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  1. #1
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Random album browsing?

    I just put in an enhancement request to let users choose what page comes up first when browsing albums. Either (1) page 1 (2) a random page, or (3) the last page viewed. I guess I just get tired of seeing the same 10,000 Maniacs album coming up every time I "browse" albums. This is really more pertinent to the 6.5 beta, with gallery views and the ability to sort in Browse Albums. Now, having albums sorted into a known order (for me it's artist/year/album) is the only way to _find_ an album you want, but it's not ideal for figuring out what you want to listen to.

    How cool would it be to have a browse mode where a page of randomly selected albums is displayed? It wouldn't necessarily even have to be paged like all the other browse modes - all it would really need to do is present a single page of randomly selected albums to look at. Have a "Refresh" button on the page that would present you with a new random set.

  2. #2
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    Just for information if you are interested.

    The latest version of SQLPlayList/DynamicPlayList plugins makes it possible to create dynamic playlists that requests parameters from the user.

    By using this funtionality it is possible to create a "Random album" playlist that would show the user 10 random albums, the user has to select one of them and then the selected album is played.

    A playlist like this is defined i SQLPlayList for slimserver 6.5 as follows:
    Code:
    -- PlaylistParameter1:custom:Select album:select albums.id,albums.title from tracks join albums on tracks.album=albums.id where tracks.audio=1 group by albums.id order by rand() limit 10
    select tracks.url from tracks
    	where tracks.album='PlaylistParameter1'
    	order by tracks.tracknum;
    If you are running slimserver 6.3 or earlier which uses SQLite you will have to change "rand()" to "random()" to make it work.
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets

  3. #3
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erland
    The latest version of SQLPlayList/DynamicPlayList plugins makes it possible to create dynamic playlists that requests parameters from the user.

    By using this funtionality it is possible to create a "Random album" playlist that would show the user 10 random albums, the user has to select one of them and then the selected album is played.
    Does it present the user with albums or with tracks to choose from? If albums, can it display them using the gallery view?

  4. #4
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    It displays albums.

    The albums are displayed in a simple drop list, so you have to click on the droplist to see all albums. There is currently no way to display the cover art for the albums in the droplist.

    So its probably not exactly what you want, but I thought I mention it since it might work as a temporary solution until your enhancement request has been implemented.
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets

  5. #5
    Senior Member stinkingpig's Avatar
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    Random album browsing?

    On 7/22/06, JJZolx <JJZolx.2bd0fz1153593001 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
    wrote:
    >
    >
    > I just put in an enhancement request to let users choose what page comes
    > up first when browsing albums. Either (1) page 1 (2) a random page, or
    > (3) the last page viewed. I guess I just get tired of seeing the same
    > 10,000 Maniacs album coming up every time I "browse" albums. This is
    > really more pertinent to the 6.5 beta, with gallery views and the
    > ability to sort in Browse Albums. Now, having albums sorted into a
    > known order (for me it's artist/year/album) is the only way to _find_
    > an album you want, but it's not ideal for figuring out what you want to
    > listen to.
    >
    > How cool would it be to have a browse mode where a page of randomly
    > selected albums is displayed? It wouldn't necessarily even have to be
    > paged like all the other browse modes - all it would really need to do
    > is present a single page of randomly selected albums to look at. Have
    > a "Refresh" button on the page that would present you with a new random
    > set.
    >
    >
    >

    I like this idea quite a bit, you should post the ER number.

    No offense to Erland, but one of the things I've been wanting since the
    migration to a database backend is this sort of database-savvy re-sorting. I
    appreciate that a plugin has been produced to provide it, but I haven't
    installed it for various reasons (mainly that I think it should be core
    functionality and keep expecting that to happen in a way that would
    invalidate the plugin (expectations which are essentially groundless as it
    certainly isn't being discussed anywhere)).
    --
    "I spent all me tin with the ladies drinking gin,
    So across the Western ocean I must wander" -- traditional


  6. #6
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    No offense taken, I completely agree with you that browsing functionallity should be part of the standard slimserver. I mentioned it as a temporary solution. The browsing that exists today in standard slimserver is good if you know what you want to listen to, but it is not enough if you want the system to help you to suggest what to listen to.

    Functionality silimiar to serveral parts of my plugins are probably suitable to have in standard slimserver, stuff like:
    - Statistic data that survives a rescan. (TrackStat)
    - Smart playlists (SQLPlayList)
    - Set/View ratings (TrackStat)
    - Simplified playlist handling (DynamicPlayList)

    Now, I am not suggesting these plugins should be part of standrad slimserver because that is probably not a good idea.
    I am just saying that it would be good if similar functionallity were implemented in standard slimserver so it were available without installation of 3rd party plugins.

    I have no problem at all with the idea that my plugins would be invalidated/replaced with similar functionallity in standard slimserver.

    The enhancement request that started this thread is this, so please vote on it if you would like the functionallity:
    http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=3802
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets

  7. #7
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stinkingpig
    I like this idea quite a bit, you should post the ER number.
    Actually, I was talking about two different things. The enhancement request is just for a simple option for the current Browse Albums to start on either the first page, the page last visited, or some random page. The ordering of albums within these pages would remain the same.

    What I wanted to suggest here and get a little feedback on was either another browse mode, where the albums are ordered completely randomly, or something simpler that would display a single page in gallery/list view with randomly selected albums. The first might be another browse mode or perhaps another sort-ordering to the Browse Albums if/when dynamic sorting is implemented. Maybe the second could be done as a plugin.

  8. #8
    Marc Sherman
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    Re: Random album browsing?

    erland wrote:
    >
    > Functionality silimiar to serveral parts of my plugins are probably
    > suitable to have in standard slimserver, stuff like:
    > - Statistic data that survives a rescan. (TrackStat)
    > - Smart playlists (SQLPlayList)
    > - Set/View ratings (TrackStat)
    > - Simplified playlist handling (DynamicPlayList)


    Where do you store the TrackStat data? When you say "survives a rescan",
    does it also survive a deletion of the cache directory?

    - Marc


  9. #9
    Senior Member erland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Sherman
    Where do you store the TrackStat data? When you say "survives a rescan",
    does it also survive a deletion of the cache directory?
    It is stored in a separate table in the database, this table is not cleared during rescan. However, the database file is stored in the cache directory so if the cache directory is deleted manually by the user the TrackStat data will also disappear. The TrackStat data can also be backup/restored to a completely separate text file.
    Erland Isaksson (My homepage)
    Developer of many plugins/applets

  10. #10
    Marc Sherman
    Guest

    Re: Random album browsing?

    erland wrote:
    > It is stored in a separate table in the database, this table is not
    > cleared during rescan. However, the database file is stored in the
    > cache directory so if the cache directory is deleted manually by the
    > user the TrackStat data will also disappear. The TrackStat data can
    > also be backup/restored to a completely separate text file.


    Interesting. Do the foreign keys it uses for albums and tracks in the
    main SlimServer tables not change after a clear and rescan?

    - Marc

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