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Friday 31 January 2014

Zap App Nap

Last night I ran SongKong overnight on a large collection of songs on my MacbookPro and I was surprised to find it hadn't finished, in fact it had got less through less than 10% of the songs !

Investigation of the logs files showed that SongKong had stopped doing anything 15 minutes after leaving it, and only restarted when i touch the keyboard in the morning.

Now in Preferences:Energy Saver I have the Mac configured to power off the screen after 15 minutes yet this shouldn't preventing processing, and it certainly used to work.

Turns out the problem is a new feature in OSX Mavericks called App Nap. Intending to save power it can slow down or halt applications it doesnt think are being actively used, and this seems to be the case once the Mac has gone into screen saver mode.

Thankfully it is easy enough to disable AppNap for any application.

Simply use the Get Info window for a particular application. Locate the application for which you’d like to prevent the App Nap feature from monitoring, right-click (Command-click) on its icon, and select “Get Info.” You can also highlight the app in Finder and press Command-I. The Get Info window will appear and you’ll notice a new option in the General section: “Prevent App Nap.” Check this box and your selected app will run at full power in the background.

Unfortunately this setting doesn't seem to be preserved when you reboot your Mac.

In the next version of SongKong and Jaikoz I expect to have a permanent solution.

Thursday 30 January 2014

The Components of the Filename

There is sometimes some confusion about how SongKong views filenames so I'm going to try and explain with an example. The starting point of SongKong is to select a folder to process - we shall call this the Root Folder. Then SongKong tries to guess what part of the folder path contains metadata such as Artist name or Album name and which part does not contain metadata. It then splits the folder path into Base Folder and Sub Folder with the Sub Folder containing the part matching the metadata and the Base Folder not.

Then as files within the root folder are loaded into SongKong they will all have the same Root Folder. They will all have the same starting Sub Folder but it will have any additional subfolders appended to it. The last part of the path is termed the Filename.

The root/sub folder divide is important because if your songs are renamed from metadata only the sub folder part is renamed from your metadata in contrast if your songs are moved only the root folder is changed.

Now an example:

Root Folder:/Music/Blur
Base Folder:/Music
Sub Folder   :Blur

Files within /Music/Blur such as

/Music/Blur/ParkLife/Girl & Boys.mp3

would be split as:

Base Folder:/Music
Sub Folder  :Blur/ParkLife
Filename      :Girl & Boys.mp3

Hope that clarifies things.

Moving Matched and Unmatched songs in SongKong in 1.17

As every song goes through the SongKongs pipeline the last stage is always the Save Song stage. At this point SongKong looks to see if the song has been matched to Musicbrainz or Discogs and if it has and the Rename files based on Metadata match is enabled then the Filename including the Sub Folder portion is then renamed according to the metadata and the mask, but if not matched it is not renamed.

Additionally you can move matched files to a new folder so instead of being rooted at the existing Base folder they are moved to the Move Folder if set on the File Moving tab.  Unlike previous versions of SongKong files can be moved, even if the Rename files based on Metadata match option is not enabled.

To reiterate the Move Folder changes the Base Folder, whereas Rename Files changes the SubFolder and Filename.
Using a Move Folder can be a very useful way of working when sorting out a large collection of music, a common way of managing your songs is to move songs from an unsorted folder to a fixed folder as they are identified.

New in SongKong 1.17 is the Move Unmatched Folder option allowing you to move files that are not matched. This is useful because it allows you to differentiate between a song that SongKong has tried to match and failed to match, and a song that SongKong has not yet attempted to match. It is especially useful when processing a huge collection that you might decide to fix in stages.

Although of course SongKong imposes no limits on how many songs you can match !
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