Author Topic: replicate my PC files and playlists in new laptop  (Read 9134 times)


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Hiya. Long-time MB fan here. I just got a laptop, and want to replicate my files and playlists in the laptop so that I can rate songs and such and have those changes appear in the PC collection too. The size of my collection far exceeds the space in the laptop, so I just want to access it in the PC.

I’ve made some progress, but I'm stumped. I found a few similar requests in the forum that went unanswered, so I’m hoping a fresh request will get a response. (I also think it would super fantastic if this solution can be posted in the Tips & Tricks section. If some hero helps me solve this, I'll add the complete how-to there. I can also do the same for the success I had with remote listening via my Android using MusicBee Remote and SoundWire.) But for now ... my deal:

* I'm not a complete tech dummy, but I'm definitely a tech toddler at most.
* I've got a large collection of FLACs (230 GB) in my (Win 8.1) PC. (I have everything backed up on an external drive, but I play the songs in the PC.) I just upgraded to the most recent version of MB.
* I just got a (Win 10) laptop. I've downloaded the latest MB to the laptop.
* I've set up a home group linking the two computers.
* I've played with the laptop's navigation and device settings and the like. I have managed two partial successes.

Success #1: I can access my PC collection in the laptop via the DEVICES portion of the left sidebar. I can play the songs, but to select them I have to find an album's particular folder via the  DEVICES route. All the collections' album folders are shown in the left sidebar as now being in a folder called STORAGE that I didn't create.

REQUEST#1: HOW DO I GET MY ENTIRE COLLECTION TO SHOW UP IN THE MAIN PANEL? (Lower down I share the preferences I'm currently working with.)

Success #2: I've managed to be able to see my PC's playlists in the left sidebar, but the paths all lead to the PC collection.

REQUEST #2: HOW DO I GET THE PLAYLISTS INCLUDED IN THE LEFT SIDEBAR TO FUNCTION PROPERLY? (Below I relate what efforts I've made, including remapping playlist paths.)

(* More on what happens with my left sidebar playlists: If I right-click on a playlist and select "play shuffled," nothing happens. If I right-click and select "open in new tab," the tab shows up but the panel is still empty. If I double-click the playlist's tracks show in the main panel with warning icons noting the path is funky: "The source file for track X could not be found. Would you like to locate it?" Of course, that's not the most efficient approach. )
DEVICES: I've configured my PC collection as a virtual device. In those settings I've got:
* checked: synchronise music: all music
* checked: synchronise playlists: all playlists
* checked: folders
 In the FOLDERS settings, under CHOOSE FOLDERS I've added a network share to the PC collection, but when I exit out of that back to the DEVICES Music settings the path that shows up next to the checked "folders" is not the path to the PC.
* checked: automatically synchronise when the device is connected.
* media storage\storage path: [myPC]\Users\kjn\Music\[my PC folder holding my collection in folders by album]\
* checked: Organise Library files
* move: music on drive: [myPC]\Users\kjn\Music\[my PC folder holding my collection in folders by album]\[one album of music to test] to folder: C:\Users\KJN\Music\MusicBee
I've also tried remapping the playlists paths. Nothing happens.
ERROR MESSAGES I'VE RECEIVED from various efforts
1. the storage folder
 [myPC]\Users\kjn\Music\[my PC folder holding my collection in folders by album]\
 no longer exists and may need to be changed in the device synch preferences
I got this message while working in what appears to be the VIRTUAL DEVICE Preferences settings. Except, (a) I'm not able to rename the "storage" folder that got created so it matches that path, and (b) I’m not able to change the path in the checked FOLDERS item. (I've tried this with that FOLDERS item both checked and unchecked; nothing happens.)
2. I've also gotten this message (but I can't remember which attempt produced it):
 MusicBee v3.1.6466.36486 (WinlO.O), 14 Oct
 2017 9:11:
 System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot
 be null.
 Parameter name: key
 at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary
 2.FindEntry(TKey key)
 at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary
 2.TryGetValue(TKey key, TValue& value)
 at MusicBee.Media.StorageManager.
 4 = qXe 10HU
 $XIwOtvakOfnPQpsCHdCWl OcyvcH5yGrPFUj4
 = (String #= qQvIOiKPFX8V5wpIUzhDGkQ= =)
 at MusicBee.MusicßeeMain.
 #=qg_Kuj B4z2UaL3OJO
 $VKBOg = = (# =qWoQWRZNgnM2ktgs7Wpozro
 ovm FXIehSaWxLKBHzX4=
 # =q 1 H7AIjIo6g mHO7l V2eXTq7CZMx_OAXF6s0
 ye6Pq2_DY=, Boolean #=q4f
 $vLr2D6K4mVwRJ9SXsofTVKXsSM iLiPy27foSL2
 78=, #=qoBhjsWBkbHkoRU R9ios_$g = =
 #=q61-fto3g3c8en9wmRkqPN6og= =1
 #=q_gAUeDk44XKgfALHrCvqOXTg KVT3c8I D81f
 VpweVSM= #=qoj8GSODgu_iGPYavO1TZ70
 $$aJ24u$LIvN6JSOHcetM=, Boolean
 U El Ro =,
 #=qOCeDW]6sG_Zhl epKSuJsr2GMEjkF9KTOb2
 MfLP4GMbI= #=qZLElnOWqBji$7hyb2BZuiA==,
 $Ktwo2Um3fqDyw= [j
 qWe1jESDhEjOAgTnVRNwTkJ.YK1 D9XBgz85
 CMVaYehQk, Boolean
 #=qnP5XWClnhtFx5NI8c6Xl DjFLkMKMWucenC
 _Ou9LbRaU =)
3. I got this message: COPY FAILED: ACCESS DENIED from trying to send a PC track to the laptop's MUSIC folder.

Waaa!!  :'(
I know there's a "Sharing a Library over LAN" posting in Tips & Tricks, but that concerns having the collection in Dropbox. My FLAC collection is 230 GB and I don't want to pay for cloud storage. I realize I might be able to just use one of my external hard drives and have both computers access the music from the same drive, but is that my only option? Because I'd really like to just access the PC collection via my laptop.

Thanks so much (in advance) to the hero(es) who help me solve this. Again, once all is up and running, I'll create a Tips & Tricks post to help others seeking the same solution.



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I have my library (\\DESKTOP\MB\) and all my music files (\\DESKTOP\Music\*) on my desktop computer in windows shares.  All of the files in my library are referenced by network location (\\DESKTOP\Music\*) rather than by drive and directory (D:\Music\*).

On my laptop, I set musicbee to use this library by network reference.  Actually, looking, I have it this way on my Desktop too even though I guess it doesn't need to be.

Under Preferences \ Tags1 I set Artist Pictures Location and Soundtrack Pictures Location with network references.

I use Minilyrics and the plugin here for that, so I have minilyrics send lyrics to a network share on my desktop (\\DESKTOP\Lyrics) from both installations and that way they both get the same sets of lyrics without duplication. I also set this as the directory in that plugin within MusicBee on both installations.

This way, everything just works.  You have two separate installations and can have different layouts, but everything is working off the same library.  Using one is just like using the other, because they're both set to work off of network location references.  You could set it up on 3, 4,5 computers this way and still have one library, one set of artist photos, one set of music files, one set of lyrics, and no hassle trying to sync everything to everything else.  Metadata you edit anywhere is edited in the main file.  The benefits of this setup are endless.

One great side effect, you can start playing a playlist shuffled on one computer, go to the other computer, and your Now Playing will be what you were listening to on the first computer so you can pick up right where you left off.

No Dropbox involved, don't even need an internet connection, just LAN. No copying files back and forth.  

The key is to have your music files referenced by network location in your library.  I already did, having moved my library over from Mediamonkey where I had a similar setup.  If you don't, I think you can map it this way under File->Library->Remap Music Folders, but I'm not sure because I didn't need to do that.  The better option would probably be to "Move" (Not really moving of course, but re-referencing) the files to their network location under "Send to->Folder (Move)->Move to Organized Folder," changing the local reference to the network reference permanently there (with the "To Folder" checkbox selected and the naming template deselected).  That just feels more sticky to me, but, again, I didn't have to do that so I'm not 100% on it.

You have to be careful not to have both running at the same time or you lose data (play stats).  I have had them both open by mistake at times and noticed no ill effects other than that.

I based the setup on that "Sharing a Library over LAN" posting in Tips & Tricks (sort of, I think, to know what to set) but modified it in my head for local shares rather than internet shares.

That's the basics of my setup.  I don't really remember the specifics of what I did, but I think that covers it. I wish I had kept better track of what I was doing as I did it.  I just basically got up and running on the Desktop with no local file references and then got to work on the laptop using that rough guide and poking around until it worked.
Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 04:14:26 PM by frankz


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Thank you, thank you, Frankz. I'll try out your suggestions as soon as I can. I greatly appreciate your advice! Rapunza