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audio files mess
#1
First let me start by saying that I love to have audio files next to my sheets/lyrics! However I am having considerable trouble getting it working reliable and in my opinion the handling of audio files in MS is a bit of mess. I think it will work perfectly for someone who is working on only 1 computer but not so if you are using the sync PC feature. In my case I have many dead audio file links and no easy way to repair them (the fix missing files option in settings only lets me delete! the affected songs Huh ) . To my testing MS seems to to do following:

1) adding audio file via MS -> edit song ->audio -> add (local): The file is NOT copied to the MS storage folder (files form the cloud will be copied!)

2) adding audio file via sync client: file is copied to the MS storage folder. There are actually 2 import options which I am not sure what exactly they do.... one of them is disrupting the sync connection....


The main point is that in the worst case the audio files may be spread all accross your memory which is confusing for the user and dangerous for the integrety of the db. For example, I wasnt aware of 1) and added mp3 files from a temporary folder that I later on deleted because I thought I would somehow import the files. Turns out ..not true.
Question is what happens with backup and restore (on another pc) ? Havent tested it in detail, but a backup of my main install on my tablet to my windows phone and a another pc  failed to make all audio files available on those devices...

Imho, all external files including audio should be copied to the MS storage folder. The latter should be set by the local installation of MS only.

btw... Could we have a method to open an attached audio file in another audioplayer? I use chronotron to change speed and pitch of audio and video, something not possible from within MS.
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#2
I'll try to address all of the issues you've described and explain as I go. First, you said a local audio file that is imported is not copied to the MS storage folder. This is absolutely not true. I just tested this on my Surface Pro 4, and the file was copied from the music directory in Windows 10 in the application storage directory. If you've changed your MobileSheets storage location, then you may be misunderstanding what is happening. If any file is imported from a subdirectory of the MobileSheets storage location, it will NOT be copied, because it doesn't need to be. So if you set the MobileSheets storage location to "C:", any file you import will not be moved, as you've specified the entire C drive as your storage location (this would obviously be a pretty extreme thing to do). Likewise, if you use C:\MyLibrary, and then import an audio file from C:\MyLibrary\MyAudio, that file is going to remain in that folder. If you backup your library and restore it on another machine, it will restore the audio file to whatever storage location that device has selected without trying to restore the folder structure. This is something I can improve on, and will make a note to do so in a future update.

If you import through the companion application, you have two options for the destination. The first is the "Music" directory in Windows, which is a shared directory that isn't removed if you uninstall MobileSheets. The second option is the storage location. I've tested both optoins, they both worked for me, and I didn't encounter any disruptions of the sync connection. If you did, please let know which option caused a problem. If it's the music directory, I'll need more details on what device you are testing on, and any possible explanation for why MobileSheets was not allowed to write to the Music directory.

It is true that you could spread your files between the music folder and the storage location, but I don't believe it should be possible to have them spread over other locations. This is only true of the Windows 10 version though, as the Android version gives users more control over where their files are stored. If you are finding it possible to add an audio file and it isn't copied to the storage location and it also isn't in a subdirectory of the storage location, I'm going to need more details on how to reproduce this problem.

So in summary, I don't think the handling of audio files is a mess, but it's possible you are seeing different behavior on whatever device you are running on. I'm testing on a Surface Pro 4, which is currently the most widely used device among MobileSheets users. I've also tested on my PC, and didn't encounter any errors there. I will try to improve how folders are restored when restoring a backup file, but in theory, every audio file should be extracted to the storage location root folder. If you are not seeing this happen, then I will have to run some more tests and I may need additional information from you, because I don't recall seeing that in any of my previous tests.

I can look into trying to send audio files to other applications for playback, but I doubt this will work very well. There won't be any tight integration between MobileSheets and the external audio application, and I can't just send a file directly to another application to play. I can tell Windows to load the file, and if you've set a default application, it should in theory just use that one. It will also bring that application to the foreground though, so you would be taken out of MobileSheets and forced to switch back. I don't believe there is any way to avoid that, but I can look into it some more. I've found a solution on Android to allow changing audio speed playback and pitch, but I haven't found a solution on Windows 10 yet for UWP. There seem to be no open source or commercial libraries available to support this in a C# UWP application.

Mike
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#3
Dear Mike,
thanks for your in depth response! I see your points and also noticed that MS got way more reliable since July. Since then I have switched devices and now just noticed that again some of my audio files refer to wrong storage locations. I think that the consitency of the db and the linked files is the basis for everything else. In that respect the handling of linked (audio) files seems a little problematic to me. In my opinion everything related to MS should be stored in a single folder (and subfolders) to make backup/restore,migration to new PC as simple as possible. Instead when I add a mp3 via the edit song dialog from within MS it will not copy it to the storage location but rather reference it in its original location. That to me is asking for trouble. For example, users might download a file via a web browser and then want to attach the file to some song in MS. The downloaded file sits in the 'download' folder and MS will then expect to find the file there. However many user may clean up their download folder from time to time to regain disk space - boom - audio file is gone. Very few if any users will have so many audio files in MS that some duplicate files will be a problem. I would recommend that MS always copies all imported files to the MS 'storage location' .
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#4
I can see users wanting MobileSheetsPro to behave in both ways. If you have a music folder with all your music, you may not want to duplicate all of the files you reference in MobileSheetsPro. I can see your point too that references to files outside of the storage location is often asking for trouble. If you go to Settings->Storage, you will see there is an option for "Copy Audio Files". If you enable that, it will behave as you described. It's disabled by default. The question is whether people think that setting should be enabled by default instead. Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

Thanks,
Mike
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#5
I think it shouldn't be the default. It's good as it is. You could consider a move option if one wants to have the audio not doubled. But please neither that or the copy action as default.
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#6
(10-07-2017, 07:05 AM)Zuberman Wrote: I can see users wanting MobileSheetsPro to behave in both ways.  If you have a music folder with all your music, you may not want to duplicate all of the files you reference in MobileSheetsPro.  I can see your point too that references to files outside of the storage location is often asking for trouble.  If you go to Settings->Storage, you will see there is an option for "Copy Audio Files".  If you enable that, it will behave as you described. It's disabled by default. The question is whether people think that setting should be enabled by default instead.  Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

Thanks,
Mike

I can't see an option 'Copy Audio Files'. There is a related option called 'delete original after copy' Maybe this option is only in the ANdroid version? Such an option would indeed be helpful for me!
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#7
In Windows 10, it should always be copying the audio into the storage location, otherwise the app won't be allowed to access the file. The only exception to this might be if the file is added from the shared music directory, but even then I think it is supposed to be copied. Are you not seeing that behavior?
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#8
(10-07-2017, 11:52 PM)Zuberman Wrote: In Windows 10, it should always be copying the audio into the storage location, otherwise the app won't be allowed to access the file. The only exception to this might be if the file is added from the shared music directory, but even then I think it is supposed to be copied. Are you not seeing that behavior?

I was sure that the files were not copied before but I just did a test and they are now. Maybe in my previouse tests the files came from the music folder... SO this looks ok. I also retestet the PC sync app and this is now also working as advertised. It would be nice if the sync app would remember my last choice for the file location though. The default is the music library and I have to set it to working folder option for each file.
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