Introducing Matt's Music Library Manager Suite (MuMan®)
Most music apps are notoriously bad at handling large numbers of FLAC or WAV files, and you need half a dozen other apps to get everything done. MuMan has all the features you need in one package.
•MuMan has all the features you need for creating and managing huge libraries of digital music files.
•Supports FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), WAV, MP3, MP4, M4A (iTunes), WMA (Windows Media Audio) and Ogg audio files.
•Replaces your turntable, CD player, Nakamichi cassette deck (still got one?), Revox reel-to-reel, LP collection and CD collection with a cheap Windows laptop (and an expensive USB audio interface ;-)
•Ultra-reliable Hi-Fi Music Player.
•Micro CD Player.
•CD Ripper: For reliably digitizing your CDs to WAV, FLAC or MP3 files. Uses the FreeDB, MusicBrainz or Discogs services to obtain the CD's artist, album and track information, and finds the album art too. (It can also use your computer's webcam to read the CD's barcode and find the CD information, but that's really just for fun.)
•Music Recorder: For digitizing your LPs with the highest possible quality. Can record from any input or output audio stream which you can play on your computer, with 192khz 32-bit float quality (or better) if it is supported by your computer. You can record cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes too.
•Track Editor: For easy editing of multi-gigabyte recordings (e.g. one side of an LP or tape) and saving it as separate tracks.
•The CD Ripper, Music Recorder, Track Editor and BMP Sampler can be used as stand-alone applications if you don't want to use the Music Library Manager.
The Music Library Manager has these features:
•Track View: Filterable and sortable list of all tracks in your music collection. Handles hundreds of thousands of tracks fast. Configrable column display, number-of-plays for each track, date/time last played, etc.
•Playlist View: Easy M3U playlist creation, load/save, random playlists, etc.
•Album Art window: Shows high quality album art images, full-screen or windowed, for the track currently being played. No more tiny and blurry thumbnail images!
•Accesses the Discogs service using your browser. You can find out everything you ever need to know about your CDs and albums, and find buyers and sellers from all over the world. Can also find the Artist on Deezer, so you can listen to more tracks by the artist.
•Manages incremental backups of your valuable music collection, in case you computer explodes or gets nicked.
•Export tracks to your phone or tablet, or to a web drive such as OneDrive or Google Drive. Converts huge lossless music files into smaller MP3s for playing or streaming on your mobile devices.
•Superior handling of 'Various Artists' tracks and collections.
•Supports music collections on network or removable [USB] drives.
•Scans for music files to create your first database from your existing music collection.
•The music library database can be exported as a CSV file, to be read by Excel and other applications.
•'.ch' means Confédération Helvétique (if you speak French), which is Switzerland (not Czechoslovakia or Chechnya), so you get Swiss Quality, reliability and support. Some think the '.ch' stands for chocolate.
A laptop or desktop PC, running Windows 10 and .NET framework 4.8 or later versions, with at least 8GB memory (16GB is recommended, even if you don't use MuMan).
A humungous hard drive for your music files. 500GB is suggested for a medium sized music collection. This will hold around 1000 albums in uncompressed WAV format, or double that if you also use FLAC and MP3. Modern computers often have two drives, a solid state drive (SSD) for the operating system, and a large "data drive" which you can use for your music library.
An external USB drive can be used if you want your collection to be portable.
You also need a good quality USB audio interface, to connect your computer's USB port to your Hi-Fi, and optionally to digitize your LPs and tapes.
To maintain a backup of your music files, you will need an external USB drive which has enough space for your expanding collection.
These days, most graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are cluttered, unnecessarily complicated, and difficult to understand (like the horrid Windows Media Player, for example). The Music Library Manager has a simple but intuitive user interface, with no fancy toolbars, buttons, logos, animations, advertisements, useless information, sex aids (in the Lite version) or expensive-but-rarely-used features which just waste your time, patience and valuable screen space. If you can read, you will get the hang of it fast.
The main window has two views. The upper view shows a list of all tracks in the music library, grouped by Artist and Album. The lower view shows the current playlist. You can simply drag and drop tracks from the upper view into the playlist, or directly onto the Music Player. And of course you can also manage your music library, import and convert music files, assign tags and ratings, digitize LPs, rip CDs, record music from the web, etc, etc.
The upper Track view can be instantly filtered (and sorted) according to the Genre (style), Mood or Rating of the track, see Filter by Properties. You can also filter by text in the Artist, Album and Track columns using the Filter by Text feature. Then you can create a random playlist from your filtered view with the (intuitively named) Create Random Playlist feature.
For simplicity, all the commands are on the Context Menus. These are displayed only when you need them by right-clicking in the window with the mouse, or by pressing the 'context menu' key on the Windows keyboard. The upper view's context menu has commands for managing the Track view, filtering by rating/mood/genre/text etc, and assigning ratings, moods and genres, and for managing the database and music files. The lower view's context menu has commands for managing the Playlist, annoying your neighbours, etc.
All common commands also have a Shortcut Key, so you don't have to use the mousse or a large hammer (not supplied).
Tip: No matter how frustrated you become with your Windows® computer, we recommend that you avoid smashing it up with a hammer, see Disclaimer.
MuMan has its own built-in music player, so you don't need to use anything else. This uses the latest Microsoft audio libraries, but replaces Windows Media Player. It's more reliable than any other player I have tried out over the last few years, I've never had a single drop-out or crash.
But if you prefer, you can use any music player that supports the standard M3U playlist files, and which allows music file or playlist file paths to be passed on the command line or dragged-and-dropped into the player's window. Configure the music player you want to use from 'Library Management > Options'.
Most of us have CD collections gathering dust in some long-forgotten cupboard. But now you can spend many happy (Covid-free) hours using the world-famous CD Ripper to covert all your CDs to FLAC, WAV or MP3 files. Matt's CD Ripper is easy to use, correctly detects CD read errors, and allows the track names and album art to be filled in from Internet.
93.5% of the two people who participated in the biased survey agreed that you won't find a better CD Ripper.
No audio suite would be complete without a way to record tracks and albums. Matt's Music Recorder can record from any audio input or output. You can sample your old LP collection (if you can find it), or record tracks you are playing from any web service. Once you have recorded an album, you can use the Track Editor to split it into separate tracks and define the track names, album art and other metadata, then save the tracks in FLAC, WAV or MP3 format.
Each track can be assigned a "star rating", which is an indicator of whether it's any good or not. 0 = Undefined, 1 Star = Rubbish .. 5 Stars = Brilliant. Each track can also have a "Genre" like 'Rock and Roll' or 'Reggae', and a "Mood" to indicate its suitability: Heavy, Light, Lively, Relaxing, Spacey (far out). This information is not stored in the music file itself, it's stored in the database file. This allows them to be assigned safely while the track is playing.
A playlist contains a list of tracks in the order in which they should be played. Playlists can be created by the Music Library Manager and saved as standard ".m3u" playlist files, which can be used by most music players. Playlists can be played, saved, loaded, randomized or modified from the Playlist window.
Music files are arranged in a strict folder (directory) structure used by the Music Library Manager:
Each artist has a directory, with a subdirectory for each album or CD which contains the tracks. The open library's Music Directory is defined in the Options dialog box.
MuMan creates this directory structure for you when you import or rename your music files. The directory and track names can be created from the tags in the files, or from the original directory names. See Import Music Files.
MuMan's track file names contain the track number, track name and artist name, separated by underscores '_'. The track file name doesn't contain the album name - that's indicated by the parent directory name (and it's also in the database and in the tags within the file). Here's a track file name example:
01_All Along The Watchtower_Jimi Hendrix.flac
Tip: If you have scanned an existing music collection, instead of importing the files, then the file names may not be in this format. This does not matter because MuMan will have read the Artist, Album and Track information from the tags in the file and stored them in the database. It does not use the directory or file names for this information.
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 artist' 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-forward slash-space). The same format is used to enter track artist names in the Track Editor and the CD Ripper.
MuMan normally never modifies any tags or other information in the music files themselves, but it can optionally do this when you import or export your music files. All ratings, moods and genres are maintained in the separate database file, with extension ".muman2", which is usually stored in the music files directory using the library name.
You can have different library files for different music directories. The library file should be saved in the root music files directory, which may be on your PC's local drive, or may be on an external USB or network drive.
It's a good idea to maintain one or more separate external backup drives containing copies of all your music files and the MuMan database file. It can take many hours, years, or even decades to digitize an entire CD or LP collection. Losing your music files because some idiot spilled beer on your computer could be very unfortunate. MuMan has an easy-to-use Backup Music Files feature. This also saves a backup copy of your music library database so you don't have to re-enter the genre, mood and rating information for thousands of tracks, which would be rather annoying.
For successful wild parties and workouts you should play tracks with a matching tempo. MuMan has the tools you need to find the BPM tempo of all your tracks. Check out the BPM Calculator and the BPM Sampler.
This software* is used entirely at your own risk. Neither the authors nor the distributors will accept any responsibility or liability for any physical or mental damage, injuries or deaths, of any persons, pets or relatives, living or already dead, or for any loss or accumulation of data, beer cans and wine bottles, or any other possible effect that may, or may not, result from the use, non-use, misuse or abuse of this software. But we use it every day, and it seems OK to us.
By using this software, you accept that you have accepted the terms of this Disclaimer, even if you haven't read it.
As with all modern software, the error messages have been carefully designed to insult your so-called "intelligence" :-)
* This software is subject to change without noticing.
If you do find any problems, or have any [polite] suggestions for improvements or missing features, please send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll see what we can do. Generous donations and lucrative business proposals are welcome. Invitations to wild parties too, naturally.
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