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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Music Folders, mTrax Libraries and Audio Files

Rating: 28 user(s) have rated this article Average rating: 5.0
Posted by: centralscrutinizer, on 2/28/2008, in category "Articles About mTrax"
Views: this article has been read 8475 times
Location: Mission Viejo, California, United States
Abstract: Discusses the relationships among music folders, mTrax libraries and audio files.

Music or Audio files come in many formats, the most popular being the MP3 format. MP3 files have a mp3 extension, i.e. MyFavoriteSong.mp3. Other formats have their other extensions, such as wma (Microsoft) or m4a (Apple). Currently, mTrax handles mp3, mp4, m4a (iTunes) and wma (Microsoft)  files. More formats will be added later. If you have a music file in other formats and you want to work with it in mTrax, you will have to convert it to mp3, using a third party program.

It is preferable that you organize your music files under one main folder. For example C:\Music or C:\Users\Bob\Music. Within your main music folder, you could organize your music in many different ways; for example, under your main music folder, you could create a folder for each artist, then, within each artist folder, you could create a folder for each album. Unless you have specific needs, you should be fine with one main music folder, and all files within it and its sub folders should only be music files. mTrax does NOT care how you organize your files within your main music folder because you will be able to sort, group and filter your files in the Trax Explorer using their tag attributes such as Artist, Title, Genre etc.

When you select a music folder to create an mtrax Music library with the "Browse For Folder" window, all files under this folder and its sub folders will be added to your library, provided their format can be read by mTrax. After pressing the OK button, you will see your songs being added in the Trax Explorer. The default name of your new library is its corresponding folder path. You can change the name later to something more suitable.
So an mTrax library is nothing more than a reference to a folder that contains music files on your computer.  Creating a library does not erase, copy, move or modify your music files. A library is just a way to tell mTrax where to find your music files in order to play them.
Is one library enough? Yes! That's if you've organized your music files under one main music folder.  You can then use 'Lists' and 'Smart Lists' to select certain songs. You may, however, create as many Libraries as you wish.
In Trainer mode, you can practice with your instrument (create sections, adjust pitch, tempo etc.) whether you are pointing to an mTrax Library, a Practice List or a Smart Practice List. The benefits of a List is that you can use only a selection of the songs in your Library. It comes in handy if your Library has more than a 100 songs in it.
Note the difference between a Practice List and a Smart Practice List: a Practice List is rather static, the songs in it are the ones that you decide to add to it. On the other hand, a Smart Practice List is more dynamic as it is based on filters you set upon it. For example, say you have a Library with 100 songs in it. You decide to create a Smart Practice List with the following filter: 'Show songs with Difficulty level more than 3 stars'. Well, you notice that your Smart List contains no tracks... that's because you have not yet rated your songs with a Difficulty level.. So you go back to your Library and rate all of the 100 songs for Difficulty (the red stars). You now go back to your 'Difficulty >3 stars' Smart List and realize with great disappointment that 50, half, of your songs belong to the list now.  You decide to do something about it and start practicing. Using all the tools at your disposable in mTrax, i.e. sections, tempo adjustment, looping etc., you begin to learn those tricky intros and solos and as you progress, you adjust the Difficulty rating accordingly. A week later you finally notice that your 'Difficulty >3 stars' Smart Practice List has gotten a lot shorter. You look at the Track Count in the status bar: down to 25! Congratulations! Assuming you were honest about how you rated your tracks for difficulty, you definitely made progress! Keep up the good work. Note that the 'Difficulty >3 stars' Smart Practice List is created for you when create a Library.

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