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Eilye
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re: Unified Music Library

Greetings, Band.

This is surely a thought that has been discussed in the past, but if so, that discussion occurred before my membership with the kin. So indulge me if you would with your thoughts on this subject.

I am wondering if perhaps the LMB might standardize around a unified music library? It would certainly help to eliminate redundancy and promote availability of music to have one comprehensive library that the kin's various bands use.

I realize that we have different bands, and that the leaders of those bands would most likely prefer some level of autonomy in managing their collections, but I do not see that as a barrier to unifying the libraries. The unified library could still be organized by band at some level to preserve the desired level of separation. I was thinking in terms of an online subversion repository that the designated library maintainer(s) would commit new and updated songs to. Then band members could just pull down the latest from the repo before any show. This would also give us the benefit of revision tracking.

Does anyone have an opinion to express on this subject? I'd love to hear them. I'm happy to take a crack at the initial setup if Keli, PB, Byrcha, Lhinn et al. feel the idea is worth pursuing.
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re: Unified Music Library

You're right, this has been discussed. We couldn't agree on a file naming convention so it was abandoned.

There will always be some need for separation. I have some songs in Andune given to me by other bands but I do not or may not have permission to share them with others, even LMB.


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Eilye
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re: Unified Music Library

Keli wrote:
You're right, this has been discussed. We couldn't agree on a file naming convention so it was abandoned.

A common naming convention is not a prerequisite. Ultimately I think it is more desirable to have consistent naming, but if the music is broken out by band at the top level (much the same as your LotRO music folder is for those who play in multiple bands), everyone can maintain their autonomy.

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There will always be some need for separation. I have some songs in Andune given to me by other bands but I do not or may not have permission to share them with others, even LMB.

If there is music that is truly meant by its authors to be limited use, couldn't those pieces be managed separately? It does not make sense to me to have a fringe case drive the overall organizational plan.
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re: Unified Music Library

Bit of a sore spot here, Eel Lady, even though it's been a long time since the discussion. Back when everything had to be manually typed out, it was important to find a standard way to name things. With the introduction of Songbook, etc. not so much now. Back in old timey times (perhaps when you were just in your 3000's), I got the run around about having my music played by OW at A&T from one who has since sailed West. I renamed my files twice, and was then told something else, at which point I became frustrated and grumpy. Shortly after, the standard convention was put in place but I would not rename my files a third time. I generally write pieces with very flexible instrumentation and disagree with the number policy.

Personally, I would like to see each composer/arranger/transcriber have their own folder listed by name within the LMB directory whereas to each their own, but have long made peace with doing my own thang.
Eilye
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re: Unified Music Library

Thanks for filling in some of the background, PB. I certainly don't mean to stir the pot (that's Eilye's job). And if this topic serves mainly to ruffle feathers, I will let it drop.

Please understand I do not intend "unified library" to mean "we all should name ABCs the same way" (I gather that was the gist of the discussion last time around). I am largely unconcerned with the differences in naming. What I am trying to say is that there are far more efficient ways to manage a shared library of files than chunking it up into pieces and distributing it piecemeal. Further, the work of keeping it up to date can be far more evenly distributed. Rather than send you a zip with my updates, forcing you to take time from your life to integrate it into the BBB library, I instead could just commit it directly to the "Eilye" folder in the repo. You could pull down the updates just as easily (using a free subversion client such as TortoiseSVN). So could everyone else, obviating the need for you to assemble a zip in advance of every show.

Lastly, I hate being at a show and hearing someone say, "we should play X! Oh, wait, that's in a different collection."

I'd be happy to prepare a demo, if that would help to illustrate the kind of upkeep and distribution model that I am envisioning. But, if everyone would rather just keep on the current way, that is certainly your prerogative. There are better ways, though, and I am just looking to share them.
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re: Unified Music Library

Eilye,

Why not show us what you have in mind. I would like to contribute Happy


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Kiralynn
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I'm always glad there's a unified LMB library with wonderful ABC files from many different groups.

At least I know that I can play all of the songs in that ZIP without making someone angry for having played it without permission. I really wouldn't want any songs in my folder that are going to get me in trouble without even realizing it. I can't keep track of all the different band's opinions on song sharing, especially when some songs are shared while others are not. Entirely too confusing for me. It's a shame things are so complicated on the music front.

I'm a big fan of putting name abbreviation prefixes on songs, IE: (Keli). It helps me find particular versions of a song. It also helps me play a set of songs that have similar instrumentation and style.

I wouldn't have any objection to people keeping their stuff in a separate folder under LMB. I think all of my things are in their own folder, not because I'm particular about it, probably just because I submit a ZIP file with all of my stuff and it just came out that way. I use Songbook to search for the songs I want, so sub-folders don't cause me any trouble. Whatever makes the musicians happy.


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Eilye
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re: Unified Music Library

I think the most productive path forward is for me to provide a brief demo. I can realize some benefits (e.g., online backup) from managing my own music in this fashion, even if the consensus is that no one else cares for the approach.

I will post a follow-up in the next day or two with some instructions, screenshots, and what have you.
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re: Unified Music Library

Examples are always welcome.

I'm really not trying to be negative Eilye but let me outline my thoughts on the subject.

There are two aspects to the subject; how LMB manages it's library and how bandleaders manage their band's library. Are you trying to address one or the other or both?

As regards the LMB library - when I took this over I thought long and hard about improving the management of the songs. In the end, I left it alone for no better reason than it worked and people were comfortable with it. I receive updates (posted in the forum), I quality check the indexing and add them to the LMB library. It's not especially onerous.

The library is a zip which can be downloaded with a click from 2 different locations (the link to our internal file storage and also at a Dropbox location accessed through the Music Library button at the top of the forum).

Accessing the library through an additional program that has to be installed on a PC (quote - You could pull down the updates just as easily using a free subversion client such as TortoiseSVN) is a big no-no for me. As well as a few computer novices within the Kin who might have difficulty, there would be others who simply wouldn't bother.

As to content of LMB, the library is a publically accessible file (deliberately). As alluded to earlier, that means we cannot include everything. It therefore follows that there will be more than one library existing i.e. individual bands will retain songs not in the LMB library. Placing the Andune folder within the LMB folder also would not work.

Now, if you are talking about how individual bands manage their files, I'm prepared to listen to suggestions. That said, what I prefer may be different to Beor or Lili or Lhinn. My method is to email the set to band members each week; the others have their own way of managing.

I've certainly looked at different ways of managing Andune in the past and am always open to suggestions. I am struggling to understand exactly what it is you are proposing and, I guess, others may be too.


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re: Unified Music Library

Thanks for raising this, Eilye, as the historical nature of the playlist also largely predates my membership. I too would like to see an example of what you have in mind, to see what the possibilities are.

That said, here are some issues which I encounter as a bandleader and bandmember:

I participate in all of the LMB-associated musical acts (OW, BBB, Andune, TSO), so I end up with a folder for each of their music (OW uses the main LMB playlist, except for special occasions). When I use Songbook to search for a song, I can end up with 3+ versions of a song. If it is in fact simply an exact duplicate in a separate folder, then no big deal (e.g. Durin). However, every once in a while there is a slightly-tweaked version of a song in the various folders -- same name, different length, different parts, revised volumes, etc. Given that storage isn't the issue it once was I'm not so concerned that there are multiple identical versions of a song (caveat: see below re songbook filler pgm). But it can be confusing/frustrating if there are slightly-different versions. Perhaps this is solved by using a different filename?

Another feature is that not all of the folks who participate in these four bands are LMB members (particularly TSO, but true also of the other three bands from time to time). So, we need to be able to provide files to non-kin members in a convenient manner.

Similarly, each bandleader has a slightly different way of managing files and setlists tongue out In the end, I think this will come down to what is most useful/convenient for a bandleader as well as their musicians. I'm not sure how we handle the issue of some songs are useable by certain bandleaders but not by everyone else, other than to continue what we've been doing.

Related to the above, but possibly not solveable by Eilye's suggestion: since I have 4+ music folders, it can take a couple minutes for the Songbook filler pgm to update things (this has to happen each time files are updated, ideally only once a week but sometimes more than once per day). If there were a way to streamline this process, that would be fantastic.

Edit: Also, there have not been as many music submission of late as there were in the past. I suspect that it will pick up again once the music system upgrade process settles down (U16ish).


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Tearna Quickfoot
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re: Unified Music Library

Byrcha: Regarding the Songbook update tool.... if you are using the one that comes with Songbook, it is slow and tedious. Fincin linked me to another tool that does the same thing in just a few seconds. It is amazing how fast it works compared to the original updater.

This also has some ideas about file storage, but the updater is down at the bottom. You'll recognize the group that sponsors this. ;)

http://lotro.hanft.de/wansongbookfiller/


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Eilye
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re: Unified Music Library

Quote:
I'm really not trying to be negative Eilye but let me outline my thoughts on the subject.

Not to worry - disagreeing with an idea does not make you negative. I really do welcome your candid thoughts.

Quote:
There are two aspects to the subject; how LMB manages it's library and how bandleaders manage their band's library. Are you trying to address one or the other or both?

Probably more the former, as I honestly question if there is such a thing as a band's library. With the exception of the small number of "limited use" tunes you've already mentioned, I think the goal we should be striving for is that all of this music is LMB's library - the tunes that make it up predominantly come from the membership.

Quote:
As regards the LMB library - when I took this over I thought long and hard about improving the management of the songs. In the end, I left it alone for no better reason than it worked and people were comfortable with it. I receive updates (posted in the forum), I quality check the indexing and add them to the LMB library. It's not especially onerous.

The library is a zip which can be downloaded with a click from 2 different locations (the link to our internal file storage and also at a Dropbox location accessed through the Music Library button at the top of the forum).

Please note that I'm not trying to be critical of what anyone has done in the past. I just think we can make positive forward steps in the future.

Quote:
Accessing the library through an additional program that has to be installed on a PC (quote - You could pull down the updates just as easily using a free subversion client such as TortoiseSVN) is a big no-no for me.

This seems a bit inconsistent. Do you not use ABC player (and java to power it), or any other tools to help you produce ABC files? Subversion is a powerful tool for managing a shared file base.

Quote:
As well as a few computer novices within the Kin who might have difficulty, there would be others who simply wouldn't bother.

Completely agree. What I am proposing is a means to manage the band's library, and allow those *who wish it* more direct access to control their little piece of it. We would still need periodic releases of a downloadable zip for more casual users (although it is entirely possible that such releases could be automatically generated from the repo on a schedule).

Quote:
As to content of LMB, the library is a publically accessible file (deliberately). As alluded to earlier, that means we cannot include everything. It therefore follows that there will be more than one library existing i.e. individual bands will retain songs not in the LMB library. Placing the Andune folder within the LMB folder also would not work.

Again, I don't think allowing a fringe case to drive the approach makes sense. By all means strip out the "has to be Andune only" songs and manage them separately. But let's be realistic - aren't those a small minority?

Quote:
Now, if you are talking about how individual bands manage their files, I'm prepared to listen to suggestions. That said, what I prefer may be different to Beor or Lili or Lhinn. My method is to email the set to band members each week; the others have their own way of managing.

It's more about letting contributors manage their own files, and breaking down the walls between the band silos. The music is not just Andune's (or BBB's, or OW's) - it belongs to the Lilikates and Lhinnthels and Kiralynns who produce the ABCs.

Quote:
I've certainly looked at different ways of managing Andune in the past and am always open to suggestions. I am struggling to understand exactly what it is you are proposing and, I guess, others may be too.

I have set up a repository with my own files in it. I will cobble together an introduction to it - I am in the process of collecting screenshots now.
Eilye
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re: Unified Music Library

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When I use Songbook to search for a song, I can end up with 3+ versions of a song.

I think this is solved by adopting PB's organizational suggestion: a folder for each contributor. There doesn't need to be a copy of "All Because of You" in three places - there just needs to be one in the Byrcha folder. If you want to produce a tweaked secondary version of it, go right ahead! Just use a different filename and place it in the Byrcha folder as well.

Quote:
Another feature is that not all of the folks who participate in these four bands are LMB members (particularly TSO, but true also of the other three bands from time to time). So, we need to be able to provide files to non-kin members in a convenient manner.

I would advocate being pretty free about granting read-only access to the repo. But that said, there is still a need for more traditional scheduled releases of something like a downloadable zip, as Keli pointed out.

Quote:
Similarly, each bandleader has a slightly different way of managing files and setlists tongue out In the end, I think this will come down to what is most useful/convenient for a bandleader as well as their musicians.

This is a model where contributors manage their own files. But that raises a good point. My own habit is to name files Winyards-style [e.g., 8-(Eilye)SomethingOrOther.abc]. That is not how PB names files. PB, would it bother you terribly if you wanted to play one of my tunes at a BBB show, and because it came from my folder, it was named according to a non-BBB convention?

Quote:
I'm not sure how we handle the issue of some songs are useable by certain bandleaders but not by everyone else, other than to continue what we've been doing.

IMO these should be stripped from the main library and distributed separately (i.e., however Keli has been doing it).

Quote:
Related to the above, but possibly not solveable by Eilye's suggestion: since I have 4+ music folders, it can take a couple minutes for the Songbook filler pgm to update things (this has to happen each time files are updated, ideally only once a week but sometimes more than once per day). If there were a way to streamline this process, that would be fantastic.

Pulling down files from a different source does not eliminate the need for rebuilding your songbook. But not having so many duplicates would help a lot! Plus, Tearna has a good suggestion. Happy
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re: Unified Music Library

AN INTRODUCTION TO SUBVERSION

The goal of this proposal is a unified kin music library containing every ABC that is not bound by some restriction on its use (e.g., only Andune can use it).

High-level goals:

    * Eliminating duplicate songs wherever possible. This reduces confusion, and promotes a leaner and speedier Songbook.
    * Breaking down the walls between band silos, and having a common collection that is accessible to all of the kin's bands.
    * A more thoughtful organizational structure. Having one folder per contributor organically promotes having only one copy of each song. Further, this allows us to maintain just the right granularity in security. Administrators can manage the library as a whole, and regular contributors can commit to just their own folder.
    * More timely access to updates. Anyone plugged into the repo can access updates committed by others immediately.
    * Enhanced collaboration. With real-time file exchange, it is easier to work collaboratively on something. This would be a great way to submit songs for test group!
    * Support for one-off collections. It is easy enough for an admin (a bandleader) to create a custom collection for a specific event to make it easier for everyone to focus on the right music. Although, with duplicate songs eliminated this may not be needed as much.
    * Revision history. Did you destroy your song while trying to "fix" it? Forgot to make a copy first? The prior version of your song is still accessible in the repository even after you committed your unfortunate update.
    * Cloud-based backups. Anything you commit is safely backed up in the cloud, safe from local hardware problems.



HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Things you need to connect to the repository:

    * A subversion client. For Windows users, your best bet is TortoiseSVN: http://tortoisesvn.net/downloads.html
    * A login for the repository. I propose the name of your main as your username, and a password of your choosing. Administrators (bandleaders, mostly) can just use the master login. I will PM the admin login to PB, Keli, Byrcha and Lhinnthel.
    * At the same time that a login is created for you, you will receive your own folder in the music repository.



I INSTALLED TortoiseSVN. NOW WHAT?

You need to "check out" the music library to your local computer. You do this by using the Tortoise client (which is integrated right into Windows after installation) to create a link between your local folder and the kin repository.

In this screenshot, I have right-clicked within the LotRO music folder. Notice the SVN Checkout... option on the context menu. Select that.

Forum Image

Next, you will need to fill out the "check out" dialog:

Forum Image

    * URL of repository: https://subversion.assembla.com/svn/lmb-music/trunk (this is the same for everyone)
    * Checkout directory: the subfolder of your LotRO music folder that you wish to hold the unified library. In my screenshot, I called it lmb-music. You do not need to create the folder first - Tortoise will do it for you.
    * Leave everything else alone - the defaults are correct. Click ok.
    * Now is when you will be asked to enter your credentials (that you obtained in the HOW DO I GET STARTED section). You can check a box to have Tortoise remember them so that you don't have to key them in every time.
    * Tortoise will now populate your local unified music folder (your "working copy") with the contents of the repo.



HOW DO I SUBMIT CHANGES AND UPDATES?

Standard contributors will only have access to change their own folder. Change or add whichever files you want within your own folder. Once you are ready to commit them to the repository, right-click within your folder and select the SVN Commit... option from the menu:

Forum Image

In the dialog which pops up, type a brief description of your changes in the box (not required, but it can be helpful later if you later try to piece together what you did when). If the files in the bottom half of the dialog are not checked (sometimes the case for new additions), you can quickly check all of them by clicking the All link next to the Check: prompt:

Forum Image

Click OK at the bottom and your work will be committed to the repository.


HOW DO I OBTAIN ALL OF THE UPDATES COMMITTED BY OTHERS?

At the top level of the unified library (the lmb-music folder in my example), right-click and choose SVN Update from the context menu:

Forum Image

This will update your working copy with the latest and greatest from the kin repository.


HOW DO I DELETE AND/OR MOVE ITEMS WHICH ARE ALREADY IN THE REPOSITORY?

This is more advanced functionality. I will cover it in a future update if this proposal gains momentum. For now, know that it is not as simple as just deleting or moving the file in the working copy on your computer.


WHAT ARE THOSE .svn FOLDERS I SEE IN MY WORKING COPY?
They are used by Tortoise to manage the synchronization of your working copy with the online repository. Just leave them be (don't delete them!).
Kiralynn
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Also there's the Music Library tab above, where us mere mortal amateurs can post our little collections.


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