Audio Software Snowball in Hell

Originally published on LinkedIn in July 2018.

You are in a library, but the books are out of order. Nothing is sorted by classification, author surname, or even year. At the heat death at the end of the universe, one final library will undoubtedly remain standing, and its overseer will be an inscrutably impish lout with no pretence of interest in the organisational anxieties of the remaining organisms lingering aimlessly at the end of all things.

Such is the stuff of nightmares for an audiophile such as yours truly.

You see, my library catalogue needs to make sense.

Which is how, one weekend, my computer chair found itself occupied by my pathetic meatbag, tech-shooting the most recent Most Annoying Software Bug Ever. The TLDR version of the problem? It involved a monkey. A media monkey.

Not in the know?

Media Monkey is an audio player. Like iTunes (I know you were thinking it, let’s not pretend you weren’t.) The bug? Every so often, when syncing (copying) new files to my media player, the monkey flings metaphorical poo at me by renumbering track numbers. Ana Ng, for example, Track 01 of They Might Be Giants’ album Lincoln suddenly might become Track 101.

Tres annoying. Way hella annoying when one’s digital library spans 1,149 albums. Like mine.

So what’s the solution? Obviously: hit the internet. Do some keyword searches. See if anyone’s found a solution. Of course, no one had quite found a solution. That meant it was time to go looking for a solution.

Nearly two days later – a solution identified, tested, and verified.

You see: Media Monkey has a tense relationship with albums that feature disc numbers. By tense, think of siblings fighting. In the back of the car. With assorted beverages, used bubble gum, and terrifyingly putrid socks that had long been thought lost.

So disc numbers bad. No disc numbers good. Well lickety fudgesickle sticks, that’s a lot of albums to fix when one has 1,149 albums to go though and check one by one.

Solution? Find a program that can quickly and en masse edit ID3 tags. Heavenly software package, thy name be Mp3Tag.

Import album. Order tracks in proper playing order. Highlight. Force renumber all tracks. Highlight album, remove CD number. Save. Wash, rinse, and then repeat this about fifteen thousand million times.

Finally: launch Media Monkey. And rescan all albums. And then wait. And wait. Wait a long time. A really long time. Why? Because scanning 1,149 albums equates with 28,919 files. But hey, guess what: that wait time is a good opportunity to delete all files from the destination audio player, as Media Monkey only adds new files – it doesn’t restructure previously synced files.

“But Ilya,” you’re wondering, “what in the unholy hungry kitten does that have to do with LinkedIn and Content Management?” Glad you asked! Asking means you’re using dat grey noodle of a muscle that we call a brain.

The point here is that this sort of full-on barking madness is what us content management folks get up to, since we like to problem solve, tinker, learn, and find solutions. And on occasion, we’ll even write entertaining blog posts on how and why we, every now and then, suddenly find a staggering chunk of time that we light on fire and roll down a hill into a pool of gasoline.

Leave a Reply