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

 

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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

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.

Smoke Detector Battery Rage

We have 7 smoke detectors, 2 carbon monoxide detectors, in hallways.  The acoustics in the hallways are such that it is difficult to determine which smoke detector is beeping.  Standing on a ladder with your ear next to the detector can take up to 3 attempts before locating the ringing detector.  Not the world’s most pressing problem, but aggravating enough.  The common workaround is to replace all batteries once a year (daylight savings start is an oft suggested time).  I do not like to throw about stuff before it is used up, so I wait for the alarms to beep.

First, a little background.  If you want to skip to the idea for making this easier, scroll down past the horizontal line.

Why do smoke detectors beep so infrequently when their batteries are low, making the sound impossible to localize?

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-smoke-detectors-beep-so-infrequently-when-their-batteries-are-low-making-the-sound-impossible-to-localize

Here a take on solving the problem, in the case where you have a mix of hardwired and battery operated alarms:

http://ask.metafilter.com/274485/Which-smoke-detectors-battery-of-6-is-defective

Code in our area requires hard-wired smoke detectors with battery backup for multi unit dwellings.  You can’t just turn these off like the above article does for battery only alarms.

This article hints at another problem.

Alarm Battery Chirps Aren’t Pre-Programmed to Interrupt Sleep.  (Really??)

http://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/news/news-article/myth_buster__alarm_battery_chirps_aren_t_pre_programmed_to_interrupt_sleep.aspx

When one of the 7 starts beeping in the middle of the night, it is really annoying.

I could replace the 9 volt battery ones I have with a new one that has a sealed 10 year battery.  But, they are not cheap to replace.

Worry Free Hardwired Inter Connectable 120-Volt Smoke Alarm with 10-Year Lithium Battery Back Up (3-Pack) $79.99

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kidde-Worry-Free-Hardwired-Inter-Connectable-120-Volt-Smoke-Alarm-with-10-Year-Lithium-Battery-Back-Up-3-Pack-21025981/205422332

In addition, to the cost of an electrician time to swap out the old with the new.


So I had the brilliant idea of using my android phones sound meter app to help me detect which one is going off .

http://androidboy1.blogspot.com/2010/11/smart-sound-ver-10-manual.html  Sound Meter (as well as a lot of other tools) by Android boy is available on Google Play.

There is a disclaimer about the accuracy of the meter:

If the measured value of a quiet room is between 35-45db, it should be accurate.  For more accuracy, you have to compare the value with a REAL sound meter. By the way, do you have a REAL one? 🙂  Just use this app as an auxiliary tool.

Nevertheless, for measuring relative loudness, it should work just fine.

The sound meter has a very convenient logging function that tracks the decibels it records over time.

You do have a problem with background noises, so you might need to track the external none beeping noises against the every 30 second or so beeps.

Of course, I thought of this, right after I spent 15 minutes sitting in the hallway determining which smoke detectors battery I had to replace.

I will use the sound meter to locate the one going off, next time.

NOT A PAID ENDORSEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Microwave Mucho Gusto Nachos

Zelo® unnecessary calories when combined with 6 hours of rigorous exercise per week

Preparation time: 5 minutes

≅ One 16-ounce can black beans
≅ 1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular sour cream
≅ 3/4 cup bottled salsa
≅ 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Mexican Blend cheese

Yellow corn tortilla chips (Abuelita, Tostitos Restaurant Style)

Optional – Mix minced jalapeno peppers into the beans
Optional – Mix some chili powder, cumin or garam masala into the beans

Optional – Mix 1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro on top of the source cream

Optional – Garnish the dip with either or both 1 tablespoon cilantro and chopped scallions
Optional – Garnish the dip with hot red pepper flakes

A) With a large spoon spread out the beans in a microwave-safe 8″ x 8″ pan
Smear the sour cream and then the salsa over the beans.
Sprinkle about half of the cheese and then any of the optional garnishes above.

Microwave on high for ≅ 2 to 3 minutes.
Put a layer of chips on a plate, and sprinkle some cheese over the chip, repeat
Put the plate in the microwave and nuke on high for 1 minute, until the cheese has melted.

≅ Approximately
∝ Proportional

20 Chips == 150 Calories probably eat 40 chips with these amounts
1/2 Sour cream == 240 Calories

Playing mp3 files on a USB stick in a Honda CRV

Since 2013, I have over 2,000 views on this page, not a single comment or thanks.


Our car is a 2012 Honda CRV, AWD LX 5 Speed Automatic

The short story is that I made a FAT32 stick with a couple of hundred songs that played fine. After that, I could not get a FAT32 disk to work. Honda was no help with specs. The following sounds like tremendous perception for the obvious; however, I want to pass this on to anyone else who may have problems.


If you want your usb stick to play in your Honda CRV,  use:

FAT disks
If you use the very popular LAME MP3 Open Source encoder
use -strict ISO Compliance
do not use -bit reservoir

MP3 Tags

Use only ID3V2 tags
ID3V2 tags in Ascii only

CBR or VBR at near 256 bit (high quality)

Rip to your hard drive first, then copy folders over to the stick.

If you do this, you may run into the following error from Windows 7 when pasting onto the stick.

x80070057: the parameter is incorrect

A google search shows that this happens with a number of different products and procedures, most notably, Windows Backup and Restore. When I say skip the copy for this file, the stick has been working fine.

MediaMonkey Link
http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/pos…&f=12&p=349934


UPDATE: Honda has a Help Line for phones and other electronic devices:

Handsfree Link

1-888-528-7876


This is the History of why I published the above snippet.  I tried a lot of options, I asked a lot of questions  and I did not get many good answers


We really liked the option to play mp3 files using a usb stick and the in dash controls. We think its a very safe option. You use a highly visible, bultin feature very similar to what we have been using for radio, cassette and CD players. Its hands free.

Continue reading

My HTPC remote cheat sheet

Update: Direct TV is gone, Netflix streaming and DVD by mail is in. We get a lot better choice of movies.

I have a $16 programmable remote that controls a TV, an HTPC (Music, Recorded TV, DVDs, Hulu, Media Monkey etc), A DIRECTV DVR with an Onkyo Home theater receiver and a 5.1 speaker system. I really want to do a voice recognition remote, but that’s another story.
I would buy a fancier remote, but, for me, they really don’t help much

HTPCRemotes