Monday, February 20, 2017

Bliss for music libray management

So I've become pretty "knee-deep" in an upcoming post; something that I've been working on for many years as a matter of fact. It has to do with me, my personal music collection and how I've moved from cassette tapes to compact discs over the years to now having everything digitally available on my home network. PLEASE NOTE: I still love 'owning the media', but because I am always on the go, in different places all the time, so having everything in portable format is great. You ask, "Why not just stream it?" I know that seems to be what the thing to do is today, but I guess I consider myself 'old school' and like to 'own' my music from the first track to the last!

The reason for this post (and the piece of software I am about to tell you about) is because I was trying to understand why some of my album art was not showing up on my Ford Sync 3's head unit in my (2016 Black Friday purchase) truck. Well after a quick Google search, I came across a blog post from Dan at Bliss. Basically this article mentioned without the proper ID3 tags and image size, the info/album art limits what will show in the Sync's display unit. This really prompted me to finish this cleanup/migration effort of mine that has been in progress for years.

Bliss is one of those apps that is a key player now in the management of my music collection. It used to be TuneUp, but seeing the support for that product is pretty much dead, Bliss has filled that hole. I like that the application supports the macOS platform (as thats my OS of choice) but also has flavors for other operating systems as well. After installing, it basically runs a 'server' type service on your local machine that you configure to point to a 'watched folder' so it can scan, analyze and report what may be wrong with the media. Whats also greta about it is you can customize what you want this tool to do down to some semi-granular detail.

Settings such as album art size is a key thing you can set. In my case, I wanted to make sure album art was no larger than 500x500 pixels, yet no smaller than 300x300. This way, it would render in my car deck (old school term right there, huh?). It can assist with locating or even uploading album art if you are missing it altogether. Pair that with proper ID3 tags (metadata tags) along with a standard file naming convention, it can turn a mess of a collection into a well organized one. Take a look at the before and after screenshot of all my "Lo-Fi" music files!

If you are someone like me and had a mess of a digital music library collection after burning all those compact discs and such, Bliss truly made this whole process a breeze.

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