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Song Sergeant

Won't Merge--Itunes not responding

Discuss LairWare's app for fixing problems in your iTunes library.

Beta JOY!

Postby CaptD » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:35 pm

Song Sergeant Beta Version 1.0.4b8 (52) seems to NOT error out like the previous version! It takes it's time but that's OK by me, better safe than sorry! (I guess I've been spoiled by MPFreaker which works much faster...)

I'm still unclear how to have SS scan AND MARK Dupe files for AAC priority when getting rid of Dupe's. I now still have to manually Unmark all files shown and then manually check the boxes related to AAC.

Am I missing something; can you explain (including what pref's to check or not check) in order to do a sort/scan that will ID the AAC files and get rid or any Dupe's without manually checking off each AAC file box, if so that would make me very happy?

Thanks
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Beta Version now displaying same error message!

Postby CaptD » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:21 pm

I got my hopes up, but after about 25 dupes removed in a number of small batches (I wanted to makes sure before I turned it loose on my full library) the newest Beta Version 1.0.4b8 (52) is now error messaging out* just like the non Beta Version; I'm sorry to report. :!:


*iTunes has become critically unresponsive to Song Sergeant, and as a result Song Sergeant must quit.
CaptD
 
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Two different issues

Postby beastie » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:21 am

For the subject of confusion marking different columns in Duplicates and what actually happens when you click Merge Marked, please go to this new forum topic.

Song Sergeant 1.0.4 (currently beta) definitely does cope better with some iTunes time-out issues, but unfortunately not always. We've been keeping it in beta in the hopes of completely working around this timeout issue, but at this stage there are so many other improvements in 1.0.4 that we're likely to take it out of beta soon even without a complete solution to this issue.
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Error problems? Helping Song Sergeant (SS) do it's job...

Postby CaptD » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:19 am

Here is my Computer & iTunes setup (why am I listing this, read on):

1. I'm using a 2.8 GHz Intel core 2 Duo processor iMac.
2. It has 4GB of 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
3. My iTunes library is on an external HD connected by FW 800 and USB 2 http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack/
(The V3 enclosure/hub has multiple chipsets to handle both!)
4. I have a Seagate 1 TB HD (w/32MB buffer) inside.

After many, many hours of running SS over & over & over again, here are 10 things that I've found that seem to help SS remove my Dupe's "BETTER":

1. Realize that looking for and eliminating Dupes is a very, very processor intensive job... Quit all your other App's while running SS.
2. If you have lots of Widgets running in the background, turn them off also!
3. If you have a Mac, download and install iStat Pro (FREE/donation) which is "a highly configurable widget that lets you monitor every aspect of your Mac, including CPU, memory, disks, network, battery, temperatures, fans, load & uptime and processes". http://islayer.com/apps/istatpro/
4. When you first start SS, check how much processor usage (using iStatPro) Song Sergeant is using. I was shocked to see SS using almost 100%! I always figured that I had plenty processor available but that is not the case... Once I "dedicated" my processor to running SS (by quitting other App's), It seemed to run better, removing more dupe's before error messaging out.
5. Multiple copies of long files seemed to cause the most trouble for SS; I noticed that when I had several copies of the same long audio file plus their AAC version, they gave SS the most problems removing their dupe's.
6. If you discover any songs that you cannot convert to AAC (Apple's much smaller file format -see iTunes/Advanced/Create AAC Version) remove them from your music library until SS has finished removing all the other Dupe's then add them again. I had a couple songs that played just fine but when I tried to convert them, I found that the files were damaged and I think SS was "hanging up" when it got to scanning those few songs instead of skipping over them to the 99.9% that were undamaged...
7. If SS keeps error messaging before quitting when trying to remove the same song, try removing the check box for that song (so SS will "skip it") and see if SS will then continue working on the remaining songs; I found some songs that seem to just take forever for SS to remove, while others went very fast!
8. Be careful when you are importing songs and DON'T import songs you already have in your library because it takes time to get rid of Dupe's.; it sounds simple but when you have lots of converted music (say from records & cassettes to digital versions with home made playlists) then the temptation is to just import 'em all and let Song Sergeant sort 'em out, BUT as your music library grows in size sorting becomes harder to do! ★ One trick when importing from a CD is to make sure you import all files as AAC (iTunes/Pref's/General/Import Settings/Import Using: AAC Encoder) and they taake up MUCH less disc space both on your HD and in your iPod!
9. Reduce any playlists with more than say 75 songs to smaller playlists (i.e. Playlist1, Playlist2) as this also seem to help SS work better.
10. Remove any playlists that you either don't use any more or don't need! I used to have lots of playlists of individual Artists because it was easier to look for their songs under Playlists in iTunes Left column instead of choosing to sort iTunes by Artist; remember that the more Playlists you have the longer it will take SS to check each and every song on each and every Playlist against each and every Dupe'd song!
    CaptD
     
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    Advice for working around time-out issue

    Postby beastie » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:19 pm

    CaptD, thanks for posting your thoughts regarding working around this issue.

    This timeout issue is unpredictable, even on systems that seem to be afflicted by it constantly. This makes truly scientific experimentation very difficult when it comes to finding out what actually helps and what is more like "voodoo".

    Particular advice that you've given that is borne out in our tests:
    7. If SS keeps error messaging before quitting when trying to remove the same song, try removing the check box for that song (so SS will "skip it") and see if SS will then continue working on the remaining songs; I found some songs that seem to just take forever for SS to remove, while others went very fast!

    This has more to do with what playlists the unkept version(s) of this song occur on rather than anything about the kept song itself. Still, unchecking it so Song Sergeant will not attempt to merge it is good advice.

    9. Reduce any playlists with more than say 75 songs to smaller playlists (i.e. Playlist1, Playlist2) as this also seem to help SS work better.
    10. Remove any playlists that you either don't use any more or don't need! I used to have lots of playlists of individual Artists because it was easier to look for their songs under Playlists in iTunes Left column instead of choosing to sort iTunes by Artist; remember that the more Playlists you have the longer it will take SS to check each and every song on each and every Playlist against each and every Dupe'd song!

    We've found this timeout issue to potentially occur with playlists as short as ~150 songs. Removing large unwanted playlists before asking Song Sergeant to merge your duplicates is definitely a good idea.
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    Postby Trouthead » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:57 pm

    iTunes has become critically unresponsive to Song Sergeant, and as a result Song Sergeant must quit. Please switch to iTunes and ensure that it is running normally before launching Song Sergeant again.

    This is the message that I get. Also, I dragged the icon into my apps folder and it has the ban mark on it like it isn't registered but it is. I click on it and it loads but sometime during the deletions, it is say the above message. I have to shut it down, then load it again and it does delete some songs. It will do it again though. Any thoughts?
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    Couple of additional "tips" to try.

    Postby CaptD » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:06 am

    1. I've now started to spend some time searching before importing and NOT importing music (by checking my iTunes library before importing) I already have! That has saved me and SS from having to search for all those playlist dupe's so SS can then erase them! It does not take very long to do a iTunes search and I found that iTunes had no problems with me searching for songs (I did it by Artist's name) while ALSO importing or playing music at the same time.

    2. If you are like me and have converted music from records or cassettes to digital and then finally buy the CD, (which sounds so much better!), after importing from the CD, you should use SS to take care of replacing the older version with the new version in all your playlists.

    3. If you discover that you have multiple copies of the same song by the same artist using SS's search mode, before you delete these dupe's, consider if you want to KEEP BOTH COPIES because they are different (sounding) versions of the same song (i.e. Think early Dylan vs. older Dylan or early BEATLES vs.Later Beatles).

    You should understand the difference between the MANY DIFFERENT kinds of dupe's:
    ...A. Exactly the same songs WITH the same QUALITY (i.e. The same CD was imported twice).
    ...B. Exactly the same songs WITH DIFFERENT QUALITY (i.e. Different CD's were used to import).
    ...C. Exactly the same songs from DIFFERENT Sources (i.e. CD vs. Cassette were used to import).
    ...D. The same song title (sung by the same artist at different locations and or dates).
    ...E. The same song title (sung by DIFFERENT artist OR at different locations and or dates).
    ...G. Any other combination you can think of...

    4. Remember: CHECK THE SONGS ALBUM ART AND OR NOTES OF SONGS BEFORE YOU DELETE!
    Make a practice of checking and then saving any of the above to your "newer" songs! I found that I had some images and notes that I was glad I discovered; plus if you want you might consider sharing them by posting them on Amazon's web page for that song/album.

    Album Art tip: Remember, you must first drag any (ie. Amazon's or .jpg) images first to your desktop and then drag and drop them into your song! Do this by selecting the song in iTunes then click File/Get Info (or use the short cut)/Artwork and drag the image into the blue box. Once in that box the images can be rearranged with the image on the left becoming the displayed image...
    CaptD
     
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    Version 1.0.4 released

    Postby beastie » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:14 pm

    Many users who have experienced this "critically unresponsive" issue have had much better luck with the latest version, 1.0.4. It's now out of beta! Please tell Song Sergeant to "Check For Updates..." under the Song Sergeant menu.
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    I am still getting the message critically unresponsive...

    Postby lmeyerow » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:42 pm

    i'm running 1.04, now what? i tried to run it 4 times??? help please
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    Help for meyerow

    Postby CaptD » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:52 pm

    Please describe your problem better:
    1. What you are doing that does not work.
    2. What OS you are using.
    3. Are you using the latest version of iTunes
    4. How many songs do you have in iTunes
    + Any other info that folks might need to know about.
    Help us help you!
    CaptD
     
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    in support email

    Postby beastie » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:13 am

    lmeyerow and I are going through this via email, any conclusions will appear here.
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    New beta up

    Postby beastie » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:54 pm

    There's a new Song Sergeant beta available (1.0.5b2) which may completely resolve this "iTunes has become critically unresponsive" problem. If you experience this problem with any consistency, please try out the beta and let us know how it worked at songsergeant@lairware.com.

    http://lwupdate.dyndns.org/SongSergeant-beta.zip

    EDIT: Interesting tidbit -- this problem is apparently caused by a bug in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and apparently is much less likely to happen under 10.5.

    Leon
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