Aug 122016

There have been some major changes in my life over the last couple of years and work on Digital Fake Book had come to a standstill, but over the last few months I’ve been working on version 2 as time has allowed. I’ve decided to skip some of the planned features for the moment in the interest of getting something released.

I’m now calling on anyone who’s interested in playing with a potentially buggy version to volunteer to beta test it for me.

Digital Fake Book 2 – Main New Features: (edited November 2018)

  • Autocue. A larger font is shown and will scroll in time with a linked audio file. If you don’t want an audio file playing, then there is a silent file supplied that can be used. Basically, you mark which lines should be centralised at various points on the media file time indexes and Digital Fake Book will scroll the text smoothly to attempt to achieve it.
  • Basic MIDI events that can be sent on song load, playback start or at set times. Mainly used for selecting the correct patches on MIDI equipment, but could also be used for some basic controlled lighting with a MIDI to DMX converter.
  • User configurable keyboard shortcuts. Also, more functions have keyboard shortcuts available.
  • Fonts can be selected on a song-by-song basis. These must be fixed width fonts as chords will not align properly with proportional fonts. Digital Fake Book will allow any fixed width font on your system to be used. Many fonts are available free to download if you search Google.
  • Two different highlight colours can be used.
  • Each song can have a memo to allow reminders when the song loads. The memo can be made to show manually or automatically when a song is loaded.
  • View Song button allows loading a song directly from the right-hand master song list. This means you can handle an audience request and when you then move to the next song you are back at your current playlist’s next song.
  • Song List Filter: A new filter in the song list window allows filtering songs containing the entered text in the title.
  • Drag and drop reordering of songs and sets.
  • Adding songs to a set will insert at the current position instead of at the end.
  • Alphabetical sort function for songs.
  • Command line option /SET: added to load a particular set at startup.
  • A few new high contrast themes.
  • Fully user configurable themes. Set all your own colours or modify the built-in ones.
  • A clock is optionally shown in the top right of the Digital Fake Book main window.
  • A large media playback counter that can be set to current time or remaining time.
  • Digital Fake Book can be optionally prevented from accidentally moving to another song while a media file is playing.
  • Up to 2 media files can now be linked and switched between. I use this to link a backing track for performance and also the original for reference and learning the song.
  • The start point for media files can be set so that playback starts at the right spot, for example if there is a few seconds of silence at the beginning of the file, this silence can be skipped.
  • An optional pop-up media tool bar with larger buttons to aid people using touch screens.
  • Recently played list option. Shows which songs have been recently played.
  • Marker on songs played during the current session. The song lists will show which songs have been played during the current run of Digital Fake Book so you don’t forget and accidentally play them again.
  • The automatic sets ([All Songs Alphabetical], [All Songs Random] and the new [Recent Songs]) can now be individually hidden if you have no use for one or more of them.
  • Many more functions can now be controlled by foot switches.
  • Native support for the upcoming ASV3340 8 Channel USB Switch Controller. You can use up to 8 foot switches (or other switches) to control Digital Fake Book.

  56 Responses to “Digital Fake Book – Version 2 Beta”

  1. Hi Mike.
    I am testing the MIDI Events but I dont understand something. As I mentioned it before, I`d like to use the DFB to recall the registrations on my arranger module. The module has 4 banks of registration, each bank 1024 registration. What I have to do is to send Controller 0/ Bank number and program change number (1-128)on midi channel 16. The first 128 registration reacts withoth setting the bank number. For the next 128 registration I have to send the next midi message on Midi channel 16= controler 0 / Bank 1/ Program change 1-128. Than bank 2 will do the next 128 registration, bank 4 the next…..and so on. I dont know how to insert those messages, MIDI data 1 Midi data 2? I tried some combinations but till now no results.
    Setting the midi device and midi chanel as default woud speed up the process .

    • Hi Eddie,

      I’ve already added persistent device selection to the next beta I’m currently working on and will also persist the channel. I’ll be releasing it in a few days. I need to track down at least one new bug I’ve found first.

      If I’m understanding you correctly, to do what you want you’ll need to send 2 events. Firstly a Bank Select message (usually CC32, but sometimes CC0) and then the program change message.

      So your for first event you would choose “Control Change” and enter 32 (or 0) in Data1 and whatever bank number (0 or 1) in Data2. Then, for the second event you would choose “Program Change” and put the program number in Data1.

      Incidentally, program change messages run from 0 to 127, not 1 to 128, so you may have to subtract 1 to get the correct program.

      If you’re still having problems with this, can I ask that you contact me by email to work through it.
      Even better would be to communicate through the mailing list so other beta testers can follow along and maybe contribute.


      • Hi Mike.
        Thank you for a quick reply. It is all clear now. The arranger does not respond to midi messages on usb midi port via standard USB cable (maybe because the setting for thath port is GM iI think for midi playback only) but it responds on 5 pin midi IN port. The mistake was in midi settings, my TAB filter was on and the midi port was set on playback. Till now everything is fine, I will ask my module manufacturer(KETRON SD 40) for further info. I am planing to set up the Midi events on all songs and give a try on a live gig next week. Don`t worry I have old version of DFB installed on my PC. You will hear from me very soon. Thank you for a good work. Regards.

  2. Can I see somewhere how this software works? youtube or so? Is this simular to Ireal Pro?

  3. Mike I would like to test version 2 beta if possible. I am a gigging musician…question… can I keep the old version and put the new version on the same laptop with out conflict. I use the original sometime 3 and 4 times a week at my gigs and I am concerned that I may encounter issues while playing out live. Would the answer be to just download the beta 2 version portable on a seperate thumb drive? I love the original and now would be lost without one of your programs working. I have written to you before and I see several of the requests I made are on the new program. I can’t thank you enough for all the work you have done to make our job as gigging musicians so much easier.
    Thank again

  4. i am one of your beta testers having a issue of the lyrics disapearing in the beta when i open it everything is blank just letting you know

    • That’s odd. I’ve not had anyone else report this. Does version 1.9.8 work okay for you?

  5. Hi. I am very interested in trying out the beta version. Been searching endlessly for something like this.


  6. Mike, I’ve been using your program for so many years and I must thank you for having created it. I’d love to beta test the new version. I’ll await the email, thanks!

    Scot White

  7. Hi Mike. I am using your program as well and I would like to test the beta version. I hope you will not be angry if I suggest something to you. It would be very useful if the program had the option of sending MIDI data (directly from the song name – hyperlink). This could recall the settings on keyboards, arranger modules etc .. (registration).
    ย  It is enough to send the Bank number and Program change on a particular channel. I hope you will take this suggestion in consideration.

    • Hi Eddie. I always welcome suggestions. Some basic MIDI functionality has been in my list for quite some time and is in fact something I’d use myself. The way I want to do it will take me quite a few hours, and since until your post no one has asked for it, the feature has been a low priority. I’ll bump it up the list a little. Not sure when I’ll get time to do it though.

  8. Hi Mike!

    I would also test BETA ver 2
    Been using the stable version for many years now in our coverband to play the instruments we don’t play ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Keep up the good work.

    / Olle

  9. Hi Mike I would also love to BETA test vers 2 if I load it on the same PC will it over ride 1.97 or will it run side by side???

  10. i would love to beta test this

  11. Hi Mike.

    I realy like to try out Digital Fake Book โ€“ Version 2 Beta

  12. Hi Mike. Thank for your program, but in last beta I found problem with mp3 playing. MP3 file may to be attached, but play button is disabled and song progress bar not displayed. The same with older songs with mp3 attached in previous beta version. I was return to previous beta version, after close window about expiration all works fine, so I prefer this older version. Have you a nice day ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I’ve found a recurring glitch over the last several revisions.
    Frequently the “SORT” option for a set list will ‘gray out” and be unavailable.
    I work around it by creating a new set from the old with a similar name, then deleting the original set and renaming the new one.
    Is this a fixable bug?

    • If I can make it fail then it will be fixable. I’ve put it on the list and will look into it. Thanks for the report.

  14. Just saw this and am going to try the original, seems to be just what i was looking for…:)
    looking at the intended upgrades i would have no problem paying for something like that.

    I would love a copy of the beta, if the opportunity is still available.

  15. Love using your Digital Fake Book. Upon hearing you have a version 2 out with some great upgrades , was wondering if I can get on that list to test it. Thanks for making lyrics a whole lot easier to learn and use on stage!

  16. Hi Mike,
    I two am a performing musician, although trying to retire LOL, but I have been working with your version 1.97 and have accumulated 1000 songs presently in single page format running on a Windows 10 12 inch tablet. I would love to beta test your version 2 if you like. I love version 1.97 in conjunction with a foot pedal page controller. It works amazingly well. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’ve added you to the list.

      For everyone on the beta mailing list, I’ve had a couple of reports that the mailing list emails are going to spam folders so please check that you have been getting them.

      I’ve finalised the feature set for the V2.0 release in the last couple of days and will have another beta available, probably within the next 24 hours. Then it will just be a case of finding and fixing any remaining bugs and writing the documentation before release.

  17. Hi Mike. I’m a hobby musician from Estonia (It is a small country in the Earth’s northern hemisphere) and Iโ€™d like to try the Beta as well. I have a Tablet PC with a Win 10. I Add a link where you to be sure I have the archaic songbook since yet ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hi, your program is very interesting for me. I’m musician and I have in my active songbook for gigs about 120 songs – bass guitar transcriptions, and I use PDF file in any older version of Adobe Digital Edition. After short testing your DFB miss any function, as search function for quick access to any song out of active setlist, or change used font (incorrectly displayed characters). Maybe any functions you have added in youre beta version, and I like will test this. Thank you for your work.

  19. Hi Mike, The link you sent me doesn’t want to work for me. Anything you can do to help?


  20. Hi Mike, Completely new here, but I’d be happy to Beta Test

  21. Hi Mike. I’d like to try the Beta as well. I like that high-contrast screen! Thanks.


    Bob Burke

  22. I’d love to help beta test, Mike. DFB is my only onstage programme and I have around 3000 songs in there.

    • Roger, I too have a tremendous number of song files, with over 2300 at present.
      If you are interested in swapping DFB data files, send me yours at n2xbw(at), and I’ll reply with mine. All songs are formatted for one-page viewing. This offer also extends to others on this forum. Lets share DBF files!
      ———–Here is a typical file—————
      R: Jo Stafford # 1-1952
      W&M: Pee Wee King, Chilton Price,
      & Redd Stewart
      [Key: G]

      See the pyramids along the Nile
      Watch the sun rise on a tropic isle
      Just remember, darling, all the while
      You belong to me.

      See the marketplace in old Algiers
      Send me photographs and souvenirs
      But remember when a dream appears
      You belong to me.

      Iโ€™ll be so alone without you
      Maybe youโ€™ll be lonesome too—and blue

      Fly the ocean in a silver plane
      Watch the jungle when itโ€™s wet with rain
      Just remember till youโ€™re home again
      You belong to me

  23. Mike..thx for all your hard work. Got a new Windows computer and had to make the iMac a doorstop till I can rebuild it. If you’d be so kind as to sending me another download of DFB Version 2 Beta I sure would appreciate it as I can’t find either it or the email.
    Smane WJ

  24. Hi Mike
    Love the changes you have made in the Beta version.
    Just a suggestion if it is possible.
    I would like to be able to highlight a section of text within a line–for example to make a word or phrase stand out within the line instead of whole line highlighted.
    Certainly not a deal-breaker but would be very handy for certain notations in a song.

    • Yes, I’d like that feature too, but unfortunately the component I use for displaying the text doesn’t support highlighting of parts of lines. Moving to another component comes with a whole bunch of other issues to resolve.

      I will spend a few hours looking into it.

      • Hi Mike
        Another possibility with this could be to have a second hilight colour.

        Once again thank you–really loving the changes.

        • Hi Mike
          Had the opportunity to use DFB Beta on the weekend performing music for a wedding ceremony. Several songs that were new to me so I used audio cues by connecting a MP3 music file. It works really well but the buttons for controlling the music files are really small on a 10 inch tablet. Is there any way to increase the size of the buttons as they are difficult to hit accurately on a touch screen?

  25. I have been hoping for an update on Digital fakebook. Would love to Beta test.

  26. Thanks to those who have volunteered to test version 2 for me. I have created a mailing list and you will get a welcome email in the next few days.

    I have a bunch of bugs to fix that I already know about and I may need to make a file format change, so it will be about a week until I can send the first beta out.

  27. Mike,

    Looks great! I just sent you an email from my work account


  28. You know me brother… the cd is about the best I can play and even then I can get it wrong. hehehehe.. you probably wouldn’t have it for a mac anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wishing you all the best with this though.

    • Don’t you have a Windows emulator on the Mac?
      I have both Linux and Win10 and it works on both. Linux uses “Wine” as a Win emulator.
      I’ve used the current version for years and I’m very excited about the new release.

      • Hehe…I’m still running mac.10.6.8 and am trying to keep it that way for as long as possible. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m Mikes’ sister and he knows how I’m not that computer sazzy.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stick to what you are comfortable with.. I say.

        • I see the connection.
          Mike got the computer ability and you ended up with a Mac. LOL
          Seriously, though… Mike is a brilliant coder and a treasure to performing musicians.

      • HI Frank, (John from Santa Cruz)

        I’m trying to to get winebottler to install a version of DFB on the MAC OSX El Capitan.

        My problem may be the version I’m trying to install.

        Are you installing DigitalFakebook.exe?

        Any other tips that occur to you?

        Has anyone blogged a successful loading procedure?

        John , Santa Cruz

        • With Linux, one goes to the terminal window, types “wine ‘executable.exe'” (where executable.exe is the complete file name. Then when executing (simply by double clicking the filename in a new window, wine transparently takes over and runs the program in a Win emulator. I’m not familiar at all with Macs; just thought the procedure might be similar if not the same.
          Did you first unzip the file?

  29. Hi. Thanks for all your work. I will beta test it for you, but I’m more musician than computer savvy!

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