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Control Apps - schelomo - 03-07-2018 09:47

This question is not specifically about Minimserver, but I'm not sure where else to put it. I'm completely new to streaming and feeling somewhat confused, and really would appreciate any advice.

My goal is to stream a library from a QNAP NAS to an Auralic Aries Mini, which I would then like to control with an iPad app. Ideally, I would like the control app to be able to display the "Artists" list according to the "Sort Artist" order. A utopian ideal would be to have the "Genre" tag act as a filter on "Artist" (thus displaying only the artists within that genre), and for these artists to follow "Sort Artist" order. But I fear that may be a bridge too far, and for now I'd just be happy with "Sort Artist" order across all genres.

Minimserver appears to have lots of functions for interpreting metadata tags, so I feel I should be able to do this.

My problem is that I have no idea how to get a control app of some kind to display things correctly. I've read through the various bits of documentation showing how to get tags to map to other tags, how to set index/display/sort values, and so on. But what apps are to be used to *interpret* this? So far my attempts with Lightning DS just result in the "Artist" tag being used for the alphabetical list, even though I think I have configured Minimserver otherwise… And Kazoo and Foobar2000 (as a player) just show the file structure.

What apps are people using to take advantage of all of Minimserver's tagging commands?

And why aren't companies that build 6k+ streamers and DACs able to make apps that organize music intuitively? iTunes has had an intuitive Genre > Artist > Album structure (rather than simply Genre > Album) for over a decade. Surely it's not that hard to implement?


RE: Control Apps - Alandbush - 03-07-2018 11:45

(03-07-2018 09:47)schelomo Wrote:  This question is not specifically about Minimserver, but I'm not sure where else to put it. I'm completely new to streaming and feeling somewhat confused, and really would appreciate any advice.

My goal is to stream a library from a QNAP NAS to an Auralic Aries Mini, which I would then like to control with an iPad app. Ideally, I would like the control app to be able to display the "Artists" list according to the "Sort Artist" order. A utopian ideal would be to have the "Genre" tag act as a filter on "Artist" (thus displaying only the artists within that genre), and for these artists to follow "Sort Artist" order. But I fear that may be a bridge too far, and for now I'd just be happy with "Sort Artist" order across all genres.

Minimserver appears to have lots of functions for interpreting metadata tags, so I feel I should be able to do this.

My problem is that I have no idea how to get a control app of some kind to display things correctly. I've read through the various bits of documentation showing how to get tags to map to other tags, how to set index/display/sort values, and so on. But what apps are to be used to *interpret* this? So far my attempts with Lightning DS just result in the "Artist" tag being used for the alphabetical list, even though I think I have configured Minimserver otherwise… And Kazoo and Foobar2000 (as a player) just show the file structure.

What apps are people using to take advantage of all of Minimserver's tagging commands?

And why aren't companies that build 6k+ streamers and DACs able to make apps that organize music intuitively? iTunes has had an intuitive Genre > Artist > Album structure (rather than simply Genre > Album) for over a decade. Surely it's not that hard to implement?

Lightning DS uses the tag information provided by Minimserver but then builds its own indexes based on their criteria. You cannot change this order.

The filtering of Genre by Artist can be achieved through Minimserver. Lightning DS could be used but only via their 'Browse by Folder' option.

Simply change the tagOptions value to folder.sortTags={ArtistSort, Album}

For more information have a look at User guide - Tag options

There are also paid Control apps that provide tailoring, on-the-fly, of Album order.
One such is Glider, that allows Genres to be ordered by Artist, Composer, Newest, Oldest or Title tags.


RE: Control Apps - schelomo - 03-07-2018 12:39

(03-07-2018 11:45)Alandbush Wrote:  Lightning DS uses the tag information provided by Minimserver but then builds its own indexes based on their criteria. You cannot change this order.

The filtering of Genre by Artist can be achieved through Minimserver. Lightning DS could be used but only via their 'Browse by Folder' option.

Simply change the tagOptions value to folder.sortTags={ArtistSort, Album}

For more information have a look at User guide - Tag options

There are also paid Control apps that provide tailoring, on-the-fly, of Album order.
One such is Glider, that allows Genres to be ordered by Artist, Composer, Newest, Oldest or Title tags.

Thanks very much – I will look into all of this. I already discovered independently that "Browse by Folder" allows me to apply Genre as a filter on Artist.

If I understand correctly, then, I should be using most of these control apps with the "Browse by Folder" view to take advantage of Minimserver's features, applying sort to folders.

Follow-up question: my library of ALAC was originally all organized in iTunes. This means that "ArtistSort" will actually be called "soar", right? So instead I should have folder.sortTags={soar, Album}? Or does Minimserver not need to be told this?

EDIT: It looks like the Lumin app effectively offers "Browse by Folder" view, but with artwork, which makes it rather more attractive.

Is there a way to get Minimserver not to display certain things within this view? e.g. At the top level, I don't really need a folder called "Date".


RE: Control Apps - simoncn - 03-07-2018 15:15

(03-07-2018 11:45)Alandbush Wrote:  Simply change the tagOptions value to folder.sortTags={ArtistSort, Album}

This only works when browsing using MinimServer's folder view (not to be confused with the Lightning DS folder view) with your music organized in artist folders.

A better approach that doesn't have these limitations is to set the tagValue property to Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}. This requires you to have ArtistSort tags in your files as well as Artist tags.

If you are using this tagValue approach, you can then browse by Genre followed by Artist (or vice versa) to get a sorted list of artists filtered by genre.


RE: Control Apps - simoncn - 03-07-2018 15:22

(03-07-2018 12:39)schelomo Wrote:  Follow-up question: my library of ALAC was originally all organized in iTunes. This means that "ArtistSort" will actually be called "soar", right? So instead I should have folder.sortTags={soar, Album}? Or does Minimserver not need to be told this?

MinimServer knows that ArtistSort is written as 'soar' by iTunes, so you should use Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}, not Artist.value.sort={soar}. There is a full list of MinimServer tag mappings in this section.

Quote:Is there a way to get Minimserver not to display certain things within this view? e.g. At the top level, I don't really need a folder called "Date".

Just edit the indexTags property to remove what you don't want to see in the index. If you want Date values to be read from your files, you would also need to add Date to itemTags.


RE: Control Apps - schelomo - 03-07-2018 17:01

(03-07-2018 15:22)simoncn Wrote:  xx

Thanks very much for your replies! It's great that you offer support like this to users.


RE: Control Apps - schelomo - 04-07-2018 15:49

(03-07-2018 15:15)simoncn Wrote:  A better approach that doesn't have these limitations is to set the tagValue property to Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}. This requires you to have ArtistSort tags in your files as well as Artist tags.

If you are using this tagValue approach, you can then browse by Genre followed by Artist (or vice versa) to get a sorted list of artists filtered by genre.

Thanks again for your help.

I'm afraid that using "Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}" just doesn't seem to be working for me. I really don't know what I'm doing wrong, as all the other tags/options seem to behave as described in the documentation. I'm using "Browse by Folder" in Lightning DS, Lumin and also the iOS Foobar player. All give the same results.

Right now, I have the following set up:
Quote:indexTags: Artist, Genre

itemTags: ArtistSort, Composer, Date

tagOptions:
ArtistSort.ignore.sort={The, A}
Album.sortTags={ArtistSort}
Album.ignore.sort={The, A}

tagValues:
ArtistSort.default={Artist}
Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}

This makes everything work perfectly if I browse Genre > Albums. If I go to Jazz and choose "Albums", I can find John Coltrane under "C", not under "J", and the "ignore" option works too, so "A Love Supreme" appears between "Live in Seattle" and "Lush Life." The ignore option on "ArtistSort" is also effective. Sometimes it is useful to browse in this way, so I'm pleased that it works.

However, what I really want is to go Genre > Artists and then get an appropriately sorted list. Instead I just get a strictly alphabetical list, as if the "display" value is being used for sorting as well. I really don't understand why this is the case, since when I view by Album the ArtistSort tag is clearly being interpreted correctly (including the "ignore" option). Surely if "Artist.value.sort" is being set to "ArtistSort", then this should affect the order that Artists display in?

I have to fill "ArtistSort" with "Artist" for all the items that don't have an "ArtistSort" tag specified, since the albums themselves are sorted only according to "ArtistSort." Is that maybe causing the problem somehow?


RE: Control Apps - simoncn - 04-07-2018 16:28

The Artist index shows the AlbumArtist tag value if this is present and the Artist tag value otherwise. Perhaps all or nearly all of your albums have an AlbumArtist tag. You can check this by looking at the All Artists index, which uses the Artist tag only. Are these entries sorted by the ArtistSort value?


RE: Control Apps - schelomo - 04-07-2018 18:23

(04-07-2018 16:28)simoncn Wrote:  The Artist index shows the AlbumArtist tag value if this is present and the Artist tag value otherwise. Perhaps all or nearly all of your albums have an AlbumArtist tag. You can check this by looking at the All Artists index, which uses the Artist tag only. Are these entries sorted by the ArtistSort value?

YES! That's it! All solved with "AlbumArtist.value.sort={ArtistSort}".

I got into the somewhat eccentric habit years ago of tagging all my albums with the same thing in "Artist" and "Album Artist" to avoid a problem in iTunes (I've forgotten what it is now). Since I didn't include "AlbumArtist" in "itemTags" I assumed Minimserver would ignore it.

Thanks very much for your help. Now to deal with all the little irregularities and problems in my tagging that iTunes never revealed…


RE: Control Apps - simoncn - 04-07-2018 20:46

(04-07-2018 18:23)schelomo Wrote:  Since I didn't include "AlbumArtist" in "itemTags" I assumed Minimserver would ignore it.

This is a reasonable assumption and perhaps might have been a more consistent approach if I had done this for all tags from day 1.

For reference, the following tags are read by MinimServer even if they don't appear in indexTags or itemTags:

AlbumArtist
Album Artist
Title
Album
Group
TrackNumber
DiscNumber
DiscSubtitle

You can prevent any of these from being read by using the aliasTags property to alias the tag to 'nil'.