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Author Topic: Better playlist handling  (Read 4194 times)

flac.rules

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Better playlist handling
« on: June 08, 2015, 02:00:46 pm »

I would like the opportunity to rate playlists with stars, I use playlists for all my albums for instance (as i suspect many people do, being able to rate an album is different than rating an individual file. Furthermore I would like to be able to make regular playlists static, the "feature" of removing songs from a playlist if they are not in the library is prone to causing accidents, and serves no postive purpose for me.
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mwillems

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 02:19:37 pm »

I would like the opportunity to rate playlists with stars, I use playlists for all my albums for instance (as i suspect many people do, being able to rate an album is different than rating an individual file. Furthermore I would like to be able to make regular playlists static, the "feature" of removing songs from a playlist if they are not in the playlist is prone to causing accidents, and serves no postive purpose for me.

I'm confused about what you're asking for:

1) I'm not sure I understand what "using a playlist for an album" means?  I've never heard that expression before.     
2) What is the "feature of removing songs from a playlist if they are not in the playlist."  That seems sort of tautological, if they aren't in the playlist, how can they be removed?
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 02:40:04 pm »

I'm confused about what you're asking for:

1) I'm not sure I understand what "using a playlist for an album" means?  I've never heard that expression before.     
2) What is the "feature of removing songs from a playlist if they are not in the playlist."  That seems sort of tautological, if they aren't in the playlist, how can they be removed?

1) When i rip an album from an artist, I make a playlist of the album. Being able to rate the playlist would be great, because then you can rate an album, instead of just separate songs. (and I am sure there are other good uses for rating playlists too).
2) Sorry, I messed up, it should be removing songs not in the library. The static playlists remove files automatically if they are not in the library anymore, I would like this not to happen, or be an option. A static playlist should be static, and when a file is not in the library, it is usually because it has been moved (or eventually not available at the moment)
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glynor

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 04:32:08 pm »

Ordered Playlists in MC are lists of file keys in the Library. A file that is not in the Library cannot be in a Playlist, because it has no valid file key. So, it isn't that it "removed" it from the Playlist. The "item" in MC's database doesn't exist anymore, and so therefore cannot be part of the Playlist.

If you don't want that to happen, don't remove the files from your Library.
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 04:44:05 pm »

Ordered Playlists in MC are lists of file keys in the Library. A file that is not in the Library cannot be in a Playlist, because it has no valid file key. So, it isn't that it "removed" it from the Playlist. The "item" in MC's database doesn't exist anymore, and so therefore cannot be part of the Playlist.

If you don't want that to happen, don't remove the files from your Library.

Files can be removed from the library for a little while for any number of reasons, especially when using a library server and many clients. And even if the file is permanently gone for some reason, having a list of the songs names is of good help, i have used that many times in the past to recreate old playlists. I think this should be changed or made optional, it makes static playlists less functional.
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glynor

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 04:45:57 pm »

Also, I can't help you with rating Playlists (which isn't possible in MC because Playlists aren't a database "item" but a specialized view of database items).  However, you can make your own [Album Rating] field with ease:

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glynor

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 04:49:16 pm »

I think this should be changed or made optional, it makes static playlists less functional.

I don't work for JRiver, so I'm guessing, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I believe it would require a massive overhaul of the underlying data model. How would it even display the item? If it isn't in the Library, it no longer knows what it is.

There is no good reason to remove files from the Library temporarily. Ever. If you are doing so regularly as part of your workflow, then you need a different workflow. Perhaps try to explain specific instances of when this happens, and if you have an open mind, we can probably help you modify your system so that this is no longer necessary.

I believe you have a different idea of what the Library constitutes in MC than what it is, and are trying to force it to behave in ways counter to the way it is designed. This will lead to pain in all sorts of ways.
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 05:05:00 pm »

I don't work for JRiver, so I'm guessing, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I believe it would require a massive overhaul of the underlying data model. How would it even display the item? If it isn't in the Library, it no longer knows what it is.

There is no good reason to remove files from the Library temporarily. Ever. If you are doing so regularly as part of your workflow, then you need a different workflow. Perhaps try to explain specific instances of when this happens, and if you have an open mind, we can probably help you modify your system so that this is no longer necessary.

I believe you have a different idea of what the Library constitutes in MC than what it is, and are trying to force it to behave in ways counter to the way it is designed. This will lead to pain in all sorts of ways.

Most other programs have playlists the points to file location, MC can even read them, so it does not seem like an impossible task.

I dont do it as part of a workflow, but when you have may clients,you can be unlucky,you reinstall windows, forget to map up drives, or restore the wrong library or something changes are written back to the server. And playlists are changes, even worse, they are changed without warning, so by the time you notice,who knows when it happend, so backup is difficult. From a user standpoint, this gives trouble for little benefit.

I would in general advice to ask if something is unclear about what i believe about a library, instead of speculating about it.

Making a album rating is a good idea, thanks for the tip, will it show up in views sorted by albums?
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glynor

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 06:03:13 pm »

I dont do it as part of a workflow, but when you have may clients,you can be unlucky,you reinstall windows, forget to map up drives, or restore the wrong library or something changes are written back to the server.

You don't have to do it this way. Turn off Fix Broken Links in Auto-Import. Then the files won't be removed from the Library even if they don't exist on disk.

I'm not sure what Clients (which you've mentioned a few times) have to do with anything, since you can't Import files on a Client copy of MC.

Making a album rating is a good idea, thanks for the tip, will it show up in views sorted by albums?

Like any other Library Field in MC, you can generally make it show up where you'd like.

You won't be able to access it in the default Album Group setup, if that's what you mean, without making your own custom grouping scheme.

Most other programs have playlists the points to file location, MC can even read them, so it does not seem like an impossible task.

If you want to export a Playlist to a static set of filenames, you can do this. MC's Playlists are substantially more sophisticated than simple lists of filenames on disk.
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glynor

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 06:04:24 pm »

I would in general advice to ask if something is unclear about what i believe about a library, instead of speculating about it.

I would, in general, advise you to give advice a chance and accept that perhaps there are things about the way MC works that you don't yet get.  ;)

Like I said, I don't know what they'd say (we'd need someone from JRiver to comment), but... I doubt it. MC is a database. If the files aren't in the Library, they aren't in the database, and as far as it is concerned, they do not exist. There is no "item" for it to display.
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RoderickGI

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2015, 11:23:52 pm »

Ah terminology. It can so get in the way of communicating some times.  :)

I think much of the concerns are answered above, but I thought I would just throw in a little of my interpretation as I thought it may help, in this case and in others. Of course, my terminology will also be foreign, but let's give it a go.

First, while the MC Library is a Database, I like to think of it as an Index of all the Media Files I have told it about, or let it find. A Library doesn't hold any media itself, just Index Records that point to the media on disks somewhere.

In a similar way, Playlists aren't lists of media files on a disk, but are lists of Index Records.
Now as Glynor says, if you;
Turn off Fix Broken Links in Auto-Import. Then the files won't be removed from the Library even if they don't exist on disk.

If you turn off "Fix Broken Links", then the Index of your Media Files isn't updated when a Media File is deleted from a disk drive. (Or moved around on the drive I believe.) So your Playlist can still include the songs that just got deleted, because the Index Record of that song still exists in the Library. When an Index Record is no longer in the Library, then that song can no longer appear in a Playlist. That sounds like the solution you want Elvis. Correct?

On the question of rating at the Album level, instead of the media file level, I can understand a desire to do that. It is actually a pretty logical and good idea. Glynor has given you a way to try to do that. But I think most people do want to rate individual songs as well, and if this is done it is pretty easy to set up a Smartlist to show only Albums with an average song rating of say 3.5, and then just play those Albums. But of course many people also want to play their favourite Albums, but only play the songs with a rating of 4 or higher. After all, who wants to listen to all those crappy filler songs included to make up the numbers in Albums? With individual song ratings that is also easy. Using just an Album rating, and playing only Albums with a rating of 4 or higher, means that you will still be listening to those crappy filler songs. So rating at the song level is far more flexible than rating at the Album level. Maybe you could try to create some Smartlists that meet your needs.

But just to clarify, as I'm not sure from what you said, do you create one Playlist for each Album in your Library? Because if so, that is a lot of work, and it would probably defeat much of the brilliant searching, sorting, and selecting functionality in MC. It would also make navigation down a list of Playlists in MC Standard View a very cumbersome process. So I don't understand what you mean by "I use playlists for all my albums." Perhaps you could explain.

Finally, when you wrote "when you have may clients, you can be unlucky, you reinstall windows, forget to map up drives, or restore the wrong library" I thought "That sounds a bit strange."
In fact, I'm wondering if you have just one MC server and multiple MC Clients synchronising with that server, of if you have something like a NAS with all your files on it, and you run multiple MC servers, each connecting to the NAS and managing its own Library?

You see, the MC Media Network is designed such that one MC server is used to create and mange one Library, which is then synchronised to all MC Clients. That way, if you do have to reinstall windows (and MC), all you do is point the new MC Client installation to the MC server, and let it synchronise to the server. You should never really backup copies of the Server Library on the Client, or be restoring Libraries on the Client at all. So how could you restore "the wrong library"? The same with mapping drives. The MC Server knows where the Media Files are, and will serve them up to any MC Client that requests them. There is no need to map the drives where the Media Files reside on the MC Client (although you may want to, and there are some reasons for doing it, but it is generally not required.)

I may have just read far too much into your brief comment, but it set alarm bells off for me.

Oh, and "Workflow" is just the way you do things. How you set up MC, how you rip CDs and set up Playlist, how you choose to play you media files. "Workflow" doesn't have to mean some formal procedures you follow all the time, or anything like that. So if you say that when you rip CD Albums, you then create a Playlist for each Album, many people would call that a Workflow.

Disclaimer: I'm still no expert, I haven't tested everything I just talked about, and I could be completely wrong.  ;D
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 01:47:29 am »

I would, in general, advise you to give advice a chance and accept that perhaps there are things about the way MC works that you don't yet get.  ;)

Like I said, I don't know what they'd say (we'd need someone from JRiver to comment), but... I doubt it. MC is a database. If the files aren't in the Library, they aren't in the database, and as far as it is concerned, they do not exist. There is no "item" for it to display.
I am giving advice a chance, as long as it is concrete and not broad generalizations, to quote from another thread about feedback ;)

Well, it would be no worse than keeping data about broken database links, or have the option to keep them, all the relevant data about the files are already in the playlists (name, file location and so on), so no added data would have to be kept.
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2015, 01:59:25 am »

Ah terminology. It can so get in the way of communicating some times.  :)

I think much of the concerns are answered above, but I thought I would just throw in a little of my interpretation as I thought it may help, in this case and in others. Of course, my terminology will also be foreign, but let's give it a go.

First, while the MC Library is a Database, I like to think of it as an Index of all the Media Files I have told it about, or let it find. A Library doesn't hold any media itself, just Index Records that point to the media on disks somewhere.

In a similar way, Playlists aren't lists of media files on a disk, but are lists of Index Records.
Now as Glynor says, if you;
If you turn off "Fix Broken Links", then the Index of your Media Files isn't updated when a Media File is deleted from a disk drive. (Or moved around on the drive I believe.) So your Playlist can still include the songs that just got deleted, because the Index Record of that song still exists in the Library. When an Index Record is no longer in the Library, then that song can no longer appear in a Playlist. That sounds like the solution you want Elvis. Correct?

On the question of rating at the Album level, instead of the media file level, I can understand a desire to do that. It is actually a pretty logical and good idea. Glynor has given you a way to try to do that. But I think most people do want to rate individual songs as well, and if this is done it is pretty easy to set up a Smartlist to show only Albums with an average song rating of say 3.5, and then just play those Albums. But of course many people also want to play their favourite Albums, but only play the songs with a rating of 4 or higher. After all, who wants to listen to all those crappy filler songs included to make up the numbers in Albums? With individual song ratings that is also easy. Using just an Album rating, and playing only Albums with a rating of 4 or higher, means that you will still be listening to those crappy filler songs. So rating at the song level is far more flexible than rating at the Album level. Maybe you could try to create some Smartlists that meet your needs.

But just to clarify, as I'm not sure from what you said, do you create one Playlist for each Album in your Library? Because if so, that is a lot of work, and it would probably defeat much of the brilliant searching, sorting, and selecting functionality in MC. It would also make navigation down a list of Playlists in MC Standard View a very cumbersome process. So I don't understand what you mean by "I use playlists for all my albums." Perhaps you could explain.

Finally, when you wrote "when you have may clients, you can be unlucky, you reinstall windows, forget to map up drives, or restore the wrong library" I thought "That sounds a bit strange."
In fact, I'm wondering if you have just one MC server and multiple MC Clients synchronising with that server, of if you have something like a NAS with all your files on it, and you run multiple MC servers, each connecting to the NAS and managing its own Library?

You see, the MC Media Network is designed such that one MC server is used to create and mange one Library, which is then synchronised to all MC Clients. That way, if you do have to reinstall windows (and MC), all you do is point the new MC Client installation to the MC server, and let it synchronise to the server. You should never really backup copies of the Server Library on the Client, or be restoring Libraries on the Client at all. So how could you restore "the wrong library"? The same with mapping drives. The MC Server knows where the Media Files are, and will serve them up to any MC Client that requests them. There is no need to map the drives where the Media Files reside on the MC Client (although you may want to, and there are some reasons for doing it, but it is generally not required.)

I may have just read far too much into your brief comment, but it set alarm bells off for me.

Oh, and "Workflow" is just the way you do things. How you set up MC, how you rip CDs and set up Playlist, how you choose to play you media files. "Workflow" doesn't have to mean some formal procedures you follow all the time, or anything like that. So if you say that when you rip CD Albums, you then create a Playlist for each Album, many people would call that a Workflow.

Disclaimer: I'm still no expert, I haven't tested everything I just talked about, and I could be completely wrong.  ;D

I know that its a database. And turn of "fix broken links" might work, to be honest I am not sure, all I know is that i have been burned by this in the past. Probably while trying to solve some other problem.

I don't want to rate albums playlists instead of songs, i want to rate them in addition to individual songs.

Actually its not that much work, most programs creates a playlist automatically for you when you rip a CD, and having the playlist is a flexible system that works well with any software. MC sorts all those playlists into "imported playlists" by default and don't clutter up the playlist-view.

I have one library server, and  5 clients connected to that server, splitted into 8 zones.

And there are actually very good reasons for restoring the library on the client, namely getting your settings back, changling all mye client settings back manually would be wuite a hassle :)

The same with mapping drives, i have better performance results with mapping the drives on each client than and using "play local files if available" than just running everything directly from the server.
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glynor

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 07:12:51 am »

Well, it would be no worse than keeping data about broken database links, or have the option to keep them, all the relevant data about the files are already in the playlists (name, file location and so on), so no added data would have to be kept.

I don't understand. The Library contains that relevant data. It seems like you're asking for it to keep them when you remove them, which doesn't make any sense. Don't remove them in the first place.

As I said earlier, if you want a true permanent list of filenames on disk, you can easily export your Playlists to a MPL or any other supported playlist format. But within MC, if the file doesn't exist anymore, it also cannot exist in any Playlist. If MC did show you the entry, it would be useless, because it would be a broken file key like this: 6294056 (no other metadata would exist).  What are you going to do with that?
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2015, 07:27:15 am »

I don't understand. The Library contains that relevant data. It seems like you're asking for it to keep them when you remove them, which doesn't make any sense. Don't remove them in the first place.

As I said earlier, if you want a true permanent list of filenames on disk, you can easily export your Playlists to a MPL or any other supported playlist format. But within MC, if the file doesn't exist anymore, it also cannot exist in any Playlist. If MC did show you the entry, it would be useless, because it would be a broken file key like this: 6294056 (no other metadata would exist).  What are you going to do with that?

Why doesn't that make sense? The info in the playlist can be useful just because not all songs are in the library at one given point in time. I have already given examples of situations where files can disappear from a library by mistake.

Exporting is quite a hassle (because it has to be redeone everytime something changes), would't it be easier with an option to save playlist as mpl as default? As mentioned, the MPL-files contains all relevant data.
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blgentry

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2015, 08:32:25 am »

Elvis, please try the don't fix broken links setting.  I'm fairly certain it's exactly what you are asking for.  Because you are talking about "removals" that happen as a result of computer setup right?  In other words, you ARE NOT asking to be able to see files that you removed from JRiver ON PURPOSE.  Right?

If it's just a case of forgetting to map a drive or similar, that setting will help you and show you red icons next to files that are missing.  Test this by unmapping a drive and see all the red icons appear!  :)

Brian.
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2015, 08:44:56 am »

Elvis, please try the don't fix broken links setting.  I'm fairly certain it's exactly what you are asking for.  Because you are talking about "removals" that happen as a result of computer setup right?  In other words, you ARE NOT asking to be able to see files that you removed from JRiver ON PURPOSE.  Right?

If it's just a case of forgetting to map a drive or similar, that setting will help you and show you red icons next to files that are missing.  Test this by unmapping a drive and see all the red icons appear!  :)

Brian.

Thanks for the tip, the broken links setting has been suggested before, and I have answered that as best as I can. I am not however certain that this fixes the problem (nor am i certain it does not), when i got burned by this functionality, i think the reason was files missing from the library on one client (in connection with some other troubleshooting), and the client writing the playlist back to the server in a sync, however i did not notice playlists being destroyed until later.

I almost never remove files on purpose, so the main point is non-purposeful removal, however i would like the files to also be in the playlist with purposeful removal, but that is a very minor points.

But anyhow, I still would like to have an option to rate playlists :)
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flac.rules

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Re: Better playlist handling
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2015, 08:50:01 am »

You know, while we are at it, why don't just make a playlist a regular database entry, than can be tagged with anything, including stars?

And another minor playlist point, if you only select song from one artist-album, and choose "send to playlist", it would be nice if the playlist is named "artist - album"
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