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Another use for Compilation tag
14-12-2020, 12:21 (This post was last modified: 14-12-2020 21:18 by jarvis.)
Post: #1
Another use for Compilation tag
Hi,

I recently upgraded to Minimserver2 and I have absolutely no regrets! First the Index Artwork, then this tweak to album sorting for "Various Artists". That means I can have albums sorted by release date for normal artists but by name when viewing compilations!

The tweak above got me thinking about more uses for the tag update file and something I'd been wanting for a while: How to add random tracks to my Linn DS player? There were two options:
  • Bubble DS on Android - random tracks feature in Library view
  • Linn Kazoo (control point) + Linn Davaar 80+ firmware - Make a "Pin" of a genre and set it to random.
    (Davaar 80 introduces Pins for music servers other than Linn Kazoo Server. These pinned items can be accessed through Kazoo or by pressing+holding buttons 1-6 on the remote control)

Both of those work fine, but my main bugbear was that I have a lot of "DJ Mix" albums and the random selection would always include several tracks from these. It's very jarring to listen to those in a random order along with other tracks! If only I could automatically exclude certain tracks? I could create a new genre of "Mixed", but some of the mixes are Trance, others are House, etc. And FLAC files don't support multiple values per tag (e.g. Trance, Mixed). EDIT: They do support it, but it would mean setting Genre="Unmixed" on every new music acquisition.

I'm happy with all my compilations tagged with Album Artist=Various Artists, so I don't need the boolean "Compilation" tag for it's intended purpose. Therefore, I decided to use it to mean "Mixed" instead. So far so good, but Linn don't allow that tag to be Pinned.

The next step was to make both "Mixed" and "Unmixed" appear as an additional genre on all tracks:

I used this TagUpdate file:
Code:
@#AUDIOFORMAT=FLAC
@#AUDIOFORMAT=MP3
@#AUDIOFORMAT=MP4
+UNMIXEDTRACK=1

@UNMIXEDTRACK=1
&COMPILATION=1
-UNMIXEDTRACK
+GENRE=Mixed
&UNMIXEDTRACK=1
+GENRE=Unmixed

It sets a custom tag called UNMIXEDTRACK to "1" for every track. Then for every track that now has that new tag but also has COMPILATION = "1", it removes the custom tag and adds the genre "Mixed". For the other tracks it adds the genre "Unmixed". This relies on the fact that the tagupdate file seems to process each section and filter group in turn, taking into account changes already made.

In MinimServer2 settings I had to add Compilation to ItemTags (obvious) but also #AudioFormat; not so obvious as it is a special tag - that threw me for a while!

So now, I can use Kazoo to pin the new genre of "Unmixed", set it to random and enjoy listening to tracks I've forgotten about without any mixed tracks spoiling the fun.

There was another unexpected benefit - due to MinimServer's dynamic browsing I could browse first to "Unmixed" and then to "Dance" and pin that. Linn's pin seems to record both genres "Unmixed" + "Dance", so I can have random dance tracks without the mixed ones too!

Sorry this solution is a bit specific to Linn owners but it might be useful in other ways.

J
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14-12-2020, 18:26
Post: #2
RE: Another use for Compilation tag
Thanks for sharing this. One small point: FLAC files do support multiple values per tag (e.g., both GENRE=Trance and GENRE=Mixed on the same file) and MinimServer handles this correctly in Intelligent Browsing (as you have seen when browsing for Unmixed and Dance).
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14-12-2020, 21:16
Post: #3
RE: Another use for Compilation tag
(14-12-2020 18:26)simoncn Wrote:  Thanks for sharing this. One small point: FLAC files do support multiple values per tag (e.g., both GENRE=Trance and GENRE=Mixed on the same file) and MinimServer handles this correctly in Intelligent Browsing (as you have seen when browsing for Unmixed and Dance).

I stand corrected - I read a few threads about that here and they were all about ID3, plus I thought FLAC used APE but it seems to use VORBIS. Plus I use TagScanner to make any tag updates and that doesn't support the multiple values.
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14-12-2020, 22:06
Post: #4
RE: Another use for Compilation tag
(14-12-2020 12:21)jarvis Wrote:  I recently upgraded to Minimserver2 and I have absolutely no regrets! First the Index Artwork, then this tweak to album sorting for "Various Artists". That means I can have albums sorted by release date for normal artists but by name when viewing compilations!

Glad you found the post useful, always nice to be able to help someone. I do like evolving these things, but I do find that I end up creating work for myself; after starting to sort artist albums by date I realised that some artists (The Beatles is a good example) were particularly productive, and had many albums in the same year, so I've just spent a couple of hours adding more precision to their release dates :-(

It sounds like we have a very similar setup, even down to filtering out certain tracks for a shuffle mode. I don't have many mixed albums so haven't excuded those, but I have excluded spoken word tracks by adding an additional genre of 'Spoken Word' to create a 'Shuffle Mode' filter at the top level of the index, which I select, before using BubbleUPnP to perform a shuffle.

One thing you may not be aware of is MinimStreamers ability to apply track replaygain which helps normalise the volume when shuffling, especially useful if what you're playing comes from different eras (pre loudness wars). This is ultimately why I filter out spoken word tracks as they're boosted so much because of the silence. With MinimServer2 you could create one profile with it active and one without.
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14-12-2020, 22:30
Post: #5
RE: Another use for Compilation tag
(14-12-2020 22:06)simbun Wrote:  sounds like we have a very similar setup, even down to filtering out certain tracks for a shuffle mode. I don't have many mixed albums so haven't excuded those, but I have excluded spoken word tracks by adding an additional genre of 'Spoken Word' to create a 'Shuffle Mode' filter at the top level of the index, which I select, before using BubbleUPnP to perform a shuffle.

You know, I hadn't noticed "Shuffle Play" in Bubble's 3-dot menu. I was looking at Library --> Virtual Folders --> Random tracks, and that just picks the tracks from the whole server. If I'd noticed "Shuffle Play" I may not have bothered with this whole thing. But getting Pins to do what I wanted was nice!
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