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Eilye
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re: Desktop Songbook Searching

Hi All.

For the past while I have been picking at building a tool for personal use - a (Windows) desktop searching utility for my LotRO Songbook library. This is meant to do such things as (for example):

- show me all songs that have 5 or 6 parts
- show me all songs that have a pibgorn part
- show me all songs that have (Aeg) in the filename
- etc.

Or, to mix and match conditions such as the above.

I've reached a point now where I've done probably more than half of the work required to make this usable by others - it mostly just needs a UI. So my question is: is it worth bothering to do so? If you had such a tool available, would you be interested enough to download and use it? I am unsure as to whether this would be of general interest.

That's it. Speak up in the affirmative or negative if you have an opinion. Happy

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Eilye
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I use my master file for BBB for this. The search function allows you to limit what columns are searched and I have tabs for each transcriber.
Byrcha
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If it would search the entirety of all songs known to Songbook (across any/all folders), that would be helpful.


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Kiralynn
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I wouldn't use it every week, but I would use it at every event and holiday.


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Eilye
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Beorbrand wrote:
I use my master file for BBB for this. The search function allows you to limit what columns are searched and I have tabs for each transcriber.

A couple of follow-up questions, if you don't mind:

- Are you able to easily filter down to a list of songs which matches however many players you have on hand?
- Given that updating your Songbook automatically generates a comprehensive database of your music, and that this tool-that-might-be would act as a front end allowing you to peek into and query that database, does that do anything in your mind to remove the need for a manually maintained database of songs?

Envision, say, scrolling through the search results, double-clicking individual entries to launch them in ABC player for a listen, putting a checkmark next to any you want to include in a setlist, and then hitting a button to put those songs on your clipboard so that you can paste them into your Google setlist sheet. Useful? Not really?

Byrcha wrote:
If it would search the entirety of all songs known to Songbook (across any/all folders), that would be helpful.

Yes, Songbook basically creates a single big list of songs, and the folder a song sits in is just another piece of metadata. So searching across all folders is quite easy to do. I think I'd still need to provide an optional folder filter if I take this any further, though.

Kiralynn of Rohan wrote:
I wouldn't use it every week, but I would use it at every event and holiday.

Good to know - thanks.
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re: Desktop Songbook Searching

Eilye wrote:
Beorbrand wrote:
I use my master file for BBB for this. The search function allows you to limit what columns are searched and I have tabs for each transcriber.

A couple of follow-up questions, if you don't mind:

- Are you able to easily filter down to a list of songs which matches however many players you have on hand?
- Given that updating your Songbook automatically generates a comprehensive database of your music, and that this tool-that-might-be would act as a front end allowing you to peek into and query that database, does that do anything in your mind to remove the need for a manually maintained database of songs?

Envision, say, scrolling through the search results, double-clicking individual entries to launch them in ABC player for a listen, putting a checkmark next to any you want to include in a setlist, and then hitting a button to put those songs on your clipboard so that you can paste them into your Google setlist sheet. Useful? Not really?


Eilye wrote:
Byrcha wrote:
If it would search the entirety of all songs known to Songbook (across any/all folders), that would be helpful.

Yes, Songbook basically creates a single big list of songs, and the folder a song sits in is just another piece of metadata. So searching across all folders is quite easy to do. I think I'd still need to provide an optional folder filter if I take this any further, though.


This would actually be quite helpful to me, I think.

I'd like to be able to search specific folders. That would be my main use - for Old Winyards sets. I usually search through the LMB playlist, keeping how many players we might have in mind (just in windows explorer), and then copy paste the songs to a new folder within my music folder for easy access.

I'd love to give it a try if you go further with it!


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Beorbrand
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Quote:
A couple of follow-up questions, if you don't mind:

- Are you able to easily filter down to a list of songs which matches however many players you have on hand?
- Given that updating your Songbook automatically generates a comprehensive database of your music, and that this tool-that-might-be would act as a front end allowing you to peek into and query that database, does that do anything in your mind to remove the need for a manually maintained database of songs?

Envision, say, scrolling through the search results, double-clicking individual entries to launch them in ABC player for a listen, putting a checkmark next to any you want to include in a setlist, and then hitting a button to put those songs on your clipboard so that you can paste them into your Google setlist sheet. Useful? Not really?


- I can sort it that way (bare minimum needed) if I like, though I rarely need to anymore.
- Perhaps. It's hard to judge without seeing it in action. How would it gather the information from each file? Maybe I just like to catalog things?! ;)
- Mmm, possibly. Would the text on the clipboard mesh into the cells of a Google sheet, though. As it is, I just copy directly over from the Master file.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SuLBBvmKaGIrHXuEnILKZ5H2rQhPnASXvMa_EWxpL7Q/edit?usp=sharing
Keli
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re: Desktop Songbook Searching

Eilye, I'm going to PM you as I want to expand on this a bit.


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Eilye
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Lhinnthel wrote:
This would actually be quite helpful to me, I think.

I'd like to be able to search specific folders. That would be my main use - for Old Winyards sets. I usually search through the LMB playlist, keeping how many players we might have in mind (just in windows explorer), and then copy paste the songs to a new folder within my music folder for easy access.

I'd love to give it a try if you go further with it!

Thanks, I am happy to hear it! I'd love to have some real feedback if I manage to get it off the ground. Truth be told, I've already started tinkering.

Beorbrand wrote:
- Perhaps. It's hard to judge without seeing it in action. How would it gather the information from each file? Maybe I just like to catalog things?! ;)

Ha! It doesn't actually gather the data from each file. Trolling through your entire music folder is expensive in terms of processing time (hence the laborious nature of the Songbook refresh). In the interest of speed, I am just consuming the results of Songbook's effort, so I have what metadata can be found in the Songbook plugin data file after the refresh. This includes hard data such as filename, folder and tracks, and "softer" data such as length of tune and arranger (if I parse them out of the track names).

Beorbrand wrote:
- Mmm, possibly. Would the text on the clipboard mesh into the cells of a Google sheet, though. As it is, I just copy directly over from the Master file.

Yes, this is not hard to do. Spreadsheet-type apps interpret a tab as "move on to the next cell." So, with \t representing a tab in the following, pasting BBB\tis\tmorally\tbankrupt into Google docs (psst... there's a hidden message in there) would put each word in its own cell. I am assuming song name followed by one column for every instrument (1 through 91) would be the desired output.

Anyway, I have started experimenting with a UI. There's a lot to do, but I already have it so that I can fire off Fat Bottomed Girls whenever I want, which I think we can all agree is the most critical feature. Happy

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Beorbrand
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Cool, yo.
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I do not have a fat bottom. It's just the dress.

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Eilye
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Keli wrote:
Eilye, I'm going to PM you as I want to expand on this a bit.

Did you send anything? The only PMs I have seen are the kin apps.

After a whirlwind weekend of plugging away, I have a first cut at this ready. I would very much appreciate feedback (particularly if you have a problem). I am thinking now on what else it needs, so if you have a thought, please do let me know.

The page linked below has the download link and instructions and what have you.

The Last Homely Hobbit
Keli
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Actually it was an email. Unless you changed your address


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Sonca
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Very nice application. I am happy with it enough to use it in its current state.

The only problem with the application I could see is if you try to check for lyrics on the bottom line in the visible list (when the entire line itself is not visible) the function would not work if the list is moved up by the one record to make the line completely visible. I suspect this is a Microsoft issue (a feature) with the MS object being used and not a bug in the code. The object is likely firing a list move event instead of a cell click event. I have had similar 'features' in applications I have written for work. So this should just probability be described as a known issue in the documentation (assuming anyone reads your documentation).


There were a few things I noticed of a more usability or look/feel type of issue (therefore since I did not commission the work being done, feel free to ignore these if you wish)

Could you add a label with the total records returned?

Would it be possible with the methods you use to sort by the different column headings? I know it is very easy to do when reading a SQL table but I have never had to dig through a text file to populate tables like this. So I am not sure how much work would need to be performed to implement something like this. (I have always hated programming sorting functions myself)

Personally, I am not too keen on the borderless box around the lyrics that cannot be moved. But that is purely a personal opinion on my part.

The biggest thing I'd love to see (a pipe dream... no wait, a flute dream) would be a way to indicate which songs have lyrics but I know that would require parsing the text of every single ABC file which you already mentioned you are trying to avoid (and I can understand why). Maybe a hidden option for advanced users to turn this on with a warning that it will take a lot of time?

Finally one glaring error that I do hope is rectified in the next version, there needs to be a button that orders pies and sends the bill to Isengard/WB.

So if you can take care of the pie bit first then I won't even notice the other issues. There would be too much pie filling on the screen.


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Vulpes_Velox wrote:
Very nice application. I am happy with it enough to use it in its current state.

Thanks! It's good to know I'm off to a decent start.

Vulpes_Velox wrote:
The only problem with the application I could see is if you try to check for lyrics on the bottom line in the visible list (when the entire line itself is not visible) the function would not work if the list is moved up by the one record to make the line completely visible.

Interesting. It's also an issue with the play button. But it's also not 100% - every so often the click on the partially obscured button works. Let me noodle on it a bit.

Vulpes_Velox wrote:
Could you add a label with the total records returned?

Good idea. I'll add that to the next version.

Vulpes_Velox wrote:
Would it be possible with the methods you use to sort by the different column headings?

Oops! That was supposed to be in there from the start. I'll add it in the next version.

Vulpes_Velox wrote:
I know it is very easy to do when reading a SQL table but I have never had to dig through a text file to populate tables like this.

The data is very hierarchical, so I convert it into an in-memory Xml document. Sorting should be fairly painless.

Vulpes_Velox wrote:
Personally, I am not too keen on the borderless box around the lyrics that cannot be moved. But that is purely a personal opinion on my part.

So you'd prefer a proper window? Moving, resizing, and the like?

Vulpes_Velox wrote:
The biggest thing I'd love to see (a pipe dream... no wait, a flute dream) would be a way to indicate which songs have lyrics but I know that would require parsing the text of every single ABC file which you already mentioned you are trying to avoid (and I can understand why). Maybe a hidden option for advanced users to turn this on with a warning that it will take a lot of time?

I'm leery of this because it is a game-changer. If I do something so time intensive, I am also going to feel obligated to persist the results somewhere so that I don't have to do it every time. And then I'd need logic to consume that persisted data when the app launches, too. And would also have to worry about the data becoming stale.

I am curious: why do you want to know in advance if there's lyrics? (if you don't mind sharing)

Vulpes_Velox wrote:
Finally one glaring error that I do hope is rectified in the next version, there needs to be a button that orders pies and sends the bill to Isengard/WB.

Hrmm. Perhaps display a pie if there's a "/Landroval/Sonca" folder under the selected profile? And the bill should go to the Beard, who already owes us so much back pay. Happy

Sonca, thanks for giving this a go, and thank you especially for the taking the time to provide such comprehensive feedback.
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