Description of the Program THAT'S MP3

THAT'S MP3 is a computer program, which is working in the Windows* 98*/se*/me*/Windows 2000*/ XP* and Windows Vista* environment (32 Bit).
  • It is playing sound files (songs, commercials, announcements etc.) in MP3, wma and WAV format.
  • It mixes the sound files with programmable crossfade.
  • The user can adjust the mixing time and moment in seconds (Crossfade)
  • It recognizes, creates and plays m3u playlists containing mp3 and wma files
(*Registered Trademarks of Microsoft Corporation)

THAT'S MP3 recognizes songs and other sound files by their file names, which usually consist

of the artist's name and

the name of the song

Unlike other music programs, which are using m3 tags (information in the file about artist's name and song name, genre etc.), THAT'S MP3 does not need m3 tags.

For that reason there is no coding and decoding of audio files and no use of data bases necessary. The files are simply recognized by their names in clear text. The program uses the computer's clock. This makes it playing rock solid stabile.

The user may put together different songs from different directories in genres and create playlists in mp3 format. which normally goes like this:
  • Saving of sound files in different directories, which are named as genres like Rock, Folk, Classic ect.
  • Creation of playlists with the same genre names using the program THAT'S MP3.
  • You may also unite all songs alphabetically in one big directory.
  • Then you would have to rename the path to the sound files, which are contained in the playlist m3u by simply using a texteditor, which has the feature "Search & Replace" like freeware "Edit Pad Lite", to correct the playlists
 
The playlists can be put together by THAT'S MP3 or text editors.
The playlists m3u are in general simple text files. That's why every texteditor can be used for managing large playlists.
THAT'S MP3
plays mp3, wma and wav files directly from their directories or from playlists m3u in different ways, which are determined by the user.
THAT'S MP3 offers the possibility of Time Based Playing.
  • In time based playing TBP mode the playlists are gathered in a top level list called PLF (playlist file), which is actually a special text file with the extension *.plf.
  • The PLF file contains data about the path to the contained m3u files and an exact beginning time for each m3u playlist file like 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00.
  • Further a precise number of mp3 files at the beginning of the playlist, which have a "+" character in the file name will play in "Play Next" mode one after the other without soft crossfading. The number of these "special" sound files like station call sign, hour, commercial, radio program, announcement ect. is also determined in the PLF file. Further the user can select, whether the following music files will play one after the other in "Play Next" mode or randomly.
  • These special files can be named with an exact beginning and end date. A sub program called "Scan PLF m3u" can be programmed by using the "Scheduled Tasks" facility of your Windows operating system to scan these files at certain times of the day/week/month to leave the actual and the future files in the playlist and remove the outdated files from the playlist. Like this old commercials are dropped out of the playlists.
  • The same sub program will scan the PLF files, which also can contain a beginning date, for the latest one, which will then play. Like this you can generate radio programs for certain days and dates.
The programming of playlists and PLF files is easy and can be made using program THAT'S MP3. It usually goes like this:
  • The user selects and names a new PLF file.
  • He types into every line the exact hour of the day, when the m3u playlist will play and browses for the playlist, which will play.
  • The user will determine, whether the playlist m3u will play in "Play Next" or "Random" mode.
  • The user can select the number of "special" files, which will play at the beginning of the m3u playlist (songs, commercials, call signs ect.)
  • All playlists m3u within a PLF file can easily be changed, removed or replaced within the program THAT'S MP3 or by using texteditor software.
 
THAT'S MP3 also contains an intelligent search facility.
It will help the user to easily find his mp3 files and play them at once
or put them into a m3u playlist.
  • First the search program will scan the whole system for mp3 files.
  • Then the user can type in any name or part of name, which he thinks could be part of the name of the files he is looking for. The results will be displayed. Usually he will type the name of the artist or song.
  • The user may select, whether he wants one of the files in the results to play immediately or he wants to put one or more files into a playlist m3u.
  • In TBP mode the program playing will be interrupted. The selected file will play. Afterwards the program will continue to play automatically.

 
Basic functions of the program THAT'S MP3:
How To... 
You may select :
  • "Single" (The program plays a selected file once and stops.),
  • "Auto next" (The program plays the selected files in descending order. When a file reaches the end, the next file will be mixed in.),
  • "Random play" (The program will select a file from the list to play until every file is selected and played once.)
How to select songs :
  • Use only the left mouse button to select 1 file or 
  • combined with the shift button to select a group of files.
  • Use the left mouse button combined with the Ctrl button to select separate files.
"Loop": 
  • when checked, the program will never stop playing files and cycle back again.
  • With random play it will refresh the random list, when having finished playing all files.


"Refresh": 

  • The program refreshes the file list and clears the list of played files in random play.

Play options:

"Stop": Left click or Alt + S) The file stops to play. At the next start it will play from the beginning.
If TBP mode has been chosen, the program will go into TBP mode at once after power failure.
"Pause": left click or Alt + P "Resume": left click or Alt + R. The file will continue where it left off.
"Play next": left click or Alt + N. The program will play the next file from the file box. "Options": left click or Alt + E The "HOT KEYS" = "Alt + " are working only when selected "En" (English) in the system bar.

 

Action menu:

With right mouse click in the file list box a menu will appear.
Search: With left mouse click a new window with the built in search program for mp3 files will appear. Playlist actions: With left mouse click a new window will appear where you can adjust different actions of the program regarding m3u playlists. Select unplayed files: The files, which were not played at all or since the last time when they were tagged as unplayed, are selected.
Tag selected files as unplayed: The selected files will be set in the random list as not played. Tag selected files as played: The selected files will be set in the random list as played. Remove selected files: The selected files will be removed from the listbox. 
They will not be deleted or deleted from the playlist file.
Total selected playtime: The total playtime of selected files is shown above in minutes and seconds. Time Based Playlist: With left mouse click a new "TBP" window will appear, where you can adjust time based playing of m3u and plf files.  Settings: With left click a new window will appear, where you can adjust and save the crossfade settings (mixing time and moment) and the volume. You will find your register code number here.

Search Program

The Search Program has 4 keys
Scan or Rescan System:
If you left click this button your computer will be scanned for mp3 files. The result will be saved in a search data file.
Search
You may type the name (or part of it) of a file. The results will appear in the main box of this window.
With the other 2 keys you may select, whether you want the selected file to be played at once or to be saved in a m3u playlist. (The running program will be interrupted by playing the selected file and continue automatically after having finished playing.) 

Playlist Actions

Open Playlist m3u: You can find a playlist file m3u and copy the content of the file into the right part of the main program window (file box) to play the files from there. Add selected files to m3u: With left click a browser window will appear, where you can select the m3u playlist to put the selected mp3 file(s) in.
Delete playlist m3u: Here you can delete a playlist in m3u format. Update playlist m3u: If you have put the content of a playlist m3u into the file  box and then have removed certain files from the file box, you can update the actual playlist with left click.

Adding Songs Program

The adding program opens a window which shows the content of the selected playlist m3u.
Special files must have a "+" character in the name to be recognized as special like commercials at a radio station. Only like this the program will separate the commercials and other special files from the mp3 song files within a m3u playlist.
In the Adding program the number of special files is counted and the PLF file is automatically corrected.

In the down left corner a meter with the total number of special files within the m3u playlist is displayed.

At left click on one of the files a new small windows with the following choices opens.

Adding before the selected file
Adding after the selected file
Replace in list m3u
(Here you can replace the selected file from the playlist with the one you selected to add in the main window.)
Delete the selected file from the playlist m3u

 

TBP = Time Based Playing

In the window "TIME BASED PLAYING" 
  • You can select a new file with the extension plf (= playlist file). This is a file, which contains one or more m3u playlists, which are playing mp3 or wma files in a chosen order starting from a chosen beginning time. The program THAT'S MP3 can function on a timely basis.
  • You can also select a new m3u playlist inside of an PLF file or change a playlist or delete one.
  • You can change the beginning time of a playlist m3u.
  • You can determine how many special files in mp3 or wma format will play at the beginning of the playlist m3u (commercials, call signs, radio programs, announcements) in Play next mode without soft crossfading into one another.
  • You can determine here whether the following song files will play randomly or in Play next mode with soft crossfade.
  • You can start and stop the TBP mode with the checkboxes below and determine, whether you want the program to go at once into TPB mode (after power failure) or with the next beginning of a playlist m3u.
  • To make the program THAT'S MP3 understand how many "Special files" it has to play at the beginning of each playlist file m3u, you have to check the checkbox in the TBP window left middle ("Enable"). Then you have to type the number of special files into the box to the right of the checkbox.
  • Here you will have also to decide, whether the following mp3 song files after the special ones will play one after the other (Play next) or randomly.

  • For encoding the special files without making them unreadable, you just have to put a "+" character somewhere into the name, best at the beginning before a 4 digit order number.
     
  • You can have your system check the special files (commercials) for actuality. Just use the sub program "SCAN_m3u_PLF", which is included in the THAT'S MP3 program package. This program will also put start and end dates into each special mp3 file name like:"+2456 - commercial-cafe-bar-George_041220_050118.mp3".
  • The program "SCAN_m3u_PLF" will check your system for special files like commercials and find and remove outdated files in m3u playlists. You can determine the directory to scan.
  • The program THAT'S MP3 will find future commercials and other special files and will not play them. Only the actual special files will play. The example file above will play from December 20th 2004 to January 18th 2005.
  • You may automate this checking and scanning process by using the "Scheduled Tasks" facility of your Windows operating system.
    The program THAT'S MP3 can also change the PLF file automatically, if you put the beginning date and time into each file name like: "whatever-2005-01-15-02-00-00.plf", which means "text-year-month-day-hour-minutes-seconds". This would be the beginning date of the (new) PLF file.
    The enabling is done in the TBP window.

Command line options:

  • [AYTO-TBP.exe c:\mp3file.mp3,3]  -> this will play the "c:\mp3file.mp3" and select Random play. 1=Single 2=Auto next 3=Random play.
  • [AYTO-TBP.exe 3] If only the numbers 1 or 2 or 3 are submitted then it changes the setting.
  • [AYTO-TBP.exe c:\,3] The player will choose a file from c:\ and play it.
  • [AYTO-TBP.exe startnext=no] The player will start directly in TBP mode (For hotel programs, where it is best to continue with the program after power failure.)
  • [AYTO-TBP.exe startnext=yes] The player will start in normal mode, check the PLF file, wait for the next m3u file to play and then go automatically into TBP mode. (For radio stations, where it is best to wait for the next m3u to avoid playing a wrong time announcement and all the commercials after power failure.)

 
 
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