UPL_remote software

UPL_remote software


UPL_remote is the software that runs on a pc/laptop as a remote control for the UPL96ETL but with full graphical user interface for:

  • importing ID3v2.3.0 track metadata including cover image from USB stick to database on pc
  • present a graphical grid view for showing CDs on currently inserted USB stick
  • present a graphical grid view for showing CDs that are already imported from other USB sticks
  • selecting a CD and see all tracks of selected CD
  • select a track and start playing this track
  • control block to play, pause, stop, next CD, previous CD, shuffle mode, and advance or go back for currently playing track (click on track timeline)
  • search for any available metadata on CDs on current USB stick and on the other imported CDs that are not on current USB stick and click to goto the CD info
  • display all metadata available per track in a separate window by clicking on hidden tag icon when hovering track title just before the track-time with mouse pointer.
  • delete a USB stick from the database (except the one that is currently inserted) so you can re-import any changes that you have made to that stick, e.g. change cover or add extra CDs, click on the hidden red trash can icon when hovering just after stick name when in the not on this stick CD view.
  • click on CD cover in grid view to goto CD view of clicked CD, click on cover in CD view to go back to grid view
  • when browsing CDs, click the now-playing CD to goto CD view of CD that is currently playing or is selected
  • the PC used to run UPL_remote does not have to be connected to internet and can be used stand-alone, choose a silent pc/laptop.
  • currently supported operating systems for UPL_remote: OSX 64 bit, Windows8/10 64 bit, Linux 64 bit.
  • when user selects an action (play/pause/stop) one request packet is sent to UPL96ETL and one response packet is sent back to the pc/laptop from UPL96ETL, then there is radio-silence until next action.
  • when UPL96ETL auto continues to next track or CD one packet is sent to UPL_remote software, then there is radio-silence until the next track.
  • UPL_remote software can be closed and if USB connection is not disconnected (power supply) the UPL96ETL will continue to play (sequential, shuffle CD or shuffle track mode), at any time you (re)start UPL_remote software while UPL96ETL is playing, click the "now playing" icon to see current CD.

Creating your first USB stick with ID3v2.3.0 wav files

Before you start converting music to be used with the UPL96ETL and UPL_remote software it is advisable to first try to create a single USB test stick with one or two test CDs.

For this we will use kid3 Audio Tagger software: https://kid3.kde.org/

This software will run on Linux/Windows/OSX.

It allows you to create and check ID3v2.3.0 tagged wav files, you will probably use other software like XLD (OSX) or dbpoweramp (Windows) to batch convert tagged lossless audio files to wav + ID3v2.3.0 but kid3 can be a valuable tool to check if other batch conversion software does the job correctly.

You can also use Kid3 to convert other tag formats to the required ID3v2.3.0 format for use with the UPL96ETL.

If you rip your music from the CDs you bought (not copied/modified/re-edited/digital remastered) you will have a very reliable source for your wav files.

Depending on your rip software to convert your CDs to wav files, you might need to convert to or add ID3v2.3.0 metadata to the wav files.

With Kid3 you can select your ripped CD folder and get all official metadata from multiple sources (Discogs, Amazon, MusicBrainz, gnudb and other) put into the wav files automatically, including cover art !

Please try to use cover art in a sensible way, do not select huge jpg/png cover images in the metadata tags.

Most conversion software will allow you to scale images down to a sensible size, somewhere around 50KB to 100KB and 500x500 px should be fine for JPG.

Although PNG cover images are supported by ID3v2.3.0, they are usually 8-10 times bigger !

This will cause a significant slowdown of import of USB stick metadata.

Normally you can expect to read about 1 CD every 2 to 3 seconds.

With PNG this will be a lot slower as the UPL has much more data to send to the UPL_remote software.

USB stick requirements

Please don't use cheap USB sticks, they often take ages to write files to stick, and sometimes are just not fast enough for the UPL96ETL to read. 44.1/16 files might have drop-outs, and high-res files might not play at all.

Please use a higher grade, e.g. Kingston DTSE9 G2 32/64/128 GB, upto 100MB/s read speed.

The USB stick needs to be formatted as FAT32, normally the USB-stick will already be formatted as FAT32, we recommend not to re-format the stick to FAT32 again.

EX-FAT is NOT supported.

USB stick folder structure

Note: this folder structure is required, if this structure is not used then the UPL96ETL will NOT work.

Note: the first 4 chars from the USB stick label are used as unique USB stick identifier so don't give sticks the same label !

The UPL96ETL supports 99 CDs with max. 99 tracks per CD on a single USB stick.

Both CD and track REQUIRE 2 digit notation, so 01, 02, 03 etc.

Split multiple CDs/SET in to separate CDs, the original tracks are still available in meta-data (e.g. TPOS).

In the root there can be max. 01..99 CD folders.

In each CD folder there can be max. 01..99 tracks wav files.

Both CDs and Tracks must start with 2 digits but after that you can use album name track name artist or any other text, note: this text will not be used by the UPL96ETL.

Only the first 2 digits for both cd/track are used to play track or extract metadata from tracks by the UPL96ETL

Example CD/Track layout on USB stick, first 4 chars of label could be used to categorize USB sticks, e.g. JZ for "JAZZ" or BL for "BLUES", the first 4 chars of each USB stick have to be unique !

USB stick label: JZ01

01 Casssandra Wilson - Another Country

01 Red Guitar.wav

02 No More Blues.wav

03 O Sole Mio.wav

04 Deep Blue.wav

05 Almost Twelve.wav

06 Passion.wav

07 When Will I See You Again.wav

08 Another Country.wav

02 Jenny Evans - Nuages

01 Mad About The Boy.wav

02 Remember Me.wav

03 Nuages.wav

04 Our Revels Now Are Ended.wav

05 Within You, Without You.wav

06 Flow My Tears.wav

07 I'm Alone After All.wav

08 The Feeling Of You.wav

09 Veris Leta Facies.wav

10 No Love Without Tears.wav

11 What Joy.wav

Install the UPL_remote software

Install the UPL_remote software using the links to the software on the bottom of this page.

Only install the UPL_remote software using these links and don't load them from any other url !

For OSX unzip the software and move the upl_remote software to Applications and start from there.

For Linux double-click the AppImage to start (you might have to set executable attribute to AppImage file).

For Windows run the Setup file and install.

Connect the UPL96ETL to the computer/laptop to be used as remote control for the UPL96ETL using USB cable, do not insert (test) stick yet !

The UPL96ETL uses the CP2102N communications chip. For Windows and OSX you will need to install a driver, Linux should contain driver as standard.

Download driver here: https://www.silabs.com/products/development-tools/software/usb-to-uart-bridge-vcp-drivers

For OSX and Linux you can select comm port by name in the UPL_remote software.

OSX: /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART

Linux: /dev/ttyUSB0 but you need to set permissions to get access to port. For Ubuntu/Linux: sudo adduser $USER dialout and reboot, for AppImage on favorites bar you will probably need to install the AppImage launcher and assign icon manually. Download UPL_remote app icon here: https://www.ecdesigns.nl/icon.png

For Windows you need to lookup the COM port after installing the driver.

Use the device manager and select Ports (COM & LPT) and locate "Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COM4)"

You should check which COM port is used for the CP210x, in this example it is COM4.

When you install the UPL_remote software it will startup with de settings page as there are no imported CDs available.

All metadata is stored in a database named "upl96etl.db" in your home directory and will be created automatically.

Initially there is no Hardware/Firmware version visible in the Settings section.

We will use these 2 fields to check for successful connection to the UPL96ETL.

Now choose a comm port using the Serial ports dropdown.

This is used to select the UPL96ETL comm port from the available comm ports.

Note: the "-" is normal state of dropdown box but the selected comm port is visible at Serial port name:

This port is stored in the database so you should only have to select the port once.

Press the Reload button after you have selected your comm port.

This should fill-in the Hardware and Firmware versions, if so then communication with UPL96ETL is ok.

If this fails, try to disconnect/reconnect UPL96ETL and try again.

If this still fails try to re-install driver and check if port is available.

If the UPL_remote software is connected to UPL96ETL there will be a message "Insert USB stick to use or to import" in the Messages section of the settings page.

Now you can insert the (test) USB stick you prepared as outlined above.

The message should now change in "Downloading new USB stick: JZ01"

Now the import of the inserted USB stick should begin.

If all goes well you should end-up with a CD cover grid of the CD/CDs on the USB Stick.

grid view

Using the UPL_remote software

The UPL_remote software is kept as simple as possible and can be used to play CDs (wav+id3v2.3.0) on the USB stick inserted into the UPL96ETL, show cover-art and check extra id3 data per track.

All known (imported) CDs that are not on the inserted USB stick can still be viewed (cover now has red diagonal line across cover art to indicate that CD is not on inserted USB stick) and metadata per track can still be displayed.

Searching works on complete database of al known tracks using all ID3v2.3.0 metadata available.

The result is split in two parts, the green results are on the USB stick that is inserted in the UPL96ETL, the red results are on the other USB sticks (not in UPL96ETL).

Click on the results to goto the found CD in CD view.

To show track metadata in CD view hover mouse just before the track time on the right, a tag icon will show, click to view the track metadata.

grid view

Remove stick from database

When importing USB-sticks you might discover missing cover-art, or maybe later on you want to add or remove some CDs to/from a USB stick, for this you will need to remove this USB stick from the upl96etl database. Then insert another USB-stick, now you can find the USB stick you want to change in the CD grid of CDs that are not on USB stick in the UPL96ETL (red diagonal line). Now Find a CD that is on the stick you want to remove. Click on CD en check if this clicked CD is on the USB stick you want to remove by checking USB stick name. Hover your mouse pointer just after the USB stick name and you will see a red trash can. Click on it to remove this USB stick from the database.

If you only have one (test) USB stick and want to update data in database you could also delete the whole upl96etl.db database in your home folder (as it will only contain the one stick you have). You then will have restart the UPL_remote software and select comm port again.

grid view

After modifying the USB stick, re-insert the USB stick into the UPL96ETL and it will be re-imported with new data.

Playing CDs

grid view

In CD view with the control block below the active/now playing CD you can start/pause/stop track, choose next track, choose previous track, choose next CD, choose previous CD, and choose shuffle mode (none -black-, CDs -green-, all tracks on all CDs -blue-). While in shuffle mode you can use the next track button and then the play button to skip to the next shuffled track.

The control block also shows a track time as a time line.

You can click anywhere on the time line to continue playing from that position.

Easy way to skip track is click near end of track, next track will be played.

When you are browsing through the CDs that are on the stick (CD View) you can hover with mouse over track number and click play icon to start playing this track.

When the UPL_remote software has focus, and you are in the CD view screen, then you can also use the space bar to play/pause current track.

All imported CD/track info is stored in the upl96etl.db database in your home folder.

If you want to move player to another PC, you could try to copy the database to the other PC to retain all metadata. The selected communication port is also stored in the database. You might have to set the communication port again if UPL96ETL will not connect.

Also, if you need to re-import all USB sticks again for some reason, you could delete the upl96etl.db.

A new empty db will be created when you start the UPL_remote software again, and you will need to re-select comm port.

Search in metadata

grid view

Use the search icon in the top left corner of the screen to find CDs that contain specific metadata.

You can search on normal metadata like ablum title, album artist and track name.

Depending on how many metadata was inserted into the wav file you might also be able to search for things like year, genre, commercial info, artist website, catalog number, involved people list etc.

After selecting search wait for the cursor to appear in the search field. Then type the text to search for and press Enter.

If metadata was found the results will be shown, the green results are found on stick that is currently in the player. The red results are found in the database but are not on the inserted stick.

Click on any result to goto the CD that contains the metadata. If it is from the green results you can directly play the CD.

Links to software download

Apple: https://www.ecdesigns.nl/upl_remote-1.0.0-osx.zip

Linux: https://www.ecdesigns.nl/upl_remote-1.0.0.AppImage

Windows: https://www.ecdesigns.nl/upl_remote-1.0.0-Setup.exe