Configuring bliss for the first time

Enough of the theory, let's get practical! The very first thing you'll want to do is install bliss. Download it by clicking the button below and running the installer. If you're using a Mac, you can just open the .dmg file and run that direct.

Once installed, start bliss from (Windows) the Start menu or desktop, (Mac) the Dock or the downloaded .dmg file, (Linux) the menu, desktop or the command line. Once started, visit the user interface (UI). Either click the bliss icon in the system tray or open a Web browser and point it to http://localhost:3220 An external link (if you are running bliss on the same computer as the browser).

You configure bliss using the 'settings' page of the UI. The first time bliss runs you'll get the option for a tour, on which the the settings page is automatically opened. Otherwise, click the 'cog' link at the top right . The settings page allows you to specify where your music is and allows you to specify and configure your rules.

first screen settings
The settings pane expanded, on the first use of bliss
As bliss is delivered in your Web browser, the exact appearance depends on the Web browser you use. The Web browser used for the screenshots in this tutorial is Google Chrome.

First, locate your music. This is the root folder of all your music files. For instance, you may have your music files in folders for artists or albums. Choose the folder that is the parent of those folders. On Windows and Mac, this will be pre-populated to the default music location, but you may wish to change it. Use the 'Browse' button to navigate through the folders on the computer bliss is installed on.

Remember: bliss might be installed on another computer in your network, so the 'Browse' button shows the folders on the computer bliss is running on, not the folders on the computer you are accessing bliss from.

Now, time to configure our first rule. I said we would manage cover art in this quick start guide, so under Cover art click the ON/OFF button. This shows the available cover art rules:

Cover art rule settings
Cover art rules

In the new box, there's a list of different nuances that can be applied as cover art rules. The first is the 'Saved artwork filename'. bliss can save cover art image files co-located in each album directory. This is the first part of the file's name, the second and final part being the image type extension, such as .jpg, .gif etc. Common settings for this are 'folder' or 'cover' which result in 'folder.jpg' or 'cover.jpg' or similar.

Note that, also, the Saved artwork filename box can be left empty, which means bliss won't save any separate image files, or more than one image name can be entered, so it saves more than one file in each album folder. To separate file names, use the [TAB] or the comma key (this is to allow filenames with spaces to be entered).

Next, there's 'Embed cover art in music files'. Embedding art is, I believe, generally a good thing. I would suggest leaving this on 'Embed art where possible', but choose 'Ignore' if you prefer. If you want to eradicate all traces of embedded art, choose 'Remove all embedded art'.

The embedded art rule is a good example of how bliss is configured to manage your music collection in a 'declarative' way. It is tempting to think of this configuration as setting up a 'batch job' which, initially, it pretty much is because all the rules are applied in batch when bliss runs. However, what you're really doing is telling bliss what it means in order that your music be compliant, i.e. "my music is compliant if all cover art is embedded". It re-applies these rules when albums are added or they change.

There are more rules to configure, hopefully self explanatory, but for now let's move on!

Now, click the 'Apply rule' button and bliss begins the assessment and automatic fix cycle.


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