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Author Topic: Interesting way to use Play Doctor: Smartlist + PlayDoctor  (Read 1120 times)

drmimosa

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Interesting way to use Play Doctor: Smartlist + PlayDoctor
« on: March 08, 2018, 02:30:55 pm »

I just built an interesting way to use Play Doctor. I use Smartlist to select a single song at random from my library. Then I use MCWS to take this single song as a PlayDoctor seed and construct a playlist.

It's nice because the first song is a surprise, but the following songs are all related by Genre and Artist.

I may be wrong, but I don't think you can use PlayDoctor and Smartlists together currently without a MCWS script of some sort. As I understand PlayDoctor, you can type in a specific seed (could be song artist or genre), or none at all. If start with a specific seed in mind, I lose the element of surprise on the first song/genre. When there is no seed, the first song is a random surprise... but following this you don't get related songs at all, you get something close to a full library shuffle. Full library shuffles get old fast...

Often my playback tastes are binary: either I want to hear specific things in the library, or I want structured ways to hear variety, AKA Smartlists. Smartlist+PlayDoctor takes this second mode to a new level.

With the random first song as a seed, you get the consistently get a surprise first song and then related PlayDoctor songs that follow.

Here is the sequence I used to make this work:

1. Make a Smartlist called One Random Song using this formula in Input/Export: [Media Type]=[Audio] ~sort=Random ~n=1

2. Find the Playlist ID for this Smartlist by typing this into a web browser on the server: http://localhost:52199/MCWS/v1/Playlists/List

3. Set up a two step script (previously I used .bat files, now I run it all through an Eventghost server):

 http://localhost:52199/MCWS/v1/Playback/PlayPlaylistZone=Stereo&ZoneType=Name&PlaylistType=ID&Playlist=359905506
 http://localhost:52199/MCWS/v1/Playback/Playlist?Action=Play&Zone=Stereo&ZoneType=Name&PlayDoctor=1')

The first step calls up the playlist called One Random Song, here it important to get the Playlist ID correct from step two (mine is 359905506). The second step uses this song as a playlist seed.

4. I had some undesirable behavior at first, like the first "seed" song would stop and restart or start in the middle of the track. So I added two steps to the script to stop playback of the one song smartlist and restart at the beginning of the track.

 http://localhost:52199/MCWS/v1/Playback/PlayPlaylistZone=Stereo&ZoneType=Name&PlaylistType=ID&Playlist=359905506
 http://localhost:52199/MCWS/v1/Playback/Stop?Zone=Stereo&ZoneType=Name')
 http://localhost:52199/MCWS/v1/Playback/Position?Position=0')
 http://localhost:52199/MCWS/v1/Playback/Playlist?Action=Play&Zone=Stereo&ZoneType=Name&PlayDoctor=1')

5. I use Eventghost and some HTTP shortcuts to automate the sequence so there is playback after one button push. With Evenghost Server running alongside MC, I can call up this sequence using an HTTP GET shortcut on my phone homescreen. If I don't like the first song, I just hit the shortcut button again.

Anyone can try this without the the script by typing in the above shortcuts into a web browser on the computer running MC, or substitute your local IP address where it says "localhost:" Also, you need to replace the word "Stereo" with your main zone of choice for the link to work.

Try it and see if you like this way of using PlayDoctor! The sky is the limit with the original seed Smartlist. Let me know if anything here is unclear, I'm still learning the art of technical explanations and may have missed a step.
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