beaTunes News

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Got balls and a huge library? Test our Early Access version!

beaTunes LogoIn the past couple of months we have made an effort to make some progress with beaTunes 2. One of the most important goals is better scalability, i.e. the ability to efficiently manage larger libraries while consuming fewer system resources. As a consequence, we have rewritten most of beaTunes' guts. Today, we'd like to ask the brave among you to check out what we've achieved so far.

Before downloading and installing this, please make sure you understand what Early Access means:

  • Absolutely no warranty for whatever
  • Features may or may not work, appear, and disappear
  • It may not be possible to migrate data to future versions
  • This version will cease to function 2 weeks after its release
  • You cannot buy this version

To make this perfectly clear: EA1 isn't even a beta version.

Of course, the purpose of this release is to obtain feedback from real users. Please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know what does or does not work, is taking too long or does not fulfill your expectations in any other way.

And here are the download links:


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beaTunes 1.2.11 is released

beaTunes LogoAlright, beaTunes isn't quite Firefox 3, but it too has a new release out. As the version number 1.2.11 indicates, this is mostly a maintenance release - no new features are introduced. We're saving those for beaTunes 2...

This is not to say that nothing has changed. We finally taught our iTunes Music Library.xml parser to deal with the malformed XML files exported by iTunes. Yes, you read that right: iTunes exports malformed XML. More specifically, the iTunes XML exporter does not safeguard against illegal UTF-8 or illegal XML characters. RFC-3629 clearly prohibits encoding character numbers between U+D800 and U+DFFF, which are reserved for use with the UTF-16 encoding form (as surrogate pairs) and do not directly represent characters. Unfortunately, users have told us again and again that their iTunes Music Library.xml contains such characters. The same is true for the non-characters U+FFFF and U+FFFE. They are contained in some libraries, but are clearly illegal in XML.

We assume that the bad characters stem from bad id3 tags - iTunes probably copies them without paying any attention to their legality. In any case, instead of choking, beaTunes will now silently ignore them.