View Full Version : Compilation album tracks playback in wrong order

2008-07-19, 09:32
Recently upgraded from 7.0.1 to 7.1. Now the order tracks play back in some comp. albums has changed. Is it due to the much-discussed changes in VA logic?

Symptom is when I play some comp. albums in my library, the tracks play back sorted by track artist name. For other comp. albums, the tracks play back correctly in TRACKNUMBER tag order.

Possibly the names of the FLAC track files play a part? I've noticed that with OK albums, the track filenames are simply "TRACKNUMBER.flac". Problem albums have track filenames "Various (ARTIST) ~ ALBUM ~ TRACKNUMBER ~ TRACKNAME.flac". It appears that SC is playing back all the tracks for a particular compilation album in "sorted-by-track-filename" order, rather than obeying TRACKNUMBER tags.

Please see attached zip file which contains the exact FLAC tags and filenames for all tracks on 2 example albums, one that exhibits the problem and one that doesn't. I currently don't use (and have never used) the COMPILATION tag, but I never had this problem in the past.

Many users in the forum have resorted to adding the COMPILATION tag to their collections to sort this out while many other senior members have advised against it. Do you think the lack of this tag is responsible for this track playback order issue? Is there a concensual solution?

Thanks, and best regards...

Platform: Solaris 10 x86
SqueezeCenter Version: 7.0.1 - 19705 @ Wed May 14 19:53:43 PDT 2008 - solaris - EN - utf8
Perl Version: 5.8.8 i86pc-solaris-64int
Compilation Behaviour option: Group compilation albums together
Music files: All tracks are FLAC, organized as one album per folder
FLAC tags: Please see attached zip file
Similar post (old): http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=18645

2008-07-19, 17:08
Are the track numbers in the tags and the track numbers in the title different? Try making them the same in the order you want and see if it changes things. I know that SC is supposed to use tags only, or at least I think that's the case but file names can affect how things are read. My file names are as follows 01 - Dust In The Wind A few times I've been changing the names of the files in mp3tag and didn't realize a file was in use so that file didn't get changed and ended up 01Dust In The Wind. SC put this one song as a separate album even though all the tags were correct and it was in the same folder with all the other songs. Really weird but I have had this happen more that once and that was the problem every time. I corrected the file name and bam, back to normal. You would think if all the tags were correct that the file name wouldn't matter at all. But obviously it's not the case. Not sure if this all applies in your case but I do know that SC looks at file names in some cases.

2008-07-20, 04:26
Thanks for your comments. I renamed some FLAC track files and discovered the file names do seem to matter to SC. This is unexpected as I would have through presence of tags in a track file would always have priority over the actual name. IMHO the only time the name of the file should be considered for cataloging purposes is in absence of all other tag metadata.

Wonder if anyone else can confirm the SC policy on file names vs. tags in the cataloging process?

If this is true, then it is interesting to consider that I recently changed the directory organization of my tracks. Before they were organized:

.../<artist 1st char>/<artist 2nd char>/<artist> ~ <album> ~ <track> ~ <title>.flac

Note under this hierarchy, tracks for many many albums were all lumped together in the same folder. But, compilation albums would play back in the correct order.

My new organziation is:

.../<album>_<artist>/<artist> ~ <album> ~ <track> ~ <title>.flac

All the tracks in an albums are located in a single folder. It is albums organized like this that exhibit the playback order problem. If I change the track filenames to:

/Cabbage Alley_Meters, The/01.flac
/Cabbage Alley_Meters, The/02.flac
/Cabbage Alley_Meters, The/03.flac

then the tracks play back in the correct tracknumber order.

I'd like to stress that in all these cases the only thing that is changing is the organization of the FLAC track files and/or the file names. The tags within the files remain the same.

To cast the problem into some specific questions:

a) when an entire compilation album is selected for playback, no shuffle, what order will the tracks be played? The correct order should be TRACKNUMBER order. If a multi-disc set, then it should be DISCNUMBER.TRACKNUMBER order.

b) How is tracknumber cataloged? Is it by track filename order in a folder or does the presence of TRACKNUMBER tag override? I have a case where TRACKNUMBER is present yet is being ignored over filename. That appears to indicate a bug.