What's new in Music Collector for macOS?
A small update to the Music Collector for Mac software today, just to help you make the switch to the Music Connect web-based software.
We have received feedback from Music Collector users that they were missing some fields in Music Connect / Cloud, so 2 weeks ago we updated Connect to add many of those requested fields.
We had tested our software on Big Sur betas before the actual Big Sur release and did not find any problems. However, as soon as Big Sur went live, users started reporting crashes in various areas of the program, mainly when syncing and after adding or editing entries.
With the help of these users, and after trying several test builds with them, we have finally resolved all known crashes, which has resulted in today’s v20.2 Big Sur compatible release.
If you are using Big Sur, we strongly recommend updating to this v20.2 version.
Finally, if you still see problems on Big Sur with this new version, please us know, so that we can fix any remaining bugs.
Faster CLZ Cloud syncing!
We have made several structural changes to the CLZ Cloud syncing, making it much much faster than before, especially when syncing large amounts of entries up to the CLZ Cloud or down from the CLZ Cloud.
To enjoy the faster syncing, you need to use the actual Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.
(The Auto-Syncing in the background is also slightly faster now, but if you need to sync many entries up or down, please use the Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.)
- Link to Core: changing the search criteria could crash the program
- Add screen: changed the “already in collection” font color in dark skin to be more readable
- Main screen: The “Rating” column could not be moved to a different place
- Improved cover scaling for syncing
- Field Defaults: Location field was missing
- Manage pick lists: Compositions: next/previous buttons wouldn’t save certain fields
- Editing an album could multiple the length (time) of an album
- Subtrack length wasn’t shown in the template
Now uses our brand-new CLZ Cloud Sync-server
Previously one big server was handling the Connect website, the CLZ Cloud website AND the CLZ Cloud syncing from the desktop programs and the mobile apps.
But this week we have set up a brand-new dedicated Sync-server to handle just the CLZ Cloud syncing.
In today’s update, Music Collector has been updated to sync through this new server, which should result in faster syncing and a more stable syncing experience during high load times (weekends).
- For some users, the database conversion of version 20.0.3 caused the loss of data in their User Defined Fields. This problem has been resolved now.
If you lost UDF data, please contact us so that we can help you get the data back.
- Add screen results: you couldn’t filter on a format (such as vinyl/cd etc.)
The year “twenty-twenty” is coming up, so here’s Music Collector v20 for macOS!
In this release we added support for the macOS Dark/Light Mode and enhanced the CLZ Cloud syncing system with many new fields and back cover images.
As you probably know, macOS Catalina (version 10.15) was released earlier this week.
In Catalina, Apple has made two major changes, that will affect all software that you run on your Mac:
- All programs you use need to be 64-bit. No more support for 32-bit applications!
- All programs you download outside the App Store need to be notarized (=approved) by Apple.
Of course, our Music Collector software has been a 64-bit application since version 18.1 (April 2018). And this week, we got it approved and notarized by Apple too!
So today, we released Music Collector 19.1, 64-bit and notarized, so fully Catalina compatible!
Music Collector version 19 has arrived! Here’s what’s new:
- Manage multiple “collections” within one database file
- Automatic Cloud-syncing of your own “custom” images
- A new super-adaptive “Flex” template for the Details Panel
Read on for the full details:
The Add Albums Automatically screen is now called “Add Albums from CLZ Core” and includes improvements to make it both easier-to-use and easier-on-the-eye.
- Single Search Box: Just one box for searching (e.g. like Google or Amazon). No more separate Artist and Title boxes. Just enter (part of) the artist’s name and (part of) the title and you will get the best matching results. (see the screen shot below with “metallica justice” results”)
- Big blue buttons for the main actions, Searching and Adding, can’t miss ’em 🙂
- Automatic Preview, just select a result (no more need for double clicking)
- Use the popup in the “Add” button to change it to add to “Collection” or “Wish List”
- Easier way of adding multi-disc albums: Add multi-disc albums by selecting multiple results from your search. Just check the boxes next to the results to compile a multi-disc album and add it to your collection straight away:
Adding Multi-Disc Albums by Artist and Title:
Adding Multi-Disc Albums by Barcode:
Adding Multi-Disc Albums by Barcode:
A couple of weeks ago, our CLZ Cloud (and Music Connect) has been updated with 8 more fields and loan information. Today’s version 18.3 now supports the syncing of all these new fields and your loan information to the CLZ Cloud and your CLZ Music mobile app!
Added for syncing:
- Sortname for composers
- Original Release Date
- Media Condition
- Vinyl Color
- Vinyl Weight
- Vinyl RPM
- Disc Titles
Heads up: after updating to version 18.3, the software will automatically mark most of your albums as “changed”, to force the upload of your data for the new fields to the CLZ Cloud.
New versions of CLZ Music for iOS and Android will be available in the coming days to allow the new fields to be synced there too!
As indicated in last week’s GDPR email, we are updating our software and services, to be more secure and to better protect your privacy.
Starting with version 18.2, Music Collector now uses secure HTTPS connections for all communications with our servers:
- for logging in with your username and password
- for syncing your data with CLZ Cloud
- for sending your searches to Core.
To make this possible, we have created new secure “entry points” on our servers, that are only allowing secure HTTPS connections. The new Music Collector software only communicates with those secure entry points.
For your privacy and security, we strongly recommend updating to version 18.2.
Never a dull moment at the CLZ HQ… Here we were, working on nice improvements for our software, when suddenly… the guys at Apple had a brainwave: In their ultimate wisdom, they decided to start phasing out 32-bit applications.
Since April 12, users of macOS High Sierra are getting a “not optimized for your Mac” warning when they start a 32-bit application. Which includes the Music Collector software for macOS 🙁
On top of that, Apple have already stopped allowing 32-bit applications in their App Store and rumours are that they may even stop supporting 32-bit applications in a future version of macOS, requiring every application to be 64-bit!
Of course, we were already aware that Apple would be going this route some day; the rumours have been around for quite a while. So we had already been working on a 64-bit version of our software, as a “back-burner project”.
But the introduction of last week’s “not optimized” warnings suddenly made this a high-priority project. So… we dropped everything we were doing and finalized our 64-bit project. And I am happy to report:
A fully 64-bit v18.1 version of Music Collector is available now!
Not exactly what we were planning to do this month, but hey, this is what the Update Plans are for: your guarantee that we deal with everything the world throws at us 🙂
Version 18 is finally here! And it not only bring the promised Auto-Cloud-Syncing, but also many improvements to the main screen, making it both faster and more stable.
NEW: Fully Automatic CLZ Cloud Syncing!
The free CLZ Cloud service is at the center of all our cataloging solutions (desktop, mobile and web), the glue that binds them all together.
Tens of thousands of users are using the CLZ Cloud syncing every day, to transfer data between their desktop, Connect and mobile software, to update their online collection list, or simply for keeping an online backup of their precious database.
Now, it is time to take the CLZ Cloud to the next level, with automatic syncing:
Add or edit albums in Music Collector and these changes will auto-upload to the CLZ Cloud instantly. Did you make changes using the CLZ Music mobile app or directly in Music Connect? Just start your software and changes will download automatically.
No more need to go to the Sync with CLZ Cloud screen, ever.
With “Sync Automatically” switched on…
- Your online cloud backup is always up-to-date.
- Your cloud viewer always shows the current state of your collection.
- All your CLZ tools (desktop, mobile and Connect) will always be in-sync.
Automatic Cloud Syncing is an optional feature, switched OFF by default. If you don’t want to auto-sync, or don’t want to sync with the CLZ Cloud at all, just leave it switched OFF.
Main screen now faster and more stable
In the past few months, we have spent a lot of time rewriting important parts of the main screen. For instance, the code that refreshes the folder panel (which was slow, especially with the “counters” switched on) and also the part that restores your selection in the list after editing. At the same time, we reduced the program’s “memory footprint”, making it more stable overall.
The result is that the program is now a lot more enjoyable to use. It starts quicker, it refreshes much faster (after adding or editing) and switching between folder types is quicker.
The speed-up will be most noticeable on large collections, with thousands of albums. Especially when having LOTS of folders in the folder panel (e.g. Artist folders).
- Cloud syncing:
- After duplicating an album, the duplicate would not be marked for syncing to cloud.
- In some situations, a down-sync could update empty fields with data from Core.
- In some situations, cover images would not upload automatically.
- Main screen:
- For startup performance, the program now always starts in album view.
- After editing, the edited items would not be selected after refresh.
Our web-team has been working on this for a long time, but it is now LIVE: a new search engine for Artist/Title searches in our Core online music database and Discogs. An engine that is both better and much, much faster!
And the good news is: these are all “server-side” changes, which means you don’t need to update your Music Collector software, CLZ Music app or Music Connect web-app. Everyone can now instantly enjoy the benefits, no matter which version of the software you have :-).
Next week, Apple will release the new macOS 10.13 “High Sierra”.
If you are planning to update your Mac to this new OS, then we strongly recommend to update your Music Collector software to today’s version 17.0.4!
Music Collector problems on High Sierra:
We have been testing our software on beta versions of High Sierra for quite a while, to make sure we were ready for it’s release. We found that most of the software seems to be working as normal.
Unfortunately, we found a big problem in the Preferences screen, it does not open at all anymore, making it impossible to make any changes to program settings.
Luckily, our Mac developer Ronald was able to fix the Preferences screen to make it work on the new macOS. A fix was released today, in version 17.0.4.
- Preferences screen didn’t load properly on macOS 10.13 “High Sierra”.
- Upload Cover to CLZ Core: Images were not always uploaded properly even if they were within the 500KB file size limit.
- Main Screen: Quick Search: Occasional crashes in the quick search when using the “Search-as-you-type” suggestions.
- Sync with CLZ Cloud: Sometimes crashed during the upload of covers.
Great news for vinyl collectors: our web-developers Joe and Robbert have revised and improved our Discogs search mechanisms, to give you more up-to-date Discogs data and more images.
Quick Search: Search-As-You-Type suggestions
Instantly find and select a particular album in your local database:
- In the Quick Search box, just start typing the first few letters of the artist or title you are looking for.
- While typing, a drop-down list will appear, showing the first five matching albums.
(for most albums, it only takes 2 or 3 letters before it shows up.)
- Once you see the one you were looking for, use the up/down keys to select it, then hit Enter.
- The album will now be selected in your list, with the details showing in the Details Panel.
NOTE: this Search-As-You-Type feature replaces the old “filter-as-you-type” behaviour of the Quick Search box. If you want to go back to the old behaviour, you can do so in the Preferences screen, on the Behaviour page using the setting called “When typing in Quick Search box”.
CLZ Cloud: Now stores and syncs *your* track lists
- The CLZ Cloud system now supports the storing and syncing of track lists.
(previously, track lists were always shared from Core)
- For each track, the CLZ Cloud now stores Title, Artist and Length.
- Now store and sync your own customized track titles and artists.
- Now store and sync track lists for unlinked albums (e.g. manually entered or imported).
- NOTE: after updating your Music Collector software, ALL your albums will be flagged as CHANGED,
so that they will be re-uploaded to the CLZ Cloud!
BTW: To sync track lists to the CLZ Music app, you need
version 4.2.4 for iOS or version 4.3.6 for Android! (both released today)
CLZ Cloud: Improved syncing of Artist Sort Names
- Improved storing of Album Artists in the CLZ Cloud.
- Now correctly sync Artist Sort Names to/from the mobile apps.
- Fixed: difference in sorting between folder panel and album panel in the CLZ Cloud viewer.
New view for the main screen: Card View
Next to List View, Images View and Cover Flow, we have added a Card View, a multi-column view with little info cards for each album, showing the main album details and a small cover thumbnail.
Delete Orphaned Images
Clean up your hard-disk by deleting all unused cover images and thumbnails.
- This tool scans your configured Images Folder or database container to find all images
that are not linked to your current database file.
- Browse the list of found orphaned images in List or Images View.
Check thoroughly to make sure these can all be deleted.
- Finally, use the red “Delete Selected Images” button,
and all “checked” images will be removed from your computer.