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Searching in pMusic


The old fashion way to search for your music is to do a file search and filter out the audio files. This works perfect for small collections, but when things start to grow, we need more powerful tools to find what we searches for without having too many cups of coffee while we wait. Searching isn't hard, but quick search is more complex. We are talking about indexing - putting info of your files into a database to quickly find it when we search for it. The search is not done in your filesystem(s) - but inside the database, which is much faster. A deeper understanding of this structure is described in the article pMusic DB and file format.


The Search field
As expected, there is a field to write requested searchstrings. It's a free search in the mean that every word is searched for individually.
nig tnt finds the track TNT - Desperate night. As this shows, it isn't case sensitive.

Placing a minus (-) in front of the searchstring removes items containing this string from the search result.
nig -tnt does not find any TNT tracks.

Execute search by pressing enter or the search button.

The search field has 2 optional uses
  • If you type a path it will start the builtin browser at the given location.
  • If you type a web address, it will add the URL to the playqueue.

When searching youtube inside pMusic, there is a difference in how to specify the best search-string. Youtube has a advanced search-engine which gives result for related items. This means you can specify 'as much as possible' to get the closest result. pMusic has a simple search-engine, and requires the search-string to have a correct syntax. It must not be complete (not even the words) and it isn't case sensitive, but the search will fail if the search-string is misspelled. The consensus is: Search youtube, write whatever. - Else, search simple.


The search dock specifies what sources should be searched.

 (image: http://www.01micko.com/zigbert/pmusic/wiki/docSearch_1.png)

The dock shows different sources
  • My tracks is local audio files stored in the database. The database holds a lot of data, and whatever info the database holds about a track will be a target for your search. E.g. You store your music in /dir/music/, and are searching for Madonna Music you will get all tracks because Music corresponds with directory name found in the database.
  • My collections is both internal album lists and your own m3u/pls playlist files.
  • Radio stations searches the index holding all radio URL's. This index has to be downloaded.
  • Album art looks inside the directory where pMusic stores downloaded album art. The placement is in the data storage defined in the preferences. Default is $HOME/.pmusic/. The result is not shown in the sourcelist (as the others), but as thumbs. Right-click on a thumb to setup this bar.
  • Youtube searches youtube.com via keepvid.com. The result shows maximum 10 items.
  • Jamendo searches the index holding music from jamendo.com. This index has to be downloaded.
  • Podcast searches the podcast index. This index has to be downloaded.
  • Lyrics searches inside the downloaded lyrics files. This has to be turned on in the Preferences.
  • The last option is a plain file search, and let's you specify directory to search in. This will find all files - also those not stored in the database. Normally all music is stored into the database, but in some cases, the user can override this, and a full-range file search is required. This kind of search is much slower than a search inside the database. pMusic uses pFilesearch as the file search engine.


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