Play mode

Essential reading


Metadata (first two paragraphs)



Use Play mode to see all the metadata associated with a recording, including the cover art. Select mode presents only the metadata that are essential for making a selection (the “primary metadata”). To facilitate selection of the desired work, we want Select mode to present metadata for as many recordings as possible. The best use of limited screen space is to present only primary metadata and to present the primary metadata in its short form (for example, “Mozart”). In Play mode, the limited screen space is available to display all the metadata for the selected recording. You will see the primary metadata in its long form (“Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart”), the secondary metadata (any metadata not essential to making the selection), and the cover art.



The left panel on the Metadata tab has four regions. The first two apply to the work and the second two to the current track. Each pair starts with a row that includes a progress bar. The progress bar at the top of the left panel provides a visual indication of progress through the work. Remember that each item in the play queue corresponds to a work and typically specifies more than one track. Thus, progress through the work is usually different from progress through the playing track (which is conveyed by the lower progress bar).

Below each progress bar is space for metadata. The space below the progress bar for the work is for metadata related to the work. The space below the progress bar for the track is the metadata for the track – the title of its track group (if any), metadata for the track group, the title of the track, and any metadata specific to that track. You can use this space to convey information such as the names of special artists who appear only on one track or of the composer and lyricist who wrote the song. Wax adjusts the size of this panel automatically to accommodate the track metadata.

Both progress bars have an associated button for viewing a time. Clicking the button cycles the displayed time through time remaining (shown with a - sign), time elapsed (shown with a + sign), and total time (no sign). The button to the far right of the work progress bar skips to the next item in the play queue. The corresponding button for the track skips to the next track in the current play queue item.

Click in the track progress bar to adjust the play time. As a convenience, if you click near the beginning, Wax will jump to the beginning of the track.

If you stored PDF documents (such as liner notes) for the recording (see documents), a button appears labeled “Docs”. Clicking it opens a menu with a list of the documents. When you select the one that you want to view, Wax opens a document viewer with the document automatically loaded. You can view the document by connecting your remote desktop viewer to Wax at the appropriate port.

Likewise, if you stored additional JPG images (such as the back cover of the jewel box), a button appears labeled “Images”. Click the button to open a menu with a list of the images and then select the one that you want to view. Wax opens an image viewer with the image automatically loaded which you can view at the appropriate port. Note that the image that you specified for the cover art (which is always named “cover.jpg”) does not appear on the menu because you are already viewing the cover in the Wax interface itself.

The covers that appear at the bottom of the right panel depict the play queue. Click on a cover to view the metadata for that recording.

Normally, Wax switches automatically to Play mode from Select mode when you activate play with the first item in the play queue selected. You can turn this behavior off, though, in Config mode (uncheck “Autoswitch to play”). You can also switch to Play mode manually whenever a recording is selected by using the Mode menu. There are also shortcuts for switching to Play mode: double-click on a recording in the list of recordings, in the play queue, or in the search results.

It is important to understand that the progress bars and control functions in Play mode apply to the recording at the top of the play queue – the one that is actually playing (or stopped). If you enter Play mode with a recording selected that is not at the top of the play queue or if you select a different recording while you are in Play mode (by clicking its cover in the play queue or by using the keyboard shortcuts described in the next tip), the progress bars and control functions will not be visible. If you ever find the display in this state when you actually want them to be visible, click the leftmost cover below the cover art to restore the selection to the recording that is playing. If you created a play queue with more than one item, Wax automatically selects the one that is playing as play progresses, assuring that the display and control functions remain visible.


There is a potential source of confusion related to the visibility of the progress bars and controls. Suppose that there is an item in the play queue. If you select the same recording from the list of recordings but with a different selection of tracks and then switch to Play mode, the progress bars and controls will not be visible. The difference in the set of tracks makes the recording that you just selected different from the one at the top of the play queue. You can anticipate the result by observing that the item in the play queue is not selected when you make your selection in the panels on the left.


When you are in Play mode, you can use Page Up and Page Down to select the next or previous item in the list of recordings in Select mode. ctrl-Up and ctrl-Down serve the same purpose; they are mainly for Apple users.


You can rearrange the rows of metadata by dragging them to the desired position. The metadata will display in the new sequence whenever you view them in Play mode.



The Props panel lists the properties. The first two groups contain automatic properties. Wax assigns values to the automatic properties in the first group when you save a recording. It assigns values to the automatic properties in the second group when you start ripping a CD or when you import files. The third group is for any user properties that you defined. You can rearrange user properties by dragging them to the desired position (within the third group).


The Wikipedia panel provides information downloaded from Wikipedia about the recording. Wax offers a choice of items to download on a dropdown list. The items on the dropdown list are obtained from the primary metadata. To look up an item not on this list, select “<Search>”. It is also possible to navigate using hyperlinks on the web page.




The Files panel provides information about the files comprising the recording. The first line (in blue) is the directory (in the sound folder). The next lines are the names of the actual sound files; they correspond to the tracks of the original CD that you ripped or the tracks that you imported. The track listing will include all the tracks that you ripped from the corresponding CD. The tracks on the recording currently selected will appear in white and any others in gray. You will also see image files (in green) – including “cover.jpg”, the file containing cover art – and document files (liner notes, most commonly) if any of these things are associated with the recording. If the recording encompasses more than one CD, then you will see additional blocks of directory name/sound files. The listing concludes with the total size of all the sound files.


If you click on a directory name (or anywhere in the block corresponding to the directory name), Wax will copy the directory name to your clipboard. If you ever need to use the file manager to examine the directory, you can navigate to sound and then paste the directory name into the navigation entry.


In Play mode, the Options menu offers one choice: “Finish item on track done”. Do you hate stopping the music in the middle? If you want to abort playback of the current item in the play queue but you want to do it gracefully, select this option. It will stop playing the current item after finishing the current track. If there are other items in the play queue, Wax will continue with the next item. If you want play to stop at the end of the current track, be sure to delete any other items in the play queue.