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Sticky Request: Overview of rekordbox Back-End: folders/files/locations

As mentioned in my post about rekordbox transferring the wrong tracks to my HDD, it would be very helpful if the powers that be would put together an overview of the various files, folders and locations that are used by rekordbox.  There seems to be a steady stream of questions and problems (myself included) related to not understanding which files perform which functions.  These questions range from corruption issues, to back-up / syncing / updating issues, and more.  Personally, I'd like to be empowered by some knowledge of the nitty-gritty so I can protect myself from further calamity and have a shot at fixing my own problems when they arise @ 10pm on a Friday night (when nobody's available to ask, and I need to leave for a gig).

I'm not seeking specific technical info—just broad strokes (though about specific files).  There are some cases where it's practical to conceal the inner-workings of an application from the end-user for his own good.  iPhoto is a great example—which is why Apple wisely changed the iPhoto library folder into a "package" file.  Rekordbox does not qualify as one of those cases yet, in my view.  The most obvious reasons are:

  • it's prone to issues that can (and do) cause confusion and disaster for us end-users.  I've had to recreate my library at least 5 times now, and I've had 4 gigs ruined or nearly ruined in the last 2 years as a result of rekordbox corruption or malfunction.
  • on the Mac, it breaks almost all conventions of typical application structure, so it's not easy to figure out, even for the experienced computer user:

  • it doesn't use the Application Support folder within the user Library

  • it creates its own Pioneer folder in the root level of the user Library (very unique for a 3rd party app)

  • it also creates a Pioneer folder within the Preferences folder—yet that folder doesn't actually contain the preferences file (??)

  • it uses two "settings" files in addition to a preferences file (prefs being the normal location of an application's settings)

  • it creates confusing folder structures—e.g. Library > Pioneer > rekordbox > PIONEER

  • it creates lots of scattered files whose purpose is not clear, and which are easy to overlook when trouble-shooting or cleaning (e.g. mixvibes files)

  • we're technically-proficient enough that we're more likely to help ourselves and Pioneer than cause chaos for ourselves

  • Those of us who have been using rekordbox from the get-go, might also have "legacy" files and folders scattered about our Library folder—adding further confusion.

 It would be great to get a "sticky" article that describes the essential components and functions of the back-end of the rekordbox system from top to bottom, defining terms such as database(s) / preferences / settings / caches, etc..  These are the type of explanations that I'm requesting:

  • when you install rekordbox, these folders: _____ are created in these locations: _____;
  • when you import a track, rekordbox keeps track of that by updating these files: _____;
  • when you adjust the beat-grid for a track, rekordbox stores that information in these files: _____;
  • when you export tracks from rekordbox to an external device, these files get transferred: _____ and these files don't: _____;
  • when you close rekordbox, these files are updated: _____;
  • when you use the "Backup" feature within rekordbox, here's what gets created: _____ and here's what doesn't get created: _____;
  • when you use the "Restore" feature within rekordbox, here's what gets overwritten: _____;
  • these files sometimes get corrupted: _____;
  • these files are good to back-up in case of corruption _____;
  • these files are went to market: _____; and these files had roast beef: _____;  Damn man… your files have roast beef?!

On a serious note, this info would be extremely helpful to have, and I'm more than willing to help organize the info if that would be helpful. 

Cheers,

-Warth

P.S.  Speaking of organizing info, for those waiting for my guide on organizing a music collection, it's definitely still on my radar, though it's taken on a life of its own (to say the least).  I'm hoping to make it available as an epub / iBook, at some point, so I've got some more work to do on it yet.

Warth

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IMHO, I hate how iPhoto packages everything into one unaccessible bundle, but that's for another rant and I will unfortunately go the opposite direction on this post and tell you "Don't mess around with those files!"  While YOU may be technically proficient, I'm going to be polite and say only "Have you not seen the post where the user asked me something that he/she could find an answer for in the product manual?"  Those users are here too and providing them with knowledge is a dangerous thing.

The latter part of your post I am trying to create a guide for -- I don't necessarily think it will be the technical guide you may be desiring, but it will certainly cover a lot of the basics in terms of how to fix yer own problems and what to back-up, what to move from computer-to-computer, etc.

And for the record, I find it uneasy that pigs were eating roast-beef.

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On your "unaccessible" comment: the contents of any package file are easily accessible via a simple right click (choose "show package contents").

I would reluctantly accept your command to not mess around with "those files," if any one of the following were true:

  • rekordbox hadn't screwed the pooch so many times.  I'm not kidding when I tell you that it's completely ruined 4 or 5 gigs / evenings for me.
  • the files were presently hidden in a package (and thus, not already exposed to novice end-users)
  • the "help me" posts couldn't be easily dismissed with a "read the manual" comment (or the less polite acronym, RTFM)

In any case, if you have information that you can share with me, but that you want to keep out of the public view for the reasons you stated, I'd be grateful if you could send me a private email or pm.  Thanks...

P.S.  Yeah, pigs eating their own kind… sounds like a recipe for mad pig disease! :)

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I know I can do that, but I also understand why they do it ... 1) to keep everything neat and in one place should you want to move it, and 2) to keep idiots out of harm's way.

Remember, it's typically not rekordbox itself causing the problem!

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