Paloma 1.4.5012 review

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Paloma is a program to manage a database of digital music files and facilitate their retrieval and playback in interesting ways

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: David Rose
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Paloma is a program to manage a database of digital music files and facilitate their retrieval and playback in interesting ways. It works with music files of any form--mp3 files, ogg files, MIDI files, whatever you've got a player for--and file formats can be freely intermixed. It's intended to replace a traditional CD player/changer system. Paloma makes it easy to rip your entire CD collection (or even your favorite vinyl records) and store it on your hard disk for instant random access.

However, Paloma is more than a virtual CD player. There are already dozens of these in existence, and I have no interest in competing with them. In fact, Paloma works nicely together standalone jukebox programs.

What Paloma adds is the management of your music in a relational database, instead of a more traditional hierarchical database. A physical CD collection, for instance, is hierarchical: you might have your CD's on the rack grouped together by artist, so that for each artist, you have a number of CD's to choose from, and from each CD, you can play a number of songs.

This is not a bad system. It works well for finding a particular song (providing you remember what CD it was on) or for playing a particular artist (you might put a couple of Tori Amos CD's in your CD player, for instance, and push "random"). Most jukebox programs provide a functionally similar interface, by storing the songs hierarchically in this way in some kind of directory structure.

Paloma can do this too, although it's not as slick as a specialized jukebox program. But with a relational database, you can also do a lot more. You could play all the songs by Frank Sinatra (for instance) in your collection, even if you don't own a single Frank Sinatra CD--it will pull together all the Sinatra songs from all the different lounge compilations you might have. Or you can bring up all the songs written by Jim Steinman, which would include those sung by Meat Loaf as well as those sung by Bonnie Tyler. Or maybe, if you're in a romantic mood, all the songs that have the word "love" in their title. Or all the classical music pieces shorter than five minutes. Or for a rainy Sunday, nothing but jazz--a good mix of all the jazz songs in your collection. Or if you're feeling nostalgic, all the songs you own that were recorded between 1975 and 1985. You get the point.

Paloma will soon support personal customization of your database, allowing the addition of fields and custom queries by the user. (Actually, it supports this now; it only lacks a GUI to easily define these custom fields.) So you're not restricted just to the sorts of things I wanted to query my database on.

This early release of Paloma is fully functional, although there is of course much room for future development. If you find it useful, or if you have further suggestions for extensions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line!

What's New in This Release:
Added the new "Contexts" tab to the Configure page, which allows specialization of commands and file paths for different OS's and/or machines on the network. This allows, for instance, a Windows machine to access a Paloma database stored on a Linux
server, even though the file path on the Windows machine to the volume store will be different from the path on the Linux machine to the same volume store, and even though a different set of commands may be needed on the Windows machine to play and/or verify these soundfiles.
Added "AudioTron TOC file" to the list of supported playlist types. This allows you to export a "playlist" file to the top of your volume store that is really just a complete list of files for a connected AudioTron device (see to scan.
Added "AudioTron play" to the list of supported playlist types. This is a special "playlist" that actually communicates directly to a connected AudionTron device and starts playing the songs immediately. Specify password@hostname as the playlist filename.
Added prompts to switch disks if necessary when exporting a playlist, allowing you once more to store your collection of song files on a stack of CD's, which you can rotate in as necessary to play songs.
Added support for Python 2.3.4.

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