NeatMP3 – Music Organizer for Windows and Mac OS X

Most of us usually download music from the internet and forget to move it from the downloads folder to an appropriate location. Also, most of the songs you download from the internet have incomplete or invalid tags that you usually don’t bother editing. So as time passes by you find yourself with a lot of unorganized music lying around your hard drive.

This is where NeatMP3 comes in with its advanced organizing and tag editing features. NeatMP3 allows you to easily select all the unorganized audio files from your local drive, edit their tags and move them to a new location of your choosing where they will be organized and renamed according to your settings. And all of this is done in a single processing session.

When it comes to selecting the files you want to organize NeatMP3 makes things very easy by allowing you to do this in three different ways: select individual files, select all the files from a folder or select all the files from a folder including its subfolders. So if you have a very large folder with many subfolders that contain files you would like to organize, selecting them will be very easy with NeatMP3.

NeatMP3 allows both automatic and manual tag editing giving you full control over the tag information embedded in your output files. Manual tag editing can be done individually or in batch mode. While manually editing the tags of a song you can also listen to that song using the software’s audio player. NeatMP3 also allows you to skip the organizing step if you just want to use the software for tag editing.

With NeatMP3 you can organize your files by Artist, Album, Genre or Year. You can also use predefined combinations of these fields like Genre/Year/Artist to make searching for a song in your music collection a real easy task. NeatMP3 also offers a set of predefined renaming patterns like Artist-Title (Year) that you can apply on your audio files and give your music collection a really classy look.

When you organize your music you probably also want to move your files to a new location. This is exactly what NeatMP3 does additionally giving you the option of removing the original files. If the destination folder you have selected does not exist NeatMP3 will create it automatically.

After you have finished setting up NeatMP3 you can save your settings as a profile for later use. This proves to be extremely useful if you intend to organize all the new files that you download/import according to the same pattern.

If you have a very large collection of audio files scattered all over your hard drive then NeatMP3 is exactly what you need to bring it in order. Organize your music collection in seconds with NeatMP3.

NeatMP3 is available for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems and can be downloaded from here. For more information about NeatMP3 visit our website.

Bullet Tracer

Hello everyone! In today’s post I will be talking a little bit about software engineering and the techniques we use when it comes to developing a new software product. Let’s begin!

Because NeatMP3 was thought to be a rather small program (somewhere around 10000 lines of code for version 1.0.0) that performs non-critical tasks we decided to use a development technique called “Bullet Tracer”. This approach gives the designers access to a working software early on in the development process so that they can change incomplete or unrealistic requirements before they are implemented.

The “Bullet Tracer” technique implies creating a working “skeleton” of your software. Just the “bones” and no “flesh” attached. If the software consists of more than  one major component, this approach should be used to connect these components as early as possible. Bear in mind that “Bullet Tracer” is not equivalent to prototyping. The early working software is not some code that can be partially used to implement a feature in the program, it is the program itself, let’s call it a pre-alpha version of the final software. By creating a working pre-alpha version of the product, future users can form an early opinion of the software and maybe contribute with suggestions to the development process. You can download the pre-alpha version of NeatMP3 from here.

“Bullet Tracer” is not a perfect development technique since, sometimes, it may lead to throwing away some code, some bad “attempts”, before managing to get the first working version of the software, but it is the best technique we could think of for the development process of NeatMP3. And so far it has proved to be a good decision!

Best regards, Cezar Popescu

Special Features

First, let’s talk about Profiles and the advantages they offer. Profiles enable you to save your settings in order to use them if you ever want to later organize new songs by the same pattern. Profiles will save all your settings except the list of MP3s which is very likely to change between sessions. So you can organize all your music once and save your settings as a Profile and after a few weeks, when new MP3s have been added to your music collection, you can organize the new files using your saved Profile so that they are added successfully to your organized collection.

But with NeatMP3 we want to take things a bit further. What if you could select a Profile and attach it to the folder in which you ordinary copy/download your MP3s and every time you add new songs, with the press of a button, you could add the newly added files to your organized collection? Well this will be possible with the Jobs feature of NeatMP3. I do not have all the details of this feature right now, because we are still trying to improve the design before we start coding.

Another special feature in NeatMP3 will be the possibility to scan a specific drive for MP3s and automatically add them to NeatMP3‘s song list. You will also be able to add entire folders and even all the subfolders of a specific folder. This way, adding files to be organized in NeatMP3 will be as easy and straightforward as possible.

A feature that we are thinking about implementing in version 1.0.0 of NeatMP3 is the option of removing duplicate MP3s. This seems like a very useful thing to have in a MP3 organizer an we are currently trying to decide which is the best algorithm for such a feature. Binary equivalence would be a point to start, but we want to take things a bit further than that. I will return with details on this matter in one of my future posts.

Best regards, Cezar Popescu

How It Works

NeatMP3 is not only a MP3 organizer, but also a tag editor. Some MP3s have incomplete tags so in order to properly organize them we have to complete the missing tag information. Now NeatMP3 has two ways of doing this: by asking the user to manually edit the tags or by automatically editing the tags. Some users know their music collection pretty well and prefer to manually edit their MP3s’ information, but most users like those things to be done automatically. NeatMP3 can automatically edit some MP3 tags like Artist and Title by analyzing the original filename. This is not a perfect method since it will not work if the files have weird names like “Track 1″, but it has the advantage of not requiring a permanent internet connection. The algorithm for automatic tag editing is still undergoing modifications and will become more effective in the future releases of NeatMP3.

After completing the missing tag information of your MP3 files, NeatMP3 will begin organizing your music. You can choose from a set of predefined folder structures like: Artist, Year, Genre, Year/Artist, Genre/Artist, Year/Genre/Artist and many more. You can also rename your organized files using a predefined pattern like: Artist – Title, Artist – Title [Year], Artist – Title [Genre][Year] and many more. The organized music will be copied to a new directory of your choosing and you also have the option to delete the original files.

I will be giving more information regarding future features of NeatMP3, like Jobs, Profiles and Disk Scanning in my next post. Until then, have a good one!

Best regards, Cezar Popescu

Inception

My name is Cezar Popescu and I am the designer and lead programmer of NeatMP3. I will be writing articles on this blog regarding the development process of NeatMP3, the features that we will be implementing during this process, the ideas and motivations behind this product and basically any interesting fact related to NeatMP3.

You are probably wondering how the idea of a MP3 organizer came to me. Well it originates from a discussion that I had with a friend a very long time ago. He was telling me how he spent an entire day organizing his huge music collection, which consisted of approximately 10,000 MP3s, by genre and artist. Now, to be honest, some people really enjoy organizing their music manually, like my friend I just told you about, but most of us don’t even bother trying to organize our MP3 collections. Now why is that? Well, first of all, it seems like a very tedious task, and it is indeed if you try to do it manually. Fortunately, MP3 files have special fields of data embedded in their binary structure that are called ID3 tags. These fields contain information related to the song encoded in the MP3 file like artist, title, album, year, genre and other less important details. Using this important feature of MP3 files, software products like NeatMP3, can automatically organize your music collection with a minimum of effort from your part. Now you would probably ask me what happens when the MP3 tags are incomplete or invalid. Well NeatMP3 has a solution for that too, but all about that situation will be presented in a future post.

Best regards, Cezar Popescu