There are two ways to organize and view your music: by folders/files Shares View, or by usnig a Database which supports Database views.
Shares (Folders and Files)
You can just organize the way your music is stored on your hard disk, and then browse the folders and files like you would in Windows Explorer. However, you will get the most benefit by organizing your music files and folders. See Folders and Files.
What are the benefits of using Shares?
Using Shares is the easiest and quickest way to start listening to your Music in MediaPortal. It does not require any configuration, if your music is located in the default Music folder in Windows. Or, you can easily select the folder(s) you wish to browse in Configuration > Music > Music Folders
When to use Shares?
If you normally play music by using Windows Explorer, then Shares view is for you. However, you will not be able to use the many features offered by scanning your music into your database.
If you choose to organize your music using a database, all the music metadata is put inside a single database. The metadata (also named "tags", MP3 and some other file formats use a system called ID3) is basically all the information that is stored with the music files, apart from the music itself. This includes for example information like artist, track title and play length. This is the same way many popular music players like iTunes, the iPod, WinAMP and MediaMonkey store your music information.
What are the benefits of using a Database?
If you have all your music tagged and added to the database, all this information can be accessed from within MediaPortal. Best of all, you do not need to worry about how your music is stored on your drive(s).
What can you do using this information from within MediaPortal?
- display music from different folders and hard disks in one list
- Access your music by artist
- Access your music by genre
- Show all your albums
- Search for artists and songs
- display artist and album images
- auto create playlists
Well the list goes on and on, but you get the idea.
When to use the Music Database?
Database is the recommended option for music lovers! If you generally use a music player in Windows, rather than play music via Windows Explorer, then you will want all the extra benefits and control that using the music database provides.
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