beaTunes News

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lights, Camera, Action!

beaTunes LogoAfter a couple of small Early Access releases, this is definitely one with more changes. Here's what's new:

I added an audio player to the Get Info dialog, which should make tagging songs a lot easier. Just open the Get Info dialog, hit the play button, tag the song and hit Command-RightArrow (or the next button) to go to the next song. It will start playing automatically. This way you can go through a bunch of songs in a breeze. The same is true for the new BPM tap dialog. I just stuck it into the Get Info as well and it has the same functionality.

Under the hood, beaTunes now supports embedding some of the metadata it computes into the audio files themselves (mp3 and aac only). This is very useful as a backup mechanism, should your beaTunes library become corrupted. Also, if you use your files on multiple computers, having the data embedded will cut down on analysis time - just make sure you enable that import analysis task. If you don't want to embed the data into your files, make sure to turn embedding off. This can be done in the general preferences. BTW: I implemented this using jaudiotagger, an excellent library written by Paul Taylor.

The next big change is mostly eyecandy. Inspired by Filty Rich Clients, I added some animations. So the context drawer and the tree panel are now animated. I think it looks pretty cool, but check for yourself - below is one of those screencapture movies.

(Fairly technical, but very interesting - implementing the animations, I realized what a big difference using createCompatibleImage() makes. It truly makes or breaks an animation.)

Furthermore, I improved iTunes 8 support and added a rule that allows to select songs with a similar rating.

Also fairly technical, but hopefully exciting to fellow developers: Both the Amazon context component and the matching songs table are now implemented fully as plugins. In other words, once I am moving towards a final 2.0 version, I'll write more about how to write custom plugins, so you can stick other cool stuff in that lower right corner.

Alright, here's the obligatory warning: 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 (even though we make a reasonable effort)
  • This version will cease to function 2 weeks after its release
  • You cannot buy this version

Just so that there is no doubt about it: EA8 isn't even a beta version.

And here are the download links:

Note for EA7 users

There will be some small updates to the database.

Update (9/18/2008, 11am EDT) : The original OS X version of EA8 had a bug - the Get Info dialog didn't work at all due to a classpath issue. I fixed the issue. Please just download again (same filename), if Get Info simply doesn't show anything. Thanks.

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