While SAMNet does have a wide variety of streaming radio stations, there will be times when you want to listen to music that you've collected yourself. For this, the Media Library is the perfect tool. It allows you to browse, organize, and play your music, whether at home or on the road. You can even copy your music from CD's you own, or create custom CD's to play later.
When you want to play music from your media library, the best place to start is the Browse Library option. Here, you'll see a page with links to each of the folders and files in your library. The folders in your library will be designated with a "Folder" label at the end of the folder name. To open the folder and browse the files inside, simply press the Enter key. If you'd like to play a file from your library, tab to it and press the Enter key to open it in the SAMNet Media Player. If you'd like help in operating the SAMNet Media Player, please consult the help section for The SamNet Media Player
Before you can take advantage of the features in the Media Library, you must first make sure you have content to work with. To view your current Media Library content, or to import new content, first choose the Manage Library option from the Media Library screen. When you've done this, you'll see a list of existing folders and files in your library. Any tracks in your SAMNet Media folder will appear here. If you don't yet have any items in your library, choose the Import Media into My Media Library link from the Manage Library section. You will be presented with a list of folder links, including one for your Windows Desktop. Navigate to the folder which contains the media you'd like to import, and choose the Import This Folder link to make media inside this folder available in your library.
When you have media in your library, you can use the links on the Manage Library screen to copy, move, or rename files and folders so that your library is organized the way you want it. The first section on the Manage Library screen contains a list box with the folders in your library. You can select the folder you want to manipulate with your Up or Down Arrow keys, and then tab through the options available for that folder. Press the Spacebar on the action you'd like to perform. If you continue tabbing, you'll encounter a similar list box. This one contains the files in the top level folder of your library. Select the tracks you'd like to work with, and then press the Tab key to view the options available to you. Press the Spacebar on the action you'd like to perform.
In list boxes for files and folders, you may select more than one item at a time, and then tab to the button you want in order to perform the appropriate action on all the selected files. You can select multiple files in two ways. The first assumes that the files you want to select are located next to each other. You may hold down the Shift key and use your Up or Down Arrow keys to select files in a list. If the files you'd like to select are not next to each other, the method for selecting them is a bit different. Hold down the Control key, and then move through the list with the Up or Down Arrow keys. When you've found a file you'd like to select, press Spacebar on it. Note that the Control key needs to be held down during this operation. Once you've selected the appropriate files, use your Tab key to find the button you want, and press the Spacebar to activate it.
The Sync List in the Media Library is used to manage content that you transfer to a digital talking book player, such as the Victor Reader Stream or PlexTalk Pocket. To learn more about the Sync List, please read the help section on Using SAMNet with Your Digital Talking Book Player.
There will be times when you'd like to play a particular group of songs without browsing for each individual selection. You might even want to create a custom CD with the group of songs you have chosen. A group of songs which you organize to play consecutively is called a playlist, and you can create and manage playlists using the SAMNet Media Library.
To create a playlist, choose the Manage Playlists option from the Media Library. Next, choose the Create a Playlist option. In the resulting dialogue, type a name for your playlist. Next, press the Tab key and you'll be prompted whether you'd like to use this playlist to create a custom CD. If you do, check this box. Finally, tab to the OK button and press the Spacebar.
Now you can begin adding songs to the playlist you've just named. You are presented with the contents of your Media Library, and you can browse to the first song you'd like to add. Once you've found it, simply press Enter, and the song will be added to the playlist. At this point, you can continue adding songs by browsing for them, listen to the playlist you've just created, create an audio CD from the playlist, create another playlist, or return to the Media Library main menu.
There are several ways to play the content in your Media Library. However, for each option you choose, the content will always open in the SAMNet Media Player. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with how the Media Player operates by reading the help section on the SAMNet Media Player. When you are ready to play content, you can select from a number of options. The first option is to play individual songs as you choose them. To do this, just browse your Media Library and press Enter on the song you want to play. The next option is to play tracks from your media library in random order. To do this, choose the Shuffle option from the Media Library main menu. The third option for playing content is to choose a playlist you've created. To do this, tab to the Listen to a Playlist option and press Enter. On this page, you'll see each of the playlists you've created. Tab through the group of playlists and press Enter on the one you want to hear.
The SAMNet Media Library allows you to play existing music CD's, copy tracks from music CD's to files on your hard drive, and even burn a CD containing songs from a playlist you've created. There's nothing complicated to set up and no additional software that you need to install.
When you've inserted the music CD you'd like to play, you can choose the Play or Copy a CD option from the Media Library main menu. Upon doing this, the CD will not immediately begin to play. Instead, the SAMNet Media Library will query an Internet database containing CD information and return a few possible matches for the CD you've inserted. Select the best possible match from the list box using your arrow keys, then tab to the Continue button and press Enter.
Next, you'll be presented with a list of tracks on the CD. If you only want to play one track, you can tab to that track and press Enter on it to begin playing. However, if you'd like to play all the tracks on the CD, you can press Spacebar on the Select All button to choose all tracks. To begin playing the CD, press Spacebar on the Play Tracks button.
Sometimes you may only wish to play certain tracks from the CD. To do this, press Spacebar on the checkbox associated with the tracks you want to play. Then, press the Tab key until you find the Play tracks button and press the Spacebar on it to begin.
If you'd like to be able to listen to the music from a CD even when that CD is not in your CD drive, the best way to do this is to copy the files from the CD to your hard drive. These files will have the MP3, OGG, or WAV extension, depending on which format you choose, and can be played from your Media Library.
The initial steps for copying a CD are the same as those you'd use to play a CD. Choose the Play or Copy a CD option from the Media Library main menu, select the closest match for your CD, and choose the Continue button. At this point, you may check the boxes associated with each track you wish to copy, or activate the Select All button with the Spacebar if you want to copy all the tracks on the CD. Next, choose the format you wish to use from the Format to Use When Copying dropdown list. Note that this dropdown list is located just before the Select All button in the tab order. Uncompressed WAV format will generate the largest files by far, whereas the MP3 and OGG formats generate much smaller files and are perfect for playing both on your PC and from a portable device.
Finally, once you've selected your tracks and the file format you prefer, tab to the Copy CD button and activate it with the Spacebar. At this point, SAMNet will begin the process of copying your files, and you'll see a page indicating progress. You can tab through the read-only edit boxes which display total percentage complete, copying speed, status, and more. You'll know that copying is complete when the message in the status edit box says: "done." You can now tab to the Close button and press the Spacebar. The next time you browse your media library, you'll see a folder with the title of your CD, and within this folder you'll see the tracks you've just copied.
Each time you insert a CD and wish to play it within the SAMNet Media Library, a database containing information about a wide variety of CD's is queried. When you choose the Play or Copy a CD option, you'll see a list of possible matches for your CD. You can choose the one which best fits, but sometimes the information in the database may be inaccurate. In such cases, you can tab to the Edit CDDB Information button in order to correct any inaccuracies. Within the resulting dialogue, you can choose the proper category from the dropdown list, edit the artist, album title, year, genre, and track titles using the edit boxes on the page. When you are done making changes, tab to the Submit These Changes to the Online CD Database button. Check this box only if you are certain you have entered accurate information, and you want your changes to be visible to others who use the database. If you don't want to submit your changes for everyone to see, but you do want the changes to be visible to you, simply leave this box unchecked and select the Save Changes button with the Spacebar.
If you want to take music from your media library and make it available on a CD, you can do this with the Create an Audio CD option from the Media Library main menu. To create a CD, you'll need a playlist and a blank CD. Note that you can use a CD or a CD/RW. A CD/rw is a rewritable CD, meaning that the contents of the CD can be rewritten whenever you like.
To begin the CD creation process, make sure you have inserted a blank CD in your drive. Choose the Create an Audio CD option, and select from the playlists you've created. If you haven't yet created your playlist, you can choose the Create a Playlist option from this screen. Once your playlist has been chosen, you are presented with a screen which asks you what type of CD you would like to create. You can create a traditional audio CD, where there is a short silence between each song, or a radio mix, where the next song begins playing as the previous one fades out. Choose Radio Mix if you'd like this format, or choose Create a Plain Audio CD if you want pauses between songs. Once you've chosen your format, you'll be presented with a screen allowing you to choose the speed at which you'd like to copy the CD. Some older drives have difficulty writing a CD at the highest speed. In such cases, the CD does not read well in other drives. Still, you can experiment to find the speed which works best for your particular drive. For this test, we recommend the use of a CD/RW. When you've chosen the speed you like, press the Continue button with the Spacebar and the CD writing process will begin. When the operation is complete, the CD tray of your drive will automatically open and you can remove the CD if you wish.
You can access the contents of the Media Library on your primary computer, even when you are away from home. Please note that the Home Server must be running on your primary computer for this to work. For more information about the home server, please read the Managing My Home Server portion of Section 4: Appearance and Behavior Preferences. For more information on selecting your primary computer, please read the Manage Machines portion of Section 5: Manage SAMNet Account Preferences. To access your Media Library at home when you are using SAMNet from another computer, first choose the Media Library option from SAMNet Home. Next, select the Access My Home Media Library option. Once you have done this, the Media Library interface looks just the same as it does when you are accessing it from home. You can create and manage playlists, browse your library, and so on. However, when you want to play content from your home media library, you will see one additional screen which is not present when accessing your local Media Library. This screen will appear when you choose a playlist, choose the Shuffle option, or choose a file while browsing the Media Library. As an example, if you choose the Shuffle option after having selected Access My Home Media Library, you are asked what quality to use when streaming from the home library. Selecting low quality will stream the music in such a manner that even a low bandwidth connection can handle the contents. However, the sound quality is reduced from the original file. Choosing medium quality will improve the sound a bit, but will still work on a lower bandwidth connection. If you don't have much concern about your bandwidth and you feel it can handle high quality streaming, you can choose the Original Quality option. Once you have tabbed to your selection and chosen it by pressing the Spacebar or the Enter key, content will begin streaming from your home media library to the PC you're currently using.