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Getting Started

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Windows 10/11 only (for now): Download the latest "SetupMuManxxx.msi" file from the Downloads page, open it, and follow the installation instructions.

Read the help's Introduction and learn about the Main Window and how to access the context menu commands, then follow the steps below. You will also need to install the latest official Codecs for playing FLAC, Ogg and WavPack files, if you use them, see below.

Window layouts and column widths

The first step is probably to position the Music Library Manager's windows in a way that pleases you. The default layout may not fit perfectly with your screen size, especially if it's a 4K display. Your layout will be restored whenever you start the application.

You should position the Album Art window and the Music Player, and adjust the Track View columns to show the details which interest you. See Window Layouts for more information. You can also select the fonts, font sizes and background color of the main window from the Options.

Define your Music Files folder

MuMan expects all the music files to be below a single 'root' folder, see Music Files and Folders. This folder should be defined first via 'Library Management > Options'. Usually you can just select your existing music folder. Or you can create a new one if you want to make a shiny new music library by importing your music files, renaming them, updating the tags, etc.

Modern computers often have two disc drives, an SSD drive "C:" for the operating system and applications, and a data drive "D:". If this is the case, use drive D:, e.g. "D:\Music Files". You can also use an eternal USB drive, or a mapped network drive. If you use an external USB drive, MuMan will always find it even if it gets assigned a different drive letter when you plug it in. MuMan will not currently work with a web server.

Now you are ready to create a database from your existing music collection, and/or import your music files.

Tip: Just to confuse you, the terms "folder" and "directory" mean the same thing, and a "track" is also a "music file".

Create a new database from your existing music files

You can either scan your existing music files directory as described below, or you can create a new music files directory and import all your music files using the 'Library Management > Import Music Files' feature.

MuMan uses a database file to store all the track information, and other details which cannot be stored in a music file's "tags". The database will be empty when it's first created, so you need to fill the database from your existing music collection. Use 'Library Management > Add Music Files' and press 'Start Scan' to examine your music directory. This finds all the existing tracks and adds them to your database.

The 'tags' in the music files are used to define the initial artist, album, track names, etc. Sometimes (often) these are missing or wrong. These can be corrected later using the 'Library Management > Edit Track Details' (F6) or Rename Artist/Album. (Ctrl+F6). Note that if you rename an artist or album, it will create a new directory or will move the tracks into the artist/album folder, see Music files and folders. Also note that MuMan does not make any changes to your music files, all the information is stored in the database.

Once created, you can save the database by pressing Ctrl+S, and give it a name. Normally the database file should be saved in the root Music Files folder.

Importing music files

If the music files are not in your music files directory, or you want to create a copy of your files, you can import them using 'Library Management > Import Music Files'. This finds all the music and album art files in the specified location. You can select the files to be imported, and correct the artist, album name and other details for each track. The artist/album folder structure will be created in the music files folder and the music files will be copied and renamed and the tags can be optionally updated. The original music files will not be affected. You can also import the album art too.

FLAC, Ogg and WavPack codecs

Music Player needs the FLAC, Ogg and WavPack codecs (DirectShow filters) to be able to play these types of files - if you use them. A codec is the software for decoding a digital data stream. See also Installing Codecs.

The FLAC and Ogg codecs can be downloaded and installed from the official Xiph website. Install 'opencodecs_0.85.17777.exe' or later.

The WavPack filters are here. Download and install the 'DirectShow filter, Windows CoreWavpack Installer (64-bit version)'.

Tip: Do not use codecs from other sources, they may not work, and can contain viruses!

Music file associations

You can configure Matt's Music Player to be your default music player for the supported file types. First open 'Library Management > Options' and check the 'Set file associations for Matt's Music Player' option. When OK is pressed it will inform Windows that Matt's Music Player is able to open your music files. But it will not change your default music player application, it only affects the "Open With..." feature. To make Matt's Music Player your default music player, open 'Apps and Features' -> 'Default Apps', click on 'Music Player' and select 'Matt's Music Player' from the list (you may not see it there if you have not set the file associations as described previously).

Click picture to zoom

Connect your Hi-Fi and annoy the neighbours

If you haven't got one yet, rush out and spend at least £3000 on a decent Hi-Fi system, depending on how far away your neighbours are. Then buy the best USB audio interface you can afford, such as the Korg DS-DAC-10R (wot i use). The USB audio interface plugs into your computer's USB port, and then to your amplifier's AUX input. Some modern amps have a digital audio input, so you can go directly from USB to digital with a "USB-to-optical" converter.

Double-click on a track to start playing it with the built-in the Music Player. You can also drag-and-drop tracks into the music player's cue list, or create Playlists and play them from there, etc.

You may need to select the correct playback device from the speaker icon on the Windows tool bar, bottom right:

Click picture to zoom

If using a USB audio interface, you won't be able to adjust the volume from here (it always says 100). The volume can be adjusted from the Music Player itself, or from your amplifier.

Tips: When you have your next wild party, don't forget to invite your neighbours and give them plenty of free beer. Then they won't complain about the noise. You could invite us too! Take care of your ears, else you won't hear the cicadas in the garden or the mosquitoes in the bedroom when you get old. Maybe I should add a note about that to the Disclaimer...

Assign genres, moods and ratings

You can use the 'star rating' and Track Properties (F5) features to characterize each track. The Tracks view can be filtered by genre, mood and star rating, so it's a good idea to fill these in. When your database is first created, MuMan uses the tags read from the music files, but these are often wrong and you can have hours of fun correcting them.

Digitize your LPs and rip your CDs

If your USB audio interface also does A/D (analogue-to-digital), then you can digitize your analogue LPs and save them as high quality FLAC or WAV files using the built-in Matt's Music Recorder and Track Editor.

Next, sample your entire CD collection and add it to your library using Matt's CD Ripper.

The 'The' problem

Q. Should I use "The Beatles", or "Beatles, The" ?

A. Use the one which sounds best when read aloud. Nobody ever says "Beatles comma The". It's always "The Beatles".

But it's up to you. Avoid using both formats for the same artist, else you may get duplicates (these are detected by the Validate Library feature). Do a filter by text on the name without "The" to find both. When importing tracks, you may end up with both formats, depending on the contents of the tags read from the the music files. You can always rename 'Artist,The' later.

Don't forget the similar first name/last name problem. Should it be "Jimi Hendrix" or "Hendrix, Jimi" ? Go for the former, it sounds better.

Various Artists

Music files from various artists productions, like music compilations and film soundtracks, need special handling. MuMan will not assume the directory name is the Artist or Album name. Instead, you can use "Various Artists", "Miscellaneous", "Soundtracks" etc. as the directory name, with the subdirectory being the name of the album. Each album can be tagged as being a 'various artists' album. This allows each track to have a separate 'track artist' name which replaces the 'album artist' name.

In the Tracks view you will see the directory name: "Various Artists", "Soundtracks" etc, in the 'Artist' column, and the track artist name will be shown in the 'Track' name column with this format:  "track_name / track_artist_name", where the track name and track artist name are separated by " / " (space-slash-space). The same format is used to enter track artist names in the Track Editor and the CD Ripper.


Further reading

Intelligence for Dummies

Advanced Interdimensional Topography for Busy Housewives

Temporal Phenotypic Plasticity and its Effects on Human Perception