WAN Songbook Filler

Hello, this is Arnhor from server Vanyar. Since 2008, our band "Die Meisterbarden von Bree" is performing every Friday night (Central European Time) at the Auction House of Bree. Have a look at this YouTube video – or just search for "Meisterbarden".

If you understand some German, you may have a look at our website meisterbarden.hanft.de for more information about us.

If you are a LOTRO musician, you know the problems which arise when you have several people in your band who are all contributing new music files which must be distributed to all other players in order to play together. You could send them by e-mail to the others, or put them into a Teamspeak browser or something like that. But there are some big disadvantages in "distributing" the files at all: Sometimes, musicians are busy in "Real Life" and cannot perform once or twice, and after three weeks the questions arise "which files are new?" – "where can I download the new files?" – "are there improved files which I have to overwrite?" and more. Ok, on the first thought, you could manage by "file date since last concert" or so. But believe me (and I do have more than 4-year-experience): After some time, with many (5,000+) files, many file folders and directories, and more than 2 players: somewhen you will get "unsynced" somehow.

To avoid getting "unsynced", we have lately installed a shared "web music folder". I won't go in-depth here for a detailled explanation, but give some hints which should be sufficient for more-or-less computer/server admins to create such a shared folder:

Get the point? New music files just have to be put into that "band" folder, and every musician can play them just like that – no copying, no overwriting, no asking... great, isn't it?

Of course, the shared folder is also included in the Songbook Plugin which many of our band members are gratefully using. As you already know, you have to update the Songbook plugin data files before using in LOTRO. And here comes the problem: The original "Songbook.HTA" script (and some other external "SongBookFiller" application which I had found) read each and every music file every time to get the track info (track ID and name) which is displayed in Songbook. Now think of 5,000+ music files which reside on a server somewhere out there in the Internet: Reading (which, in effect, means "complete downloading"!) all those files for every Songbook update lasts more than half an hour every time... and would be actually unnecessary for files that weren't changed since last "scanning"!

So my idea was "scan only newer files" and keep the rest in some kind of a "local database". Since getting the directory of a web server is very fast (which includes file alteration date/time and file size), the file-content (which includes the track information) is only (re-)read if...

Nice side-effects:

I have called my software "WAN Songbook Filler" because it's best used when your music files are distributed in one or more wide area networks. (Granted: Not very fancy, but it describes the function and purpose best, doesn't it?)

If you have any questions, you can contact me by e-mail. And: Apologies for some funny/strange phrasing in this text; I'm not a native English speaker.

And now: Download and enjoy!

A note about software security: The program is digitally signed; this means you can right-click the EXE and select "Properties" and find my signature inside. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances, Windows will ask you "The program unknown from the software author unknown may be insecure and could damage your system" or something like that. This is because Windows normally doesn't have the Root Certificate of my signature installed (the Root Certificate confirms that it's really me who created the program's signature). In a newly installed Windows, there are already many root certificates installed – because the root certificate issuers pay Microsoft a fee for that (and, on the other hand, charge software authors like me for their code signing certificates something between 500 and 800 US$ – per year!). Since I cannot afford this for a piece of freeware, I'm using CAcert as a free-of-charge certificate issuer. It's not less secure in any way than any other pre-installed root certificate; it's just that a non-profit community can't pay Microsoft enough money (including the legal stuff, paying lawyers, reviewers, and all that) to include it in Windows as a default. It you want to get rid of all those "unknown program can damage your computer" messages for software which is digitally signed by a CAcert certificate (which is, in my opinion, not less trustworthy than a software signed by some weird and dubious pre-installed root certificate issuer you might never have heard of), you can install the root certificate of CAcert (only once in a lifetime!) and support a strong and growing non-profit trust community. I second this!

Revision History: