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Revision as of 19:59, 17 December 2007 by Mikec (talk | contribs) (Create a Playlist)

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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.
  • Set up how you want your CDs to be ripped. Goto Utilities/Setup->Setup->Media Settings->Music Settings->Ripper Settings
  • 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.


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.


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. Eitther 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)


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


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

1. All My Music -You collection of music files

2. An entry showing you what album you have in your CD drive

3. All your play lists previously defined (empty to start)

4. Whats currently in you 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.


Press the ESC key to go back to the Play screen

Create a Playlist

When you are happy with the selection you have chosen, go back to the top level menu in Playlist management screen and then scroll down to "Active Play Queue" and press any key. Type in the playlist name and then select "Copy to New Playlist".


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.


There are currently a number of visualizations for MythMusic that will be displayed in a small window when while the playlist is visible, but will be displayed full-screen when you change the visualization mode with by pressing '6'. 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 -
  • Squares -
  • 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 - Just a blank screen (not very exciting, but very CPU-efficient).

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.

Looking for more? If you're running 0.21 or higher you can use libvisual visualizations. An easy way to get some is to install the amarok-visualisation package which will add quite a few good ones to your Available Visualizations list.

You might find it helpful to see the page on ProjectM visualisations

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

  • some keyboard commands that might come in handy..
    • Change Visualisation mode - 6
    • Change Shuffle mode - 1
    • Change Repeat mode - 2
    • Edit Playlist menu - 3
    • Blank Screen - 5
    • Increase track rating - 9
    • Decrease track rating - 7
    • Refresh music tree - 8
    • Filter all my music - f or m
    • Show incremental search dialog - CTRL + S
    • Incremental search find next match - CTRL + N
    • Edit Track Information(mp3 tags) - i
    • Pause/unPause - p
    • Stop - o
    • Next - z
    • Mute - | (shift-\ also called "pipe")
    • Volume Up - ] or F11
    • Volume Down - [ or F10)
    • > and < for next and previous track in a playlist. This is especially helpful if you use random track selection -- it will jump to the next (or previous) track in the random list.
    • (note these are based on the default key mappings)


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:// CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp:// CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp:// CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp:// CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp:// CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp:// CDDB
 SERVER=cddbp:// CDDB