beaTunes News

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Early Access release for 2.1

beaTunes2 logoFor quite a while now, I have been working on beaTunes 2.1 - and no - it's not done, yet. But I'm making some progress. Enough to post an Early Access release to get some feedback from you.

So what's the idea behind 2.1?

Obviously it's not supposed to reinvent the whole app - otherwise I would have called it beaTunes 3. But nevertheless, it introduces some bigger changes under the hood. These two are the most important ones:

  • Java 6 support for OS X
  • 64 Bit support for OS X

Both of these are supposed to be completely invisible to you, but will still make a difference in the long run, as Apple moves more and more towards 64 Bit (Snow Leopard being a big step into that direction) and discontinues QuickTime as we knew it.
A side-effect of these changes will be a change in system requirements. Because of its lack of certain 64 Bit APIs, OS X 10.4 is not supported anymore.

Additionally there are going to be small improvements, e.g. the duplicate detection now differentiates between songs that merely have the same title and those that also have the same album name. It also offers better solutions - e.g. keep the mp3 song with the highest bit-rate.

Another improvement will be a feature that lets you take advantage of additional online resources. This feature is not enabled yet and will lead to an error message (connection refused).

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 or previous versions (even though we make a reasonable effort)
  • This version will cease to function 2 weeks after its release
  • You cannot buy this version

And here are the download links:


This EA version changes beaTunes' internal database layout quite a bit, which takes a while. Do not interrupt this process, even when it takes very long! On OS X, beaTunes 2.0 will not be able to use the database anymore, after you ran beaTunes 2.1. If you intend to try 2.1 and then go back to 2.0, make sure you back up the database (it's in ~/Library/Application Support/beaTunes/Database)! You also might want to check out this article about exporting beaTunes data.

Please provide feedback!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

beaTunes 2.0.16 released

beaTunes2 logobeaTunes 2.0.16 is another update that improves cooperation with iTunes 9. But not only that, a couple of other things got better and or faster. Details are in the NOTES.txt file in the package.

Please check it out!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

beaTunes 2 update for iTunes 9

beaTunes2 logoThe latest beaTunes 2 update (v2.0.15) contains fixes to better interoperate with iTunes 9. In other words: If you are using iTunes 9, please update!

That aside, 2.0.15 contains a couple of other important fixes/enhancements. The two most notable ones are:

  • Decoding audio on Windows is back to normal speed
  • Creating playlists on Windows got a lot faster

About the decoding speed. As you know, to measure BPM/key/color beaTunes has to decode mp3s (and other compression formats) to get to the raw audio data. To do so it uses QuickTime (or CoreAudio on OS X). Furthermore, beaTunes supports two different ways of decoding the data - one keeps the data in memory all the way, the other one decodes it to a temporary file. Usually the first is a lot faster, but when memory is tight, the latter is used. In the last couple of updates the in-memory-decoder was broken, which lead to much slower decoding and thus a much slower beaTunes. 2.0.15 fixes this issue.

About the playlists. Creating playlist got a lot faster in beaTunes 2.0.15, because I chose a different approach to add songs to an iTunes playlist. This cuts down playlist creation time by at least an order of magnitude on Windows systems, OS X systems may benefit as well.

I hope you enjoy these fixes/enhancements. Please let me know, if you find any more issues with iTunes 9. Thanks.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

iTunes 9 troubles

beaTunes2 logoYes, iTunes 9 is finally out. Unfortunately, Apple does not make pre-releases of iTunes available to developers (AFAIK), so there are (almost always) problems. In some cases beaTunes seems to show a NullPointerException. I'm working on it...

Update 9/13/2009: It seems the NPE only happens when using beaTunes 1 - it's due to the fact that iTunes 9 no longer exports the Library playlist in its iTunes Music Library.xml. Some problems in beaTunes 2 remain and will be solved in the next update. I'd also like to advise Windows users to restart their machines before using beaTunes after the iTunes 9 upgrade or installation.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Snow Leopard woes

beaTunes2 logoSnow Leopard is released and the crash reports are coming in... Unfortunately, beaTunes is one of the apps that does not seem to have a smooth start. The 14.1-b02-90 32Bit JVM on the original Snow Leopard release has a bug that causes occasional crashes in the UpdateStatusLabel-thread. It's already fixed in Apple's internal dev version, but not shipped yet. Hopefully that will happen soon...

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