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Author Topic: Playlist problem  (Read 1172 times)

AudibleImagery

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Playlist problem
« on: March 11, 2024, 02:44:12 pm »

Hello, I've been experiencing a serious issue for the past couple of weeks in which MC 32 crashes and deletes my playlists in the process. I've been able to restore my playlists with a backup over the past couple of weeks but that is no longer working now. Can someone please help? I use my library and playlists at work and am in dire need to fix this problem.
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JimH

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2024, 03:11:31 pm »

MC won't delete playlists unless you tell it to.

Disk problem?
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2024, 03:17:28 pm »

I'm not telling it to delete playlists. I don't have any disk problems as far as I know.

I backup my library folder from my computer to a NAS using an application called Synology Drive Client. I also backup the same library folder to a cloud using an application called pCloud Drive. I've been using this process for a few years now but I haven't had this problem with playlists being deleted until MC 32.

I don't know if this is relevant but my library has 320,000 tracks and I have roughly 100+ playlists.
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bob

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2024, 03:32:02 pm »

I'm not telling it to delete playlists. I don't have any disk problems as far as I know.

I backup my library folder from my computer to a NAS using an application called Synology Drive Client. I also backup the same library folder to a cloud using an application called pCloud Drive. I've been using this process for a few years now but I haven't had this problem with playlists being deleted until MC 32.

I don't know if this is relevant but my library has 320,000 tracks and I have roughly 100+ playlists.
Did you try restoring a MC Library backup? If you just backup the Library folder you might be running into issues with the settings files not matching.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2024, 04:22:59 pm »

I tried restoring a library backup but the most recent backup that restored my playlists was from 3 days ago and I've made hundreds of changes in that time and so I'm going to have to spend all night rebuilding my playlists by hand.

When I say library folder I'm referring to [User]>Music>JRiver on my Mac. I don't backup JRiver's ViewHeaderImage folder (called "J River") and I don't backup the "Temp" folder either because those cause my backup applications to sync constantly. Is this what you'r referring to regarding the settings files not matching? I'm a little confused as to why that would be a problem though because my backup goes from my Mac to my NAS and Cloud and I don't run my library from either of those locationsómy library is located on my Mac.

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bob

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2024, 04:26:27 pm »

I tried restoring a library backup but the most recent backup that restored my playlists was from 3 days ago and I've made hundreds of changes in that time and so I'm going to have to spend all night rebuilding my playlists by hand.

When I say library folder I'm referring to [User]>Music>JRiver on my Mac. I don't backup JRiver's ViewHeaderImage folder (called "J River") and I don't backup the "Temp" folder either because those cause my backup applications to sync constantly. Is this what you'r referring to regarding the settings files not matching? I'm a little confused as to why that would be a problem though because my backup goes from my Mac to my NAS and Cloud and I don't run my library from either of those locationsómy library is located on my Mac.
Unless you changed the library (database, not media files) location, the default is in
~/Library/Application Support/J River/Media Center 32
That's where the database, settings, skins, etc are stored.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2024, 05:09:46 pm »

I havenít changed the library location. Itís still in the path you listed and I donít back that up either.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2024, 05:15:57 pm »

Iím at a total loss as to how to fix this and as to how to proceed. Iíve had to rebuild my playlists 3-4 times in the past two weeks and each time takes a day of work. And now it seems that my backups wonít even save the playlists reliably.
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JimH

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2024, 06:01:40 pm »

I havenít changed the library location. Itís still in the path you listed and I donít back that up either.
That database is critically important.  A backup without it isn't a backup.

You're using some other software for backups, but MC has a backup function.  Are you not using it?
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2024, 06:15:38 pm »

I'm using JRiver's backup function.

That database is critically important.  A backup without it isn't a backup.

So if I include the database in my backups to my NAS and Cloud then will that prevent the playlists from deleting from my computer in the future?
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2024, 06:25:23 pm »

I added the Application Support folder to my backups regardless. What else do I need to do right now to fix this problem?

Is it possible this is a storage issue? Like I said I have a 320,000 song library with hundreds of playlists but only 1.3TB left on my MacBook Pro.
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JimH

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2024, 06:39:53 pm »

It's hard to understand what you're doing, but using other backup software to back up MC's library isn't recommended.  Just use MC to do the job.

In fact, it has been doing the job and you might have backups you could use to find what you believe is lost.  Read about backup on the wiki.  MC makes automatic backups.  You can search for the zip files using Finder.

You can still use other software to back up the actual media files.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2024, 07:17:08 pm »

It's hard to understand what you're doing

What can I clarify so that I can give you a better idea of what the problem is?

In fact, it has been doing the job and you might have backups you could use to find what you believe is lost.  Read about backup on the wiki.  MC makes automatic backups.  You can search for the zip files using Finder.

I've tried to use the MC backups to recover what is lost but the most recent backups don't include 90% of my playlists. The most recent MC backup that includes all of my backups is from 3 days ago.

You can still use other software to back up the actual media files.

So I should only use my other backup software to backup the media files folder and nothing else? Earlier you said that the Application Support folder was crucial to my backups and so I included that in the folders my other backup software is backing up. Should I be excluding the Application Support folder from my backups then?
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zybex

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2024, 03:17:01 am »

You should use MC to create the database backups (ZIP files - should already be automatically created daily) and then include those zip files in your NAS/Cloud backups. You can then exclude the MC database folder, but the Cover Art folder is not included in the MC backup so perhaps it's better to include that one. If there's a need to restore a backup, restore the ZIP file in MC, not the folder.

Can you check if your PCloud or NAS backup software is doing a bi-directional sync? That may cause problems, it's best to have a one-way backup/sync (not two-way).

Do the playlists disappear or do they just become empty? Are they Smartlists or regular playlists? If Smartlists, how are they defined (an example)? Smartlists can easily become blank after some tagging changes - you mention you had hundreds of them.

Quote
Is it possible this is a storage issue? Like I said I have a 320,000 song library with hundreds of playlists but only 1.3TB left on my MacBook Pro.
1.3 TB is a lot. 1.3 GB not so much.
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JimH

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2024, 06:29:16 am »

Cover art should not normally be stored in the same folder as the database files.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2024, 06:07:05 pm »

You should use MC to create the database backups (ZIP files - should already be automatically created daily) and then include those zip files in your NAS/Cloud backups. You can then exclude the MC database folder, but the Cover Art folder is not included in the MC backup so perhaps it's better to include that one. If there's a need to restore a backup, restore the ZIP file in MC, not the folder.

I don't backup the database folder. The folder I backup from my Mac to my NAS and PCloud is [User]>Music>JRiver (which I'll be referring to as "JRiver"). My cover art is stored in "JRiver" as well. I've adjusted my backups to only backup the cover art folder, my backup JRiver ZIP folder, and my media folder (the folder is called "Music"), which are all located in the "JRiver" folder. The "J River" folder (located in [User]>Music>JRiver>J River) occasionally has cover art in it as wellóshould I back that up too?

I restore the ZIP files in the way you describedóin MC, not in the folder. I restore them using the "Restore Library..." function in MC 32.

Can you check if your PCloud or NAS backup software is doing a bi-directional sync? That may cause problems, it's best to have a one-way backup/sync (not two-way).

My NAS and PCloud backups are not bi-directional. They go from my Mac to my NAS and Cloud. I also do Time Machine backups of my Mac but those are also not bi-directional and I've updated the backup to limit it to the three folders you specified (cover art, ZIP backups, media folder).

Do the playlists disappear or do they just become empty? Are they Smartlists or regular playlists? If Smartlists, how are they defined (an example)? Smartlists can easily become blank after some tagging changes - you mention you had hundreds of them.
1.3 TB is a lot. 1.3 GB not so much.

The playlists simply disappear and it's usually about 90% of them that go missing. I have a combination of Smartlists and regular playlists but the Smartlists take up the majority of my playlists.

Here's an example of the rules for one of my Smartlists called "3-5 Stars":
Quote
([Media Type]=[Audio] [User]=[New Library]) ([Rating]=3-5 [Genre]=[],[Acappella],[Ambient],[Beatboxing],[Blues],[Celtic],[Classical],[Country],[Disco],[Electronic],[Folk],[Funk],[Hip/-Hop],[Instrumental],[Interlude],[Jazz],[Latin],[Opera],[Pop],[R&B],[Reggae],[Rock],[Score],[Sing/-Along],[Skit],[Soul],[Spoken Word],[Stage],[Trip/-Hop],[Turntablism],[World]) ~sort=[File Type],[User],[Name]
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2024, 04:53:04 pm »

I did everything you said including only backing up cover art and the music folder but MC 32 deleted my playlists again. I sometimes delete old backups to save space... Does that have something to do with this issue?
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JimH

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2024, 05:00:08 pm »

Depends what you're deleting.
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Dawgincontrol

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2024, 07:33:58 pm »

Whenever you finish updating/making a playlist manually have Media Center do a back-up.

About the best way to keep from having to redo them until you figure out what's going on.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2024, 11:19:43 am »

Whenever you finish updating/making a playlist manually have Media Center do a back-up.

About the best way to keep from having to redo them until you figure out what's going on.

I do this but sometimes the backups won't even save the playlists either and so the playlists sometimes still show up as deleted in newer backups.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2024, 11:28:30 am »

Depends what you're deleting.

How does it depend?
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2024, 07:48:37 pm »

It happened again and deleted five days of work this time. The only backup that will restore all of my playlists and library views is from five days ago. Can somebody please help me fix this serious issue???
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zybex

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2024, 03:07:48 am »

Perhaps you are inadvertently deleting them yourself. A Playlist or Group of playlists can be deleted by pressing DEL, and the confirmation dialog can be disabled. Can you check if the confirmation is enabled? Just create a new empty playlist then press DEL to delete it; if MC deletes without asking then you have disabled it at some point. You can reenable the confirmation dialog in Settings > General > Advanced : Reset all confirmation messages.

Are you using some Remote control? Perhaps you customized the keypresses for some actions in MCs XML file, and one of them is actually sending a DEL key without you knowing? Or a wrong MCC command? Or your cat walking on your keyboard? :)

With the confirmation enabled you will at least rule out this scenario. Without confirmation, it's possible that you are pressing DEL to delete a file and instead it deletes an entire Playlist Group.
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EnglishTiger

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2024, 04:24:29 am »

It's possible that you are pressing DEL to delete a file and instead it deletes an entire Playlist Group.

And one place where that will happen is if you select one of the categories in the upper pane of a Panes View and then tell MC to delete it - that doesn't just delete the "Entry" it also deletes everything that is using that "Entry"

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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2024, 06:06:20 am »

Perhaps you are inadvertently deleting them yourself. A Playlist or Group of playlists can be deleted by pressing DEL, and the confirmation dialog can be disabled. Can you check if the confirmation is enabled? Just create a new empty playlist then press DEL to delete it; if MC deletes without asking then you have disabled it at some point. You can reenable the confirmation dialog in Settings > General > Advanced : Reset all confirmation messages.

Are you using some Remote control? Perhaps you customized the keypresses for some actions in MCs XML file, and one of them is actually sending a DEL key without you knowing? Or a wrong MCC command? Or your cat walking on your keyboard? :)

With the confirmation enabled you will at least rule out this scenario. Without confirmation, it's possible that you are pressing DEL to delete a file and instead it deletes an entire Playlist Group.

I just checked and I have the confirmation dialogue enabled for deleting playlists.

The only remote I use is JRemote but I havenít used it in a week. I donít think I edited keypresses in MCís XML file but how would I check? How do I check if thereís a wrong MCC command?

Generally speaking, I select ďDeleteĒ from a dropdown rather than pressing DEL. In the last instance in which my playlists got deleted, I finished making some changes to my library and then backed it up at 9pm on 3/24. I didnít use my computer at all on 3/25 until I got home. I restarted my computer for a OS update with MC still open and when my computer rebooted and MC loaded the playlists were deleted and I had to backup a playlist from 3/20 in order to restore all of my playlistsónone of my other backups after 3/20 had all of my playlists intact.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2024, 06:09:53 am »

And one place where that will happen is if you select one of the categories in the upper pane of a Panes View and then tell MC to delete it - that doesn't just delete the "Entry" it also deletes everything that is using that "Entry"

I never delete categories in the Panes View.
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EnglishTiger

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2024, 06:20:26 am »

NEVER have MC, or any other software, Open while an Apple OS update is downloading, preparing itself for Install or when it asks for a Restart to happen as all sorts of strange things can, and will happen, while an OS Update is doing it's thing.
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zybex

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2024, 06:46:58 am »

@Matt, JRiver:
Is it possible that some invalid ID/name/expression in playlistx.jmd is causing its loading/parsing to fail, perhaps due to mismatched parenthesis? Any other possible cause of corruption? A custom field name or filename written as composed/decomposed format comes to mind.
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JimH

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2024, 07:01:04 am »

@Matt, JRiver:
Is it possible that some invalid ID/name/expression in playlistx.jmd is causing its loading/parsing to fail, perhaps due to mismatched parenthesis? Any other possible cause of corruption? A custom field name or filename written as composed/decomposed format comes to mind.
If that were the case, I think we'd have seen this long ago, and from multiple people.

Backing up daily would be a good idea.  Running a utility to check memory and disk also.

Englishtiger's comment on OS updates could explain it.
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zybex

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2024, 07:07:43 am »

I think it's unlikely too, but it may be triggered by some specific character that AudibleImagery may have in his filenames or fields. There were recent changes to the handling of composed/decomposed chars in macos.

@Audible:
Jim is right that you should test your disk.

To rule out this type of corruption perhaps you can do this: the next time it happens, do NOT close MC; find this playlistx.jmd file in your library folder and make a copy of it to some other location. Then restart MC and make another copy of the same file. Then share both files here.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2024, 11:19:45 am »

NEVER have MC, or any other software, Open while an Apple OS update is downloading, preparing itself for Install or when it asks for a Restart to happen as all sorts of strange things can, and will happen, while an OS Update is doing it's thing.

I will avoid letting my Mac close MC for updates in the future but this problem with my playlists randomly deleting has happened in other circumstances.

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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2024, 11:25:38 am »

Backing up daily would be a good idea.  Running a utility to check memory and disk also.

I'm always backing up with manual and automatic library backups in MC. I backed up manually and automatically about 20 times from 3/20 through 3/25. None of those backups saved the full playlist information except for one backup from 3/20.
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2024, 11:28:38 am »

I think it's unlikely too, but it may be triggered by some specific character that AudibleImagery may have in his filenames or fields. There were recent changes to the handling of composed/decomposed chars in macos.

@Audible:
Jim is right that you should test your disk.

To rule out this type of corruption perhaps you can do this: the next time it happens, do NOT close MC; find this playlistx.jmd file in your library folder and make a copy of it to some other location. Then restart MC and make another copy of the same file. Then share both files here.

How do I go about checking my disk? Should I take it to a computer repair store?

I will make it a point to do what you said with respect to making a copy of the playlist.jmd file the next this happens which should be in the next couple of days.
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zybex

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2024, 12:35:09 pm »

You can check SMART to see if there are bad sectors reported. Smartmon can do it, maybe another Mac user knows another UI tool for this:
https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/135565/how-do-i-get-detailed-smart-disk-information-on-os-x-mavericks-or-later
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AudibleImagery

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Re: Playlist problem
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2024, 05:04:17 pm »

You can check SMART to see if there are bad sectors reported. Smartmon can do it, maybe another Mac user knows another UI tool for this:
https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/135565/how-do-i-get-detailed-smart-disk-information-on-os-x-mavericks-or-later

I took my computer to a store that specializes in Mac repairs and had them check SMART to see if they could detect bad sectors but they found nothing. They told me they even ran the test a second time just to be sure.

I left my computer with them for a few days to see if they could recreate the issue but they were unable to do so.
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