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Topics - Acoustics

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In the Music Explorer tab:

In the Filter Panel (column on the left), the displayed entries are "by Artist", sorted by name, no grouping, "Show Thumbnails" on.
In the Artist Information panel (center panel), sort Albums by Year, descending.

Now I would like to understand (and, to control...) how the album thumbnail displayed in the Filter Panel is chosen, when they are several albums for an artist.
Because the results is not consistent and I don't understand why.



NB: The "(Singles)" albums are singles I gather in an album without a year tag set. My goal is to avoid this album to be chosen as the album in the thumbnail in the Filter Panel if they are other albums for an artist.



Not really a bug, but I think an inconsistency.

In the Albums view, I use two virtual tags (V_SinglesTitle and V_SinglesComment) to change the layout of a specific custom compilation album where I put all the 'orphans' singles. This album has as album artist = 'Various Artists' and as album name = '(Singles)'.

My goal is to not change the default layout for the regular albums, and for the regular compilation albums (where Album Artist = 'Various Artists' but Album name is NOT '(Singles)').

So here are the formula for the two tags:

$If(<Album Artist>="Various Artists",$If(<Album>="(Singles)",[<Artist>"]   "{font: Segoe UI Semibold;Regular;10}<Title>,<Title>),<Title>)

$If(<Album Artist>="Various Artists",$If(<Album>="(Singles)"," ("<Original Album>" - "<Original Year>"),),)
So, for this specific album only, V_SinglesComment adds a second line below the track title to display the album and the year from which the track comes. Otherwise it returns an empty value.

The result is as expected for the regular not Various Artists albums , the layout is not changed by the virtual tags. Because the result of the V_SinglesComment formula is empty the second line is not displayed:

But the result is not exactly as expected for the regular compilation albums where Album Artist = 'Various Artists' but Album name is NOT 'Singles'. Again, my wish is to keep the default layout.

The default layout:

The result:

So even if the result of the V_SinglesComment formula is empty as well, the second line is here displayed. So this is the problem, this is not consistent with the regular - not Various Artists - albums.

(as a side effect, when a second line is added in a 'Various Artists' album MB removes [Artist] on the right of the title to put it in the second line. I understand this behavior, as it permits to customize the layout. But here, I want to point out that the second line should not be displayed at all (and consequently the layout should not be changed) when the virtual tag formula returns an empty value).

I post here a comment that I found below a YouTube video. I am not the author of it. I found it very relevant to explain the break-in period that many audiophiles consider as a reality...

Guys, there’s no such thing as a break-in period for the speakers. That’s just a period our brain needs to adjust to the sound of any given pair of speakers (or headphones, receivers, preamps, etc.) It’s our brain’s ability (reflex) to adjust to the environment. That’s the purpose of the central nervous system, to interact with the world outside.

We listen to the music through our brains, our ears are just the receptors. Brain does interpretation of the information which comes in from these receptors. It’s been a complex way the musical image has been created. So, with any new pair of speakers, since they have different sonics from speakers that brain has used to listen, it needs time to adjust the way that music should sound (ignoring any unnecessary information in order to assemble the musical image). Literally, our brain learns how to listen to these particular pair of speakers.

An example of what I’m trying to say: Maybe you have friend who listens to his music on a laptop through cheap plastic speakers. Probably he has listened to them for a couple of months. That ‘breaking-in’ has already happened. If you have a decent stereo system at your home, then the first time you hear your friend’s speakers will be awful experience. They will sound like crap, because cheap speakers can’t reproduce the same way your system can. In other words you don’t get the same sonic experience out of these speakers that you’ve been used to with your own stereo. But wait for a while, sit down and listen for a couple of hours, hear some of your favourite albums. At some point you will notice these plastic boxes sound better than in the first minutes you’ve heard them. I’m sure most of you have had such experience with some speakers or headphones. That was an example I’ve experienced on my own. And I gave it because cheap speakers would always sound worse than any good stereo set. With expensive speakers it depends. Initially, some may sound bad, some may sound good. But after some time, they will definitely sound better in our mind. And that’s due to the brain adjustment, not because of breaking-in.

There is interesting episode about breaking-in from Andrew Robinson’s channel here on Youtube. He thinks break-in doesn’t exist, too. How he came to this conclusion? One day a friend of him just asked, ‘Why after some period of time speakers always sound better? Why they never sound worse?’ Watch the episode, it suggests the idea of taking notes during initial and subsecuent listening sessions to justify is there really any difference in presentation.

In the Albums view, I use two virtual tags (named V_SinglesTitle and V_SinglesComment) to change specifically the layout of my custom compilation albums (named "Singles"). The tags don't change the default layout for the standard albums.

The tag V_SinglesTitle:

$If(<Album Artist>="Various Artists",$If(<Album>="(Singles)",[<Artist>"]   "{font: Segoe UI Semibold;Regular;10}<Title>,<Title>),<Title>)

The result:

Unfortunately the font Segoe UI Semibold is slightly truncated (see the "g" letters). The problem is that, in the Albums view, the lines are not adjusted depending on the font size specified in the virtual tag. Because the semibold font is slightly fatter than the regular font defined in the Views Configuration (and although they have here the same size in pt), it is truncated.

It's obvious with a bigger font (Segoe UI Semibold;Regular;14):

I can use a smaller font size than 10 for the bold but then it will not be uniform / harmonious with the regular font.

This is a significant limitation of the configuration of the layout with virtual tags because this means that any font bigger or fatter than the (regular) font set in the Views configurations dialog will be truncated.

MusicBee Wishlist / Reopen the Preferences at the tab it was closed
« on: January 15, 2023, 10:53:15 AM »
It would be handy if the Preferences dialog could reopen at the same tab it was previously closed (e.g. Layout (1), or Library, or Tags(1)...)

Of course this would be applicable only for the time of the current MB session (reset to the General tab after a MB restart).

Questions / Albums view: Sort titles inside albums
« on: January 14, 2023, 04:53:30 PM »

In the view Albums, is it possible to sort the tracks by a tag other than the track number?

I have a special album in which I drop all the singles (so a sort of huge compilation album, with Album Artist = 'Various Artists')
I don't want to set track numbers for this album because the content changes very often. I would like the tracks to be sorted automatically by Artist.

By default, when the tracks are not numbered, the tracks are sorted by Title, if this can be changed somewhere?

My idea is to use a virtual tag to apply a specific sorting for the tracks in this album only.


This option is very nice, happy that it exists:

It seems a new column is started only when the preceding column has reached 6 tracks. That's nice too for a nice layout.

When the option "restrict number of columns" is set to 2 or 3, I found one album for which the layout seems not to work completely as it should. The album has 6 tracks (so they fit in only one column) and the titles are quite long. There are plenty of space to display the titles entirely, but yet they are truncated:

When the option "restrict number of columns" is unchecked or set to 1, the titles are displayed entirely:

When the number of columns is the same from one state of the option to another, the titles should be displayed the same. Here of course I would like the titles not to be truncated...

PS: that would be nice to have the same option in the Album and Tracks view. Currently there is the option "Display tracks as a single column list", which is not as flexible of course (unability to select precisely 2 or 3 columns)


I find surprising, not intuitive, and not very desirable that when we double-click a tab (Music, Now Playing, Playlist...) this starts the playing of all the content in the main view (and replace the current playing queue at the same time). It's easy to double click by mistake on a tab in some contexts (HTPC...)

What do you think of this feature?

Currently all the entries in the jumpbar (A-Z letters or years) are always available, even if the corresponding entries in the main view are not displayed (because they don't exist or are filtered out).

For example, if the main view is sorted by artists, and no artists in the main view begin with the 'm' or 'n' letters, yet these letters are still usable in the jumpbar. Clicking on 'm' or 'n' will jump to the next artist available in the main view, so for example an artist that begins with the letter 'o'.

When we click on a letter in the jumpbar we expect to jump to an entry with this letter and not to another letter, so the current behavior lacks of predictability / accuracy.

So it would be nice if all the letters currently not available in the main view could be greyed out and disabled in the jumpbar. That is, the availability of the letters in the jumpbar would adjust in 'real time" depending of the current entries in the main view. The jumpbar would inform accurately of what is available and what is not in the main view at the moment, and would only allow to jump to available entries, which seems after all very logical. Thus the jumpbar would be accurate, handier, and faster to use.

And I think this could be also very helpful in conjunction with the jumpbar option 'Enable multi caracters search'. After each new character selected in the jumpbar the remaining characters available in the jumpbar would narrow depending of the matching content in the main view. So a kind of input assistant. It could be very efficient.

Bug Reports / Artwork: "Link the picture to this track" not saved
« on: January 07, 2023, 12:11:38 PM »
With MB 3.5b3

First, my artwork settings in the Preferences:

When I add an artwork to an album with these settings, the artwork is correctly embedded into the music files and correctly saved into the folder which contains the files. But in the Artwork tab in the file properties the checkbox "Link the picture to this music track" always remains unchecked, and only the Embedded artwork is available.

So the Album Artwork Manager detects that the files don't match the storage preferences too.

A link to an animated screenshot of the problem:

PS: this was working before. For albums added earlier, the two artworks (embedded and in the folder location) appear correctly in the Artwork tab. The problem is for new albums (or if I delete artworks of an existing album and try to add them again).

Bug Reports / Alignment problem in the Folder browser
« on: January 06, 2023, 11:03:06 PM »
MB 3.5b3

There is a problem with the alignment of the folders in the folder browser.

Reproduced when it is placed in the left main panel, and when "Show Filtered Folders only" is activated.

The alignment seems then messy.


When entries (albums, tracks, artists, groups...) are sorted by a given tag in ascending order, the entries for which the tag is empty are displayed at the top of the lists / views.

This is not a good behavior from a user experience perspective.

Just an example. In the screenshot below the albums are grouped by decade in ascending order, and the group which contains albums without a specified year appears at the top of the list ("Unknown Decade"). Not very nice...

This behavior is of course everywhere in the program. Just another example, in the column browser, the [Unknown] entry appears at the top of the list in ascending order, as soon as the tag is missing for an entry:

I know that for a computer scientist or simply any Windows power user, empty entries are always sorted before anything else in a list in ascending order. But it is not about compliance with computer conventions but improvement of the user experience.

There can be many situations when we want or have to leave some tags empty, for specific purposes. And sometimes we just haven't found the right info to put in the tag for an album, a title, etc. Displaying the empty entries in first position is as if the program constantly shows us the tagging gaps first, and this is not nice. By definition, for a simple end user of the program (and not a "tag administrator") these are just irrelevant, not specified, entries. As a simple user, if I want to sort my albums by a tag in ascending order of course I don't want to see the albums without the tag in first position...

So, when sorting / grouping in views and panels (the user interface), always leave entries with empty tags at the bottom of the lists should be IMO at least an option.

The desired behavior is implemented for example in the tables in In this page:
Sort the table by the Year column. There are many compilations without year indicated in this table, and they remain at the bottom of the list. The other behavior would just be painful.


I have some personal albums that have no "Year" tag set (mainly albums to handle singles).

When my albums are sorted by Year (ascending), these albums are always the first in the lists (in column browser, main view...)

Same with Artist, when the tag is empty. For some reasons I have a few titles with the Artist tag empty, and they are displayed first in the lists ("[Unknown]")

I would like that these empty entries to be always displayed at the end of any (ascending or descending) list when sorted by this tag. Seems sensible, no?.

Any idea (other than to set a value in these tags)?

Is it a request to make to the developer?


Bug Reports / Titles are not filtered in Album view with a search
« on: January 01, 2023, 03:32:18 PM »

With MB 3.5.8384

I hope it's an oversight and not by design...

In the Albums Covers view, the results of a search (with the search field in the top bar) is not filtered as in the Album and Tracks view.


I look for the title "Hyacinth House". Currently, when "Hya" is searched with the search field, only the albums that contain a title with the string "Hya" are indeed displayed, but the problem is all the titles in these albums remain visible :

So we have to find ourselves where the matching title(s) is (are) in the album(s). So it is really not efficient to reach and play quickly a title we want.

Of course I can use the Album and Tracks view, but I prefer the Albums Covers view. I really don't understand why this behavior. It seemed to me that it was working the right way before.

Moreover, when using the column browser in the Albums Covers view, the titles inside the albums are then correctly filtered, so, beside it is not handy, this is not a consistent behavior IMO.


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