<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>

Navigation:  Music Library Manager >

Main Window

Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

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.

Click picture to zoom

The Music Library Manager's main window has two views, separated by a movable 'splitter bar'. The upper view is the Track view, the lower view shows the Playlist. The Album Art window and the Music Player with cue list are shown on the right, but they can be positioned anywhere you like, see Window Layouts.

It also has an Album View in a separate window, so you can easily switch between the two windows, press F8 to switch between the Track and Album views.

You can switch between the Track and the Playlist views by pressing the Tab key.

You will notice that no screen space is wasted by a huge toolbar with fancy icons. All the commands are shown on the context menus, which are displayed only when you need them by clicking the right-hand mouse button in the window. Or you can press the context menu key on the Windows keyboard. All the common commands also have shortcut keys such as F1 (Help) or Ctrl+S (Save Database) for fast execution.

Below are brief descriptions of each view. More detailed descriptions can be found on the help page for each view.

Track view

The upper Track view shows the tracks in the open music library. It can be sorted by columns by clicking on the title bar, a small triangle indicates the sort column. The sort order is always 'ascending'. The tracks on each album are displayed in slightly different colours to make it easier to see what's on each album.

By default this view shows ALL the tracks in your library, which can be a lot. The view can be filtered using the context menu's Filter by Properties command to show only the tracks which match the filter. For example, a filter could select only the 'Lively' 'Rock and Roll' tracks with a 5-star rating. You can also filter with the Filter by Text command, so you could show only the tracks which contain, for example, the word "antidisestablishmentarianism" (which may not be many).

There are several ways to play a track from this view:

- Double-click on a track to open the Music Player to play the track.
- Select several tracks (see 'Selecting Tracks' below) and use the context menu's 'Play Selected Tracks' command.
- Drag and drop a track or selection onto the Music Player.

Playlist view

The lower view shows the tracks in the open playlist, in the order which they will be played. Drag-and-drop tracks or albums from the view above, or use the 'Add To Playlist' context menu command. You can automatically create a random playlist from the tracks in the Tracks view, which may be filtered first, using the 'Create Random Playlist' command.

The playlist view cannot be sorted. Instead, the playing order is changed using the 'Move Up' or 'Move Down' context menu commands, or by dragging and dropping the selected tracks within the Playlist view.

Playlists can be saved as standard M3U files and re-loaded later, using the context menu's 'Open Playlist' or 'Save Playlist' commands. See Playlists for more details.

Tip: If you don't need the Playlist view, you can drag the splitter bar down to the bottom of the window, leaving most of the screen space available for use by the Track view.

Album Art window

The album art for the selected track, or the track which is playing, is shown in a separate window which can be positioned anywhere on the screen. If you double-click in this window it will be maximized to fill the whole display.

If the Album Art window not visible, use the context menu command 'Show Album Art'. A default picture from file 'default.jpg' is shown if no album art can be found. Album art can be chosen from the web using the Choose Album Art command. You can double-click in the window to maximize it to fill the whole display, which is useful while playing tracks because the Music Player displays the album art for the track as each track starts playing. The Music Player is always shown on top of the other windows, so it will not be hidden when you maximize the Album Art window.

Album view

Use the Album View if you want to see pretty pictures instead of a boring list of tracks. Open this view using the context menu's 'Show Album View' command. This view shows the album art image for each album, in alphabetical order of the Artist. The view is shown in front of the Track/Playlist view window, and you can quickly switch between the two views. You can double-click on an album to find it in the Track view. Context menu commands allow the album to be played, album art to be selected from internet, etc. If there's no album art available, the 'default.jpg' file is shown.

Title bar

The title bar shows the name of the open library file, the number of tracks in the library, the open playlist name and number of tracks in the playlist. The value in square brackets, e.g. [0h34m], shows the playing time of the files in the playlist. If the library or playlist has been modified, a star * is shown on the right of the library or playlist name, as can be seen for Playlist 'Untitled' *  in the picture below. If the Tracks view is filtered, then FILTERED is shown, with the number of tracks in the filtered view.

FilteredTitleBar

Columns

These are the columns you can have. The column order cannot be changed, but you can show/hide any column, and adjust the column widths.

Artist *

Artist name, or 'Various Artists', 'Soundtracks' etc.

Album *

Album name, or 'Miscellaneous', 'Mixed' etc.

#

Track number, may be blank for mixed tracks.

Track Name *

Name of the track.

Genre

Music style, Jazz, Punk etc. see Genres, blank if not set.

Mood

Heavy, Light, Lively, Relaxing, Spacy, blank if not set.

BPM

Beats-per-minute, blank if unknown.

Length

Length of the track, minutes:seconds.

Year

The year the track or album was (first) released, may be blank.

Type

File type, .wav .mp3 .flac .ogg etc.

Added

Date/time when the track was added to the library.

Plays

Number of times the track has been played, blank if never played.

Last Played

Date/time the track was last played, blank if never played.

File Path

Actual file name and path relative to the Music Files folder.

* = these columns cannot be hidden.

Click on the column header to sort the tracks by the text in that column. The sort column is indicated by a small triangle in the header. Sorting is always in ascending alphabetical order. If you want descending order, then you can simply turn your computer upside down, if you want your Tracks View to start with 'ZZ Top'.

Columns can be resized by dragging the column separator in the header. The column widths are restored when the Music Library Manager is opened.

Hover the mouse over the column header separator so you see the 'column resizing' cursor, click and drag to adjust the width:

ColumnResize

You can also hide the column by dragging it until the column has a zero width. When a column is hidden, you can restore it by hovering the mouse over the hidden column separator to show the 'restore column' cursor, click and drag to open the column. Here, the 'BPM' column between Mood and Length has been hidden:

HiddenColumn

Alternatively, right-click on the column header to open the 'Show/Hide Columns' context menu. Check/uncheck the item to show/hide the column.

Click picture to zoom

Selecting tracks

Selected tracks in the Track or Playlist views are highlighted in blue, and the 'focused' track has a dotted line around it. Commands work either on the selected track or on the focused track, depending on the command.

To select more than one track, click on the first track, then hold down the Shift key and click on the last track to select all the tracks in between. Or press the down arrow key while holding down the Shift key. To select tracks which are not consecutive, hold down the Ctrl key and click on each track. Selected tracks can be played using the 'Play Selected Tracks' command, or by drag-and-dropping them onto the open Music Player.