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Table of Contents

Overview

How to setup your Music database to take advantage of all the Music features in MediaPortal

Methodology

To display all the details about your music albums, artists and tracks you need to create a music database, 

Creating a database is quite easy, however there are several methods to ensure the quality, consistency and comprehensiveness of your data.

Tag Your Music 

MediaPortal can read the data (and album covers) stored in your ID3 tags. Many music media library apps can create a music database for you and store the details in your ID3 tags, however the quality of the data, and especially images, can vary significantly.

MPTagThat

MPTagThat is a separate product provided by Team MediaPortal to tag all your music. It is designed specifically to support all the fields in your MP Music database, as well as grab high quality cover art.

Even if you have already tagged your music, MPTagThat provides the option of fixing missing Tag entries in your music files, identify unknown files, get lyrics and many other tools for managing your Music collection.

Create your Music Database

You can scan the music folders/shares you setup previously in Quick Setup and import your music files into your database. If you have already tagged your music, the tags will be imported along with cover art stored in your ID3 tags.

You can use either the ConfigurationMediaPortal tool, or Settings within MediaPortal:

Configuration

Open MediaPortal Configuration, select the Music menu on the left, then select Music Database.

Music Database

This section allows you to scan the folder shares you setup in the previous step so that MediaPortal can gather data about your music.

  • Under the section Scan Music Folders, put a tick in the folders that your wish to be included in your database.
  • If you store artist images and album cover as a folder.jpg in each artist/album folder, tick the folder.jpg option
  • Put a tick in the Auto-update DB on change in shares option. (This will mean that MediaPortal automatically adds content to your database whenever new music is added).
  • Click the Update database from selected shares button. This will run a manual scan of the folders you have ticked. Depending upon the number of music files you have, this may take some time, but you can still carry on with the setup and this will run in the background.

Note: If MediaPortal is not always running, you can 'schedule' the scan for new music using the Music DB Reorganization plugin (included with MediaPortal). For example if your music media files are stored on a server or NAS (Network-attached storage) but MediaPortal is not running on a client PC.

For more details on all the settings, see Configuration > Music Database

Music Ripping

This section allows you to set up MP to rip music CDs and import them to your Music Database. You can set up the location of your music collection and configure the rip quality settings. Make sure you have added your CD drive to the Music Folders

  • On the Rip Settings tab
  • click on the Browse button 
  • Select your desired destination for any ripped music (probably the location of one where you have told MediaPortal to look for your music in the Music > Music Folders setup above).
  • Make sure Import into database is ticked if you want to add your CDs to your Music database

  • you can use Custom Paths and Filenames to automatically name tracks to match the way you organize your music for your database.

Now you can rip CDs from within MediaPortal by simply inserting the CD and pressing the Record button on your remote

For more details about all the settings see Configuration > Music Ripping

Settings within MediaPortal

  1. Go to Settings > Music > Database in MediaPortal GUI:
  2. Choose one or more folders under Folders and press OK/Enter to set it for "Scan" ("Scan" label will appear) Pressing OK button again on the same folder will remove "Scan" label and folder will not be scanned.
    Note: MediaPortal will remember your folders marked for Scan so you don't need to select them again.
  3. Select "Scan selected folders" button and let MediaPortal do the job for you.

Enable Auto update db on change if you wish to new music added to your scan folders( to your database. 

For more information, see Configuration >Music>Database

Album and Artist Info Lookup

If you are missing info or images, MediaPortal can lookup and display album and artist information and images for you from allmusic.com and store them in your Music database.

  1. Select the Artist/Album Artist or Album
  2. Press F3 key or Show Info button (usually yellow button on remote or you can map a button to it), or use the context menu or dialog via F9 or Info/More key on your remote and select Show album/artist info
  3. If there is more than one artist or album with the same or similar name, MediaPortal  will display a list so you can choose the artist or album you wish.

See Album & Artist Info for more details.

You can also use the MusicInfoHandler extension to automatically 'scrape' artist and album info in the background whenever MP is loaded.

Fanart

You can download fanart for all your artists using the Fanart Handler plugin. Most skins display  fanart in music windows, including many plugins, and the Now Playing window.

What's Next

Now you have a top notch database with all the info and images for your music artists and albums! Next, you can learn the many ways to Browse Music in MediaPortal, customize the different views, create and play Music Playlists, or customize the Music Playback  settings including Visualizations.

You can also check out the Popular Plugins for Music to find out even more ways to fill your life with music.

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