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Full Version: How would you like your Classical Albums sorted for display?
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In the light of the recent discussion here:
http://forum1613.minimserver.com/showthr...p?tid=1260
I thought it would be useful to canvas views on sorting album titles. Assuming that a separate album is used for each work of a particular type for each composer, how would you like these album titles sorted when they appear in the library display? As an example to illustrate the 2 alternatives I'll use Mozart's 27 piano concertos.

Here are the sorting results for the 2 options for album titles of the form: "Mozart - Piano concerto No.n":

OPTION 1: Sort album titles on purely alphanumeric character basis.
[Resulting sort order for Mozart piano concertos would be: 1,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,2,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]

OPTION 2: Sort album titles on combination of alphanumeric characters and embedded numbers.
[Resulting sort order for Mozart piano concertos would be: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27]
How about also asking all MinimServer users whether this "feature" is important rather than having Simon work on other maintenance issues or new features.
(13-01-2014 14:01)Peter@57m Wrote: [ -> ]How about also asking all MinimServer users whether this "feature" is important rather than having Simon work on other maintenance issues or new features.

+1

If its easily done, fair enough but as Simon pointed out in the other post that this is not easily done, I'd not bother and move on....
(13-01-2014 11:58)DavidL Wrote: [ -> ]As an example to illustrate the 2 alternatives I'll use Mozart's 27 piano concertos.

Would you prefer the sort order

'Best of the 80ies'
'Best of the 1960ies'
'Best of the 1970ies'

or

'Best of the 1960ies'
'Best of the 1970ies'
'Best of the 80ies'?
It's been a while that I read the flac specification (at least I hope it was not only thinking it was the flac spec). And as far as I remember it said one should feel free to use multi tags for every tag that you would consider to be useful.

If this is right (and knowing that we are far away from really good tagging especially with classical music) I think it's almost a must have feature.
(13-01-2014 20:29)winxi Wrote: [ -> ]
(13-01-2014 11:58)DavidL Wrote: [ -> ]As an example to illustrate the 2 alternatives I'll use Mozart's 27 piano concertos.

Would you prefer the sort order

'Best of the 80ies'
'Best of the 1960ies'
'Best of the 1970ies'

or

'Best of the 1960ies'
'Best of the 1970ies'
'Best of the 80ies'?
Your example is a valid one which illustrates a case where giving special treatment to numbers when sorting strings may produce unnatural results. But it misses the point if you mean by this example to demonstrate that "natural" sorting of numbers inside strings is to be considered a bad practice which should be condemned.

As always happens in this world of ours, there is no perfect solution to any issue, and the one raised here is no exception. The question is : how large is the number of cases where "natural" number sorting would be beneficial, vs the number those where it would be bad.

1. As the original poster initially wrote, caring for the special needs of classical music is the reason MinimServer was created in the first place.
2. In classical music, it is easy to give *thousands* of examples where numbers in composition titles should be correctly handled in order to be properly sorted.
- around 1020 or so works in the J.S. Bach BWV catalogue
- 555 keyboard sonatas in the Scarlatti Kirkpatrick catalogue
- 104 symphonies in the Haydn HWV catalogue
- more than 600 compositions in the Mozart "K." catalogue
- more than a thousand cantatas by Telemann in the "TWV 1" catalogue alone
- 32 piano sonatas by Beethoven
- etc...
All the above works share the common property that they are identified by numbers in their composer catalogue, and that reference to the work catalogue number is essential to precisely identify a work.
3. So, would one prefer to see this :
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.1 ...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.2 ...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.3 ...
...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.10 ...
...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.20
...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30
...

or this :
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.1 ...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.10 ...
...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.2 ...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.20
...
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.3 ....
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30
...
4. Of course, one can left-pad the composition number with a sufficient number of 0's (3 of them for Bach BWV 0001 to 0009, 2 of them for BWV 0010 to BWV 0099, and 1 for BWV 0100 to BWV 0999) to achieve a correct sort. But this is just not the way it is done in a music catalogue, and I have yet to find a single CD booklet where Bach works are numbered with those leading 0's.
5. If one does not mind imposing the use of those leading zeroes in the music tags to achieve proper sorting of Bach's more than one thousand works (and similarly for Scarlatti, Telemann, etc), then why by the same reasoning one could not be asked to rename the album "Best of the 80ies" to "Best of the 1980s" when tagging the album title, to achieve correct sort within the "Best of xxxxies" group ? If the answer is "No! This is not the exact title used by the disc publisher", then it can also be answered that there is no such work as "Scarlatti Keyboard Cantata K.007 ..." on CD anywhere. Just "K.7" .

To conclude, I do not mean to say that one should loose sleep over the inconveniencies caused by a pure lexicographic approach to sorting : those can be worked around (as I myself do, with the use of leading zeroes for ex.). There may also exist (I am almost sure) more important priorities in the MinimServer todo list than the implementation a new sorting algorithm. But it matters to me that the discussion proceeds on a correct basis. In my humble opinion, it is really unfair to ditch the possibility of "natural" number sorting inside titles as used everywhere in classical music just because of the supposedly "inexact" sorting of the "Best of the 80ies" album this would provoke. Unless there are thousands of cases similar to this one (which I doubt somewhat, but I may be wrong ...)

It would be very helpfull if MinimServer users could contribute other similar examples showing how bad, or how good, a eventual change in the sorting algorithm could be.

Regards to all
Some more information:

1) Just to test the water in a much larger pond, I yesterday placed exactly the same poll as here in the Computer Audiophile Forum. Only 8 votes so far but all for Option 2 sorting with comment along the line "Why on earth would anyone choose Option 1 for sorting?"

2) I've been looking further at JRiver Media Centre in conjunction with JRemote for server / player software, even though my initial experiences with the Mac version of JRMC showed further development was needed. I found that JRMC + JRemote produces album listings sorted in the Option 2 mode.

David
Just add an addl. space before the sonata or symphony number (or opus-no) and your numbering is right again - and it certainly looks a lot better than adding a "0" in front of the number.

bbrip
(14-01-2014 16:05)DavidL Wrote: [ -> ]Some more information:

1) Just to test the water in a much larger pond, I yesterday placed exactly the same poll as here in the Computer Audiophile Forum. Only 8 votes so far but all for Option 2 sorting with comment along the line "Why on earth would anyone choose Option 1 for sorting?"

2) I've been looking further at JRiver Media Centre in conjunction with JRemote for server / player software, even though my initial experiences with the Mac version of JRMC showed further development was needed. I found that JRMC + JRemote produces album listings sorted in the Option 2 mode.

David

If I were a new user of MinimServer (maybe with a preference for classical music) and I came across this sorting issue, I think
- I would not be surprised because I would realize that this is just an alphabetical sort order (I would be surprised if it were the other way round).
- I would have a look at the user guide and the forums and maybe I'd find out that the album sort order can be completely customized with an additional tag. With some more research I'd probably find out that the task of applying this additional tag to my collection can be automated with a software like Mp3tag.
- I would consider proposing a feature request in the forums for an easier way to achieve what I want than with the above step.

I would not
- introduce myself to the forums by reporting a 'fundamental error' which 'can be fixed with a single logical instruction'.
- start polls on various forums with manipulative questions.

I think that everyone sees your point. Other users have already made good points and comments on this topic and Simon, the developer of MinimServer, has clearly stated that he thinks about how the situation can be improved and that there have to be considered several implications with this approach. I, for myself, could imagine an additional tag option which applies this special sort order. But after all I think that pure alphabetical sorting should still be the default option.
I would not
- introduce myself to the forums by reporting a 'fundamental error' which 'can be fixed with a single logical instruction'.
- start polls on various forums with manipulative questions.

I think that everyone sees your point. Other users have already made good points and comments on this topic and Simon, the developer of MinimServer, has clearly stated that he thinks about how the situation can be improved and that there have to be considered several implications with this approach. I, for myself, could imagine an additional tag option which applies this special sort order. But after all I think that pure alphabetical sorting should still be the default option.
[/quote]

Apologies if I caused any offence - typed communication cannot convey the nuance of verbal communication. I should have added a caveat along the lines "I've met this sorting issue before in a very different context and had to program a solution to give the desired numerical sort." In that context the pure alphabetical sort did produce a fundamental error.
As regards putting a poll on Computer Audio I did so as I was aware that there were folk there well experienced in the tagging problems with classical music. I certainly don't think the question posed was manipulative - just direct.
As an aside I have been having what I hope is interpreted as a strongly supportive email conversation with Simon - he is doing us all a valuable service.

David
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