There are two ways to get mp3 files into MP3Cattle. The first way involves naming mp3 files and the directories that they reside in a known format. Currently MP3Cattle only supports one way of naming files:
The directory structure used for mp3's is:
Any mp3 files found using this structure will automatically be added to
MP3Cattle, note no ID3 tag information is used with this method. When
an mp3 file is found in this format it is moved to:
For Various Artists the naming convention is slightly different:
ADDROOT/Various Artist/album/track_Artist - song.mp3
Where Artist is the name of the artist for song. At this time the format needs to be exact so the spaces around - are needed.
There is a perl script, mp3scrubber, included that will put mp3 files into this format using the mp3 tags. It will also do some default naming, so if you don't have a track but have the artist, album and name it will use 01 as the track num. mp3scrubber isn't as useful now that MP3Cattle also supports ID3 tags but it is still included in the mp3cat directory
You can specify where your MP3ROOT and ADDROOT are by editing the mp3cat.cfg file.
The other way of getting MP3's into MP3Cattle used ID3 tag information. In the mp3cat.cfg file you can specify an unsorted directory. When MP3Cattle loads it puts all mp3 files found in this directory in the MP3Tree. You can then edit the ID3 information for those files, once you specify an artist, album, title and track and then press the Refresh Tree button the mp3 will be added to MP3Cattle. You can then find your mp3 listed in the Artists section of the MP3Tree.
Once you have compiled all of the MP3Cattle source you start MP3Cattle with: java MP3Cattle.
There are a couple of command line options that MP3Cattle supports:
|-v||Prints the version of MP3Cattle|
|-h or --help||Prints out the usage of MP3Cattle|
|-c ||Used to specify a config file other than the default mp3cat.cfg|
|-t or --useTestDB||MP3Cattle will use mp3_test instead of the mp3 database.|
Users/Genres/Labels in MP3Cattle
MP3Cattle allows different users to rank mp3's differently. To create a new user just type in the user name in the New Text field located at the bottom of MP3Cattle. To remove a user just type the name of the user you want to delete in the New Text field. Right now there is no password needed to login as any user. To switch between users just select the current user using the drop down box just to the left of the New Text field.
To add a Genre or Label you need to bring up the properties dialog box for an item in the MP3Tree. See Travering the MP3Tree for more details. Once the properties dialog box is brought up just type a new name to add a genre or label and an exisiting name to remove the genre or label.
Genres and Labels basically serve the same purpose of associating an attribute with an mp3 file. The difference lies in the fact that Genres do not depend upon the user while labels do. So if any user claims an mp3 file is a classical genre, then this association will be seen by all users. However, if the user associated an mp3 file with a classical label, only that user would see the association.
Traversing the MP3Tree
On the lefthand side of MP3Cattle there will be a tree structure of all of the mp3 files that are in MP3Cattle. The tree is arranged as:
Artists | ----Albums | ----Tracks
To update the rankings/genres/labels for an artist or album just hold down the control key and double click the artist/album. You can also select more than one artist/album at a time and then double click on one item to be able to move through all of the selected items.
To update information for a particular song all you need to do is double click on any particular song. Holding down the control key is not needed to update a song.
To delete items from MP3Cattle just select the item(s) that you want to delete and then press the delete key. You will be asked if you also want to remove the mp3 files from your hard drive.
To add items directly to the play list table, just select the items that you want to add and then press the a key.
On the right hand side of MP3Cattle is the query panel. Here you can specify which albums/artists to search and also by ranking/genre/label. In the future I hope to have a bit more advanced query panel. If you have any suggestions on what you want to search please let me know.
v1.20 of MP3Cattle introduced query limits. You can now specify either a size or time limit with your query. If you select the Show Items Past Limit then any track that falls outside of your limit should have a background color of blue. The items that meet your criteria will be in white. If you do not select the show items past limit button then only the items that fall within your limit are shown.
To save a playlist press the s key or the Save List button on the bottom of MP3Cattle. You will be prompted for a name for your list. MP3Cattle saves the list in the M3U format, which most mp3 players reconize.
Moving Rows in the Play List table
v1.20 of MP3Cattle introduced the feature that allows you to move rows in the play list table. Just hold down the control key and use the up/down arrow buttons to move a row. Note that at this time only one row can be moved at a time. If you have multiple rows selected the first selected row is the one that is moved.
Sorting Playtlist Table
v1.20 introduced the ability to sort the Playlist table. Just left click on the column headers to sort by that column.
To launch the playlist press the p key or the Launch List button on the bottom of MP3Cattle. Be sure to set the PLAYER variable in the mp3cat.cfg file or through the Config Dialog.
The following are key commands used by MP3Cattle:
|a||Adds the selected artist/album/songs to the play list|
|c||Clears the play list|
|delete||Deletes the selected items in MP3Cattle's tree|
|p||Plays the current play list|
|r||Refresh MP3Cattle's tree. This is useful if you have updated the id3 information of some unsorted mp3's or added files to ADDROOT. Refresh Tree will add these songs and update MP3Cattle's tree.|
|s||Saves the current play list|
|control + up arrow|
control + down arrow
|Used to move rows in the play list table up or down|