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#122779 - 02/15/06 03:29 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
A quick update.

I did order and receive the McCain software and the SAVR2.

First off, if you do buy one of these critters, make sure you’re computer has the right comm. ports. I had to blow another 40 bucks at Radio Shack for a serial to USB cable.

The McMain software requires you to be on-line while it retrieves data from the CD. Another 20 bucks for a 25’ cat 5 cable to reach my nearest LAN connection.

It took about six hours to download all the CD info from 800 CD’s. Not too bad. Unfortunately, the changers only show the album name and not the artist or Genre. The software is too frustrating to figure out how I can change this. Play lists are not automatically populated (not even by artist or genre), you have to do it manually, and it is a down right PITA. Total waste of time and money for my situation.

It also does not automatically download cover art. You have to use a utility program to do this……for every single album, one at a time. F-that!!!

To Bill’s credit, he is VERY responsive and helpful. I’m just not putor’ literate enough to get this software to work the way it most likely could.

The software itself is very basic and not all that user friendly. I don’t recommend it. I’m most likely going to download the new version of Panther’s software. After reading the user’s guide, this software is vastly better and much more user friendly. But at $109, it damn well better be. Bill’s is about half the cost.

At least I know what album is playing by just glancing at the changers, which is a plus. I can also export the data and print.

_________________________


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#122780 - 02/15/06 05:08 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

In reply to:

At least I know what album is playing by just glancing at the changers,




I can do that just by listening no software needed.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#122781 - 04/02/06 12:43 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Update:

I gave up on the Music Library software. I found that it just wasn’t user friendly enough for my limited software skills, patience and general dislike of computers. The way you configure the changers and the SAVR seamed to be problematic as well. The software tried to ‘assist’ the changers instead of taking complete control. The software and changers just seamed to fight one another. There may be ways around this, but again, I’m not patient enough to screw with the software.

So I figured after dumping this much time and money into a PC controlled system for these changers, I might as well try the software from Panther Studios. They have two versions that they sell. Title Track Jukebox and Music!. A few emails later, I found out that they are discontinuing the TTJ software and recommended that I try Music! Plus, Music! Is on sale right now for $75 down from $109. A few minutes later I had it downloaded and installed on the laptop.

I had horrific troubles with the installation. Come to find out, I had three worms on the laptop and the Trojan Horse virus as well. I was being cheap and didn’t update my virus software, figuring that the laptop wouldn’t ever be used for email and that my router would block any hackers. Guess I was wrong. I had to spend a few hours killing worms and viruses, updating windows, cleaning the hard drive……blah, blah, blah……things I just hate to do. I then had to un-install the music software and re-install it. But, I had to go into the directory to manually remove some files that the un-install program wouldn’t remove or got corrupted because of the viruses. It was a long day. Lesson learned – keep the virus software up to date. Two days later we had the software up and running. My laptop troubles made things pretty weird and Dean (Music! software writer) worked with me to get things straightened out. He had me in the RegEdit and cd.. directory installing / deleting things. – I know nothing about this part of computer use, really. Don’t want to either….ever. I can’t say enough about Dean. If I was him, I’d have given me my money back just to get me to quit asking questions.

We are working out another bug that for some reason or other, I am getting error messages when I try to download the cover art. Dean is thinking it has something to do with my earlier virus problems and is going over error log files. He is confident that we will resolve the issues and I am confident that he’ll figure it out. If I have to, he has offered to work on the laptop in person if I send it to him.

Other than the cover art thing, the software is very, very cool and easy to use. The manual is very helpful and the software is updated all the time with new features. It’s pretty close to Windows Media with similar interface. I can fade in / fade out, drag and drop song, artists, and albums into play lists, or play the pre-populated genres, albums or artists.

_________________________


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#122782 - 04/02/06 04:57 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Thanks for the update Michael ... I've also been looking into something for the control over the megachangers.
_________________________
Rick
Our Room

smile

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#122783 - 04/03/06 12:22 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post
tomtuttle Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
I got the new version of Music! also. Since I am trying to use my SD RPTV as the sole display in this room, the fact that they went to a higher minimum resolution (1024x768?) did NOT help me. I'm going to have to move a monitor into the living room now. Fortunately, I have an Nvidia card that can run two monitors.

However, Mike's comment about the service is appropos. The owner/developer kept several emails from me that I had sent months ago, and regularly corresponds regarding suggestions and comments I've made. Mike, are you using an audio mixer between the changers and your pre-amp, or do you have them daisy-chained including the analog audio out? Did you tell Dean I sent you?

Mike, I'm sorry to hear about your system troubles. I have NOT had any installation or configuration problems with this software. It really seems pretty darn stable to me (running on XP Pro). I have wired DSL to that box, and it did not locate ALL the album art, but really did a pretty fine job. The missing ones were easy to fill in; I looked up the albums on Amazon or other sources and cut/pasted the image directly from the browser into Music! I can't see how it could have been any easier.

It's not a perfect convergence solution, but for those of us who are not yet willing to invest the time for ripping hundreds of CD's, it's not bad. Sometimes I use Music!, and sometimes I just put the whole library on full random between the changers. It can be amusing to get Nickelback, Ella Fitzgerald, BB King and Yes in sequence.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#122784 - 04/03/06 04:27 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
Dean recommended a “mixer”. But I already had bought Y-audio connectors. I do not have them daisy chained. I will most likely buy a mixer later, but for now, all is working just fine.

I still can not download cover art. I continue to get error messages and the program stops after about ten disks into the process. I can’t drag and drop, cut / copy and paste either. There is something going on that I can’t fix.

I’m most likely just going to send Dean the laptop. I just don’t have the patience to kill bugs. It needs a faster processor and more memory anyway. I’ll see if he can do that while he has it. Plus, I'll probably get a third changer before long. I'm down to 20 slots left.

No, I didn’t mention your name. I will next time I chat with him. Seams to be a great guy though.

_________________________


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#122785 - 01/24/07 04:16 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post [Re: michael_d]
JCrew Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/24/07
Posts: 3
How’s this for resurrecting a dead topic months later? I have been doing some research on megachangers and jukebox software in anticipation of setting up a system at home and ran across this thread.

I am more or less starting my software system from scratch, but do have four Sony 400 disc changers I plan to use. I will also be using my 42” HDTV as a monitor for the computer since all of the components and the TV are located in one entertainment cabinet.

So, what I am considering is whether to use a Mac and the TitleTrack software, or a PC and the Music! Software. From what I have observed, both here and at the Yahoo Panther Studios discussion group, the Music!/PC set-up seems to be supported in a responsive way, but there do seem to be numerous glitches. Does anyone have any experience using a Mac/TitleTrack set-up to know if it runs more smoothly? I’m guessing there may be fewer operational glitches, but then I’m not sure if it is still being developed and supported. Also, has anyone tried using the wireless remotes with the TitleTrack system that are referred to on one of their site pages? On paper, it all looks like an excellent solution for my needs, but I don’t have any interest in becoming a part-time software de-bugger and, since I will be using the system in my living room, I’d like to have the ability to at least control the basic functions via remote rather than keyboard and mouse.

Also, for those of you who have been using this set-up for some time under any variation of software and computer, what’s your impression now?

Thanks.

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#122786 - 01/24/07 05:32 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post [Re: JCrew]
tomtuttle Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
First post in a 2.5 year old thread. Not bad. Now hijack it and you'll fit right in.

I have Music! and a PC. It is a pretty decent package, and has the significant benefit of still being under development. My understanding is that Panther Studios owns BOTH products, but that they have no intention of updating TitleTrack.

I think you could get Music! to work with a remote, but you might need something like Girder, IRA or Sage or some program like that to interface with the IR receiver on the PC. I've not done that; I just have a wireless keyboard and a wireless mouse. The true HTPC guys would know more about this than me. I have the Gyration compact keyboard and mouse and am satisfied with that so far. I just didn't want to deal with the programming necessary to implement Girder, et. al. I mean, you've got to have a keyboard for the computer anyway.

But, you know, the Mac guys will be along shortly to set you straight.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#122787 - 01/25/07 02:49 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post [Re: tomtuttle]
JCrew Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/24/07
Posts: 3
Thanks for the feedback. I have since verified through Panther Studios that the Mac TitleTrack software was developed elsewhere and purchased by them, and does not receive the same level of development or support that their Music! software does. That being the case, I’ll be going with the Music!/PC set up.

Next question – I see where you had resolution problems trying to run the video to your SDRPTV (assume that’s “standard definition ‘something’ TV” ?). Would I be correct in assuming that a VGA to component/HD adapter/converter would resolve that issue, at least as long as I’m using a HDTV as the “monitor”? Anyone around these parts experienced with that issue?

Thanks again and will report in once all is up and running.

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#122788 - 01/25/07 07:29 PM Re: CD changers again - Alan's post [Re: JCrew]
tomtuttle Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
Oh, yeah. You'll be fine. I have an old Standard Definition, rear-projection TV. Music! likes a pretty high resolution (I think 1024x768 is about the minimum useful), and my poor old 480 line TV just mooshed it all up. So, I set a 15" monitor out there, too, and run the same signal to both the TV and the monitor off my video card. Bingo.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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