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Author Topic: [REQ] Sub-Zones  (Read 6155 times)

6233638

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[REQ] Sub-Zones
« on: August 01, 2014, 05:24:31 am »

It would be nice if zones could be grouped together so that they share the same playlist, allowing Zone Switch to act on a per-track basis, or letting you switch from a headphone-configured sub-zone to a speaker-configured one, without affecting the playlist.
 
This would not be the same thing as Linked Zones, as a group would output to the same device.
I seem to recall Hendrik mentioning the possibility a while back.

Edit:

What I could envision here is a concept of "Sub-Zones", that work like zones with each their individual configuration, but share the same playlist/zone, and as such can work on a per-file basis instead of the zones we have right now. But of course that requires quite a bit more development time.
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MikeThin

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 09:31:01 pm »

Yes please!!!

I really, really want automated per track PEQ settings.  Rules based zone-switch gets so close - but sub-zones sound like an excellent idea too.

Some recordings are bass heavy, some are too bright, etc - It would be fantastic to keyword these tracks and then have a rule to change the Sub-zone / PEQ preset to compensate on a track by track basis.

I already have 4 zones set up, each with different PEQ settings - but currently zone-switch does not fire within a playlist/queue, so it doesn't work.  :(

Go sub-zones!
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glynor

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 10:53:24 pm »

+1
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Lonx

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 07:34:17 pm »

+1  ;D
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sunfire7

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 03:22:26 am »

+1
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kstuart

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 11:02:03 am »

+1

nitephlight

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2014, 07:24:57 pm »

+1
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Hendrik

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 04:23:47 am »

In practice you can achieve most of this in MC20 with saved DSP Presets, since this also includes saved settings for the Output Format DSP.
While there is no automatic rule to apply this to a category of files automatically (ie. like ZoneSwitch), you can set the tag on a particular set of files automatically.

Maybe a ZoneSwitch-like addition to the DSP presets would be a nice thing on top, since most requests for this seem to center around DSP/Output Format settings.
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MikeThin

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2014, 04:02:51 am »


In practice you can achieve most of this in MC20 with saved DSP Presets

Yes, the new DSP tags & presets are great and 80% of what I have been asking for :)

I still think a few improvements needed:
  Default DSP preset per zone for non tagged files

  ABILITY to have have multiple DSP tags set on a track - IE multiple saved PEQs at once

  More than 2 PEQ tabs in the DSP window - Let us have multiple named PEQs

  BUG - The PEQ tab blanks out when a new track starts with a different saved DSP


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6233638

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2014, 04:45:29 am »

In practice you can achieve most of this in MC20 with saved DSP Presets, since this also includes saved settings for the Output Format DSP.
While there is no automatic rule to apply this to a category of files automatically (ie. like ZoneSwitch), you can set the tag on a particular set of files automatically.
This doesn't really work for me, since you have to manually tag the files, rather than it being based on rules (e.g. Apply dynamic range compression to all files in ____ directory) and there's no way to quickly switch from one to another. (changing between speakers and headphones on the same audio device)
 
Sub-Zones/Grouping would also have been a space-saving feature as well, rather than having a huge list of zones.
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Hendrik

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2014, 04:48:14 am »

If you need to switch manually, just use actual zones.

Regarding the other point, read my previous post to the end.
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6233638

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2014, 04:50:15 am »

If you need to switch manually, just use actual zones.
Zone Switch prevents you from switching manually, it overrides any Send To commands.
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mwillems

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2014, 10:28:27 am »

Zone Switch prevents you from switching manually, it overrides any Send To commands.

That's only true with certain zoneswitch configurations.  If you have a zone that is not stopped by any zonelink rule, and is not the recipient of a zonelink rule that stops playback in any other zone, send to works normally.  

For example, I have four zones: three of them have mutual stop playback rules in zoneswitch (live TV goes to one, Loopback to another, and Regular Audio and Video to the third).  The fourth zone (for my headphone output) is not included in any zoneswitch rules.  I can send files to the headphone zone with no problem because it doesn't engage with zoneswitch, and the other three zones are a closed system (they all mutually stop playback in each in other).

Note that this will not work if you have any "open-ended" zoneswitch rules (that have a routing rule, but don't stop playback anywhere).  The key is to have several zones in a closed mutual stop system, and any zones you want to be able to route manually outside of that system.
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kstuart

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2014, 09:48:57 pm »

That's only true with certain zoneswitch configurations.  If you have a zone that is not stopped by any zonelink rule, and is not the recipient of a zonelink rule that stops playback in any other zone, send to works normally.  

For example, I have four zones: three of them have mutual stop playback rules in zoneswitch (live TV goes to one, Loopback to another, and Regular Audio and Video to the third).  The fourth zone (for my headphone output) is not included in any zoneswitch rules.  I can send files to the headphone zone with no problem because it doesn't engage with zoneswitch, and the other three zones are a closed system (they all mutually stop playback in each in other).

Note that this will not work if you have any "open-ended" zoneswitch rules (that have a routing rule, but don't stop playback anywhere).  The key is to have several zones in a closed mutual stop system, and any zones you want to be able to route manually outside of that system.

Wow - this is very valuable information about the Zones (and might have something to do with some of my odd problems with Zones).

This info should be copied to the Wiki (if it is not there already).

glynor

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2014, 10:15:52 pm »

Maybe a ZoneSwitch-like addition to the DSP presets would be a nice thing on top, since most requests for this seem to center around DSP/Output Format settings.

For the record, my +1 has essentially nothing to do with those settings, though I think I may have misread the original request.

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6233638

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2014, 07:19:04 am »

Perhaps sub-zones are not the best solution, but to expand on my goals:
 
1. Maintain a single playlist for media being sent to any one device.
2. Automatically apply certain DSP based on rulesets. E.g. Enable dynamic compression for any produced-for-web content ([Filename] contains \Downloads\) but disable it for movie playback. ([Media Sub Type] is Movie)
3. Allow playback to be manually switched between a headphone-focused DSP set, and a speaker-focused DSP set, without affecting the current playlist. I.e. not a separate zone with its own playlist.
 
 
1. Television
  a. 5.1 Surround
  b. TV Speakers
  c. Headphones
 
2. PC Monitor
  a. Monitor Speakers
  b. Headphones

While it may require playback to be stopped and resumed, I'd like to be able to switch between a/b/c for my television zone group, without losing the current playlist.
I'd want to do similar things for music playback, enable/disable dynamic compression for podcasts etc.
For the record, my +1 has essentially nothing to do with those settings, though I think I may have misread the original request.
Could you expand on what you wanted sub-zones for?
I had previously put up a detailed post on what I'd like the feature to be, but I think it was in the beta forum.
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kstuart

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2014, 07:16:18 pm »

I have to second the idea that a number of us have a need for different settings and setups for:

* Video vs Audio

* Speakers vs Headphones

and thus four different combinations.

At the moment I have resorted to using MPC-HC only for the video+headphones combination, but mwillems information looks like it will allow me to use MC19(20) for that too.

6233638

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2014, 11:53:37 am »

Bumping this again, because it's now become a bigger issue than before.
I realize that there are two concepts here, and I'm not sure how you would manage both.
 
The first would be grouping several zones together which play to the same device, but use different DSP configurations. E.g. Speakers/Headphones/Night Mode.
Once all the bugs are fixed, there might be a way to handle this via DSP Studio presets rather than requiring you to have different zones configured, if we get a way to quickly switch between them. E.g. A new button next to Audio Path, or via the Audio Path dialog box.

The second would be to have a single playlist that seamlessly switches between separate audio devices/configurations on a per-track basis.

 
For the last week or so, I've now been using separate audio devices for stereo and multichannel playback.
This means that I now have four zones to manage instead of two:

  • Stereo Audio
  • Stereo Video
  • Multichannel Audio
  • Multichannel Video

Ideally I would be able to group these together into an Audio Group and Video Group, so that there is a single playlist containing both stereo and multichannel items, which seamlessly switches between devices depending on the track being played.
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Hendrik

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2014, 12:27:11 pm »

Note that the idea of these Sub-Zones was to stay on the same device, otherwise you end up with a major headache again when managing simultaneous playback.
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6233638

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2014, 12:43:47 pm »

Note that the idea of these Sub-Zones was to stay on the same device, otherwise you end up with a major headache again when managing simultaneous playback.
I'm not sure why it would be an issue. You'd just need a rule for each group which stops playback in the other.
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csimon

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2014, 08:50:59 am »

Bumping this again, because it's now become a bigger issue than before.
I realize that there are two concepts here, and I'm not sure how you would manage both.
 
The first would be grouping several zones together which play to the same device, but use different DSP configurations. E.g. Speakers/Headphones/Night Mode.
Once all the bugs are fixed, there might be a way to handle this via DSP Studio presets rather than requiring you to have different zones configured, if we get a way to quickly switch between them. E.g. A new button next to Audio Path, or via the Audio Path dialog box.

The second would be to have a single playlist that seamlessly switches between separate audio devices/configurations on a per-track basis.

 
For the last week or so, I've now been using separate audio devices for stereo and multichannel playback.
This means that I now have four zones to manage instead of two:

  • Stereo Audio
  • Stereo Video
  • Multichannel Audio
  • Multichannel Video

Ideally I would be able to group these together into an Audio Group and Video Group, so that there is a single playlist containing both stereo and multichannel items, which seamlessly switches between devices depending on the track being played.

Zone/Subzone revamp already requested in MC20 feature requests! http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=90662.msg623229#msg623229

Eariler discussion on these matters from a year ago here: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=84670.0

Issues of seamlessly transferring playlists between zones, groupings of zones, and zones currently being a mixture of locations and settings which doesn't always accommodate what you want to be able to do.

I've been struggling with this for a long time, together with the other issues that you can't get video working remotely when you have multiple zones, and the limitations anmd restrictions of the mutual-stop rules.

Here's one of my problems:

There is no way to make a zone active remotely, so video doesn't work. So to get round this, I've been playing around with zone Switch but just cannot achieve it.  I want to play video through JRSS in 5.1 DD via HDMI when the video file has anything other than DTS encoding, and bitstream if it has DTS.  Or JRSS 5.1 DD via HDMI with vol levelling if I've queued a list of music videos.  I have separate zones for audio only, going to sound cards/DACs.

Been trying to make a zone switch rule to auto switch to a HDMI zone if the file is video and of the relevant encoding, however the vol levelling zone is to be manual so it needs to be outside the mutual-stop group, so do the audio zones. Therefore you can't get auto-switching working for the video zones.
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6233638

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2014, 11:53:58 am »

I want to play video through JRSS in 5.1 DD via HDMI when the video file has anything other than DTS encoding, and bitstream if it has DTS.  Or JRSS 5.1 DD via HDMI with vol levelling if I've queued a list of music videos.
Can't you just do that in a single zone with the custom bitstreaming option?
Bitstream DTS, and enable DD5.1 encoding to handle everything else.
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Hendrik

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2014, 11:57:36 am »

FWIW, unless you want some audio processing, I would also bitstream DD5.1, decoding and re-encoding is hardly ideal. And if you want processing, why not on DTS content, but oh well!
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csimon

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2014, 12:56:15 pm »

I think you're both missing the point. You can't have two video zones with automatic switching plus a manual one, and it's further complicated if you have audio zones too. It doesn't work remotely.

Could you try setting it up yourselves - a bitstreaming zone and a JRSS DD 5.1 zone which auto-switch according to whatever parameters you want (it could be compression type DTS or it could be number of channels = 6), then a third zone which has JRSS DD 5.1 and volume levelling.  Then try sending video to one instance of MC from another, via whatever method you choose (DLNA, TRemote, a mobile remote app...) - check that it switches correctly and the video plays, then try sending a video to the manual zone that is outside the mutual-stop rules.  It doesn't work, you have to manually change the zone on the remote instance. Then try playing a DTS movie, this now doesn't work.

I think it's all a combination of the current zones being the combination of audio settings and output device, together with the current implementation of Zone Switch, which is what this thread and others have been about. It should be possible to change audio output settings based on specific criteria without needing to change the active zone and also without losing the playlist, and/or the active zone shoudl be controllable remotely.
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Hendrik

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2014, 01:02:40 pm »

Our point was that you don't need a separate zone to get DTS bitstreaming and DD5.1 encoding for everything else, you can just do it in one.
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mwillems

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2014, 01:04:32 pm »

Could you try setting it up yourselves - a bitstreaming zone and a JRSS DD 5.1 zone which auto-switch according to whatever parameters you want (it could be compression type DTS or it could be number of channels = 6), then a third zone which has JRSS DD 5.1 and volume levelling.  Then try sending video to one instance of MC from another, via whatever method you choose (DLNA, TRemote, a mobile remote app...) - check that it switches correctly and the video plays, then try sending a video to the manual zone that is outside the mutual-stop rules.  It doesn't work, you have to manually change the zone on the remote instance. Then try playing a DTS movie, this now doesn't work.

Something similar, but not identical, to what you're describing works for me when using Gizmo as a remote control. I have three zones setup using zoneswitch with mutual stop playbacks (Audio, Video, and Loopback) and one manual zone (headphones).  When I use Gizmo to play something on one of the auto-zones, it has always seemed to get routed correctly, and when I change zones on Gizmo to the manual zone and play something, it has seemed to play there just fine.  Admittedly, my manual zone is an audio zone not a video zone, but video gets routed correctly in the mutual stop playback zones for me, even when transitioning from the manual zone.  I'll try testing with a manual video zone tonight and see if I can replicate what you're seeing.

Are you saying that changing zones in gizmo doesn't work at all for you, or just doesn't work with video?  Maybe you could share your specific zoneswitch rules and a list of your zones?
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csimon

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2014, 01:14:37 pm »

Our point was that you don't need a separate zone to get DTS bitstreaming end DD5.1 encoding for everything else, you can just do it in one.

Are you saying that If you have DD and DTS enabled in the bitstreaming options and also set up DSP to output in DD 5.1, then it will bitstream sources that are already 5.1 but convert 2-channel sources to DD 5.1?  If so, I've misunderstood the relationsuip between DSP output format and bitstreaming, I thought you couldn't have both in the same zone. but in that case, it still leaves the problem of one video zone that you want all video to go to unless you specifically choose the manual volume-levelling one.
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Hendrik

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2014, 01:15:31 pm »

Are you saying that If you have DD and DTS enabled in the bitstreaming options and also set up DSP to output in DD 5.1, then it will bitstream sources that are already 5.1 but convert 2-channel sources to DD 5.1?

Yes, that should work just fine. You can combine bitstreaming with output encoding.
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csimon

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2014, 01:28:09 pm »

Are you saying that changing zones in gizmo doesn't work at all for you, or just doesn't work with video?  Maybe you could share your specific zoneswitch rules and a list of your zones?

It doesn't work with video. It works for audio because the audio plays no matter what zone is active, but in order to play video (Display View) the zone has to be active.  Remote players don't change the active zone.  Zone Switch can change the active zone but you can't select a manual one remotely nor change back to the Zone Switched ones.

My video zones, output via HDMI, are currently:

HDMI Bitstream, Bitstreaming = SPDIF, no DSP settings. Zone Switch rule to select files of type video and Compression contains DTS. (Alternatively, this can be Channels >= 4).  Stop playing in HDMI DD 5.1.

HDMI DD 5.1, Bitstreaming = None, DSP Output Format set to JRSS DD 5.1. Zone Switch rule to select files of type video and Compression not contains DTS. (Alternatively, this can be Channels =<= 4). Stop playing in HDMI Bitstream.

HDMI DD 5.1 Vol Levelling, Bitstreaming = None DSP Output Format set to JRSS DD5.1, Volume Levelling on. No Zone Switch rules.

The rationale behind all this is to upmix 2-channel movies, TV programmes, music videos etc to DD 5.1, except when a DTS soundtrack is available because MC doesn't decode DTS, hence bitstreaming. (It's a moot point whether DD 5.1 soundtracks should be bitstreamed or not - I just came across some awkward situations and found the DTS method the least complicated way of dealing with it).

But in specific circumstances, I want to play a list of music videos with volume levelling.  There is no way of remotely switching between this manual zone and any Zone Switched ones.

The ideal would be just one video zone to play all video so that the renderer can be left on that zone as its active zone but audio settings decided by criteria, or Zone Switch to have criteria that recognises when a zone has been selected.
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csimon

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2014, 01:29:41 pm »

Yes, that should work just fine. You can combine bitstreaming with output encoding.

OK, I shall try that, thanks for the info.
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mwillems

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2014, 05:32:26 pm »

It doesn't work with video. It works for audio because the audio plays no matter what zone is active, but in order to play video (Display View) the zone has to be active.  Remote players don't change the active zone.  Zone Switch can change the active zone but you can't select a manual one remotely nor change back to the Zone Switched ones.

So I just created a standalone video zone to test, and was baffled because it worked exactly right every time with gizmo.  I'd select a video for the standalone video zone and display view would pop right up with the video.  I couldn't reproduce your issue at all, but then I had a hunch.  I had been testing in standard view, so I tried it in theater view and got exactly the behavior you described.  

So I can confirm that zones with no zoneswitch rules aren't getting focus when playback is started in them in theater view, but it all seems to work perfectly in standard view.  That may be a possible work around for you if you have a hard-to-access remote instance (especially a headless one).  
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csimon

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2014, 06:01:43 pm »

So I just created a standalone video zone to test, and was baffled because it worked exactly right every time with gizmo.  I'd select a video for the standalone video zone and display view would pop right up with the video.  I couldn't reproduce your issue at all, but then I had a hunch.  I had been testing in standard view, so I tried it in theater view and got exactly the behavior you described.  

So I can confirm that zones with no zoneswitch rules aren't getting focus when playback is started in them in theater view, but it all seems to work perfectly in standard view.  That may be a possible work around for you if you have a hard-to-access remote instance (especially a headless one).  

Well...thanks for trying, but I am in standard view anyway. Yes, and the same thing happens in Theater View. But I've already had it confirmed some time ago that remote playback doesn't change the active zone - it's designed like this so that if you're playing a video and audio is started in another zone, the new audio plays in the background without interrupting the current active zone that you're watching, which makes sense but it also undermines video playback. (http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=89754.0). I don't know why it seems to be working in standard view for you - display view just doesn't work unless it's the active zone. Are you sure that, in standard view, you have a different zone active at the point you start playback in the standalone zone, and the server then switches its active zone? Or is Display View working even if it's not the active zone?
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mwillems

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2014, 06:13:33 pm »

I don't know why it seems to be working in standard view for you - display view just doesn't work unless it's the active zone. Are you sure that, in standard view, you have a different zone active at the point you start playback in the standalone zone, and the server then switches its active zone? Or is Display View working even if it's not the active zone?

I can confirm that the active zone was set to something else, and I used gizmo to select a non-active standalone zone and play a video which then popped right up in display mode.  The standalone zone became the active zone as confirmed by looking at the OSD.  I tried switching away several times and relaunching the video from gizmo.   It worked every time.  As soon as I switched to theater view it stopped working and only launched in the background as you described.

I didn't try doing it via tremote or DLNA like was discussed in the thread you linked; I was using gizmo logged directly into the relevant client PC.  That was what just worked for me in standard view.  I think (based on a prior discussion we had) you don't use gizmo that way? It might be worth a try using gizmo to log directly into your client instances as it seems to be working here (at least in standard view).
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csimon

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Re: [REQ] Sub-Zones
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2014, 04:28:08 pm »

No, I'm afraid this doesn't work for me at all, not even in standard view with Gizmo.  It won't work with:

1. Gizmo
2. TRemote (i.e. sending to a remote library server using a local copy of MC)
3. DLNA controllers

It works with:

4. Android eos, because the author when he was made aware of the problem introduced two zone lists - one to specify which zone eos is controling and other to specify which is the server's active zone.
5. JRemote, if the "switch zone on server as well as device" setting is switched on, howver this does have the unfortunate side effect of always switching the server's active zone when switching the zone on JRemote that you want to control or see Now Playing for.

It really needs sorting out on the server side so that clients don't have to code around it all the time, in fact DLNA controllers are beyond JRiver's control and will never be able to achieve it, and this is important because JRiver wants to make the ID a DLNA and library server video renderer. It seems it's only third-party authors who have attempted to solve the problem so far.

It could be achieved, as mentioned, on the server side by revamping the Zone structure so that you can change audio settings seamlessly without changing the active zone (so requiring sub-zones or whatever) and/or enhancing Zone Switch rules.

I don't know why it seems to be working in Gizmo for you, but at least you've confirmed it doesn't work in Theater View for you anyway. It seems for you that Gizmo changes the active zone when you start playing - but it doesn't do that for me. I do have the current version of Gizmo that's in the Play Store.

The problem I've described is only one example or symptom of this issue, there are many different scenarios where the same problem manifests itself.
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