Fatal Error java.lang.NullPointerException

Ker Bob's Avatar

Ker Bob

09 Nov, 2017 10:46 PM

Just installed the trial version, and beaTunes crashes right after the load screen when I first ran it.

Win10 64 bit
beaTunes 5.05
iTunes 12.7.1.14

Logs attached

  1. 1 Posted by Ker Bob on 10 Nov, 2017 04:31 AM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    Version 10.0.15063 Build 15063

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by hendrik on 10 Nov, 2017 08:39 AM

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    Hey Ker,

    it looks like you updated from 5.0.4 to 5.0.5 and for reasons I'm unable to determine, 5.0.4 was not completely deleted before the update. That leads to the error you are seeing.

    To fix this, please make sure beaTunes is not running at all, then run the 5.0.5 installer again.

    Thanks,

    -hendrik

  3. 3 Posted by Ker Bob on 10 Nov, 2017 03:33 PM

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    That worked, but now it says that the trial period is over?

    I tried the 5.04 version, but uninstalled it the same day b/c beaTunes kept saying the XML info was not being shared with iTunes, even though iTunes showed it was.

    I saw the post on twitter about the fix, so redownloaded, and when I reinstalled I got the same XML error message once I got past the Fatal Error message that wouldn't let it start.

    It looks like beaTunes has a ton of potential, but it is frustrating I keep getting all the errors.

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by hendrik on 10 Nov, 2017 04:40 PM

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    That worked, but now it says that the trial period is over?

    Ouch. That's annoying.
    I have sent you another email.

    Enjoy.

  5. 5 Posted by Ker Bob on 11 Nov, 2017 09:17 PM

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    Wow! Thanks very much!
    I appreciate all your help, and assistance. I've got beaTunes up and
    running, but now I have a few more questions.

    I'm running the analysis now, and it went from a few days to :
    [image: Inline image 1]
    27.9 weeks?! Yikes!

    It also keeps telling me that it is applying solutions, and asking if I
    want to quit.
    I deleted around 5k missing files thanks to the Apple Genius creating a new
    Automatically add to itunes folder in the wrong place that did not work.
    I cut those and put them in the right folder, which added them to iTunes. I
    deleted them, but they are still showing up in the analysis.

    Should I force a close, and run the inspection to get rid of the
    duplicates(and triplicates) and then re run the analysis?

    Thanks again for your generous help.

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by hendrik on 12 Nov, 2017 02:33 PM

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    I'm running the analysis now, and it went from a few days to : 27.9 weeks?! Yikes!

    That's just an estimate, but it's based on processing speed on your system. How long things takes depend a lot on

    1. What you ask beaTunes to do (fewer tasks -> faster processing)
    2. Some tasks depend on network lookups (faster Internet access -> faster processing)
    3. Some tasks need to read your audio files. When they are stored in a slow location (e.g. a network drive), things take a lot longer than they would, if they were stored in a fast location (internal SSD).

    This article is a little older, but explains fairly well what performance depends upon.

    It also keeps telling me that it is applying solutions, and asking if I want to quit.

    Not exactly sure what you mean with that. Screenshot?

    I deleted around 5k missing files thanks to the Apple Genius creating a new Automatically add to itunes folder in the wrong place that did not work.
    I cut those and put them in the right folder, which added them to iTunes. I
    deleted them, but they are still showing up in the analysis.

    You probably need to synchronize beaTunes with iTunes (File -> Synchronize).

    Should I force a close, and run the inspection to get rid of the duplicates(and triplicates) and then re run the analysis?

    Force closing beaTunes is almost always a bad idea. Try synchronizing first. Then (if beaTunes uses an iTunes based library) it should show the same songs that are also in iTunes.

    Hope this helps,

    -hendrik

  7. 7 Posted by Ker Bob on 12 Nov, 2017 09:16 PM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    I wrote a long rant about iTunes, Media Monkey etc.
    It also had some of my frustrations I've been having.

    I'd like to pick your brains a bit, and work out a best practice, step by step, guide for people like me who have a ridiculously large music library that is messed up thanks to iTunes. (trust me, there are a ton of us)

    My biggest frustration at this point is seeing how much great information beaTunes provides, and wanting to hurry up and get past the painful cleaning up, organizing and analysis/inspection stage to get to the fun parts.

    I'm sort of documenting the process as I go along, but I'd appreciate your help.

    Here's what I am doing at this point.

    Memory set at 6GB
    Cores set at 2
    Inspect first (only specific parts, not the whole thing) [I'm doing this to cut down on the analysis stage and make it less likely to crash. No point in analyzing missing files, or duplicates]
    First, missing files
    -remove missing files (that should be) permanently -commit solution (wait patiently, or do in small batches) -synchronize (ditto) Just finished this process, and I'm down 5,697 missing files now. no more (!) for me!

    Now, what would you recommend next?
    Work on the duplicates, or fix the spelling/formatting errors first. I suspect I have a lot of duplicate versions where there are misspelling or odd formatting errors that need to be cleaned up. I'm thinking that might be lower risk than just going in and deleting things?

    Or should I analyze next in batches of 1k or so at a time?

    Thanks again for your help. Pretty sure I am going to be giving a few copies of beaTunes as gifts to some of my friends once I get this process optimized.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by hendrik on 13 Nov, 2017 11:21 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    for people like me who have a ridiculously large music library

    How big is your library? 60k tracks?

    As far as I know, most library management softwares have issues once your collection exceeds a certain size. This may be earlier or later, depending on the software. The reason for this is simple. Most collections are less then 10,000 songs large, which is a size most of the apps should be able to handle easily.

    Once you have ridiculously large music library, i.e. hundred thousands of tracks, you run into a number of issues that are negligible when only dealing with 10,000 songs. E.g. maintaining sort indices for a couple of thousand songs is easy, even when you maintain multiple ones per column. Once your library gets super large, this becomes harder and harder, especially when you need to update those indices on a regular basis. In that case running beaTunes on a computer with a fast internal SDD, makes this somewhat easier, because the internal database is kept on that SSD. The same is actually true for the audio files. Keeping them on a fast drive with a fast interface to the computer makes things run a lot smoother.

    Inspect first (only specific parts, not the whole thing) [I'm doing this to cut down on the analysis stage and make it less likely to crash. No point in analyzing missing files, or duplicates]

    I guess with parts you mean, that you don't run all possible inspections, right? That's smart. Just because beaTunes can do something, does not mean that you should. Pick stuff that you want to fix, that you are actually interested in. Don't be a slave to the application.

    You should note a couple of things:

    1. If beaTunes says there is an issue, all that means is really that there could be a problem. It just makes you aware of this. Never assume that you have to fix something. Oftentimes, beaTunes finds something that's suspicious, but perfectly OK.
    2. Inspection is a two-step process. You first apply and later commit. Changes are only written upon commit. Please read more about this in this article.
    3. Note that often you can select multiple issues at once and apply one common solution. This will help you going through the issues much more quickly.

    First, missing files -remove missing files (that should be) permanently -commit solution (wait patiently, or do in small batches) -synchronize (ditto) Just finished this process, and I'm down 5,697 missing files now. no more (!) for me!

    I suppose that worked out well? Did you check in iTunes?

    Note that synchronization in beaTunes always means: beaTunes is reading changes from iTunes (actually, it's parsing the iTunes Library.xml file). If you are using an iTunes-based library, changes in beaTunes are always propagated to iTunes right away (no need to sync in that direction).

    Now, what would you recommend next? Work on the duplicates, or fix the spelling/formatting errors first. I suspect I have a lot of duplicate versions where there are misspelling or odd formatting errors that need to be cleaned up. I'm thinking that might be lower risk than just going in and deleting things?

    Duplicate detection takes advantage of audio fingerprints. That means, beaTunes will be able to determine that two files contain the same song, even if they are named completely differently. Audio fingerprints are part of analysis.

    So I would first run a limited analysis. Before you run the analysis, you need to decide whether you want to embed non-iTunes fields into your audio files (non-iTunes fields are all fields that iTunes cannot display, like key, color, fingerprints, etc.). The benefit is, that should the internal beaTunes database crash, you can re-read all values from your files. The disadvantage is, that bulk modifying increases the risk of messing up your files, plus, your disks need to write more data and analysis is therefore slower. The switch for turning embedding on or off is in the general preferences.

    So, analyze all songs, but select only the fingerprint task. Nothing else. Analysis should be relatively quick, depending on where your audio files are stored (a network drive is typically the worst case).

    Once you have fingerprints, run the duplicates inspection. Pay special attention to how the duplicate issue is described. beaTunes will tell you why it thinks a file is a duplicate. It's either based on a name, an id or acoustic similarity. Acoustic similarity and names are most reliable. Ids are often not reliable. E.g. many files have mislabeled ISRCs. So don't just blindly trust beaTunes! As mentioned before, check all the issues it suggests. Ask yourself, are they really problematic and need fixing?

    Or should I analyze next in batches of 1k or so at a time?

    No, just analyze the whole library with just the fingerprint task. Then go back to inspecting.

    Once you are happy with your metadata, you might want to look into other analysis features.

    If what you care most about is metadata, you might want to look into the import metadata task. Be very careful with that task!!! Unless you really know what you're doing, never have that task replace existing data. Most people deeply regret doing that.

    But if you have some songs that have garbage labels like "Track 1" or "untitled", select just those songs and ask beaTunes to replace their data (just the column that's bogus). You will get better than nothing metadata. Don't expect it to be perfect. beaTunes maintains a central database that's built with anonymized user submissions and data from public databases like MusicBrainz and Discogs. All the import metadata task does, is to try to match your track with a track in that database and then overwrite your tags. The data in said database is not perfect. Also, many tracks have been released on multiple albums. Just based on an acoustic fingerprint, one cannot know which album name is the correct one.

    If you're happy with your metadata and want to use beaTunes' playlist creation features, I recommend to run the tasks color, key, tempo and popularity (turn everything else off). Analysis of those four features should be fairly quick as well (though, nothing is really quick with 60k songs...). It will allow you to better use beaTunes features like "Play similar songs" (context menu). See also this blog post. In a second step, you might also want to analyze instrumentation and danceability as well. Those depend on third party services and require lots of network lookups, which means analysis can be fairly slow (that's why I recommending deferring those tasks).

    Last but not least, please be careful with your data. It's never a bad idea to create a backup before doing any kind of bulk editing or analysis!

    Well. Hope this shed some light on how to proceed. Please feel free to ask questions.

    Cheers,

    -hendrik

  9. 9 Posted by Ker Bob on 16 Nov, 2017 12:24 AM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    OK.
    Making progress.
    Everything has an acoustical fingerprint, and now I'm running Duplicate checks.
    19,746 Duplicates... 

    Here's where things get confusing to say the least.

    I look at the first duplicate on the list.
    It shows 2 files, identical fingerprint. Different add dates.
    When I look at the actual file location in beaTunes, it has one file in all caps, and the other with lowercase.

    But when I pull up the folder in Windows Explorer, there is only one copy of the file.

  10. 10 Posted by Ker Bob on 16 Nov, 2017 12:44 AM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    Here's an example of the odd duplicates I am getting.

    [image: Inline image 1]
    I'm not sure how I am getting 2 "versions" of a song from the same folder,
    when there is only one copy?
    It almost seems like iTunes is counting the Name, and the Title as 2
    separate instances maybe?

    I don't think I keep the older, and delete the older, as it's the same
    file.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks again for all the help! I'm making progress and learning a lot more
    about beaTunes as I go.

  11. Support Staff 11 Posted by hendrik on 16 Nov, 2017 08:25 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Hey Ker,

    this looks like you have two entries in iTunes for the exact same file (your file system seems to be case-insensitive).

    DO NOT apply any beaTunes duplicate removal solutions for those kinds of songs.
    You will end up deleting your ONLY file (most likely moved to the trash). And that’s definitely not what you want.

    I have not seen this case before, which is why beaTunes is ill-prepared to deal with it.

    Do you have many of these duplicates?

    -hendrik

  12. 12 Posted by Ker Bob on 16 Nov, 2017 08:17 PM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    When I ran this the other day, I had around 1900.
    I ran it again today after a restart, and had 835.

    I didn't do anything between yesterday and today...

    I also looked a bit closer at a few songs.

    Not only do I have duplicates where the file is in different cases, I have
    files where they are EXACTLY the same...

    [image: Inline image 1]

    The only difference is the add date.
    [image: Inline image 2]

  13. Support Staff 13 Posted by hendrik on 16 Nov, 2017 08:23 PM

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    The question is: what does it look like in iTunes?

  14. 14 Posted by Ker Bob on 16 Nov, 2017 08:50 PM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    2003 60 80 ALONG THE SANTA FE TRAIL 3:19 Glenn Miller 9/5/2017 1:37 PM
    11/13/2017
    6:56 PM 44.100 kHz DON Big Band 0
    2003 60 80 ALONG THE SANTA FE TRAIL 3:19 Glenn Miller 8/25/2017 2:19
    PM 11/14/2017
    4:06 AM 44.100 kHz DON Big Band 0
    [image: Inline image 1]
    Here's what's really weird.

    Songs I _know_ are duplicates, like the below?
    [image: Inline image 2]
    Don't show up as duplicates.

    Like I said, iTunes has done some crazy stuff to my music collection...
    The Genius at the Apple store said to set things up like this, and I wonder
    if not having the Media Folder organized caused some of this?

    [image: Inline image 3]

  15. Support Staff 15 Posted by hendrik on 17 Nov, 2017 08:38 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Like I said, iTunes has done some crazy stuff to my music collection... The Genius at the Apple store said to set things up like this, and I wonder
    if not having the Media Folder organized caused some of this?

    In my experience, allowing iTunes to keep the media folder organized and letting it copy files there leads to the best results. But it implies you are giving up control over where your files are store. That said, I actually don't care where the file is, as long as all metadata is in great shape. But that's a personal preference. If you are using other software than iTunes, like Traktor, you probably want to keep your filenames more stable.

    Regarding duplicate iTunes entries for the same file: That's a case beaTunes is ill-prepared to deal with. You may find duplicates like that with beaTunes, but as stated earlier, beaTunes won't help with fixing this, as it will attempt to delete the file.

  16. 16 Posted by Ker Bob on 21 Nov, 2017 02:01 AM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    Did some more research.

    It looks like I am getting Logical Duplicates.
    I found something that might help over on the Apple boards.
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/32133676#32133676
    "

    You're describing what I call logical duplicates, two or more entries in
    the library connected to the same physical file. The Windows file system is
    case insensitive so it is possible to get two differently cased versions of
    a song linked together. If you're letting iTunes manage file names it won't
    necessarily update the file path after a case only correction to the
    metadata.

    The DeDuper script mentioned above
    <https://discussions.apple.com/message/32133676#32133676> is capable of
    cleaning up logical duplicates, retaining one entry in the database,
    merging ratings, play counts, and playlist membership"

    I think I'll give this a shot to see what happens. 爛

    Also,

     I've had 2 weird things happen. The synch on window activation keeps
    reselecting, and the theme switches from dark to light. Any ideas why?

  17. 17 Posted by Ker Bob on 22 Nov, 2017 01:31 AM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    Things seemed to be progressing well. I had cut way down on missing files
    and a lot of duplicates.
    However,
     I started getting error messages that solutions could not be written, and
    then beaTunes crashed.

    When it reopened, I got the error messages below.
    [image: Inline image 1]

    Rebuild, or...?

  18. Support Staff 18 Posted by hendrik on 22 Nov, 2017 08:33 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    When repair failed, you unfortunately have no choice but to rebuild.

    That said, the reason mentioned in the dialog is curious to me. Can you please upload another set of logs?

    Thank you.

  19. 19 Posted by Ker Bob on 23 Nov, 2017 05:20 AM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    Sent.

    I went in and used the DeDuper script, which did a phenomenal job of getting rid of the many, many, many duplicates.

    Curse you iTunes!

    Seriously though, I went from a high of ~65k songs, to a much better 32k. Some songs were in there 4 and 5 times. Identically.

    So everything is rebuilt, and I'm still cleaning up, and tweaking. I've still got some duplicates, but they are different versions etc.

    Now I need to get things straightened out from the a folk.mp3 from Album BOB, and get them to the actual song, album BPM etc.

  20. Support Staff 20 Posted by hendrik on 23 Nov, 2017 09:46 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Sent.

    Thank you. When beaTunes attempts to repair a database, it first creates a backup of what's there, so that it can roll back the attempt. Apparently creating said backup didn't work. I assume because the file was still in use somehow (incomplete shutdown of a previous run).

    I went in and used the DeDuper script, which did a phenomenal job of getting rid of the many, many, many duplicates.

    Sounds like I have to take a close look at that and add logical dupe detection to the Duplicates inspector. Definitely a todo for beaTunes 6.

    But: good for you!

    After deleting that many files, you might simply want to recreate the beaTunes database via Tools -> Rebuilt Database. Most likely this will be faster than having beaTunes sync your library with 30,000 songs removed.

    Als, in the logs I noticed that "Synchronize on window activation" seems to be still on (or again)? Please turn that off. If it turns itself on again somehow, please let me know.

    Cheers,

    -hendrik

  21. 21 Posted by Ker Bob on 28 Nov, 2017 06:13 PM

    Ker Bob's Avatar

    Yeah, the DeDuper script is pretty impressive. But it's just a basic script. I do like that I basically select in iTunes and can run in batches, and it gives you a pretty nice breakdown of what it finds, and gives you some choices in how to handle.
    Might make a good plug in.

    I ended up having to rebuild the database. No worries really, I agree with your thought process. Better to start with a new database than try and defrag for lack of a better word, the existing database.

    Synchronize on Window Activation and the theme keep rechecking, and resetting to light theme respectively.

    I added some more tracks over the weekend, and when I just fired up beaTunes to add them, it reacted...oddly?

    The choice to analyze new tracks popped up, and it worked pretty well.

    Currently, once the analysis runs, everything disappears as it is processed. I'd love to be able to double check the results. I've notice a lot of my less accurately named files tend to not be handled well. Once the analysis is done, I have to try and match things up from the errors in analysis if anything didn't work. Maybe a third window with a unique id linking to the original track pre analysis?

    Since Analyze new tracks worked so well, I thought I would go ahead and inspect the new tracks. Bad move. beaTunes decided to inspect everything...

    A few weird things are happening now.
    1. Album Art. I had around 1200 entries for missing art.
    Went through, and then selected to embed it as appropriate.
    Clicked on pending solutions, and then Commit all solutions.
    Everything instantly committed?
    I Guess? It cleared everything out, and showed it as done.

    One thing I am trying to do is clean up the album titles. A lot of them are coming up under misspelled album art, but I'm not sure how to fix it.

    As an example, I have a ton of songs under the album "TOM".

    For some those are the actual album title, but for most it's not.

    When I run the inspect, it gives me a ton of different options. How do I go through the list and only apply it to the correct titles, and then pick the next suggested option from the reference library and apply it to the correct songs

  22. Support Staff 22 Posted by hendrik on 29 Nov, 2017 08:51 AM

    hendrik's Avatar

    Synchronize on Window Activation and the theme keep rechecking, and resetting to light theme respectively.

    That's a sign of the preferences (preferences2.xml) not being written properly... I wonder why that happens.

    Currently, once the analysis runs, everything disappears as it is processed.

    Yeah. It's work queue. Once things are processed, they are removed from the todo list.

    I've notice a lot of my less accurately named files tend to not be handled well. Once the analysis is done, I have to try and match things up from the errors in analysis if anything didn't work. Maybe a third window with a unique id linking to the original track pre analysis?

    I'm not sure what you're analyzing, but in case you are replacing any metadata (name, album, etc.), please be super-careful. I think I have mentioned this before: The data source isn't necessarily super reliable. Another review window does not make sense IMHO. Not if you can analyze hundred thousand of songs... If you like more control, open a single song with the Get Info dialog and take a look at the Info pane. There you may see items underlined in red. You can right-click on one of those items and correction suggestions will pop up. See attached screenshot.

    Since Analyze new tracks worked so well, I thought I would go ahead and inspect the new tracks. Bad move. beaTunes decided to inspect everything...

    It always inspects everything. That's because discrepancies are found in relation to all other songs in your library. Inspection currently does not use an external datasource. If too many issues pop up or inspection takes too long, just turn off the stuff that you're not interested in anyway (each inspector can be turned on and off in the preferences).

    A few weird things are happening now. 1. Album Art. I had around 1200 entries for missing art.
    Went through, and then selected to embed it as appropriate.
    Clicked on pending solutions, and then Commit all solutions.
    Everything instantly committed?
    I Guess? It cleared everything out, and showed it as done.

    That's odd. I've looked at your logs—embedding happened, but it certainly wasn't instantly.

    When I run the inspect, it gives me a ton of different options. How do I go through the list and only apply it to the correct titles, and then pick the next suggested option from the reference library and apply it to the correct songs

    The typo inspections usually don't do so well with very short names. So seeing a lot of crap for TOM does not surprise me.

    In the inspection view, you have three panels:

    1. The list of issues
    2. The possible solutions for the selected issue
    3. The songs that will be affected by the chosen solution

    All solutions you apply only affect the songs selected in the third (lower) panel.
    So if you want to apply one solution to just a couple of songs, first select the correct songs (sorting may help), then apply the solution. beaTunes will then ask you, whether this issue is completely solved. Click No and continue to apply another solution to a different set of songs. And so on.

  23. Support Staff 23 Posted by hendrik on 29 Nov, 2017 08:53 AM

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    Forgot to attach the screenshot... here it is.

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