Finding Your Digital Music: Introducing Melco Intelligent Music Library Alan Ainslie, Head of Melco Japan
When I was a lad, I had my LPs in a cabinet, all in order. Finding things was easy, except sometimes classical LPs had more than one work (related or otherwise) and I needed to work out which was the main work.
CD was similar, except the CD now played for longer, so classical albums usually had second or third works and even some jazz and rock had other material which made organisation tricky. Multiple CD sets and compilations were also difficult to order on the shelf, but we managed.
Browsing digital files In the digital music world, ripped CDs and downloads become hard to browse on an app, which is odd because we should be able to use the very ‘deep’ metadata to give us many browse and search options.
There are two basic problems: the metadata comes from a single lookup when ripped and is likely incomplete or even misleading. While the UPnP server (which presents the library to the Control Point) has to work with this incomplete metadata, whilst not being aware of whether you are looking for jazz or classical or rock. These browsing requirements are totally different.
The result is the frustrating browsing and searching experience that annoys all digital music fans with a reasonable sized library.
Metadata edit Of course, there are metadata edit tools available – a sense of logic evolves as you re-tag your collection, which takes considerable time and is not much fun. But, as the metadata edit really is logical, and as there are some great additional databases available, there is the potential to automate the process. The finest example of this is SongKong for Melco software, which can tidy up the tagging and make it consistent.
But even then, with much deeper and more accurate metadata, there is still a problem if the UPnP server does not understand what you are browsing for. Tags for ‘Choir’ or ‘Conductor’ are not much help to a rock fan, but ‘BPM’ and ‘Record Producer’ are not a lot of help to the opera fan, either.
Melco Intelligent Music Library Staying with the finest, let me introduce MinimServer – the best-kept secret of digital music browsing, because among other things, it is extremely flexible and configurable – if you know how to do it and have the patience.
If Melco were to put SongKong for Melco into a Melco music library and then include MinimServer in the same hardware, all sorts of opportunities would be possible.
Metadata can now be tailored exactly as required by MinimServer. Plus, MinimServer can be given profiles to optimise for rock, or jazz, or classical browsing. At that point these two innovative softwares work together to give a powerful ‘Browse’ and ‘Search’ that we call Melco Intelligent Music Library (MIML) – incorporating the powerful MinimServer Intelligent Browse algorithms.
As soon as we combine SongKong and MinimServer within Melco hardware, we can offer browse tags that are relevant for the music selected rock, classical etc. And we can have a browse path including searches in any order. So we can search first, then browse within those results, search within those results and find exactly what we are looking for with the least number of clicks and no backward steps. We can take apart the CD and browse for individual works or albums including many works if you choose. Within the works, we can then search by artists and then search again for a specific song or movement. Multiple discs are seen as a single work – whether Pink Floyd’s The Wall or Die Rheingold. Just a work, not a pile of CDs.
Well, if I say we could do this, then of course we should! The MIML concept will be previewed in the hi-fi press – and was subject of a major press launch at High End, Munich. We will be telling the story in the period up to launch, which will be late summer.
Coming soon… So, keep watch for news of MIML from Melco – there really is no better way to browse and search a digital music library. Plus, it comes with lots of other useful tools like; remove or hide duplicates, prioritise by sample rate, simple edit from tablet of not only album art but every aspect of metadata, one-button updating of metadata for a whole library and much more. This can be acheived because you are working with your library in real time, all metadata changes are persistent, meaning that your library performs just as well even if copied to portable devices, the car, or within a multi-room system.
Exciting times and we’re looking forward to you all getting started with MIML.