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arthurb
2014-11-21, 18:08
I have installed, on the trial basis, Erland's Multi-Library, Custom Scan and Custom Browse plugins. So far, after a few hours, I have been able to introduce the 'Music Folder' browsing option to my LMS, giving acess to the three sub-folders, or 'libraries' as I think of them within my FLAC collection, from my Squeezebox Touch Menus. This was the most important thing for me as I can now, using a newly-acquired Synology NAS box, switch easily from my 'Popular' (from Rock to Folk) collection to Jazz and Classical. The folder structures are basically as I need them for browsing, even though I could wish for more flexibility. In that latter regard I have been trying to set up library definitions so as to use the Custom Browse add-on; however I am finding it almost impossible to proceed. Is there anywhere, some detailed, step-by-step instructions for a novice with LMS as well as the plugins I have added? I definitely need some help, but of a general kind rather than on any specific point initially.

Are there any helpful guides? The 'Squeezebox Wiki' stuff about the Multi-Library plugin is very limited, and whatever I specify in LMS for my Touch seems to be ignored.

erland
2014-11-22, 01:13
There are a few tutorials for Custom Browse linked from it's installation section on the wiki:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Custom_Browse#Installation

The relation to MultiLibrary is basically that:
- You either setup a menu in Custom Browse and specify the "Library" parameter in the menu configuration to select which library it should show
- Or you setup a menu in Custom Browse and don't specify any "Library" parameter value but instead goto the Multi Library library configuration and check the menu you have just created in Custom Browse.

If you want more help it's easier to help if you explain exactly which kind of menus you would like to accomplish.

arthurb
2014-11-22, 08:47
Hello Erland and thank you for replying to my query.

It was very late last night when I posted the questions, and I think I was not as clear as I might have been. Currently I have, presumably by installing 'Custom Browse', added the option 'Music Folder' to the Menus for LMS and my Squeezebox Touch. That, as I said earlier, is a great help; however, I would like to do much more.

I am now trying to define three 'virtual' libraries, but when I look at the first (by clicking on Multi-Library) it shows:

> Active Library FLAC_Classical
>
> Choose a sub-library to activate
>----------------------------------------
> FLAC_Classical (number of songs: 0)
>


I have been trying to add this library by 'including' the /FLAC Music Library/Classical folder, and 'excluding' the /FLAC Music Library/Popular/ folder along with two others. But it only seems to recognise the main library/folder (i.e. FLAC Music Lirary).

I know I am floundering around here, which is why I was asking for general help. I have no idea what I am supposed to be specifying in that large definition page, nor do I know what it is that I am specifying. On the Multi-Library definition page it says: 'Please enter library parameters', but I cannot find anywhere that the parameters are explained, or even what processing is going to be done on them, starting with the folder specifications: what do they mean? Further to that, what is the purpose of the Only Include and Exclude tracks by Artists boxes: it seems that one cannot do anything with them, certainly not clear them, and there is no 'ignore this feature' tick box. Am I alone in finding this definition page extremely confusing?

Can you, or anyone, start with some 'Help' information about the Library definitions? After I can define the libraries, then I will turn to the browsing of them.

Regards,
Arthur.

P.S. LMS Version from Setting->Information: Logitech Media Server Version: 7.7.3 - 1375965195 @ Mon Aug 19 11:42:55 PDT 2013
Installed on Synology DS214Play by downloading from Synology.

arthurb
2014-11-23, 17:58
Well, I removed almost everything that I put into the 'library definition' page except for one directory (in the 'include' section), and it appears that I now have a Classical library; not that it seems to give me anything very useful. I have tried to add something to the 'Custom Browse' section but, bloody hell, this is painful! I am trying to tell this software to sort on 4 fields: Composer, Genre, Album, and Album Artist, but after many, many attempts, I get a listing of composers and then several layers of jumbled-up folders and music tracks.

So, is there any kind of guide to using this software? Erland gave a pointer to some stuff, but that is basically largely unstructured descriptions of fields and labels and thus not very useful. By today's standards this is not cheap software, ranking in cost with dBpoweramp, MediaMonkey and Corel's Paint Shop Pro (from stuff I use) and is not a $5 Android app, surely it is reasonable to have some sort of guide.

It is beginning to look like it's time to give up...

Can I ask again: can anyone help with this stuff.

SlimChances
2014-11-23, 20:19
Not sure I can offer much help, but I set up two dependent libraries and defined them as MP3 and FLAC. I remember it did not seem very straightforward to a non techie like me but eventually worked. I found Dynamic Playlist a very useful plugin as it allowed me to create playlists based on any number of genres within one or the other library

arthurb
2014-11-24, 13:20
Thanks for the reply Slimchances; it seems we have both set up libraries but neither of us are quite sure what all the parameters mean. This of course means that I am a little concerned that everything is OK.

I have been staggering, or perhaps blundering on, and have, probably, set up Custom Scan to return ALBUMARTIST, COMPOSER and CONDUCTOR (I am using FLAC files only). Then I have set up some menus with Custom Browse so that I can view the following: Composer --> Genre --> Album --> Album Artist. All of my classical files are tagged with the Album as the Work (e.g. Piano Concerto No 5), and Album Artist as the basic description of all the main protagonists (e.g. Barenboim - Klemperer - New Philharmonia Orch.).

I did this by setting up a menu that I called 'Classical by Composer' which should have four levels. That is: on the 'menu parameters' panel I have defined 'Level 1 Tag Name' as COMPOSER, 'Level 2 Tag Name' as GENRE, 'Level 3 Tag Name' as ALBUM, and lastly 'Level 4 Tag Name' as ALBUMARTIST. This does roughly work, allowing me to step down through the layers as defined in paragraph 2, above, and this is a great improvement on my earlier efforts (I have removed some scans amongst other things).

However, I have a problem: I have duplicate entries in the 1st and 4th layers. That is to say: each composers name is repeated and also works to direct me to a lower level, and the performers (i.e. Album Artists) names are also repeated although each does give the correct track list (i.e. song titles); Genre and Album seem to work OK except for one other issue which can wait for now. Does anyone know what is happening here?

Well, I copied the tag-names for all levels 1 to 4 to the 'Sort Tag Name' fields for each level, and that has cured the problems at level 1 and 4 apparently. However the other issue remains: at level 3, using the Album Tag, I get an entry for each of the lower level entries. That is to say: I may have two versions of Brahms Violin Concerto, by say Bloggs and the XPO and Smith and the YPO, but that causes two entries in level 3 saying 'Violin Concerto'. I know they are identical because they are put into the same folder when I use dBpoweramp's Arrange Audio function, and in any case I have just checked. Is there a bug here or have I just missed another option I should add/delete/alter?

Has anyone else had duplicate items in menus?

Next Day.
Well, I tried taking out the 'Sort Tag Name' field on the level 4 field (ALBUMARTIST), but then the duplicates in the top and bottom levels re-appeared. So, I tried putting it back as before, and LMS seemingly could not find anything in the Virtual-Library/Custom-Browse set-up that appeared to work last night. So, I went back in to check every definition, and tried to make sure I didn't change anything (I was checking it was as I thought it should be), and now I get no response: just the whirling circle in the Firefox tab indicating the the browser is waiting for a response (I think). It would appear that these plugins are very unstable, and from the lack of responses I assume hardly anyone uses them, which would seem understandable. What is infuriating is that there is basically very good stuff here that I think many, many people would find useful if only it was stable and easy to set up.

Pointless request number 999: can anyone help with setting up multiple sort menus/fields?

Later...
Stopped and then re-started the LMS and now, when I go to my Classical library I get the message (from LMS) 'No matching songs, albums or artists were found'. Which I was getting right at the start of my set-up process. I am now in total despair with these plugins. They appear to change all on their own - amazing...

I think it is time to go to the pub and think of a way to get the Royal Navy to drop some nukes on Sweden.

Navy not interested ... so far

No change, still getting no response - saw this in the log:

[14-11-25 13:50:19.0883] Slim::Networking::IO::Select::__ANON__ (147) Error: Select task failed calling Slim::Web::HTTP::processHTTP: Can't call method "id" on an undefined value at /volume1/@appstore/SqueezeCenter/Cache/InstalledPlugins/Plugins/CustomBrowse/MenuHandler/BaseMenuHandler.pm line 1359.
; fh=Slim::Web::HTTP::ClientConn=GLOB(0xc7cee98)

Wonder what this means

Last attempt at fixing this nonsense: disabled Multi-Library, Custom Scan and Custom Browse plugins; uninstalled and then re-installed LMS; re-installed plugins; defined Classical library, Custom Scan for ALBUMARTIST & CONDUCTOR, and set up Mixed-Tags menu for the four levels Composer/Genre/Album/AlbumArtist. Result: back where I was 5 hours ago (before dinner); the four menu levels work as required, except there are separate entries in level 3 (Album) for each of the folders described by level 4 (Album Artist), and that, bottom, layer has duplicated entries for the target folder.

This is pretty insane, so I think I give up. I will probably buy Custom Browse and just use 'Music Folders' as my folder layout matches browsing view above. But it is extremely frustrating.

arthurb
2014-11-26, 12:20
OK, another day...

These posts are for Erland who said he may have time to look at this later in the week - hope you are not too upset by me wanting to nuke Sweden earlier Erland.

I have added some screen-shots. First 5 are going down through the stuff I have set up in LMS, and this is all as I want it. There is superfluous stuff on screen 5 (the Level 2 menu panel), and lower ones, but I think that cleaning it up can wait until the structure is right.

arthurb
2014-11-26, 12:33
Next 5 Screen-shots: the first two show the panels generated by the Level 3 and Level 4 sections of the menu definition (those are Albums (which I have made equal to Works), and Album Artists (which, for me, identifies a particular recording)). As can be seen, I get duplication in these menus/listings.

The last three screen shots show the menu definition in Custom Browse that defines my 4 Levels (split into Top, Middle and Bottom for obvious reasons).

Note that the first screen shows that where there is only one folder at the bottom level (Album Artist - i.e. I have only one version of the Piano Concerto No 1) there is only one entry at level 3 (Album). The duplication only seems to occur when I have more than one version of the Album (or Work); thus for 'Piano Concerto No 2', which I have two versions of (Arrau - Haitink - Concertgebouw & Ashkenazy - Haitink - Vienna Phil), the Album name is repeated and each entry points to one of the two versions. Interestingly, if I then browse down using either of the two separate versions, I see the version (defined by Album Artist) duplicated also, but both of these links work correctly and show me the correct track/movement list.

Most odd; I suspect that I have defined something incorrectly, but I just don't know enough to say.

erland
2014-12-01, 10:16
starting with the folder specifications: what do they mean?

It will only look at folders within the Music folder which you have configured in LMS Settings/Basic tab, the Multi Library library will be a subset of all music within the folder you have configured in LMS Settings/Basic tab.

The "Included Directory x" parameters will help you specify that any files within any of these directories should be included in the library.
The "Excluded Directory x" parameters will help you specify that the files in these directories should not be included.

So as an example, if you specify:
Included Directory 1: /mnt/music/folder1
Included Directory 2: /mnt/music/folder2
Excluded Directory 1: /mnt/music/folder1/subfolder1

It means that all music in /mnt/music/folder2 will be included and also all music in /mnt/music/folder1 besides the file inside /mnt/music/folder1/subfolder1

Another example is if you only define:
Excluded Directory 1: /mnt/music/folder1
This means that all music in the folder specified in LMS Settings/Basic will be included except the files inside the /mnt/music/folder1 directory.



Further to that, what is the purpose of the Only Include and Exclude tracks by Artists boxes: it seems that one cannot do anything with them, certainly not clear them, and there is no 'ignore this feature' tick box. Am I alone in finding this definition page extremely confusing?

If you don't select any artists it means that the library won't be affected.
If you select some artists in the "Only include tracks for selected artists" list, it means that ONLY music from artists which have been selected will be included.
If you select some artists in the "Exclude tracks for selected artists" list, it means that all artists except the ones which have been selected will be included.

You can unselect an artist by holding Ctrl when clicking it.

Genres checkboxes works the same as the artists list.

Generally, if you leave all parameters at the default you will get a library with your whole music library but if you check/select/specify parameters the library will be more restricted in which files it includes.

erland
2014-12-01, 10:31
I have been staggering, or perhaps blundering on, and have, probably, set up Custom Scan to return ALBUMARTIST, COMPOSER and CONDUCTOR (I am using FLAC files only). Then I have set up some menus with Custom Browse so that I can view the following: Composer --> Genre --> Album --> Album Artist. All of my classical files are tagged with the Album as the Work (e.g. Piano Concerto No 5), and Album Artist as the basic description of all the main protagonists (e.g. Barenboim - Klemperer - New Philharmonia Orch.).

I did this by setting up a menu that I called 'Classical by Composer' which should have four levels. That is: on the 'menu parameters' panel I have defined 'Level 1 Tag Name' as COMPOSER, 'Level 2 Tag Name' as GENRE, 'Level 3 Tag Name' as ALBUM, and lastly 'Level 4 Tag Name' as ALBUMARTIST. This does roughly work, allowing me to step down through the layers as defined in paragraph 2, above, and this is a great improvement on my earlier efforts (I have removed some scans amongst other things).

However, I have a problem: I have duplicate entries in the 1st and 4th layers. That is to say: each composers name is repeated and also works to direct me to a lower level, and the performers (i.e. Album Artists) names are also repeated although each does give the correct track list (i.e. song titles); Genre and Album seem to work OK except for one other issue which can wait for now. Does anyone know what is happening here?

The reason you get duplicate entries for COMPOSER is probably because it's scanned both by Custom Tag and Mixed Tag scanning module. If you are happy with the way LMS standard scanning scans for composers, keep it in Mixed Tag scanning module settings in the "Composer tags" field. If you want the Custom Scan scanning, keep it in the "Tags to Scan" field on Custom Tag scanning module settings. You need to perform a rescan with both Custom Tag and Mixed Tag scanning module for the changes to take effect.



However the other issue remains: at level 3, using the Album Tag, I get an entry for each of the lower level entries. That is to say: I may have two versions of Brahms Violin Concerto, by say Bloggs and the XPO and Smith and the YPO, but that causes two entries in level 3 saying 'Violin Concerto'. I know they are identical because they are put into the same folder when I use dBpoweramp's Arrange Audio function, and in any case I have just checked. Is there a bug here or have I just missed another option I should add/delete/alter?

Hopefully this is also caused by the same problem as above.
Generally you should either mention a tag in the Custom Tag scanning module or the Mixed Tag scanning module but not in both.



It would appear that these plugins are very unstable, and from the lack of responses I assume hardly anyone uses them, which would seem understandable. What is infuriating is that there is basically very good stuff here that I think many, many people would find useful if only it was stable and easy to set up.

They are technical and was intended as a temporary solution until Logitech implemented the real thing, unfortunately Logitech never prioritized it and even though I try to do as much as possible the time is limited when you also have to handle day job, family, ickStream and other things. I know they are technical and confusing and hard to setup, the advantage is that you can do pretty much whatever you want when you understand them but the disadvantage is that it can be a bit challenging in the beginning until you start to understand how it works.

arthurb
2014-12-03, 15:54
Erland,

Thank you very much for your reply, and I'm sorry that I have been at bit too busy to look at this for a few days. I have had a look at some of this, and have changed my Library specification a little, but, I think, I have altered the Custom Scan definitions without making any difference to the duplication problem. I cannot check this right now, but I will look at it again tomorrow and make sure that I have changed things in line with your advice. However, as the screen-shots show, the duplication is not with 'Composer', which was not in my custom scan, but with Album and Album Artist, and only the latter of those is specified in my Custom Scan settings. As I said, I will look again tomorrow.

Regards,
Arthur.

P.S. Please accept my apologies for being so grumpy, it really is frustrating to have what are obviously powerful and very useful additions to LMS, but finding great difficulty in using them.

arthurb
2014-12-04, 15:55
Another hour or two wasted this evening trying to get this stuff to do the simplest things. BUT, I am worse off than I was before; I have been getting the 'no matching songs found' message, or something like that, and now I get the zero response syndrome. I have to say that in 40 years of working with computers, writing software, testing software and managing other people doing that sort of stuff, this is the worst software I have ever found - bar none. When I did what Erland suggested I ended up with the mess that I have found this evening. I am sorry to say this Erland but the Music Folders option is the only thing that works, and I am not sure that you know how to make the Custom Scan and Custom Browse modules work to give multiple levels of sorts (i.e. 4 nested sort levels - Composer->Genre->Album->Album-Artist); that is all I am looking for.

Will I try again? It would be so, so good to actually be able to do this, but maybe I just have to settle for using the folder structure; this is really, really painful - and sad.

garym
2014-12-04, 18:52
Another hour or two wasted this evening trying to get this stuff to do the simplest things. BUT, I am worse off than I was before; I have been getting the 'no matching songs found' message, or something like that, and now I get the zero response syndrome. I have to say that in 40 years of working with computers, writing software, testing software and managing other people doing that sort of stuff, this is the worst software I have ever found - bar none. When I did what Erland suggested I ended up with the mess that I have found this evening. I am sorry to say this Erland but the Music Folders option is the only thing that works, and I am not sure that you know how to make the Custom Scan and Custom Browse modules work to give multiple levels of sorts (i.e. 4 nested sort levels - Composer->Genre->Album->Album-Artist); that is all I am looking for.

Will I try again? It would be so, so good to actually be able to do this, but maybe I just have to settle for using the folder structure; this is really, really painful - and sad.

sounds like user error to me. As my mechanic dad used to say many years ago, "the problem sounds like a loose nut between the steering wheel and the driver's seat." Many use multiple library plugin as designed with great success. Somewhat anecdotal I'm sure, but it seems that those that report extensive experience as computer hardware and software experts are the biggest whiners when they can't make things work.

edit: Erland is too much of a gentlemen and *actual* software expert to respond in this way. And his thoughtful responses to your juvenile diatribes (bombing Sweden or some such nonsense) set an example for all of us to follow. But I'm not nearly as good as being a gentlemen in the face of bold faced insults.

erland
2014-12-04, 23:27
I have to say that in 40 years of working with computers, writing software, testing software and managing other people doing that sort of stuff, this is the worst software I have ever found - bar none.

I have to say that you really know how to encourage people to improve ;-)


I am not sure that you know how to make the Custom Scan and Custom Browse modules work to give multiple levels of sorts (i.e. 4 nested sort levels - Composer->Genre->Album->Album-Artist); that is all I am looking for.

Can you post your:
- Custom Tag and Mixed Tag configuration (either screen shots or the customscan.prefs file)
- Your menu configuration (either screen shots or the *.values.cb.xml files which resides in the directory you have configured in the Custom Browse settings page)

Generally, the principle is that:
- The Custom Tag scanning module in Custom Scan will scan tag information into the database, the intention with this module is to scan things which LMS standard scanner does not scan.
- The Mixed Tag scanning module in Custom Scan will mix data scanned by standard LMS scanner and Custom Tag scanning module.

Both these scanning modules need to complete a rescan for the data to be updated, it's not enough to just rescan LMS with its standard scanner. If everything is configured correctly the Custom Scan scanning modules runs after LMS scanner has finished but you need to view their status in the Custom Scan settings page.

Custom Browse plugin just uses the data which have been scanned into the database, so if you get duplicate entries it's likely caused by incorrect scanning configuration and not by Custom Browse configuration.

Generally both Custom Scan and Custom Browse plugins are intended for advanced users, the result is that they offer a lot of flexibility but the disadvantage is that they can be a bit complex to setup. If you want something that's easier to setup, it might honestly be better to use something else than my plugins. Usually it can be easier to do the configuration with a small library so you quickly can verify changes and then apply it on your real library after you know how to do it.

Statto
2014-12-09, 15:36
Must admit that I too am going through a nightmare spell with the various plugins. Custom/Mixed Tag module taking an eternity to run, Tag Mapping mysteriously corrupted, various Custom Browse menus returning no data (despite working well for several months/years beforehand), etc.

I thought I would go back to basics and set up a virtual library afresh using this (http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Setup_browse_menu_for_classical_music)

However, I can't even get this to work! If I refer to the Classical Library section (number 3, 2nd bullet point) then I'm meant to be able to select/deselect various genres but no such option exists when I click to create a new multi library and then the standard library option. Are the wiki files now out of date or, if not, what is going on?

I could be wrong but it seems that something fundamental has changed with the whole Custom Browse thing (multi library, custom scan, etc) recently:(

prabbit
2014-12-09, 21:38
Custom/Mixed Tag module taking an eternity to run.
...
I could be wrong but it seems that something fundamental has changed with the whole Custom Browse thing (multi library, custom scan, etc) recently:(

If you have a large library, Custom Scan can take a long time to run. My ~20,000 song library usually takes at least two hours to custom scan and often quite longer. I wish there was a way to custom scan only the directories that recently changed instead of it going over the entire library.

Nothing has changed with the plugins for a while. Erland hasn't been doing much with them as he's been focusing on ickStream. Two questions that I'm sure he'll ask you before he can offer any advice:

1. What version of LMS are you running? Did you recently change/upgrade it?
2. What version of Custom Scan are you using?

Statto
2014-12-10, 03:16
Hi

Library is currently approx 15,000 'songs' (or just over 1,000 albums) so a 2 hour custom scan would appear to be normal:( Still frustrating that I can't seem to select a single album to scan in the main scan folder and then have the custom scan restricted to that album. Makes testing new tag mappings etc extremely tiresome.

I'm running LMS 7.7.2 - r33893 (installed in March 2012). I think this is the latest release available on my QNAP via SSOTS.

Custom Scan version 2.9.3901
Custom Browse 2.14.3936
Multi Library 2.7.3947

erland
2014-12-10, 22:43
However, I can't even get this to work! If I refer to the Classical Library section (number 3, 2nd bullet point) then I'm meant to be able to select/deselect various genres but no such option exists when I click to create a new multi library and then the standard library option. Are the wiki files now out of date or, if not, what is going on?

I could be wrong but it seems that something fundamental has changed with the whole Custom Browse thing (multi library, custom scan, etc) recently:(

It looks like the server which hosts the library configurations had crashed recently and I hadn't noticed, due to this you might have gotten corrupt configuration if you used the "Download last version of existing libraries" link or tried to use one of the download links this could explain what you are seeing. The server should now be up again so if you hit "Download last version of existing libraries" you will hopefully get updated library configuration files again so you can see all configuration options.

Statto
2014-12-11, 05:38
It looks like the server which hosts the library configurations had crashed recently and I hadn't noticed, due to this you might have gotten corrupt configuration if you used the "Download last version of existing libraries" link or tried to use one of the download links this could explain what you are seeing. The server should now be up again so if you hit "Download last version of existing libraries" you will hopefully get updated library configuration files again so you can see all configuration options.

Tried this, but it says I need to set up a template directory before I can download the libraries.

Is there a back-up made of the Tag Mapping? Mine has been corrupted so would the server crash have caused this too? I wish I'd taken a simple text copy when I last updated the mappings:(

erland
2014-12-11, 22:43
Tried this, but it says I need to set up a template directory before I can download the libraries.

Ok, then my server outage wasn't your problem.
Could maybe be that the caches has become corrupt, could you try to shutdown LMS and goto LMS cache directory and delete the PluginCache-MultiLibrary* files and then startup LMS and see if it makes a difference ?
You can also do the same with the other PluginCache-* files if you have similar issues with my other plugins.



Is there a back-up made of the Tag Mapping? Mine has been corrupted so would the server crash have caused this too? I wish I'd taken a simple text copy when I last updated the mappings:(
They are stored in the LMS preference folder. There is no automatic backup unless you already have a solution for everything in the LMS preference folder. You will find the location of the LMS preference folder through LMS Settings/Information tab in the LMS web interface.

arthurb
2014-12-13, 09:18
Hi
Library is currently approx 15,000 'songs' (or just over 1,000 albums) so a 2 hour custom scan would appear to be normal:( Still frustrating that I can't seem to select a single album to scan in the main scan folder and then have the custom scan restricted to that album. Makes testing new tag mappings etc extremely tiresome.

Hello Statto,

just a thought: could you not create a small library for testing purposes, and switch the libraries (both the basic (LMS) library and the virtual libraries below it) at the start and end of your experimentation? This would undoubtedly be a bit of a pain, but you might then have a short scan time in compensation, and that could allow more experimentation. In that regard, I would just add that this stuff does require experimentation, and patience, as you may have guessed from my exasperated posts. I am going to try and post some points based on my, very limited, experience in a day or two, but after much effort I have managed to set things up pretty much as I wanted to; so, persevere Statto, it may be well worth it.

arthurb
2014-12-13, 09:50
sounds like user error to me. As my mechanic dad used to say many years ago, "the problem sounds like a loose nut between the steering wheel and the driver's seat." Many use multiple library plugin as designed with great success. Somewhat anecdotal I'm sure, but it seems that those that report extensive experience as computer hardware and software experts are the biggest whiners when they can't make things work.

edit: Erland is too much of a gentlemen and *actual* software expert to respond in this way. And his thoughtful responses to your juvenile diatribes (bombing Sweden or some such nonsense) set an example for all of us to follow. But I'm not nearly as good as being a gentlemen in the face of bold faced insults.

Gary,

I tried to ignore your post because in the past you have generally seemed to be helpful to others, and, if my memory serves me well (which it rarely does now), you have helped or at least tried to help me too. However, I generally disapprove of personal insults, and you have done just that in your post. I would ask you to re-read my earlier posts above quite carefully, and if you do you will see that I have not given any personal abuse to Erland, nor would I. What I have done is to offer criticism of his software, sometimes trenchant criticism it is true, but always about the product, not about the man. Yes my attempt at humour, saying that I wanted to: 'think of a way to get the Royal Navy to drop some nukes on Sweden', was silly and not particularly funny, but it was also obviously meant to lighten the tone. I did not call myself a 'software expert', but I can assure you that I have over four decades of experience of technical work with computers, and I have written a great deal of software for mainframes, minis and micros and personal computers, and, perhaps unlike you, I actually empathise with Erland, having been in similar 'support' situations. I would also point out that I have repeatedly said that the major reason for my annoyance was because the Multi-library, Custom Scan and Custom Browse, 'plugins' provide such powerful and useful function; my terseness is born of frustration, not disdain. Lastly, please always remember, just because the problem is down to 'user error' does not mean that the user must be at fault; poorly designed and documented software will inevitably mean the the users are confused and very likely to make mistakes.

arthurb
2014-12-13, 10:32
Erland,

I think I have, pretty much, managed to set up my LMS/Squeezebox-Touch environment as I wanted; that is, I seem to have the basic structure. I will add a post detailing what I have done in case anyone might possibly find my experience helpful, but it is a shame that it took so much effort and involved so much frustration. However, let me say now that if Logitech had put the function given by the Multi-Library, Custom Scan and Custom Browse 'plugins' into their basic LMS product, they could now, instead of ditching the Squeezebox family, have been selling millions of them to classical music lovers all over the world. That they ignored that huge minority market when it was there for the taking, even after you showed them what they needed to offer, is a damning indictment of them as a business.

I know I have been very, very grumpy, but as I have said a couple of times at least, these three plug-ins contain such powerful and useful function that it makes them almost indispensable; unfortunately they are also very difficult to set up, at least the way I needed to. I noticed that you said earlier that: 'they are technical and was intended as a temporary solution until Logitech implemented the real thing'; please trust me, I know what you mean, and when you said that, much became clear. In that regard, as I said earlier, I have had a lot of experience of writing and testing software, and have some sympathy for you now that you find the job of supporting them such a time-consuming burden. I have, in the distant past, in different jobs, written some 'utilities' that I found very useful, and then others in the organisation found useful and asked for extra function, and eventually they had grown rather grander, and more complicated, than I first envisaged. At that point, I knew that I should re-design them, starting completely afresh, and build the stuff again logically and cleanly; but there is never time, and it was my own time, so it didn't get done despite the quality of the function on offer - it would also have been a bit boring as well. If only you did have the time Erland, I genuinely believe that these three plug-ins would be selling much better; but, then again, Logitech have rather let you down.

In any case, thank you for these additions, I will soon be sending you my $50 for the three plug-ins that I now use, and hope that I can carry on using them for a few years until my 'Touches start to fail.

garym
2014-12-13, 13:01
Gary,

I tried to ignore your post because in the past you have generally seemed to be helpful to others, and, if my memory serves me well (which it rarely does now), you have helped or at least tried to help me too. However, I generally disapprove of personal insults, and you have done just that in your post. I would ask you to re-read my earlier posts above quite carefully, and if you do you will see that I have not given any personal abuse to Erland, nor would I. What I have done is to offer criticism of his software, sometimes trenchant criticism it is true, but always about the product, not about the man. Yes my attempt at humour, saying that I wanted to: 'think of a way to get the Royal Navy to drop some nukes on Sweden', was silly and not particularly funny, but it was also obviously meant to lighten the tone. I did not call myself a 'software expert', but I can assure you that I have over four decades of experience of technical work with computers, and I have written a great deal of software for mainframes, minis and micros and personal computers, and, perhaps unlike you, I actually empathise with Erland, having been in similar 'support' situations. I would also point out that I have repeatedly said that the major reason for my annoyance was because the Multi-library, Custom Scan and Custom Browse, 'plugins' provide such powerful and useful function; my terseness is born of frustration, not disdain. Lastly, please always remember, just because the problem is down to 'user error' does not mean that the user must be at fault; poorly designed and documented software will inevitably mean the the users are confused and very likely to make mistakes.

I appreciate that you notice that I am typically trying to help folks around here and rarely get into snits with other posters. In retrospect, I wish I had written my post to you to blow off my own steam then simply deleted without posting it. It provided no useful benefit to the forum. However, I still believe your excessive grumpiness and complaints directed toward Erland were inappropriate. But my response should have been to simply ignore these posts. Erland is a big boy and can take care of himself if he feels insulted. He doesn't need my help. And I do very much understand your frustration with getting things to work and that it may not be your fault. But there are good ways and bad ways to respond to frustration in forum posts. I appreciate that you too now realize that your attempts at humor and excessive grumpiness may not have been the best path. So I'd say we were both wrong but I hope we can agree that there are no hard feelings moving forward.

PasTim
2014-12-14, 02:27
I'd like to add that whilst LMS with Custom Scan, Custom Browse, Multi-Library and Dynamic Playlists are not easy to set up, once done they provide facilities that no other music servers I am aware of can match. I probably spent weeks, on and off, getting a first version set up to my satisfaction, and have tinkered on and off since then to make them even better. Some of this has required rethinking my music tagging schemes, which really is non-trivial. It's not for the faint-hearted, and if you know little about software and/or databases, probably best not attempted.

It's hard not to vent one's frustration on the forum at times, but one just has to try and put oneself in the other readers' shoes to realise it's not very helpful. The problems I have got into have all been down to my own fudged attempts to be clever without fully understanding what I'm doing. I have found people on this forum enormously helpful, tolerant and patient, and all for free. A lack of response to one's mutterings often just means people aren't reading the threads. Why should they if all is well? I only tend to dive in when I have a problem or am, in my limited fashion, trying something new that I think might be interesting.

Logitech were clearly in the hardware business, and I don't think they realised what they had here. With some effort they could have integrated these plugins into the base system, sorted out the interfaces, and got a really good software package to offer way ahead of anything else. There may not be a great deal of money in it but there is some, witness people paying licenses for plugins.

Further, as I have now discovered, there is life for this software even without Logitech hardware, as you may find if you read other posts about supporting UPnP devices. That's still in Alpha/Beta testing, but it's definitely a flyer if you don't need multi-room synchronisation.

arthurb
2014-12-14, 09:59
Hello PasTim,

Maybe you are right, and frustrated rants are not helpful. However, looking at it the other way, when someone is totally confused, often by errors and problems that manifest themselves in somewhat inconsistent ways, it can actually be both useful, and a little therapeutic, to realise that others have also had very, very similar experiences; especially if those others have been able to make things work in the end.

I agree with what you say about Logitech being primarily a hardware company, one that likes to move quickly from product to product. But I feel, and I think you do too at least to some degree, they have missed a rare opportunity with the squeezebox. I know I bang on about classical music support, but almost no-one does it well, although some products are appearing now, like Sonata. I realise that the vast majority of the market is actually interested in tracks, or songs (I really, really dislike the term 'songs'), ordered by Artist and often, but not always, independent of Album Artist, but that part of the market is being fought over by the world and his brother. The classical music server/player/streamer market, whilst a minority of the whole, is still huge and around for the long term, and Logitech could have taken a dominant position in it. In addition, I think many classical users use their Squeezebox's in good Hi-Fi systems, as well as with lesser kit around the house, and would regard the Squeezebox Touch as a remarkably cheap device.

Ho-hum; thank heavens that LMS is still being supported (although I am not sure about the precise details), and that Erland has given us the tools to view things as we want.

PasTim
2014-12-15, 01:04
Hello PasTim,

Maybe you are right, and frustrated rants are not helpful. However, looking at it the other way, when someone is totally confused, often by errors and problems that manifest themselves in somewhat inconsistent ways, it can actually be both useful, and a little therapeutic, to realise that others have also had very, very similar experiences; especially if those others have been able to make things work in the end.

I agree with what you say about Logitech being primarily a hardware company, one that likes to move quickly from product to product. But I feel, and I think you do too at least to some degree, they have missed a rare opportunity with the squeezebox. I know I bang on about classical music support, but almost no-one does it well, although some products are appearing now, like Sonata. I realise that the vast majority of the market is actually interested in tracks, or songs (I really, really dislike the term 'songs'), ordered by Artist and often, but not always, independent of Album Artist, but that part of the market is being fought over by the world and his brother. The classical music server/player/streamer market, whilst a minority of the whole, is still huge and around for the long term, and Logitech could have taken a dominant position in it. In addition, I think many classical users use their Squeezebox's in good Hi-Fi systems, as well as with lesser kit around the house, and would regard the Squeezebox Touch as a remarkably cheap device.

Ho-hum; thank heavens that LMS is still being supported (although I am not sure about the precise details), and that Erland has given us the tools to view things as we want.
:)

erland
2014-12-15, 09:57
In that regard, I would just add that this stuff does require experimentation, and patience, as you may have guessed from my exasperated posts. I am going to try and post some points based on my, very limited, experience in a day or two, but after much effort I have managed to set things up pretty much as I wanted to; so, persevere Statto, it may be well worth it.

I'm very interested to hear how you have configured it and what kind of problems you had and what the solution was, this will be great input for future versions which hopefully can make the plugins easier to use for other people in the future.

arthurb
2014-12-16, 12:08
I'm very interested to hear how you have configured it and what kind of problems you had and what the solution was, this will be great input for future versions which hopefully can make the plugins easier to use for other people in the future.

Hello Erland,

I have been really busy with other, silly, stuff, and now I have to go away for a few days. However, I will be putting in what I remember and what I am using, as well as why. By the way, thanks for trying to help me and for supporting your plug-ins.