Music Finder PC Utilities

by Joe Waters

Previous Next

You have seen in the previous lessons how to modify the Music Finder database that comes with your PSR or Tyros keyboard. You can change the data in any record by editing the record, for example, by entering a different style or tempo. The revised record can replace what was there or you can save it as a new record. You can delete records for songs that are of no interest. You can enter your own data in the keywords field and even replace the genre with your own definition of genre.

While you can do this, the internal Music Finder capabilities are not very efficient if you want to make a large number of changes. But there are external PC utilities that help enormously in maintaining your Music Finder database. MusicFinderView, written by Michel Bedesem, is one of these utilities. In this lession, I will discuss the basic features of MusicFinderView with notes derived from the MusicFinderView manual. Jorgen Sorenson's Music Finder File Manager (see below) can also be used to edit MFDs on your PC.

MusicFinderView Functions

  • Display, edit, add and delete Music Finder data records from Music Finder files.
  • Process records that reference style, midi, or audio files that reside on storage media. This includes display, editing, and generation of a missing file listing.
  • The listing can be rearranged, sorted, or saved as a tab delimited text file for use with spreadsheet, word processing or database programs.
  • The program supports searching the Music Finder file (MFD) for records with full or partial matches of MUSIC, STYLE, GENRE or KEYWORD text. You can use the results to create custom MusicFinder files (e.g. "Christmas", "Wedding Gig") or Repertoire lists for a style, song, genre, or keyword.
  • Create a performance PlayList that can be edited, printed, or saved as a text delimited file.
  • MusicFinderView can convert Music Finder files from one instrument to another. For example, you can make a PSR-3000 file from a Tyros 2 file. Edit and Replace functions may be used to select styles that exist in the target instrument.
  • You can create customized Music Finder files by saving only records that have been identified via a search operation or manual selection. This is useful for generating databases based upon musical tastes, or for use in live performance situations.

Supported Instruments

  • Tyros 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5;
  • PSR-2000/1000, PSR-2100/1100, PSR-3000/1500;
  • PSR-S900/S700, PSR-S910/S710, and PSR-S950/S750;
  • CVP Models: 203-210/303-309/409/505.

As you can see from the list of supported instruments, you can use this utility no matter what keyboard you have. It can read MFD files from any of the supported keyboards. It can also convert files from one keyboard to another. In other words, you can load in a Tyros3 MF database and save it as a PSR-910 Music Finder database. One of the distinction between various models is the number of preset styles included. The Tyros3 has more preset styles than the S910. The conversion process highlights styles that do not exist in the destination keyboard and allows you to use an alternative style.

How would you use this utility? Are these features really useful? Let me give you some examples of where these features would be handy. Suppose you want to create a Music Finder database of German songs. You can use MFV to find and select all the "German" songs in your database and then save just those songs to a new Music Finder database. This same capability can also be used to save your original database without any of these German songs in it. Of course, you could use the same techniques to make a Latin Music Finder Database or any other subset of songs you may want to define. I have used MFV to sort through the records in a large master database and create individual Music Finder database for all the Fake Books shown in our Fake Book Section. If you are a performer, you may want to create individual databases geared toward specific audiences -- one for retirement homes, another for weddings, yet another for a bar or lounge gig. In the paragraphs that follow, I'll give you detailed instructions on how you could accomplish some of the tasks suggested above.

Reading A Music Finder File

Music Finder View Icon Initial MFV screenDownload and install the MusicFinderView (MFV) program. This puts the Music Finder View Icon on your desktop. Click on that icon to launch the program. The opening screen, with the corrected Tyros3 MFD file loaded is shown here. (Click on this image to see a larger version of the full MFV screen.)

The first option, of course, is do load a Music Finder database file. (You can download the original Tyros3 MFD file -- with corrected song names -- from the STYLES | OTHER FILES | Music Finder Files page.) To display Music Finder data, click the File menu item and select an existing Music Finder file. If you want to start from an empty listing, blank MFD files are included with the MFV program and you can open the blank file for your keyboard. In this exercise, I loaded the "corrected" Tyros3 Music Finder database.

MusicFinderView automatically determines the source instrument and will display it, along with the filename and opening default style, in the program's title bar. Styles displayed in red are not available in your instrument and need to be replaced or the item will be ignored when the file is saved. A style number instead of a name (e.g. 16417) indicates that the entry references a non Preset or media style. Numbers greater than 65,280 reside on a USB, lower numbers are installed in the USER area.

target instrument boxI set my "Target Instrument" to be a Tyros3. Clicking on the drop down arrow by the Target Instrument box shows you a list of all supported keyboards. Select your keyboard from this list if you intend to modify these records or save the database in a format suitable to your keyboard.

The records from the Music Finder database are displayed in a table with each row representing a record in the database and each column a field in the record. You can rearrange the order of the columns displayed by simply clicking on a column and dragging it to another position. Clicking on the column title will sort the display on that column. In the illustration below, the initial screen was modified by moving the Music column to the other side of Genre and then sorting on the Music column.

MusicFinder column display

If you are familiar with the Music Finder record, you will easily recognize most of the columns. In your keyboard, the Favorite field is set to either ON or OFF. Here, ON means the Fav column will be Yes; OFF means the field value will be No. Similarly, if a record is listed in the Search1 (or Search2) view, the S1 (or S2) field value will by shown as Yes, otherwise it is No. The Number column represents the record number in the database. The little check box next to this number allows you to select one or more records. When a record is selected, a check mark will appear in that box. Just click on the box to select it; click on it again to de-select the record.

Edit Options

Edit buttonsThere are several Edit Item buttons available at the top of the main window. If you want, for example, to delete some records from the database, simply check the records you want deleted and then press the [Delete] button. The records will immediately be marked as "Deleted". If you save the database, these records are eliminated and the remaining records are renumbered.

data entry screenIf you want to modify a particular entry, select it and then press the [Modify] button. This opens the Data Enter/Edit screen, which displays the fields in the record. If you pressed the [Add] button, this same screen would open, but the fields would be empty.

The drop-down arrow by the Genre field will display the list of available Genre entries. You can select any of those or type in a new one. The Music can be whatever you want to enter. The Preset Style/File will display a list of style names from your target instrument and you must select one of those names. Similarly, you must select the Intro and Section from the list of available choices. To make a record one of your favorites, just check the Favorite box.

Replacing a Style

You can not modify several records at once, but you could modify all the records with a particular style file, genre, or keyword. This feature is particularly useful if you are converting an MFD from another instrument to your own. For example, one version of the correct T3 song titles included songs using the style "60sRock1" and others using a style called "60sRock2". MusicFinderView automatically determines the source instrument of a loaded MFD, displays it in program’s title bar, and uses it to translating style numbers to style names. It saw the "fixed" Tyros3 MFD file as a NetCommon file.

In 2007, Yamaha started distributing some MFD database over the internet. Since these could be used in a number of keyboards, the instrument type is denoted as "NetCommon", which, we assume, includes only styles included in the more recent keyboards.

When I specified the "Tyros3" as the target instrument, MusicFinderView flagged two styles that were not in the Tyros3 preset group and listed these styles in red. This meant that if I saved this database with Tyros3 as the target instrument, these styles would be replaced with the default style - Zouk, which certainly would not be appropriate. The screen shot below shows the song records that were affected.

After doing some searching using the original preset MFD in the Tyros3, I discovered that the songs with "60sRock1" as the style should have been set to "60sVintagePop" and those with "60sRock2" should be using "60sPopRock". I could edit each of these song titles in turn and make the correction. But this is the kind of thing the [Replace] option was designed to handle.

Replace dialog boxSelecting one of the 60sRock1 styles, I then pressed the [Replace] command to bring up the Replace dialog box shown here. In this case, I will be replacing a [Style]. The current style is shown already specified. In the replacement with box, I selected "60sVintagePop". I then selected the [Replace All Entries] button and the replacements were made.

I next selected one of the "60sRock2" styles and used the [Replace] feature again to change all of these to "60sPopRock". Those styles were also updated. Now, all the styles indicated in the records were preset styles on the Tyros3. Time to save the corrected file!

Saving Your Changes

File - Save - MusicFinder fileThe File menu command was used to Open the Music Finder database. It is also used to Save a Music Finder database that you may have modified. You can save the file as a MusicFinder file (that is, an MFD file), or as a Delimited Text File.

The advantage of a "Delimited Text File" is that the data, in this format, can be read by many other programs, such as Excel or a database program like Access. Moving the data into one of these programs would give you all the options available in those programs to select and update information in the data fields. You'll see that the File Menu also has the option, "Import Delimited Text File." You could import the text file with all the changes you made and then save it again in an MFD format so it could be used in your keyboard.

In this case, however, I will save the file as a MusicFinder File and when I make that selection, the Save As Options dialog box opens. You can see that the Source Instrument is represented as "NetCommon". I want to save these to a Tyros3 and that is specified as the Target Instrument. I am going to save All Records. The alternative option is to save Checked Records Only. There are no checked records at the moment. In a little while, I'll show you were this option will be useful in making an entirely new MFD file that is a subset of a larger file. Pressing the [Save] button brings up the file directly where I can specify a name for the saved file and just where to put it.

Over time, Yamaha has changed the name of some styles by a) adding a number when there was more than one, b) adding a word (ChaChaCha vs. ChaCha) or c) more dramatically (Swing2 vs. OrchrestraSwing2). Since MusicFinderView uses the names of the styles to perform the conversions between the instruments, the style names used by the program may have minor difference from those on your instrument.

Actions

Actions buttonsSearching - A [Search] button is found under the Actions buttons at the top of the display. Like the search feature in the Music Finder, you can use a search screen to quickly find, and mark, records in the Music Finder database.

Searching for TonightPressing the [Search] button brings up the List Search dialog box. You can search either the Music, Genre, Keywords, Favorites, Search1, or Search2 fields for any text you specify. Of course, the only thing you will find in the last three choices are "Yes" or "No". But these can be used to quickly find, for example, all your Favorites.

In this screen shot, I am searching the Music field (song titles) to find songs that contain the word "tonight" in the title. I can search for the first occurrence, or the next occurrence. In this case,I want to find all the records with this word so I select the "Find and Check All" option.

Play List - When I return to the main display, any songs found will have a check mark by the name. However, I would still have to do a lot of scrolling up and down the list to find these checked records. But the Play List option provides a much simpler solution. The playlist will display a list of all the checked records. in this case, it will show me the nine song titles that include the word "Tonight".

The Play List shows the Music, Style, Time Sig, and Tempo. There is a Comment field I can use to add whatever comments I want. This list can then be saved as a delimited text file or just printed out.

Refining Your Database

Let's consider another example of how you can use the features of MusicFinderView to modify your database to something more useful to you. In my case, I am in the United States and I notice that there are a lot of song titles for "foreign" songs that I do not know and, as such, am not likely to ever play. I want to narrow the database down to only English song titles. I could simply browse through all the records and check any title that I could not read, but with 1,850 records that could take a long time.

I notice that many of the foreign songs have a keyword indicating the country of the song, e.g. german, french, italian, dutch, etc. So, I try a search on the Keyword field and check all records that have "german" in the keyword field. Next, I search on "french" and check those records; then on "italian", then "dutch", and so on. Now, I've got a lot of records checked and I can see all the checked records by viewing the Play List. Perusing that list, I spot some songs that are "foreign" but they are songs that I know and have and I would not want their records deleted. So I find those records and uncheck them. OK, now I use the [Del Chk'd] command to eliminate all those records. I can save the database at this point, probably giving it a unique name so I don't modify the original.

Perhaps I don't want any classical songs in the database either. Again, I can search on the keyword "classical", check all those records and delete them and then save again. You can see how this can narrow down the size of the database much faster than you could do it on your keyboard by finding each of these records, editing the record, and then choosing the [DELETE] option.

Creating a New Database

Let's make a MusicFinder database for country songs. Using your Search tool, search on the Genre field and find and check all songs that have "Country" as the Genre. Next, without deleting any check marks, search for and check all songs that have "Country" in the title. Now try adding records with "country" in the keyword field. Finally, try sorting all the records on style and then browse down through the country styles and see if there are records there that are not yet checked that you would want to add. When that is done, use can save your file as a MusicFinder database but this time you would select the save option: Checked Records Only. Give your new database a name, e.g. Country.mfd, and you have a new database you can load when you want to play country songs.

MusicFinderView comes with an excellent Manual as well as a Quick Start Guide. Refer to these documents for additional information and features in this program.

Additional Utilities

Music Finder File Manager

Another utility, Music Finder File Manager, written by Jorgen Sorenson, will do many of the same things that MusicFinderView does. This program is available for Windows XP and requires .Net Framework on your PC, which may also require Windows Installer 3.0. Jorgen has quite a few programs written in the .Net programming language. You need only install it once to be able to run his Windows-based utilities.

The screen shot below shows the Music Finder File Manager with an MFD from the PSR-3000. When a record is selected, the fields from that record are shown in the boxes below the table display and the entries can be modifed or new records created. In addition, two files can be merged and duplicate records located and eliminated using Music Finder File Manager.

Music Finder File Manager

PSR Style Database

The latest version of Peter Wierzba's PSR Style Database, which can be used to examine style files, can be used to look at the Music Finder records included in styles and even to extract a Music Finder database. However, it does not allow you to edit all the fields as MusicFinderView does. I was able to use this program to examine the original Tyros3 styles and look at the Music Finder records in there. Of course, these had the odd Yamaha song titles. But, by sorting on beat and examing the keyword fields, I was able to match records in this database with those in the T3 "fixed" database to discover what style was recommended for the NetCommon styles that were not available in the Tyros3. Although not necessarily the perfect utility for MusicFinder records, it is an essential style utility and no Yamaha user should be without Peter's program.



This page updated on March 2, 2016 .