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rds
2005-11-20, 11:37
The latest versions of SlimServer offer the following feature under Player Settings/Plugins:



Display playlist name for radio stations

Online streams often don't differentiate song-, album- or artistname.
This can result in an empty string. Should empty strings be
replaced by the playlist name (if available)?

Display playlist name for radio stations? [yes|no]

It would be nice if a similar option could be provided to display the playlist name for the radio station regardless of whether the title provided by the station is an empty string or not. I mostly listen to talk radio stations, and some of these stations broadcast irritating or otherwise useless titles (e.g. the URL itself, advertising for their website, and sometimes even profanity) that make it difficult or impossible to tell what station is playing by looking at the display. If I assign a playlist name like "BBC World Service" or "KFI 640 AM Los Angeles", that's what I'd like to see displayed on the SqueezeBox while playing these stations. Since the code already exists to do this in the case of empty strings, it seems like this could be implemented quite easily.

mherger
2005-11-20, 14:09
> The latest versions of SlimServer offer the following feature under
> Player Settings/Plugins:

This is not part of the SlimServer itself, but the MusicInfoSCR
screensaver.

> It would be nice if a similar option could be provided to display the
> playlist name for the radio station regardless of whether the title

Why don't you use the PLAYLIST tag to always display the playlist name?

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Michael

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rds
2005-11-20, 20:36
> This is not part of the SlimServer
> itself, but the MusicInfoSCR
> screensaver.

Is this not bundled with 6.2? I don't recall downloading and installing separately. At any rate, regardless of where the feature originates, it would be useful to modify it in the way I described.

> Why don't you use the PLAYLIST tag to
> always display the playlist name?

Because it doesn't provide the behavior I'm looking for. If I use PLAYLIST where I currently use TITLE, then nothing displays when I play music (e.g. MP3s from the Browse Music Folder menu). I can't keep flipping back and forth depending on what I'm listening to.

Also, if I have a playlist containing multiple radio stations (e.g. 'Talk & News Radio.m3u' or 'Classical Music Radio.m3u'), then the name of the playlist displays, not the name of the track (i.e. radio station name) within the playlist. I have several hundred radio stations conveniently categorized into a few playlists and have no interest in splitting them up into individual playlists for each station.

As I mentioned, since the basic code already exists, I would expect that it could easily be modified. For example, instead of providing a dropdown with Yes or No options, it could be modified to include the following options instead:

Display playlist name for radio stations?
1) Always
2) Never
3) When Empty

It might also be useful to add a fourth option when the string contains unprintable characters (e.g. foreign-language, unicode, etc.) as often encountered with international stations.

rds
2005-11-20, 21:24
Perhaps the best solution would be if SlimServer used the title specified in the Extended M3U file, whenever present. In other words, if a title is explicitly provided, use it. Otherwise, use the default (e.g. derived from the file name, ID3 tags, or whatever is being broadcast by the radio station).

For example, in the sample M3U file below, there is no title specified for the first radio link (Virgin Radio UK). Since this is a music station, it would be desirable to display the name of the artist and title of the currently playing song. However, for the remainder of the stations, an explicit title is specified and should override whatever is being provided as a title by those stations.

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:-1
http://vruk.ic.llnwd.net/stream/vruk_vr_hi
#EXTINF:-1,KFI 640 AM Los Angeles
http://live.eonstreams.com/ccri_ca_losangeles_kfi_am.asf
#EXTINF:-1,KXTA 570 AM Los Angeles
http://live.eonstreams.com/ccri_ca_losangeles_kxta_am.asf
#EXTINF:-1,KOMY AM 1340 Santa Cruz
http://ksco.got.net:9020
#EXTINF:-1,WGTX 1280 AM
http://64.202.98.51:8020
#EXTINF:-1,BBC Radio World Service
mms://a1149.l1305038288.c13050.g.lm.akamaistream.net/D/1149/13050/v0001/reflector:38288/
#EXTINF:-1,MSNBC
http://64.36.35.154:18000/
#EXTINF:-1,CNN Radio
mms://wmscnn.stream.aol.com/live/cnn/cnn_radio

mherger
2005-11-21, 01:19
> Also, if I have a playlist containing multiple radio stations (e.g.
> 'Talk & News Radio.m3u' or 'Classical Music Radio.m3u'), then the name
> of the playlist displays, not the name of the track (i.e. radio station
> name) within the playlist. I have several hundred radio stations
> conveniently categorized into a few playlists and have no interest in
> splitting them up into individual playlists for each station.

You're asking for much intelligence in a rather simple plugin. How should
it take the decision whether to display the playlist name or the stream
name? You yourself tell me that sometimes you prefer having the playlist,
sometimes the stream name... You want the plugin to decide what you can't?
:-)

> Display playlist name for radio stations?
> 1) Always
> 2) Never
> 3) When Empty

But as you mentioned you sometimes play a stream from a playlist, but want
it to show the stream's name. Selecting "always" would have the same
effect as using the PLAYLIST tag (in this case, not in the case of a
simple song file).

> It might also be useful to add a fourth option when the string contains
> unprintable characters (e.g. foreign-language, unicode, etc.) as often
> encountered with international stations.

Strings aren't unprintable. It's a question of your setup. You can have
unicode or foreign-language strings on the player's display. Hey, even
English is a foreign to me :-).

--

Michael

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rds
2005-11-21, 19:00
> You yourself tell me that sometimes
> you prefer having the playlist,
> sometimes the stream name... You want
> the plugin to decide what you can't?

Actually, I wouldn't ever want the playlist name (which is why I found it odd that you were suggesting using the PLAYLIST tag). I was under the mistaken impression that 'playlist name' in "Display playlist name for radio stations" was referring to the name assigned in the playlist (e.g. from the '#EXTINF' line in M3U files or the 'Title' line in PLS files), not the playlist name itself. Quite frankly, displaying the playlist name itself as a substitute for an empty track string doesn't seem all that useful, especially when several playlist formats provide an explicit field for overriding the default title.

So, in light of this, what's really needed is a separate option (or default behavior) to override the default title for a track or stream with the title assigned in the playlist (if provided). This would be very useful and provide a great deal of flexibility (even for some MP3 tracks that have unwieldy file names or tags).

> Strings aren't unprintable. It's a
> question of your setup.

You know what I mean. When I see the exact same box character representing a variety of different foreign characters, I consider that unprintable (at least in my language). Anyway, this was just an additional suggestion. If the title-override feature is implemented as described above, it would be easy to force an alternate title in the language of one's choice.

mherger
2005-11-22, 00:28
> Actually, I wouldn't ever want the playlist name (which is why I found
> it odd that you were suggesting using the PLAYLIST tag). I was under
> the mistaken impression that 'playlist name' in "Display playlist name
> for radio stations" was referring to the name assigned -in the
> playlist- (e.g. from the '#EXTINF' line in M3U files or the 'Title'
> line in PLS files), not -the playlist name itself-.

Ok, I think now I know what you mean. I guess in SlimServer the #EXTINF
tag is considered the song name.

The problem is I don't have too much influence in what SlimServer makes
out of MusicInfoSCR's tags. MusicInfoSCR passes the format string to a
function deep inside SlimServer (which I never really understood) and will
just check it on return: if it's empty, it fills in the playlist name. I
can't tell slimserver what to take in what particular situation.

I should not have jumped on this train as now the developpers who have
more insight into the process will think I'll handle it. But I can't, I'm
sorry :-/. Anybody else?

>> Strings aren't unprintable. It's a question of your setup.
> You know what I mean.

Of course _I_ do know what you mean, but the plugin does not (It's just a
bunch of bytes to it). Neither does your chinese neighbour. Those
characters might make perfect sense to him but not to you.

> When I see the exact same box character
> representing a variety of different foreign characters, I consider that
> unprintable (at least in my language).

If you installed Unicode support on your slimserver it would display some
nice chinese "characters" (don't know what they are correctly called),
greek text or even hebrew. Those boxes aren't boxes to the software.

--

Michael

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rds
2005-11-22, 18:09
The problem is I don't have too much influence in what SlimServer makes out of MusicInfoSCR's tags. MusicInfoSCR passes the format string to a function deep inside SlimServer (which I never really understood) and will just check it on return: if it's empty, it fills in the playlist name. I can't tell slimserver what to take in what particular situation.

I figured that, which is why I suggested that, "Perhaps the best solution would be if SlimServer used the title specified in the Extended M3U file, whenever present. In other words, if a title is explicitly provided, use it. Otherwise, use the default (e.g. derived from the file name, ID3 tags, or whatever is being broadcast by the radio station)."

Of course, in addition to the #EXTINF line in M3U playlists, this suggestion would also apply to the Title parameter in PLS files. If SlimServer recognized these fields correctly (or at all), then I presume the contents of the TITLE tag would be correct and could be used by the MusicInfoSCR screensaver in its current form.

Is there a particular developer who would normally look after this sort of function, or at least has some expertise in this area?

mherger
2005-11-23, 00:07
> Is there a particular developer who would normally look after this sort
> of function, or at least has some expertise in this area?

Dan must know about anything in the slimserver code :-). Just open a bug
report (enhancement request) on http://bugs.slimdevices.com/ - it will be
assigned to the person in question.

--

Michael

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