Well over a year ago I bought an Iomega iConnect USB hub.
From day one it didn’t work and I documented some of my troubles on this site.
A couple of weeks ago to my amazement it started working properly. I haven’t a clue why as I did nothing to it. I didn’t upgrade software or anything. It will have to remain a mystery.
One of the features of the iConnect is that it is a media streamer. I had disabled this during “the troubles” so I re-enabled it and stared loading some music onto an attached drive.
I have no experience of media or uPnP so it was an interesting experience.
The first thing I learned was that the metadata on each and every track was critical for success, and also found that some of the tracks off my CDs had incorrect information in them. A misspelled item on one track would isolate that track from the others which ended up in a messy setup. This meant I had to do a lot of editing.
I have a reasonable selection of CDs and the only method I could think of at first to edit metadata was to load each track into Audacity. This was a very lengthy and very time consuming progress so it was clearly out of the question. That’s when I found EasyTAG. This is an excellent little program that did everything I wanted and did it quickly and efficiently. It even batch processed a full CD (or rather a full directory of files).
Another problem I had was caused by a little quirk of the iConnect – it could categorise any track it found on the drive, but I was unable to play anything that was further than one directory from root. If, for example I had a file /pop/Beatles/Abbey Road/Something.mp3 it would be listed in the Media stream but wouldn’t actually play. Being a somewhat methodical sort of bloke I didn’t like the idea of dumping every single file into the one spot without ordering them in some sort of fashion. I decided that changing the file names would work well. However the idea of rewriting a thousand or two filenames didn’t appeal. I installed Métamorphose and that proved perfect for the job. Now I could rename my files as, for example /pop/Beatles_Abbey_Something.mp3, simply by adding “Beatles_Abbey_” as a prefix to every filename.
My final problem was that several of the albums were in FLAC format which was fine but bulky. I decided to convert all the files to MP3 format as it suited my needs better. Here I came across SoundConverter which was a little slow but very happily ran batch jobs so it was just a question of pointing the program to the relevant directories and leaving it to it.
It was a lot of work, but worth it. I can now play my entire collection on a Wifi portable or on the PC which save a lot of time and effort hunting for CDs!