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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sharing filename masks between SongKong and Jaikoz

A longtime customer of Jaikoz and SongKong asked on the forums whether you can share filename masks between SongKong and Jaikoz,well yes you can but with a couple of adjustments.

Both applications use Javascript expressions to rename files, although this powerful syntax takes a few minutes to understand, but there are three important differences.

Two masks versus one

In both applications we have the concept of  a base folder, subfolder and filename which is described in detail here. With SongKong there is a single mask to modify the subfolder and filename in one go, in contrast Jaikoz has one mask for modifying the subfolder and one for modifying the filename.

Field names

Fields names for both applications are the same, except Jaikoz uses trackno to represent a trackno and SongKong uses track.


In Jaikoz Javascript functions needed to be included as part of the rename mask, but in SongKong they can be stored separately and referenced by masks, SongKong also allows rename masks to be named and stored so you can easily switch between different masks.

An Example

SongKong mask

(Note if notempty() function is predefined function)
 + ifnotempty(album,' ')
 + (year.length>0  ? '(' + year + ') ' : '')
 +  (mbreleasecountry.length>0  ? '(' + mbreleasecountry + ') ' : '')
 + (disctotal>1 ? discno + '-' : '')
 + track + ' - '
 + title
 Jaikoz SubFolder mask
 function ifnotempty(value,sep){
     return value.length > 0 ? value + sep : '';

 + ifnotempty(album,' ')
 + (year.length>0  ? '(' + year + ') ' : '')
 +  (mbreleasecountry.length>0  ? '(' + mbreleasecountry + ') ' : '')
Jaikoz Filename Mask
(disctotal>1 ? discno + '-' : '')
 + trackno + ' - '
 + title

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

SongKong 1.24 appears - Discogs Authorisation disappears

Discogs Authorisation Disappears

This new release of Songkong removes the short lived requirement to create a Discogs account and authorise SongKong to use that account. However, unfortunately Discogs have recently implemented some rather misleading and draconian rules regarding access to their image archive that doesn't allow us to make full use of it - so this release is just an interim step.

But I have been searching for a better solution and think I have found it, this should be ready within the next month and will provide some serious improvements in cover art

Improved Multi-Disc Matching

As SongKong loads folders of songs for matching it looks out for multi-disc releases that have been stored as one folder per disc, it does some further checks and if the folders pass the checks then SongKong attempts to match the multi-folder set as one release and only resorting to checking each folder individually if a match could not be found.

But before this version the subfolders had to have a particular naming convention, the subfolders either had to start with the word Disc or just be a number such as Disc 01 , disc 2 or 03. Now with SongKong 1.24 other naming conventions such as CD01, Vol 1 or Volume 3 are supported, but this  is still English centric so let me know if you use another naming convention that needs adding.

Its worth noting that if you just Only allow match if all songs in folder were matched enabled then there is still a good chance that a multi disc release is properly matched even if the release was not recognised as a multi-disc release at the matching stage. Each folder can get correctly matched to a disc of the release.

However if you have Only allow match if all songs in album were matched then matching at the subfolder stage only would not work because each subfolder only matches one disc of the release rather than the whole release.

Error Reporting

If SongKong is configured to update iTunes it will now complain and halt processing if it is unable to create a model of the iTunes library. It will also halt processing if it hits memory limits, although in normal circumstances this should never happen. Previously these errors were not correctly reported.

General Matching

A number of improvements have been made to improve the accuracy of release and recording only matches

Full change log is available here

Thursday, 17 April 2014

My first Sonos system

Last week I purchased a Sonos Connect to connect Sonos to my separates system and to find out what Sonos requires for the perfect metadata experience for users.

Here are some details about the installation experience and my first (very initial) impressions. Everything about the packaging and product itself is so Apple like I wonder if a former Apple designer designed it for them, but whoever did the design they did a good job.

Now my Hi-Fi is not in the same room as my router and I know at least one Sonos component should be connected directly to your router, but I have used Solwise home plugs in the past to spread my network and I couldn't see how Sonos could differentiate between a direct ethernet connection and an ethernet connection via a Solwise plug. I have router in one room with ethernet connection from router to Solwise Homeplug Av500. Then I have my hifi in next door room with sonos connect connected by ethernet cable to another solwise plug. Both plus are on the same electrical circuit.

I download sonos controller for my PC and the software tells me to hold down the two buttons and release, as soon as I do this the PC software goes to the next stage but after a while it tells me it could not find any Sonos devices connected.

If I repeat the process but turn of the Solwise plug then pressing the two buttons has no effect. So this told me that Sonos software is detecting that I've clicked on the Sonos Connect via my Solwise home connection yet it still isn't happy about something. My first thought was that I needed the bridge so I disconnected the Connect from my hi-fi and connected it directly to the router and it still doesn't work.

I then tried downloading the Sonos Controller for my Mac and this worked, reconnected the connect to hifi and solwise and it still worked, so the problem was actually the PC (and I havent resolved this issue yet)

I tried playing Internet radio through Sonos and it worked perfectly time.
I then tried connecting to my music library on my NAS and it took a while, but once completed that also worked perfectly. When I view my music on my Mac or Phone controller not seeing any issues with metadata so far, but I noticed I have no artist images - something that I will investigate for Songkong and Jaikoz.

As yet I have no have no connection issues at all and have ordered two Sonos Play 1s to test out the Sonos network over a larger area,  the Sonos network is a Mesh network, every single Sonos component acts like a mini router allowing it to send  a signal to any other Sonos component, so fingers crossed that this will work as expected.

My only disappointment so far is that Sonos supports Spotify Premium but not the free Spotify account I have had since the early days of Spotify.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Getting Discogs Cover Art with SongKong

Discogs Image Authorization

SongKong uses various sources for finding cover art. Its primary source is the cover art provided by MusicBrainz via the Cover Art Archive, but the second most important source is the artwork provided by Discogs. However unfortunately recently Discogs changed the conditions of their API so that it no longer allows access to these images unless you have a Discogs account and authorise SongKong to use that account.

The good news is that Discogs accounts are completely free and straight-forward with no requirement to enter bank card details or sign up for any service so creating a Discogs account if you don't already have one is not such a hardship.The bad news is that Discogs is currently getting overloaded regularly and when this happens access to the API is curtailed, this includes the one-off image authorisation detailed below. So if possible don't try at internet peak times (evening time US timezone) , if it does fail at the first stage just try again.

With SongKong 1.23 released today it is recommended that you create a Discogs account if you do not have one already and then authorise SongKong for the best SongKong results as follows

1.Open your webbrowser and go to discogs.com

2. Login to Discogs or signup for an account if you do not already have one

3. Select File:Discogs Image Authorization within SongKong, and if you are logged into your Discogs account your webrowser  should open a page similar to:

If instead SongKong complains that Image Authorization failed , please try again at a quieter time.

4. Select the Authorise button and it should take you to a page like

5. Go back to SongKong, there should be a user dialog open, enter the code into it as follows:

6. Select OK and the following window should display

7. And that's it, now if SongKong is unable to get cover art from a MusicBrainz release it can probably get one from a linked Discogs release.

Jaikoz customers, the same Discogs image authorization will be added to Jaikoz within two weeks.

SongKong 1.23

In this new release there also many  improvements to matching and to the generated reports, I will explain these in more details in another post but for now all the fixes are listed at


Saturday, 5 April 2014

SongKong 1.22 with new matching improvements

Today we release a new version of SongKong as well as a number of bug fixes it includes some important improvements.

Match song to recording only

In previous versions of SongKong we try to matching groupings (usually folders) of songs to a MusicBrainz release (usually an album) and optionally a Discogs release. But if we are unable to match all songs in the grouping to a release then as a customer you only have the option of not matching the songs at all or matching song by song and possibly matching to the incorrect release.

But in MusicBrainz songs are known as recordings and the same recording can be found on multiple releases whereby each release/recording combination is known as a track. If a songs Acoustid matches to just one MusicBrainz recording then we have can have almost absolute certainty that we have matched the correct song.

So in this new release if the match grouping to folder stages fails to match but we have acoustids for the songs that can be matched to individual MusicBrainz recordings then we can update the song artist and title without making only any assumptions about the release they belong to. This matching occurs regardless of any other options enabled or disabled.

This is incredibly useful for songs that have no metadata at all, or songs with incorrect titles, even though the albums are not known the songs are now correctly identified. Because the matching is done at the match to MusicBrainz stage the new information can be used to help match the songs to a Discogs release instead, so we are now making uses of Acoustids with Discogs even though Discogs doesn't  directly support Acoustid !

These matches have their own section in the Fix Songs report. Because the matches are only partial they are included in the MusicBrainz match count but the songs are not moved to the matched folder if a Matched folder is enabled, and are not renamed if Rename filename from Metadata is enabled.

Only allow match if all songs in album were matched

If the Only allow match if all songs in one folder match to one album is enabled then all songs in the grouping have to be matched to one folder. But to account for you having incomplete albums the album they are matched to can contain more songs than are matched.

But if you have complete albums you can get more accurate matching by enabling the new  Only allow match if all songs in album were matched option as well then all the songs in the folder must match to same album and all songs on the album must be matched, so if there are 10 songs in folder it can only match a 10 song album

If Only allow match if all songs in one folder match to one album is enabled and Only allow match if all songs in album were matched is not enabled then any album matched must be completely matched but this doesn't have to be on a folder by folder basis, so for example if you have a folder containing 10 songs that failed to match any album but metadata in the allowed grouping of the songs into two groupings of 5 each, and one of those grouping could be matched to a 5 track release that would be okay.

Undo Changes can now select the original location of files to revert

By default Undo Changes work on the current location of files and folders that you want to revert the changes for, but now you can specify SongKong looks for songs that were originally in a location that they have since been moved from.  This can be very useful if you are looking to revert changes to files that were originally in one folder but have now been moved to multiple folders.

Other fixes and Improvements

The full list can of changes can be found at here

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