Impressive Alt Magnatune Player
I've been talking to Mathias for some weeks now, and I think his project is solid enough for me to show it to you, and for you to give it a try. It's pretty impressive, and very useful as an alternative way of finding and playing Magnatune's music.
You can try his Magnatune player at this URL:
There is a "take a tour" link which shows you the various features, including a nicely done drag-and-drop playlist feature. I do recommend it.
If you're a member, be sure to click the "[ ] Member" box toward the top and give the player your name and password. You can then listen advertising-free.
There is a collapsing genre-browser on the left side of the page, which shows you artist info (and their albums) when you click on an artist, and then more info about the album when you click on an album. You can play albums directly, or add them to a playing queue.
Here are some screen pictures from Mathias' player:
All MP3 tags redone
As of today, all the MP3 files are tagged using the same 10 genres as Magnatune uses.
Previously, we tried our best to label music using the ID3 genre which seemed most appropriate.
However, we ran into problems all the time, as the available ID3 genres were defined years ago by Winamp, aren't the most consistent, and there are only 80 of them, with odd choices made.
For example, there are ID3 Genres for "Sound Clip", "Pranks", "Dream", "Bass" and "Trailer", but none for "Electro Rock" or "World", which are two main genres at Magnatune. To work around this in the past, we've identified our World music albums using the ID3 tag "Ethnic", but that doesn't seem all that great a compromise.
Sometimes, where the ID3 tags seemed more nuanced than our "main ten genres" we would assign that genre to the mp3, so some MP3s from us might be labelled "Classic Rock" or "Death Metal". However, when this was all loaded into iTunes or an iPod, there were too many genres too look at, and they were too inconsistently applied.
So... as of now all the MP3 files at Magnatune are assigned the same top level genre that you'll find them in at Magnatune. On my iPod, this makes for a much cleaner organization of our music, and I hope you'll agree.
Thankfully, 8 of our main genres can be found (albeit with slightly different spelling) in the ID3 Genre list, and these are:
10 new age
40 alternative rock
79 hard rock
two of our main genres (World and Electro Rock) aren't available in the ID3 genre list, and so are assigned custom "other" tags, using the ID3v2 standard. That should work fine with iTunes, Winamp, and any modern mp3 player.
However, some mp3 players that only support older style id3 tags might see "Pop" instead of "Eletro Rock" and "Ethnic" instead of "World".
In case you're curious, below is a table of the 80 genres built into the MP3 id3 genre standard. Extensions are possible by using an "other" genre, which works with newer mp3 players (iTunes/Winamp) that support that, which is what we've used for World and Electro Rock.
The standard 80 genres that are part of the ID3v1 standard:
|1||'Classic Rock'||21||'Ska'||41||'Bass'||61||'Christian Rap'|
|6||'Grunge'||26||'Ambient'||46||'Instrumental Pop'||66||'New Wave'|
|18||'Techno'||38||'Gospel'||58||'Cult'||78||'Rock & Roll'|
New iPhone app version
Version 1.61 of the Magnatune iPhone/iPad app is now available.
You can download it here:
The main reason for this update is that paid members who couldn't get the advertising-free mode to work, will now be able to make it work. Also, there was a problem with ios5 devices not being able to download the latest new releases lists.
The first problem was that previously, following Apple's guidelines, we asked for your member name and password in a "settings" page, as part of the general iPhone/iPad settings. The trouble is, Apple doesn't let you do anything from that page, other than save the settings, so if you didn't type your username/password exactly right, you weren't told so, and the advertising.
As of this version, we now have a "settings" tab where you can enter your membership info:
after you click the "login" button it changes to "logged in" if everything worked fine. This "login process" will happen automatically every time you run the app from that point on.
Note that I have heard of a few cases where a valid Magnatune member still can't get their iPhone login to work. If you have this problem, please drop us a note, and we'll "twiddle" your account to fix that.
There was also a problem with the previous iPhone app, with getting an updated list of albums (ie "new releases") under ios5. This is now fixed.
You can force the app to get the latest songs from this page:
Interview with Philipp Weigl
|An interesting interview with Magnatune musician Philipp Weigl:|