Author Topic: Classical Theater Mode Embedded (player panel replacement)  (Read 11931 times)


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This is not a 'regular' Theater Mode.
It is what is called an 'embedded theater mode'.
This one is intended for aficionados of classical music, designed to replace the regular player panel.

It makes it possible to display a variety of details about the playing track in the player panel that are interesting and relevant to classical music.

After everything has been configured it will look something like this:

On the left it displays:
- the name and an image of the composer
- the name of the overarching 'work' composition title.
- the name of the part (movement/act)
- the year(s) the composition was created
- the genre, style or period the composition is supposed to fall under

In the middle it will display:
- the title of the playing track
- the titles of upcoming tracks
   (you can click the upcoming track(s) to play them)
- the player controls

On the right it displays:

- the name of the conductor
- the name of the orchestra or ensemble
- the performers on the recording
- the date of the recording/performance
- the album artwork

Some other examples:
(using different skins)

- - -

download Classical Theater Mode Embedded

- - -


- download the xml file, and copy it to: MusicBee\Plugins\TheaterMode.Embeded\
- start MusicBee, and then somewhere at the top right of the main panel, click on the 'Configure Layout' icon > Arrange Panels…
- under 'available elements' on the right, find and select the 'now playing bar' element, and drag it to the 'bottom panel' on the left. (place it above the 'player controls' for now)
- save
- now you should have the 'now playing' panel visible at the bottom
- click the small arrow in its header somewhere at the left, and select 'Classical TM Embedded'
- drag the height of the panel so it displays all information nicely.
- return to the 'arrange panels' configuration and remove the 'player controls' from the bottom panel. (or don't, that's optional)

- - -

At first you will mostly get empty fields showing.
That is because most fields depend on custom or virtual tags, and yours will be setup different from mine.

This table shows how the 11 tags that are used for this TM are referenced in the Theater Mode XML:

regular MB tag
ID in Theater Mode XML
"hiccup's tag"
composer last name      *id="Virtual12"
composer first nameid="Virtual13"
workid="Virtual4"Work [adapt]¨
year composedid="Custom15"
titleid="Virtual11"Title [piece]¨
ensemble/orchestra id="Custom6"
performersInstruments: Performers id="instrumentsperformers"
year of performanceid="Virtual16"
* If you don't have separate tags for composers first and last names, I suggest to replace "Virtual12" with "composer", and blank "Virtual13" so it just becomes "".

You can find what defines these 11 tags in the second half of the XML.
They are all marked as a comment in the style of: <!-- tag name -->

For all of them you will find an id="tagname" field.
'tagname' should match with how you have setup your custom and/or virtual tags.

e.g. if you want to set what is displayed for 'part', change this "id=" to the tag that you are using for 'part':

I have designed this to work with my own tagging scheme for classical music as described here:
(the three tag names in green are the ones that my scheme uses for these tags)

If you are using that system, you will need to make sure that your positions for these virtual tags match the ones in the XML file. If they don't, just change the virtual tag numbers in the XML.
So if e.g. you have "Work [adapt]¨" under virtual tag #8 in MusicBee, just change "Virtual4" to "Virtual8" in the XML.

Genre, Conductor and Performers should work out-of-the-box.
The other ones will need to be set to match the tag that you are using for them.
To do so, just change what comes after "id=" to the tag that you are using for it.

- - -

MusicBee has the tags 'Work' and 'Movement' available for classical music.
If you are using those, they could probably be used for 'work' and 'part' in the XML.

- - -

New addition: composer images

Since the automated retrieval of composer images is more often a miss than a hit, I have gathered images of many composers myself that can get displayed in this Theatre Mode.

A downloadable set containing a selection of 150 of the most relevant classical composers can be downloaded here

Extract the contents of the rar file and copy them to "your MB installation path"\AppData\InternalCache\ArtistBackdrops

Note that the names of composers in your library will need to match exactly with the filenames of the .dat files for the images to get displayed.
Last Edit: May 28, 2023, 10:37:39 PM by hiccup

The Incredible Boom Boom

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This is pretty cool and I did not know the Now Playing Bar could be used like this.
Damn you for now putting something else to mess around with on my list!


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- some small tweaks and improvements on the layout
- player controls are now in the center
- composer and album images are slightly larger

The principle of tags displayed remains the same:

Also the explanation in the start post has been improved and extended to give some more insight and hopefully make things a bit easier to understand and customise.
Last Edit: April 29, 2023, 07:54:10 PM by hiccup


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- some small tweaks
- a download for a set of images for 150 of the most relevant classical composers was added