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Messages posted by: GrampsAudio  XML
Profile for GrampsAudio -> Messages posted by GrampsAudio [24]
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Okay. So that pretty much answers my questions:

a. Decompressing my FLAC files using one of the three aforementioned programs would not in any discernible way increase the audio quality of my files, being as they are already lossless, correct?

b. By decompressing my FLAC files, they would merely take up more hard drive space, and any improvement in play smoothness would only be discernible if I was a super nerdy audiophile, and/or had the sensitivity of Superman's ears, right?

I am not Superman. Neither am I a super nerdy audiophile, so . . .
Thank you.
Hello again Paul,

Although I already manually downloaded -- but have not yet installed -- the 3.18 update, I thought you should know that when I click on the "Check for Update" option under the "Help" menu, SongKong 3.17 is reporting . . .

"You already have the latest version of Song Kong (3.17) installed"

As a reminder, I am using the "Pro" version of SongKong.

Hello Paul,

I have long been a fan of FLAC files due to their obvious superior audio quality over the more popular and ubiquitous MP3 format. For me personally, given the size of modern hard drives, the additional space that FLAC files require, compared to MP3 files, is a more than fair trade-off in order to obtain nicer sounding music.

However, I was just reading your comments regarding the differences between FLAC and ALAC, and AIFF and WAV files.

So my questions are these: Being as my FLAC and ALAC files are ALREADY compressed . . .

a. would running them through a program such as XLD, Fission or iFFmpeg uncompress them and improve the audio quality even more?

b. or is the fact that my FLAC and ALAC files have already been compressed mean that the extra quality has ALREADY been lost, and cannot be re-obtained through decompression?

c. in other words, would it be similar to converting an MP3 file to a FLAC file, where you can indeed to do the conversion, but there won't be any quality gain, because that quality was already lost when the file was first converted to MP3?

d. if the answer to question "a" above is "yes", in your opinion, which of the three aforementioned programs would do the best job? I have/own all three.

e. or even if the answer to question "a" is "yes", would the quality improvement be so negligible, that it wouldn't really be worth taking up additional hard drive space for my song collection? You seem to stress that uncompressed audio files play smoother, but don't necessarily state that their sound quality would be better than FLAC or ALAC.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Thanks for the update, Paul. Much appreciated.
Realistically speaking, when all is said and done, how much longer should we expect to have to wait before these functions and features are added to SongKong and the associated online databases, so that we don't have to take the more complicated, indirect route in order to display the BPM in our music collections?

It has been about 2.5 months since we had this original discussion, and I can't help but notice that a number of updates have been released for Jaikoz, but none for SongKong.

Thanks in advance.
Thanks Paul. I'll let you know if I have any further issues with it. Thank you for your attentiveness to the problems.
No rush here, my friend. Take your time and do it right.
Great! Now that you know what the problem is, you can work towards a solution.

paultaylor wrote:
Right, I mean if using SongKong best not to use the Rename files based on Metadata matched option if you have Save changes to iTunes option disabled to avoid iTunes losing files. 

Hmmm . . . I am not sure what to do about that one, because some of the audio files I get have long ridiculous names, and I like the way that SongKong trims them and makes them all conform to the same standard within an album folder.
As far as I know, there is nothing unusual/complicated about my iTunes setup.

All I can say -- and as you can see from the support files -- is that I keep all of my music in a folder called "Musicalia, and I do not allow iTunes to copy the audio files into /Users/gramps/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/ -- as would normally be the case -- in order to conserve hard drive space. I just don't see the need to have double copies of my audio files on my hard drive.

I normally do not change audio file names, but if I do, it is from within iTunes itself via the "Get Info" option, and not directly via the Finder.

I do delete folders and songs via the Finder, but that is only when I also delete them from the iTunes library at the same time, because I don't like them.
Interesting indeed.

I selected the very same set of 41 songs. As you can see by comparing the two reports below, with the iTunes auto-update option enabled, 29 songs were checked, and then SongKong was supposedly cancelled by me. In contrast, with the iTunes auto-update option disabled, all 41 songs were checked, and SongKong was not cancelled.

So what does this tell you? Is there a problem with a specific song -- whichever song #29 happens to be -- or is it the result of something else?

What I find odd is that despite the fact that only 29 songs were checked in the latest test, nevertheless, BOTH reports state that all 41 songs have been modified and saved.

Do you need the support files again?

Report #25 with iTunes auto-update option disabled in SongKong:

Selected Folder :/Users/gramps/Musicalia/Kirk Franklin
Base Folder:/Users/gramps/Musicalia
41 songs loaded into SongKong
41 songs checked against MusicBrainz and Discogs
41 (100%) songs matched to MusicBrainz release
0 (0%) songs matched to MusicBrainz song only
41 (100%) songs matched to Discogs
39 (95%) songs matched with Artwork
41 songs have had information modified and have been saved

Report #26 with iTunes auto-update option enabled in SongKong:

Selected Folder :/Users/gramps/Musicalia/Kirk Franklin
Base Folder:/Users/gramps/Musicalia
41 songs loaded into SongKong
29 songs checked against MusicBrainz and Discogs before task cancelled by user
41 (100%) songs matched to MusicBrainz release
0 (0%) songs matched to MusicBrainz song only
41 (100%) songs matched to Discogs
39 (100%) songs matched with Artwork
41 songs have had information modified and have been saved

Okay, thanks for the clarification.
Okay, so you seem to be confirming what I suspected.

That is, that iTunes does NOT actually edit the ID3 tags in my audio files. It only writes to its own internal database and leaves the ID3 tags in the actual audio files untouched.

Is this correct?

In contrast, SongKong does write to the actual ID3 tags in my audio files.

iTunes will see these changes in the ID3 tags and update its own database accordingly.


In short, if I understand this correctly, iTunes doesn't really make any changes to ID3 tags in the actual audio files. It merely copies SongKong's changes to its own database.
Well, I don't know how helpful it will be to you being as I conducted a test on such a small sample of files. I chose a subfolder inside of my main music folder as my target folder. That folder in turn contains four subfolders, each with a different amount of audio files. Together, they total 41 audio files, or about 1% of my current collection.

Anyway, I will email you the support files in just a minute. This time that "cancelled by user" message does not appear in the report.

However, with that option disabled, doesn't that mean that the iTunes database won't be updated with the new metadata for my songs?
Being as I cannot manually edit ID3 tags in SongKong, I have a related question.

When I use the "Get Info" contextual menu option for a song inside of iTunes, select the "Details" tab, and change the genre of a song, does that actually write my selected genre to the audio file itself, or is it merely writing to a database inside of iTunes itself?

The reason why this is important to me is because when I choose to fix songs in SongKong, I don't want to enable the "Update Genres" option on the "Basics" tab, if it is going to wipe out the manual ID3 work that I do in iTunes directly.

On the other hand, if iTunes is only writing the new info to its own internal database, then I suppose there is no danger in enabling "Update Genres" when fixing files in SongKong.

Of course, I suppose when it comes to personal music libraries, genre is a very subjective thing. While I may consider a song to be of one particular genre, someone else might consider it something else entirely.
Thanks for posting, chillware. It confirms that I am not the only one who has been experiencing the premature cancellation in 3.15. Hopefully, Paul will figure it out for us.
I just emailed you the support files for the last few runs.

BTW, for two or three runs, SongKong reported that it couldn't obtain the audioID -- or whatever it is called -- for one particular song.

Initially, I just assumed that this meant that your databases had no info regarding the song. However, I eventually got curious and had a look at the song.

As it turned out, the audio file was in some way corrupted and wouldn't even play. So I downloaded a fresh copy of the song, and then that particular error message disappeared from the reports.

My point is, if SongKong can't do a particular thing to a file because the file is corrupted, it would be nice if it would say that the file is corrupted, and therefore can't be worked with.

Just an idea.
OOPS . . . Sorry, but I no longer have the support files. I have been doing a lot of testing, and the reports were starting to pile up under that menu, so I've been making it a habit to immediately delete them after reading them, when that becomes necessary.

But the next time that it happens, I will try to remember to zip up those files for you.
I mainly upgraded to SongKong Pro in order to take advantage of the promised speed gain. I really wasn't concerned with the BPM parameter at the time, being as I didn't think that I had any real use for it.

However, as it turns out, I decided that I could possibly use the BPM to determine which are my more slow-paced songs. The problem is that the BPM data return rate is rather disappointing. Out of a total of exactly 4,000 audio files, iTunes is only displaying the BPM for 636 songs, or just under 16% of my total collection.

I realize that SongKong can only retrieve available data on the MusicBrainz and Discogs websites; so is that what accounts for such a low return rate on the BPM data?

I am also wondering if the low BPM return rate has anything to do with the fact that a lot of my audio files are Gospel songs, worship music and Contemporary Christian Music. In other words, is it possible that these genre don't always include the BPM data in the audio files?

Again, I would appreciate your feedback regarding these issues.

Hello again Paul,

I am perplexed by the results below.

After watching SongKong Standard slowly trudge through my collection of 4,832 audio files, last night I upgraded to SongKong Pro, in the hope that I would be able to cut the processing time in half, as stated on your website.

I ran SongKong Standard and SongKong Pro on the same exact set of files, using the same exact settings, which were basically the default settings in the downloaded app.

SongKong Standard took just over 97 minutes, so I assumed that SongKong Pro would take a maximum of 50 minutes to process the same files.

Not so. In fact, SongKong Pro took 39 minutes longer than SongKong Standard.

I also don't understand why 1,964 songs were checked by SongKong Standard, while SongKong Pro checked 2,680 files. Does this have anything to do with the fact that SongKong Standard modified some of the files, so 716 more files had to be checked by SongKong Pro?

Why do both reports also say that I cancelled the task, when I did no such thing? I just waited for it to complete on its own and automatically generate its report. In fact, the app seemed to cut in and start generating the report even before everything was done completing in that window with the rolling stats. I noticed that another user mentioned this same issue to you last month.

Oh, one other point: At the time that I ran both SongKong Standard and SongKong Pro, I did not have any CPU-intensive apps running on my machine. Also, there was constantly about 1.5 GB of free RAM available while each version of SongKong ran.

Anyway, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts regarding these issues.


Report #12 using SongKong Standard:


Selected Folder :/Users/gramps/Musicalia
Base Folder:/Users/gramps/Musicalia
4,832 songs loaded into SongKong
1,964 songs checked against MusicBrainz and Discogs before task cancelled by user
4,062 (100%) songs matched to MusicBrainz release
19 (0%) songs matched to MusicBrainz song only
2,293 (100%) songs matched to Discogs
3,572 (100%) songs matched with Artwork
4,082 songs have had information modified and have been saved

Fix Songs Report 12 finished at Jun 10, 2015 3:12:31 AM
Songs matched in 1 hours 37 minutes 24 seconds

Report #13 using SongKong Pro:


Selected Folder :/Users/gramps/Musicalia
Base Folder:/Users/gramps/Musicalia
4,832 songs loaded into SongKong
2,680 songs checked against MusicBrainz and Discogs before task cancelled by user
4,062 (100%) songs matched to MusicBrainz release
19 (0%) songs matched to MusicBrainz song only
2,282 (85%) songs matched to Discogs
3,561 (100%) songs matched with Artwork
4,081 songs have had information modified and have been saved

Fix Songs Report 13 finished at Jun 10, 2015 6:29:26 AM
Songs matched in 2 hours 16 minutes 44 seconds
So can that minor bug be fixed so that we have an idea regarding why an ID couldn't be obtained?

Regarding lyrics, yes, from what I have read during the past few days, it appears that it is becoming more difficult to even find websites which offer song lyrics.

That has to be commercialism at its worst.

As you know, for decades, lyrics were plastered all over album covers, in album booklets, on CD jackets, etc. Now it seems that greedy merchants want to suck the last drop of blood out of the beet. Truly sad.
Hello Paul. Thanks for your email response, as well as your response here.

As you no doubt already realized, I purchased SongKong standard shortly after reading your above response. I have been testing it out and learning how it works, and what results different options give, over the past few days.

I have a question, as well as two suggestions.

Question: In the "Errors" section of the generated report, the error messages end with a code such as this:

Unable to retrieve an acoustic id for song 16,928 file . . . because {2}

I looked in the built-in help, and there is nothing regarding the significance of the error codes. Can you please provide a list of what they each mean, and also consider adding the list to the built-in help section?

Suggestion#1: On the renaming tab, there is an empty section. For those of us who are slow at these things, it would be nice if that empty space could be used to display an example of exactly what kind of title each option will produce.

In other words, each time a user clicks on one of the options, the text in that empty section will display what the song title will look like with that particular option is chosen.

Suggestion #2: There are a number of different Mac apps which will retrieve song lyrics. I was using the free app called "Get Lyrical" for a few days until I discovered another free app called "LyricsFinder".

The advantage of LyricsFinder is that unlike "Get Lyrical" and other apps, it doesn't wait until you are actually playing a song before it searches for the lyrics. You can drop a folder, or your entire music collection on it, and it will go to town on all of them, without having to play them first.

But the thing is, that means having yet another app open on your computer sucking up more CPU power. It would be nice if fetching lyrics could be built right into both Jaikoz and SongKong.
Hello Paul. Recently, I have been considering purchasing an automated audio file tagger for my music collection, and while looking at the options which are available to me from different companies, I learned about Jaikoz and SongKong.

I was reading a comment in another section of your forum -- I don't remember where now -- and I have a few questions regarding your two products. Answering these questions will assist me in determining whether or not Jaikoz or SongKong is right for me. You wrote as follows:

> The other key difference is that matching with SongKong does
> not require you to check the modifications before saving
> because songs are saved as matched but the changes can be
> rolled back easily at a alter stage - even after restarting
> your computer. (And you get a very detailed report showing
> exactly what has been changed)

Does rolling back the changes revert the metadata of one's entire music collection at once, or does this option allow a person to select an individual song -- or perhaps a group of songs -- and then just roll back the changes that were made to that song, or songs? In other words, does the roll back mean all or nothing at all, or can changes be made to specific songs entry by entry?

I couldn't help but notice that there is no large Excel-like spreadsheet with the SongKong demo, as occurs with the Jaikoz demo. I found the Jaikoz spreadsheet format to be very informative, and I would hope that SongKong has one as well.

In absence of such a spreadsheet, does this mean that an individual song or album metadata cannot be manually edited/corrected if SongKong should make some mistakes, as it appears can be done with Jaikoz?

> SongKong also allows you to monitor a folder and fix songs
> as folders are added to that folder.

That is a very nice feature. Does Jaikoz likewise possess the ability to monitor a folder, or perhaps even multiple folders which are located on different parts of one's hard drive?

> SongKong also has more advanced Delete Duplicates options
> and some additional Fix Songs options but these are all
> planned to be added to Jaikoz.

Oh gosh! And to think that I just purchased Dupe Away a day ago! Have the aforementioned options been added yet to Jaikoz? If not, how soon do you anticipate adding them?

This has probably been suggested to you before, but have you ever considered combining the features of both of your programs into just one powerful app? It seems to me that having just one program with all of the functionality would be a lot easier for your end users. It would certainly help to avoid the current confusion that some of us experience when trying to decide which of the two apps is best for us. And, of course, it would give users everything they need in one solid program.

Let me also mention that while you suggest in a few of your comments that some people may be interested in purchasing both programs in order to meet all of their tagging needs, I hope you understand that this is not possible for all of us.

In my case, I happen to be a retired old man who lives on a fixed income, so watching my pennies is very important to me. In fact, I am really not even a regular music listener. The whole reason why I became interested in your products is because I recently became engaged in a project for my newborn granddaughter. I have been collecting some songs to use with SoundSpectrum's amazing G-Force visualizer. The music, bright colors and constantly-changing patterns attract her attention, and will help her to develop her eye coordination, head movement, attention skills, etc. It was while expanding this music collection for her that I realized the need for an app such as yours.

Anyway, as of today, I still haven't made a decision regarding which program I am going to purchase, or from which online company I will buy it, so your responses will hopefully help to steer me in the right direction.

Thank you.
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