irregular burbling

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January 21, 2007

So, iTunes has been running dog slow on my windows laptop for some time now, often remaining unresponsive for well over a minute after launch (and this is after the obligatory annual OS reinstall that windows machines seem to require). I've been wanting to replace it but haven't 'cos a) cres wants to be able to synch her iPod and hasn't got to grips with the Mac yet and b) Songbird and the free version of Winamp don't rip to MP3 or OGG.

Yesterday my mate Ed pointed me in the direction of this featureful windows jukebox called MediaMonkey. It's got a really usable, intuitive interface (I really dig the way in which your library is presented in that expandable tree on the left), rips to and plays all the formats you'd want to use (and WMA, too) and will also synch most MP3 players including iPods. It launches fast and takes barely any time at all to scan my whole (relatively large) MP3 collection acoss the network (I suspect that might be what iTunes is taking so long to do at launch). It'll also import your ratings and playback history from iTunes or (gawd help you) Windows Media Player.

When I first started ripping things to MP3 back in the 90s I was a bit of a numpty and didn't give any of them any info in the tags, instead identifying the tunes by their filename. The software I was using didn't tag automagically like modern ripping programs do (translation: "young squirt couldn't lance a pimple without an electric vibrating scalpel with automatic drain and suture"). So, as a result, I have masses of files wth bugger all tag information but accurate filenames, and MusicBrainz was just taking too damn long. So, the "auto tag from filename" feature of MediaMonkey looks like it could be what I'm after (but I've yet to try it so we'll have to see how that goes).

Did I mention that it also supports the JAWS screen reader for the visually impaired? Now that's both nifty and virtuous.

All in all I'm very happy with it so far. I'll let you know how I get on.

(This entry brought to you by the Society for the Abuse of Parentheses.)

Posted by Jonah at January 21, 2007 8:16 PM