Making The Most Out Of An MP3 Library For Use With Convergence Jukebox

In the final analysis simple and consistent audio playback is what individuals want from a jukebox system. It’s not the jukebox that’s important, it’s the quality of the mp3’s that you assign to Convergence Jukebox that will determine the overall listening experience. These notes, along with the freely available software mentioned in them, will help you to build a quality collection of mp3 media that will take full advantage of the Convergence Jukebox Player Engine and allow you to keep your sanity as your collection of mp3’s grow.

The current version of Convergence Jukebox on a Windows platform technically requires;

The Convergence Jukebox listening audience requires;

To manage a large mp3 library, your sanity requires;

Creating Properly Formed MP3 ID3 Tags For Use With Convergence Jukebox

Perhaps the most difficult thing to understand about Convergence Jukebox is not the jukebox itself, but how to properly form ID3 tags on your MP3 media. Convergence Jukebox relies on properly formed ID3 tags in order to:

How To Create Properly Formed Mp3 Media And Properly Formed Id3 Tags

ID3 Tags

The demonstration will focus on an mp3 download: The Entertainer (1902, piano roll) by Scott Joplin from The Free Music Archive at http://bit.ly/1JVZO9R. The music is in the public domain and the recording is licensed under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 License.

Once downloaded one can employ an  ID3 editor called Simple ID3-Tag Editor that works under Windows. It can be downloaded from CNET at http://dlcom.co/1OxRvq0.

Open Simple ID3-Tag Editor and browse to the Scott_Joplin_-_04_-_The_Entertainer_1902_piano_roll.mp3 file downloaded from The Free Music Archive the ID3 information shows as follows;

To make this mp3’s ID3 tags compatible with Convergence Jukebox the tags must be altered and saved in one of two ways;

The two examples above show the mp3 ID3v1 and ID3v2 metadata tags to be consistent, fully formed and contain no unicode characters.

The controls to edit tags using Simple ID3-Tag Editor are as follows;

Renaming Your Mp3’s To Standard Naming Strategy

Developing your MP3 collection around a naming strategy is important. As your collection of MP3’s gets larger, the collection gets harder to manage. Here are some things to consider;

Software Tools To Assist In Renaming And Mass Tag Changes

If you have a large number of MP3’s to change ID3 data on you might consider a TigoTago. TigoTago is a free Windows based spreadsheet-like tag editor for media files. It allows one to  set and modify tags and to rename a huge number of files. The spreadsheet-like interface allows for flexible mass tagging. However it’s mass renaming feature does not seem to work. The software also claims to fill tags that are imported from freedb and/or Discogs on-line databases. http://tigotago.com

A great tool for mass file renaming is another free Windows package Advanced

Renamer. You can set it so it’ll run through all your files renaming them using the id3 Artist and Title fields. http://www.advancedrenamer.com

Validating Your MP3

Another good program is MP3val. It is a small, high-speed, free software tool for checking MPEG audio files' integrity. It finds corrupt files (e.g. incompletely downloaded, truncated, containing garbage). MP3val is also able to fix most of the problems. It’s a multiplatform application and can be run both under Windows and under Linux. http://mp3val.sourceforge.net

How To Set Mp3’s To A Consistent Volume For Convergence Jukebox

One of the big issues with MP3’s that have been obtained over time and from a variety of sources is volume between files. The “go to” tool to correct this is with another free Windows program called MP3Gain. MP3Gain analyzes and adjusts mp3 files so that they have the same volume. Run all your MP3’s through MP3Gain at its default “Normal” volume of 89.0 dB and listeners ot Convergence Jukebox will not be able to detect volume changes between different mp3’s when they play. http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net/index.php

Searching Your MP3 Collection

As your MP3 collection grows to potentially thousands of songs searching it becomes a regular occurrence when you want to add to it. One windows based program of note for a really fast search is a program called Everything from voidtools. You run it. Let it get a log of all your files. As you type either the song or artist name it narrows down your file with each keystroke until it finds your file. It does not slow down your computer at all. http://www.voidtools.com/

Protecting Your MP3 Collection

As you can tell by this document building an MP3 collection for your Convergence Jukebox (or any other music system) will require a great investment of time and you don’t want to lose your MP3 media through unforeseen instances like a hard drive crash. Storing your collection on a service like Google Drive will provide you 15 GB of online storage/backup for free. That’s about 2500 mp3’s.

Conclusion

This guide outlines the requirements for properly formed MP3 ID3 tags for Convergence Jukebox. As well as a programme that will help you to build a quality collection of mp3 media that will take full advantage of the Convergence Jukebox Player Engine and allow you to keep your sanity as your collection of mp3’s grow. The program suggest a routine as follows employing tools in the Windows environment. The routine involves;

Thanks for taking the time to read and consider the information in this guide.

Brad Fortner

March 2016