First of all, having now spent some time with MusicBee, I can say that I have determined the source of all of my Media Monkey issues. I don't like to wait for software to accomplish my goals.
With no indication in Media Monkey that there is processing happening, I assumed that the interface was quick, and I could change views at will. I tend to go click around from one thing to another, often quickly. For example switching from "Entire Library" to another collection before "Entire Library" is fully populated. Or, typing a letter to go to a specific album without waiting for the columns in the column browser to finish populating. I have very little patience for interfaces, and it seems that a 600MB database is too much for my system to run Media Monkey the way I want to use it. (Interesting to note is that Windows reports very low resource usage for Media Monkey, even when it is processing large groups of data, and there are lots of available resources.)
I've been doing the same things in Music Bee, and I've noticed a distinct difference. First of all, it is very difficult to switch from one thing to another before the interface finishes updating, because everything loads so quickly. If I do try to switch before it is fully loaded, the display does not update until it is done. (I think this is the key difference.)
Here are the issues I'm having with Media Monkey. Notice that very few of them have to do with "bugs" in the code.
- Speed. I timed this with a stopwatch; Music Bee takes 2 seconds to load from File Explorer to a full list of all my music, ready to play. Music Monkey takes 40 seconds for the same procedure. If I switch from a subset of my tracks to the full list, Music Bee is instant, Music Monkey takes 5 seconds.
- Reliability. Apparently, If I switch between tabs, or collections before Media Monkey is done loading, I get strange results. I don't know if that is the case in Music Bee, because it won't let me make a mistake like that. If I try to get results before the previous results are done, it either discards the previous search, or won't let the new one populate right away; it maintains database integrity. Something Media Monkey doesn't do, otherwise my issues would never be possible. If the database is only being read, there should be no possibility of corruption.
- Features. There are some things I can't do in Music Bee that I can do in Media Monkey. The Discogs plugin is better in MMW, and I have to do more complex work to do things that "RegExp Find and Replace" can do. The basic features, are all there. Video, sending files to a media player, Auto-populated playlists, tags, Auto-DJ, and exploring my library. I haven't installed any plugins, because I can't find anything more I want to do. Although, I can't sync wirelessly to my Android phone, I can't sync my iPhone, and there is no Android Music Bee player. (I don't currently use Android, or Apple.)
- Consistency. Media Monkey has all kinds of very minor inconsistencies in the interface. Music Bee has zero. I have a list of inconsistent behavior somewhere, unless I stored it in a previous MMW installation that got corrupted.
- Media Monkey is very reliant on plugins, and so seems to be limited on what major behind the scenes changes are made. Music Bee has very few plugins, because there is little missing functionality. I don't know the history very well, but it seems like things that are popular plugins are added to the core, if they are really popular, or fit with the design philosophy. This is what happens in most software, written in the past decade, that allows plugins.
- Design philosophy. Media Monkey seems to keep trying to be everything to everyone, while maintaining the status quo. Music Bee has a specific design philosophy, and are not afraid to say no, I'm not going to change that, here's why. Sometimes the answer is; I can give you the information to build a plugin, if you want it that bad.
- Seriously, Media Monkey looks like it was written in 2000, with Visual Basic, using forms for the interface. I get that the visuals aren't important, but we are in the '10s, now.
So, there you go. My possibly farewell Rant on what I think is wrong with Media Monkey. I'm sure I'll hang around and post about responses, because that's the kind of thing I do. I may well be back, the grass may only look greener on the other side, and Media Monkey really is the perfect software. Somehow, I doubt it. You already have my money for a lifetime license, after I got a Gold license for a previous version, so you just do what you do, people seem to love it.
So, let's see the responses; "I've had the same database for years with no problems." "I've never had any problems with MMW, it's the most solid software I've ever used." "How is it even possible for you to have so many problems with this software, I've been using it for years with no issue." "But MusicBee doesn't sync my iPhone." (easy workaround for that in the Wiki.)