Hoster 5.06 released March 15, 2012

Version 5.06 is a MASSIVE upgrade with many long asked for New features, Changes and bug fixes. It started out to only prevent dropping audio, but expanded to include TEMPO, instantaneous search results, a new “Words” search mode, and more. Many bugs are fixed, some in code written in 2000, but now showing up as crashes and lockups. This promises to be a very stable version! However, due to the massive changes, we are ready to fix any reported problems ASAP!

Anyone able to install version 503.09 with an “Install Date” of Sept. 19, 2012 can install the 506.09 for free. We also provide 506.03 with the most current Import Database identifying more CDG Discs.

  1. FIXED – Prevent Audio Dropouts – Microsoft Windows changes and Laptop “Power Management” settings caused audio dropouts while playing songs from the Playlist. Read the Tools menu Audio Controls Dialog Prevent Audio Dropouts. If you hear audio dropouts change the factory default from “10” that should work for all computers, to a higher selection (12, 14… 20).

Search & Singers Dialog and Edit Songs Dialog Changes

  1. NEW – Archive Singers Database Made When 5.06 Installed – This is titled C:/MTU/Hoster/singersBackupPrior5.03.mdb before a singers.mdb (created before 5.03) is converted to the new indexed format. If anything damages your database you can rename singersBackupPrior5.03.mdb to singers.mdb and use it. However, it does not contain changes made since it was created.
  2. NEW Active Singers Database Backup Maintained – This is titled C:/MTU/Hoster/singers2.mdb. It is automatically created, and updated while Hoster is running when 50 changes have been made to the singers.mdb. You can rename it to singers.mdb if the original is ever damaged, and a new singers2.mdb is automatically created.
  3. CHANGE – Playlist “Search” and “Singers” Buttons – These are now combined as the new Search & Singers button. It displays the prior Search dialog that now also shows a redesigned Singer’s Songs dialog that appeared in prior versions when you clicked an “Open Folder” icon. Operations between both dialogs are fully integrated, making it much faster and easier to search for songs, or select a Singer’s Song, change Tempo and Key and add it/them to the Playlist.
  4. NEW – String -vs- Words Search Mode – Prior Hoster versions only allowed “String” search. A new and extremely powerful “Words” search mode is now available in both these dialogs independently settable of the other. The last selection in each appears when Hoster runs again.
  5. NEW – Instantaneous Searches – The search code used in both dialogs was totally rewritten to instantly find matching songs, displaying them in the Results window.
  6. FIXED – White Screens – Due to the more efficient search code, dialogs no longer appear “whited out” when many search results are returned.
  7. CHANGE – Search Fields Defaults – Whenever Hoster runs, the search Title and Artist fields are enabled, but the BookID and other fields are disabled, can be enabled while Hoster runs, but disables when closed.
  8. FIXED – Triple Clicking to Add Song to Playlist – Now double-clicking adds a song to the Playlist from Search & Singers button.

Tempo Change

  1. NEWAdjust Range – Songs can now can adjust Tempo from 80% to 120% in ±5% steps by mouse or keyboard.
  2. NEWSearch & Singers Dialog Tempo Slider – This allows adjusting to preset a Tempo change when adding a Song to the Playlist and/or to the Singers Database.
  3. NEWEdit Singers Database Dialog Tempo Slider – This allows adjusting to preset a Tempo change when adding a Song to the Playlist, and/or saved to the Singers Database.
  4. NEWEdit Playlist Tempo Field – Double-click and edit this new field to change Tempo on a Song before it plays. When play stops or ends, if the Song was added from the Singers Database, its record updates.
  5. NEWChange Hoster Screen Live Tempo Slider – This allows adjusting the Tempo change live while playing. When play stops or ends, if the Song was added from the Singers Database, its record updates.

Singers Button in Playlist is Now Edit Singers Database

  1. CHANGE Renamed as Tools Menu Edit Singers Database… Command – This command dialog allows editing records in the Singers Database. It operates the same as before and can be open to edit Singer’s records during a show, and add Singer’s favorite Songs (example: the Host’s favorite Songs) to the Playlist. However, the Search & Singers dialog upgrades make it much easier to add Singer’s favorite Songs to the Playlist.
  2. CHANGE Export and Refresh Buttons Disable – These operations now disable while Songs are playing to prevent audio dropouts and other problems.
  3. CHANGE – Edit Singers Database – The Singers drop down list field does not allow entering a new Singer’s name. It did before, but it would not allow adding a Singer with this field, which now only allows selecting existing Singers.
  4. FIXED – Triple Clicking to Add Song to Playlist – Now double-clicking adds a song to the Playlist from Edit Singers Database button.
  5. FIXED – Invalid Songs in Singers Database Don’t Lock Hoster – Trying to add a Song to the Playlist that is not in the Songs Database now shows a message, then allows adding other Songs.

Songbook Changes

  1. CHANGE – Removed Mux “Both” – When preparing Songbooks, if you enable the Mux field to appear, only Left or Right appear; no longer showing Both.
  2. FIXED – Artist Names Like “10,000” – “10,000 Maniacs”, which contains a “,” that is used to separate Lastname, Firstname, would appear as “00 Maniacs 10”. It now appears alphabetized and appears as “10,000 Maniacs”.

Build Songs Database

  1. FIXED – Damaged Indexed/Excluded Folders – The Indexed Folders list and Excluded Folders list were both stored in HosterInfo.ini file in version 5.05 and prior. This sometimes caused problems when rebuilding the Database. When Hoster 5.06 first runs, it converts HosterInfo.ini file into separate HosterInfoIndexed.ini and HosterInfoExcluded.ini files to be safe.
  2. FIXED – Rebuilding Songs Database Halting – While songs were indexed into the Songs Database, if a bad file was found it halted rebuilding and wouldn’t go further. Hoster now quarantines all bad files and continues indexing.

Remove Silence Operations

  1. FIXED – Remove Silence Command Lock Up – In this dialog when scanning Karaoke files to set start-stop pointers, files with newly identified problems found while processing would lock Hoster. These are now added to the C:\MTU\Hoster\SetStartEndErrors.txt file and ignored, continuing to the next Song.
  2. FIXED – Edit Songs Command Remove Silence Locked Hoster – This dialog also could cause Hoster to lock up when bad files were encountered. Bad files are logged, ignored now and in future, and processing continues to the next Song.

Miscellaneous Changes

  1. NEW – #Times Fields in Singers.mdb Database – We added a Singer #Times field and a Song #Times field. These increment by one each time a Singer sings, or a Song is performed.
  2. NEW – Report Shows Every Song Performed – Hoster now saves each Song name played from the Playlist (added from any source) into the C:\MTU\Hoster\PlaylistTracking.csv file including; date, time, Singer name, Song name.
  3. NEW – Slider Tic Marks – These now appear in Tempo, Volume, and Lyrics Sync sliders.
  4. CHANGE – Tools Menu Options Command “Keep Songs After Played” Checkbox – The default shipped state now is ENABLED (checked). In prior versions it defaulted to NOT Keep, which deleted each Song after it played to the end.
  5. FIXED – CRASH In Auto Mode When Playing – Playing MP3 Audio or Karaoke Songs didn’t report it was finished as WMA files do, and Hoster could lock up. This is fixed.
  6. FIXED – Playlist Highlighting No Longer Erases – In the Playlist, if you clicked in the area below all songs, it would erase the current highlighted Song. Highlighting now remains.

Hoster 5.01 released May 9, 2011

After releasing Video Hoster and Lite 5.00 on April 25, 2011 the number of reported problems has been very low. One problem that still persisted after much work was editing the Singers field in the Playlist could still crash Hoster. We created 8 “trace versions” that finally showed us exactly what was going wrong.

What we discovered was shocking! When Windows was called to open either the htm page for showing the Singers Names Display or the Marquee in the Snow Display, it was randomly returning “file not found”. Now that was truly unexpected, but is in line with several “Windows caused” crashes that we fixed in 5.00.

So, today we released Video Hoster and Lite 5.01 with this crash problem fixed, along with several new Genre and Language listings.

You can download the demo from the web site to see the changes, and how it performs on your computer.


MTU New Registration Method

As of May, 2010 we put our new Registration system into use on all orders and upgrades. This gives existing customers as well as new customers new benefits. Read on to discover what they are.

1. When NOT accompanied with major New or Upgrade features, Bug repairs are now free to those who can install the last major release. When we fix only reported bugs in a release version, we set the install date to the same as the prior major release with those bugs. Thus, if you can install the prior major release, you can install the Bug Fix upgrade(s).

Exception to this rule: Following a major release, there are always some bugs that appear within the next few months. We try to not add new features until the bug reports have stopped or significantly slowed down, then these Bug Fix releases are free. However, there is a point in time where we start adding new features again. Once this happens, any bugs reported and fixed go into a release that is NOT free; i.e. we have spent significant time adding new features. For example, when we made our programs run on Windows 7, this was NOT a bug fix as some might think, but a NEW feature that was very expensive to add.

We choose to continue upgrading our products as Microsoft develops new Windows versions. Further, we make these upgrades available at a fraction of the retail price, unlike competitors who typically give you a 10% discount off the full retail price for ANY upgrade or bug fix.

2. Now when you order an upgrade, our  script converts your RegCode to install the latest release version for that Product. You no longer receive an Upgrade RegCode that required the prior version to be installed with your Original RegCode. Your original RegCode will now install the latest version, and those we release in the next 12 months from your upgrade order.

3. Ordering an upgrade gives you 12-months of new releases (our  policy for over a decade).

4. You can skip release versions. We don’t require you to buy every 12-months. Order the latest release when it and prior skipped ones contain new features you want.

5. Hoster’s Import database is included in your Hoster 12-month upgrade. If you watch our Download Site, you will see around the first of each month that the number of new DiscID-Track records increases between 5,000 and 12,000. Simply download the latest Hoster version and install it to immediately have the latest database.

We added FREE Live Chat to our web site that you can instantly chat with either Sales or Support. They are on-line Mon-Fri, on an as available basis between from 9:30AM and 5:00PM EST. MTU gives you free, quality support after your purchase.

FYI… Every company we buy software from charges us every year, some as high as $2,500 per year. With some we can’t even run the version we paid for last year until we pay the current upgrade price.  I doubt their development costs are much higher than ours, but we only charge from $10 to $70 for 12-months of upgrades and support.