Create Your Own Fields
Most MP3 players offer you just a few basic fields, like Title and Artist, for
describing your songs. Not only does Avaga include 16 default fields, it
allows you to create as many other fields as you'd like. Create a field to
describe the mood of your songs. Or rate the songs on a scale from 1-10. Or
make boolean fields to mark songs that are good dance tunes or that you're
planning to put on your next mix.
You can choose which fields are visible in the various interfaces, so you can
keep some fields hidden if you'd like.
Edit Fields Quickly
One of the biggest problems with other MP3 players is that it takes forever to
edit your song data. Usually you can't edit the values for more than one song
at a time and you have to type each change by hand. If you want to set the
genre of 100 songs, it'll take you an hour.
Avaga makes editing fields very easy. Right clicking on a field pops up a
list of possible values for that field. If the value you want is on the list
you can just click on it and no typing is necessary. Or you can choose to
edit the value by hand.
If multiple songs are selected and you change a value for one of them, the
value will be changed for all of the songs. So if you just loaded 20 songs by
the same artist and you want to set the genre for all of them, you can just
select the songs, right-click the Genre field, and pick the genre off of the
Read and Write ID3 Tags
Avaga is able to read most ID3 tags, including ID3v1.1, ID3v2, Lyrics3,
Lyrics3v2, and MusicMatch. Avaga writes ID3v2 tags. You can link the fields
in your collection to ID3 fields. When you load a new song into the
collection, any data available in the ID3 tag will be extracted. You can also
write new information back into the song's ID3 tag.
Easily Sort and Reorder Songs
You can sort the songs on any field by simply clicking on the field name. You
can also reorder the songs by hand by dragging them up and down. You can also
tell Avaga to remember a particular customized song order.
Design Powerful Search Queries
Perhaps Avaga's most important feature is the ability to search for songs
in your collection using arbitrary boolean expressions. Simple queries can be
done by simply double-clicking a value. For example, if you double-click a
particular artist, you'll extract all the songs by that artist.
But more complex searches can be performed by combining multiple queries.
For example, you could extract just the Rock songs by Eric Clapton plus the
Reggae songs by Bob Marley and the songs over 6 minutes by The Who.
Are you looking for a song to fill the remaining space on your mix? Just
write a query to choose all songs between 3:05 and 3:10.
Like other MP3 players, Avaga lets you create song lists. Songs can be
moved or copied from one list to another. There is actually less need for
lists in Avaga than in other MP3 organizers. Because you can easily extract
songs by a certain artist from your collection, you don't need to create lists
for each artist or album. But lists are another way to
help organize your songs. You might create a list to hold recently downloaded
songs. Then you can decide whether the songs are good enough to move to your
main collection or better sent to the trash.
Auto-loading New Songs
Avaga will watch one or more directories or directory trees. If you tell it
to auto-load, it will find any new songs that have appeared and load them into
the collection. You can also load particular song files by hand, but that's
usually a waste of time.
Although most users will want just a single song collection, you can have as
many collections as you like. Maybe you want one collection for your pop
music and one for your classical music.
Avaga allows you to import the data from one collection into another. You can
then create a CD that contains a bunch of songs and a collection file for
those songs. If you give the CD to your friend, he can import the collection
file to get all of the information about the songs.
Another may to distribute songs with Avaga is to create a song pack. While a
collection file contains just the data describing a bunch of MP3 files, a song
pack incorporates the descriptive data as well as the MP3 files themselves.
If you want to send a few songs to your friend, just select the songs and
create a pack. Then send them the pack. Your friend can load the pack into
her Avaga collection and it will extract the MP3 files for her. Of course,
you should do this with any illegal, copyrighted MP3s.
Most MP3 players give you no way of knowing how much music you've got. Avaga
tells you how many songs are in each list and the total playing time of
those songs. It also provides that information for just the songs that are
visible and the songs that have been selected. This is especially helpful in
making mix tapes. You can juggle the songs in your mix until the playing time
will just fit on a side of the tape.
Avaga also shows you how much time is remaining in the play queue. That way,
you know exactly how long you have before you have to queue up some more tunes.
One of the default fields is a counter of the number of times you've listened
to each song. The counter is incremented whenever you listen to at least a
minute of the song. This helps you figure out which are your favorite songs,
or maybe the ones you've been neglecting.
Moving, Copying, and Renaming Songs
Avaga allows you to move, copy, or symlink MP3 files to a particular
directory. This has many potential uses. You might have a particular
directory into which you download new songs. Once you've decided if you like
the songs, you can either delete them or move them to your permanent
If you have a portable MP3 player, it probably came with some crappy software
for loading songs into the player. Use Avaga to select the songs you'd like
to load into your player and copy or symlink the song files to a special
upload directory. Then use the crappy song loader software to just dump
everything from that directory into the player.
Avaga also has a feature that renames song files with the standard "Artist -
Album - Track - Title.mp3" naming convention, in case you're anal.
One of the fields recognized by Avaga contains the song lyrics. A special
window allows you to view or edit the lyrics of the current song.
Like other MP3 players, Avaga has a mini interface along with the main one.
Unlike others, however, Avaga lets you choose exactly which fields, if any,
are visible in the mini interface.
Avaga is Copyright 2000-2001 Doug Rohde.
All rights reserved.