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post #1 of 3 Old 12-09-2017, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Music Management Software

This really is more of a software question but related to management of portable music, so I hope I've got it in the right place.

I have a collection of music either ripped from CD's or paid for high res downloads. about half the collection is in MP3 and the other flac. I want the high res music for listening in my house but need to be able to push it to portable devices to use in the car etc and that has to be in MP3.

Is the a program out there to manage a music collection, that will allow you to click/drag individual tracks to a list and then convert them to MP3 before copying over?
WMP will copy straight or burn as a CD but it won't let you choose to copy in MP3.


Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-10-2017, 11:00 PM
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@TODDAVS - I've been using MediaMonkey (MM) for about 10 years to create and maintain a collection that's now over 325k tracks, stored in a mix of formats - mostly FLAC and 320k CBR .mp3. MM can do exactly what you're looking for (and a lot more, depending on the device). I use MM to sync with a 160gb iPod Classic, because Apple is the only portable device that fully integrates with my car's audio system within the digital domain.

You start by creating Device Profiles in MM for each of your portable devices, since different transcoding rules (MM calls it 'Auto-Conversion') may be needed based on the file formats playable by that device, the quality you want, and the storage space available.

Device Profiles can also specify 'Auto-Sync' criteria, which run automatically whenever you connect that device. You can choose what music and playlists should appear on your portable, and which tracks should be removed from the portable device upon subsequent syncs. Options include syncing a random subset of music up to device capacity, syncing only music from certain playlists, or syncing any subset of your library based on file locations, albums, artists, or other criteria. For example, you may want to sync all content you've rated as 4 or 5 stars; new content you've recently added to your library; the latest version of a podcast; etc. And with playlists, you can do even more powerful things. For example, I use playlists such as "sync all tracks from this artist's 15 albums, but eliminate duplicate tracks appearing on multiple albums and shuffle the rest into a random order."

In addition to recurring Auto-Syncs, you can use the same features to specify criteria "on the fly" for a one-time sync.

You didn't mention which portable device(s) you have, but here are a couple more Apple-specific items: First, MM has built-in drivers for most common devices. For most Apple devices, there's no requirement to even have iTunes installed (I hate iTunes, so that's fine by me!) Second, MM is fairly unique in also allowing you to upload files *from* an iPod, iPad, etc. to your MM host computer. You can't even do this with iTunes, but it's a great feature if, for example, you added some new content to the portable from another source, and that content doesn't yet exist on the MM host. Just click and drag, and it's uploaded.

I've talked only about syncing to portable devices, because that's the focus of this forum. But you asked about music *management* software, which is a huge topic in itself. In short, I've never found another product that can more quickly and easily tag and organize a music library into any physical structure you might desire. Extending MM's built-in functionality are scores of user-created plugins - for example, one that I use constantly has 253 (!) predefined functions able to perform almost any kind of tag editing you could ever imagine.

Last but not least, MM is one of the few products I've discovered that can easily manage music libraries of any size - it's just as fast and easy to work with 300k+ tracks as it is with 300.

Hope this helps! (Standard disclaimer applies: I have no connection with the MM developer, Ventis Media, other than as a very satisfied user.)
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-11-2017, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvonder View Post
@TODDAVS - I've been using MediaMonkey (MM) for about 10 years to create and maintain a collection that's now over 325k tracks, stored in a mix of formats - mostly FLAC and 320k CBR .mp3. MM can do exactly what you're looking for (and a lot more, depending on the device). I use MM to sync with a 160gb iPod Classic, because Apple is the only portable device that fully integrates with my car's audio system within the digital domain.

You start by creating Device Profiles in MM for each of your portable devices, since different transcoding rules (MM calls it 'Auto-Conversion') may be needed based on the file formats playable by that device, the quality you want, and the storage space available.

Device Profiles can also specify 'Auto-Sync' criteria, which run automatically whenever you connect that device. You can choose what music and playlists should appear on your portable, and which tracks should be removed from the portable device upon subsequent syncs. Options include syncing a random subset of music up to device capacity, syncing only music from certain playlists, or syncing any subset of your library based on file locations, albums, artists, or other criteria. For example, you may want to sync all content you've rated as 4 or 5 stars; new content you've recently added to your library; the latest version of a podcast; etc. And with playlists, you can do even more powerful things. For example, I use playlists such as "sync all tracks from this artist's 15 albums, but eliminate duplicate tracks appearing on multiple albums and shuffle the rest into a random order."

In addition to recurring Auto-Syncs, you can use the same features to specify criteria "on the fly" for a one-time sync.

You didn't mention which portable device(s) you have, but here are a couple more Apple-specific items: First, MM has built-in drivers for most common devices. For most Apple devices, there's no requirement to even have iTunes installed (I hate iTunes, so that's fine by me!) Second, MM is fairly unique in also allowing you to upload files *from* an iPod, iPad, etc. to your MM host computer. You can't even do this with iTunes, but it's a great feature if, for example, you added some new content to the portable from another source, and that content doesn't yet exist on the MM host. Just click and drag, and it's uploaded.

I've talked only about syncing to portable devices, because that's the focus of this forum. But you asked about music *management* software, which is a huge topic in itself. In short, I've never found another product that can more quickly and easily tag and organize a music library into any physical structure you might desire. Extending MM's built-in functionality are scores of user-created plugins - for example, one that I use constantly has 253 (!) predefined functions able to perform almost any kind of tag editing you could ever imagine.

Last but not least, MM is one of the few products I've discovered that can easily manage music libraries of any size - it's just as fast and easy to work with 300k+ tracks as it is with 300.

Hope this helps! (Standard disclaimer applies: I have no connection with the MM developer, Ventis Media, other than as a very satisfied user.)
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Thanks for taking the time for this write-up.

Right now I use Plex for for streaming media including syncing with portable devices and Tag & Rename for managing meta-tags for music. Plex is a great streamer but not the best way to navigate a big music collection on a portable device and that was not the original intent behind using Plex.

The actual issue that triggered for this thread was trying to copy a selection of my music collection over to my car which has 20GB worth of internal storage. The system can play MP3 and WMA (I prefer 320K MP3) and I do the transfer from a USB drive. I've heard of MM but never used it and will be checking it out tonight. It would be nice to have one system to manage the music library, the meta-tags and sync'g with portables, then just let Plex access the library for streaming.

Thanks again.

EDIT
Do you know by chance if it can manage DSD/DSF files? or multi-channel flac? Right now I have those in a separate library, but eventually want to get them integrated.
Thanks.

Last edited by TODDAVS; 12-11-2017 at 07:26 AM.
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