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View Full Version : How to handle a large music collection



Rick B.
2007-02-02, 07:54
I'm only a 1/4 way through loading my 1200 CD collection, but I'm already starting to wonder how I will handle the large database, especially when it comes to Random play, which I like to do a lot. I know I can use some of the tag info to play certain types of music, but what about these issues:

1. A CD for a classic album has the original tracks and then a whole bunch of bonus tracks. In some situations I only want to play Random tracks that are the orginals, not the bonus tracks. Do I tag each song in a particular way?

2. I want to play Random tracks of only my favourite songs from any album. Should I mark every favorite song in some manner?

2. I want to hear easy listening background music, but not smooth jazz only, or Folk only. Or I want to hear Random wild, crazy music like heavy metal or hard jazz. Should I use the Rating plugin to rate all songs: 1-very smooth, 2-light, 3-regular, 4-Dynamic, 5-Manic? Or should I use Genres a lot instead?

I'm prepared to devote a lot of time to this, but I don't know how to start. Any ideas? Thanks.

tyler_durden
2007-02-02, 08:12
The random mix selection page lets you select the genres you want included in random mixes. If you give the songs you want excluded from random mixes their own genre, you'll be able to deselect them on that page and keep them out of random mixes.

TD

funkstar
2007-02-02, 15:05
as a further to the previous post, you can have multiple genres and Slimserver will add the tracks to both lists. For instance you could have something like "Metal;noRandom" and then just set ";" as the seperator in one of the server setup pages.

Pale Blue Ego
2007-02-02, 16:34
What some people will large classical collections do is to tag each large "work" as a separate album, and tag any bonus tracks as separate tracks, not associated with the album.

Then, when you want to hear Mozart's 39th, you can play ONLY that, and not the filler.

As for finding what you want, there are several ways. Genres are very helpful. I really like the Random Mix that allows you to specify which genres to include. I've come up with some compelling combinations that way (Latin + Lounge), (Southern Rock + Blues + Jazz Fusion).

The ratings plugins are a big help, too. Try the TrackStat and DynamicPlaylist plugins. They offer lots of creative ways to look at your music collection.

Brian Ritchie
2007-02-02, 19:50
as a further to the previous post, you can have multiple genres and Slimserver will add the tracks to both lists. For instance you could have something like "Metal;noRandom" and then just set ";" as the seperator in one of the server setup pages.

Would this work? I thought that if a track was tagged with both Metal and noRandom genres, then checking the Metal genre in the random play setup would include it even if noRandom was not checked. That is, since the track belongs to each genre, it will be included if either genre is selected, and not just if both are.

However, you *could* build a playlist of Metal tracks, and then (at least in a skin like Fishbone), browse the noRandom genre and remove the entire genre from the playlist, which would remove all tracks in the noRandom genre.

Sometimes I make huge playlists, then use this technique to remove artists or albums if I feel I've heard enough of them. It's much better than having to go through the active list and remove the tracks one by one!

This could be used with Random Play as well, but I suspect it will only remove noRandom tracks from the "lookahead" list, and won't stop RP from adding more noRandom Metal tracks later.

Or there's always the Skip button... (that said, it's surprising how annoying it can be to have to reach for the remote :-))

-- Brian

snarlydwarf
2007-02-02, 20:46
Would this work? I thought that if a track was tagged with both Metal and noRandom genres, then checking the Metal genre in the random play setup would include it even if noRandom was not checked. That is, since the track belongs to each genre, it will be included if either genre is selected, and not just if both are.

It depends on which Random you use.

The default one that comes with Slimserver, yes, it will behave like that. Erland's RandomPlaylist, however, does let you exclude genres.

http://wiki.erland.homeip.net/index.php/Random_Playlist_plugin

adamslim
2007-02-03, 02:30
Or you could set up genres called Random Easy Listening, say, and use it for random, er, easy listening. Using multiple genre tags is the way forward, I reckon.

Adam

erland
2007-02-03, 05:10
Or you could set up genres called Random Easy Listening, say, and use it for random, er, easy listening. Using multiple genre tags is the way forward, I reckon.In my opinion it's not a good idea to incorporate "random" as a genre. The risk is that if you like to change the songs that is part of a random playlist you will have to re-tag your music and re-tagging music means modifying the music files which always is a risk. In my opinion tags shall be used for static information that doesn't change often, information that changes often is better placed somewhere else. As an example rating handled by the TrackStat plugin is stored in the database instead of tags.

As long as you have the information in any tags you will be able to build smart playlists in pretty much any way you want. Today you will have to install some 3rd party plugins(SQL Playlist) for the smart playlists, but smart playlists will probably be added to standard slimserver sometime in the future. There is an optional point on the release plan for slimserver 7.0 for "magic playlists", but as far as I know it hasn't been decided if it will be included in 7.0 yet.

Multiple genre tags is a good idea, but I would recommend that you try to use separate tags.

As an example use:
"Classical;Easy Listening"

instead of:
"Classical;Classical Easy Listening;Easy Listening"

If using the SQL Playlist plugin you will with a tag like "Classical;Easy Listening" be able to make:
- A playlist that contains only tracks that belongs to both "Classical" and "Easy Listening".
- A playlist that contains tracks that belongs to "Classical".
- A playlist that contains tracks that belongs to "Easy Listening".
- A playlist that contains tracks that belongs to "Easy Listening" but exclude those that also belongs to "Classical".

An pretty much any other combination you like. I'm guessing that this also will be possible with standard slimserver when "magic playlists" is implemented in standard slimserver.

The only advantage of using the "Classical;Classical Easy Listening;Easy Listening" tag is that you don't need to use 3'rd party plugins, but you will probably have to re-tag your music now and then if choosing this way.