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drs
2009-02-28, 14:10
I apologize for this rant in advance, but I am really frustrated.

I've had a Squeezebox 3 since early 2006, and had wanted one for a long time previous to that. Conceptually, I think it is about the best idea ever, but in practice, I am thoroughly unhappy with it -- indeed, my wife refers to it as the bane of my existence. I am wondering if perhaps anyone can suggest ways to make me happier with it.

At the root of the problem is SqueezeCenter. I have it running on a reasonably fast (2.8GHz, 3GB) XP computer connected via ethernet cables. But, no matter what I do, it is too slow. The process of finding music is slow (I have about 11,000 tracks to dig through, and adding a song generally requires numerous clicks, and lots of waiting), the process of adding/removing things from a playlist is cumbersome and slow, it doesn't seem to keep any statistics on what is played or when, the process of scanning my library was horrible -- most albums have wrong album art, the same album will show up multiple times, each with only some of the tracks in it (this is after ripping with EAC), if I have 2 versions of a track (MP3 and FLAC) no distinction is made until one drills down meaning that it takes as long to find a track as the previous one took to play, and playback drops out or freezes periodically. Moreover, it is buggy software -- I listened to an album the other day. Then, last night I listened to something else. Today, the playlist from days ago was back in the queue. When I move tracks around in the list, they don't always move to were they were put. Often what is playing and what squeezecenter says is playing are different, etc.

The Squeezebox has been back and needed a new CPU at one point, so the device itself seems to work fine. And, the computer has been rebuilt and been clean installed. Moreover, I tried other computers with no better results.

Basically, what I am saying is that the Squeezebox, for me, should do three things. It should play music, it should make organizing music simple, and it should present a clean interface. It utterly fails at the second two, and periodically fails at the first.

Conversely, programs like Winamp, Foobar, iTunes, and even WMP present user interfaces that are remarkably better. Yes, I understand that Squeezecenter presents a web interface so it can be used from remote systems, but does that need to preclude a reasonable non-web interface from running locally, or via remote desktop? And yes, I understand that it is opensource, so I can implement these things myself, but that it not an excuse. Logitech is a big company and can supply reasonable software for their hardware. I am a programmer, and I designed and build my whole stereo (DAC, preamp, power amp, and speakers), and I don't have that kind of time.

So, what I think this thing needs is either its own non-web based interface (I've tried Moose -- neat software, but too slow both because .Net is miserable and because it is still just interfacing with the same horrible backend), or a plugin for Winamp, Foobar, or whatever to make it behave like a remote soundcard. I have seen a few scattered posts of others asking for this, but to date nothing that works has jumped out at me.

As I say, I really wanted this to work, and I am really sad that it is just not the device for me. Conceptually, everything about is fantastic, but every time I try to use it it makes me angry.

ds2021
2009-02-28, 14:36
I can't help but feel that there is some outside variable that is causing your problems. My setup is very similar to yours, if not slightly worse: 13,000 tracks; XP 2.8ghz 4GB which also serves as a Media Center which may be serving video (as it currently is) or recording TV on up to three tuners simultaneously while serving music to up to 7 Squeezebox devices (depending on season); wi-fi setup mainly (which should be considerably worse than wired networking).

I have never run into it, but antivirus is a common cause of problems apparently. Have you reviewed those threads to determine if this may be affecting you? Network problems also account for a large proportion of frustrations, and i have been victim to this in the past, although due to wi-fi issues. Elaborating on your network environment may help others troubleshoot your problems.

As far as the web interface is concerned, this could be a debate that lasts until the end of time. As I myself never control my music from the computer which hosts SC, the web interface seems like the natural choice and I have no complaints with it; use of a local application via remote desktop would not make sense for me. I find adding, choosing, and changing tracks to be a virtually instantaneous event, although I primarily browse tracks by folder and not tags, and so do not need to rescan with each addition. Album art is a tricky affair that requires a lot of work to get right, but this is the nature of the mp3 downloading/ripping world if you do not use the itunes store primarily.

Anyhow these are some thoughts that might lead to a solution. Or might not. Again, networking and system environment variables seem to represent the vast majority of problems that I have encountered personally or read about here. These units would not be nearly so popular if your experience is representative of the average user.

iPhone
2009-02-28, 14:49
I apologize for this rant in advance, but I am really frustrated.

I've had a Squeezebox 3 since early 2006, and had wanted one for a long time previous to that. Conceptually, I think it is about the best idea ever, but in practice, I am thoroughly unhappy with it -- indeed, my wife refers to it as the bane of my existence. I am wondering if perhaps anyone can suggest ways to make me happier with it.

At the root of the problem is SqueezeCenter. I have it running on a reasonably fast (2.8GHz, 3GB) XP computer connected via ethernet cables. But, no matter what I do, it is too slow. The process of finding music is slow (I have about 11,000 tracks to dig through, and adding a song generally requires numerous clicks, and lots of waiting), the process of adding/removing things from a playlist is cumbersome and slow, it doesn't seem to keep any statistics on what is played or when, the process of scanning my library was horrible -- most albums have wrong album art, the same album will show up multiple times, each with only some of the tracks in it (this is after ripping with EAC), if I have 2 versions of a track (MP3 and FLAC) no distinction is made until one drills down meaning that it takes as long to find a track as the previous one took to play, and playback drops out or freezes periodically. Moreover, it is buggy software -- I listened to an album the other day. Then, last night I listened to something else. Today, the playlist from days ago was back in the queue. When I move tracks around in the list, they don't always move to were they were put. Often what is playing and what squeezecenter says is playing are different, etc.

The Squeezebox has been back and needed a new CPU at one point, so the device itself seems to work fine. And, the computer has been rebuilt and been clean installed. Moreover, I tried other computers with no better results.

Basically, what I am saying is that the Squeezebox, for me, should do three things. It should play music, it should make organizing music simple, and it should present a clean interface. It utterly fails at the second two, and periodically fails at the first.

Conversely, programs like Winamp, Foobar, iTunes, and even WMP present user interfaces that are remarkably better. Yes, I understand that Squeezecenter presents a web interface so it can be used from remote systems, but does that need to preclude a reasonable non-web interface from running locally, or via remote desktop? And yes, I understand that it is opensource, so I can implement these things myself, but that it not an excuse. Logitech is a big company and can supply reasonable software for their hardware. I am a programmer, and I designed and build my whole stereo (DAC, preamp, power amp, and speakers), and I don't have that kind of time.

So, what I think this thing needs is either its own non-web based interface (I've tried Moose -- neat software, but too slow both because .Net is miserable and because it is still just interfacing with the same horrible backend), or a plugin for Winamp, Foobar, or whatever to make it behave like a remote soundcard. I have seen a few scattered posts of others asking for this, but to date nothing that works has jumped out at me.

As I say, I really wanted this to work, and I am really sad that it is just not the device for me. Conceptually, everything about is fantastic, but every time I try to use it it makes me angry.


What Internet Browser are you using? What Tagging software do you use? What version of SC are you currently running? How do you think of your music? What I mean is do you treat all music as Albums/CDs, or artists, or genre. Are you using any of the plugins to help with your music selection? Many users really like using the Custom Browse plugin.

Have you thought about building or using a dedicated PC as an SC Server?

I keep my MP3s separate from my FLAC library except where I don't have the MP3 in FLAC format also. So those few MP3s I have in the FLAC directory are for use with SC only. I don't let iTunes see that library and SC does not see the directory that my MP3s are in that I use with iTunes (only reason I even have iTunes is because of my iPhone). And I dislike iTunes because it was made so even my parents and my sister can use it. It is my opinion that one should never ask iTunes to repair/fix/find album art or tags. If iTunes would ask if this IS the correct album art one wants to use, then maybe, but just like Windows, it does what it wants and hoses ones whole library.

Now for my rant as you are not alone. Is SC perfect? I donít think itís perfect, but it sure does a bunch of different and important things. I have some overly large Playlists and have to agree that the one area that SC is really lacking for me is how Playlists are built, maintained, and edited. I really wish there was a drag and drop that spanned the page breaks or a way to move a song to position "X". Its just a pain to have a Playlist with 250 songs in it, need to add a song, and have that song then be the second song in the Playlist. It has to be dragged from position 251 where it was added up to the top of each page, switch to Classic Skin, move it up one so its at the bottom of the next page, repeat. There should be a drop down box when the mouse hovers over the album art for a song in a playlist that allows one to move it to a position anywhere in the playlist or double click on a song to do the same thing. Somebody might even have some suggestions for me and others that use really large playlists.

pfarrell
2009-02-28, 14:56
drs wrote:
> I apologize for this rant in advance, but I am really frustrated.
> I am wondering if

Your computer should be more than enough. But my first suggestion is get
a cheap, dedicated old PC. Something like this:
http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/sys/1048718354.html

Just $60, of course, you may not be near it, but there are usually
equivalent boxes everywhere. Its slow, but has space for five or six
drives. These days, that would be 5 TB or so.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

drs
2009-02-28, 16:34
I can't help but feel that there is some outside variable that is causing your problems.

It seems like this must be right, but I have tried it on other computers, too, with no better results. The one in question, in addition to the speed listed, has gigabit ethernet, sata raid, etc. Indeed, everything in it has been upgraded/replaced at some point except the mobo. Maybe that's the issue -- everything else seems to run OK, however.

Also, it runs as a file server, but otherwise really is dedicated to squeezecenter. Well, it is connected to the TV and my wife watches 30 Rock with it occasionally, but never at the same time.


I have never run into it, but antivirus is a common cause of problems apparently.

I don't run it on that computer.


Elaborating on your network environment may help others troubleshoot your problems.

Basically a netgear router with everything connected to it. Laptop is wireless, everything else wired. I tried to use the SB as a wireless bridge, but it was too slow for connecting the laptop to the fileserver. I also used a hardware switch to see if the NG ports were just slow.


As far as the web interface is concerned, this could be a debate that lasts until the end of time. As I myself never control my music from the computer which hosts SC, the web interface seems like the natural choice and I have no complaints with it; use of a local application via remote desktop would not make sense for me.

I think it is the Winamp search and library that I like so much. It is one of those things that just works for me. And, I use this remotely with the files on the fileserver and don't suffer any slowdowns. This is why I'd like to tie it to the SB using SC as an output option and get rid of the web server and MySQL.

My sense is that there must be a way to run SC-lite that does just this, and there must be API hooks to allow it to be a simply output driver. But, the fact that nobody seems to have done it suggests to me otherwise.


What Internet Browser are you using? What Tagging software do you use? What version of SC are you currently running? How do you think of your music?

SeaMonkey, but I've also tried IE and Mozilla with no better results. Tagging? whatever EAC does. SC -- most up to date. Music is organized artist/album/track, but really, this shouldn't matter. Search should sort through it.


It is my opinion that one should never ask iTunes to repair/fix/find album art or tags. If iTunes would ask if this IS the correct album art one wants to use, then maybe, but just like Windows, it does what it wants and hoses ones whole library.

I am no lover of apple or the do it for me nature of it. I have win32 at home, Ubuntu at the office, and FreeBSD on my webserver. As I say, I design and build my own audio gear (http://www.ecp.cc/diy-audio.html), so I am pretty hands on. However, I do like it when things work :) I am actually thinking that an Airport Express may be the right solution for me as it seems it can be set to work as a simple external soundcard with spdif out, which is all I really want. I'd like it if the SB could do this and show some stuff in the display, but this does not seem to be in the cards.



These units would not be nearly so popular if your experience is representative of the average user.

On the one hand, this seems right, which is why I am so frustrated. However, it might not be the right question. One could use an Airport Express with softsqueeze and AirFoil to basically have a SB for less money. The question is, does anyone do this? That is, if nobody does, it suggests to me that people might prefer the SB hardware, but the AE software.

Anyway, I am not trying to talk anyone else out of the SB. And I would love to find something to make my experience better. I'll look into the Custom Browse plugin, and anything else like that I can find. But search and stats would be really nice.

snarlydwarf
2009-02-28, 16:52
Tagging? whatever EAC does. SC -- most up to date. Music is organized artist/album/track, but really, this shouldn't matter. Search should sort through it.


EAC uses Freedb which is basically "random users on the 'net typed this in, with no real peer review, consistency or even spelling correction"

So, your initial dataset from the tags is... random. And you think a search function would be useful?

Really, the first order should be to check your tags for consistency: is Elvis filed under 'Elvis'? Or 'Elvis Presley'? Or did someone have a misguided sense of reality and try to force an artist sort by setting the artist to 'Presley, Elvis'?

The Search function works off... tags (unless you have no tags at all on your music, which is even harder to fix). If the data in the tags is crap, searching will be craptastic.

Musicbrainz is a pain in the butt most days and there are religious wars about the 'right' way to tag things...but..at least it is consistent (mostly, I still don't understand their disparity between Santana and Carlos Santana).

But with the random data of Freedb... no wonder you have problems.

chrol
2009-02-28, 16:53
I have found moose an excellent companion at times - and of course I couldn't live without lazysearch and playlist manager plugins.

It would be interesting if they could also add a desktop optimized jive - but it still depends on squeezecenter's database and backend.

I don't do it but using iTunes to manage your playlists should work as well - but it is less direct.

My bet would be moose ( http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove/ ) and lazysearch to try something simple.

I have multiple squeezeboxes and I love it when they work well and synced and... - but I feel your pain - the customization and configuration options are both a blessing and a curse...

(The 7.3.3 nightlies have been extremely well working for me)

Best of luck!

BlueScreenJunky
2009-02-28, 16:58
Maybe the Squeezebox is just not the right solution for you :-/
I still think it's a great product (it has some flaws, but on the whole it works just fine for me and is by far the best in its price range and even above), but if you're constantly adding new tracks, need to browse your music really fast, and have no use for multiple squeezebox in your house... Well you might be better of with a quiet PC with a good soundcard (Xonar Essence STX maybe ? or a juli@ ?) running Foobar2000. It will cost more, take more space, maybe not look as good, but it might suite your needs better.

Mark Lanctot
2009-02-28, 17:20
It really seems like you have all your bases covered here, and it's really too bad it's not working for you.

If you're up for one last push, see http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Diagnosing_Performance_Issues

But yeah, it definitely should not work this poorly for you.

Mark Lanctot
2009-02-28, 17:21
It would be interesting if they could also add a desktop optimized jive

There is, SqueezePlay:

http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/?ver=7.3

Last item. Still in Beta.

4mula1
2009-03-01, 14:53
Basically, what I am saying is that the Squeezebox, for me, should do three things. It should play music, it should make organizing music simple, and it should present a clean interface. It utterly fails at the second two, and periodically fails at the first.


SqueezeCenter doesn't organize your music, you are responsible for that. SqueezeCenter is designed to not modify your music files, you must use an external program for that. If you rely on the tags that EAC provides you will, sooner or later, find things that aren't right. There are very few tags from freedb that I get that I don't change for one reason or another. I have a very tight grip on my tags and have very few issues.

As snarlydwarf alluded to about bad tags: garbage in, garbage out. MP3Tag is free and very easy to use. Grab a copy and have a look at your tags, you will probably be surprised.



Yes, I understand that Squeezecenter presents a web interface so it can be used from remote systems, but does that need to preclude a reasonable non-web interface from running locally, or via remote desktop?


The beauty of the web interface that it works on all platforms. I run SqueezeCenter on Solaris and the web interface is the same on Solaris as it is on Windows, Mac, Linux, or *BSD. It's consistency across platforms, like it or not. I personally don't care for the default interface, Fishbone works much better for me.

There are limitations to using a web interface, mostly drag and drop playlist organizing. But the ability to use Winamp to make a playlist and have SqueezeCenter rescan only playlists mitigates that limitation (on Windows anyway).

As for the incorrect artwork, try clearing your browser cache after a rescan. It's a very common issue for incorrect artwork.

JJZolx
2009-03-01, 15:15
As others have suggested, make sure your file tagging is absolutely perfect. Even small mistakes here and there will cause some really oddball behavior in SqueezeCenter.

There's not a lot that can be done if you have two versions of a file in your library in two different file formats. You need to police that - it's not up to SqueezeCenter, which is not a music manager. SqueezeCenter is definitely not software that works well for the kind of person who thinks nothing of wearing a black sock and a blue sock. That will probably remain one of its biggest drawbacks.

I've read similar thoughts on SqueezeCenter in other audio forums and for the most part those users all returned or sold their Squeezeboxes in favor of some other computer audio playback system. I doubt that any of them have held onto the device for three years when they dislike the software as much as you do.

jo-wie
2009-03-01, 17:20
One could use an Airport Express with softsqueeze and AirFoil to basically have a SB for less money. The question is, does anyone do this? That is, if nobody does, it suggests to me that people might prefer the SB hardware, but the AE software.

I started my my digital music odyssey with this combination (OK, Winamp with AJAX plugin and iTunes instead of Squeezeplay) and was very frustrated after a while. It's something which do work ... in some way ... but ... you feel it in many places that it is not an fully intergrated solution. And I had annoying dropouts on the Airport Express. Would it be better if I had switched to a complete Apple solution? That was not the way I want to go.

I'm now happy SB3 user and enjoy a simple to use and flexible music player served by a VIA C7 based system. Personal demands can be so different.

You're right, the inferface could still be optimized. Sometimes I do also struggle in the different access types, but it's already much better than the classic skin.

And do not forget the upcoming V8 version. New game :)

I feel much better with an open software product instead of an closed software which could be stopped from one day to the other without any further support.

ddewey
2009-03-01, 17:26
Quoting JJZolx (JJZolx.3oe4fb1235946002 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com):

>
> SqueezeCenter is definitely not software that works well for the kind
> of person who thinks nothing of wearing a black sock and a blue sock.

That is a GENIUS analogy. Seriously. You are exactly right.

Goodsounds
2009-03-01, 19:00
Quoting JJZolx (JJZolx.3oe4fb1235946002 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com):

>
> SqueezeCenter is definitely not software that works well for the kind
> of person who thinks nothing of wearing a black sock and a blue sock.

That is a GENIUS analogy. Seriously. You are exactly right.

Nah, the illustration is waay too simplistic.

Separate the obsessive/compulsive types from the rest of the population. JJ says tagging needs to be perfect. I disagree, I say it only needs to be "good enough". Mine is far from perfect, but the software works to my satisfaction.

Can I sort my music 20 different ways? No, and I don't need or care to. Do I worry about it or does it bother me. Nope.

And as for socks, there are lots of people with lots of idiosyncracies, no more so than around socks. I know people who lose sleep about this. Me, I like the occasional time when I screw up. Gives me a chance to make light of my mistake. People always react well to that.

4mula1
2009-03-02, 04:28
Tagging needs to be consistent. An example:

I ripped a new track and the genre provided by freedb was Hip Hop. I took a moment to look at the genres I already had in SqueezeCenter and Hip Hop was not there, but Hip-Hop was. Easy correction on my new track and everything is consistent.

I looked at my wife's iPod that iTunes does all the management for. There were the genres Hip Hop, Hip Hop/Rap, Hip-Hop, and Hip-Hop/Rap.

The OP seems to have some other issues at hand, but you don't need to be obsessive over your tags, good enough will do. But consistency is key.

drs
2009-03-03, 01:27
MP3Tag is free and very easy to use. Grab a copy and have a look at your tags, you will probably be surprised.

I tried, and they are remarkably clean. What happens (consistently, as in every time I rip a CD, even if I type in the tags myself) is I rip a cd, and when I click on the artist, the album shows up twice. Clicking on one of them will have all the tracks, but clicking the other will have just a few. If I just want to play an album, it is a crap shoot which is the whole album, and which is a random assortment of SC's favorites, so I have to drill down an extra level to figure this out. If the SC interface were not web based, this might not be an issue.


As for the incorrect artwork, try clearing your browser cache after a rescan. It's a very common issue for incorrect artwork.

I've been through this before with no luck. Here's an example of the artwork issue: http://www.ecp.cc/images/dannii.jpg

drs
2009-03-03, 01:33
I've read similar thoughts on SqueezeCenter in other audio forums and for the most part those users all returned or sold their Squeezeboxes in favor of some other computer audio playback system. I doubt that any of them have held onto the device for three years when they dislike the software as much as you do.

Yeah, well, there aren't a lot of options out there. I keep trying things, not liking them, and trying other things. I then retry the SB now and again and wish I liked it better. Best solution at this point seems to be that my DAC has 4 inputs (toslink, usb, bnc, rca) and so for some tasks I use the SB, for others I plug in a laptop, for others I connect a cd player, and I may add an airport express to the mix to fill in the holes.

NeilT
2009-03-03, 03:53
I don't know if you've already tried this but, one thing that helped me when I had a similar problem was to select a whole album in MP3Tag and look at details in the left hand panel.

Anything that shows <keep> has different values for that field. Obviously that's OK for title + track, but it shouldn't (usually) be the case for Artist, album etc. If <keep> is showing, select one of the options below and resave the files. Also check the album art is the same. I had problems in my library with album art that looked identical, but wasn't and with tags containing extra spaces or typos.

I got a lot of suggestions in this thread http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=60026.

If the tags don't match then Squeezecenter thinks it's a different album - after all we're talking computers here, not common sense!

Neil

Teus de Jong
2009-03-03, 05:56
What happens (consistently, as in every time I rip a CD, even if I type in the tags myself) is I rip a cd, and when I click on the artist, the album shows up twice. Clicking on one of them will have all the tracks, but clicking the other will have just a few.

I cannot help you more than others. The only thing I can say is that until now every time time I had this kind of problems in the end it was _my_ mistake: most of the time I did something wrong in the tags (typing error, etc.).

What's curious is that you have the album twice, where one of the 'copies' is complete. The only times I have seen that is when by mistake there was a cue sheet in the directory where the music is: that will result in two 'copies'. I suggest you check for that.

Teus

aubuti
2009-03-03, 07:12
I tried, and they are remarkably clean. What happens (consistently, as in every time I rip a CD, even if I type in the tags myself) is I rip a cd, and when I click on the artist, the album shows up twice. Clicking on one of them will have all the tracks, but clicking the other will have just a few. If I just want to play an album, it is a crap shoot which is the whole album, and which is a random assortment of SC's favorites, so I have to drill down an extra level to figure this out. If the SC interface were not web based, this might not be an issue.
How would it be different if the UI weren't web-based?

When you drill down to the level of track details, are you getting the *exact* same file location for the duplicated tracks, or are they different locations? What format are the files? Most of my tagging headaches come from the small percentage of MP3 files I have, which can contain both v1 and v2 ID3 tags. Most software will not reveal when you have multiple sets of tags. The best for diagnosing this is mp3tag.

Also, do you have playlists? A long time ago (slimserver 6.3 or so) there was a problem with apparent duplicates because of playlists. I think that bug has been dead for a long time, but if you have playlists, try temporarily disabling them and see if the problem persists.

drs
2009-03-03, 16:17
How would it be different if the UI weren't web-based?

Because it wouldn't be so slow, and something like a Listview (http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/attachments/road-runner/15194d1117478799-using-winamp-media-library-winamplib.jpg) could be used.


When you drill down to the level of track details, are you getting the *exact* same file location for the duplicated tracks, or are they different locations?

Exact same.


What format are the files?

FLAC


The best for diagnosing this is mp3tag.

As I say, they looked fine. I'll try again as I don't know the ins and outs of mp3tag, so maybe I am missing something.


Also, do you have playlists? A long time ago (slimserver 6.3 or so) there was a problem with apparent duplicates because of playlists. I think that bug has been dead for a long time, but if you have playlists, try temporarily disabling them and see if the problem persists.

I deleted them all. Indeed, I have rescanned the library numerous times. I have even reinstalled the operating system, replaced every bit of hardware except the mobo and processor, moved the files from the computer to a network drive and back, run SC on a different computer, sent in the SB itself to SD for a new cpu (it was out of warranty, but they were kind enough to do the repair since the problem had started before the warranty ended).

I agree that it seems like it must be me, that I must be doing something odd. But, I administer corporate networks and write software for a living, have a pretty decent idea of what is going on with my systems, and have no other issues with this computer.

Anyhow, I do appreciate people offering suggestions. Knowing that the vast majority of people don't have issues like this means that they should be solvable. If, however, that solution is hand editing 10000 tags, it is clearly not going to get done :)

CatBus
2009-03-03, 20:50
Knowing that the vast majority of people don't have issues like this means that they should be solvable. If, however, that solution is hand editing 10000 tags, it is clearly not going to get done :)

Hand-editing would only be necessary if you wanted perfect tags. Something like Tag&Rename could be used to search-and-replace common mistags, and that could yield "good enough". But it'll still take some time and effort, there's no getting around that.

But yes, take comfort in the fact that your server is vastly overpowered and is the envy of much of the forum. The performance issues you're seeing are not from lack of muscle, not even close.

aubuti
2009-03-03, 21:13
Anyhow, I do appreciate people offering suggestions. Knowing that the vast majority of people don't have issues like this means that they should be solvable. If, however, that solution is hand editing 10000 tags, it is clearly not going to get done :)
What if you hand edited *just one* problem album to see what happens? Use mp3tag to delete your existing tags for one of the problem albums. Use alt-T to show and delete even the tags that don't have columns defined on spreadsheet view. Then hand input the tags, rescan, and see if it fixes it. If it does, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to hand input the rest. If your directory and filename structure is good (ie, consistent) you can delete the tags and then re-create them based on file and directory names.

I've never had problems with different tag types in FLAC files, but just in case, check the "Tag" column in mp3tag. If you don't have that column, you can create it, using this as the value: %_tag_read%[ (%_tag%)]. For FLAC files it should show FLAC (FLAC) and nothing else.

Good luck!

Mnyb
2009-03-03, 23:35
Cue's have been mentioned, some people apparently like to have a playlist in the same folder as the album ? and if you not putting in exceptions for that in SC it gets scanned with the album then you have two versions of the album.
same with cue's settings>advanced>filetype "Disabled Audio File Extensions".

If you use cue sheets for every album to make burning disc's easier or what not, check if have a cue for every flac album ? then you can disable cue for audio files.
But you can also have one large flac for a whole album and use a cue to that ? so there can be a conflict of interest here.

Phil Leigh
2009-03-04, 00:23
I couldn't see what version of SC you are using, or what OS+browser?

1) optional but highly recommended - install 7.4 nightly - this is very stable and highly functional (on XP anyway)
2) make sure you don't have any playlists or shortcuts/symbolic links in the "music library" path (and make sure the recycle bin is empty if using Windows and the path is a drive like "E:\"). Temporarily disable iTunes and musicip integration if you are using them.
3) reboot PC and do a full "clear and rescan"

Whenever I've had the "duplicates" or "partial duplicates" problem it has turned out to be caused by one of the items in 2 above.

drs
2009-03-04, 02:12
Well, a little progress, and maybe a step back.

I am pointing SC to look for tracks in \\computer_name\x\music\ This is so I can copy over playlists generated on the laptop with winamp as this is how it sees the tracks. When I rescan the library, the full albums are showing the tracks at this location, while the partial albums see the tracks at X:\music\ So, the same tracks with a different path. Moreover, clearing and rescanning the library puts different tracks in the partially full albums. There are, at present, no playlists.

This begs the question of how this was happening when SC just looked in x:\music, or when the tracks were on a remote drive, so I'll need to rescan to investigate.


I couldn't see what version of SC you are using, or what OS+browser?

XP pro, seamonkey/mozilla/IE, most up to date release of SC.

aubuti
2009-03-04, 05:23
I am pointing SC to look for tracks in \\computer_name\x\music\ This is so I can copy over playlists generated on the laptop with winamp as this is how it sees the tracks. When I rescan the library, the full albums are showing the tracks at this location, while the partial albums see the tracks at X:\music\ So, the same tracks with a different path. Moreover, clearing and rescanning the library puts different tracks in the partially full albums. There are, at present, no playlists.
Now I'm confused. A minute ago you said the SC was showing the exact same file locations for the duplicated tracks, now you're saying one is showing the UNC path and the other is showing a mapped drive letter. Is this new behavior or has it been like this since you started having problems? Granted they're the same physical location, but if this is a consistent pattern then it's probably significant.

agentsmith
2009-03-04, 08:46
Instead of asking the original poster what browser he is using and all that, I agree with a lot of the points he made. I have tried many combinations of PCs, browsers and Windoze versions, and the performance with a large database is mostly quite slow and inconsistent.

I do have a large music library and most other GUI software including the ubiquitous iTunes does glide thru the same collection with considerable ease. I can not understand how in this day and age that a database of 20-30000 records could suck so much performance.

And in regards difficulty to maintain, web interface does have its advantage, but maintaining a music library is not one of them. With GUI base library manager, I can sort, tag, add and delete with instantaneous ease, and I donít have to rescan the whole library after every single change.

And after all these years of using Squeeze, I still do not know a one step way of adding or deleting a single album without rescanning. I found a roundabout way of adding a folder via the add radio URL. But what about deleting tracks?

I recently found a solution which is to use OrangeCD and bypass the Squeezecenter interface altogether. But it would be very nice if there is an integrated solution. I know many do not agree, but tagging/Library Management and Squeeze Server belong together. The tie in of iTunes/iPod sort of proves that concept.

I bought an Airport Express and was this close to moving to that platform altogether. The purchase of the nice sounding Transporter saved me from moving.

BlueScreenJunky
2009-03-04, 09:26
I really don't see why you guys constantly need to add or remove stuff : I only add new music when I buy a new disc, and never remove anything. I don't really see the need to "manage" your library in SqueezeCenter. I use foobar2000 when I want to manage my collection, and then it gets updated next time I scan my library, no need to scan it constantly.


That being said, I also fail to see how Squeezecenter can perform so poorly : It uses 50% of my Core 2 Duo E4300 @ 2.9Ghz for like 10 seconds before displaying the album list when foobar2000 does it instantly, and it uses about 150MB of RAM where Foobar2000 uses 12MB.
I do realize SC has to manage more stuff, but still, I'm not sure that Perl + MySQL is the ultimate solution as far as performance is concerned :-/

snarlydwarf
2009-03-04, 10:47
I really don't see why you guys constantly need to add or remove stuff : I only add new music when I buy a new disc, and never remove anything. I don't really see the need to "manage" your library in SqueezeCenter. I use foobar2000 when I want to manage my collection, and then it gets updated next time I scan my library, no need to scan it constantly.

I don't get that either.. if stuff is crap, I don't play it... but I have always been a packrat. I do have mail from 1996 on this computer, and a few gigabytes of spam....



I do realize SC has to manage more stuff, but still, I'm not sure that Perl + MySQL is the ultimate solution as far as performance is concerned :-/

Well there will be an eventual change (back) to SQLite, which may improve things. I am hardly an SQLite guru, but it has supposedly made improvements over the past few years in performance. For the SC design, that would probably cut a lot of overhead. If the indexing/query optimizing/etc has caught up with MySQL, it could be very good. (Though it will mean I can't fondly it as easily from a web page..)

JJZolx
2009-03-04, 11:07
I am pointing SC to look for tracks in \\computer_name\x\music\

So your Music Folder in Settings>Basic Settings is designated as "\\computer_name\x\music\", correct? Or are you using both local and network, or exactly how do you have your music storage structured?

Is "computer_name" a separate computer or the same computer running SqueezeCenter?


This is so I can copy over playlists generated on the laptop with winamp as this is how it sees the tracks. When I rescan the library, the full albums are showing the tracks at this location, while the partial albums see the tracks at X:\music\

Do you have "X:" mapped on the server to "\\computer_name\x\", or (if the music is local on the server) is X: an actual drive partition on the server?

I've seen problems in the past where SqueezeCenter tries to normalize file paths by taking a network share and replacing it with a local mapped drive wherever possible. There have been some changes in the code around this, but network paths have been problematic for SC and I doubt if all the issues have been fixed. The solution has been to unmap the drive if at all possible.


So, the same tracks with a different path. Moreover, clearing and rescanning the library puts different tracks in the partially full albums. There are, at present, no playlists.

Do you have any files that can be considered playlists stored within the music directories? CUE sheets, for example?

drs
2009-03-04, 13:48
Well, the multiple listing seems to have been mostly solved be eliminating *all* playlists. However, this seems to mean that I can't have playlists at all (even ones totally separate from the music files were causing issues), which is odd to say the least.

One question, say I have two tracks, A and B, saved in totally different locations for who knows why. Assuming they are tagged correctly, the album names match exactly, SC still seems to consider them different albums. Any way to fix this short of reorganizing the directory structure?


Instead of asking the original poster what browser he is using and all that, I agree with a lot of the points he made. I have tried many combinations of PCs, browsers and Windoze versions, and the performance with a large database is mostly quite slow and inconsistent.

Thank you. And really, other annoyances aside, this is the real issue. It is slow and clunky to use, and I am frustrated by that. Leaving what is there alone is fine, but a slick fast interface would be nice. Indeed, a plug-in to winamp/foobar/whatnot that made SC appear as a sound card would be perfect.

JJZolx
2009-03-04, 13:55
Well, the multiple listing seems to have been mostly solved be eliminating *all* playlists. However, this seems to mean that I can't have playlists at all (even ones totally separate from the music files were causing issues), which is odd to say the least.

One question, say I have two tracks, A and B, saved in totally different locations for who knows why. Assuming they are tagged correctly, the album names match exactly, SC still seems to consider them different albums. Any way to fix this short of reorganizing the directory structure?

Probably not. SC currently takes into consideration the directory where files are located to determine album membership.

ModelCitizen
2009-03-04, 14:48
Probably not. SC currently takes into consideration the directory where files are located to determine album membership.
There isn't a way. I suffer from the same problem. I have directories of singles organised by decades in my main flac based music library and also similarly named directories under an mp3 folder (as I've not been able to get some tracks in the flac format). I'd like the mp3s and flac files for any decade to appear as one album, but it seems impossible. I am perpetually stuck with two "70s singles" albums, an mp3 one and a flac one.

Annoyingly, Slimcenters insistance in ignoring the album tag and treating any files in distinct directories as different albums has no benefit at all for me (due to the way my collection is organised). :-(

BTW. If I was you I'd give up with the web browser and use iPeng on an iPhone or even just the plain old reliable IR remote. The web browser is only good for settings that you can't access on other devices, It has been slow and clunky on every (windows based) computer and networks I've ever used it on (which is a fair few).

MC

JJZolx
2009-03-04, 14:50
Well, the multiple listing seems to have been mostly solved be eliminating *all* playlists. However, this seems to mean that I can't have playlists at all (even ones totally separate from the music files were causing issues), which is odd to say the least.

We never got an answer to how your directories are set up, but anyway...

Do the playlists use different looking paths to the same files that are on the local server?

\\computer_name\x\music\...

vs.

X:\music\...

If you create playlists in Winamp on a different computer then the file paths in those lists will be from the perspective of that computer and will differ from the local paths to the same files. SqueezeCenter can't tell that the paths are equivalent and so it creates two entries. The solution is not to remove the playlists, but to modify the paths. If you're a programmer you should be able to easily create a script to do this.

drs
2009-03-04, 16:36
We never got an answer to how your directories are set up, but anyway...

The file server which also runs SC has music files in X:\music\ This whole drive is shared, so the other computers see is as \\computer_name\x\music\

In order that playlists made in winamp on my laptop could be seen by SC, I tried having SC look at the network share rather than the local drive. But, even when it does this and the playlists only contain references from \\computer_name\... SC still sees a few random tracks in X:\. Get rid of all playsists, and it does not seem to matter whether it is pointed at the drive, or at the share, it only sees one copy.

Moreover, the duplicate tracks do not represent what is on the playlist, which is the really odd part. A can put a whole album on the playlist and have only a few of the tracks show up as duplicates. Additionally, scan (and clear) the library twice and the duplicates are different each time.


Probably not. SC currently takes into consideration the directory where files are located to determine album membership.

Really? By version 7 nobody thought to put a "only use tags" option? The *whole point* of tags is that is makes it so that you don't need to organize the files. They should be able to be dumped in one big directory, or spread across the computer, or on 6 different computers, and the library, via tags, should organize them. What is the point of even having a relational database backend? How hard is "SELECT * FROM DB WHERE ALBUM_TAG = 'Thriller'"?

JJZolx
2009-03-04, 16:51
Really? By version 7 nobody thought to put a "only use tags" option? The *whole point* of tags is that is makes it so that you don't need to organize the files.

I've been tagging music files for a long time and I always thought tags were a means of attaching metadata to a file. Never thought they had anything to do with organizing (or not organizing) the files.


How hard is "SELECT * FROM DB WHERE ALBUM_TAG = 'Thriller'"?

How hard is "SELECT * FROM DB WHERE ALBUM_TAG = 'Greatest Hits'"?

drs
2009-03-04, 17:14
I've been tagging music files for a long time and I always thought tags were a means of attaching metadata to a file. Never thought they had anything to do with organizing (or not organizing) the files.

How hard is "SELECT * FROM DB WHERE ALBUM_TAG = 'Greatest Hits'"?

If not for organizing, why attach metadata? The current setup requires keeping two distinct types of organization in sync, which is using the file system as a secondary database, which is poor database design. One or the other is fine, both is an unnecessary, and as we see here, unhelpful redundancy.

Anyhow, SELECT * FROM DB WHERE (ALBUM_TAG = 'Greatest Hits' AND ARTIST = 'Juice Newton') ... this isn't rocket science. If Ms. Newton released two Greatest Hits albums, add the year to the search. If she released 2 in the same year ... maybe you accidentally bought two of the same cd, or maybe you can call one of the Vol 1.

Goodsounds
2009-03-04, 18:04
JJ, Snarly, or others,

Did he answer, is all the music in one directory? If so, could this be the cause of slow performance?

Wirrunna
2009-03-06, 20:33
BTW. If I was you I'd give up with the web browser and iPeng on an iPhone or even just the plain old reliable IR remote. The web browser is only good for settings that you can't access on other devices, It has been slow and clunky on every (windows based) computer and networks I've ever used it on (which is a fair few).

MC

I agree with MC, you might also try the Java client, Windows only, it shows a lot of promise - http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=54086

ModelCitizen
2009-03-07, 00:22
Anyhow, SELECT * FROM DB WHERE (ALBUM_TAG = 'Greatest Hits' AND ARTIST = 'Juice Newton')

And compilation (various artists) albums? I seem to remember that the observance of directory was implemented due to this type of album. Thinking about it, my fave music player (Foobar2000) probably ignores directories.... and it can't handle compilation albums well either. On balance I prefer SlimCenter behaviour. Does Winamp handle compilations well?

MC

drs
2009-03-07, 01:27
And compilation (various artists) albums? I seem to remember that the observance of directory was implemented due to this type of album. Thinking about it, my fave music player (Foobar2000) probably ignores directories.... and it can't handle compilation albums well either. On balance I prefer SlimCenter behaviour. Does Winamp handle compilations well?

I suppose it depends on what you mean by handle well. If I type "great" into the search box, there are quite a few different greatest hits albums that show up -- and some not so greatest hits ... who knew Roy Acuff sang about a great speckled bird. But, a few more characters limits it appropriately -- "blo" leaves my with Blondie's greatest hits, for example. Adding "fla" ensured that I get only the flac versions of the tracks and not the mp3's. The way it works is that the search looks for the typed characters in any possible field, artist, album, song, file name, directory, etc. So, if you are looking for something in particular, you only need know a little bit about it. For instance, I bought a couple of MP3's from amazon, and stored them in a directory called _amazon_. So, typing "_am" brings them all up. And, the best part is that it is fast working more or less in real time as you type.

Another neat thing, I heard a tom waits song the other day while music was playing randomly. I liked it and wanted to find it today. So, I clicked on the list of recently played music, typed "wait" in the searchbox which founf the one Tom Waits song that had been played recently. So far as I can tell, with SC I would have been lost.

It might be worth adding to all this that I do 98% of my listening while sitting at the computer working. I rarely want to listen to whole albums, but I also don't want to spend any time looking for tracks, so maybe I am an odd case.

drs
2009-03-07, 01:32
I agree with MC, you might also try the Java client, Windows only, it shows a lot of promise - http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=54086

I'll have a look. Thanks.

ModelCitizen
2009-03-07, 04:40
I suppose it depends on what you mean by handle well. If I type "great" into the search box, there are quite a few different greatest hits albums that show up
I'm a bit confused with the talk about search. I was talking about how tracks are grouped as albums. Foobar ignores anything to do with directories as far as I can see but if I choose to view my collection as albums a compilation album with 17 tracks by different artists will be listed 17 times. This is not good.

I'm not sure the search that you describe would be that good for me. I think I might get far too many results for it to be useful (over 2000 albums), especially as I have album reviews and artist biographies in the comments tag field. For my needs the SlimCenter search does just fine.

For your example above I'd probably look at Last.fm profile for any tracks I'd played recently that did not exist in my current playlist.

BTW. I think you might find Erlands plugins useful, Trackstat etc.

MC

Zaragon
2009-03-07, 05:30
Tags are different things to different people. They are metadata but on SqueezeCentre are used as database identifiers. However since it is possible to tag two files identically eg the FLAC and MP3 versions of the same file the only guarantee of uniqueness has to be the fully qualified filename as it is impossible to have two files with the same fully qualified filename in the same name space. (Excluding journalling file systems.)

I am puzzled by the fact that some of your playlists seem to de-reference network share names into local names. I really can't see that being a function of the operating system or rather not being part at the level in which SC and other applications operate. Doing so apparantly randomly is even more unlikely. I am not saying you are wrong I'm saying something else is causing it.

SC obtains the file location of every file by walking the directory tree from the initial point that you specified. It will follow symbolic links, hard links, mounted file systems, pointers etc. However, it should still be seeing them all still within the same file namespace. Whilst this could lead to the same file being in two different places you shouldn't be able to get x:\yxz and \\namespace\x\yxz

SC also scans a number of other text based files for track references. Playlists in various formats and Cue sheets (Cue sheets reference the position of a track within a larger file.) If any of these use a different namespace then this would inject that different namespace into the scan.

SC I believe checks for the existance of the file before it puts it into the database, not least because it wants the metadata. Therefore if it can see the same file in both namespaces it will see it as two files.

Cue sheets are unlikely to exhibit the namespace behaviour as they are usually written in the context of the current directory. The initiator of the problem is therefore likely to be playlists or any other text file containing track filenames in the directory structure.

You mention running some other music management tools and pointing them at the network share namespace. However, they have a habit of adding where you point them to a search list that often includes the whole computer. Running this on the machine which also hosts the network namespace could result in the tool seeing the files twice. How they look for duplicates, decide which to keep if they do see duplicates or otherwise handle it is down to them but it is feasible that they could write into a playlist both namespaces.

Whilst that could explain why you get duplicated files it wouldn't explain why the duplication seems to be random. However, SC does do some database optimisation. Whilst I have no idea what is contained in the optimisation I can envisage a process that seeks to remove duplication within the database and at some point retrieves both file references for the same track and keeps only the first. Unless (and even with) an index involved the order in which two identical records are returned (within the seach criteria) is random (under the control of the database) sometimes it could return the x:\ first and other times the \\namespace\ first. This could explain the changing results.

The fact that removing all playlists appears to make things OK suggests that the playlist generation is the problem.

Zaragon
2009-03-07, 05:52
If I've understood correctly you had/have the following issues:


duplicate albums with some tracks in apparently different locations. Seems largely resolved by removing playlists (suggesting playlist generator is the problem).
web interface is slow
search doesn't work as you wish


Are you exclusively using the web interface or do you also use the SB3 interface? Is it as slow as the web interface?

What does slow mean? Do you mean I click a link and it takes several seconds to respond or do you mean I want to get to a track and have to go through artist and album to get to the track I want?

In respect of searching, you are aware that the web interface has a search option which looks for what you enter within the trackname, genre, album and artist? Advanced search allows you to be more specific about what to look for where?

For searching on the SB3 Lazy Search may be of interest. For general search purposes Erland's custom plugins have already been mentioned.

Moonbase
2009-03-07, 08:14
One question, say I have two tracks, A and B, saved in totally different locations for who knows why. Assuming they are tagged correctly, the album names match exactly, SC still seems to consider them different albums. Any way to fix this short of reorganizing the directory structure?

You might want to vote for bug 10583 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=10583). I’ve been using that patch ever since 7.3.x and it works well. (Provided that your tags are "good", of course.)


There isn't a way. I suffer from the same problem. […] to appear as one album, but it seems impossible. […] Annoyingly, Slimcenters insistance in ignoring the album tag and treating any files in distinct directories as different albums has no benefit at all for me (due to the way my collection is organised). :-(

Same here (I organize folders by artist/album, and "collection" tracks also go there.) You might also want to vote for above mentioned patch — it cured exactly this problem for me. For some reason, Logitech don’t currently consider it worth being retrofitted into SC 7.3/7.4, maybe user feedback helps a little ;-)

Moonbase
2009-03-07, 08:28
The file server which also runs SC has music files in X:\music\ This whole drive is shared, so the other computers see is as \\computer_name\x\music\

In order that playlists made in winamp on my laptop could be seen by SC, I tried having SC look at the network share rather than the local drive. But, even when it does this and the playlists only contain references from \\computer_name\... SC still sees a few random tracks in X:\.

Its either/or. You must be sure that all filenames follow the same convention, either "X:\music\…" or "\\computer\x\music\…". Unfortunately, due to the extra overhead incurred when using UNC paths, some software tries to "resolve" these into mapped drive paths. Maybe this is why you still see some "X:\music\…" entries. If working on a machine that has this drive mapped (instead of a locally attached drive), you might want to consider unmapping it and using the same UNC path as for the other machines.

SC and other software have to have a means for uniquely identifying a file — SC (and MusicIP, btw) use the file path for this, so they will always see "X:\music\filename.ext" as being different to "\\mycomputer\x\music\filename.ext".

cdmackay
2009-03-07, 18:18
Zaragon wrote:
> Tags are different things to different people. They are metadata but on
> SqueezeCentre are used as database identifiers. However since it is
> possible to tag two files identically eg the FLAC and MP3 versions of
> the same file the only guarantee of uniqueness has to be the fully
> qualified filename as it is impossible to have two files with the same
> fully qualified filename in the same name space. (Excluding journalling
> file systems.)

if it isn't going wildly OT, how are journalling filesystems an exception?

Or did you mean version-ing filesystems?

cheers,
calum.

drs
2009-03-09, 22:08
What does slow mean? Do you mean I click a link and it takes several seconds to respond or do you mean I want to get to a track and have to go through artist and album to get to the track I want?

I mean both.