Author Topic: Is LinuxMCE for me?  (Read 1590 times)

MrX

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Is LinuxMCE for me?
« on: August 07, 2008, 05:36:38 pm »
Hi all!

I have a collection of about 350 audio CDs and I am planning on making them all digital. I have a few questions to decide if LinuxMCE would be useful for me.

1. Ripping CDs and keeping them organized: Is it easy to (mass)-edit ID3-tags, how about scanning album covers and making them show up? Can anyone edit files or can I have an admin-login to edit info (don't want my sons to mess up my collection).

2. I'm planning on putting everything on an external USB harddrive. Will Kubuntu/LinuxMCE run fairly smooth and can it cause problems?

3. Different hardware. Because of the mobility of an external harddrive, I will be using LinuxMCE with different computers, does Kubuntu/LinuxMCE work well if hardware is constantly changed.

4. Language/UI/use. Is it possible to get language packs? I'm not a native english-speaker and neither are my sons, is the UI simple enough for them to browse my music?.

I hope you could help me with my situation here :) thanks.

jondecker76

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2008, 06:14:13 pm »
Welcome

First, LinuxMCE is way more than a tool for digitizing /managing a music collection, and therefore you may find it much too complicated and overkill for such a simple task.

LinuxMCE is designed as an entire smart home platform - managing media, your A/V equiptment, security systems, telephone systems, Lighting, climate control systems and more. A simple example of how one might use this is coming home from work, and hitting a button on an IR Remote or a Touchscreen monitor, then your preferred thermostat setting is set, a movie comes on (including the TV turning itsself on), the lights dim, the blinds close and your phone goes to answering maching mode (or just about any kind of thing you could imagine). This is just an example of an advanced scenario one might create. LinuxMCE is also used for sharing these things throughout your entire home.

But, to answer your questions:
1) Mass editing is pretty good, but not as good as some other tools out there. It has admin tools to download cover art and attributes, etc.

2) I would not recommend running the OS off a USB hard drive, but LinuxMCE is great at managing media on local drives, USB drives, network drives and so on.

3) LinuxMCE is a bit different in this respect. You would set up one computer to be the main server (the "Core"). The rest of the computers can be low spec machines without hard drives, as they would become clients of the core and boot over the network. This isn't really a thin-client system, as local hardware is used, just that the link to the storage medium is over the network. These clients are called "Media Directors", and can also be used as Kubuntu computers from within LinuxMCE. But, LinuxMCE is very organized, so changing hardware around all the time is not recommended, as it is the systems job to manage hardware, not yours.

4) The UI is very slick and simple (IMO). There is support for other languages, but no translations have been finished yet. I do think we will see translations in the future though.

In closing - if all you want is something to manage a music collection, then there are better options out there for you. If you want to manage music, movies, pictures, your alarm system, your TV, your lights, your thermostat and other devices, give it a shot. Because of its power and flexibility, it is a little complex at first - but once you see what it can do it gets really fun
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 07:01:47 pm by jondecker76 »

MrX

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2008, 06:50:49 pm »
Thank you jondecker76, a very helpful post.

purps

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2008, 02:16:03 pm »
Why not give it a go? You have a fully functional Kubuntu desktop at your disposal as well as everything mentioned by jondecker76, so you could always do your music stuff in this with whatever program you wish. Don't forget to check out the rest of it though :-)
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Afkpuz

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2008, 07:11:25 pm »
If your main concern is music, I must sadly turn you away from linuxmce.  As of right now, the music organization and playlist stuff is not very user friendly.  Here are some problems I've found with my small music collection.

1.) CDs with multiple artists are split by artist.  So, even when sorting by album, each artist on that album gets it's own picture on the giant 3d cube.  So, my classical music CD will have 6 entries as there are 6 different artists on that CD.  Quite annoying.

2.) The album grabber doesn't let you choose 1 picture for a whole album.  each track must get it's own picture, which means you select a picture for every one of your songs.  You can get around this, but not using the cover art grabber.

3.) I have yet to find a way to add an entire album to a playlist.  It seems that you have to add each track individually. 

4.) Playlist manipulation is generally sloppy


Don't get me wrong, I love LMCE, but the music section is not where it could/should be.  I know that at least some of those issues are going to be fixed in an upcoming update, so you might want to wait till the next release. 

Also, I think that mythtv's audio integration works better than lmce.  You could go with an ubuntu+mythtv install.  That might work better for you. 

jondecker76

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2008, 08:09:53 pm »
Afkpuz:
Just one mention - most of the problems you mention are already fixed in SVN, as well as a bunch of other improvements. Next realease will be much better in respects of handling music/playlists.

tschak909

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2008, 09:01:01 pm »
adding entire albums or artists to a playlist is simple.

Simply select a track from whatever you want to pull into the playlist

when you're at the details page, you notice the black boxes on the right with attributes?

select the attribute you wish to zero in on.. if you want all tracks from the album, select the album, if you want all tracks by an artist, select the artist...

watch the list populate.

select Play All

done.

:)


Afkpuz

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2008, 09:06:18 pm »
Yea, thats what I thought and am excited to upgrade.  However, I don't know what SVN means or how to use it. 

Afkpuz

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2008, 07:24:08 am »
Thanks Thom, I never knew that.  Will definitely help me out as I like to add whole albums and let it play while I do other stuff

rodercot

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Re: Is LinuxMCE for me?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2008, 12:35:49 pm »
If your main concern is music, I must sadly turn you away from linuxmce.  As of right now, the music organization and playlist stuff is not very user friendly.  Here are some problems I've found with my small music collection.

1.) CDs with multiple artists are split by artist.  So, even when sorting by album, each artist on that album gets it's own picture on the giant 3d cube.  So, my classical music CD will have 6 entries as there are 6 different artists on that CD.  Quite annoying.

2.) The album grabber doesn't let you choose 1 picture for a whole album.  each track must get it's own picture, which means you select a picture for every one of your songs.  You can get around this, but not using the cover art grabber.

3.) I have yet to find a way to add an entire album to a playlist.  It seems that you have to add each track individually. 

4.) Playlist manipulation is generally sloppy


Don't get me wrong, I love LMCE, but the music section is not where it could/should be.  I know that at least some of those issues are going to be fixed in an upcoming update, so you might want to wait till the next release. 

Also, I think that mythtv's audio integration works better than lmce.  You could go with an ubuntu+mythtv install.  That might work better for you. 

 Afkpuz,
 
 You do know you can add a single cover art to one album via the web-admin right.

 If you goto web-admin - files and media sync.
 
 Click on your share in the left pane - then click on an artist in the left pane - then click on an album in the left pane. You should now have a list of tracks in the right pane, ignore anything that is not related to music, IE if you have your library set-up in windows as well you will likely see album art small, album art large etc...

 So what you do (I have a folder.jpg in all my music folders for each album)

 Now that you have the tracks in the right pane - at the top of that list choose edit all files in the list, that will open a new window at the bottom of that list you will browse for a jpg file do that, NOW before you attach the file uncheck anything that is not .mp3 - .flac etc.. so anything .jpg or that is not a music file or the pic will not attach. I did over 700 Albums this exact way with no issues.

 NOW one more thing - if you have ONE track that has cover art applied already then the edit all attributes will not attach the picture, what I mean by this is if there is one music file in an album that you have attached cover art to already and you are trying to edit all of them it will not attach the new file - you first need to delete the cover art for that one file and then edit or unselect that one file that has cover art when trying to edit them all.

 After the cover art is applied you will still need to edit any attributes per file of course, colinjones has mentioned you can edit attributes for an entire album as well, I have not tried this only for not knowing how LMCE applying attributes will interact with the tags already in the Album. I have all my FLAC files tagged with Mp3tag so other than having various artists on certain greatest hits albums (which I fixed in media sort by searching by album - then greatest hits - then renaming that to IE Neil Young Greatest hits or Tim McGraw Greatest hits for all the songs from that G.H. Compilation) there was no problem and all my Album Names, genres etc are well placed in the Audio UI and in fact are fully searchable. I still get the album art per performer if browsing by artist which would be normal as you attached a covert art to that song in that album and that is the artist on that particular song. It would be the same if you had the same performer on a different various hits album. It would display a diifferrent cover art for the same artist on that specific album with that specific cover art attached.

 IE I have Night at the roxbury soundtrack with a dance track (performer's name escapes me) and then the same performer on Miss Congenialities Soundtrack. I have that same performer twice in the UI with one having the Night at the Roxbury cover art and one having the Miss Congeniality sound track cover art.

 This also applies to TV shows etc...

 Regards,

 Dave
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 01:17:29 pm by rodercot »