Saturday, December 26, 2009

How To: MusicMagicMixer

Another duplicate mp3 finder is MusicMagicMixer. I liked this one for speed and simple UI. On launching the application you will be provided with a dialog to select the media you like to scan.



After selecting the directory containing the media it will start scanning the files.



And once that is done the application will start processing the files to create audio fingerprints immediately.



The good thing is that the processing is very fast. In about 20 minutes it was able to finish processing all of the 578 files. However the bad news is that it is not as good as DuMP3 when finding duplicates. It found none from the 578 files.




So you either have a fast but not accurate software or accurate but slow software. The choice is yours :). But for me I still like the MusicMagicMixer. It did find duplicates in the previous run which I deleted and so now it is showing empty duplicates. And then  DuMP3 could find a few more. I don't know if there is a better software that will find all the duplicates much faster. The search continues...

How To: DuMP3

After searching for some mp3 duplicate finders for Linux I finally found two good applications. One of them is DuMP3. In this blog post I will walk through the steps showing screenshots and measuring the performance.

Upon launching the application you will see the following window on your screen.



A very simple and clean interface. On the left side you will have to select the files that you want to compare and add them into the right pane. In my case all my collection is in one place which I added as shown below



Once you press the "Next" button the software will scan all the media in the directories that you selected in your right pane and it will make a list of file extensions that are contained in the directories. These will be shown in the following screen where you can select the file formats that you want to compare.



Seems like the software can find duplicates of images as well. That is neat! Anyway I just want audio de-duplication so I selected mp3, ogg and flac



Pressing "Next" will take you to a screen where you can tweak the comparison algorithm. I left the default values because I did not know how to tweak them yet.



When you are done changing the parameters, just press Next and the software should start scanning your collection. The software seems to be able to use multiple threads to make fingerprints for some audio files but not all. Or so it seems. For the first 130 files or so I saw that the software was using 50% of all 8 CPUs (4 real and 4 virtual due to Intel's HT) of my core i7 processor. But then after a while a strange thing happened. The scanning switched from multi-threaded to single threaded for some reason! That was very unfortunate. This is what is happening with DuMP3 everytime I use. Why would it not use all the processors when it is capable of it? May be only some formats lend to multi-threaded processing? What formats are these? Anyway this is so slow that it is totally unusable. I just ran in on a sample of about 500 files and it took 24 hours so far, yet it could only scan 475 files.



However it seems like it has done a good job at finding duplicate files. Still I cannot use it. I wish I knew what was wrong.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Are there some good duplicate mp3 finders?

I have a very large music collection. Some of them are duplicates and remixes. I wanted to clean up my collection of duplicates. Being a Linux user and also cheap I wanted to search for a free software for Linux that would scan through my collection and identify duplicates. Only after searching the net for such a software did I find out how difficult it is to get something like that for Linux. A lot of the software is not free, but more importantly they are not available for Linux.

I finally found a few that were either written in java or python and so are platform independent in a way. Of those I found only two applications worthwhile and easy to use (has an easy to understand GUI interface). One of them is called DuMP3 and another is called MusicMagicMixer, both of which are written in java or have parts of java code. I am intentionally not providing links to these applications because they will become broken links pretty quickly. You can do a search for them on your favorite search engine.

Of these two applications I found MusicMagicMixer to be better. Both in terms of interface and performance. DuMP3 is very slow. I did not compare how well they find duplicates because I could not get DuMP3 to ever complete scanning. It starts out slow and then becomes even slower as it processes more and more files. Not sure why. May be I should search for the latest version and try that. Here is a screenshot of DuMP3.



MusicMagicMixer performed much better. I did not time it but I think it was able to create one fingerprint per minute. So each music file took about a minute to be scanned. The nice thing about MusicMagicMixer is that you can run a webserver and using your browser you can look at the duplicate songs. Here is a screenshot of the app running.



I will write a little bit more about how to use each of the two applications in my next couple of blogs. But for now I am happy that I was able to find some software that can find duplicates for my music collection and that works on Linux and is free!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Boxee box?

How about that? Just as I was looking for some HTPCs there are more and more options available. The Boxee box looks very nice and very different from any HTPC cases I have seen so far.




More details over at http://www.boxee.tv/box. I wonder why Boxee went with d-link. What ever the reasons it does sport RF remote control, S/PDIF, RCA audio outputs, HDMI, SD, USB, WiFi, and Ethernet. All this fits into a really small package. Just look at the size along side of a coke can.



It will be interesting to see how thing will go with Boxee. Hulu created so many problems to Boxee and it jumped over all the hoops. It is time for some payback. The interface also looks neat. The Boxee media center is a fork of xbmc so we know it is powerful, well done and will play a lot of media formats.



Waiting for its release...

Monday, December 07, 2009

ION platform with PCI slot

As explained in my previous blog, I needed an ION platform with a PCI slot. The slot will hold my already existing TV tuner card. I searched for a nvidia ION motherboard with a PCI slot. I could only find one in newegg. At $160 it is pretty cheap too!

Now I need a case to enclose it. I found this case. It is not the best, but will do for now. The reason for going with this case is because I wanted it to be compact and at the same time should be able to house 2 3.5" hard drives and a 5.25" blu-ray drive. The case is small at 11.80" x 8.70" x 5.1". The cost of this case is $40.

Next up, I need a couple of memory sticks. I am not planning to remove the memory sticks from my desktop PC and put them here because I want to sell the old desktop in a proper working condition. It will have everything except for the TV tuner card. I think 1 GB should be sufficient for the small HTPC especially since it will run linux. A quick search produced results with 1 GB memory sticks costing about $25.

Finally I need a 1TB hard drive. A decent western digital hard drive can be had for about $85. So that completes the HTPC. I am not planning on purchasing additional hard drive or blu-ray/DVD drive at this point simply because I don't need them yet.

The total cost of the HTPC comes to about $310. Not bad at all. With shipping and taxes it still will not be more than $350. I am not sure when I will buy it, but it is on my list of things to buy...