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Wednesday 27 September 2017

Fix for OSX High Sierra breaking menubar for non English languages on Jaikoz and Songkong

In August we reported that Apples beta version of their High Sierra operating system was broken for all Java applications because it did not display the menubar properly.

Update Nov 15th 2017, Apple have eventually fixed this with the OSX 13.1 release, and we have reverted the now unnecessary fix in SongKong 4.13, we will do the same thing with the next Jaikoz release.

On Sunday 25th September High Sierra was officially released and the problem appeared to be resolved. However it only works if OSX preferred language is set to English otherwise the menubar does not work.

Hopefully Apple will fix this soon but in the meantime we have a workaround for both Jaikoz and SongKong with only a minor side effect: 

  • Within Finder in Applications right-click on Jaikoz or SongKong and select Show Package Contents
  • Select Contents
  • Open Info.plist for editing
  • Find the line that says CFBundleAllowMixedLocalizations and change the line below it from true to false
  • Save the changes

Now start Jaikoz or SongKong, this should resolve the issue. 


Since we don't know when Apple will fix this we have now uploaded new versions of Jaikoz 9.2.0, SongKong 4.12 and SongKong for Melco 4.12 for mac users with the above workaround in place. So if you now just download Jaikoz or SongKong from http://www.jthink.net the Menu bar will continue to work. 

The version number has not changed so if you already had the latest version you will not get prompted to update. But we have updated the build date of these replacement versions to 27th of September 2017 - and you can see this in the About window.


There is one negative side effect meaning that in the main Jaikoz/SongKong menu and folder dialogs used by Jaikoz/SongKong will now show as English when they should be in your preferred language

Below is an example showing SongKong in German with and without fix.

Without Fix

Menu is incorrect, but when I click on Wรคhle Ordner to open folder buttons are still in German

With Fix

Menu now works properly, but menu items under the SongKong menu are incorrectly in English and buttons in folder dialog are also in English. But other options in SongKong will correctly be displayed in German.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Finding Missing Artwork for Melco N1 and other Music Servers with SongKong

A question that has cropped up a few times is how do I use SongKong to only find missing artwork and not add other metadata. This is easy to do with SongKong and SongKong for Melco by changing a few options.

In order to add artwork SongKong still needs to identify the album but it doesn't have to add the related metadata.

Basic Options

Firstly, ensure on the Basic tab that you have enabled Update Artwork because you want to add this. Then disable Update Genres and Update Mood and other attributes such as BPM as you don't want to add other data.

Artwork Options

When artwork is added by default it is embedded in the file itself. But for maximum compatibility with legacy applications that only read artwork from filesystem such as Twonky UPnP you can also configure SongKong to save the artwork to the filesystem as well.

On the Artwork tab  set Save Artwork to Filesystem to Yes, but do not overwrite existing artwork files in folder. Now assuming your songs are organized one folder per album any embedded metadata will be saved as a cover.jpg or cover.png within the same folder as long as there is no existing artwork file.

You may also want to modify the minimum artwork size you will accept and the maximum artwork size above which artwork will be resized. The defaults are 200x200px and 1000x1000px. This can be done by modifying the Ignore artwork smaller than this and the Resize Artwork if dimensions larger than options.

If you already have artwork embedded in the files you can specify whether SongKong should leave this metadata alone
or replace it. The default option is to replace if it finds an image of higher quality, by quality we mean a higher resolution image.

Your choice is to either keep this as the default, or if you are happy with your existing embedded metadata you can use the Replace if Empty option instead. 

Format Options

By default any other new metadata (such as artist and title) is added to your files, overwriting existing data to provide a more consistent data set. But you can easily prevent SongKong for adding any metadata except artwork.

Click on Update next to Never Modify or add these fields 

Now click in the Available Fields list 

Then do Select All so everything is selected (Cntl-A on Windows, Cmd-A on OSX)

and click Add so everything now in Selected Fields

and click on OK. Now none of these fields will be modified

Lets Go

Keep all other options to the defaults and select Start. SongKong will now go away and identify your music but only add the artwork to your files plus a few of identifiers required by SongKong to work smoothly. These identifiers are mainly MusicBrainz identifers and will have no effect on other applications.

It will also save that artwork as a separate file in the folder if no artwork already exists.

SongKong 4.12 Fixes for using SongKong to only add artwork

In theory it is easy to use SongKong to just add artwork and and a few customers have asked for details on how to do this, so I started writing a blog post about it but I encountered a few problems along the way.

As there seems to be some demand for this particular task I have fixed these issues immediately and released as 4.12

The full list of fixes can be found on the news page

And we have published an article on how to use SongKong to only add artwork.


Sunday 17 September 2017

SongKong 4.11: Bug Blasting Release

Bug Blasting

Today we release a new version of SongKong. Not many new features in this release but we have blasted away thirty  bugs. Many of these were obscure ones that had only  been reported once, but there were some larger ones in there as well.

We hope with the next release we should be able to virtually eliminate all the remaining bugs. This should help reduce time spent on ongoing support and let us concentrate on some really cool new features.

OSX iTunes Bug

We have found that the later versions of OSX Sierra no longer have the Java Applescript  library installed. SongKong requires this to update iTunes, and it wasn't accurately reporting the issue either. This new release comes with the missing library as part of the SongKong installation.


Saving Unchanged Songs

Too often SongKong was re-saving songs that had not actually had any changes since the previous Fix Songs task. This could make the report a little confusing, and increased the total processing time, especially if SongKong was configured to  update iTunes. We have now fixed this, note in the report the Songs Saved bar chart only shows files that have actually been changed. It is the Songs Completed bar chart that shows the successful completions, to highlight this it is now the last bar in the bar graph.

New Feature:Windows Path Length option

We have one new feature in this release (for Windows users only). On Windows the file path is limited to 259 characters, but this is only a limit of Windows not the underlying file system and it can be rather limiting sometimes, for example Classical releases.

Whilst is usually wise to adhere to this limit for files that are intended to be usually be used on Windows it is not so necessary for external or networked drives that are only temporarily being accessed via Windows.

For example you may be using SongKong on Windows to access a Linux NAS drive. Whilst SongKong can run on Linux a NAS will not not let you use the GUI, you'll be limited to using command line. And in some cases it will not be possible to install SongKong in the first place, so this is quite a common scenario.

You can use the new Limit File path to Windows Explorer 259 Character Limit option to not set the limit, or set the limit only for local NTFS/FAT32 drives, this is the default.

The Full Issue List

You can see a full list of fixes in this release here

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