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Missing a Piece of the Jigsaw?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  ajayre 11 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #180

    ajayre
    Participant

    I think I am misunderstanding something fundamental. I’m new to music servers, etc. I have mt-daapd installed and running (17-Jan-06 nightly) on a Linux box. I have the latest iTunes installed and running on my Windows laptop, and I can see the music files.

    Problems:

    I don’t see the default playlists defined in mt-daapd.conf in iTunes.

    I can’t seem to create any playlists in iTunes. The help says to create an empty playlist and then drag music files to it. It doesn’t let me drag any music files from the mt-daapd server to a playlist and my Library is empty. Am I missing a step here?

    Note that the files mt-daapd is serving are on a Samba share, mapped to a network drive – incase that helps.

    Thanks for the help!

    Andy

    Post edited by: ajayre, at: 2006/02/23 04:16

    #3991

    rpedde
    Participant

    Apple’s daap client (iTunes) is crippled in a number of respects with regard to what it can do with remote files. Songs that are shared by another iTunes client can’t be burned to cd, arranged in playlists, etc. So that part has to do with iTunes, not mt-daapd.

    As far as the playlists go, between november and january (ish) playlists haven’t worked on nightlies. Since Januaryish, though, they do, but now they are edited via the web interface instead of in a file, having the advantage that they take effect immediately (without having to restart the server). You’ll want to take a look at the notes on the nightlies page, as that’s pretty much the only place the smart playlist language is documented, although there is a wizardy thing to help build playlists.

    It will read standard m3u files, though, too, so if you have those it should work.

    Is your music library a mirror of an iTunes library? If so, then by copying your iTunes Music Library.xml file into the top of the mp3_dir, mt-daapd will read your playlist info from itunes.

    I’m not sure if that answers all your questions, but ask again if I’m not clear.

    — Ron

    #3992

    ajayre
    Participant

    Thanks Ron. Perhaps I should explain what point I am trying to get to. I’m sure it’s a common one.

    I’ve ordered a Roku Soundbridge, which will play our CDs ripped to the Linux box, running mt-daapd. I want my wife to be able to easily construct static playlists on her Windows PC and then access them on the soundbridge. I don’t really care if it’s iTunes or something else, as long as it is user friendly.

    So should I?:

    – import all my mp3 from the Samba share (that mt-daapd is accessing) into the Library in iTunes

    – construct playlists

    – find the .xml file and copy it to the mt-daapd mp3 root

    – restart mt-daapd (necessary or will a periodic scan see it?)

    If so will this actually copy the mp3 files to a new location (I want to keep them in one central place)?

    There is no automated way of syncing the iTunes library when new mp3s are added to the Linux box?

    We will have copies of iTunes (or whatever) on on my PC and my wife’s, so we can both create playlists. Is that possible? I guess two .xml files.

    Thanks for the help! πŸ™‚

    Andy

    Post edited by: ajayre, at: 2006/02/23 14:38

    #3993

    velociped
    Participant

    Andy,

    I will take a stab at answering your questions, in turn.

    import all my mp3 from the Samba share (that mt-daapd is accessing) into the Library in iTunes

    Yes and no. How is that for a definitive answer? πŸ˜‰

    It is not necessary to import them, per se. Your best bet is to select the directory containing your music on the Samba share as the "iTunes Music folder location" in the iTunes preferences. Once you have done that, locate that directory and drag it onto the "Library" in your source pane. That will catalogue all of your existing tracks within iTunes and allow you to manage them as needed.

    construct playlists

    Step one will allow for creation and management of playlists, yes.

    find the .xml file and copy it to the mt-daapd mp3 root

    You can do this, but the playlists will quickly fall out of sync when any subsequent alterations are made. My suggestion would be to mirror the expected iTunes directory hierarchy on the Samba share (i.e. "iTunes" —> "iTunes Music" —> <music files>. Then, if you designate the "iTunes" directory as your MP3 source in the mt-daapd config file, the daemon will parse the XMl playlist file and publish it with the share.

    restart mt-daapd (necessary or will a periodic scan see it?)

    Originally, I thought that playlist rescans required quitting the daemon and restarting it. Recently, though, someone corrected me on that point by stating a rescan would grab playlist changes as well as the addition of new files. YMMV.

    If so will this actually copy the mp3 files to a new location (I want to keep them in one central place)?

    No, not if you follow the directions above with respect to pointing iTunes to the Samba share as the location of the iTunes Music folder and Library. This same configuration can be used with every iTunes client in the house, if you like, for management of the library, playlists etc. (see below for the caveat)

    There is no automated way of syncing the iTunes library when new mp3s are added to the Linux box?

    If they are ripped and added via iTunes, then, yes, this is possible. If you make use of another application for ripping and adding or if the files are not added through iTunes, then no, there is, TMK, no way to tell iTunes of their presence. mt-daapd will pick them up on a subsequent scan, but iTunes will remain ignorant — unless and until you manually locate and dump them on the "Library" source.

    We will have copies of iTunes (or whatever) on on my PC and my wife’s, so we can both create playlists. Is that possible? I guess two .xml files.

    Yes, this is possible and no, there will not necessarily be duplicate copies of the XML files. Following the procedure outlined above will allow all iTunes clients to make use of the same management files. The caveat being that only one of you can make use of iTunes to do so at any given time. iTunes puts a lock on the "iTunes Library" file. Attempts to access it from a client on another machine will return an error to this effect. This is the only drawback to this scenario that I have encountered in over three years of similar usage. To me, it is a minor and acceptable limitation. Of course, YMMV.

    –Herman

    #3994

    ajayre
    Participant

    Thanks Herman, that made a lot of sense!

    However, I am stuck with the iTunes XML file. This is my current setup:

    mp3_dir /unmirrored/Music/iTunes

    iTunes music folder location: N:MusiciTunes

    Inside the iTunes folder is:

    iTunes Music
    iTunes Library.itl
    iTunes Music Library.xml

    The .xml file is a copy of the one in My DocumentsMy MusiciTunes

    I added the N:MusiciTunesiTunes Music folder to the library, and I can see the track, organize them, etc.

    Here is the problem: despite restarting iTunes, if I edit playlists, the changes go into the xml file in My Documents, not the one on the N drive.

    I’m sure I am doing something stupid. Any ideas? Thanks for your help!

    Andy

    #3995

    velociped
    Participant

    Puzzling. I think I am following your explanation. Have you quit iTunes since making the preference change with respect to the location of the library? If so, have you tried deleting the “My Documents” version of the XML file, renaming or moving it?

    Try one or both of those to see if your rate of success improves.

    Not being a regular user of that platform, I am not sure how well the Windows version of iTunes handles symbolic links… er, "Shortcuts". πŸ™‚ However, if all else fails, you could delete the iTunes directory in your My Documents folder; instead creating a "Shortcut" to the iTunes directory on the "N:" drive.

    –Herman

    #3996

    ajayre
    Participant

    If I rename the iTunes folder then it recreates the copy in My Documents when I restart iTunes.

    I tried creating a shortcut, and it simply created a new .xml file and ignored the shortcut. Probably because on Linux you can’t tell the difference between the actual file and a symbolic link when accessing, whereas a Windows shortcut is a binary file that Windows processes to follow the link.

    πŸ™

    Andy

    #3997

    rpedde
    Participant

    I’ve seen the same thing. That even if you tell iTunes to put the database somewhere on the network, it keeps the .xml file locally. Lame.

    One (subpar) way around it might be to copy your itunes .xml up to the server on logon (or logoff — win2k or better has shutdown scripts) to your machine. mt-daapd should see the updated .xml file and import it next pass.

    I don’t know if that solves any problems, but it’s something that might help in some way. :-/

    #3998

    ajayre
    Participant

    πŸ™

    Seems like it will become a chore to do what I want to do. Not only would I have to keep syncing the .xml file between the server and the two PCs, I would have to do some syncing with the library (because even if I use iTune to rip, I will do that only on one PC).

    Or is syncing of the xml file enough?

    Are there any other DAAP clients that have more flexibility that work with mt-daapd?

    Thanks for the help with this.

    Andy

    #3999

    ajayre
    Participant

    Actually I don’t need another DAAP client. iTunes works fine and my Roku Soundbridge will be the primary player.

    Basically what I need is a Windows based or web based user-friendly editor for static playlists that mt-daapd can support and can use the same collection of music files that mt-daapd uses.

    How do people who use mt-daapd normally manage this kind of thing? It seems a basic requirement to me. Perhaps I am misunderstanding.

    Andy

    #4000

    rpedde
    Participant

    I use smart playlists rather than static playlists, and nightlies can do those right now from the web interface. I have the db stuff set up for web-based editing of static playlists, but I haven’t implemented it, as I’m working more on the backend than the web interface, and there doesn’t seem to be overwhelming interest from people to fix the web front end to be more featureful.

    Or at least an interest that results in patches.

    I think CCRdude threw up some php stuff in the nightlies forum. It might be not much more than an afternoon’s worth of work to build a php playlist editor straight into the database if the server is a machine that can do apache and php.

    Or if you are a javascript/xml wizard, I wouldn’t chase off offers to work on the web interface to do static playlist editing. All the xml-rpc is there to support it. It just needs the web front-end.

    — Ron

    #4001

    ajayre
    Participant

    I worked out how to move the xml file! I haven’t received my Soundbridge yet, to test it, but hopefully everything will work. Here’s how to do it:

    Create folder “My Music” on N:
    Run TweakUI from Microsoft
    Change the location of the My Music folder from it’s current location to N:My Music
    Log off and back on
    Start iTunes

    iTunes now using My Music on N:!

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    However it probably would not be wise to run any software that uses My Music (such as iTunes) when I am not on my local network.

    I’ll post back to tell if the playlists work.

    Andy

    #4002

    rpedde
    Participant

    Woo!

    But there is more… if it’s a redirected folder, it actually *should* cache. Seems like there is a setting on properties that says how much you want to cache. You might be able to tell windows to cache everything, and then if you add something offline, it will sync the changes UP to the N drive next logon.

    Might be worth playing with if you have a small library you can test.

    — Ron

    #4003

    ajayre
    Participant

    Hi Ron,

    I’m not sure what you mean regarding caching. Can you elaborate?

    I now have my SB and right now I can create playlists in iTunes, then start a scan in mt-daapd (don’t want to wait 5 mins) and then select and play them on the SB. Perfect! :laugh:

    I notice that radios in iTunes playlists don’t show up. Is that on purpose?

    Thanks for a great application!

    Andy

    #4004

    rpedde
    Participant

    gotta have xp pro, but here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/mobility/learnmore/offlinefiles.mspx

    re: radios… I don’t know… I don’t have any in my itunes xml, so I don’t import them. Maybe I should look at that, eh?

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