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.

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

  1. Mike
    Song button that opens the song list stopped working and I can’t save, edit or access playlists… etc.
    All the other buttons appear to be working fine. Can you help I have upcoming gigs and without the song button
    working I can’t open playlists or take requests.

    • Hi John,

      I’ve just sent the following to your email:

      I can’t begin to imagine how that’s possible unless it’s somehow got off the visible screen area.

      Does the F5 key open the song list?

      One thing you could try is to reset the window positions. To do this, when you start DFB, as soon as the splash screen shows hold down the Ctrl+Shift keys until you get a notification message asking if you’d like to reset the window positions.

  2. Hi.
    I’ve been using DFB for some time with no issues. I like it quite a lot.
    I hopped on today to continue working on a project and when it came up there’s no songs, no sets, it’s as if I had just loaded it.

    Worse news I’d not backed up since December, seems I was distracted or something and don’t know where all my stuff has gone. I’m hoping this is just a glitch and I can get it back. Fair bit of work lost if not.

    Thanks, John

    • Hi John,
      There is no known problem that could cause DFB to lose all songs, so my guess is that you are somehow running it in non-portable mode. Diagnosing this will take a bit of to and fro so I’ll continue this by email.

  3. We had a thread going about a problem that I have regarding the drag and drop feature on sets and songs stopped working on my program. I really apologize for not getting back to you sooner but I have been swamped with work and other issues. The last reply I can find regarding this was on 4 Feb. 2020. You previously asked me to send my data file to you to see if you could fix it or to get it to work. You told me at that time that it worked on your computer and asked me what version I was using. The one I am using is The drag and drop feature on moving songs or sets no longer move. This was extremely useful as a giging musician I used this all the time. When you click on either a song or a set and then drag it to a new location and release it does not move. I have a large number of sets and renaming them and organizing them in alpha or what ever order allowed me to locate them instantaneously, but I can no longer to that anymore. I love, love, love your program and I talk it up to as many musicians as I can.

    • Hi John,

      As I said, I’m unable to duplicate this problem, so I need to work out what’s different between your system and mine. I’ll send you an email requesting more info.

      Also, build 192 is a very old beta. I’ll send you a link to download the most recent build. It may be a problem I’ve already fixed.

  4. I am pretty good at saving any change I make to a song. I currently have over 1500 songs and none of them will move using the drag and drop function.

  5. Mike
    The Drag and drop reordering of songs and sets was working fine but I can no longer move them around
    as in the past.

    It still adds any song to a set in the line below the existing line you are on . But the drag and drop feature
    for songs and set no longer allows me to move them. I used this feature weekly and it was such an enhancement to your program.
    Is there something that I may have done to cause this?
    Thanks for your help and all that you do for us.

    • I can’t get that to fail for me. It won’t work on the automatic sets, only ones you create yourself.

      • I create all my own sets for live gigs but it no longer allows me to move songs with in a set and it will no longer allow me to move the order of complete sets.
        I play several times a week and have 50+ sets that I change all the time. The way it was before It would allow me to reorder dance sets depending on what the venue calls for, example if i have to play dinner music early while people are dining and switch do good floor fillers for dancing I could do this by moving songs around within a set.

        • Can you give me some more information?

          When you click on a song and try to drag it up or down do you see a line that snaps to in between the songs? Or does it highlight songs?

          • I see the line that move like it always has so you can drop it elsewhere but it does not move the song when you release it to move it stays in where it was.

        • I just thought of something that will prevent drag reordering. If you have made an edit to a song, but not saved it dragging won’t work.

          • I am pretty good at saving any edit I make. It prompts you to save it if you forget for any reason and I do. I have over 1500 songs now and I can’t get any songs to move using the drag and drop. Set will not drag and drop either.

          • Can you export and email your database to me? I’ll see if I can duplicate the problem. Maybe it only shows up when the DB gets to a certain size.

            If I can duplicate it then i can fix it.

  6. Hi Mike, stressed again ,I’m trying to rebuild my song list and have them scroll however now my portable version 2 is not responding when I turn to some particular songs the screen will just turn black should I try to update my portable software to fix the glitch ??

    Thanks so much FredT

    • The only thing I can think of is maybe the format of some media files is not compatible with DFB. I’ve emailed you with more information.

  7. Thanks so much Mike for speedy reply and now my stress level can go back down a little and also enjoying the program so much cheers FredT



    • Hi Fred,

      Check to make sure that “Autocue Mode” is switched on. This is controlled with the second button to the right of the song title. It should have a green tick on it.

  9. Hi Mike,just a quick question,is there a way I can see if my songs have been “Autocued” without playing them every time as this is very time consuming Thanks FredT

    • Hi Fred,

      If you mean can you tell if a song has been marked, you can open the Marker List window by selecting “Marker List…” from the main menu.

      The default keyboard shortcut (if you haven’t changed it) is Ctrl+Alt+M


  10. Mike
    I have been trying to transfer songs and data from the orginal version portable to version 2 portable. I am doing something wrong. I know you are working on a tutorial video to do this, but can you share a step by step process to make the complete change. I must be brain dead or something, but I have been trying for 3 days now without
    success. I hate to bother you ….. but if you could possibly help me I would appreciate it. Shoud I delete what I have done so far and start completely over using your download attachment.
    I am probably the only one who can’t figure this. I apologize….but I am stuck and can’t proceed>

    I have been the biggest supporter of Version 1 and have introduced as many muscians as I possible to DFB… and the fantastic program you have developed.
    John McDaniel

    • Hi John,
      1/ Open the Song List Window
      2/ Click on ‘Import Data’ button on the right
      3/ Browse to where your current song database is (DfbSongData.dat)
      4/ Double click DfbSongData.dat
      5/ If you don’t already have any songs in DFB2 then click ‘Replace’, otherwise click ‘Merge Data’.
      6/ Click ‘Yes’ to confirm the warning. (This will only appear if you already have songs in DFB2 and you’ve chosen ‘Replace’)

      If this doesn’t work, email me your DfbSongData.dat file from DFB1 and I’ll take a look at it.

      • Mike I decided to delete version 2 from my new thumb drive and start all over again, bu when I keyed in …(link-removed-Mike)… .
        I get an error.
        Error 404 – Not Found
        Sorry, the page that you are looking for does not exist. I don’t usually delete pages, but things can get moved around when I change the site design so please try searching

        Do i need a new link to go version 2 again? i apologize for being such a pain, but i am really excited to use version 2 with all the upgrades. it appears every request i made in the past you included in version 2. i thought if started out completely fresh I could follow the instructions you sent to the letter and get set up to start using it, i guess i made a bi mistake by deleting it from my new thumb drive. I gig 3 or 4 times a week your program has been an absolute blessing to me.

        • Hi John,

          That’s probably because you spelled it digitalFACEBOOK instead of digitalFAKEBOOK. πŸ™‚


  11. Hi Mike.
    I don`t know if this is a bug, but I noticed that you have to klk twice on the “songs” to open the song list window. When you start the DFB the first time you click on it it opens by one click, but after that two clics are needed. It happends on my desktop and on my touch screen as well. Other things are O.K.

    • That’s not actually a bug. The reason that happens is that clicking on the songs button will open the song list if it’s not open and will close it if it’s already open.

      So what’s probably happening in your case is the song list window is open, but hidden behind the main window, so when you click the button DFB sees that the window is already open (even though you can’t see it) and closes it. This is a side effect of being able to have to window open but still work in the main window.

      I did try asking Windows to tell me if the song list window was visible or not, but found it unreliable when the song list was partially behind the main window and opted for the current behavior because at least it’s predictable. This works perfectly in dual monitor situations.

      Perhaps I could add an “Always on Top” button which would probably give the best of both worlds

      • Yes, it is truth. I usually click on song – select one and than just touch the screen no matter where to hide the window. I just check it on my dual monitor pc and the songs window is really hidden behind the main one. I thought this is a bug because in DBF 1.9 I have always cliked only one time on”songs”and the songs window appeared. I never checked if it is hidden. Thanky for a quick replay.
        Best wishes.

      • There is no need to ad “always on top” All I have to know is, that I must click on songs button instead on screen.
        Thanks again

  12. Hi Mike having a great run with DFB2 BETTA and no complaints but is there a way I can transfer the program to another windows pc (ie) chuwie without putting all the songs in from scratch and also I can’t find the latest portable (sorry Mike it’s an age thing) getting too old to keep up with this Tech stuff

    • Hi Fred,
      All the version 2 betas I’ve supplied have been the portable version.

      All you need to do is copy your whole DigitalFakebook2Portable folder to the other computer.
      Your songs will go with it.


  13. Hi Mike,is anybody having trouble with “AUTOCUE MARK MODE” bar being over to the left of the screen I can only read all markers and done but the bar itself is covering the full title of the song panel and all above it??? should I simply uninstall then reinstall ver 2 RC-195 Regards Fred T

  14. 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.

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

  16. 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

  17. 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?

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


  19. 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

  20. 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).
    Β  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.

  21. 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 πŸ˜‰

    Keep up the good work.

    / Olle

  22. 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???

  23. i would love to beta test this

  24. Hi Mike.

    I realy like to try out Digital Fake Book – Version 2 Beta

  25. 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 πŸ™‚

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. Hi Mike. I’m a hobby musician from Estonia (It is a small country in the Earth’s northern hemisphere) and I’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 πŸ™‚

  31. 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.

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


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

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


    Bob Burke

  35. 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.

      I’ll be so alone without you
      Maybe you’ll be lonesome too—and blue

      Fly the ocean in a silver plane
      Watch the jungle when it’s wet with rain
      Just remember till you’re home again
      You belong to me

  36. 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

  37. 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?

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

  39. 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.

  40. Mike,

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


  41. 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ I’m Mikes’ sister and he knows how I’m not that computer sazzy.. πŸ™‚ Stick to what you are comfortable with.. I say.

      • 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?

  42. 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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