SongKong for Melco

SongKong for Melco was designed in partnership with Melco, creators of hi-end audio digital libraries. It builds upon SongKong to deal with some issues that specifically affect hi-end customers.

Adding Metadata for Naim Wav Rips

The Problem

The Naim UnitiServe is a hi-end cd ripper and audio media server. When you use it to rip a CD the UnitiServe rips to Wav format, it then looks up metadata from the All Music Guide but this metadata is stored in a file called amginfo.xml within the same folder as the Wav rips for the album rather than stored within the Wav files themselves. This is not a problem as long as you only played your music via Naim UnitiServe but if you copy the files elsewhere and serve the files using a different system then no metadata would show up for the Wav files, this occurs even if the amginfo.xml file were copied as well since only Naim UnitiServe can parse these metadata files.

Any Naim Uniti customer that needs to transfer their ripped files to other systems had to make a decision between Uncompressed Wav without portable metadata or converting to Compressed Flac. This allowed metadata to be stored but at the possible expense of sound quality since the Flac files are compressed.

The Solution

New Naim Rip option

When the above option is enabled if you have any folders that contain Naim wav rips plus the Amginfo.xml or cddb.txt file then the metadata is now automatically embedded into the Wav files themselves, this can now be read and used by most applications and players. Because the files are local and no searching on the Internet is required this process is extremely fast, songs can be processed at a rate of about 1,000 songs a minute.

Wav did not used to have good metadata support but Wav now supports metadata using the ID3 format, the same flexible format supported by Mp3 and Aiff. This format is well understood and is more powerful then the metadata format used by Flac, so now you can can have the ultimate audio format and the ultimate metadata format. We also write the basic metadata to the Wav Info chunk as well for applications that support Wav Info but not Wav ID3. For example MinimServer only supports Wav ID3 and Twonky only supports Wav Info.

All the information from the metadata files is parsed, not just the basics like the artist, album and track title but other roles such as producers and engineers. For classical music the conductor, composer and performers are also added. Artwork is also embedded into the Wav file itself.

Of course you can also augment this metadata by using SongKongs standard functionality to lookup metadata such as 1000px artwork from MusicBrainz and Discogs as well.

Options optimized for UPnP Streaming

With SongKong Pro the defaults are designed with iTunes in mind. With SongKong for Melco we pay more attention to uPNP streamers such as MinimServer. Default options are configured to provide the best possible experience when streaming music with MinimServer, this is especially significant for Classical music. For example an artist can sometimes have a different role on different releases but we enable the Use only Artist Type to categorise groups as ensembles, choirs or orchestras to ensure a particular artist type always has the same type and can be grouped together by MinimServer. The simplicity of this approach outweighs the disadvantages of not completely representing the role on a particular release.