beaTunes News

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Key Ingredients

beaTunes keysThe bad news first: beaTunes 1.1 will not feature automatic tonal key detection.

However, we have made an effort to provide better support for harmonic mixing. Whenever you analyze an mp3 file, beaTunes 1.1 will check whether the ID3 tags contain any key data. If the key tag is present, it is read and copied into beaTunes' database. This means, it is also shown in the playlist views. This at least lets you take advantage of other tools' key detection.

Additionally, to allow DJ's to instantaneously see whether two keys match, beaTunes now renders keys in the colors defined by the Camelot Easymix system. In fact, when you hover with the mouse over a key, the tooltip even shows you the Camelot keycode (e.g. C Major = 8B).

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The New Blogging Support

beaTunes blogging editorWe've mentioned it before: Blogging will be almost completely new in beaTunes 1.1.

These are the main improvements:
  • Support for Atom 1.0, which is the most widely accepted API for publishing blog entries
  • Playlist columns can now be re-ordered and turned on or off
  • Playlists are linked to a CSS stylesheet, allowing for sophisticated designs
  • Tagging of blog entries

Atom 1.0

Atom 1.0 is supported by most public blogs. We paid special attention to's implementation for the standard. This means that beaTunes does not only support the standard blogger, but also the version of blogger that is currently in beta.

Playlist Columns

Just like in iTunes, you can now simply drag columns in beaTunes' blog editor to change their order. You can also right/command-click on the column header and turn columns on or off. This allows you to completely customize the layout of your playlist table.


To go one step further, with beaTunes 1.1 you will also be able to choose a stylesheet that will be linked directly into your blog entry. This CSS stylesheet can define the looks (color, font, etc.) of your playlist. beaTunes offers a couple of pre-made styles, but also allows you to add your own. You will just need to create the CSS file, put it on your server and tell beaTunes about it (in the blog preferences).
To check what your blog entry will look like, beaTunes now offers a Preview. Just hit the button (circled in the screenshot) and your blog entry will be rendered in your standard browser without having been posted to your blog.


Many blogs now offer labels or tags to keep your entries organized. Since beaTunes already supports tags for individual songs, it's only natural to also support blog tags. For each blog entry beaTunes will pre-populate the new tag area right below the title. The tags are drawn from the artists' names, genres, songs tags etc. - in fact, this is configurable in the blogging preferences. Plus, you can add whatever other tag you think makes sense and remove the ones that don't.

To summarize: Blogging about your favorite playlists just got a whole lot easier!


How Elegant!

elegant beaTunes UI themeBored by applications that always look plain gray? Well, we've got something for you! With the upcoming beaTunes 1.1 you will be able to easily change beaTunes' appearance by selecting a new background tile.

Simply go to the General Preferences and choose another theme. beaTunes will come with a couple of pre-made ones, but the help files will contain instuctions for creating your own. Basically, you only have to jar up your images and a plugin deployment descriptor and drop the jar file in the right location.


beaTunes 1.1 Early Access 1

beaTunes logoAfter quite a big of work, we are proud to post the first Early Access version of beaTunes 1.1. For those who don't know - Early Access is what we call our betas. Early Access versions usually stop working one week after they have been released. There is no way you can buy an Early Access version. Usually, we'll either post a new Early Access release or a final for sale release.

This is an almost feature complete release. This means there are many, many improvements for you to check out.

One prominent one is the new blogging support. We have rewritten much of the underlying code to support Atom 1.0, customizable playlist styles, tags, etc. You can now choose the columns you want displayed and even re-arrange them by dragging. We would love to get some feedback about this! Please use the tagtraum email address on this page, since we are still having mail server trouble.

Here are the links to the new release:

Note that your system has to fulfill the requirements outlined on the regular download page.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mail Server Outage

Much to our displeasure our ISP has had problems with our mail server in the last 24h. They promised us to solve the issue within the next 48h.
Well, we'll see.
Until then, there may be issues with the automatic delivery of license keys. So if you have purchased a license and have not received a license key, please contact us at the tagtraum address listed here. And please, please check your spam folder for the registration mail, before contacting us.

We hope this problem is resolved very soon and apologize for any complications this might result in.

[Update 11/26/2006] The mail server still has problems. One sideeffect of this is that we cannot receive emails through any addresses. If you need to contact us, please use a address (see link above).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Analysis ETA

One of the declared goals for beaTunes 1.1 is to improve the overall user experience.
So far, beaTunes has not given an estimated time for processing all tasks in the analysis queue. Nevertheless, many people mistook the time shown in the status label (at the very bottom of the main screen, circled in the image to the right) of the analysis queue to be the estimated processing time. In fact, in beaTunes 1.0, that's the time it would take to play all songs that are in the queue.
But we agree: It would make a whole lot more sense, if beaTunes displayed the estimated processing time there.
So from beaTunes 1.1 on, that's what it'll do.

Another improvement for beaTunes 1.1 will be the number of items left in the queue, displayed just behind the label 'Analysis Queue' in the source panel on the left of the main window (also circled in the image above). This will make it easier for you to see, how much work is still in the queue - regardless of whether you are currently looking at the queue or some playlist.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Multithreaded Analysis on Mac Pro

Multithreaded Analysis on Mac Pro
Today we had the opportunity to test a development snapshot of the upcoming beaTunes 1.1 on a brand new Mac Pro (our friends at Alienskin were so nice to let us test on their machine).
That's right: Two Dual-Core Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz processors! To take advantage of the four cores, beaTunes 1.1 will be able to start multiple threads when analyzing your music - working on multiple tracks at once.
The results so far are promising: Preliminary data indicates a speedup of a factor of 1.5 over using a single thread on the same machine.
Not too shabby!


Friday, November 17, 2006


Finally! Months after the first beaTunes release we now have a news blog. It was about time. Glad, you're reading it.
This will be the place to read about upcoming new features and releases. Some tips and tricks, some other inside information.
Stay tuned.