Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

How can I force tracks to play in order?

Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:34 pm

I've seen a lot of discussion of this topic, but no definitive solution. The problem is that despite having very carefully edited my mp3 tags, the tracks still don't play in order. This is apparently because the server (WMP in my case) doesn't stream the tracks of an album to my Roku Soundbridge in track order--it streams them in alphabetical order, which is very annoying, especially for classical music, opera, etc.

Is it possible to force WMP to stream the tracks in track order? If it is, can anyone explain precisely how I can configure WMP to do that?

If it is not possible to force WMP to stream the tracks in track order, then I'll apparently have to consider an alternative server, e.g. Firefly. Is it possible to force Firefly to stream the tracks in track order? If it is, can anyone explain precisely how I can configure Firefly to do that?
Regards, Blake
 
Burkhardi
Posts: 1943
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:06 am
Location: Austin, Texas ...Y'all

Re: How can I force tracks to play in order?

Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:26 pm

Blake wrote:
I've seen a lot of discussion of this topic, but no definitive solution. The problem is that despite having very carefully edited my mp3 tags, the tracks still don't play in order. This is apparently because the server (WMP in my case) doesn't stream the tracks of an album to my Roku Soundbridge in track order--it streams them in alphabetical order, which is very annoying, especially for classical music, opera, etc.

Is it possible to force WMP to stream the tracks in track order? If it is, can anyone explain precisely how I can configure WMP to do that?

If it is not possible to force WMP to stream the tracks in track order, then I'll apparently have to consider an alternative server, e.g. Firefly. Is it possible to force Firefly to stream the tracks in track order? If it is, can anyone explain precisely how I can configure Firefly to do that?


I am using the service in WMP11 (which is a version of WMC) and it works fine for me. I can browse by artist, the pick the album and then select play and it's in order.
Roku3 and Roku HD1000 [Rev B] on a Samsung HLP5674W DLP in the living room; a Roku2 and two Roku XS and a few SoundBridges.Win7; Kubuntu and XP via RT-N66U, E2000 and a switch or two. I own stock in Roku, it's just all in the form of hardware.Viva la Roku
 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:54 pm

That works for me too, but if I browse by album the tracks aren't streamed in order. Should everything be streamed in track order (assuming the mp3 files are properly tagged) or are there situations in which some other streaming order takes precedence over track order?
Regards, Blake
 
TonyM
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:47 am
Location: Gloucestershire, UK

Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:06 pm

You might already have done this but its worth making sure the "Album Artist" tag is set to the same for all tracks on the album.

Some media servers use this field as part of the sort algorithm and if it is not set correctly then track name can take priority.
 
jjaf
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Location: Epping Forest (bordering London), UK

Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:31 am

Rebuild your WMP library:
Select all items in WMP client (ctrl-A), Delete, then add media again. Take care to only delete records from the library, not the files from the folders.
I'm not sure that when you edit tags in file manager, that forces an update to the media library (but I guess MS would be that clever).
 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:48 am

I've deleted/rebuilt my WMP library many times as suggested by jjaf. I do that every time I do any substantial editing of my mp3 tags. It doesn’t cure the problem.

I'm beginning to suspect that the problem is beyond my control. I've linked below a 2006 post in which the problem is discussed in some detail. Briefly, and as I understand it, mp3 tagging conventions are not robustly established. This makes it difficult for server software designers to create server software that will accommodate all situations, especially for classical music which requires more complex tagging. It’s a vicious circle: the tagging complexities take you deeper into the area of undocumented tagging conventions, causing more complexity and uncertainty for server software designers. As observed in the linked post, classical music may not be very popular amongst server software designers, so without a personal incentive they're unlikely to invest the effort required to accommodate classical music.

I suppose I could try another server, such as Firefly. But before I expend the effort on that, I'd like to know whether Firefly will always stream mp3 files (especially classical music files) in track order regardless of how I choose to browse my music. Can anyone enlighten me?

http://forums.rokulabs.com/viewtopic.php?t=8320
Regards, Blake
 
jjaf
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Location: Epping Forest (bordering London), UK

Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:40 pm

I don't have a large classical collection, but the small number I do have play in the correct order.

Does the following article help? http://www.tech-archive.net/Archive/Med ... 00353.html (possibly where TonyM got the Album Artist info from)

At the risk of asking the bleeding obvious, are you editing the "track order"/"track number" tag (it has different names in Vista Explorer and WMP11) so each track is unique and sequential? Also, make sure you are not selecting a playlist.

Is the track order displayed in WMP itself correct?

Trying Firelfy is a good idea, yes it orders tracks correctly. If it presents the same incorrect order as WMP then your tags are the problem; if the tracks are in the correct order then the problem is with WMP.
 
DJans
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:06 am
Location: Germany

Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:51 pm

I am using the TwonkyVision server and my soundbridges plays exactly the order that is tagged in the ID3 tag "Track number"
 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:19 pm

jjaf's comments prompted me to try a few experiments. I haven't 'solved' the problem but I have some observations. Others may have useful comments or suggestions that I can take into account before I do a lot of retagging, try another server, etc.

As far as I can tell, the problem involves multiple disc sets. I've used the discnumber tag to numerically tag the files corresponding to each disc.

For example, I've ripped an 8-CD set of Bach orchestral works, yielding 147 mp3 files. I've tagged all 147 files with the same Artist, Album, Genre and Composer tags. The 15 files ripped from CD1 are all tagged with discnumber 1 and those files are consecutively tagged with track numbers 01/15, 02/15, etc.; the 20 files ripped from CD2 are all tagged with discnumber 2 and those files are consecutively tagged with track numbers 01/20, 02/20, etc. And so on for all 8 CDs.

Note that there is only 1 Album (not 8) because all 147 files have the same Album tag. I thought that this would let me play all 8 discs by selecting a single album on my Roku. However, WMP apparently does not process the discnumber tag correctly (or at all). I wind up with track 1 of all 8 discs (i.e. 8 tracks in total, ordered alphabetically by Title), followed by track 2 of all 8 discs (i.e. another 8 tracks in total, ordered alphabetically by Title), etc. This is not very appealing.

A brute force solution would be to change the Album tags by adding "disc 1" to the Album tag for all of the files belonging to disc 1, adding "disc 2" to the Album tag for all of the files belonging to disc 2, etc. But, if I do that, I won't be able to select the whole 8CD set as one album; I'll have to select each album separately.

Another brute force solution might be to create a playlist and somehow arrange the correct track ordering within the playlist. I'm not sure if that's possible though (I haven't fiddled with playlists yet) and in any case it seems like a lot of work.

Another solution might be to try another server such as Firefly, but before I do that I'd like to know if Firefly pays attention to the discnumber tag such that the foregoing problem would be eliminated.

I appreciate the input everyone has offered so far and I'd welcome further comments or suggestions.
Regards, Blake
 
jjaf
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Location: Epping Forest (bordering London), UK

Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:14 am

I keep each disc as a separate album on multi disc albums.

I won't be able to select the whole 8CD set as one album

Use the Song Queue feature on the Soundbridge.
Or set up play lists.

I'd like to know if Firefly pays attention to the discnumber tag

I don't know the answer to that, I'm sure a Firefly expert will respond. Or you could search the firefly forums (here or at fireflymediaserver.org)
 
stretch
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:29 am
Location: Australia

Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:36 am

Blake wrote:
As far as I can tell, the problem involves multiple disc sets. I've used the discnumber tag to numerically tag the files corresponding to each disc.
I offset the track numbers of each disc.
e.g. 6 tracks per disc & three discs would result in 18 tracks.
disc 1 = tracks 1-6
disc 2 = tracks 7-12
disc 3 = tracks 13-18

I use dBpoweramp for ripping and it has a track number offset option so it's relatively painless

Firefly recognises the disc number tag but I don't know if the SB does anything with it

Edit:
OK, just did a quick check on my test server.
I added disc number to some random tracks and did a rescan in Firefly.
Firefly is recognising disc number & the SB is sorting by disc# / track#.
NB: Test was done with flac files
2 x M2000's
Infrant ReadyNAS NV+ with Firefly svn-1676
NSLU2, 500GB Maxtor One Touch III, uNSLUng 6.8, Firefly svn-1696
music library in FLAC format
 
blue_94_trooper
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:08 pm

Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:03 am

Firefly definitely sorts correctly when you use the disk number.
 
Blake
Topic Author
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:06 pm

Sun May 03, 2009 10:30 am

I've fixed the problem by prepending the discnumber to the track number as a 2-digit prefix. Thus:

track 1 of disc 1 becomes Track=0101
track 2 of disc 1 becomes Track=0102
...
track 13 of disc 7 becomes Track=0713
...
track 9 of disc 11 becomes Track=1109
...
etc.

This track numbering scheme forces WMP to serve the tracks in the correct order irrespective of how I browse via the Roku (recall that you apparently cannot rely on WIMP to process the discnumber tag as previously mentioned in this thread). Retagging the track numbers is easy, provided you're using mp3 files and you already have the discnumber and track tags set correctly. For example, you can use Mp3tag (http://www.mp3tag.de/en/) with an action such as:

Format value "TRACK": $num(%discnumber%,2)$num(%track%,2)
Regards, Blake

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