What's new in Music Collector for Windows?
We’re well into 2021, so it’s time for Music Collector 21.
In this update we bring you a great new time-saving tool in the Add Albums screen.
New Pre-fill screen that pops up when adding albums
When adding an album to your database using the Add Album screen, it will now pop-up a new screen called “Pre-fill album details, letting you set various fields right then and there.
Fields available in the Pre-fill screen:
- Purchase Date
- Purchase Store
- Purchase Price
No more need to edit your added albums afterwards!
(BTW: of course, using the new Pre-fill screen is optional. If you don’t want to use it, just uncheck the “Show Pre-fill screen” toggle at the bottom. You can always re-enable it through the program’s Options screen.)
The Manage Pick Lists screen is one of the most important screens of your Music Collector software. This is the screen you need for:
- Merging duplicate artist entries
- Correct an Artist sort name
- Fixing typos in Genres, Tags, Locations, etc…
- Removing unused pick list entries
- etc… etc…
But… judging from daily questions in our support channels, many users don’t even know of its existence. (Hint: it can be opened from the Edit menu). So with today’s update we are aiming to increase the awareness the Manage Pick Lists screen and to make it easier to access from anywhere.
From the main screen folder panel
In the main screen, you can now easily access the Manage Pick Lists screen for the selected folder field. Just click the new button right above the folder panel:
From the Edit Album screen
The Edit Album screen now has a big Manage [..] List button at the bottom, that automatically changes to match the field you are currently at:
From the Add/Edit item screen
- Cat. Nr for box sets wasn’t showing in some templates.
- Artist links going to HTTP websites weren’t clickable in some templates.
- User Defined Yes/No fields are now available as options for the folder panel.
- Edit Multiple: Updating date fields wasn’t always working correctly if you only filled in a year.
- Edit in List: Editing the Collection Status field did not work.
- Folder panel: “Collection Status” folder option has been moved to “Personal” heading.
A big update for the Music Collector software today, with several improvements and fixes, all based on the daily feedback we are getting from our users.
Changing your folder field is now much easier
The folder panel is one of the most powerful tools of your Music Collector software. However, in our support conversations with users, we are finding that most users are always leaving their software on the out-of-the-box Artist folders and never use anything else.
Which is sad, as they are missing out on a great tool. The folder panel instantly lets you group and filter your database on other fields too, e.g. by Genre, by Studio, by Release Year by Location, etc.. Super useful and fun!
Now… I must admit that changing your folder panel to a different field was not very easy or obvious. As you had to create a “preset”, add your desired field(s), give the preset a name, save it, then finally activate the new preset in the folder panel.
So… we decided to make this all *much* easier, especially for single field folder settings.
- You can now directly select any folder field for the folder panel, without having to create a preset first. Just instantly pick your desired folder field under the “Folders” heading in the menu of the Folder button.
- Presets are now called Favorites.
- You can still create your own Favorite folder options, e.g. for multi-level folder settings (e.g. Genre, then Artist), or just to make a specific 1-field setting easily accessible.
- Your Favorite folder settings are listed at the top of the menu, under the Favorites heading.
- New: no more need to manually name your Favorites. Sensible names are created automatically (the selected fields separated by slashes).
Columns and Sorting
- For Columns and Sorting, “Presets” have been renamed to “Favorites” too.
- For Sort Favorites: no more need to manually name your Favorites. Sensible names are created automatically (the selected fields separated by slashes).
Edit Album: add multiple artists, studios, etc.. in one go
The Select screen for adding artists, studios, composers, etc… now includes checkboxes, so that you can multiple in one go. No more need to go back and fort between the Select and Edit screen to add multiple.
The new checkboxes for selecting multiple values in one go are now available in the Select screen for the following fields:
- Using “Select All” in your list was very slow. Super fast again now 🙂
- Print screen: “Field ID 221 has no XML tagname” error, when printing the Collection Status field as a column.
- Removed the annoying “beep” when searching in the Add Albums screen.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!
Here’s another big update for your Music Collector software, with two further performance improvements:
Faster image downloads
We were able to make several improvements to the way images are downloaded (cover art), making it much faster than before.
This change affects all places where images are downloaded from our servers, that is, when Adding Albums from Core, when Updating from Core and when down-syncing from CLZ Cloud.
Faster Update from Core
On large collections the old Update from Core feature was quite slow, as it updated your albums one by one, that is, doing separate requests to our server for each and every album.
So for this update, we also complete rewrote the Update from Core feature to do the updates in batches of 100 albums at a time, making it much much faster! (roughly 4 times as fast).
Remember: Update From Core can be used to update your local album entries with possible extra data from our Core online music database. To use this feature, select some albums, right click, then choose Update from Core.
- Add Albums from Core: when adding by barcode and the barcode is not found, it now automatically pops up the Unrecognized Barcode screen, so that you can 1. add the album anyway and 2. report the missing barcode to our Core.
- When using My Rating as the folder field, the “0” folder was missing.
- When using multiple levels of folders in the folder panel, sometimes the displayed counters were wrong.
- Images View: it is now possible to change thumb size using Ctrl + mouse wheel.
- Card View: Composer will now show instead of artist if it is filled in.
When users send us screenshots during support conversations, we are seeing that many of you are using the Shelves View when browsing your collections. And we can’t blame you, that IS a cool looking view 🙂 However, it *could* be a bit slow and jerky, especially when displaying many cover images in one list.
So our Windows guy Joe has spent several weeks to make this Shelves View faster and smoother. At the same time, our in-house graphics man AJ has created two new Shelf styles. Here’s what’s new:
- Images are now loading a lot faster.
- Scrolling is faster and smoother.
- Shelves background is smoother, no more visible tile edges.
- Shelves now always continue over the full width, even when a row is not full.
- Two new Shelf Styles are now available: White and Concrete.
The new “White” style:
The new “Concrete” style:
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.)
Improved stability when using Auto-Syncing
At the same time, we have resolved several issues with the Auto-Syncing in the background, problems that could cause Access Violations in some situation. So this 20.2 version should provide a more stable experience too.
This one is for the music file catalogers among you! In this version 20.1, we have enhanced the music file cataloging features of Music Collector and added support for more file formats.
- Better reading/writing of file tags:
- Support for FLAC file tags (READ/WRITE) + covers and disc indexes.
- Support for DSF file tags (READ ONLY).
- Support for AIF file tags (READ ONLY).
- Support for ID3v2 tags (READING) (ID3v3 was already supported).
- If the tags for number of discs for your music files is off, the program will recognise the issue, and won’t create empty discs.
- Better parsing of folders and file structure:
- Improved album parsing based on folder structure (also looks at disc indexes or disc numbers in folder titles).
- The program now tries to look for CD1/CD2 or Disc 1/Disc 2 folders and use that information accordingly.
- New Parse Settings button that takes you to the Options screen to add “parse formats”.
- Creating a new parse format: You can now click a parse item to add it.
- Edit Screen: you can now browse and select multiple files in one go to add to the file links tab of an album.
Now recognises multiple file tags better and groups multi-disc albums better:
Now finds the cover inside FLAC files:
- Submitting an album to Core could generate a wrong error.
In this update a re-design of the Tag editing interface and faster and more stable cloud syncing through our brand-new dedicated Sync-server.
Edit Album: improved interface for adding/editing Tags
In version 20, we changed the user interface for adding/editing Tags to a checkbox list. Of course, we did so thinking we were improving this, making it easier for you all. Instead of having to type in the box, just checkbox from your existing tag list, quick and easy 🙂
Boy, were we wrong here. After the v20 release, we received complaint after complaint about this change. Most users were very upset about not being able to copy/paste tags in anymore, others criticized having to scroll through long tag lists to find the ones they want, yet others, found it way too difficult to add new tags (some even missing the possibility) and finally some even reported it as a serious database corruption that they now suddenly saw all tags in all their albums (which was of course not the case).
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we made a big boo-boo there :-).
Our sincerest apologies!
So in today’s v20.0.2, we have again re-designed the tag adding/editing interface, to take away all complaints, to resolve all problems. We are convinced that with the new design, we are giving you the best of both worlds:
- Clear overview of which tags are currently set.
- Easy adding of existing tags, using the Add Tags popup screen, which lets you:
- Find existing tags using a search box,
- Checkbox tags to add them.
- Even lets you checkbox multiple tags in one go.
- The big “paste-box” is back for easily adding multiple tags by copy/pasting.
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).
- Solved several different “Access Violation” errors.
- Added runtime to albums in the various top lists.
- Added number of discs to the top.
- Changed colors of statistics screen for Light Skin.
We are 2 weeks into 2020, so it’s time for Music Collector 20! Today in v20, we’re bringing you 2 super useful and time-saving improvements for the folder panel, plus a brand new Statistics screen.
With all the big comic and game related releases going on, it has been a few months since the last Music Collector update. But we didn’t forget you! In the background, we have been “secretly” working on a big update, which is available now as version 19.3!
Here’s what’s new:
- Many more fields now sync with the CLZ Cloud / Music Connect:
- Classical music fields, like Conductor, Orchestra, Composers
- Recording specific fields, like Studio, Date, Live, Sound
- AND the Back Cover image!
- The Location field has been moved to the bottom of the Edit Screen
- Collection Status field is now a dropdown menu
Based on user feedback we found out users were looking for and expecting a tool to find duplicate entries in their database. Some way to find out if you’ve accidentally added multiple versions of the same album, but perhaps with a different length or barcode.
After quite a few requests and discussions with users about this, to find out how they got duplicates and what they would expect from such a Duplicate Finder tool, it’s here today: Find Duplicate entries in your database!
New: Find Duplicate Albums
Click menu Tools > Maintenance > Find Duplicates to begin.
Then select which field to find duplicates on. You can find duplicates based on:
- Title & Artist
- All Fields
Click “Find Duplicates” and see what it comes up with. Use the blue “Keep” button to keep a group of duplicates, or use the red “Remove” button to remove a duplicate!
If you click “Remove all duplicates automatically” the program will remove all duplicate entries and will only keep 1 single entry (the oldest one) in your database.
Tip: use the columns button, top right, to set up the columns you’d like to see!
We already worked on this area in the previous update, but we were still not completely satisfied. So more tweaks to the Add button in the Add Games from Core screen today:
Tweaks to the Add button:
- All Collection Status values are now available, including “For Sale” and “On Order”!
- The little popup menu now indicates the selected value with a checkmark.
- The Add button itself now says “Add to Collection” or “Add to Wishlist”.
Screenshot from the Add button in Movie Collector:
- Flashing starting the program (especially visible on very big screens)
- Selected x from x items in the status bar and the total items at the top now have a bit more space
- Clicking the add button twice didn’t give an “Already in collection” warning
- Opening the program in full screen on a secondary screen didn’t work
- Add Screen: On high DPI screens, search results could take up too much space
With the big feature updates behind us (multi-collections, image syncing, 64-bit support, Flex template, etc…), it is time for some smaller tweaks that were requested by our loyal users:
- More compact toolbar layout, to save screen space
- No more annoying Add to Collection / Wish List popup in Add Albums screen
- New “Transparent” styles for the Flex template, to show off your backdrops
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
- 64-bit version for 64-bit Windows versions
Read on for the full details:
A couple of weeks ago, our CLZ Cloud (and Music Connect) has been updated with 8 more fields and loan information. Today’s version 18.4 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 18.4, 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.
CLZ Music for iOS and Android will be updated in the coming days to allow the new fields to be synced there too!
- Drag and drop of discs to other albums now works
- Fixed a problem with freezing columns in 2 panel mode
- Fixed a problem with dragging columns in list view around
A BIG update for your Music Collector software today, with an important change:
Secure HTTPS connections, for your security and privacy
As indicated in our GDPR email from a couple of weeks ago, we are updating our software and services, to be more secure and to better protect your privacy.
Starting with version 18.3, 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 18.3.
Music Collector offers powerful batch commands, for performing actions on multiple albums in one go, e.g. editing, removing or updating from Core.
However, we are finding that many users have never use these these batch actions, either because they are not aware of their existence or because they don’t know how to actually select multiple albums (by Shift or Ctrl-clicking).
In today’s update we addressed these issues:
New Selection Checkboxes in the List View, for easy selection of multiple albums
The List View now features checkboxes on the left. Use the checkboxes to easily select multiple albums, no Shift or Ctrl-clicking needed. Of course the classic Shift/Ctrl-clicking still works too, this is just an extra method.
Don’t need the checkboxes? You can hide them using Tools / Options / Customization.
A new Action Bar with batch actions
As soon as multiple albums are selected (that is, more than 1), a new Action Bar appears above the list. It shows how many are selected, plus offers buttons for the most popular batch actions.
Also new: Action Bar above Details Panel
At the same time, we also added a new Action Bar above the details panel, for quick access to commands operating on the selected album.
TIP: The commands in this new Action Bar have been removed from the main toolbar, to make that one a bit cleaner. However, if you are upgrading from an older version, it will remember your toolbar. To get the new clean main toolbar, choose View / Toolbars / Reset.
Don’t need or want this new bar? You can hide it using Tools / Options / Customization.
- Find Cover: images weren’t scaling correctly
- Edit Screen: Grid Icons weren’t scaling correctly
- Improved loading speed for Cover Flow view
- Edit Track: title bar wasn’t wide enough
Full support for larger text sizes (Full DPI Awareness)
With super hi-res 4K (or even 5K) screens becoming quite common, more and more people are running Windows with the Font Size (DPI scaling) set to 125% or 150%, to keep text readable. So earlier this year, we released maintenance builds for all Windows editions to fix various layout problems when running Windows with “large fonts”.
Today, with version 18.1 we’re taking the next step: Music Collector is now fully “DPI Aware”. Starting with this version, if you have increased your font size in Windows, the program will actually follow that setting and use bigger text fonts in all screens!
On top of that, texts now look sharper, less fuzzy, making full use of your hi-res screen.
Improvements to the Add Albums from Core screen
- 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”)
- Changed timing of “Report missing barcode” popup: The missing barcode popup now pops up when you click on a “not found” result instead of interfering while you’re still scanning barcodes.
- 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:
- Edit Album:
- Index field had a typo
- Clicking next or previous could create a second + button in the User Defined Fields tab
- Edit Multiple: Enabled acquire button in edit multiple
- Quick Search: We’ve fixed normalization for quick searches so words with umlauts/accents etc. are now easier to be found.
- Fixed a problem with folder paths for users that have their Documents folder rooted to an external drive (program wouldn’t install properly).
- Link Screen could show “Link Selected” button even if there were no matches.
- Template: Fixed an issue where the template could become “white” if arrow keys were used on the keyboard
- Light Skin: Better visibility for selected items in your lists.
- User Defined Fields: It was possible to create invisible User Defined Fields which would then never show up in the edit screen.
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 :-).
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.
Revamped Edit Album and Edit Disc/Track screens
A huge refresh of the Edit screens, bringing the look and feel more in line with the recent Add Albums from Core screen.
- Button bar is now at the bottom of the screen
With OK button high-lighted in blue, nice Next/Prev arrow buttons, etc…
- Clearer blue “+” buttons for checkbox list fields (like Sound, Extras)
- Same blue + buttons for dropdown fields (like Format, Label, Packaging)
- Revamped Edit screen for pick list items
Button bar at the bottom with blue OK button, smaller generate buttons, etc..
But it’s not all just cosmetic changes:
Improved interface for adding Artists, Musicians, Credits
The new interface helps you make better use of your existing person pick lists:
- Cleaner lists, showing just Display Name and Instrument/Role.
- Right-click to Modify the name and sort name of a person in the list.
- Drag the icon in the first column to change the order.
- Click the “x” in the last column to remove entries.
- 1. click the “+ Add Artist” button, or hit Insert on your keyboard
- 2. A new screen appears, showing your existing Person pick list.
- 4. Type a few letters in the search box to find the artist you want to add, e.g. enter “spri” to find Bruce Springsteen.
- 5. Hit the down arrow on your keyboard a few times to select the person from the search results
- 6. Hit Enter to return to the Edit Album screen with the artist added to the list.
ONLY when the artist is not in your pick list yet, there’s 3 extra steps:
- 4a: click the New Artist button top right
- 4b. enter/paste the display name
- 4c. click OK
A similar interface is now also used for the Genre and Studio fields.
No more endless scrolling in a small check-box list to find the Genre or Studio you’d like to add. Instead, just click the Add button and making your pick from your pick list, using the convenient search feature if necessary.
Improved: Edit Multiple screens
- Now use checkboxes to explicitly indicate which field(s) you want set.
Safer and clearer, no more unexpected changes.
- To clear a field, just click the checkbox and leave the box empty.
The box will highlight in red to indicate the CLEAR action. No more hidden F8 keys.
New screens for selecting Column, Sort and Folder fields.
The ability to select your own Columns for the List View is an important customization feature of our Music Collector software. The same holds for selecting the sort order and the folder fields for the folder panel.
However, the “field selection” screens for doing these customizations have always been an area of confusion. So for v18 we decided to re-imagine both the field selection screens and the system for creating/managing your own presets.
- New Field Selection screen:
- Available fields are now grouped, like the tabs in the Edit Album screen.
- Easily find the field you want with the search box top left.
- Use checkboxes on the left to select fields.
- Use the “x” button on the right to remove fields.
- Drag and drop fields on the right side to change the order.
- Rename the field set at the top right.
- New interface for selecting and managing your field presets:
- Just click the Columns or Sort Order button to EDIT the current preset.
- Click the little arrow to the right of the Columns or Sort Order button to open the preset menu and switch to a different preset.
- Choose Manage Presets from the preset menu to edit your presets and create new ones.
NEW: “Clean” template for the details panel, in Light and Dark styles
A complete refresh, based on the recent Connect/Cloud details page updates. Clean, clear and modern, with some fresh layout ideas:
- Cleaner look, in both Light and Dark styles.
- Larger cover image.
- New look of the track list.
No more Standard edition: Pro-only features now available for everyone!
Since last week, we stopped selling the Standard edition of Music Collector. From now on, the Pro edition is the only edition we sell, and will just be called “Music Collector” now.
Our gift to all users on the Standard edition who have a valid Update Plan:
Starting with v18, you now get access to all Pro-only features:
- Batch editing with the Edit Multiple feature:
Save time by editing multiple items in batch, e.g. to fill in a field value for many items in one go.
- Customizable pre-sets for sorting, columns and folders:
Create your own pre-set field combination for sorting and columns. Define your own folder options, even multi-level folder combinations.
- User Defined Fields:
Create your own fields (text, number, pick list, checkbox or date) and rename pre-defined fields.
- Export features:
Export your database to a CSV or XML file.
Big changes today! The Add Albums Automatically screen has been completely re-designed, to make it both easier-to-use and easier-on-the-eye (and it’s now called “Add Albums from CLZ Core”):
- A clear two-panel design: Search Results on the left, Preview on the right.
- The Search Results now show cover images for every album.
- Automatic Preview of selected result (no more double clicking).
- Improved success rate on barcode searches for both CDs and vinyl!
See it in action:
Here’s the full list of improvements:
We’ve expanded the quick search box to now also allow “search-as-you-type” with suggestions for pick list fields.
How does it work?
In the quick search box top right of your screen you should see a “dropdown” button. Use this to select which field you wish to perform a search on. If “search-as-you-type” is available for that field, it will instantly work once you start typing in the box.
You can now select the field “Artist” in the quick search box, start typing an artist name, and instantly see suggestions (based on what you typed) of artists you have in your database. Click on an artist to see all his/her albums!
Fixes in this version
We also fixed some issues with the program in this version:
- Images Popup:
- “size window to picture” showed image slightly smaller
- .tiff images were not showing
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.
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.