Getting good artwork and data

Questions comments and suggestions for MusicLobby 3.75
Art Dustman
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: NJ

Getting good artwork and data

Postby Art Dustman » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:15 am

I have been battling my music for almost a year now and have purchased several programs to fix covers, tags, etc. Still it always seemed to have no cover art, sometimes two, or wrong images altogether. To make matters worse, after spending so much time fixing all of them in itunes, Music lobby was showing the wrong info still! So I finally got this figured out ( I hope) with help from bits on this forum, lots of googling, and of course Dave at Cinemar.

Fixing music in general:

If you are like me and have moved your files several times, you will want to be sure that you either start with a new Music lobby database or rename the old location where the music previously resided. Ie: whatever folder musiclobby was looking at music, rename it. Even though you remove the folder from music lobby, the database will still see it. I personally recommend you start with a clean database.

Starting fresh:

Backup - in the MLserver folder under data, make a folder called musiclobby "backup mm-dd-yy" and with mlserver shut down, cut the two musiclobby files: music.mdb and music.ldb and paste into the backup folder. Now you will have no music, and no sources, etc setup. You may also want to go into your images folder and backup all the music images in the same manner.


Starting back up MLserver with Musiclobby will create a new database. Before setting up any music locations, setup any sources, screen specific thumbnail sizes, and any other options. When this is complete, save a copy to a folder you will make called "virgin music db" within the data folder. Should you ever need to reload the music database, this is where you will start -- it's better that setting up all you screen data and remote sources all over again.

Fix your music:

I use Itunes, because I have to with the iphone/ipod, but you can likely use another program. This is written using itunes, so that's all I can comment on. I have used Tuneup and rinse with decent results to fix my music. I find Tuneup fairly good, but sometimes has some strange results. If you have ripped new music using Itunes you can get the album cover there to keep your ipod happy, we can make musiclobby happy elsewhere.

Fix what Itunes doesn't do correctly:

Itunes like to keep artwork in a secret database opposed to embedding it into the MP3. I understand this is to keep the file sizes down, but it also causes chaos when music is moved or altered. Mainlobby likes either the image in the album folder, or the embedded artwork in that order. To keep everything portable, I am embedding all my artwork; damn the storage. So I use another program that does a very good job of not only embedding the image into the files, but also finds the correct artwork if missing and tells you what types of artwork is associated with the file. It will even put the artwork in a folder to make you xbox or winamp happy too. It is called iCoverArt and comes at the bargain price of $5. Googling will get you what you seek.

Installation and use:

After you install the program, you can fix 5 files at a time, however you will have to scan your entire itunes library each time and close the program. I paid the $5 and do not have to suffer that fate any longer. I did not write this program, nor do I have interest in it's success... but it worked for me, so I am happy to share with all of you. So once the files are scanned, you will see a embedded, downloaded, or something other that that. by default, all of your files are checked, one of the options will "unckeck all" then you sort by type, find all the non-embedded and add artwork where necessary. When done, I pick all the downloaded and check them. Then use the third button to embed artwork or you can do an advanced if need be. Once done, the mp3 tags are fixed.

Getting Musiclobby to understand:

Currently I only know of two ways to get musiclobby updated; (Dave add comment here) load the music database from the virgin copy, or remove the fixed music folder from it's location, then paste it back in -- causing music lobby to completely remove the tracks and re-add them. You should then see all of your artwork happy again and can verify the process thru mlworker events tab. You also have the option to add the image as folder.jpg in the album folder as well...

Hope this helps someone.


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