by Dan Delong
Manage small to very large collections of audio files and playlists (50,000+), whether on a hard drive, network, or CDs. Lookup missing information and album art online, tag almost any audio format, and automatically rename / re-organize tracks on your hard drive.
MediaMonkey is an easy-to-use media organizer for serious collectors. It catalogs music files (MP3s, WMAs, OGG, AAC/M4A, MPC, APE, FLAC, VQF, WAV files) and audio CDs, as well as video files (AVI, MP4, MOV, WMV, MKV) and helps you:
First, let me say, I am not a Serious Collector. Media Monkey was brought to my attention by a friend who records and plays a lot of music. However, after installing Media Monkey, using it, reading testimonials, and viewing a few tutorials, I would agree; it appears to be "best of the best". Reviewers aslo claim, the sound quality from this player is better than other players. [Note: Media Monkey, once installed, will handily appear in the right-click context menu of choices. Some extra features are in the Gold version, which costs $ 30 USD for 4 devices (computers, tablets, phones). The free version does everything I want, and more. ]
Since the properties editor can be used to add tags to songs, either individually, or as selected groups of songs, and since tags can be created or modified to your choice, and since you can create new playlists with any name you wish to give them, there is no need to spend money on the Gold version (which, I believe, allows easier creation of categories).
My friend showed me how to make a new playlist (just a separate list of songs from the complete data-base collection), then copy / move the playlisted MP3 files to a USB key. My friend has done this to make special music for his car, which can play such files, and control tracks, by simply inserting the USB key. He had renamed the USB key to his wife's name, so that she would know which USB drive was hers when inserted into his computer. You may never need / want to do this, but he finds it to be the best way to enjoy music in his new car.
Below, is the screen shot, with notations, to show how he made a portable playlist for his wife, Nancy. Now he could have sent these files to her phone, one that has already been recognized by Media Monkey. I succeeded in following his directions to drag a playlist to the portable device. Alternately, I could use the tree view of the hard drive to find my Music folder (where Media Monkey puts all downloads and rips by default), then selecting albums or songs I wanted to send to / copy / move to the USB key.
[Note: The Options screen (above) is found under Tools in the top menu bar, between Play, and Help. ]Installation:
Viewing these screen shots, taken during installation should provide an idea of some optional settings.
I did not enable full skinning on installation, which would overide Windows System Theme.
Media Monkey automatically scanned my computer for audio files, and included them in its database.
Media Monkey prompted me to include iTunes, but since I did not have Quicktime installed, it offered to download Quicktime.Operation:
Surprise! Media Monkey found all of my videos, and showed them as thumbnails. Double clicking brought up a video player, which could be made full-screen.
Below are screens showing various drop-down, and fly-out menus.
Another surprise! Podcasts - 100s of them - are available. Some require additional codec downloads, which Media Monkey finds for you.
eDan is one podcast I had a look at; it stopped making new episodes in 2010, but all seemed still available.
Some podcasts will show artwork along with the list details. This one does not - just the movie reel used as a placeholder.
Surprise again! Streaming Radio broadcasts can also be searched for. I used "60s" as a search term for music from the 1960s.
Ripping a CD automatically includes it in the database and the files are dumped into the user's default Music directory in Windows. However, before okaying the ripping process, Media Monkey allows creation of new folders, named any way you wish. I tend to use the name of the performer, or maybe the genre of music. If you forget, and decide later on to make a folder and move the music files to it, Media Monkey will update it's database accordingly.
These ripped CDs did not have all of the extra information included, as do some big name recordings. But, it did have track numbering and song titles.
Here's another rip-ready screen, showing there are other file formats and quality settings to choose from.
When ripping big name artists, such CDs contain a lot more information that is readable by Media Monkey. And, this artist (Joni Mitchell) has three versions of the same album. I checked the cover to learn it was the 20th anniversary edition. Hence, the selection of that title (above).
In Properties for this album, cover art from the WEb was available for inclusion in the database
Some cover art came up for two of the other CDs. From where I do not know, for they bear no relation to the actual covers. The man with his arms crossed is Bobby Watson, a more famous musician from the United States, not the Bobby Watson here in Canada whose songs appear to his right. However, that's the art that Media Monkey found on the Web. Cover art can be changed to whatever you wish, should such errors occur.
Plugging in my Android phone, with a cable (the A1R) made it appear immediately in the left tree list, and synchronized its content into the database (above).
Similarly, plugging in the Windows phone - the IDOL 4S - also listed the contents, but as two entries - one, the SD card, and the other, the internal memory. But, this time I had to locate, then copy / send the music to the database, manually.
Downloading versions of Media Monkey for Android and Windows might have made synchronization smoother (possibly over wireless, which is a 15 day trial on the free MM). They add Auto support, which I assume means easier and perhaps more automatic integration with automobile systems. I did manage to install the MM app on my Android phone, and sychronize music files. Screen images of this app are shown below.
Platform: Windows XP and up v4.1.10 and Android v1.3 for phones (8.9MB) plus synch with iOS and Android 8
Version: September 2018
Language: English and many others
Download Size: 16 MB
Installed Size: 34 MB - 57 MB - with option for portable installation
Download Site here.