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View Full Version : Multiple Kids -> Mulitple Libraries -> Dad is Tired



bwenzlau
2005-07-31, 09:38
With 3 kids and a dad we have 4 music libraries. We have a server that aggregates the 4 libraries, and have two slim devices. Weekly they are asking me to resynch, or to help with why the play lists do not show up on the SlimDevices. They of course also need to synch to their portable players.

I am basically looking for experiences dealing with this landscape, trying to come up with a more manageable solution.

- Should we cut out the "local" (laptop copies) of the libraries and work it all server based? (Perhaps this is the way to go)
- How have others obtained "regimitation" of tagging? Each kid has his own tags, so the aggregated tags are a mess on the server.
- When we synch, the playlists have four different locations (one per subdirectory), but the slim device expects there to be one locaation. How can playlists be better coordinated?

If this is the wrong forum, my apologies.
Bob

ceejay
2005-08-01, 00:18
Well, I have only 2 kids but I do recognise the problem, even if I don't have a neat solution to offer. I've looked before for a good inherently multi-user library arrangement, but can't find one.

You don't mention what other player software (eg iTunes) is in use, this certainly messes things up for me.

What I've done so far is:

- we have one main library which is on a server and is served up by slimserver to the squeezeboxes. There are three parallel file structures for FLACs, AACs and MP3s. All new CDs that come into the house (mine or the kids) get ripped into here. It runs 24x7. Slimserver is set up to use the FLACs.

- the kids have their own iTunes libraries (also on the server) which contain stuff ripped pre-slimserver, and anything else they want to retain control over. They mainly use iTunes for daily listening at the computer, as well as managing iPods.

- the iTunes libraries have access to the AAC wing of the main library by irregular manual use of the "add directory" command. Slimserver has access to the iTunes libraries by links.

So that gets everyone access to all the music. It doesn't solve a lot more problems, though. If you want the music to be accessible outside the house (other than on an iPod or similar) you'd have to keep taking copies onto laptops. Shouldn't be to hard to use some standard file system synchronisation to do that.

It also means that within slimserver-land there is only one set of playlists. The kids have solved this for themselves by using iTunes playlists exclusively when playing at the computer, but this is far from ideal.

As for getting consistency in tagging ... thats really hard and isn't really a technical problem!! If your kids are teenagers there is probably no way to solve this one!! In my own version, I have good control of everything that gets put in the main library because it goes through a standard ripping/tagging process, and I reserve the right to retag it as it goes into the main library. But of course the stuff thats in their own iTunes libraries I have no control over (thats the whole point!) and this does indeed get messy at the Squeezebox. If I were to get desperate I could easily turn that off by disabling the directory links that read down into the iTunes libraries.

I'll stop rambling. Other contributions to this topic very welcome.

Ceejay

bwenzlau
2005-08-01, 09:58
I am coming to agree that the need to store a subset of the database on each kids computer is not efficient. Their laptops would not have a local copy of the music, rather it would be stored on the server. Their music players (iTunes or whatever) would point to the server.

For their portable players they can synch to the players using a playlist to select their sych library.

Having it collected on the server will make it easier to cleanup the tags, and allow for archiving the music. On the downside, it makes the library vulnerable to them deleting music accidentally.

I don't know how playlists work in the sence of whether they point to music files absolultely or relatively. This might give the chance for each kid to maintain separate playlists, but then find them aggregated on the slimdevice.

Thanks for the discussion.

MrC
2005-08-01, 10:36
I am basically looking for experiences dealing with this landscape, trying to come up with a more manageable solution.
Give em a bat, ball, and glove, and tell 'em to hit the playground! :-)

ceejay
2005-08-01, 13:22
Having it collected on the server will make it easier to cleanup the tags, and allow for archiving the music. On the downside, it makes the library vulnerable to them deleting music accidentally.



Well, I have an answer to the last bit, athough not without a drawback: the main music library on the server is a read-only share. Anyone on any PC can access the library to read, but not write. The drawback, of course, is a more complex ripping process: I have scripts set up on each machine for ripping, but they all put the ripped files in a temporary (read/write) share on the server from which there is a separate step (scripted) to copy into the main library. I'd like to be able to fully automate this but don't know how to do this (on windows).

Ceejay.