin1 database. I'm also a Perl idiot, so I never figured out how to change the data correctly. Basically, if you have non-standard characters in the actual filename (not the ID3 tag), these songs will probably not map. Sorry, but if someone knows how to do the proper conversions in Perl to make iTunes and MythMusic play nice, that would be a nice feature to add to the script. Also, if you find my explanations to be bogus, just remember I might not know what I'm talking about.
Also, while I really don't believe this will ever be a problem, I might as well disclaim it. I've tested this script on my library (~1700 songs) and it works great. However, because this loads some of the music_songs database into a Perl variable before it starts matching, the memory footprint of this script could be larger than the previous Perl scripts. I'm interested in how even the largest of music libraries perform with this script.
I started development of an iTunes to MythMusic conversion script using the same XML file when the first two results didn't work out for me. I posted it up at this site and then last fall someone else took a stab at the source and sped the whole thing up. Basically all you have to do is rsync your music to your system and then scan for new music in MythMusic setup. Run the script and it will map each of the files to their ID numbers in the myth database and then create all of your playlists so that they'll be available on any of your mythboxen. The source is made available through subversion so please feel free to develop speed improvements or solutions to the overall puzzle and send me patches but as it stands a 11000 song library takes less than a minute to map and it's only missing the special chars Brian.phillips mentions above and the m4v files that MythMusic doesn't store in it's database.
I use RubyRipper to rip my CD Music library. I also prefer a much different directory and file layout then MythMusic uses. The RubyRipped files are my 'master'. MythMusic 'Scan for new music' will NOT successfully identify music files that are themselves symbolic links. Scanned files, for now, must be hard links. As space is a consideration though, I don't want to manage two sets of directories with duplicate copies of the same data. So, the solution is to do a HARD LINK from the master audio archive directory to the target mythtv/music directory.
This little perl script when run will find the all files under audioarchive/vorbis. It then splits the path. This script array elements 4,6,7 of that path align with genre/artist/album. Directories are created under /mythtv/music and a second HARD LINK is created to the master audio file. You'll need to adjust the array element numbering to match your archive path structure and also adjust the order for your MythMusic path.
I also modify the permissions of the '/mythtv/music' directory and files to be 'read-only' because I don't rip from MythMusic setup. While the built in ripper is very flexible and includes all the elements for creating a complex and unique hiearchy -- it doesn't support ripping multiple formats at once like RubyRipper, or swapping out the default ripper with a command reference to a ripper of choice.
So, note that if you use the permission settings in the perl script, all attempts to rip from the MythMusic interface should/will fail since the mythtv user has no write permissions under /mythtv/music.
Error Message Looking up CD on cddb
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. To do this, 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
No Sound From Digital Output
If you have working sound via a digital output from video recordings, but nothing from MythMusic, make sure the correct audio device is configured for MythMusic. In particular, check for the following error in /var/log/mythtv/mythfrontend.log
AudioOutput Error: Rate doesn't match (requested 44100Hz, got 48000Hz)
If this error is present, you may need to edit the audio device. Go to Utilities/Setup -> Setup -> Media Settings -> Music Settings -> General Settings and edit the "Audio device" field. Enter the value, "ALSA:plug:iec958".
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.
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.
MySQL Database Tables
MythTV's information, including MythMusic, is organised using MySQL database tables. These tables are not accessed directly by the user, but it can be useful to know where the information is stored when administering a MythMusic setup. See Database Schema for more information.
The following tables are used exclusively by MythMusic:
- Playlist tables
- music_artists table
- music_albums table
- music_genres table
- music_stats table
- music_songs table, which replaces musicmetadata table as of 0.20
The following tables are used by MythMusic, alongside other parts of MythTV:
Mediashares gives a simple walk through of how to export your media directory so its accessible from your other remote Mythtv systems.