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Music Bee Anyone?

Ron Texas

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I've been playing around with Music Bee. My daily driver player is foobar2000. Music Bee has an album cover oriented interface as opposed to Foobar2000 which is playlist and text oriented. True, it's possible to get album covers displayed in FB2K, but a good result has eluded me. Maybe someone could tell me how to do it.

Music Bee highs: attractive, easy to use and functional interface out of the box, many skins included, free (sort of).
Lows: funky volume control although the logarithmic mode helps. No convolver available that I know of. Talks to the internet a lot is probably telling a server somewhere everything you listen to and maybe even the entire contents of your music library. I'm considering blocking it with the Windows firewall. A little finnicky about displaying album art, and VA albums. Built in resampling is a black box which might bother some.

I have FB2K set up with a minimalist interface which just shows current album art, the playlist manager, and the tracks of what's playing. Sometimes I can't remember anything about an album except what the cover looked like. It's nice to have Music Bee as a second player to look at the covers.

Right now I'm using WASAPI non exclusive and Equalizer APO for EQ with MB.

Anyone here have thoughts on this?
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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I've been playing around with Music Bee. My daily driver player is foobar2000. Music Bee has an album cover oriented interface as opposed to Foobar2000 which is playlist and text oriented. True, it's possible to get album covers displayed in FB2K, but a good result has eluded me. Maybe someone could tell me how to do it.

Music Bee highs: attractive, easy to use and functional interface out of the box, many skins included, free (sort of).
Lows: funky volume control although the logarithmic mode helps. No convolver available that I know of. Talks to the internet a lot is probably telling a server somewhere everything you listen to and maybe even the entire contents of your music library. I'm considering blocking it with the Windows firewall. A little finnicky about displaying album art, and VA albums. Built in resampling is a black box which might bother some.

I have FB2K set up with a minimalist interface which just shows current album art, the playlist manager, and the tracks of what's playing. Sometimes I can't remember anything about an album except what the cover looked like. It's nice to have Music Bee as a second player to look at the covers.

Right now I'm using WASAPI non exclusive and Equalizer APO for EQ with MB.

Anyone here have thoughts on this?
I prefer FB2K but I'm a text person. I don't mind album covers as long as the text is prominent enough that the album cover doesn't distract from it. I love the FB2K UI. YMMV
 

JPA

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I've been using Music Bee for close to a decade and like it, but I don't delve into any of the fancier features or alternate skins or GUI options. I mostly just rip and play. I wasn't aware of any info going back to a server. Thanks for pointing that out. It bothers me a lot if it's true. Maybe I'll also block it at the firewall.
 

Dunring

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I like Musicbee also. In Foobar in advanced settings there's one for album cover art to tell which you prefer (full, or embedded and the file size limit). Do you mean in the interface of which panel it displays? I just use embedded so it doesn't slow down trying to look it up.
I use Oneclickfirewall and also Winaero is great for customizing Windows.
It adds it to the context menu so it's simple to block or allow any executable.
 
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Ron Texas

Ron Texas

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I've been using Music Bee for close to a decade and like it, but I don't delve into any of the fancier features or alternate skins or GUI options. I mostly just rip and play. I wasn't aware of any info going back to a server. Thanks for pointing that out. It bothers me a lot if it's true. Maybe I'll also block it at the firewall.
At a minimum the playing now feature accesses a server to download a few images and text related to the playing selection. If it does that, it likely does more. There's noting in the license which says anything about it.
 
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Ron Texas

Ron Texas

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I like Musicbee also. In Foobar in advanced settings there's one for album cover art to tell which you prefer (full, or embedded and the file size limit). Do you mean in the interface of which panel it displays? I just use embedded so it doesn't slow down trying to look it up.
I use Oneclickfirewall and also Winaero is great for customizing Windows.
It adds it to the context menu so it's simple to block or allow any executable.
What I noticed is Music Bee depends on the being album art imbedded in at least the first track of every album. Although I normally prepare my library that way, it turned out about 7% of a large library did not have imbedded artwork.
 

JLGF1

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You might check out a FB2K skin such as Georgia-Reborn (v3.0). It falls somewhere in between default foobar & Musicbee, imo.

Foobar skin - Georgia Reborn.jpg


Foobar skin - Georgia Reborn.jpg
 
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Ron Texas

Ron Texas

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I decided to change from Foobar200 V2 64 bit to the 32 bit version so that Facets 1.0 would work. Music Bee forced me to do a lot of clean up on tags.
 

neRok

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I've been using MusicBee for years. It was a bit of a rocky road when I switched from Winamp like 10 years ago, but only because I was "set in my ways". I persisted with MB and discovered its powers, which are many. The following quote describes them (won't repeat myself).

But I have experienced a NEW problem twice in the last month. When I've first turned on my music system and booted up the programs I use and start playing music, twice I've had the music playing faster. It's subtle, but I've put the music on and listened for a bit and realised it doesn't sound right, particularly in some vocals. Then I've realised the problem is the vocals didn't sound as deep, which suggested tone shift. So I've pulled out my phone and watched MB play 10 seconds, and tapped the timer button on my phone at the same time. It was ~9.x seconds always = a definite playback speed shift. Then I've closed MB, opened it (no changes in between), played the same song, and it was back to 10=10. So I've not looked into it yet, but somethings going on there, maybe settings in drivers etc, but MB seems to be the "gate keeper". My MB version is from 2022 though, so either I've been not noticing problems for a while (unlikely, because why have I started hearing them), or the problems are from somewhere else (Voicemeeter Banana, EqAPO, drivers, etc).

MusicBee user here!

I used Winamp back in the day, when I would just right click on folders and play (and then maybe use shuffle). About 2010 I tried out Linux as my OS, but it failed at 2/~4 tasks I needed to do. These tasks were to rip CD's as good as Exact Audio Copy (I couldn't find a program with similar features), and play back music easily like I did in Windows. Foobar2000 was close, but not quite. So I went back to Windows and settled on MusicBee, because whilst FB2K has similar features and abilities, it has bad UI. MB is good to go.

Now 1 feature I have come to love in MB is Auto-Playlists. These are "programmatically" generated DYNAMIC playlists that can filter based upon metadata (tags). OMG, this has been a game changer! I have started adding so many tags to my music to take advantage of this feature. I have a tag to remove songs from shuffle mode, another to describe a track's type (with values such as remix, demo, cover song, interlude, instrumental, etc), the same for album type (EP, single, etc) and album version (eg "2004 Remaster"), and a date added tag. Then I have a playlist grouped and sorted by date added, so the newest albums in my collection are at the top. And another for unrated albums. And then I've got my shuffle mode playlist that filters out all the crap (songs I've explicitly removed, and ones you don't want to hear in shuffle like interludes), and it draws from other playlists with a weighting. So for example I can have 1 play-through play 5x 5 star rated songs mixed in with 4x 4 star rated songs and 3x 3 star rated songs. Or I can have it play 3 songs from my "old" collection along with 1 song from an unrated album and 1 song from a recent album. Or I could filter by genres, like I might have a "super heavy" playlist that removes certain genres, and I'm pretty sure it can use the "5x4x3" playlist as its source. There are so many possibilites! And like I said, they are dynamic, so when new albums get added to my library, they automatically propagate through the playlists.

Edit: One more thing, and I presume most library based players do this, but I often listen to shuffle mode for a while until a song really catches my attention, and then I can simple right click on it and "Play Album Now". So handy. There's also options like play artist, play genre, search artists, etc.
 
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Ron Texas

Ron Texas

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After experimenting with this player for a while I have concluded the business model depends on collecting data about your music collection. I don't know if it is as brazen as uploading the entire contents of your library when building its library, but it's possible. When using the playing now panel it downloads images. When setting the main panel to "Artists" it downloads photos of the artists. Maybe it's no worse than your TV. There was no privacy policy warning that I could find.

Alternatives for doing EQ are limited to those which are outside of the player. There is a VST plugin but I could not find a free parametric EQ VST or convolver which worked with it. At least one other user reported this in the help forum. Equalizer APO worked and of course hardware based EQ will work. The volume control is funky.
 

neRok

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the business model
I think it's just some dudes passion project, so not a money maker at all. Here's the privacy statement: https://getmusicbee.com/statements/PrivacyStatement.html

Alternatives for doing EQ are limited to those which are outside of the player.
MB has its own basic Equalizer found in Preferences > Player tab, and it can use Winamp DSP plugins too, like this.

What I noticed is Music Bee depends on the being album art imbedded in at least the first track of every album. Although I normally prepare my library that way, it turned out about 7% of a large library did not have imbedded artwork.
It really doesn't, you just have to change the settings. I only use Folder.jpg.
art.jpg
 
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Ron Texas

Ron Texas

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@neRok Music Bee is just reaching out to the internet too much. Maybe it's benign, maybe not. That privacy statement leaves a lot to be desired. I am aware of those settings under tabs. Things would work a lot better if folder was in the list as you suggest. As for the included equalizer, that's worthless for room EQ or fixing a specific speaker flaw. Remember, I'm talking parametric EQ or a convolver.

If you are happy with it, good for you.
 

neRok

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about 7% of a large library did not have imbedded artwork.
BTW, if you want to "fix" that on bulk, it seems you can do so with Mp3Tag. I use Mp3Tag for tag editing because it is such a clean yet versatile interface. You could open your whole media folder in it (which will take a while to parse), filter for tracks without embedded artwork, and then use the Quick Action "Import Cover from File", which can use relative paths and tags in the path, see https://community.mp3tag.de/t/impor...apply-as-album-art-for-multiple-albums/9691/5

Remember, I'm talking parametric EQ or a convolver.
Yer, there's different ways to do it, and I think doing it at the O/S level (eg. EQ APO) is the better way primarily because it is more versatile (works for any program). It is also safer if doing any active crossover stuff, so that windows or another program can't accidentally send full signal to an output that can't handle it. Convolver in MB would be handy though, because you could set an extra level of correction that might introduce processing delay, which you wouldn't want with games or videos. However, the same thing can be achieved with O/S level software like VoiceMeeter Banana, where 1 input could have delay, the other not.
 
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Ron Texas

Ron Texas

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That's an interesting trick with MP3Tag. The problem I had was a lot of albums did not have imbedded art and the file name was folder.jpg. Music Bee missed those by default. By the time I realized that behavior could be changed, I had already imbedded art in the tracks missing it.
 

Vincent Kars

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If you want to know more about internet access try https://getmusicbee.com/forum/
Internet access: https://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=30949.0
There is a VST plugin so if you want convolution inside MB this might be the way to go.
An option I really liked is sync your mobile over the WiFi https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.getmusicbee.musicbeewifisync&hl=en_US

It is one of the few media players I know enabling you to define what makes an album. I use this to split albums into compositions: https://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/SW/Players/MusicBee/MusicBee_Classical.htm
 
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