A Google Holiday Doodle

holidays-2016-day-3-4668988412919808-hp2x

‘Tis the season! During this festive time of year, there’s nothing quite like cozying up in front of the fireplace with family and friends. Here’s to a day filled with love, warmth, and mugs of hot cocoa.

Doodle by Gerben Steenks

https://www.google.com/doodles

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How to Reorganize a Media Monkey Library with Lots of Playlists

A work in progress  MM = MediaMonkey

Tags
“A guide to reorganizing a large MediaMonkey Library”

MediaMonkey Version 4.1.18.1853  Gold
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 10.0.15063

I wrote this guide as I was researching how to reorganize my music library.  Media Monkey has many capabilities and features that make this extremely easy.  It is flexible and powerful.  This guide pulls together the steps I think are prudent when undertaking this task.  First thing, buy a USB drive large twice as large as your collected works.

BTW, my library was in pretty good shape, until I whacked it.  It was either when I was adding some public domain music or when I was creating previews. I never really had to do much with MM, it just worked.  Then I started adding non standard (missing meta data, etc) files to the library.  My original library was segregated into 2 major sections.  Everything I ripped from CD originally was in folders by my own “genre” classification.  The actual genre classification in the metadata was much more diverse than my personal “genre”.   Everything else was added to “Recordings Purchased After 2009 Music”. I used this setup for over 10 years, and never really had to think or worry about it.   I am know going to set up automatic rules that keep my library organized the way I want it.  I hope this guide gives you an idea of some of almost unlimited things you can do with MM.  This post is rather long, mostly because it shows lots of examples and details.  The Short Story (TSS) is, I fixed the crap I added to have 2 of my own “genres”.  Then I set up automatic rules to keep the rest of the library organized by the original genre in the metadata.

My Original library:

D:\
Classical Music
Jazz Music
Miscellaneous Music
My Music
Other Music
Our Music
Pop Music
Recordings Purchase After 2017 Music
Soul Music
Soundtracks Musicals Music

E:\
Christmas Music
Recordings Purchased After 2009 Music

Let us get started!

1) ->File – Create Reports – Click on Statistics

MediaMonkey Music Library Statistics (Edited)

Totals
Type Library Played
Artists 876 491
Albums 722 461
Genres 64 49
Years 70 55
Playlists 118 108
Tracks 6929 1750
Length (h:mm:ss) 502:55:23 125:20:46
File size 155 GB 37.4 GB
Top 10 Genres
Tracks Genre Length File size
2080 Rock 151:35:48 54.1 GB
944 Classical 73:11:44 17.0 GB
899 Jazz 79:15:09 25.0 GB
435 Blues 26:40:33 8.60 GB
367 Soundtrack 21:34:41 6.37 GB
359 Pop 24:45:13 8.13 GB
233 Soul 13:00:03 4.29 GB
195 Variété française 11:41:58 3.82 GB
112 Christmas 4:21:55 1.32 GB
79 PublicDomain 2:33:19 304 MB
….

Generated by MediaMonkey ON Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 9:04:42 AM

Add up the space you see in File Explorer Properties for your Library

D:\ 107.0GB
E:\   48.7GB
=========
155.7 = Library File Size from above. Yeah, they agree!

->Click on Entire Library in the Media Tree

->File – Create Reports – click on the file list format of your choice. Save copies of these reports to compare totals etc after your reorg.

2) Backup your music (and other media) and MM files

How to Backup and Recover a MediaMonkey Library
Updated by Russell Samuels on Nov 30, 2014
http://www.mediamonkey.com/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/63/3/how-to-backup-and-recover-a-mediamonkey-library

I backed up everything under
C:\Users\{USERNAME}\AppData\Roaming\MediaMonkey

CDPlayer.ini
Extensions
Extensions.ini
favicons
MediaMonkey.ini
mediamonkey.m3u8
MediaMonkeyDEc2011.ini
MetadataCache
milkdrop_config.ini
MM.DB
Plugins
Scripts
Skins
xcopy "C:\Users\{USERNAME}\AppData\Roaming\MediaMonkey\*"     "I:\MMDB\*.*" /s /r /y /q /d

I also backup my Milkdrop2 visualizations:  C:\Program Files (x86)\MediaMonkey\Plugins\Milkdrop2.

I also exported all my playlists with a script (Tools – Scripts – Export all Playlists)

Related topics

Modifying the MediaMonkey db and ini files
http://www.mediamonkey.com/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/16

Moving MM to a new computer http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/Moving_MM_to_a_new_computer

I have extensions etc. that I would probably have to reinstall if I moved to a new computer.

http://solair.eunet.rs/~zvezdand/UpdateLocationOfFiles.htm
Update Location of Files in Database
Version 1.4.3
– MediaMonkey Add-on –

3) Fix problems with your library

You can fix issues you find, or you can just ignore them.  This does let you find some things that otherwise, you might have forgotten about. You should probably review the settings you have for you library under:

->Tools – Options – Library

There are a lot of options. I use:

I turn on File Monitor for a folder “To Be Organized” when I add new files to the library.

Library

Tags and Playlists

Metadata lookup

This is one of the most important sections I will discuss later.  I learned the hard way to click on “Delete emptied folders”.

Auto Organize

I turned on Automatically organize file (during scans and edits)  for the reorg.  I turned it off after. I turn it back on when I add new files.

Apperance

Media tree

Search

To edit a song or multiple songs, select them in the media tree, right click ,  -> Properties.  Change the fields you want to change. When doing multiple files, you can change things like genre, but not title.

You can tag things with multiple genres

http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=34372

Review the sections in your media tree under Available Tracks (also Music):

Artist & Album Artist
Album
Files to Edit
Genre

Look for unknown and other anomalies. Missing titles, album names, album artists, genres etc.

I have a few files that are sound clips, previews, funny clips from the internet, public domain music (for videos I post to YouTube etc), ripped from vinyl that have issues. I have files that I just plain screwed up. I scan under Albums and other categories see stuff that’s not right.

Album Excerpts (Sound clips)
Doctor Gary
Doctor Gary (Doctor Gary)
None
Track 10
Ultimate Download Disc and MediaMonkey Guide to Better Sound (ceu) (I screwed these up by using artist instead of album artist when I put thes in my DB)
V-Disc-308A
gj (gj and others)

I also looked at the files in Windows File Explorer.  I navigated to the folders called Unknown (etc.),  I see some of the MM library issues in the files on disk:

I have /Unknown/Unknown.

Back in MM, check the section Files to Edit in your Media Tree under Available Tracks.  Give it some time to work. Review the sections you care about under Files to Edit.  It don’t care about ratings and beats etc, however, some folks really like this capability. Fix the sections you care about.

For  Unsynchronized tags
http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/Synchronizing_Your_Tags

Select all files in this section (Ctrl-A).
Click Tools > Advanced Tag Management > Synchronize tags…

Multiple Artist Albums
If you have an album that has multiple artists, like a Woodstock album, you will get the artists for each track, but, the whole album will have  “Various Artists” for Album Artist.  That is the reason they have that field.
I have 2 albums called Greatest Hits, there were different artists, that confused the multi album process, but otherwise it worked really well. See Optimize Database – Create Multi Artist Albums.

I had instances where Artist / Album / Genre information was missing or inaccurate. I had files I edited and created for ringtones, or for phone messages etc and the stuff I downloaded for Videos (Public Domain).  My genres for these items was all over the place or missing.  I reviewed  the section under “Genres”. When you sort the column for genres by genre, you can get a list of all the empty genres!

I setup new Genres for:

Excerpts = from internet, audacity whatever, if it could be claimed as copyrighted

Genre -excerpts
Album -Album artist
Album artist -Artist

Examples
ItsABeautifulDay,  U2 U2
It’s a drag getting old,  Rolling Stones, Rolling Stones
ClintonLew,  Unknown, Unknown

PublicDomain is for anything that is not copyright protected
Genre – PublicDomain
Artist  – unknown
Album – ShortClips

I fixed the tags for genre (my main organization rule).

Some things have subtle problems.  It will prompt you if a file is read only.  You have to give it some time to work on occasions; however, the Monkey is pretty snappy.  I was unable to write the tags for some .wav and .ogg files. I selected the files, Tools – Convert Format, select “convert replace”, and I rewrote the tags and it worked. The new mp3 files had the tags. Then I did not see a few files, I tried to rescan, but, I had checked , ignore files shorter than 20 kb.

Again, do not forget to update the tags in your files after editing:
Click on Unsynchronized Tags, it will scan your entire library.

->Tools -Advanced Tag Management – Synchronize Tags.

4) Where are you going to store your new Library?

Some of the free and other media managers will try to import music files it sees in the Windows default locations for music under libraries, into their own catalog.

C:\Users\{USERNAME}\Music

I do not want that to happen, so for the time being I am leaving my MM library out of the Windows Music Library.  I am moving my library to a USB drive that I will eventually connect as a NAS and share with all the computers in the house.  There are other options to explore, see “For your consideration” below. If you ever want to include your music in the library structure, it is relatively easy.

How to use libraries in Windows 10

5) Do some Research

Read these topics:

Organizing Files and Folders

http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/WebHelp:Changing_Filenames/4.0

I see collections for Classical Music.  There is a category under properties for Type, and it looks like it is for different types of media, mostly, classical music being the exception. I don’t know if we can set up our own collections. I don’t know how MM determines Type = Classical?.  I am guessing this is used for different file extension media types.

http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/WebHelp:Playback_Rules/4.0

Auto organize

Configuring Directory and Filename Formats

http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/WebHelp:Configuring_Directory_and_File_Formats/4.0

If you click on Tools – Auto-Organize Files and set up a rule there, it will show you the changes that will be made prior to making them. It will show if you will end up with duplicate files (which will overwrite files). You can use it to move to a different folder, different drive or to network storage. When you use MediaMonkey to move/rename files it will update any Playlists within MediaMonkey.  I am trying to set up automatic auto organize rules that will keep my library  organized they way I want.

User Auto-Organize File Masks Examples

http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/User_Auto-Organize_File_Masks_Examples

Auto organize problem:
I saw this in the MM forum.  While running auto organize “It is very possible that Windows explorer is creating Thumbs file and read it so it is locked for moving. Thus Retry works.”

Turn off Thumbs.db

https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001061.htm

To disable it, all you need to do is just to enable “Always show icons, never thumbnails” option in Folder Options. To open Folder Options window, the easiest way in Windows 7 and 8 is to press Win key, type “folder options”, and click it. Your image folders will become so plain and boring once you Apply the change.Nov 2, 20

7) Set up Auto Organize

Review this to get some good ideas of what you can do with auto organize rules.

http://www.mediamonkey.com/wiki/index.php/User_Auto-Organize_File_Masks_Examples

To set up auto – organize rules,  Tools – Options – Auto Organize
Double click to edit a rule, or on new, to set up a new Auto-Organize Rule.

2017-11-08

Expand the arrow by Genre and select the genres for this rule (and destination).  In this example I show the last rule for my set, the default.

Note the destination, I:\Default is hardcoded as the first item. Be sure to use album artist so that multi artist albums go to Various , instead of every different artist.

I setup destination folders for the main categories (Classical , Jazz).

I have the Classical collection, and I moved it by selecting on the genre and setting up the destination.  Check Type in properties.

Classical\album  A collection

Classical
Check that Classical + Opera etc works

Setup the section Organize these files using the following Directory and Filename format.

The destination folders are in bold.

I use #Track – Title for the file name.
Underneath this for each main category (Classical, Jazz…) is the genres that go with that section

\Jazz\album artist\album

Acid Jazz
Bluegrass
Easy Listening
ethnic
Fusion
Instrumental
International
Jazz
Jazz  + Bebob
Jazz +  Big Band
Jazz + Fusion
Neuvo Flamenco
New Age
Other
Smooth Jazz
World
World Music

\Comedy\album artist\album

comedy

\Christmas\album\

Christmas

Rock\album artist\album

50’s Rock
Alt/Punk
Alternative
Alternative Rock
Blues Rock
Classic Rock
Country
Country-Rock
Electronic
Folk
Folk Rock
Hard Rock
Metal
Rap & Hip-Hop
Rock
Reggae
Pop/Funk
Rock/Pop

Blues\album artist\album

Blues
blues   is it case sensitive ?

Pop\album artist\album

Club
Dance
Dance & DJ
Disco
Funk
Latin
Pop
R&B
Vocal

Soul\album artist\album

soul

Soundtracks\album

Soundtrack
Soundtracks

French\Album artist\Album

Varrite francais

Excepts/Album artist/Album

Excerpts

Traditional\album artist\album

Traditional

Jason\Album artist\album

Jason

Rich\Album artist\album

Rich – Richard Van Deuson

Meditation\Album Artist\album

meditative

Default\album artist\album
None (but lowest precedence)

Last rule I set up has no selection for genre, hopefully the exceptions will always fallout there.

I made sure to do both a quick and complete File Maintain Database and I made another copy of the MediaMonkey database before starting the the auto organize.

I also did a Tools – Export All Playlists

Did you review Files to Edit under Available tracks again?

I selected sub sections of my library, for example D:\Blues, and hit the Insert key, and MM did its magic.  A couple of hours elapsed time to reorganize my library.

At the end, I still had a few things to fix, so I was editing, Ctrl S, synchronizing tags and then hitting Insert. Easy Peasey after you do it for a couple of hours!   I had one album, Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, by Kimiko Ishizaka (free Classical Music) that I had to change the Type from Music to Classical to get in the right place.

For your consideration

Final Thoughts
Exclude your music library from indexing and searching.

When I want to move new files into the library. First I check the tags. Most music that is bought will have valid tags; however, free, Public Domain and other sources may not. If I need to I fix the tags. Then I move the file into my folder “To Be Organized”.

Turn on File Monitor to scan “To Be Organized” at startup
Turn on Auto Organize
After the new stuff has been has been added, I turn them off.

I am going to do another post on Setting up a Portable Media Monkey Installation.

A view of my auto organize rules

2017-11-07 (1)

Multi Album Artists:

2017-11-07

This is screenshot showing playlists, on the right.

2017-11-07 (2)


If you did not select delete empty dirs under auto organize, this might be helpful

Powerscipt to find empty dirs ( run it multiple times as it is not smart)

(gci X:\ -r | ? {$_.PSIsContainer -eq $True}) | ?{$_.GetFileSystemInfos().Count -eq 0} | select FullName

Where X:\ is the drive:\path you want to check for empty directories

I copy the empty dirs and put it in a batch file with RD (remove directory) and /s to do subs, example:
RD “E:\Recordings Purchased After 2009 Music\AAA\the life” \s

Windows RD in a bat file did not like the characters that are above 128 in the code page, so files like this will fail:
E:\Recordings Purchased After 2009 Music\Björk\Homogenic

This looks like a work around, but I have not tried it:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9849486/is-it-possible-to-use-extened-ascii-characters-in-a-bat-file

 

Compare 2 Lists of Names

Compare 2 lists, with different name formats, different file formats (excel, txt, csv, pdf …) etc

  1. convert all files into csv with strings “” encoded
  2. convert to common encoding (usually utf-8 or  Win – 1252)
  3. parse names into nickname, salutation, first, initials or middle, last, suffix **
  4. match on last, then first  do exception list
  5. do fuzzy match on last, first do exception list

I ask people to give me excel files. I give them a little help on how to do that, but a search on importing and converting data into excel usually makes it pretty easy. This also usually gets the encoding into utf-8, however, that is a separate issue.

I load the data from the output of 3 into an sql table and do a number of matches

CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `TicTack`(
`FName` varchar(50) COLLATE latin1_bin NOT NULL DEFAULT ”,
`LName` varchar(50) COLLATE latin1_bin NOT NULL DEFAULT ”,
`H` ENUM(‘Y’, ‘N’) default ‘N’,
`P` ENUM(‘Y’, ‘N’) default ‘N’,
`K` ENUM(‘Y’, ‘N’) default ‘N’,
`R` ENUM(‘Y’, ‘N’) default ‘N’,
`Flag` TINYINT UNSIGNED NOT NULL DEFAULT 0,
PRIMARY KEY (`LName`,`FName`)
) ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1 COLLATE=latin1_bin;

algorithmia.com

https://algorithmia.com/algorithms/Nilojyoti/ConferenceNameMatching

The sample code I looked at for the name disambiguation is a classic string compare algorithm.


import Algorithmia
import csv
import sys
from numpy import zeros
from time import time

def apply(input):
venues = Algorithmia.file(“data://Nilojyoti/dblp/dblp_venues.csv”).getString()
wiki_venues = Algorithmia.file(“data://Nilojyoti/dblp/wikipedia_venues.csv”).getString()

vlist = venues.split(‘,\n’)
wlist = wiki_venues.split(‘\n’)
result_list = {}

for venue in vlist:
mindist = sys.maxint
for wikivenue in wlist:
distance = edDistDp(venue, wikivenue.split(‘ – ‘)[0])
if distance < mindist:
mindist = distance
wmatch = wikivenue
result_list[venue]=wmatch
return result_list

def edDistDp(x, y):
“”” Calculate edit distance between sequences x and y using
matrix dynamic programming. Return distance. “””
D = zeros((len(x)+1, len(y)+1), dtype=int)
D[0, 1:] = range(1, len(y)+1)
D[1:, 0] = range(1, len(x)+1)
for i in xrange(1, len(x)+1):
for j in xrange(1, len(y)+1):
delt = 1 if x[i-1] != y[j-1] else 0
D[i, j] = min(D[i-1, j-1]+delt, D[i-1, j]+1, D[i, j-1]+1)
return D[len(x), len(y)]


Example name parser

https://github.com/joshfraser/PHP-Name-Parser

Array (
[nickname] =>
[salutation] => Mr.
[fname] => Anthony
[initials] => R
[lname] => Von Fange
[suffix] => III
)
**The algorithm:**

We start by splitting the full name into separate words. We then do a dictionary lookup on the first and last words to see if they are a common prefix or suffix. Next, we take the middle portion of the string (everything minus the prefix & suffix) and look at everything except the last word of that string. We then loop through each of those words concatenating them together to make up the first name. While we’re doing that, we watch for any indication of a compound last name. It turns out that almost every compound last name starts with 1 of 16 prefixes (Von, Van, Vere, etc). If we see one of those prefixes, we break out of the first name loop and move on to concatenating the last name. We handle the capitalization issue by checking for camel-case before uppercasing the first letter of each word and lowercasing everything else. I wrote special cases for periods and dashes. We also have a couple other special cases, like ignoring words in parentheses all-together.

Check examples.php for the test suite and examples of how various name formats are parsed.

**Possible improvements**

* Handle the “Lname, Fname” format
* Separate the parsing of the name from the normalization & capitalization & make those optional
* Separate the dictionaries from the code to make it easier to do localization
* Add common name libraries to allow for things like gender detection

**Same logic, different languages**

* [Name Parser in Java](https://github.com/gkhays/NameParser)
* [Name Parser in JavaScript](https://github.com/joshfraser/JavaScript-Name-Parser)
* [Name Parser in CSharp](https://github.com/ianlee74/CSharp-Name-Parser)

**Credits & license:**

* Read more about the inspiration for this [PHP Name Parser](http://www.onlineaspect.com/2009/08/17/splitting-names/) library by [Josh Fraser](http://joshfraser.com)
* Special thanks to [Josh Jones](https://github.com/UberNerdBoy), [Timothy Wood](https://github.com/codearachnid), [Michael Waskosky](https://github.com/waskosky), [Eric Celeste](https://github.com/efc), [Josh Houghtelin](https://github.com/jhoughtelin) and [monitaure](https://www.github.com/monitaure) for their contributions. Pull requests are always welcome as long as you don’t break the test suite.
* Released under Apache 2.0 license

** Nickname is important to the convention and association industry ( a big user of this functionality) as nickname is often used on badges identifying attendees instead of first name

A few ways to check email problems

Diagnosing email problems requires you to test possible causes in an iterative fashion. For any given email, there are a complex number of factors at play in sending it and having it successfully delivered.

If you do not know how to copy and paste from web pages, documents and emails, you need to get someone to help you with your problems.  If you do not know how to use the Snipping tool or take a screenshot (if you are not using windows, search for snipping tool on the mac, or your tablet etc), learn how to do it so that you can send an exact copy of any messages etc you receive.

The short story (TSS) is, whoever is having problems sending email, send a plain text msg with no signature to the recipient.  You should get an undeliverable email back.  Another thing to do is to send to a deliberately bad email address (example bademail@baddemailemailaddress.com) so you can compare the undeliverable reports.  If something in your email looks like a forgery, or contains links to bad websites, or contains programs, bat files, .js files as attachments, it is possible that you can get rejected at the server level. Sometimes the error indicated is just a “suggestion” of where to look for your problems.  Try different variations, different senders, different organizations and email address etc and compare your results to see what the problem is.  You might want to run some of the Tools mentioned below. 

I do a quick scan of my spam folders daily and delete / empty them.  It makes tracking this sort of thing easier.  I use 3 different emails for different purposes. A smart thing to do with your email and passwords

Make sure you share your undeliverable “bounce back” emails with whoever is helping you.  Use Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, A wordpress blog, forward to a friend ….

Financial institutions, hospitals and many other organizations can have very restrictive email policies. It is not uncommon for them to reject emails with attachments or links, or pictures, or zip files etc. There are a lot of vendors serving the email market, and subtle incompatibilities between systems can arise.
S&*( Happens
If you can’t figure out the problem, start here:

1) Document your email account

How to do you access your email?

Do you use a page you access with a web browser or a program like outlook?
Do you use a service like gmail for business or outlook 365?

example

Email Address : gary@someemailprovider.com
Email Application : Chrome Browser
Log into: http://someemailprovider.com with my user name and password

other examples: Outlook 2007, Apple Mail, I log into Squirrel Mail on my web host, …

2) Both the recipient and sender should make sure they have added all pertinent sender email addresses and domains,  in their safe senders list. This varies by email provider and application  Search for it:

For example
We searched for “office 365 add domain to safe sender”
and found this:
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Block-or-allow-junk-email-settings-48c9f6f7-2309-4f95-9a4d-de987e880e46

3) Document who you are having problems sending email to:

recipient@otheremailprovider.com

4) How to create a test email

Subject: Test X (where x is the number of the test in the sequence, add 1 for each email sent)

Body:
(repeat from , to)

From: gary@someemailprovider.com
To: recipient@otheremailprovider.com

A note about this test:
examples
    First test after changing safe senders
    Removed email signature
    Sent Text email
    My time is Thu, October 17, 2017 3:06 EDT
    Sent from my phone, tablet, desktop running Windows
    ,IOS....

The person who is having trouble sending email should be doing these tests.

5)
Take a minute to send your test mail.
You notify your recipient tester that it is on the way (send a txt, leave a phone message)

You may have to wait up to an hour for it to wind its way through the systems.

It is helpful to send a plain text email, with no signature or links in the subject or body.  Again, search the help for you email provider / application.  Example “outlook.com send a text email”.  If you can send a plain text email successfully, start by removing and links, pictures, codes etc from the email with a problem.  The problem could also be a link or a picture ( a type of link) in your email signature.

6)
It is important to try and describe accurately what error codes, messages etc are associated with a test email.
The recipient and sender should always check their spam folder.
If the sender gets a message, a returned email, undeliverable etc, they notify the recipient by text or phone.
If the recipient gets a message, they notify the sender.

7) The sender should get an undeliverable message or something indicating error back.

Here is an example of an undeliverable message : Goto to example

If you can’t figure out the problem from the undeliverable report, you can copy and paste all this information into sections of a document to send it to you support person.

Sometimes the error indicated is just a “suggestion” of where to look for your problems.  Try different variations, different senders, different organizations and email address etc and compare your results to see what the problem is.

Sometimes it is useful to both copy and paste the message and to do a screenshot or snippet of what you think is the most pertinent part is.  Look for an easy to read message stating what the error is.

If you do not get an undeliverable message back,  try some of the variations mentioned above.  Have someone else in a different organization, with a different email provider try and send a test text message and see what happens.  And, make sure you have internet access etc before you call in the calvary for help. Computer Problems?


If you do not get any errors, but, do not receive the expected email both sender and recipient forward a email containing the pertinent information above to your tech support teams asking them to please resolve the error.  If you do not have tech support, ask a knowledgeable friend for help.

Is there tech support for your email provider?
Document it so that both email support teams can talk to each other. Please provide contact information and whatever authentication codes etc you need to contact.

Example

Outlook 365
Email Address : gary@someemailprovider.com
account : My Organization

Contact email
Contact Phone
Contact chat

Email is finicky.
When you send an email it goes through a lot of steps, any of which can fail.
The most effective way to test is to test iteratively and make small changes.
But it, can be a simple process, if you follow these steps.


TOOLS

You can run tests to check your email accounts for various problems.  These are free systems and may produce erroneous or miss problems; however, in many cases they can be useful.  Document the results of your tests for whoever is helping you with your email problem.


If you send a lot of marketing or notification emails (bulk email), the first thing you  want to check to see if your address has been blacklisted.  In any case, it does not hurt to check your email address to see if its blacklisted.  The sites that check this come and go frequently, so you might have to search for something like “is my email address blocked”.  Here is an example page that show a way to get started on checking.

http://www.pinpointe.com/blog/how-do-i-know-if-im-on-a-spam-blacklist .There are a lot of lists. It is helpful to know what list the recipient (and senders) email service provider use. These lists are also quite dynamic and occasionally these sites report sites that are not on their current lists or omit sites that are on their actual or live lists.  Also see https://www.mail-tester.com/ below.  It checks you email for known flags etc. Here is another useful article on checking the known blacklists. https://www.rackaid.com/blog/email-blacklists/

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 became law on January 1, 2004. According to the FTC, if you violate the law, you could be fined $11,000 for each offense—that’s $11,000 for each email address on your list. ISPs around the country have already successfully sued spammers for millions of dollars under this law. If you send commercial email (generally sales or promotional content), you should familiarize yourself with the requirements of CAN-SPAM.

A few key points of the law include:

Never use deceptive headers, From names, reply-to addresses, or subject lines.
Always provide an unsubscribe link.
The unsubscribe link must work for at least 30 days after sending.
You must include your physical mailing address.


A simple email address checker:

http://mailtester.com/

Enter the address and check

emailtest1

Document your result:
Example:
emailtest2


A more sophisticated checker with lots of options.  https://mxtoolbox.com/

mxtoolbox1

Enter the domain name to check, When it completes, check your report.

In this case, I can hit the Find Problems or do a Blacklist check or SMTP check

mxtoolbox2

After hitting Find Problems

mxtoolbox3.png

The above is an example using my a domain I own called garyjohnsoninfo.info
In this case, the The Certificate has a name mismatch is erroneous. I do not have an https address for this site.

See the show all test button, click it

With some of the test like this, you can get an option to email yourself a report, or save a pdf of the report.  At the very least you can copy and paste this.  Or you can save the page.  Lookup how to save a page for you browser.  Usually it saves and html file and associate folder with information with the page that you can send to your support people.  From the location it saved the page, check for the name it saved it as,

Example

File ..Downloads\garyjohnsoninfo.info Domain Health.html
Folder …Downloads\garyjohnsoninfo.info Domain Health_files


Test you email for some spam checks and other red flags
https://www.mail-tester.com/ 

Follow the instructions.


In addition, learn how to do this:

See if you can do something like “View Message Source”  or “View Full Header ” for your  emails.  Someone will probably ask you to do this.


If you have no one to help you, I am available for $35 dollars an hour.

email gj@garyjohnsoninfo.info


Here is a description of some of the behind the scenes details involved in Authenticating Senders

Email authentication greatly simplifies and automates the process of identifying senders. By quickly verifying a claimed domain name, it is possible to triage the incoming flood of mail. Forgeries and known spamming domains can be rejected at the connection level, without wasting any time on data transfer, or even testing a long list of possible recipient names from the spammer’s dictionary. Reputable senders can be given a pass for an entire session, allowing them to bypass the IP blacklists and statistical filters that always lose some valid messages. The remaining flow can be treated the same as we now treat all email – rigorous filtering, return challenges to the sender, etc. Successful authentication, coupled with a domain-rating system, will reward reputable senders and encourage others to clean up their outgoing mail.

There are a number of methods to authenticate a sender’s domain name ( SPF [2], SenderID [3], CSV [4] , DomainKeys [5], and others). All are very effective in stopping the kind of forgery now prevalent. None exclude the use of other methods, although there is a lot of overlap in basic function, and some incompatibilities. There are small vulnerabilities in each method, and it may be that a combination of two will be required to cover all the cracks. The most widely used will likely be the ones that require the least effort on the part of senders who are reluctant to assume any responsibility for operating public mail servers.

CSV, SPF, and SenderID authenticate just a domain name. DomainKeys uses a Digital Signature to authenticate domain names and the entire content of a message. CSV and SPF can reject a forgery before any data transfer. SenderID must see at least the headers, and DomainKeys must transfer the entire message. CSV is the quickest. DomainKeys is the most thorough. CSV checks only the HELO name at the start of each SMTP session. SPF checks the return address on each message “envelope”. SenderID checks the From address in the headers of each message. Domainkeys can detect any alteration in the headers or body of a message.

CSV, SPF, and SenderID work by checking the IP address of the actual sender {4} against a list of addresses authorized by the alleged sender. If the sender says “HELO this is aol.com sending to you from address 192.168.72.19”, the receiver can query AOL’s records in the Domain Name System ( DNS ), and see if that is indeed an address authorized to send mail on behalf of AOL. So far, it looks like DNS is secure {5}.

DomainKeys also uses DNS to retrieve secure information from the alleged sender, but instead of a list of authorized addresses, the sender provides a public key for his domain. This key can be used to verify the signature on the message, independent of any IP address. Freedom from IP addressing means the message can go by any route, including through a forwarder.

The use of forwarders is common for small domains which prefer not to manage their own mail server, and for individual recipients, who prefer to keep their personal address when they change jobs or ISPs. SPF and SenderID can also work with forwarders, but the extra steps add complexity and some vulnerability to the system (see below). CSV limits its focus to one-hop authentications, and assumes a signature method will be used for end-to-end authentication.

Use of the DNS database to register authentication information for a domain is relatively new. The new information is added to existing DNS records, and queries for this information are handled the same way as any other DNS query. Publishing authentication records in DNS is voluntary, and many domains probably won’t bother. However, any legitimate domain, even those that don’t intend to operate public mail servers, will most likely want to block others from using their name to forge emails. A simple code in their DNS record will tell the world, “Block all mail claiming to be from our domain. We have no public mail servers.”



An Example Undeliverable Message Source

When you see … it means a whole lot of random characters that are of no interest to humans, this is just a sample of what you might see. Lots of things have been deleted, and these vary by both sender and recipient mail system

Received: from CO1NAM03HT023.eop-NAM03.prod.protection.outlook.comReceived: from CO1NAM03HT023.eop-NAM03.prod.protection.outlook.com (10.174.84.19) by BN6PR11MB1297.namprd11.prod.outlook.com with HTTPS

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

bademail@baddemailemailaddress.com (bademail@baddemailemailaddress.com)
Your message couldn’t be delivered. The Domain Name System (DNS) reported that the recipient’s domain does not exist.

Contact the recipient by some other means (by phone, for example) and ask them to tell their email admin that it appears that their domain isn’t properly registered at their domain registrar. Give them the error details shown below. It’s likely that the recipient’s email admin is the only one who can fix this problem.

For more information and tips to fix this issue see this article: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=389361.

Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server: BY2NAM01HT152.mail.protection.outlook.com
bademail@baddemailemailaddress.com
Remote Server returned ‘550 5.4.310 DNS domain baddemailemailaddress.com does not exist [Message=InfoDomainNonexistent] [LastAttemptedServerName=baddemailemailaddress.com] [BN3NAM01FT021.eop-nam01.prod.protection.outlook.com]’
Original message headers:

DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=hotmail.com;
s=selector1; h=From:Date:Subject:Message-ID:Content-Type:MIME-Version;
bh=wjaV2sx6vn+eedSgV0V8NhsIOJq8nQN1lbOOd1oWzao=;
….
G+wbQzikCALcd4njjvvM+BEe8UQ+a4/sEXqFTFpGrMwvjJsiwH9g==
Received: from BY2NAM01FT048.eop-nam01.prod.protection.outlook.com
(10.152.68.52) by BY2NAM01HT152.eop-nam01.prod.protection.outlook.com
(10.152.68.74) with Microsoft SMTP Server (version=TLS1_2,
cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA384_P384) id 15.20.77.10; Tue, 17
Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
Received: from BN6PR11MB1297.namprd11.prod.outlook.com (10.152.68.52) by
BY2NAM01FT048.mail.protection.outlook.com (10.152.68.253) with Microsoft SMTP
Server (version=TLS1_2, cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA256_P256) id
15.20.77.10 via Frontend Transport; Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
Received: from BN6PR11MB1297.namprd11.prod.outlook.com ([10.173.32.20]) by
BN6PR11MB1297.namprd11.prod.outlook.com ([10.173.32.20]) with mapi id
15.20.0077.022; Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
From: Gary ? Johnson
To: “bademail@baddemailemailaddress.com”
Subject: This is the subject line
Thread-Topic: This is the subject line
Thread-Index: AQHTR4wCXhbZPgww706li0imsCfhvw==
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01 +0000
Message-ID:
Accept-Language: en-US
Content-Language: en-US
X-MS-Has-Attach:
X-MS-TNEF-Correlator:
authentication-results: baddemailemailaddress.com; dkim=none (message not
signed) header.d=none;baddemailemailaddress.com; dmarc=none action=none
header.from=hotmail.com;
x-incomingtopheadermarker: OriginalChecksum: …
x-ms-exchange-messagesentrepresentingtype: 1
x-tmn: [5tZAHpL1A+VBmZ1x15R7VQEN4LHcVqOQ1pBIFXvOmbu5IcPjW77yWM1ZXzfh4hOY]
x-ms-publictraffictype: Email
x-microsoft-exchange-diagnostics: 1; ……=
x-incomingheadercount: 44
x-eopattributedmessage: 0
x-ms-office365-filtering-correlation-id: 276019eb-9aba-45c7-f4ae-08d515a32668
x-microsoft-antispam: UriScan:; ….
x-ms-traffictypediagnostic: BY2NAM01HT152:
x-exchange-antispam-report-test: UriScan:;
x-exchange-antispam-report-cfa-test:
….
00095);SRVR:BY2NAM01HT152;
x-forefront-prvs: 04631F8F77
x-forefront-antispam-report: SFV:NSPM;SFS:(7070007)
…….
spamdiagnosticoutput: 1:99
spamdiagnosticmetadata: NSPM
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary=”_000_BN6PR11MB1297F8271A9E0B240A14E942B54C0BN6PR11MB1297namp_”
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-OriginatorOrg: hotmail.com
X-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-originalarrivaltime: 17 Oct 2017 21:08:01.0589
(UTC)
X-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-fromentityheader: Internet
X-MS-Exchange-CrossTenant-id: 84df9e7f-e9f6-40af-b435-aaaaaaaaaaaa
X-MS-Exchange-Transport-CrossTenantHeadersStamped: BY2NAM01HT152

Copy from the Original

 

A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is
assigned to helping the other monks in copying
the old canons and laws of the church, by hand.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gKd2xaQ2WdE/Up0LzjRIv7I/AAAAAAAAdWA/B_SEVh6qnR4/s1600/1a.jpg
 
He notices, however, that all of the monks are
copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.
So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question
this, pointing out that if someone made even a small
error in the first copy, it would never be picked up!
In fact, that error would be continued in all of
the subsequent copies.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xXyt2s5l3Ek/Up0MQ4DVfpI/AAAAAAAAdWQ/N63g23NKtM8/s1600/1b.jpg
 
The head monk, says, “We have been copying
from the copies for centuries, but you make a
good point, my son.”
 
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ikLrOqA_wgs/Up0MRLBybwI/AAAAAAAAdWY/sLFnqA3XcZE/s1600/1c.jpg
 
 

He goes down into the dark caves
underneath the monastery where the original
manuscripts are held as archives,
in a locked vault that hasn’t
been opened for hundreds of years.
Hours go by and nobody sees the Old Abbot.
 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JooMp6UNAac/Up0MROpqroI/AAAAAAAAdWU/KllUO-j7QTw/s1600/1d.jpg
 
So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him.
He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing.
 
“We missed the
R
! We missed the
R
!

We missed the bloody
R
!”
 
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.

The young monk asks the old Abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”
 
With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies,
 
“The word was …
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kfMhT--6TDs/Up0LzjfKtlI/AAAAAAAAdWE/shyYUQpDrXA/s1600/1e.jpg
 
CELEBRATE!”

Making a Video while walking using a Smartphone

DRAFT

I am trying this rig.  I cut holes on the side of my smartphone case, looped some fishing line through it so I could attach a camera strap.

example of Gary using the rig

Landscape mode, no zoom

Breathe
Wear Sneakers / comfortable shoes

You must teach your mind to coordinate body movements (Kinesthetic Memory).
Learn to walk without moving your upper body up and down, side to side, or with any changes in forward speed at all.
Pick a line and walk towards it, make that line level and smooth, walk slow
Heel to toe, roll on foot
Walking heel to toe in a smooth, flowing motion helps to keep your body stable.
Take small steps
Stop with the weight on one foot.
Distribute weight from heel to toe.
Walk with wide open feet (side to side bouncing).

Walk smoothly, like Groucho Marx  in a partial squat, with his knees bent and flexed. Use your leg muscles to absorb all shock.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3rdOUNr8XE

Do not walking sideways.

Keep both arms in.
Hold both elbows near your chest. This helps create a solid platform for your camcorder, and helps prevent the accidental tilting of the camera that can occur with your arms extended away from your body.
Keep your elbow at a 90 degree angle to help with controlling the rig.

Use a Winsock
Start 2 seconds before shot

Before you pan (pivot horizontally), pre-select your start and finish compositions and plant your feet facing exactly midway between them. Twist only your upper body to frame the opening of the shot and then swivel smoothly to the end position.

When panning and/or tilting, plan a beginning and an ending before you shoot

More high tech gadgets out or coming:

http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/?s=Stabilizer

http://www.nomoreshakyvideo.com/

search for smartphone gimbal

or zhiyun smooth q gimbal at around &150 shown in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_dbhDOzSKU

Creating a Watchable Video

With smart phones and a few guidelines

TSS (The Short Story)

  • Framing – in Landscape mode
    If Interview – Rule of thirds.
    If Presentation (Like the news) Subject in middle, eyes on top rule of thirds horizontal line
    Use some space around the subject top, right, bottom, left and back and front.
  • Stability – not handheld
  • Lighting – subject faces the light, shoot near a window
    [ Subject   <- Camera (between light and subject, but not blocking light)  <- Light]
    Do not shoot into the light
  • Audio – get close
  • Set / Sound – quiet
  • Make a test video

Presenters

Be yourself. Your knowledge and enthusiasm make the video interesting.
Be aware of your sound quality. Speak loudly and clearly.  Enunciate every word and use variety in your pitch and inflections.
Use clear, concise sentences.
Use videos to enhance, rather than repeat, material about your topic that is already in a brochure or web pages.
Practice a couple of times.
Put some pizazz in your presentation — this is no time to be shy — you’re a pro gangdammit.
Show Some Enthusiasm!  Channel your inner movie star!
KISS
http://www.westwindcos.com/22-tips-on-what-to-wear-for-a-tv-interview/

Camera Operators

Get to know your equipment!   Press all the buttons. My Nexus 5x  video camera screen has 3 icons on the right and a menu on the left.  Far right is the setting for  flash, on or off.  Next to that is the setting for lighting, auto and 4 other types of lighting, Cloudy, Sunny, Fluorescent and Tungsten, and next to that the selector for what type of grid (see rule of thirds below). After you start up either your photo or video camera, tap the screen, this sets your focus and exposure level for the shot (autofocus). Depending on your version of Android, you may get a slide control that lets you manually change the exposure level.

Where is the microphone for the rear camera?
On my Nexus 5x its is the tiny hole in between the USB port and the Aux ports at the bottom of the device. I get better audio when I take my phone out of its case.

MicNexus5x

Your smartphone camera is an amazing device.  A child can make a make a pretty good video.  With a little practice, so can you.  I am an android smartphone user.  These tips are mostly not iPhone or Android specific. This link https://wistia.com/library/shooting-video-with-an-iphone talks about using exposure lock and not using digital zoom, other than that, it has the same tips as in this article.

Sunny Lenarduzzi has some short, to the point videos

How to Make Videos with your Phone
https://youtu.be/j685NaMDVYE

How to Get Comfortable on Camera
https://youtu.be/ymyVwx4xNNQ


MAKE SOME VIDEOS.  Use these tips and find out what works for you!

More Tips and Tricks

Chose a good location. Determine if the background is appropriate to your topic.
An office background is fine; however,  make sure there is no movement or distracting items.  You want the focus on the subject. You do not want something in the background drawing the viewer’s attention.

Record in a quiet place and use the best quality microphone available.
If you’re not using a mic, get as close to the subject as possible.
If you shoot outside, or inside in a public area, a microphone is critical.
Close all windows and doors. Turn off any fans, heaters or other noises in the room.

Try and have a nice natural light shine on your subject.
The subjects should face the light (the window, etc.)!

Shoot a test video.

View it to determine if there is wind or any other noise. Do a soundcheck! Check for reflections and shadows, glare, etc.  If your test video is too dark, try using a lamp off to the to side, and shining down on subject

The Rule of Thirds and The Golden Ratio

What are those Grid Lines on your camera’s viewfinder?  When shooting a single speaker, it is fine to frame your subject in the center, with the eyes along the top line of the rule of thirds grid.  For other landscape scenes, take a look at the next 3 links.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
Rule of third examples
The golden ratio examples

File Formats

If multiple people are making videos, make sure they all shoot in landscape!
The video format standard to use, or save as, or convert to is Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264. Youtube will convert a lot of formats when you upload to a decent streaming format.

Video Stability

Use a tripod or some kind of fixed stand.

SmartPhone Tripod Adapter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czbj4i59u4U
http://www.gearbest.com/mount-holder/pp_24409.html $1.62
Amazon and Best Buy are pricey, try Walmart and Ebay.

Homemade Tripods

A couple of really easy do- it-yourself tripods can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTtJovKtujo My favorite:

sipandstand

Does the camera have to move? Let me google smartphone dolly for you.

Example Mic

https://www.amazon.com/Rode-VideoMic-Directional-Microphone-Phones/dp/B018KIJGU8/ref=cm_sw_em_r_d_dp_dc_O.iHzb9XKME7N_lm

Older microphones use the TRS plug standard. It has 2 rings. Mikes that plugin to your phone use the 3 ring TRRS standard. On android, you need to use Open Camera to select the microphone as the audio input.  Let me google “microphone for iPhone” for you http://lmgtfy.com/?q=microphone+for+iPhone.

Example Winsock for Shooting Outdoors

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M2VP8T5/ref=pd_luc_rh_sbs_03_03_t_img_lh?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

One of the real pains in shooting outdoors is wind noise.  A winsock aka dead cat (let me google that for you http://lmgtfy.com/?q=dead+cat+wind+sock ) really cuts down and this problem.

Homemade Winsocks

spongewinsockhttps://youtu.be/E9Qo7dGtiMU Trim it with scissors, and color it black , it does the trick
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am3bxXGe72A&feature=youtu.be

Example Video with Tips on Making Types of Promotional Videos

https://youtu.be/bzJUuamNTNY I have included this link as an example of how to present in a video.  Notice the gentlemen’s style. Relaxed, yet enthusiastic.

More on Lighting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwrGLPi6qb4Inexpensive LED Lights.
A nice LED light for $25 LED that you can mount on a tripod.
https://www.slideshare.net/shanovitz/lighting-in-film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoS86EOkojI  nice tip on white balance.

Video Editing

You need an opening credits and closing credits,  Sprinkle in some slides.
I use NCH Videopad.  Learn how to trim clips, add transitions and add music.  Overlay text to make important points.

Use Some Public Domain Music

http://nocopyrightsounds.co.uk/
https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Audio_files_of_music
http://freemusicarchive.org/curator/video

Video Hosting

Use Youtube or another suitable streaming video platform to host your video.
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en
Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264.

Learn about your Smartphone’s Video Assistant Capabilities.

I use an Android Nexus 5x with Google Project Fi.  I go to https://photos.google.com. I click on assitant, and I can create animations, collages and a number of other cool things. The capabilities on my phone are even more amazing.  I can create a movie using up to 50 pictures.

Making a video can get out of control, hopefully, this this will help put things in perspective:

The Millennial Marriage Proposal : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTIpt65Ns24

Taking it to the next step, the Upgrade

https://www.podcastgarage.org/field-kit-rentals-faq
In Boston, you can rent really nice equipment to make videos.

http://www.robbmontgomery.com/p/gear.html More gear.

My Youtube Account  SCEH Youtube page

Other Resources

https://video.stackexchange.com/

https://vimeo.com/blog/category/video-school

https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-video

Meetups https://www.meetup.com
Boston Film and Video Production

https://www.videomaker.com

Android users may find it a little more difficult to get more detailed information about their devices. There are many more manufacturers for Android devices. Luckily, you do not need much more than what’s here to make a good video.

There is way, way, way more to photography and video than these tips.   Take for instance this very short tip on Depth Of Field:

The first rule for understanding aperture and depth of field is very simple: the larger the aperture, the shallower your depth of field will be, meaning a smaller portion of your image will be in focus. The smaller the aperture, the deeper your depth of field will be, resulting in more of your image being in focus. Now here’s the tricky part: aperture size is denoted by a number, and the smaller the number, the larger the aperture. Setting your aperture setting to f2.8 will yield shallower depth of field than setting it to f11. Another way to think of it is that a smaller number means less depth of field.

A more comprehensive tutorial on the subject http://photography.bastardsbook.com/toc/ has, not all kinds of light are equal, Overexposure, underexposure, iso shutter speed, etc.

Planning for my new Audio / Video Setup

Main Objectives Baseline

Quality OTA (1080i or better, dolby 5.1 compatible) recording (2 tuners) access from main TV room.
One programmable remote to control 90 percent of the functions of all components.
Streaming Lossless Music Playback (high quality, better than mp3 quality).
Ability to add and replace service providers like Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Youtube, Sling without investing in a lot of proprietary boxes.
A new TV that does not lock me into its smart features.

I will probably need to get a new HTPC / jukebox and a new receiver.  

I have a small string of lights behind the TV for illumination, other than that, we watch in a darkened room.  I currently have a have a 43 inch Panasonic TV, a ONKYO home theater receiver and a 5.1 sound system, a HTPC and a NETFLIX win 10 machine.  I use Media Monkey as a music jukebox player and have most of my CDs ripped as FLAC.  We currently use one other TV, and 2 other stereos and 2 pcs.

I want to upgrade our OTA recordings capability to something that is not dependent on my Windows 7 box.  Streaming that to another TV is nice, but not really a priority.

I have yet to see any clear advantages in the OTA recording options. More importantly, I don’t see the limitations or conflicts that could arise.

https://www.silicondust.com/product/hdhomerun-connect/
https://www.tablotv.com/products/
https://www.tivo.com
https://www.tablotv.com/blog/tablo-vs-tivo-roamio-ota-cost-feature-comparison/

When I start to consider Plex, Kodi, Media Portal, Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC), I start to overload.

Tablio for KODI?    with dolby 5.1 https://www.thatsitguys.com/how-to/get-surround-sound-working-kodi

Serious Work  on what to do http://montgomery1.com/htpc/

https://www.team-mediaportal.com/wiki/
https://forum.kodi.tv/index.php
http://www.schedulesdirect.org/
https://www.silicondust.com/product/hdhomerun-connect/

Ramblings

This blog is called the random musings.  This post is a great example.  One of things I am planning for is to prevent lock in.  Your cable company, your satellite tv provider, want you to be a customer for life.  If you want an idea of how badly, just try and cancel your service.  After I canceled DirecTV, I wrote this. To customer retention specialist everywhere: Really aggravating process.  I don’t mind using their services; however, I want to make sure it is easy for me to switch, well, in case they start (continue ..) price gouging.   I start with my  AV-receiver as the heart of my system, then the speakers, the TV and then I lay out how various providers connect to them.  And I need an easy to use remote control setup to control it. My last setup seems simple compared to what I am planning for next.  I need internet protocol, irc, rf, bluetooth and who knows what else kind of control.  Alexa and the Google Home product come to mind. I need a centralized data store for all this audio and visual content. I plan on hardwiring the biggest data hogs so that I don’t have to worry about wireless access degradation.

Today, I have a Windows 7 machine that I use as an Home Theater PC (HTPC) and a jukebox.  Mickeysoft has pretty much abandoned Windows Media Center, so our doing OTA recording on this machine looks dicey in the near future.  TV has a line going through it.  Sound is fantastic, bought, it takes up a lot of room.  We got rid of DIRECTV and set up a laptop to stream Netflix and play movies.  I did this so as not to interfere with the  HTPC recording.  Disk, arm contention and all that jazz.   Having a HTPC as part of the system has worked out great.  With it, I was able to say, I really won’t miss Directv that much.  I am worried that all the vendors know this, and they want to sell you proprietary boxes. Well, not worried, but wary.  My prefered method of accessing new services is through a HTPC, so I don’t get locked into proprietary devices.  It also can make accessing by remote a little cleaner.  My baseline for audio over these services is dolby 5.1.  But life gets complicated.  To run Netflix with 5.1, you have to use Windows 10.  This is an example of the kind of thing I plan on working around.  One of the things I can’t work around is the fact that if you try and buy a non 4k tv, it is probably not going to have the bells and whistles that you want.  Not being able to get a few of the things you want is a pretty common occurrence. The big providers have no incentive in doing anything that makes it easy for people to plan make own systems.  I say we draft the Netflix guy for president. He really popularized an easy, inexpensive alternative to what is easily one of the biggest industries in the world.  That is genius.  I rant to easily!

Streaming and Possible Data Caps and 4K TVs

In 2015, the FCC redefined what really constitutes “broadband” speed in the US as 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds, up from 4 Mbps, which was the standard since 2010.

We love streaming. We are seeing some great movies with the Netflix DVD plan.  I miss maybe 3 or 4 shoes that I don’t get, but it’s more than offset by being able to watch Kimmy, Evil (House of Cards) and a zillion other things.

So I go to look at TVs.  4K TVs are the rage.  We set our Netflix Windows 10 app to play at High Quality, up to 3GB per hour in data.

Comcast has capped data usage at 1 terabyte per month in 20 states or so, so I am using that as my monthly budget.  I have seen articles that say they will offer data beyond the cap at an extra $50 a month, but, Comcast is the last company I want to give more money to.  3 GB per hour or 333 hours to use a terabyte of data.  A high estimate of our streaming usage is 5 days a week, 4 hours or 20 a week or 80 hours a month.  80 hours of Netflix at High is 80 x 3 or 240gb or around 1/4 of the cap.  So cap wise, we look okay.

To stream 4k, they say you need a good internet connection.  Our speeds are not bad.  We stream at high quality, Dolby 5.1 and our current TV is 1080i, or half the bandwidth of 1080p.  We when we first start streaming a show, the quality is not so good.  Okay, they use a lot of compression in streaming, and they do a lot of tricks to conserve bandwidth.  I think of it like this, they do not paint all the pixels in the background for the first bit of viewing, until they figure out how to paint them on the screen correctly for this particular show.  On our TV, it only paints half the pixels of HD 1080p, and the quality at the beginning is low.  HDR basically quadruples that.  I have heard mention of HDR streaming is crap.  I goggled “tips for streaming 4K”.  I was not impressed with what I saw.  Pretty much useless drivel.  So it’s June in 2017, streaming 4K does not look like a real possibility.  There is another technology called HDR that has promise to increase video quality, however, in both cases 4K and HDR, the content available with these technologies is low.  I doubt many OTA broadcast stations will offer any 4k soon.  I would be surprised to see even 1080p in the near future.

(see http://www.liveproductionblog.com/why-are-there-no-1080p-tv-channels/)

My bottom line, if you a cord cutter, wait on 4K and HDR.

https://www.techhive.com/article/3112868/home-tech/why-your-home-theater-pc-still-cant-stream-4k-ultra-hd-video.html

Securing 4K video on a television also requires you to buy an all-new monitor and cables that support both HDMI 2.0 and the new HDCP 2.2 copy-protection standard—which, chances are, none of your existing hardware does.

HDR might be nice to have, but,

Right now, 1080p HDR televisions are practically unheard of, as vendors market 4K and HDR together as premium features. And on the content side, movie studios tend to bundle 4K and HDR, with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and on-demand streams costing more money than their 1080p counterparts.

https://www.techhive.com/article/3199426/streaming-services/streaming-tv-industry-says-hdr-better-than-4k-resolution.html

FYI, I get a little confused when I see YouTube saying look at this 4K (Ultra HD) content, which they scale down and show on my PC at 480i. The videos are nice, but, I know I am watching 480i.  I think they should say, your equipment can’t handle the 4K

Via Slashdot :

The latest televisions have more pixels than ever. But can your eyes detect the difference? The answer is yes — if you sit close enough. Old TVs had 349,920 pixels. High-definition flat screens bumped up the total to 2 million. Ultrahigh-definition sets inflated it to 8 million. And manufacturers are now experimenting with 8K TVs that have an astounding 33 million pixels. More pixels render hair, fur and skin with greater detail, but the benefit depends on viewing the screen from an ideal distance so the sharpness of the images is clear, but the tiny points of illumination aren’t individually distinguishable. According to standards set by the International Telecommunication Union, that ideal distance is 3 times the height of an HDTV screen, 1.5 times the height of a UHDTV screen and .75 times the height of an 8K screen (Editor’s note: the link could be paywalled; here’s a PDF copy of the newspaper). Given those measurements, viewers should sit 6 feet away from a 50-inch HDTV with a 24.5-inch tall screen. But they should sit just 3 feet from a UHDTV of the same size, closer than most Americans prefer.
I like sitting more than 6 feet away!
You can stream 4K Ultra HD on several online video services: Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu with their devices.  I need research on how to connect their devices to a Home Theater Receiver.

Component List of new System

 DVR
HTPC / DVR/ Sling / Hulu / Youtube /
Windows 10 system with PlayReady (DRM for 4K).
AV receiver
Add on Remotes
TV
Proprietary boxes
Audio Juke Box

Networking and Connecting you sytems

Room Layout

Audio Specs

dolby 5.1
Stereo

Video Specs

HTPC Specs

hdmi, optical, rgb, …. display port ??
Data store specs

 Notes

Rated Output Power (North American)
With 8 ohm loads, both channels driven, from 20-20,000 Hz; rated 100
watts per channel minimum RMS power, with no more than 0.7% total
harmonic distortion from 250 milliwatts to rated output.

Surround Mode Output Power ()
(6 ohms, 1 kHz THD 0.9%) 115 W per channel)

● Supports playback in Dolby Atmos format which
provides 360-degree placement and movement of
sounds including overhead sound
● Dolby Surround listening mode expands 2 ch, 5.1 ch or
7.1 ch source to available speaker configurations
● Equipped with 4K compatible HDMI IN/OUT jacks
● Supports the HDMI Standby Through function which
allows signal transmission from players to the TV in
standby state
● Supports HDCP2.2, high quality content (HDMI IN1 to IN3/HDMI OUT)
● Supports ARC (Audio Return Channel)
● Supports  DLNA, AirPlay etc.
● Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®
● Bi-Amping capability
● A/V Sync Function to correct deviation of audio and
video
● 32 bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor)
● Automatic speaker setup available using supplied
calibrated microphone (AccuEQ Room Calibration)

Cabling comments via BLU

Run conduit with pull strings so you can easily install whatever you
need and remove it later when you decide to replace it.

I am sorry, but I completely disagree.  Even with modern Wifi, I can get
much better throughput using physical wires if for no other reason than
each link can be switched and therefore isn’t “shared”.  With Wifi,
every device is sharing the medium.  I.e., I can get 20-30Gbps aggregate
across my 1Gbps physical network, versus maybe 1.2Gbps across my 1200AC
Wifi.  And let’s not even start with interference from my neighbors!
Indeed.  I’m thinking not just IP, but also possibly HDBaseT.  I’m going
to run separate Cat5e for my PoE security cameras (which only need 100mbps).
Cat6a throughout.

Over the top

OM3 multimode with LC connectors can handle 25, 40, 50 and 100G ethernet at
100m. One pair per room should be fine — but really, the
switch cost will be nasty for all the ports you don’t use.

——— more cabling

everything is conduit so it is easy to pull a replacement cable

CAT6 cable, CAT6 wall jacks, patch panels, and patch cables (these connect from the patch panel to the switch and other active equipment.

Use color coded cable identification tags .
Mark the wall jacks something like 1A & 1B and the cables the same way. Post a cross-reference from the number to the room next to the terminations.

Whenever possible, route the power cords away from the signal cables or speaker wires to prevent any hum or interference heard in the speakers.

Items such as Wireless Router, Radio, Cell Phones, desktop fans, Fluorescent lights, Large metal objects, including computer cases and metal furniture may interfere with the signal of the mouse. Please keep the items away from the mouse and check the behavior of the mouse.

 MediaMonkey
http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=88680&p=440215#p440215

https://www.techhive.com/article/3173175/streaming-hardware/best-dvr-for-cord-cutters.html

http://www.jarednewman.com/

Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC) is a small Linux based Just Enough Operating System (JeOS) built from scratch as a platform to turn your computer into a Kodi media center.

Content

DCD = Directv or Comcast or Dish

https://www.sling.com Sling only has Dolby 5.1 for on Demand, Live TV is stereo

OTA
PBS Antenna
ABC Antenna
NBC Antenna
CBS Antenna
Fox Antenna
MYTV 38 Antenna
56 CW Antenna
68 ION Antenna
Subscription
USA DCD Sling
TNT DCD Sling HULU
BBC DCD Sling
FX DCD Sling HULU
SUNDANCE DCD Sling
IFC DCD Sling
A&E DCD Sling HULU
Comedy Central DCD Sling
HBO DCD Sling HULU
STARZ DCD Sling
SHO DCD Sling HULU
Specialized Subscription
Netflix Win 10 app
Hulu
Amazon Prime
DVD
Netflix mail
Not of current interest,
limited original content
Dirtectv
Dish
Comcast

Every once in a while its nice to get access to Comcast / Public Access TV for things like St Paddy’s Day Breakfast
antenna

Subscription On Demand is nice to have

Hulu as of oct 2017 no dolby 5,1 for Streaming
Amazon Prime, no 5.1 on PC, yes on Amazon FireTV and FireTV stick

https://www.britbox.com/  BBC (no Yes Prime Minister yet)


Netflix
Medium is .07 GB per hour or 14,285 hours for a terabyte
High is 3 GB per hour or 333 hours for a terabyte
Comcast 1 terabyte per month (is 1000 GB is 1,000,000 MB)
Average viewing is 5 days a week, 4 hours or 20 a week or 80 hours a month
80 hours of Netflix at High is 80 x 3 or 240gb or around 1/4 of the cap


Plex no DVR
Kodi no dvr
MediaPortal, MythTV, NextPVR, Tvheadend, VDR, Windows Media Center DVR?

USB 2.0 ATSC TV (HDTV) Tuner – White $25

Yes, you can watch and record two different shows at the same time with only one DVB or ATSC TV card.
Use media portal on laptop with external ATSC card

DVR
Online EPG service for HTPC users in America named SchedulesDirect.
SchedulesDirect only supports open-source software projects like Kodi and MediaPortal as well as a few others.

Many WMC users are responding by switching to Kodi or MediaPortal, because these are open solutions with superior user interfaces and are supported by SchedulesDirect.

HDHomeRun CONNECT 2-Tuner ATSC DLNA/UPnP Compatible Streaming Media Player – Silicondust $90. Microcenter

https://www.silicondust.com/product/hdhomerun-connect/

NAS

Links

https://www.tablotv.com/products/

https://www.tivo.com/

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sevenhugs-smart-remote-the-remote-for-everything#/

https://www.plex.tv/

http://www.networkedmediatank.com/

https://www.nextpvr.com/

 

Carpentry and TV and Wiring Install (781) 426-1478, from craigslist Joe

Hi I have 15+ yrs exp. as a Carpenter & Handyman
I have wall mounted 100’s of flat screen TV’s

Services offered
IKEA & simular furniture assembly, wall mount your TV, hang pictures and shelves, install any type of tile and laminate flooring, painting ceilings walls trim & doors
Etc etc

Honest, reliable
with references