What's new in Music Collector for Windows?
Version 21.4 is now available for your Music Collector software, with a nice graphical update for your folder panel. The folder panel now show horizontal bars in the background behind the folder entries, representing the “relative size” of the folder, that is, relative to the biggest folder in your collection.
- Date fields didn’t always transfer correctly
A nice new v21.3 update is available for Music Collector now, in which we introduce a new super useful database management tool, called Transfer Field Data (new in the Tools menu).
In short, this tool lets you copy field values from one field to another, in batch, so for your entire database, or for a selection of albums.
- Smarter syncing of musicians and instruments
- More responsive checkboxes in Add Albums screen
- The Sort button in the main screen would sometimes not open the Sort Settings screen
Last week, we added many new fields to the CLZ Cloud storage and the web-based Music Connect software, all based on feedback from our users.
Of course, new fields in the CLZ Cloud won’t help you much if you can’t sync them from Music Collector 🙂 So in today’s v21.2 update, we enhanced the CLZ Cloud syncing system to support all the new fields.
It is important to have your album entries linked to the corresponding disc entries in our Core online music database, especially when syncing to the CLZ Cloud and/or the CLZ Music mobile app. Because a correct Core link is what gives you all automatic album details, like cover images, tracks, labels, genres, formats, etc..
All album entries you added through the Add Albums from Core screen, will of course be linked with a Core entry automatically. However, if you added an album manually, or if you imported a list of albums, e.g. from a CSV file or by adding music files, some of your entries may arrive “unlinked”. In which case you would need to do the linking afterwards.
Previously, linking discs with Core was done in an old and clunky screen, based on a very old version of the Add from Core screen. But not anymore!
As of today, Music Collector has a completely new Link Discs with Core screen.
Add Screen: Select Collection Status with the extra dropdown button
We’ve added an extra Collection Status dropdown button to the left hand panel in the Add Screen:
- Options: “Use Field Default” option for Collection Status didn’t work
- Export to HTML was broken
Instead of jumping on the next big feature update, we decided to take a couple of weeks to work on various small improvements and fixes. Here’s what’s new and fixed in today’s update:
New: Clear your CLZ Cloud right from the Sync screen
No more need to login to the CLZ Cloud site and use “Clear Database” there. It is now possible to clear/reset your CLZ Cloud straight from the Sync screen, using the Clear CLZ Cloud button at the bottom.
BTW: please only use this when strictly necessary, in case of problems. Clearing the cloud and re-syncing all items is a heavy operation and causes seriously load on our servers. Thank you!
New: Find Duplicates results can now be exported to a TEXT file
By popular demand: you can now export the results of the Find Duplicates screen, either to take with you as a text file, or for printing.
New: Use the Statistics screen on a selection
Something that “got lost” when we replaced the old Database Totals screen with the fancy new Statistics screen: being able to see totals for the selected items in the main screen.
So… now that feature is back! Just select items in the main screen, using the checkboxes or Select All, then open Tools / Statistics to see totals and charts for just those items.
New: Filter area in status bar now highlights when a filter is active
A common question in support: “Why don’t I see all my items anymore”. Always turns out that a filter is active, either in the Quick Filter Panel, the Alphabet Bar or the search box.
To make this clearer, the Filter area in the status bar at the bottom now highlights in yellow when a filter is active.
Improved right-mouse click context menus, with sub-headers
Through the years, new commands kept being added to the right click context menus, and to be honest, they became a bit messy. So about time we cleaned them up.
All main screen context menu’s have now been cleaned up, re-ordered and re-grouped with nice sub-headers.
- Update from Core on multiple albums was not working
- Add from Core: in some situations album covers were not downloading
- Import XML: several fixes to importing of credits, musicians and purchase prices
- Printing, when printing track lists, the Box Set field did not work
- Card View: mouse wheel scrolling was broken
- After Select All in list, some action bar button did not show up
- After editing, the list did not scroll to the edited item anymore
- Statistics: rare Access Violation while loading the screen
- Picklist item images are now automatically resolved when folder changes
- Update File Links: manual mode missing trailing slash by default
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.)
- It wasn’t possible to fully close the folder panel
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.
- If cover downloads were disabled, the program would still download a cover URL
- If no rating was set, it would show with rating “0” in the rating column. It now shows “nothing” in the column again.
- If no rating has been set for an album, it would show in a “0” folder, and now shows in a “[None]” folder in your folder panel.
- In some case, new entries added through Add from Core would get images with .tmp extensions, instead of .jpg.
- Editing pick list items directly from the folder panel did not work anymore.
- Dragging items between folders did not work anymore.
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.
- Images View: Improved spacing between thumbnails
- Images View: Mouse over on images didn’t show the title of the item
- Cover Flow: Now uses big sharp images instead of the small thumbnails
- Find Cover: Could give an Access Violation when finding GIF images
In yesterday’s build the thumbnails couldn’t be set as small as they used to and we forgot to put in the dark background for the classic images view. Both fixed now!
- Thumbnails can now be set as small as before
- Classic shelf in dark skin: dark background was missing
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:
- Fixed several issues with AutoSync that could cause Access Violation errors
- Updated a couple of translations
- Scanning CDID would give the “no results” entry before the actual result
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.
The new 20.1 version introduced smarter automatic album grouping when scanning a folder of music files. For some users this could introduce bad album grouping (for instance if you have your multi disc albums as loose folders together with other loose albums of the same artist).
This version introduces a checkbox at the top of the Add/Link Music Files screen to disable smart album grouping and tries to focus on your album tags only. Keep in mind that your file tags should be correct to make this work.
- Checkbox to enable/disable smart album grouping based on folder structure.
- Add/Link Music Files defines loose albums even better now.
- Edit Screen: adding files on the tracks tab wasn’t working correctly
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.
- Some statistics weren’t shown correctly on screens with higher DPI settings.