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colin_young
2007-06-12, 08:00
I just set up a new SlimServer last night (version 6.5.2) and scanned my entire collection. I'm seeing some interesting behavior. If I navigate by Artist to "New Pornographers" I see a single album (Twin Cinema). I don't see "Electric Version" or "Mass Romantic". If I navigate by Album I can get to "Mass Romantic" and the artist is correctly listed as "New Pornographers". There is only 1 entry for that artist in the artist list (I've checked under T also to make sure that they weren't being incorrectly sorted with a "The" at the front).

This behavior doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I haven't looked at the database structure, but I've been assuming it is normalized and as long as the album is indexed with the artist name I should be able to go at it from either direction and get the same results. Based on what I'm seeing I'd have to guess that the database is not normalized and there is information being duplicated and somehow getting corrupted.

When I had the same music collection indexed on a different computer under the previous server version (6.5.1 IIRC) all albums appeared under the artist (actually, one of them had a "The" in front, but they appeared side-by-side in the artist list).

Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Colin

Mark Lanctot
2007-06-12, 08:22
Are the artist tags identical according to a tagger like Mp3tag?

aubuti
2007-06-12, 08:28
What format are the files in (flac, mp3, etc.)? Almost all the problems I've had like this have come down to multiple tag sets (ID3v2, ID3v3, APE, etc.) in mp3 files. It's easy for different tag sets to be inconsistent, and then slimserver gets confused. Unfortunately, that doesn't explain why it started with the upgrade.

Try looking at the tags in a good tagging program like mp3tag to see if there are multiple types of tags in the problem tracks, and delete the superfluous ones (if you find any).

colin_young
2007-06-12, 09:22
I'll check out the tags tonight. The files are FLAC and WMA.

I still don't understand why I get a different view depending on the path I take to get to the data, but that's probably just me projecting my database experience and the UI is actually hiding an underlying data format that is more complex than I'm assuming.

snarlydwarf
2007-06-12, 09:42
I think it's more that you are expecting more normalization to be done automatically than is really possible.

Is "The Bears" (http://www.thebearsmusic.com/) the same band as "Bears" (http://www.bearspop.com)? Or is it the same as "The Bears," the irish punk band that released "Insane/Decisions" as a single in 1978?

Tags matter a lot for this reason. Variations on artists makes them different. Ie, the normalization should be done at the tag level, not by slimserver, which would only guess (and would most likely merge the three above, even though they are very different bands).

MelonMonkey
2007-06-12, 10:05
Many problems associated with displaying albums and tracks can be explained by bad tags. But there are plenty that can't. SlimServer has a lot of scanner bugs which in my experience causes whole albums not to show up, more tracks to be listed in some views than others and also affects the collection/caching of artwork.

At this stage I haven't added anything to my music collection in a while. But playing with moving SlimServer from one computer to another and ping-ponging between different nightlies has shown all this to be very true. I am about to move to a current nightly since the one I'm running now (by necessity) is a few months old. The few I tried back in April or May were just giving me too many issues.

I'm using all MP3 files and SlimServer is supposed to be reading their location from an iTunes XML file. After moving SlimServer to a different computer with an otherwise identical disk layout to the previous, simply selecting the iTunes option is not enough. I have to also tell it where the iTunes XML is *AND* manually specify where the iTunes music folder is located. It will simply not find the music files if I don't. The music is coming from same external HD with an identical iTunes setup with the XML stored on that external drive. The music files are not inside the folder specified in the "iTunes Music Folder" setting - that's just the location where the xml file is. iTunes is running on the same machine (a Mac mini)

I just did a complete clear of the caches a couple of hours ago and now the album listing is different than it previously was. The only changes I've made were to turn on the Sound Check option in iTunes which updated all the tags and then turned on the volume adjustment in SlimServer.

Now I'm getting two album entries for "Forever Pop" from Alphaville. The first one listing tracks 2-13 and the second listing only track 1. The first has a cover the second doesn't. The relevant track details in the songs are identical.

I'm also now also missing about 50 songs versus the count displayed in iTunes. Of course I have no clue which ones aren't appearing.

colin_young
2007-06-12, 11:10
I think it's more that you are expecting more normalization to be done automatically than is really possible.

Is "The Bears" (http://www.thebearsmusic.com/) the same band as "Bears" (http://www.bearspop.com)? Or is it the same as "The Bears," the irish punk band that released "Insane/Decisions" as a single in 1978?

Tags matter a lot for this reason. Variations on artists makes them different. Ie, the normalization should be done at the tag level, not by slimserver, which would only guess (and would most likely merge the three above, even though they are very different bands).

My expectation is If I have an album 'X' by band 'Y', I should be able to look up band 'Y' and see album 'X'. Instead, if I look at band 'Y' I am only seeing album 'Z' and there is only a single entry that looks anything like 'Y'. It seems that SlimServer has in fact decided I have album 'Z' by band 'Y' and album 'X' by band 'Y1' but then refuses to show band 'Y1' on the artist list. Maybe it's because the text of both is identical, but internally they are actually 2 distinct entities and the code that retrieves the artist list merges them. In any case, it seems like something is broken. I'll have to try exploring the database directly to see if I can figure out what's going on.

In your example I would fully expect to see 2 band entries, where one of them really should have been split into 2, but I don't expect SlimServer to be able to do that. When I said normalization, I was referring to database normalization, not canonicalizing the names of artists. It didn't occur to me that my statement could be interpreted that way :)

prabbit
2007-06-13, 09:48
MelonMonkey, you described my experiences exactly.

MelonMonkey
2007-06-13, 09:56
The 6.5.3 nightly from June 12th 2007 found all my music and no longer needed to have the location of the iTunes folder specified.

There are a couple of small issues with it that I've mentioned in the Beta forum, but I think I'm going to stick with it and not go back to a previous nightly if things keep looking fine.