A DIFFERENT album cover question

  1. Neil

    Believe it or not, I'm not going to complain about the Amazon cover art issue...

    My question is this--can the behavior for album cover art be changed in future versions? I've recently spent weeks adding cover art to all of my MP3 files, only to find that my hard work doesn't seem to benefit Synergy much...

    Here's the situation: I have a number of tracks for some artists that have different cover art for each song on an "album" (mostly for songs downloaded from internet-based artists that don't release albums--I use the "album" tag to store their web site URL). For these artists, Synergy ALWAYS displays the first cover art file that was ever displayed for this artist/album, no matter what song is playing. Thus, the utility of having different art on a per-song basis within an album is seriously reduced.

    This could be fixed if Synergy had a preference for how to find cover art. I would personally set mine to always use art from within the individual MP3 file FIRST, and to NOT cache this art somewhere on disk separately from the MP3 file. THEN I would say "default to art for first track within this album." THEN I would say "query from internet based on album title."

    I don't know--maybe this is a Synergy Advance level of user control? If so, great--but please let the upgrade path be reasonably priced!

    Thanks, and hopefully your copy of Panther has shown up...


  2. Greg Hurrell

    This is certainly something that I would like to do, although I know it won't make it into the next release.

    One of the problems with the Synergy development model is that when I started the project I had no idea of what it would become. Take a look at the change history, or better still, at release announcement for Synergy 0.1 (you'll need to scroll to the bottom of the page to see it).

    What this basically means in terms of development is that the original design was very simple, and only ever intended to put three buttons in the menu bar. Soon, I added hot keys, tool-tips, the floater, album cover downloads, and many, many other features. It has all grown quite large and unwieldly.

    And that is why I have started work on a separate product, Synergy Advance. It is just becoming too hard to add major features to Synergy because the original codebase was not set up with this in mind. So there is a call for a different, separate product, which can handle all of the things which are simply not practical to implement in the Synergy.

    This new product is written from the ground up with a much more long-term, extensible framework in place so that I will be able to do things that I never dreamed of attempting with Synergy (although judging from the user requests I receive by email, there are certainly people out there who do dream these things).

    I will continue to develop Synergy as an independent product (for example, trying to resolve these Amazon issues, releasing Panther compatibility updates, and adding minor features and tweaks). But there are some features (for example, automated lyric downloading, embedding and management) which require a separate product.

    I have yet to decide on a pricing structure, but my aim is to ensure that both products are reasonably priced, so that users can choose to purchase a license for one or the other, or both, according to taste.

    But to answer your question about whether this is the kind of thing that I will put in Synergy, the answer is that I would like to, but it really depends on how difficult the implementation turns out to be. It all stems from the fact that the original floater code was never intended to handle album covers as well, but it did and became horrendously complex, and then when Apple introduced album cover embedding in iTunes it made it more complex still.

    In any case, Synergy Advance, which will also have album cover management features (which go far beyond anything in Synergy) will easily be able to handle the issue that you are currently facing.

  3. Neil

    Again, quite cool, and thanks. I certainly understand the code-bloat problem...I run into it all the time on my little web projects.

    Can't wait to see Advance...



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