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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

SongKong 6.1 Elephant - Now with Artist Images released May 22nd 2019


We are pleased to announce the new release of SongKong, SongKong 6.1 Elephant named after the rocking fourth album by The White Stripes.




Artist Artwork


We have a major new feature in this release. SongKong can now find artist images for your music. And when we say artist images we don’t just mean the release artists, we can find also find images for the tracks artists, composer, lyricist, conductor, and orchestra! The images are added to your actual music files so that they are transferable.

 
We do special processing for the Album Artist, if the album artist is made up of multiple artists and we can find images for each album artist we try to stitch the images together to create a single image that represents the album artist.


Artist Image per Artist Folder


We can also save album artist artwork to each Artist folder if your songs are organized Album Artist/Album folder. This can be useful if using an UPnP server and like to browse music by folder. The album artist will be stored as a folder.jpg file within the each Artist folder and this means that your uPNP control point should use the artist image as the folder image.

You can see in this screenshot below (using Linn Kinsky Control Point being served by MinimServer) that artist folders with an artist image look so much nicer than the default folder image.


Artist Image Repository

SongKong can add all the artist artwork found to a single folder, named by artist name, this gives you all your artist images images in one folder making it easy to find them if you want to use them for other purposes.


Caching

When Songkong downloads an album from MusicBrainz it has previously always stored the  album details in the internal SongKong database. This means that if we need the album again we do not have to retrieve it from the Internet again. But databases introduce overheads such as locking that we do not really need since the album is read only, we have no need to change it, and we also have the issue that the database will continue to grow over time.

We have now moved to using a Cache instead called EhCache. This is faster than using a database and automatically prunes the data when it reaches a certain size, removing the albums that have not been accessed for the longest period of time.

This improves performance, and we have also added caches for Artist, Acoustid and AcousticBrainz lookups.


We also have a number of other fixes and improvements in this release.

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