How to install MeloSpySuite (Win)

Just Do It

  1. At first download the latest MSI installer file

  2. Execute the installer and follow the instructions. Default location is the system drive, e.g., C:\MelosSpySuite on most systems.

  3. The installer prompts you to restart, this is necessary in to order to make the commandline tools contained in the MeloSpySuite available system-wide.

  4. The installer also installs a icon “Start MeloSpySuite…” on your desktop. By clicking this icon, a commandline window (“MS-DOS-box” for short, also called “console”) will be opened in the MeloSpySuite/demo subfolder of the MeloSpySuite.

  5. Another way to get a MS-DOS console is by typing “cmd” in the execute field in the Windows start menu. However, you might need to change your working directory manually then.


Handling the commandline tools in the MeloSpySuite requires some basic understanding of MS-DOS. So let’s go.

– Begin of a really very short MS-DOS primer –

MS-DOS is (or better was) the operating system for PCs by Microsoft introduced in the 1980s. Nowadays, MS-DOS is provided with Windows systems merely for backwards compatibility. Operation systems handle the very basic stuff on a computer: Files and other input/output devices, execution and administration of programs, system configuration, etc.

The main user interface is the MS-DOS console (modelled on the more powerful UNIX shells). At the prompt, the user can start programs or issue built-in commands, such as listing directory contents, deleting and renaming files, formating the hard drive, etc. For using the MeloSpySuite tools, one basically only needs to know how to change a directory (MS-DOS command cd), how to list directories (command dir), and – most importantly – how to start programs. Batches, which are simple text file containing a list of MS-DOS commands, might be sometimes useful, too.

To start programs (having the famous extension .exe, which can be omitted), it is only necessary to type the name of the program at the prompt and to hit “Return”. (The same is true for batches, which are a kind of “MS-DOS programs”.) However, most of the time you have to provide some arguments to the program to tell it what to do exactly. The name of the program and all arguments are separated by blanks to enable MS-DOS to find out what is meant. Arguments come in two varieties: Options and positional arguments. Options start with an option switch. For MS-DOS command, such as dir, options start with a slash / followed by some specifier, mostly a single letter. For the MeloSpySuite tools option switches begin either with a hyphen - directly followed by a single letter (so-called short options), or with two hyphens -- and a string of text (long options). Often, but not always, there are both long and short options available for argument. Often, but not always, the option switch is followed by a parameter value, a number or a string of text. Option switch and option parameter are also separated by a blank.

For example, melfeature --config ../config/melfeature.yml will start melfeature with the --config option (short form is -c), where the parameter is ../config/melfeature.yml, which is the name of a configuration file. Ah, yes, there are some special symbols, one need to know: .. as in the example means “the directory above” or “one directrory up”. The symbol . means “this directory. Moreover, wildcards can be used for file and directory names. The asterisk * stands for “any string fo character, even no character at all”, and ? is a stand-in for “exactly one arbitrary character”. For example, the MS-DOS command dir /B *.yml will list all files ending with .yml in the current directory, displaying just the name, as specified by the /B option.

Few more helpful thing: It is customary for console programs to provide a help option, either -? as the short form or --help as the long form. This will usually display some information on how to use the program and the available options. Working with the console, the TAB key might save some typing time. After typing some few character, hitting the TAB will provide you with possibly completions based on the file names in the current directory. And you can get your issued commands back by pushing the cursor up and down keys, which let’s you navigate in your command history. Saves even more typing, yeah.

Last but not least, and not forgotten: Positional arguments are just options with a parameter but without an option switch.

– End of really very short MS-DOS primer –.

More comprehensive and better MS-DOS tutorials can be found on Google.

Folder structure

After installation, the following folder structure should be found in your installation directory:

  • The analysis folder is empty and just a suggestion, but is actually used by the demo batches in the demo subfolder.

  • The bin subfolder contains all the executables, i.e., the actual programs, as well as a large number of necessary prorgam libraries.

  • The config folder contains several subfolders for each of the MeloSpySuite tools, which in turn contain sample configuration files, which are used by the demos and which can also serve as a starting point for own analyses. Moreover, the config folder contains the sub-directory feature_definitions with 93 Feature Definition Files that are to be used with melfeature.

  • The data subfolder contains only two single files: wjazzd.db and esac.db which contains the Weimar Jazz Database and a version of the well-known Essen Folk Song Collection. Both files are actually SQLITE3 databases.

  • The demo folder contains four demo batches, cf. Demo batches below.

Demo batches

The demo batches were included to give a first impression about the possibilites of the MeloSpySuite. After clicking the desktop icon “Start MeloSpy…”, an MS-DOS console will open in the demo subfolder. You might now want to type one of the following commands: demo_all_features/demo_all_features_de, demo_meta_data/demo_meta_data_de, demo_midi_export or demo_pattern_search, and after hitting Return see what is happening. If you are using a German Excel or other spreadsheet program, you should use the _de version to have the demo results to be displayed properly. If you want also a nifty explanation of this demos, have a look at the melfeature tutorial for the first two demos, tutorial for the other demos will follow soon, in the mean time you might want to refer to the corresponing documentation of melconv and melpat.