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editing static playlists

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  • #275
    dpark
    Guest

    Hi folks.

    Smart playlists are great and all… but sometimes you just want a static assortment of disparate songs. I love the web interface (I just moved from the stable to the nightly ipkg not long ago), but it appears unable to do anything with static playlists other than creating, renaming, and deleting them (populating them with songs is not yet there). Just upgraded to svn 1050 too. Java applet doesn’t seem to help there either. I’m using Firefox/win32 btw, but I assume that’s not the issue?

    I assume it’s a feature that will eventually find its way into the web interface, but for now, I’m trying to see if there are other ways of maintaining static playlists.

    My setup is mt-daapd running off an NSLU2 serving up to a Roku and some iTunes clients. The library itself is maintained from a (sometimes powered on) desktop PC running iTunes, setting its storage location to a samba share on the NSLU2. mt-daapd rescans that directory every 10 mins. I figure this is a pretty common/sensible setup, right?

    In all my searching through the forums and the web site, it appears there are 3 ways to do static playlists.

    1) some old way that no longer exists, but it didn’t look too attractive (some sort of hand-edited .playlist file on the server side)

    2) M3U files. Kind of painful looking because, for me (and many others?), it’d involve something like: a) maintain playlists in iTunes, b) regularly manually export those playlists to text files, c) run those text files through some iTunes-to-M3U conversion script, place on samba share in some directory, d) set up some sort of cronned perl script that parses those files and unixifys the paths, and e) drop the cleaned up M3Us somewhere that mt-daapd will regularly poll.

    3) one thread in particular hints at the idea that mt-daapd can actually scan the iTunes XML data file, if you put it in the right place (or point mt-daapd to the right place). That seems to be the only thread that mentions this, I don’t see anything about it anywhere else, but it definetly raised an eyebrow as a viable option… I get the impression that somehow mt-daapd doesn’t have to worry about unixly-correct paths when dealing with that file?

    I guess in the end, the best hope is that static playlists can be managed from the web interface soon. But barring that, can anyone tell me more about how to make option #3 work?

    #4445
    rpedde
    Participant

    @dpark wrote:

    I guess in the end, the best hope is that static playlists can be managed from the web interface soon. But barring that, can anyone tell me more about how to make option #3 work?

    Actually, things have actually moved along quite a bit in the last month on the static playlist side.

    But to make #3 work, just drop your iTunes xml in the root of the music share on the slug, and make sure that you have process_m3u set to 1 in the config.

    That’s it.

    You could do a logon script or startup item to copy that over when you log in on the windows side. (or even a “scheduled task” to copy that file over periodically).

    — Ron

    #4446
    dpark
    Guest

    cool, that seems to work, thanks!

    So my impression is that.. the static lists from the itunes xml file are just read into mt-daapd and served up read-only (even when the UI for static playlists is done) and not actually copied over to the sqlite DB, whereas static playlists (once the UI is done) generated from the web interface would just live in the sqlite DB?

    #4447
    rpedde
    Participant

    @dpark wrote:

    So my impression is that.. the static lists from the itunes xml file are just read into mt-daapd and served up read-only (even when the UI for static playlists is done) and not actually copied over to the sqlite DB, whereas static playlists (once the UI is done) generated from the web interface would just live in the sqlite DB?

    Actually, they are both in the db, but the itunes playlists (and m3u playlists) are refreshed on file system scans, so if you edited those, you would lose them when it next re-read the xml file. So those are read-only yeah.

    In the db, but read-only.

    At some point, there will also be static web-authored playlists which will be read/write. Exactly as you say.

    Glad it worked for you, and check back periodically. We’ll get there eventually. It’s Anders to thank for the web stuff, incidentally, so if you see him around here, you can thank him for the web stuff.

    — Ron

    #4448
    peterb
    Guest

    I too have a simuilar set up – NSLU2 feeding a couple of Roku units. I have built an m3u playlist which resiides in the mp3 directory on the NSLU. I have the process m3u option enabled in the .conf file (and I rebooted!)

    If I go to the m3u file using something like xmms on a linux box, it will play the mp3 files quite happily, but of course it isn’t streaming them. The m3u playlist doecn’t appear on the Roku units or on itunes on a PC.

    Any suggestions please?

    #4449
    rpedde
    Participant

    @peterb wrote:

    I too have a simuilar set up – NSLU2 feeding a couple of Roku units. I have built an m3u playlist which resiides in the mp3 directory on the NSLU. I have the process m3u option enabled in the .conf file (and I rebooted!)

    If I go to the m3u file using something like xmms on a linux box, it will play the mp3 files quite happily, but of course it isn’t streaming them. The m3u playlist doecn’t appear on the Roku units or on itunes on a PC.

    Any suggestions please?

    post a snippet of the playlist, so I can see it. Maybe I’ll see something there.

    #4450
    peterb
    Guest

    Thank you – one line shown..

    /Home_music/Al Stewart/Year Of The Cat/Broadway Hotel.mp3

    where home_music is a diectory below mp3. I have tried

    /mp3//Home_music/Al Stewart/Year Of The Cat/Broadway Hotel.mp3

    The playlist file is called test.m3u and is located in ~/mp3 but there is no reference to it in either itunes or the soundbridge…

    UPDATE – I have been playing again, and I can manually import the playlist into itunes, (under file – import) but it isn’t announced automatically like the smart playlists, and I can’t see it on the Roku.

    #4451
    rpedde
    Participant

    @peterb wrote:

    Thank you – one line shown..

    /Home_music/Al Stewart/Year Of The Cat/Broadway Hotel.mp3

    where home_music is a diectory below mp3. I have tried

    /mp3//Home_music/Al Stewart/Year Of The Cat/Broadway Hotel.mp3

    That’s saying that there is a path called /Home_music which is at the very top of the directory tree. that’s probably not the case. The folder “Home_music” is probably somewhere like /share/hdd/data/public, or /share/hdd/data/public/mp3, right?

    If so, the correct path is /share/hdd/data/public/mp3/Home_music/Al Stewart/Year Of The Cat/…

    That’s what the / at the beginning means — start at the top of the file system. When you use it from windows as a share, it works because your drive letter is mapped to the folder above the Home_music folder, so from the perspective of your windows machine, Home_music *is* at the top of the directory tree. Not for the nslu2, though.

    To make it work, put that file in the Home_music directory. then make the paths look like this:

    Al Stewart/Year Of The Cat/…

    Since there isn’t a / at the beginning of the path, that means that the file is in the “Al Stewart” directory right under the directory you are in now (Home_music).

    That should work.

    — Ron

    #4452
    peterb
    Guest

    Doh! And I was convinced that my paths were ‘unixly correct’ 😥

    Yes – it has burst into life – many thanks for your help. (*hangs head in shame*)

    #4453
    Sherlock
    Guest

    @peterb wrote:

    Doh! And I was convinced that my paths were ‘unixly correct’ 😥

    Yes – it has burst into life – many thanks for your help. (*hangs head in shame*)

    Don’t feel bad. You have helped others like myself. Understanding what ‘unixly correct’ really means has been on my list to better understand, but I have already asked more than my fair share of ‘Linux Newbie’ questions.

    #4454
    rpedde
    Participant

    @Sherlock wrote:

    @peterb wrote:

    Doh! And I was convinced that my paths were ‘unixly correct’ 😥

    Yes – it has burst into life – many thanks for your help. (*hangs head in shame*)

    Don’t feel bad. You have helped others like myself. Understanding what ‘unixly correct’ really means has been on my list to better understand, but I have already asked more than my fair share of ‘Linux Newbie’ questions.

    Lol… no problem. I sometimes (?) fall into the trap of thinking that the stuff I know is known by everyone. Guess that’s an occupational hazard for everyone in their own subject matter field.

    Glad you got it working
    — Ron

    #4455
    peterb
    Guest

    Update – certainly got it working – but not as quite straightforward as I had thought! There seems to be some problem with large m3u files. Small files with only one or two entries in appear with no problem, but I have been playing with files with around 100 entries!

    If there are no valid entries at all, either because they are commented out or not unixly correct, then itunes will not display the file, although other playlists are displayed. If there are some valid entries, itunes diplays the playlist and the valid entries. No problem there – however the Roku is a different matter!

    It seems very sensitive to the correctness of paths – an incorrect path in an m3u file stops it loading any playlists at all, although it will connect to the server OK. However there are occasions when it will connect to the server but not load playlists even though the file is correct – the only solution then is to restart mt-daapd. More strangely, sometimes after re-writing the playlist to the slug, the Roku won’t connect to the server at all, unless the server is re-started! (Sometimes 2 or three times)

    I won’t even hazard a guess as to why this is – or if the situation will change with the next release of Roku softwatre (currently in beta testing)

    For the record I am using 0.2.4-1 on unslung 5.5 The m3u files were edited either natively using vi, or remotely using gedit. I have also created them using xmms on a remote machine, but then all the paths need to be corrected (as XMMS creates absolute paths) using the global find and replace in gedit.

    Hope that helps prevent anyone else tearing their hair out over this… meanwhile I shall continue preparation for the party for which this is being done!

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