BTR AMP v13.0 – iOS Music App Playback Mode Setting

Playback of DRM/CLOUD songs from the iTunes Library is only possible using the iOS Music app. The iOS Music app does not support playback of songs not in the iTunes Library (LOCAL songs). The question becomes, what to do when encountering play queues containing both DRM/CLOUD songs and LOCAL songs?

BTR AMP v13.0 introduces a new mechanism to gracefully and purposefully deal with this situation. A new setting now exists under Settings/Player named “iOS Music App Playback Mode”. Below are the options for that mode.

Unfortunately, the iOS Music App DOES NOT SUPPORT use of the BTR AMP audio engine features such as the equalizer, playback modes (crossfade, gapless, forced gap), and volume normalization.

When songs are filtered based on the selected mode, a notification or alert will be displayed informing you how many songs were filtered, unless disabled using the setting under Settings/Player.

Option #1 – Never Use iOS Music App

Never play DRM/CLOUD songs. This always filters DRM/CLOUD songs from being added to the play queue. BTR AMP audio engine features are always available.

This is useful if you are primarily using BTR AMP to play LOCAL songs and always want to have access to BTR AMP audio engine features.

Option #2 – When Required Use iOS Music App (Prefer LOCAL songs) [DEFAULT]

Only play DRM/CLOUD songs when no LOCAL songs exist, filtering out DRM/CLOUD songs when both LOCAL and DRM/CLOUD songs exist. This is similar to “”Never””, but allows playback of DRM/CLOUD songs if no LOCAL songs are present. BTR AMP audio engine features are sometimes available, but not when DRM/CLOUD items exist.

For example, this mode will play a DRM/CLOUD album without issue, but a playlist containing both LOCAL songs and DRM/CLOUD songs will filter DRM/CLOUD songs from being added to the play queue.

Option #3 – When Required Use iOS Music App (Prefer DRM/CLOUD songs)

Always play DRM/CLOUD songs, filtering out LOCAL songs when both LOCAL and DRM/CLOUD songs exist. BTR AMP audio engine features are sometimes available, but not when DRM/CLOUD songs exist.

For example, this mode will play a DRM/CLOUD album without issue, but a playlist containing both LOCAL songs and DRM/CLOUD songs will filter LOCAL songs from being added to the play queue.

Option #4 – When Possible Use iOS Music App

Always play all iTunes Library songs (DRM/CLOUD or non-DRM/CLOUD) using iOS Music App when no LOCAL songs exist. BTR AMP audio engine features are sometimes available, but only when DRM/CLOUD songs do not exist and LOCAL songs do exist.

For example, if all songs being added to the play queue are from the iTunes Library regardless of whether or not they are DRM/CLOUD songs, always use the iOS Music app to play them. On the other hand, if any LOCAL songs exist while no DRM/CLOUD songs exist, the BTR AMP audio engine will be used.

Option #5 – Always Use iOS Music App

Never play LOCAL songs. This automatically filters LOCAL songs from being added to the play queue. BTR AMP audio engine features are never available.

This is useful if your music library is exclusively the iTunes Library and you are happy not having access to the BTR AMP audio engine features.

BTR AMP v13.0 – Volume Normalization – ReplayGain and Sound Check

Overview

Version 13.0 introduces support for reading ReplayGain and Sound Check volume normalization data from your audio files. BTR AMP can then use that data to play audio files at the same perceived playback loudness level across songs. This keeps you from having to adjust the volume on your stereo when one song is recorded at a lower volume than another song.

ReplayGain Support

ReplayGain (RG) is a well documented technique for determining the peak level of volume in an audio file and creation of a gain adjustment that can be used to increase or decrease the volume of that audio file during playback with the goal of a playlist of songs all having the same peak volume. RG contains both track and album values. BTR AMP intelligently applies album value when you are listening to a single album at a time, and otherwise uses the track gain value. Click here to read more about ReplayGain.

While BTR AMP v13.0 knows how to read RG data from audio files, it does not have the ability to create RG data. If you have audio files that do not contain RG data, you can use one of the following tools on your Windows PC, Mac, or Linux to scan and apply the data to your audio files:

Sound Check

Sound Check (SC) is Apple’s technology for doing the same thing that RG does. Most all songs purchased through the iTunes Store will contain SC data. SC only contains track specific data.

Manual Gain Values

In addition to being able to read RG and SC data from your audio files, BTR AMP provides you with the ability to specify a Manual Track Gain and Manual Album Gain setting. These can be used both when RG and SC data is not present, or to manually override RG and SC data. And mirroring the RG track and album gain usage, BTR AMP will intelligently use the Manual Track Gain and Manual Album Gain values.

Viewing and Adjusting Gain

BTR AMP v13.0 renamed the Equalizer screen to the Audio Mixer screen to indicate the expanded functionality that was added. During playback of an audio file, use the Audio Mixer to view the current RG, SC, and Manual gain values, along with being able to adjust the Manual gain values, and the Volume Normalization Preamp gain. Audio files located in the Document tab of BTR AMP can be edited using the Edit menu item. The edit screen also displays the RG, SC, and Manual gain values, and the Manual gain values can also be specified here.

BTR AMP v13.0 – Normalizing Excellence – Now Available in the AppStore

Download BTR AMP on the App Store today

Version 13.0 is another big release that we’re very excited to bring to you. This release includes:

  • German language translation now available
  • Audio Engine
    • Volume Normalization – ReplayGain and Sound Check support, along with a “user” volume adjustment override
  • Audio Mixer Screen
    • renamed Equalizer to include the volume normalization feedback and controls
  • Library Management
    • Songs – star ratings and comments – read from metadata – Smart Playlist Rules can use these
    • Hearts – moved to the “info/codec” subtitle line – added context menus for setting/unsetting
    • Tags – moved to the “info/codec” subtitle line
    • Songs – Is Explicit, Play Count, Star Ratings – display in the “info/codec” subtitle line
    • Featured – now square cover art – added a top right menu to specify the size of the cover art (large, medium, small, and x-small)
  • Document Management
    • Rescan Menu – rescan individual file(s) or folder(s)
  • Player Screen
    • square cover art, landscape mode, and dynamic font resizing
  • Smart Playlists
    • Random X Items – limit playlists to a random set of X songs matching the rules – “smart” alternative to shuffling a play queue of thousands of songs
  • Settings
    • Interface – “Display Cover Art In Lists” – disable loading cover art in lists if scrolling is sluggish on your device

We still have a long list of features that we plan to bring you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to support@btrlabs.com to help prioritize what will be in the next release.

BTR AMP v12.0 – To Mix or Not To Mix – Now Available in the AppStore

Download v12 of BTR AMP on the App Store today

Version 12.0 is a big release that we’re very excited to bring to you. This release includes:

GENERAL

  • Changed the minimum iOS version to 14.0 and fixed a couple of things related to supporting iOS 15

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Player Engine – Gapless Playback is now a thing – listen to continuous mix CD’s (i.e., live concerts, EDM mixes, etc) the way they were intended to be heard
  • Player Engine – Crossfade Playback is now a thing – listen to your favorite songs like a DJ would be mixing them from one song to the next
  • Menus – App Wide – replaced nearly every action menu with a shinier one
  • Cover Art – in header areas and in the player – long press context menu – “Share”, “Add to Photos”, and “Copy” – short-press opens full screen view
  • Cover Art – in Document/Edit File – expanded set of actions – “Select from Photos” to include “Select from Files”, “Add To Photos”, “Save To Files”, “Share”, “View”, “Copy”, “Paste”, and “Remove”
  • Documents – Move Item(s) – replaced the custom folder picker with the iOS folder picker for better usability
  • Play Queue Screen – reworked for better usability
  • Mini-Player – long press context menu – swapped out “simple one item menu” in favor of one with a bunch of additional shortcut actions
  • Settings – Player – Playback Mode Options – toggle between Gapless, Crossfade, and Forced Gap – additional options for Crossfade Duration and Forced Gap Duration
  • Settings – Player – added switches to disable the “Like” and “Dislike” buttons on the “Control Center Media Remote”

We still have a long list of features that we plan to bring you, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to support@btrlabs.com to help prioritize what will be in the next release.

FAQ – Is BTR AMP a Subscription Based App?

Q: Is BTR AMP a subscription-based app?

A: BTR AMP is a paid app that offers both a ONE TIME PAYMENT option (the Infinity Membership) and a PAY AS YOU GO option (the Monthly and Yearly Memberships – i.e., subscriptions). It’s all about giving you the ability to decide what is best for you. In order to determine if BTR AMP meets your needs, BTR AMP offers a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL, but you must sign up for a subscription in order to receive the FREE 30-DAY TRIAL. In order to not be charged by Apple for the installment price of the subscription, you must cancel the subscription more than 24 hours before it expires.

We are confident that over the course of the FREE 30-DAY TRIAL, BTR AMP will convince you that it is worth your hard earned money. But if you like what you see, yet aren’t quite ready to pay for the Infinity Membership, hang around for a couple of months via the Monthly Membership (less than half the price of a cup of coffee around these parts) and watch us continue to make BTR AMP even more incredible. Better yet, please reach out to the BTR AMP Support Team with feature requests and bug reports.

Our goal is to put out new releases at least once a month, though life can sometimes get in the way. We have already invested a couple thousand hours into the design and development of BTR AMP and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Enjoy!

BTR AMP – FAQ – Library – How do I fix my broken compilation album?

Background

BTR AMP creates Albums based on the following metadata (i.e., ID3 tags) from your audio file(s): ALBUM_NAME, ALBUM_ARTIST, FOLDER_PATH

If your audio files have a blank/empty ALBUM_ARTIST field, BTR AMP will copy the value from the [TRACK] ARTIST field.

Problem

When BTR AMP encounters a set of audio files for a compilation album that have different values for the ARTIST field and no values for the ABLUM_ARTIST field, BTR AMP simply creates a new ALBUM record for each ARTIST found, thus breaking a single album into multiple ALBUM records within BTR AMP.

Solutions

The way to avoid having BTR AMP break up your compilation albums is to populate the ALBUM_ARTIST field in the audio files for the compilation with the same value. In other words, enter something such as “Various”, “Various Artists”, or “Unknown” as the value for the ALBUM_ARTIST field. This can be accomplished by one of the following methods:

Future Feature(s()

We understand that some users are looking for a “complete solution” for managing and listening to their audio library. We have had that in mind from day one. We already plan on adding a number of additional features in upcoming releases that will make both identifying “broken compilations” and fixing them much easier. Until then, hopefully the above will assist users in getting the most out of BTR AMP without being frustrated.

BTR AMP – FAQ – Connect – How do I use the Custom URL Scheme to initiate a Download Synchronization?

Version 10.1 introduced support for a Custom URL Scheme and an operation that can be initiated via that scheme: starting a download synchronization. If you are regularly grabbing all new audio files from your desktop or laptop, this shortcut solution can help automate that.

The URL scheme is pretty straight forward:

btramp://connect/sync?a=CONNECT_ACCOUNT_NAME&p=CONNECT_ACCOUNT_PATH

For example, using an account named “H” (which the SMB URL points at the computer without any share or folder info) and wanting to download the entire folder “Rock” from the share named “MUSIC”, this is what my URL looks like:

btramp://connect/sync?a=H&p=MUSIC/Rock

Within the Shortcuts app, add a new Shortcut, touch Add Action within that Shortcut, find the action type named “Open URLs”, enter your customized version of the above “btramp” URL, give the Shortcut a name. Now you can either verbally tell Siri to run that shortcut or you can manually launch the shortcut by either launching the Shortcuts app or adding a Home Screen icon for the shortcut and touching that when you want to run the sync.

When executed BTR AMP will create a notification that the Download Synchronization started. When execution is completed, BTR AMP will create a notification summarizing how many files have been downloaded and/or skipped (i.e., they were previously downloaded).

BTR AMP v10.1 – Listen To Me Clearer – Now Available in the AppStore

Version 10.1 is a bug fix and polishing release. This fixes a critical issue that was causing the app to unexpectedly crash, especially when working in the background (i.e., like when you were using it connected to CarPlay and/or using Siri). While we were fixing that core issue, we also took the time to make the CarPlay solution that much shinier and introduce a Custom URL Scheme for launching automated downloads.

The CarPlay interface now mirrors any customizations that you’ve made to tabs in the main app.  Any tabs that you’ve “pinned” now show up under the Library section of CarPlay and all items under Library (default or pinned) mirror the order from the main app.

Use the Shortcuts app to “Open URL” with a specially crafted URL that instructs BTR AMP to start a download.

As always, this new version also contains various bug fixes and optimizations.

BTR AMP v10.0 – Listen To Me – Now Available in the AppStore

Version 10.0 brings you comprehensive support for Siri, both telling Siri to initiate playback, along with shortcuts for automating BTR AMP using the Shortcuts app. Tell Siri what playlist, album, artist, genre or song you want to hear and whether and even if you want it shuffled. Hey Siri, play the playlist Party Time in BTR AMP! Hey Siri, shuffle the playlist Favorites in BTR AMP! Hey Siri, shuffle the genre Rock in BTR AMP! Combine v6’s Smart Playlists with the new Siri support for the ultimate modern music listening experience.

As always, this new version also contains various bug fixes and optimizations.