beaTunes News

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Looking good: beaTunes 4.5

beaTunes4 logo

It is done. Just a couple of weeks after I posted the first EA version of beaTunes 4.5, I'm extremely happy to announce the immediate availability of the final beaTunes 4.5. As already mentioned earlier, this update focuses on eye candy, usability, and “stuff under the hood”.

Eye Candy

Let's start with the obvious: Eye Candy. beaTunes 4.5 features a fresh new UI, fitting in well with the Yosemite/El Capitan look—simple, flat, yet stylish. Beyond the superficial, the UI has been gently re-organized. Top level view selectors (Library, Inspection, Charts, …) have been moved to the left edge of the application window. Similarly, list-specific sub-view buttons (Matching Songs, …) have been moved to the right edge. As a result, the status bar (bottom edge) has become optional and can now be turned on and off via the View menu. The same is true for the side bar, containing the list of playlists, charts or inspections.

Usability

I have to admit, this seems like a very small thing to mention. But in the Matching Songs table, I have added a button that allows instant adding of the selected song to the current playlist (as long as it's editable!). What's so nice about this is, that the newly added song is automatically selected and the new matches are computed right away. Because the button has a keyboard shortcut (Alt-Enter), you can incrementally add songs to the main list without your hands leaving the keyboard. I should mention that this feature was originally suggested by a user. Thanks!

A feature that has previously been realized in the form of a plugin, is the new ability to write the computed key to the song's comment field. This can now be achieved via new options for the key analysis task. There you can also choose which format you'd like the key to be written in. Related, but slightly different, is the new ability to embed Open Key Notation keys into your files. I have fought this for a long time, because the ID3 specification simply forbids it and it endangers interoperability. But since pretty much everybody else does it in one way or another, not bothering to separate information from presentation, I figured it's time to give in. So beaTunes 4.5 gives you the choice between the ID3 TKEY format and Open Key Notation. You can configure this in the general preferences.

Under the Hood

Much has changed under the hood. Most significantly, many of the open source libraries beaTunes depends upon have been updated. Thus this new version benefits from general development progress. Additionally, caching and memory management have received some attention, resulting in some general performance improvements.

The Little Things

Naturally, that's not all that has changed. There are a whole lot of little things that were improved, fixed, or added. For example, some inspectors got additional solutions and there's even a whole new inspector making you aware of missing track counts. When importing tags from Last.fm, mood-related ones can now be properly embedded into the ID3 mood field. You can now choose, whether beaTunes should write track or album replay gain into the proprietary iTunes iTunNORM tag. … Frankly, there's no point in listing it all.

Free

Worth mentioning though, is this: The update is free for existing beaTunes 4.0 users—yes! you can simply download and install the new version from here. beaTunes 2 and 3 users can use the same download, but need an upgrade license to unlock it.
I sincerely hope you enjoy this update.

Thanks so much for your ongoing support.

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