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Search Primer

Searching Primer

While there are a myriad of ways to search in our applications, there are two distinct concepts every user should know. And that is the difference between Boolean and Iterative searching.  Each has its place and knowing when to employ one or the other will improve your searching.

Boolean search (main search)
When doing a search in the FIND box the engine looks for 'terms' in its full index for your entered criteria(remember a space acts as an AND, comma operates as an OR and a minus sign means NOT to the Boolean parser). A term is a word consisting of at least two characters. A ‘Full index’ is a list of all those words (metadata) is specifically defined fields(not ALL fields.). This system is used by all robust databases engines. It pre-builds a specialized search field, called the Full Index, based on the fields the user has selected. You can access this here in any V5 product:

And here for Basic and Plus:

These menu options allow you to customize your Index.  In other words, select the specific fields you want included with the understanding that it doesn't make sense to include all fields for general searching. In this way, it can increase speed and efficiency. Note that this approach does not do a 'contains' search where it compares every character to find a match. Doing so would be a lot slower.  Instead, it applies the entered term to the pre-built full text search index. In addition, it would only bring back records that begin with your search, its synonyms and stems(if you have the thesaurus feature) and only within the full index fields and have a minimum 2 characters in the term. So a search for 'room' would not bring back 'bathroom'. 

On the other hand, it does allow you to do advanced combination searches like 'wind (gusty, blow) -window' (look for wind sounds that also have either 'gusty' or 'blow, blowing' and then omit anything that has window). So it looks for words that match, applies the modifiers AND, OR, NOT in sequence.  If all you have is a filename like TrafficNewYorkHeavyDaytime.wav and nothing else and type in 'Heavy traffic New York' it might not be found because there are no terms in the metadata fields. So having proper metadata is key. Without such, you have filenames and folders and that's where iterative searching comes into play.

Iterative Searching. Searching in the Advanced or Search in Field or right Pane for example produces a query where the terms are searched iteratively in that single specified field or according to the query string created in the Advance Search window. The query looks for that set of characters anywhere in the string - it could be at the beginning, end or in the middle of the word. This will no doubt produce many more returns but the process for finding is much slower as it has to compare each character.  By clicking the Search icon in the top right of the Right pane, the Metadata panel becomes active for search.  Clicking on a field then allows you to type anything, any string of characters, to iteratively search in that specific field, bypassing the full index.

For example, if looking for 'growl' in a set of files that have little or no metadata but in the filename contains 'doggrowlinsmallroom.wav'. then this method looks for this set of characters and has to iterate over each character to find matches. It is used when you have little metadata to go on or the characters are run together thereby not allow term searching. the drawback is it is much slower but if file have no real metadata, or want to look for some specific set of characters within a known field, then iterative search is perhaps the method to use.

To help, the system will auto-breaks apart filenames if they have Capitalizations

ie.  DogGrowlResidentialCity.wav would be auto loaded in the keywords field as 'Dog Growl Residential City' thereby making it more accessible if using the boolean routine.

ILOK system Basics

New to ILOK?

Here’s how to use the ILOK licensing system

An iLok is a special USB device that holds your licenses. In addition to having one of these USB devices, you must also have an account registered at ILOK.com.  ILOK accounts are free.  If you do not already have an account, visit ilok.com and click the ‘Sign up for a free account’ button.

So, assuming you have an account set up and are in possession of an ilok usb key, let’s begin.  You most likely have one of the following types of keys:

All will work.  It is important to install the drivers for these devices and reboot your computer. Driver downloads can be found on the ilok.com site.

After having made a purchase, we will deposit your license in your ilok account based on the USER ID supplied at the time of the order.  The USER ID is the name with which your log into your ilok.com account.  Please be aware deposits are made manually during business hours.  You will receive a ‘welcome’ email that will contain confirmation of the deposit as well as the download information for the software and access to any tutorial movies available. Please keep this email for future reference.

Now that you have all the above information, connect your key to your computer and using a supported browser launch the ILOK Manager application.  It will ask you to sign into your account and then show you all your available license and connected keys.  Select the connected key:


If a new license is waiting for you, it will be in BOLD, meaning it can be transferred to an available key.  Double-click or right-click it to start the activation process.  It will confirm the key where it intends to transfer and activate.  Confirm and you should be good to go!


Some Troubleshooting tips:

  • If you get  ‘Dongle Not Found’ alert, your driver may not be installed correctly or you may be trying to launch a version of the application that does not match your license.
  • Make sure the USB key is lit.
  • Check the key for any damage
  • If using a USB hub and you get errors or alerts, try moving the USB key to an available USB slot on the computer.

USB Dongles used by Soundminer

What are USB Keys and what do they look like?

All Soundminer desktop software requires the presence of one of the support USB keys (sometimes called dongles) for the software to operate. These keys are not included in the cost of the software.

This is what an ILOK keys throughout the years have looked like: 

These keys are made by PACE AP (www.paceap.com or ILOK.com) and can be purchased locally at any pro audio reseller.  These keys hold multiple authorizations from different manufacturers.  They are designed for single User environments and are preferred by AVID's Pro Tools and their associated plug-ins. Soundminer does not sell ILOK keys.

Codemeter key are flexible keys that can work as single user or as network keys. These are custom programmed by Soundminer and can be purchased from the site. They are fully programmable and look like this:

HASP keys have two generations - Hasp4 and HASP HL.  This is what an older HASP4 M1 Single User looks like:


These keys are also designed for single user environments but are manufacturer specific. In other words, they only hold licenses from one manufacturer and have to be programmed and shipped from the manufacturer so if purchasing this key type remember to factor in shipping costs and time.

This is an older HASP4 network key:

This key type is designed to hold multiple licenses from one manufacturer adn operate on a local area network.  No usb keys are connected at the workstation (client) but instead ,  this one key holds all of the facility's license in one central (usually server) area.

Older Hasp4 keys are no longer supported.  Users with these older keys would have to transfer to one of the supported newer key types.  Hasp HL keys are also not sold anymore because the Codemeter key is far less expensive and more flexible now. This is what the newer HaspHL keys which we still support look like:


Which key is right for me?

ILOK is best suited for single user environments where existing ILOK assets exist (ie. Pro Tools single user station).  Codemeter keys are better suited in LAN environments where there are multiple users wishing to share a set number of licenses.  HASP net keys, while no longer sold, are also network ready and can share licenses across a LAN.


What is an ILOK key and how do I get one?

ILOK is a USB key used for authorization of software.  ILOK keys are commonly used in many applications, including Digidesign’s Pro Tools.  ILOK keys can hold authorizations from many different manufacturers and can be purchased locally.  Once a user has purchased an ILOK key, they can register it for free at ILOK.com.  Once a user sets up an account, we can then deposit authorizations electronically.   To learn more visit ILOK.com


What happens if I lose my ILOK key?

Soundminer can replace licenses that are lost or stolen, but there is a small fee because Ilok in turn charges us for those in/out privileges.   ILOK.com does, however, offer some protection of its own in such cases and where ILOk can verify the key has been disabled,  licenses can be replaced for a nominal charge.


Can I transfer my license from my HASP key to my ILOK or vice versa?

Yes.  There is a $35US per licenses charge for any transfers.  If moving from HASP to ILOK you must return your original HASP key within 30 days or you will be charged for another license.

NET KEY NOTE regarding HASP: The number beside the key does NOT mean you necessarily have those many licenses.  It simply means the key can hold up to that number of licenses of any Soundminer product.  Purchasing a Net10 key, for example, still requires that you purchase ten Soundminer licenses in order to run 10 concurrent copies.  Buying a Net10 key and one license means only one person at any given time can run a copy of Soundminer

*Codemeter keys can be programmed for any number of licenses.

I lost my HASP key.  What do I do?

Each key is unique and should be registered when its received.  If the key is registered with us, you can buy a replacement key and license and have it shipped out as a replacement.

Can I use my network key to obtain my license from the web?

YUP.  You can set up a permanent server for your licenses and get your license via the internet without having to bring your key with you.  All you need to do is set up a computer to 'host' the key and to pass that communication past your firewall.  Not hard at all.  We can show you how.