beaTunes News

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

beaTunes, macOS Mojave, and the AEpocalypse

As you might know, a new version of Apple's operating system macOS named Mojave is going to be released very soon. Be advised that beaTunes is not optimized for Mojave yet. Specifically, there is no integration with Mojave's dark mode and AppleScript may cause some headaches.

While dark mode integration is purely cosmetic (just use the 'dark' theme accessible via beaTunes' general preferences), AppleScript issues may be more problematic. When you are using beaTunes to maintain your iTunes library on macOS, you are effectively letting beaTunes control iTunes via AppleScript. Mojave may introduce a new security mechanism called AppleScript Sandboxing. This means that, before an application is allowed to control another application via AppleScript, the user is asked whether that's OK. This is most certainly not a bad thing, but Apple's implementation is still fairly new (not to say immature) and has been ridiculed a bit, simply because it reminds people of an old Apple commercial (with reversed roles).

A couple of people in the indy software world have voiced some legit concerns and criticism. Here's a little reading list:

What does this mean for beaTunes?

For now—not a lot. I will wait until the final macOS Mojave version is released before making changes, simply because this security mechanism seems to be too much of a moving target. After the dust has settled, we will see what's the best way to proceed.

PS: If this does not scare you or you have trust in dot-0 versions of Apple's operating systems—by all means, please take beaTunes for a ride and report on what problems you ran into!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Update: beaTunes 5.1.9

beaTunes 5.1.9 is just a maintenance release, fixing and improving a couple of things. Details are listed below.

As always, you can download the new version from the download section of the website.

Changes in 5.1.9

  • Fixed set media type to Music via AppleScript (macOS only).
  • Fixed delay when displaying context menu in large libraries.
  • Fixed case-sensitivity of ID3 TXT frame descriptions.
  • Updated built-in Discogs database.

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

You Are Giants!

Back in November 2017 I had asked you to help with tapping to EDM. Many of you followed the call and earned beaTunes licenses (please don't tap anymore, data collection is over). Thanks again for that!! Since then I have analyzed the submitted data and created new annotations for the GiantSteps tempo dataset originally created by Knees et al.

Long story short:

  • It appears that a substantial part of the original annotations were wrong (almost 9%).
  • All user submitted data incl. new derived tempo annotations can be found here (under "Datasets").
  • The new annotations will be used as one ground-truth for this year's MIREX Audio Tempo Estimation task.

The full paper (link below) describing the collected data will officially be published at this year's ISMIR in Paris—if you're attending, please come and chat with me!

Hendrik Schreiber, Meinard Müller. A Crowdsourced Experiment for Tempo Estimation of Electronic Dance Music. In Proceedings of the 19th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR), Paris, France, Sept. 2018.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

New Plugin: Import Discogs Genre

For certain kinds of music, Discogs provides excellent genre tags. A new beaTunes plugin now lets you import those genre tags directly via an analysis task. Analysis task—that means that the installed plugin shows up as the last option in the Analysis Options dialog that appears once you choose to analyze some track (similar to the Bandcamp plugin). The code for the plugin is rather trivial and open source. If you are interested in programming I highly encourage you to check it out at GitHub.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bandcamp Tags Plugin Update

Small update to the Bandcamp tags plugin: Version 1.0.1 improves the ability to find Bandcamp identifiers, even on the track and album level. The new version requires beaTunes 5.1.5 or later. Some functionality will only become available when beaTunes 5.1.6 is released.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Update: beaTunes 5.1.5

Sorry for the repeated updates... Unfortunately, an idiotic little error made it into in 5.1.4, which caused some dreaded NullPointerExceptions under Windows, when using the dark UI theme. The problem is fixed in today's 5.1.5. Additionally, it contains some updates to the audio metadata library JAudioTagger, as well as some further under-the-hood improvements for Bandcamp support.

As always, you can download the new version from the download section of the website.

Changes in 5.1.5

  • Fixed possible NPE during icon rendering (dark theme).
  • Updated JAudioTagger library.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

New Plugin: Import Artist Tags from Bandcamp

Do you like independent artists? A lot? Perhaps you're using Bandcamp. If that's the case, you're in luck! beaTunes 5.1.4 introduces limited support in the form of an Open in... context menu item and artist-level tag import. The latter is implemented via a new plugin (sources), which is available via the Preferences -> Plugins -> Available pane. Once installed, you need to restart beaTunes. In the next analysis run you'll see an additional task.

Note that the correct association between a track and Bandcamp relies on the original comment contained in your files.

As always, you can download the new version from the download section of the website.

Changes in 5.1.4

  • Increased granularity of locking during inspection.
  • Added transparent persistency to tags collection.
  • Added limited support for bandcamp tags.

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