Wednesday, 9 January 2013

aTunes Is A Music Manager With Support For Lyrics, Last.fm & Online Radio Streaming

First start

The first time you start aTunes, you will be prompted to select your music repository. After choosing the folder containing all of the music files you wish to add, aTunes will search for your songs, open the main window, and display your songs from within the repository.

Playing a song

Playlists

Building a playlist

  • Create a playlist
Creating a playlist is very easy. The first time you start aTunes, you will find a new empty playlist in the centre of the window.
To create a new playlist, simply click on the Playlist button at the top of the playlist area, and select New PlayList. After that, click on the new tab labeled 'Playlist 1'. You will see a new empty playlist.
  • Rename a playlist
To rename a playlist, right click the tab and select Rename Playlist. Write the new name, then press OK. The edit will be applied immediately.
  • Deleting a playlist
To delete a playlist, click on the X button near the playlist name.
  • Adding to a playlist
After selecting the playlist tab, double-click the song, artist or album from within the navigator panel to add it to the playlist. You must add a song to a playlist in order to play it.

Managing a playlist

To manage the playlist you can use the Playlist menu or the playlist controls just below the playlist area. To show or hide these controls, select View in the top menu and click Show Playlist controls.
The following operations can be done with the Playlist menu, playlist controls or shortcut keys:
To save or load a playlist, select the Save or Load items in Playlist menu or press Ctrl+S (save) or Ctrl+L (load).
To remove a song from the playlist, select it and use the Remove button or press the Canc or Delete key on your keyboard.
To clear all the songs in the playlist, use the Clear All item in the menu, or press the Esc key.
To move a song in the playlist, first select it. After that:
  • to move it up, press the Move Up button (or Alt+Up key)
  • to move it down, press the Move Down button (or Alt+Down key)
  • to move to the top, press the Move to Top button (or Alt+T key)
  • to move it up, press the Move to Bottom button (or Alt+B key)
The Shuffle playlist button (or Ctrl+M key) is used to randomly reorder the songs in a playlist. Note that this function isn't the same as the Shuffle mode which will pick a random song every time the current song finishes. Shuffle mode will not affect your playlist order.
The Set Artist as playlist and Set Album as playlist will create a new playlist with all the songs of that Artist or all the songs in that Album. You must have selected a song before you can use this feature.
The Info button (or the F1 key) allows you to see more information about the song selected.
The following operations can be done only using the Playlist menu or shortcut keys:
Clicking on Play (the same as the Enter key) will allow you to start playing the playlist from the selected song.
The Smart Playlist feature allows you to automatically create a new playlist (random songs, most played songs, most played artist, unplayed songs, and so on).
The Open folder item opens the folder where the song is using the system file explorer.
The sub-menu Tags allows you to edit the song tags (see the section about editing tags), or to automatically set them. You must select the song you want to edit before using the Tags sub-menu.

Listening to music

You can listen to the music within a playlist by simply pressing the Play button at the bottom of the window. If you want to play a specific song in the playlist, you can double click the song. It will play immediately. To adjust the volume you can move the cursor next to the speaker button. You can click the speaker button to mute all music. The volume can also be changed using the Edit/Volume menu or pressing the + (volume up) and - (volume down) keys. You can access the equalizer using the Edit/Volume/Equalizer menu or by pressing Ctrl+E. The equalizer settings will not apply to a currently playing song, but will take affect with the start of the next song.

Karaoke mode

To switch to Karaoke mode, press the microphone button next to the repeat button. This button will only affect the songs played following the current song. In this mode, you shouldn't hear the voice of the singer. This could dramatically drop the quality of the song and you might still be able hear the voice of the singer. This function works with the frequency levels of the song as an equalizer, and might not be perfect. To deactivate this function, simply re-click the microphone button.

Shuffle mode

In shuffle mode the songs in the playlist are played randomly. This mode can be activated by clicking the Shuffle button.

Repeat mode

In repeat mode, when the end of the playlist is reached, it returns to the beginning and continues to play. The playlist will loop until the Stop button is clicked.

Listening to the radio

To listen to the radio, select the Radio tab in the navigation bar. You can view a list of genres. Expand the genre you prefer and double-click the station you want to listen to. The radio station will be added to your current playlist. To listen to that radio station, double-click it in the playlist.

Navigator

To show or hide the navigator bar you can toggle the Show navigator button under the View menu in the tool bar. You can also toggle the navigator table by clicking Show navigator table which is just below the navigator panel. There are five sections in it:

Repository

You have several ways to search songs in your navigator. By clicking the Options button at the bottom, you can choose how you want to view the navigator panel:
  • Show Artists
This will show all of the artists in your repository. When you expand each artist you will see their respective albums. All of the artist's songs will appear in the navigator table when you select them. When selecting an album, only the songs within that album will show in the navigator table.
  • Show Albums
This will show all of the albums in your repository. When you expand each album you will see all the artists who participated in it. The songs in the album will appear in the navigator table when it is selected. When selecting a specific artist, only the songs associated with that artist will appear in the navigator table.
  • Show Genres
This works much like the Show Artist option except that the artists are grouped by genres.
  • Show Folders
In this view you can see the folder hierarchy as it is on your hard drive (or other mass storage volume), within the folder(s) you selected as the repository.
With the Options button you can also set the order you want to view the songs in the navigator table (Track Number, Title, File Name or Modification Date).
Right-click on an item to:
  • Add it to the playlist (Add to playlist)
  • Set the item (or the sub-items) as a new playlist (Set as playlist)
  • Open the folder where the item is saved (Open folder)
  • Edit the item tags (Edit Tag)
  • Remove tags from the songs (Clear Tag)
  • Remove the item from the disk (Remove from Disk)
  • Copy the item to the external device (Copy to device)
  • Set the item as favorite (Set as favorite song/album/artist)
  • Search the artist on the Internet (Search artist)

Favorites

This tab displays the artists, albums and songs that you have set as favorites. This facility allows you to find easily your favourite songs (or artists, or albums).
Right-click on an item to:
  • Add it to the playlist (Add to playlist)
  • Set the item (or the sub-items) as a new playlist (Set as playlist)
  • Remove the item from favorites (Remove from favorites)

Device

This tab displays all the songs in any connected external devices. You can navigate through your songs as in the Repository view.
Right-click on an item to:
  • Add a copy of it to the Repository folder (Copy to repository)
  • Fill the external device with songs picked randomly from the Repository (Fill the device with random songs).
In the navigator table you have the same options as in the Repository tab.

Radio

This displays the radio stations.
Right-click on an item to:
  • Add a radio to the list (Add Radio)
This will open a window where you can insert the station name, the name to be displayed, the URL of the station and the station label, the folder you would like to keep the station in.
  • Refresh the list (Refresh)
  • Set a radio station as permanent (Set station as permanent): see radio preferences.
  • Change the radio station name (Rename Radio)
  • Change the category name (Rename label)
  • Remove the radio station from the list (Remove Radio)

Podcast feeds

This tab displays the podcast feeds.
Right-click on an item to:
  • Add a podcast feed (Add Podcast Feed)
This will open a window where you can insert the podcast display name and the feeds URL.
  • Rename the podcast feed (Rename Podcast Feed)
  • Mark all the entries of that feed as listened (Mark entries as listened). Otherwise, they are marked as listened when you actually listen to them.
  • Remove the podcast feed from the list (Remove Podcast Feed)

Tags and information about songs, artists and albums

Context information

To show the context information panel go to View/Show context information.
  • Song (or Radio, if you are listening to a radio)
This tab shows the album art, song title, artist, the last date played and the lyrics of the song currently playing.
Click on the options button under the lyrics to:
  • Copy the lyrics to clipboard (Copy to Clipboard),
  • Add the song lyrics (Add lyrics),
  • Open the website that provide the lyrics (Open lyrics source),
  • Add the song as favorite in Last.FM (Add as favorite in Last.FM).

When no lyrics are found, the first and third buttons aren't active. You can add the lyrics for the song by clicking Add lyrics and selecting which website you want to get the lyrics from. Where the lyrics are found, the button Add lyrics isn't active. The lyrics are retrieved from LyricWiki, Lyricsfly, Lyrcs, LyricsMode, and LyricsDirectory.

  • Album
In this tab you can see the album cover, the album name, the artist name and the songs in that album. Note that the songs displayed in this tab aren't necessarily present in your repository. They are picked up from album information from the Internet. Note also that if an image is found in the song folder, it will be picked up as the album cover. If no images are present, the cover will be found on the Internet.
  • Artist
Here are shown the artist's photo, biography and albums. You can click on Read More... to read the rest of the artist's information. Double-clicking on an album will show you the album page on Last.fm.
  • Similar
This tab contains the similar artists to the artist you are listening to.
  • YouTube
Here you can view videos from YouTube referring to the song you are playing. If you click on an item, the song will be paused and the browser will be opened to show you the page referring to the video you have selected. The buttons See more results and Go to YouTube will take you to the YouTube page with the list of the videos referring to the song you are playing.

Editing tags

To edit the tags of a song, select it and go to Playlist/Tags/Edit Tag, or right click the song name and go to Tags/Edit Tag. You can also select a song in the navigator, right click the song name and select Edit Tag. It will appear a new window. Here you can set:
  • Title: the song title
  • Album Artist: the artist of the album
  • Artist: the song artist
  • Album: the album name
  • Year: the year when the album has been published
  • Track: the track number
  • Genre: the song genre. You can type it, or select the genre from a drop-down menu.
  • Composer: the song composer
  • Comment: comment about the song
  • Lyrics: the song lyrics. If this field isn't empty, aTunes will load the lyrics from it, instead of searching for them on the Internet. In the last case, the lyrics won't be written in the song tags.
  • Cover (in the Cover tab): the album cover. To add a cover click on Edit cover and select the file (saved in your computer) containing the album cover. To remove the cover, click on Remove cover.

Statistics

Under Tools/Stats, you can see the program statistics.
  • General
This displays the number of played and unplayed songs as well as a graph showing the proportion of both.
  • Song, Album and Artist
This displays the most played songs, albums and artists and the number of times you have played each of them, respectively.

External devices

To use an external device, connect it to your computer and go to Device/Connect. This will open a window where you can select your external device. Click Okay and the songs in your device will be displayed in the Device tab of the navigator. The songs in the Device tab can be used in the same way as the repository. To refresh the list, click on Device/Refresh. To disconnect the device, click on Device/Disconnect.
Please check the FAQ for information on supported devices.

Preferences

Open the preferences by going to Edit/Preferences.

General

These are general changes. They will take effect on next start.

Language

In this section you can change the program language. Simply select your preferred language in the drop-down menu.

Window Type

The window type options change the way the window looks. The Standard window setting will show you a single window with all the program controls. The Separated window setting displays the Navigator, playlists and current song playing, and the context information in separate windows. Each of these can be collapsed by double clicking the thin bar at the top of each window. To access the tool bar, right-click anywhere inside the box displaying the current song's progress bar.
The Show splash screen option enables or disables the splash window on startup. The Use default font option allows you to apply the default font in aTunes. The Use OS settings for font smoothing option will allow you to use the font smoothing setting of your operating system. The Use font smoothing option enables font smoothing in aTunes. The Show Tray Player option will show the player controls (Stop, Previous, Play/Pause, Next) in your OS application bar. The Show Tray Icon option will show you the aTunes icon in the tray bar.

Theme

This drop-down menu allows you to select the colour setting you want to use with aTunes. The preview is shown on the left.

Repository

Here you can change the time between the repository auto refresh. If you set 0, this feature will be disabled. Selecting Save repository as XML will save the repository in the XML format.

Player

The Player Engine drop-down allows you to set the player engine for aTunes. The default Player Engine for aTunes is MPlayer, but you can also use Xine (if it is installed on your system). The Use normalisation option allows you to enable the volume normalization when playing a song. The Play at startup option allows to automatically play the playlist when the player starts. The Cache files before playing option allows you to load the song you want to play in the cache memory before it is played. It will increase the usage of RAM and will slightly delay the starting of the songs, but will avoid gaps, sound leaps and pauses when playing a song from slow devices. In Windows, you can also select the Use short path names for MPlayer option. The Enable Global Hotkeys option will allow you to control the player with a combination of keys or with the "multimedia keys" in many keyboards, even if aTunes does not have focus. When this option is selected, you can change the hotkey to use for each action. Simply select the action and press the combination of keys to use for it.

Navigator

The Show favorites option allows you to see your favorite songs, albums, and artists with the "heart" mark in the navigator. The Show Album ToolTip option shows you a tooltip when you pass over an album name with your mouse in the navigator. In this tooltip you can see the album name, the artist and the number of songs that are from the artist in that album. You can choose the delay of the tooltip appearing using the Album Tooltip Delay box (in seconds). The Use smart sorting in tag view option will ignore the article "The" when sorting the songs in the navigator. The Show navigator tabs at left choice will show the navigator tabs to the left of the navigator and not on top. The text in the navigator tabs can be hidden by deselecting the Show navigator tabs text option. The Highlight folders with incomplete tags based on following feature allows you to spot the folders where there are songs with incomplete attributes. The attributes analysed by this function can be selected using the box below.

Playlist

The Stop player when switching playlists option allows you to stop the playing of the current song when you change the playlist. The Stop player when clearing a playlist option allows you to stop the playing of the current song when all the songs in playlist have been removed. The Scroll playlist automatically option allows you to scroll the playlist while the songs have been played, so that the current song is never hidden in a part of the playlist not shown because of the short height of the playlist window.

OSD

The Animate OSD option can animate the OSD window when appearing and disappearing on the screen. The OSD Duration setting controls how many seconds the OSD window will be visible. The OSD Width setting controls the height of the OSD window. The two following option control where the OSD window will be displayed. The Horizontal Alignment setting controls the horizontal alignment of the OSD window (left, center or right). The Vertical Alignment setting controls the vertical alignment of the OSD window (top, center or bottom).

Context information

The Activate context information option will show you information about the song now playing in the right panel. The Save retrieved pictures to audio folders option will save the pictures downloaded from the Internet to the folders containing the songs attributed to the pictures. The Show context tabs text option will show the text in the tabs of the context information panel. The Hide albums of "Various Artists" option will only show albums which contain songs of one artist. The Clear cache button will clear the context information cache. In the Lyrics engines selection dialog you can set which of the shown lyrics engines (the sources of the lyrics) will be used and in what order (first the top).

Internet

Here there are the settings about the proxy to use when retrieving information from the Internet.

Last.fm

In this area you can insert the user name and the password of your Last.fm account. If you do this, the songs played will be submitted to your profile.

Device

The Default device location defines what is the default location for the external device. The Structure choice defines the structure of the songs on your external device.

Radio

To show the information about the songs played from the radio stream, select the Read info from radio stream option. To show all the preset stations select the Show preset stations option. Otherwise, if you want to be shown only the stations marked as permanent, deselect this option.

Podcast feeds

This section contains the settings about the Podcast feeds and its retrieving from the Internet. You can choose the interval between when they are retrieved from the Retrieval interval for podcast entries box. To select the folder where to save downloaded Podcast feed entries, use the Podcast feed entries download folder box. The Play downloaded Podcast feed entries from disc option allows aTunes to play the downloaded podcast feed entries from the disc and not from the Internet. Doing this will avoid gaps and sound leaps when an entry is played if your Internet connection is slow. The Remove Podcast entries removed from feed option will remove the Podcast entries if they aren't present anymore in the feed.

Bugs and updates

It is important to check periodically for updates. To do this, select About/Check for updates. aTunes isn't perfect. If you find a bug, let the developers know about it. You can also request a feature if you think something in this program is missing. To report a new bug or to request a new feature, select About/Report bug or request feature in the aTunes menu. If you want to take part in the development of aTunes, go to www.atunes.org. Going to About/About you can see the program license and other information about the program. More information about aTunes are available at www.atunes.org

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