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MP3-Boss: MP3 Database and Manager

100% CLEAN award granted by Softpedia Finally an EASY way to manage ALL of your audio files in one place. Unlike similar programs that become sluggish or impossible to use for large collections -- MP3-Boss will keep going & going...whether you have hundreds, thousands, or TENS OF THOUSANDS of files to manage.
MP3 Boss: MP3 Database/MP3 Manager FAQ
Q: What is the easiest way to get a registration key?
A: Registration is currently $15. I have online registration available through the SWReg service. If you have any questions or need to make alternative arrangements, please send an e-mail to: MP3-Boss primary email address.

Q: How can I quickly select all of the rows in the table of songs to generate a playlist?
A: Just click in the upper left corner of the table (next to the ID column, and right below the MP3 Boss - List View title) to select all of the songs. Then, click the Add button in the Winamp player controls box to generate the playlist.

Q: I can't figure out how to quickly select a single field in the table.
A: To select a single field (e.g., a single title), move the mouse cursor to the left edge of the field -- when the shape changes to a cross, click. That will select the entire field. You can also simple click and drag across the field to highlight everything. Single clicking in a field selects a single word.

Q: How do I select multiple fields in a single row?
A: First, select a single field as described above. Keep the mouse button down and drag across the fields you want to highlight.

Q: Okay, now I can select fields in a single row, but how do I quickly select a field (or fields) in multiple rows?
A: You can either continue the process of holding down the mouse key while you drag/highlight a region, or use the Shift key (on the keyboard) in combination with the arrow (cursor) keys. I find that the shift key + arrow keys is often more convenient to make sure you select just the rows/columns you want -- it is easy to get carried away with the mouse.

Q: How do I quickly scan an ENTIRE CD (or Hard Drive)? I have a lot of subdirectories on the drive, and I don't want to have to select each subdirectory.
A: Under MP3 Scan, just select or type in the Drive letter (e.g., F:\ if your CD-ROM is drive F:), make sure that it is the only drive selected, and click "Scan selected directories". MP3 Boss automatically scans any subdirectories of a selected drive or subdirectory.

Q: Will duplicate checking work when comparing files on the hard disk to files on an unloaded CD?
A: While bit-by-bit checking requires that the CD be present, MP3 Boss performs an MD5 or CRC32 check to first determine possible duplicates. Therefore, it should be possible to get a good (but not perfect) indication that you have files on your hard disk that are duplicates of those on a CD. If you want to be absolutely positive, you will need to load the CD (or you would need to change the scan-time CRC32 size to a large enough value to perform a full CRC32 scan).

Q: I'd like to create reports of all my songs. Can MP3-Boss create a report in Artist/Album/Track-Track format?
A: MP3-Boss can create more than 50 different reports (including just about every possible combination of Artist/Album/Track-Title format. It also lets you create reports based on your playlists or reports for a specific CD or DVD. You can output the reports to screen or printer (and Playlist reports allow HTML, TEXT and RTF format too!). If you are a registered user, you can even include your custom logo in the report output -- great for all the disc jockeys and radio stations that use MP3-Boss to maintain their collections! If you need a new report format -- just ask!

Q: I've heard that MP3-Boss lets you automatically find the BPM (beats per minute) for songs. I can't figure out how...
A: BPM support uses AutoBPM to automatically determine the Beats per Minute (BPM) for all of your songs. Normally only DJs need to know the Beats per Minute, although BPM can also categorize your slow from fast songs. If enabled, Mp3-Boss will read the status from AutoBPM, and update the song information once it determines that the BPM information is stable. One cool feature of MP3-Boss is that it actually does a lot of statistical calculations in the background to determine if the BPM is accurate and stable. By default, the BPM button (in Winamp Controls in List View) is OFF -- you need to turn on BPM support in Configuration (MORE tab). To have the BPM be automatically added to your database, you need to turn on AutoFillBPM in Configuration (MORE tab) -- select ALWAYS or BlankOnly. Click the image below to get more information.

Mp3-Boss includes automatic beat detection

Q: I've heard that MP3-Boss can automatically identify songs (or even parts of a song) by matching the acoustic content. What does that mean?
A: If a song doesn't have any embedded identifying information (tags), it will use the MusicIP service (associated with MusicBrainz) and determine an acoustic signature for the song. Once it determines that acoustic signature, it checks to see if the signature matches one of the 7 MILLION tracks (as of Dec2008) that have signatures. If there is a match, Mp3-Boss peforms the full lookup and retrieves artist/album/track information. Finally a way to identify songs that don't have any identifiers!

Q: I don't understand Artist Fixup -- what does it do?
A: Artist Fixup is the easiest way to cleanup artist names that are almost correct. Often, you'll have artist names that are mispelled -- Artist Fixup gives you a very quick way of looking at all of the artists and making sure that you just fix the spelling once. Plus, because Mp3-Boss includes a table of some 17 thousand verified artist names -- it can tell you how to spell the artist name (with auto-checkup and a direct link to the artist page!).

Q: I don't like the order of the List View columns.
A: Just drag the column heading to the location you want to move the columns around. Change the column width as desired, or close a column completely to hide it. You can click "Profiles" on the List View toolbar if you want to save different views. Profiles also let you "Freeze" left-most columns in place so they don't scroll horizontally. Nearly everything else in List View is configurable too (background pictures, fonts and more)

Q: My tags aren't saved (embedded) in the songs!
A: Click the "Tag" button near the bottom-right of List View (just above the Winamp controls). Click the checkboxes on the left side of that dialog to select what you want to update (e.g., Edited Only/Empy Tags), and then click "Auto-Update ALL" button to update all the files that meet the criteria you've selected. Saving things at once in this way makes it less likely that you'll corrupt your files. Plus, because Mp3-Boss keeps all of the information in a separate database, it lets you change the information for write-only CDs and DVDs!

Q: I don't see any of my IPOD songs listed?
A: MP4 and M4a formats are already supported. Just go to Configuration/FileTypes tab and select the formats you want. Mp3-Boss supports 15 different filetypes! Check out the SHORTEN filetype if you want to get lots of FREE live concerts!

Q: Does MP3-Boss track any song statistics?
A: Many of you aren't aware of some of the 'cool' statistics that you can get in MP3-Boss. If you take a look at Configuration/Statistics/Tags, you can get information about how much space all the tags are using in your system.
Music Tag Statistics

Q: Who uses MP3-Boss?
A: MP3-Boss is used around the world by collectors of music -- especially heavy users like DJs and Radio Station owners. There are thousands of people using Mp3-Boss right now -- why not try it out?
World-wide new users of MP3-Boss!

Q: How about audio CDs?
A: So far, I haven't tried to use MP3-Boss to manage audio CDs (CDA format). Surprisingly, I haven't had many requests. The first thing I do with my audio CDs is convert them to MP3...and then manage the mp3 files with MP3-Boss.

Q: Why is the program almost 20MB? A lot of nice programs are MUCH smaller...
A: MP3 Boss is based on the Microsoft Access runtime engine. While the Microsoft Access runtime engine gives a database program a lot of advantages (e.g., the speed and flexibility of sorting/searching/filtering), it unfortunately requires a large installation package. The update program is quite a bit smaller, so only the initial installation is a 20MB download.

Q: Do I need Microsoft Access to run MP3 Boss?
A: No, the Microsoft Access runtime engine is distributed with MP3 Boss. MP3 Boss works completely independently of whether you have Microsoft Access or not.

Q: What's the biggest CD collection that MP3 Boss supports? Is there a limit to the number of files or drives?
A: As far as I know, the largest collection that has been scanned so far consisted of almost 1TB (1000 GB!) of MP3 files (approx. 220,000 files) spread out over multiple local drives, networked drives, and CD's. One system is running with over 20 local and networked drives, and well over 100 CD's. Since MP3 Boss is based on the Microsoft Access runtime engine, a practical limit is a 1GB database (the physical limit is 2GB). Based on the size of a 30,000 file database, a 1GB database could hold information on almost 2 MILLION MP3 files (anybody have 10 Terrabytes of disk space for those MP3 files?). There shouldn't be any practical limit to the number of drives that MP3 Boss can support.

Q: Since MP3 Boss uses a Microsoft Access database, does that mean it is easy to use Microsoft Access to read the MP3 Boss database?
A: While Microsoft Access can read the MP3 Boss database, MP3 Boss consists of 30-50 tables, a similar number of forms, and thousands of lines of code to hold it all together. So, while you can get the MP3 Boss information into a simple Microsoft Access database, you will lose all of the functionality of MP3 Boss.

Q: I can't get my scroll-wheel to work.
A: MP3-Boss doesn't currently have native scroll-wheel support for the Microsoft Mouse unless you have v4.12 or older version of the mouse driver. Just install Freewheel to get full scrollwheel support. More information at: Scroll Wheel

Q: Can I write an MP3 file to a CD and play it in a normal CD player like a Walkman?
A: You cannot play MP3 files directly using a regular CD player (although the RIO and such players play MP3 files directly). Instead, you must convert the MP3 file to WAV or CDA format. Many people use Winamp to do this -- just change the output to DiskWriter (this output plugin comes with Winamp), specify the output drive, and Winamp then (silently) writes the MP3's as WAV output. Don't forget to change back to the WaveOut plugin when you're done.

Then just use your CD program that supports CDA Audio (I use Adaptec's Easy CD Creator, but Nero can also do this) to copy the WAV files to CD.

You may need to worry about a few more things:
1) The volume may change from one song to the next. Use AudioStocker or Rocksteady as a DSP/Equalization plugin with Winamp to perform volume equalization while writing the files.
2) Usually you will want to write the output in a single session. While your CD writer supports multisession, many standard CD players don't support multisession.
3) Most standard CD players today can't read from rewriteable CD's. You'll need to use the standard write-once CD's to create your disk.

Q: Do you send MP3 songs?
A: No, I'm just a database developer. If you are interested in MP3 song files, I recommend:
Q: What is Shorten (SHN)?
A: Many of you probably aren't aware of the SHN (Shorten) format. You can find TONS of great-quality songs in SHN (and now FLA/FLAC) format on the web -- often very high quality live-performance recordings. And MP3-Boss now supports both SHN and FLA/FLAC! You can find a bunch of SHN & FLAC files here: Live music in Shorten

Comments about MP3-Boss?
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