Introduction to MediaMonkey

Posted on November 22, 2010

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MediaMonkey as a music management tool is an ideal alternative to ITunes which provides support for most common lossless audio formats such as OGG and FLAC if you don’t want to be stuck with Apple’s crap ALAC lossless format. Let’s have a look at what it can do in this article.

Identify and tag tracks from Internet

By the help of Amazon web services, it can automatically identify and tag music tracks in your library. It can also download album art and store it in the corresponding tag of each music file. In addition, you can install the Minilyrics add-on if you want it to automatically download and save lyrics for your music.

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The serious or classical music collector can also assign a broad range of more advanced attributes, such as composer, original year and album, etc:

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You can even change among Amazon shops in different countries if you don’t find your music in a specific country:

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Organize files based on tags

MediaMonkey also let you to organize your files based on tags, which works exactly the same as ITunes but in a more flexible way. You can define different organization rules for different genres so that pop music is organized by artist while classical music is organized by composer:

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I normally prefer the following rule to organize my music files, this will make sure that multi-disc albums will be organized by disc#. Read more examples about file masks here.

f:\Music\<Album Artist>\<Album>
       \$if(<Disk#>,CD<Disk#>)\<Track#:2>-<Artist>-<Title>

Synchronization with mobile devices

MediaMonkey supports synchronize your music with many different mobile devices including Apple’s products as well as your SONY MP3 player and Android smart phone. The only thing it cannot support for me is SONY’s minidisc devices, but this is due to the special format used in minidisc devices. You can find the complete compatibility list here

Be ware that you still need ITunes installed in order to synchronize music with your IPhone or IPad, the complete tutorial on how to setup ITunes together with MediaMonkey can be found here and here.

One of the coolest feature is that MediaMonkey convert your music files to the right format on the fly before sending the file to your device, it can even auto-leveling levels track volume so that tracks play at a steady volume. See below I configured it to convert all my FLAC to MP3 for my Windows Mobile phone:

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Rip CDs and convert audio formats

When inserting a CD, MediaMonkey can rip it to your harddisk in various audio formats. It uses freedb to retrieve tags for each track and convert the file into the format you prefer. No doubt that MediaMonkey also supports conversion between two different audio formats by using various encoders such as LAME MP3 encoder and WMA encoder. Be aware that it doesn’t directly support ALAC (Apple’s lossless format), if you need ALAC support you have to buy the AAC/M4A encoder here.

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Other features

  • Powerful organization of music library which enables you to find a track easily. Filters and views allow large music libraries to be segmented into sub-collections such as classical music, kids music, or contemporary music, each configured with custom views and playback rules. For example, a classical music collection can be configured to display a conductor node and play with cross-fading disabled, whereas contemporary Music wouldn’t.
  • Create Playlists with ease. Just drag and drop your tunes to mix mp3s and other files from your Library, create AutoPlaylists based on simple search criteria, or use the Auto-DJ to automatically create a mix for you. Your playlists will remain intact even when you rename files and/or retag them. If you’re using third-party devices or players, MediaMonkey can export playlists to m3u files.
  • Burn Audio CDs using the integrated burner powered by PrimoBurner™. Just select any tracks or playlists and quickly create CD masterpieces using the most reliable CD burning engine around.

So far I’m pretty happy with it with the only exception that it doesn’t support WASAPI output which prevent me from removing foobar2000 from my PC.

Posted in: HTPC