Author Topic: Multiple Discreet Libraries and how to maintain them  (Read 3314 times)

Sebasistan

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So I want to maintain two completely separate and discreet libraries on my PC.

One library as a "master" library of files, many uncompressed / lossless, and another library that's a mirror for my portable devices with a lot of the same files, but in compressed, lossy formats. I keep those two libraries on the same hard disc, but under different paths, something like I:\Music and I:\Portable. There should be no confusion as to what's supposed to be in what library and what library should be open at any given time. Somehow MusicBee doesn't seem to want maintaining that distinction, and I don't see how to make it do that.

I was rearranging a few things in the portable library while adding files in Windows Explorer to the location of the master library, and SOMEHOW - because MB monitors the master folders - the added files for the master library showed up in the portable one. And now this keeps on going, with more and more "master" entries appearing in the "portable" library. And I don't see how to either stop or reverse it.

Also I don't see how you can delete or modify an existing library, as under MusicBee > file > libraries I only see options of adding NEW libraries, and in the preferences > library option I can only tick what folders MusicBee monitors, but not whether or not those folders are supposed to show up in any specific library.

I'm sure I'm missing something here, because what's the point of offering separate libraries if the program can't seem to differentiate between them?

Sebasistan

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Basically it looks like when I select my portable library, ALL files show up, portable AND master.

When I select the master library, only the master library files show up.

So at least I don't get all the files all the time. But I really want to maintain a difference between these two, so I can easier edit tags and album art...

psychoadept

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Hi, welcome to the forum!

A few things that might help:

Library Preferences are saved per library. So for whatever library is active, only monitor the folders you want for that library. Other preferences are universal.

The only way to delete a library is to delete the .mbl file directly through your file explorer.

If you have monitored folders configured per library and you're still getting files in the wrong place, please document the steps that causes those.

Finally, some folks find it easier to maintain separate libraries by using separate installations of MusicBee (the portable version can be installed multiple times in different folders).
Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 06:59:41 PM by psychoadept
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Sebasistan

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A couple of questions:

What is the difference between having folder in the preferences > Library tab monitored, and having a library created from MusicBee > File > Libraries? I had only the master library monitored. And it seems that adding things to the master library file locations while the portable library was open was what crossed MB's wires. I've added the portable library folder to the monitored folders in preferences as well. I'm now also rebuilding the portable library and have the library files saved inside the same folder as the music files instead of on C: in my user directory.

And honestly I don't know why I keep getting the files from the master mixed in with the portable files. The portable library also contains straight up doubles, since I copied a lot of files from the master folder into the portable mirror - and then added compressed files created from the .wav's and .flac files in the master library. So when I opened the portable library, I kept getting all the doubles.

Now after rebuilding the portable library that way it seems to hold. For now. The odd thing too was that after creating the portable library, INITIALLY it worked as intended, but then after switching around between libraries and adding new files to the master file folder things got screwy. I'll have an eye on this...

psychoadept

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What is the difference between having folder in the preferences > Library tab monitored, and having a library created from MusicBee > File > Libraries?

Creating a new library literally creates a new .mbl file and a few associated files on your drive. The library files don't care where they are; the location of the audio files in your library is totally separate. Monitoring a folder is a library setting. You can have a library without having any monitored folders. Any folders that are monitored for a library will be included in that library.

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I had only the master library monitored. And it seems that adding things to the master library file locations while the portable library was open was what crossed MB's wires. I've added the portable library folder to the monitored folders in preferences as well.

From what you describe, you *don't* want to have both folders monitored by either library, because that will have the same result that you didn't want. You want to monitor only the folder associated with your currently active library.

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The portable library also contains straight up doubles, since I copied a lot of files from the master folder into the portable mirror - and then added compressed files created from the .wav's and .flac files in the master library. So when I opened the portable library, I kept getting all the doubles.

If you have a monitored folder, all files from that folder will be included in the library. So if you have duplicates in the folder, they will show up in your library.

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The odd thing too was that after creating the portable library, INITIALLY it worked as intended, but then after switching around between libraries and adding new files to the master file folder things got screwy. I'll have an eye on this...

It's certainly possible that a bug exists. I've had separate libraries with separate monitored folders that I copied files between, and never noticed an issue of the wrong files showing up, though.

Like I said, you can have a library without monitored folders. If it would make things simpler, just scan the folders manually from time to time instead of monitoring.

Added: on thinking more about monitored folders and moving files around, it is possible that if you had MusicBee open and moved files belonging to the active library to another location, that MusicBee would still keep them in the library in the new location. Once a file is in your library, it will stay there as long as MusicBee can keep track of where it is.
Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 09:01:39 PM by psychoadept
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Sebasistan

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So I have now rebuilt the secondary library, removed the monitored folders from the preferences menu and removed a reference to the master library from the library settings for the secondary library manually. But still, the secondary library keeps getting the master library files added.

This also only happens way around. ALL files from the master library are added to the secondary ON TOP of the secondary files. But the master library does not also have the secondary files added to it, so apparently this is one directional...

Now that I took the monitored folders out of the preferences, I'll rebuild the portable library once again. When scanning the folder the files are located in, MusicBee does display the correct number of files to scan. It's only after MB is up and running for a bit that the master library somehow sneaks in to the secondary one. I can't figure out how that happens. I mean, even with folders monitored, if the monitored folders aren't specified for a library when you create it, they shouldn't appear in that library then, right?

psychoadept

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No, when you make a new library it shouldn't have any monitored folders. The first time you go into library preferences after creating the library, the settings should be default, including no monitored folders and no auto-organize.

If it happens again with a new library, maybe post a screenshot of your library settings and also of the wrong files in your library (display Path in the main panel to see the directory)
Last Edit: October 19, 2020, 09:33:13 PM by psychoadept
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Sebasistan

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Uhm.

So this is getting really weird.

I unchecked the "continuously monitor" folders in the preferences, restarted MB, and rebuilt my main library. Thought everything was fine, nothing strange happened for half an hour. I went back to writing and listening to music in the background. Then suddenly MB jolts - and adds all the secondary library entries back into the main library.

I go check the preferences because by all means this should no longer happen. And... The "continously monitor" folders are somehow back? What the hell is going on?

Sebasistan

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So, I unchecked the boxes again. Clicked apply. Clicked save. Exited MB. Restarted MB. Checked preferences - And they're AGAIN checked.

Unchecked boxes, switched to "check at startup only," apply, save, quit, restart - and now this apparently stuck.

Since I don't see how I can untangle the integrated master library without erasing and rebuilding I'm doing that again now, and hope that wrenching the monitored folders from the preferences a) sticks and doesn't magically revert again and b) that this is the issue that keeps "integrating" my libraries...

Also, unrelated, I had changed the cover art for a lot of albums and now after rebuilding the libraries, those too have somehow reverted back to their originals that I wanted to get rid of.

Tell me the truth: is my copy of MusicBee cursed? ;(

psychoadept

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Ha, I doubt it's cursed but I get the frustration. You say the album art reverted, which means you probably stored the new art in a different way than the old art. When recreating the library, it probably scanned the old artwork back in.  

Those settings are in tags (1) preferences. If you look at the artwork tab of the tag editor, you can see where any attached artwork is found when you hover over the art.
Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 02:02:52 PM by psychoadept
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vincent kars

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Quote
One library as a "master" library of files, many uncompressed / lossless, and another library that's a mirror for my portable devices with a lot of the same files, but in compressed, lossy formats.

Personally I do think maintaining 2 libraries a burden.
Why not using the synchronise option?
You create a playlist and sync this to the portable transcoding the format on the fly.

https://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/SW/Players/MusicBee/MusicBee_Sync.htm
 

Sebasistan

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Quote
One library as a "master" library of files, many uncompressed / lossless, and another library that's a mirror for my portable devices with a lot of the same files, but in compressed, lossy formats.

Personally I do think maintaining 2 libraries a burden.
Why not using the synchronise option?
You create a playlist and sync this to the portable transcoding the format on the fly.

https://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/SW/Players/MusicBee/MusicBee_Sync.htm
 

I found it easier this way to maintain a grip on how big the portable library would be, and to make sure everything is uniformly tagged.
I can see this becoming less of an issue down the line, so I might go the route you suggested eventually. After a couple of Bandcamp Fridays and Groupees bundles I started to run into storage issues on my DAPs and needed to pair down a lot of my lossless files, which resulted in me reorganizing my entire collection and the way I manage / organize my portable devices. And I think I had more control over things - ensuring uniform tagging, artworks, etc. - this way.

As to the issue itself, after making sure the "constantly monitor" folders stayed deactivated in the preferences, I have no longer had the libraries mix themselves into each other.

What I found interesting here was that it never happened to BOTH libraries, but only ever to one of them. But over re-building each of them a couple of times, it varied which of the two would get the other ones' contents inserted. So that's kind of an odd behavior...

I'll make loud noises should the issue still re-emerge, but it looks like it's been taken care of.
I guess it's a bit... Counter intuitive the way that you can have globally monitored folders and separate libraries that still include globally monitored folders - and then no good way of controlling the way individual libraries behave within MusicBee. Add to that the issue where you need to set "check at startup only" after unchecking constantly monitored folders in the preferences lest the folders just get reset to being monitored (if that makes sense) and... It's not optimal. But at least I think I now get where my problem came from. 

Sebasistan

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And - where are my manners... - thank you for helping me here.

alec.tron

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I guess it's a bit... Counter intuitive the way that you can have globally monitored folders and separate libraries that still include globally monitored folders - and then no good way of controlling the way individual libraries behave within MusicBee.
Interesting... is there no way to have a library with separately monitored folders ?

I've been thinking about adding 1-2 additional libraries to MB... but have shied away so far, due to time constraints and the un-want to not affect my 1 perfectly set up library... and I always just assumed you get per-library-path-monitoring... (? seems that's a no).

Churs.
c.

psychoadept

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Interesting... is there no way to have a library with separately monitored folders ?

I just tested to be sure. I had one library with a monitored folder. I made a new library with nothing in it. When I first went to Library Preferences, it had the same monitored folder (this should probably be corrected). But I removed that folder, and when I switched back to the first library it was still there. Switch to the second library, no monitored folder. So the setting is definitely per-library.
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