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Listener
2005-12-31, 19:42
I saved a playlist for the first time using the web interface. Afterward, I clicked on Clear (playlist) in the right pane (the player pane.) The list of files cleared but then was displayed again. I was able to play a track so the playlist was indeed still there.

I tried closing Softsqueeze and starting it again. The Beethoven playlist was still present in the right pane. I stopped Slimserver and restarted it. That seemed to clear the playlist.

I looked in the Slimserver and found nothing relevant. Nothing in the Server settings pages seemed relevant either. The Wiki didn't help either.

I'm running Slimserver v 6.2.1 on a laptop with 512 MB of Ram running XP Home.

What do I do to clear the playlist in the player pane or switch to a new one?

Bill

ceejay
2006-01-01, 04:06
Have you tried just finding a piece of music in the left pane and pressing its "play" button? That should overwrite the player's playlist with a new one...

Ceejay

Listener
2006-01-01, 12:46
Ceejay,

Thanks for the suggestion. It worked.

I've gone on creating playlists for composers. I find that clearing the current playlist in the player pane works sometimes but not always.

In trying to browse the playlists I made, I ran into another bug. When I click on "Browse Playlists" on the main menu page, I get back to the main menu rather than into the playlist. I clicked on the "- Beethoven" playlist name 5 times before getting to the actual Browse page.

--- on iTunes and the Slimserver web interface

I had an idea for using playlists to provide the multiple browse functionality I need for classical music. I first tried it in iTunes. Making a playlist for a composer in iTunes is simple and intuitive: just sort the track files by Composer (by clicking on the word composer in the column heading), select all the tracks with Beethoven as Composer, choose "New playlist from selection" and name the playlist. Then when you click on the playlist name in the source window, you can use the Genre, Artist and Album browser panes to to a sequence of searches.

When I tried to do the same thing in Slimserver, I ran into the bug that I inquired about. The lack of useful documentation didn't help. Then I ran into the bug that dumps me back at the home page. When I finally got to the "Browse Playlist" functionality, I found that it gives me a list of tracks. I was hoping that I would get a list of Artists or Albums so that I could browse one of those for works by a single composer. It just isn't useful for my purpose.

I find the contrast between using iTunes and the SS web interface to be striking. The individual elements of the iTunes UI work together to produce a lot of functionality for browsing the library or a playlist. The iTunes UI is active in displaying tracks and playlists without waiting for a command. It is keystroke interactive and quite modeless. (Most of the functionality happens on the same screen and the menus are always accessible.)

The SS web interface looks like the kind of PC software from the early 80s that was gone in a couple of years. It is passive and displays no information until you click on a main menu. Once you click on a menu choice, you are in a deeply modal tree of pages. The main menu is gone (and so is a way to get help info.) If you use the help section from the main menu, you don't have a search option. You'll need to exit the help page to get back to what you want to do. Individual features like the browse commands have wired-in functionality that can't be combined with other functionality to produce a more powerful interface.

Neither iTunes or Slimserver has adequate documentation. However, iTunes does have some useful directions on accomplishing things you might want to do. The nature of the iTunes interface puts much of the functionality on the screen where you can see it. The pull down menus allow you to quickly look through all the menu choices without losing your place o the main screen.

Slimserver is much more opaque. What ever web page you are looking at, most of the functionality is on some other web page out of sight. You have to leave your current page to go looking for that additional functionality. The SS documentation doesn't provide much information on how things work (a conceptual framework) or step-by-step instructions for specific tasks.

I found a bug in iTunes in setting up composer playlists. When I'm viewing a composer playlist, some artist values were missing from the Artist browserlist. It didn't stop me and since I could see the track listing at thesame time, I could see what was going on. The Slimserver bugs stopped me cold. After I made one playlist, I wanted to clear it and make another playlist. The Clear command just flat didn't work. I spent some time trying to understand how playlists worked. The bug that kept taking me back to the main menu instead of to the "Browse Playlist" functionality was a complete showstopper for me. When you run into something that doesn't work as you expect, you look for information that would explain what's happening. When you have problems in Slimserver, the opaque interface and the inadequate documentation make it hard to figure anything out.

iTunes feels like a modern program that is slick and mostly works. The Slimserver web interface feels like something that was coded without much design, not enough debugging and not nearly enough documentation. Using a web baed interface seems a decision driven by doctrine rather than thoughtful design.

Bill

jarome
2006-01-02, 09:20
I always change the id tags for classical pieces so that the Atrist is the composer's name (Beethoven, Ludwig van). Then I just do "Browse, Artists" and I see it beautifully with no playlists.

Playlists are a total pain in slimserver, and IMHO should be avoided if possible. They make sense for pop music, but not for classical.

I really like Tag & Rename for editing tags.
http://www.softpointer.com/tr.htm

Listener
2006-01-02, 11:52
I always change the id tags for classical pieces so that the Atrist is the composer's name (Beethoven, Ludwig van). Then I just do "Browse, Artists" and I see it beautifully with no playlists.

Playlists are a total pain in slimserver, and IMHO should be avoided if possible. They make sense for pop music, but not for classical.

I really like Tag & Rename for editing tags.
http://www.softpointer.com/tr.htm

Thanks for the advice. I'll look into Tag & Rename. Ceejay recommended MP3tag which I've found to be quite useful in cleaning up tags in my files.

I have over 1000 classical CDs. Selecting "Beethoven" is a first step for me. My next step is to pick from about 100 CDs or maybe 240 performances of individual works. Once I pick a Beethoven symphony, I still have to pick one from a list of 8-12 performances. So I need something beyond the Artist-Album-Song browse sequence.

What makes sense to me as my normal method is a Composer then Album (or maybe a Work tag with just the name of the work) then Artist. That keeps the list to a manageable size at each step.

Ceejay created several enhancement requests (# 2696-2701) for browsing and searching classical music at

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/

You might read about these requests and if you feel these are of interest to you, vote for their implementation at the bugs web page.

Bill