The Songbook plugin is an indispensable tool for LOTRO musicians who play in bands. Here is a modified version of the plugin, The Badger Chapter, with lots of added functionality!
Nimelia has adapted the original Songbook plugin, fixing bugs and added new functionality very useful for LOTRO musicians. Please note that Songbook: The Badger Chapter has now gotten a static page, where any new versions will be released. Further comments on the plugin should be added there, since comments on this blog post have been closed. Please visit the Songbook page here!
[…] Edit 12 December: Songbook has been updated to v0.94. Get the new version here! […]
Great work, Nimelia! And thanks for the hosting, Lina!
Minor point, the panel still shows 0.93 at top
Oh, do you use the full or the patch version, and how did you install? I have it showing 0.94 here.
It should show 0.94 in both versions – make sure you unpacked the files directly into the plugins directory, not into the Chiran/ or ChiranBB/ folder.
The Songbook.plugin file in Chiran/ (or ChiranBB/) should contain 0.94 as the version number.
Aha! If you use the patch version, I made the file so you need to zip it into your plugins folder, not Chiran. And I didn’t write that in the instructions above. Corrected now!
I’m having a problem, most likely me being dense :-) Here’s what I did:
I put my old Chiran and ChiranBB folders in the trash. There were then no Chiran folders in Documents/Lotro/Plugins.
I downloaded the new SongbookBB 0.94 (NOT the patch) and unzipped it so that now I have a ChiranBB folder in the Plugins folder dated 15/01/2015.
I ran the game and typed /plugins load songbookbb.
Version 0.93 loaded.
Also, the game Plugin manager panel, which I access with F7, shows version 0.93.
I’ve quit and restarted the game, unloaded and reloaded Songbook, but the problem persists. What am I doing wrong?
OK I’ve got the game plugin manager to see 0.94 (hooray!), by deleting a Lotro text file in Plugins that said there was an error.
Does it show 0.94 in-game too? (on the top line) If so, yer should be good to go.
Alternatively, see that you have the new added functions by opening settings and see if there is a tick box called “Highlight” under the Badger settings. Unless my memory is all fuddled, this option is new with 0.94.
Ah, dang, that is the lotroplugin.xml file from the original Songbook. I updated it for the first version, but forgot this time. However, this file was only needed back when the original
Songbook was released. It is actually obsolete now due to changes in how plugins are handled, and can be safely renamed or deleted.
Sorry about this confusion!
No problem! I worked it out in the end. Sorry to have panicked and bothered you all :-)
No bother at all – quite the contrary, we need feedback on issues like this one. Myself, I never noticed it because I don’t use the plugin manager. So, indeed, thanks for pointing it out!
Would this work on a Mac? I think not since the songfiller is .exe… But Perharps there are any mac users who know of a way?
There will be a Mac version of both the Songbooker and the Songbrowser soon(-ish).
Oh fantastic!!! When I use my Mac (not often) for Lotro the one thing I can’t do is refresh Songbook, having no Windows on the Mac.
Great work! This will make things so much easier with playing music.
Thanks! Do let us know if yer run into any issues, or if yer have suggestions for improvements!
Hullo! I’m having a problem with my songs. Lots of my songs, when I try to play them, it says it’s at .txt, not at .abc. But when I go to the folder, it is at .abc. Do you know why it could be?
Sounds like an orange problem to me…
Hm, I haven’t run into this meself, will see if Nimelia has any insight. Some things:
– Did you use the full SongbookBB install, or did you patch an old version of Songbook? (by now, it is probably easier to just delete your old plugin and install the full SongbookBB)
– What data filler do you use to scan your Songbook Data? Nimelia’s Songbooker?
Besides rebooting and reloading, or delete the plugin and install a fresh copy of it, one thing to try is:
– go into the Plugindata directory (not Plugins, but Plugindata)
– then the folder with your account name
– then to Allservers (alternatively, just the server name you play on)
– make copies of SongbookData.Plugindata and SongbookSettings.Plugindata/SongbookSettingsBB.Plugindata you should find there
– then deleting them.
Then rescan your song data into Songbook and try again?
Hmm, do you have file extensions set to show in Windows explorer?
Could you right-click on one of those files, select ‘properties’, and check what it says for the file extension? The only reason for this I can think of is that those files actually have two extensions, *.abc.txt, and the .txt part is hidden, so it looks like an .abc file.
If it’s not that, please send me one of those files, so I can have a look!
Hullo! Responding to the questions:
– I install the new full songbookBB. Do I erase Chiran?
– I used songbooker of Nimelia.
– In response to Nimelia, I looked to properties and it says it´s an ABC file. Where do I send you one of the files?
And thanks for all the help, sorry for all this troubles!
Hullo again! I’ll send yer an email; if you have a few files, just wrap them in a zip file and send them back to me at
and I’ll make sure Nimelia gets a copy.
Another thing to check is if the information fields (title, author etc) in the ABC contains any special characters (umlauts, Scandinavian æøå, or similar). That borked Songbook playback for me back in the day – I can’t recall if it was the same error message though.
Hullo!! Yes, miss Nimelia found it… As you say, it was a special character that it didn´t let it read it properly. Thanks a lot and some biscuits and pies are on the way for the help!
Good to know it works now! Though somehow, only the pies arrived. I wonder what happened to them biscuits …
Also, I did what Lina said of deleting the pluging data and rescaning, and had the same problem again.
I absolutely love these enhancements!!! I did discover a potential opportunity for enhancement :) It seems that something is missing from building the library in songbooker on a laptop that has never has Songbook installed. It always seems to come up with no music library found when I install Songbook 93 or 94 on a fresh machine. My workaround is to download Songbook 92 and run the songbook html application first then everything works after that. Songbooker with refresh the library as expected after the initial install.
Ah, that is a bug in the Songbooker, which has been fixed already – we will upload the new version soon. The problem only occurs on an account where Songbook has never been used, so I never noticed this unfortunately.
Hmmm, I wonder… Was miss Lina who delivered you the pies? *giggles*
The White Flames band thanks you for making this splendid improvement of the Songbook. We now officially use it, and on tonight’s rehearsal we will try it out for all band members. After next music system update we will go through ALL songs in Songbrowser (so far just a few to test) to use the full potential of the program.
So far we noticed a possible error or bug:
There is something that makes the player check not working prefectly on all songs. It tells that some players have chosen the wrong instrument or part even if it is right – the player is “red”. We are trying to figure out what in our files is causing this error. First we thought it was the “T:” line that had too long information in some files, but some songs that have shorter T-lines can show the same error.
I will get back with more info on this when Aifel and I figure out the cause of it.
When running songs through Songbrowser two new files are created for each song, which means each song have 3 files in the music directory: “songname.abc”, “songname.original” and “songname.backup”. I can understand why this is done, but it causes some confusion among band members if I don’t delete the extra two files for each updated song (a lot for 500 songs!). All three files show up for each song in SongbookBB when using it.
Do you have any suggestion to avoid the duplications of files?
Besides the above mentioned we are most satisfied and grateful that you are sharing this program. Send hugs and waves to Nimelia for such a great job!
Thank you for the feedback, miss Trincia, it is good to hear it is of use to yer! Please let us know if you track down what causes the player check issue. I’ll see if Nimelia has any insight to offer, she is the expert here *smiles*
The Songbrowser backup files were introduced when the tool was made, I believe as a safety since it writes directly into ABC files that has taken a lot of time to prepare. Now, I have not heard of any problems introduced by using Songbrowser yet, so it could perhaps be time to disable that function (or, if possible, make it an option to turn on or off)?
Thank you for your quick response, Miz Lina! On the rehearsal yesterday I spent most time on introducing new musicians, but had a short time playing with the others. For some reason none of us in the band had any problems with names showing in red. The colours were showing exactly right in every song. So I still don’t have a clue what has caused this before. The difference yesterday was that we were 5-8 in the band, while we have been 3-5 when having the players showing in red.
We noticed a new thing though: If a musician needs to change instrument for next song, books his part in next song BEFORE the old song is over, it shows the right colour even if it is wrong instrument. After the song is over he needs to swap instrument, but the Songbook doesn’t show that he is off his instrument. Leader can therefore start next song without one player. The Songbook only shows that a musician goes off his instrument if clicking the Player button. The refresh function with the Player button is of course a very good function, but we noticed that we also need to check with our eyes around in the band that everybody is really playing before starting the song. Musicians are also told to not book any parts if they are not ready. – This is only a note for people to look out for. Routines and rules are important to have in the band, and we are learning some new rules with the SongbookBB :)
An option to turn off or on duplicated files is a good suggestion in Songbrowser. The option would be good to have for beginners.
I love this program!
Hullo Miss Trincia, and thanks for the feedback!
Those backup files I created originally because I was a little paranoid about Songbrowser modifying song files. I will make them optional in the next version, or perhaps create them in a separate directory. For now, I normally sort the directory for file extension afterwards, and just summarily delete all .original and .backup files. But it is indeed still a hassle if there are many different subdirectories.
As for the ready check, if you manage to replicate that with a particular ABC file, please send me that file, so I can have a look at it. It can happen with file names that contain special characters (like accents in french or umlauts in german), which throw Songbook off. The length of the track name should not matter, as the game client shortens it anyway for the ready message.
Unfortunately, when a player drops out of music mode, Songbook currently has no way of telling. It only reads the chat messages (” is ready to play “, but no message is printed when a player drops out of music mode. I believe I did briefly look into whether I can detect this state change, but did not find a quick way to do that – will check that again for the next version.
The link to the full version of v0.94, from the text “SongbookBB v0.94”, seems to be broken. The link is “http://www.linawillow.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SongbookBB-v094.zip”.
Thanks! There was a bit of overzealous spring cleaning the other day. Should be fixed now (new link, though). http://www.linawillow.org/home/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/songbookbb-v094.zip
Hullo! *waves* – A kinmate in the LMB has a suggestion about the instrument buttons which I promised to forward to you guys:
With the upcoming addition of two more instruments it would be very nice if the button row could wrap around (and then have two lines of buttons) when the songbook window is resized into a narrow column. I think this would help folks to manage instruments on Full HD and smaller screens. Perhaps this is doable?
Hullo! I’ll let Nimelia know (unless she’s seen already). Might have to look into a few other things with Songbook with the upcoming instrument changes too.
Aye, some modifications will be needed anyway, I will look into that too while I’m at it. Thanks for the suggestion!
I have a similar request ~ as there are more instruments than slots, might it be possible to increase the number of instrument slots? (And perhaps build in some reduntant slots in case of more new toys?) Personally I find it very handy to just click those buttons to change instrument and to start/stop playing.
Many thanks for all your hard work on this invaluable tool!
I believe Nimelia is working on the next update, so let’s see what is possible there!
(I tried posting a few hours ago, but kept getting timeout errors. I apologise if this appears more than once.)
I’m curious about the “Custom Commands” features in the Settings. I can add/edit/remove them, but I cannot figure out how to execute them. It does not appear to be documented.
Also, an alias for Artist (Composer) would be nice.That way, when the audience asks “What song is this?”, I could have a command set to say “Skyddles is now playing Bathed in Bear Grease (1:32) by Nasty Nuns” instead of “Skyddles is now playing Bathed in Bear Grease (1:32) – Pibgorn 3 (second overdrive)”. (Or, if I set a ;band alias, emote “Skyddles says Waltzing Wargskinners are now playing O What a Beautiful Beorning by Counting Crebain.”.)
Also, having some way to see the filter-tag info (#Parts, Artist, Genre, Mood, Author) for each song (perhaps as a popup?) would be useful.
If that is possible, it would also be handy to have a “N: Memo:” tag (but not for filtering). That way, you could see notes to yourself like “This is that alternative version from Three Stoned Trolls band” or “substitute Lute for MM Harp if not including the Flute part” or “Lyrics file is ForochelBayBlues.txt” or “22.Jul.15 version 4.16c”).
Custom commands is a leftover from the original Songbook plugins. The different commands can be cycled with the mouse wheel when your mouse is over the “S” (short for Share) button.
For the other requests for functionality, I’ll let Nimelia know when she’s relaxed and eager to tinker again after the summer vacations!
The images in the documentation shows 11 instrument quickslots, I only find 8 in SongbookBB (same as it was in Chiran Songbook). Have I installed it incorrectly (perhaps my plugin is using one of the Chiran files instead of the Badgers version), or is the increase of quickslots not included in the current release? (I installed the complete version, rather than patching my existing one. If it is supposed to show 11 slots, I will try try reinstalling it but with the Chiran plugin completely removed.)
If I am not mistaken, adding extra quickslots was part of the original Songbook plugin. You have to manually add the extra slots yourself. You can do so in the “Settings” panel, go down to “Instrument Slot Settings”, then click the “Add” button to add extra slots.
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Hiya, got a weird problem when writing the plugindata. Songbooker goes through the process as normal but when in game I get an error message about the file. On examining the file, there are a couple of lines with just a , (comma) in the line. After deleting the comma things run OK.
What is weird is this is only happening on my laptop; my desktop does not get the error. Go figger!
Are you using Songbooker 0.94? Or the 0.94b beta? If the former, some improperly constructed ABC files (there are a few in LMB Playlist) will cause Songbooker to write data that the SongbookBB plugin cannot parse.
Make sure you’re using 0.94b (or 0.94a) on both machines. If you already are, the development team work probably like to have a peek at the problematic files.