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Basic instructions - Basic syntax
17-02-2021, 03:51
Post: #1
Basic instructions - Basic syntax
Dear All,

I have been using MinimServer for a few years and I am very satisfied, so a big thank you to Simon. I have MinimServer on a QNAP NAS (TS-469 4 bay) and running MiminWatch on a Windows 10 PC, using Linn Kinsky, or Kazoo as control points and a Linn DS network player.

I have basically used MinimServer as it comes out of the box for all of these years, because my music library was not that complex (about 3,000 albums). But now it has grown in complexity and I would like to have more ways of exploring it.

I have updated recently to MinimServer2 and I am happy to pay the full license.

I have spent some hours reading the instructions (user guide) Simon has on the site, and they are accurate and detailed but not for a layman. I have difficulties in absorbing many abstract concepts that are probably obvious for the majority. I would appreciate many more examples of how to change properties and then what one should expect as a result.

I have four specific questions: 1) is there a more basic set of instructions, syntax really for dummies?
2) I have just tried to change something which should be simple, but have not succeeded. I would like to have the names of the composers in my control point shown as surname first, first name second. In other words I would like to see in the control point (Kinsky) when I select composer: Vivaldi Antonio, but now I see Antonio Vivaldi.

My current properties are as follows:
indexTags ---> Artist, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, #AudioFormat: MP3orFLAC
tagOptions ---> Album.sortTags={Album, Artist}

I tried, following the suggestions in the user guide, to modify the tagOptions as follows:
tagOptions ---> Album.sortTags={Album, Artist}, ComposerSort.reverseName.index.display

but I got a syntax error.

3) I have also a hard time understanding some other basics, such as how does one use the property itemTags; I kind of understand that indexTags is a list of Tag names that is used by the server to sort the audio files and present them in a given order in the control point, but I have no idea of what itemTags does.

4) and finally, how does one inspect (see, read, discover) all of the tags (and specifically the names of these tags) that are available in the audio files and that can be used in minimserver to sort and explore one's own library of audio files?

Any help would be really appreciated.

Maurizio
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17-02-2021, 11:37 (This post was last modified: 17-02-2021 17:59 by simbun.)
Post: #2
RE: Basic instructions - Basic syntax
(17-02-2021 03:51)mbussolo Wrote:  1) is there a more basic set of instructions, syntax really for dummies?
Not that I'm aware of. The documentation is very extensive, but what I think people need is an entry point into the documentation e.g. the sections related to changing the sort order. I did produce a summary of sorts for a friend, and I keep meaning to clean it up and send it on just in case it's of use to others.

(17-02-2021 03:51)mbussolo Wrote:  2) I have just tried to change something which should be simple, but have not succeeded. I would like to have the names of the composers in my control point shown as surname first, first name second. In other words I would like to see in the control point (Kinsky) when I select composer: Vivaldi Antonio, but now I see Antonio Vivaldi.
Do you have a tag that holds the value "lastname, firstname"? If you don't then MinimServer can't really help, as it would be impossible to know which Artists/Composers to reverse e.g. "Daft Punk" shouldn't be "Punk, Daft".

ReverseName supports the automatic reversal of the "lastname(s), firstname(s)" format, but it obviously can't go the other way.

If there were only a few that you wanted reversed, you could code them in to MinimServer using tagUpdate, but it would probably be best to hold this data in the files themselves, in a ComposerSort tag.

(17-02-2021 03:51)mbussolo Wrote:  3) I have also a hard time understanding some other basics, such as how does one use the property itemTags; I kind of understand that indexTags is a list of Tag names that is used by the server to sort the audio files and present them in a given order in the control point, but I have no idea of what itemTags does.
indexTags holds the tags you want to use for your browse tree and itemTags should contain every other tag that you want to reference in the MinimServer config, be it for sorting, or for use in building up a display for another tag. If you use a tag anywhere in MinimServer's configuration and it's not in indexTags or itemTags then you'll receive an error. As mentioned in the documentation you can also specify a default sort order here e.g. -DateAdded.

(17-02-2021 03:51)mbussolo Wrote:  4) and finally, how does one inspect (see, read, discover) all of the tags (and specifically the names of these tags) that are available in the audio files and that can be used in minimserver to sort and explore one's own library of audio files?
Use the writeAlltags option to output all your music tags to a file.
MinimServer also makes available some special tags which I don't think will be output by writeAllTags, so bear those in mind too.


I hope that's of some help.
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17-02-2021, 13:50
Post: #3
RE: Basic instructions - Basic syntax
@simbun
Excellent summary.

I would like to add that in response to q1 and q4 that SongKong could be useful.

Try this SongKong with Minimserver overview. It may be helpful.

Having read the tags available, the next step may be to amend them.
SongKong audio tagger can do this well. See What is Songkong.

Of course, there are plenty other taggers such as mp3tag etc.

Ps - I do not have or use SongKong nor do I have any affiliation. However, it does appear to be evolving to be useful with MinimServer and Roon.
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18-02-2021, 02:51
Post: #4
RE: Basic instructions - Basic syntax
Hi SIMBUN,
thanks for the reply. I hope I can sustain your attention to this issue, and have another reply...

(17-02-2021 11:37)simbun Wrote:  [...] The documentation is very extensive, but what I think people need is an entry point into the documentation e.g. the sections related to changing the sort order. I did produce a summary of sorts for a friend, and I keep meaning to clean it up and send it on just in case it's of use to others.

Please send the unfinished unpolished "summary of sorts", I will really appreciate it!

(17-02-2021 11:37)simbun Wrote:  indexTags holds the tags you want to use for your browse tree and itemTags should contain every other tag that you want to reference in the MinimServer config, be it for sorting, or for use in building up a display for another tag. If you use a tag anywhere in MinimServer's configuration and it's not in indexTags or itemTags then you'll receive an error. As mentioned in the documentation you can also specify a default sort order here e.g. -DateAdded.

This is great, I almost get it... but not fully. This is where an example would really help. I know it is tedious request, but it will clarify things for sure. Imagine having two songs (two audio files) with tags that identify the albums, the artists, the composers, and then just play around with a couple of examples of indexTags and itemTags and show what the output should look like.

(17-02-2021 11:37)simbun Wrote:  Use the writeAlltags option to output all your music tags to a file.
MinimServer also makes available some special tags which I don't think will be output by writeAllTags, so bear those in mind too.

I will definitely try this. Thanks again for all the help.
Cheers, M
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18-02-2021, 03:01
Post: #5
RE: Basic instructions - Basic syntax
(17-02-2021 13:50)Alandbush Wrote:  @simbun
Excellent summary.

I would like to add that in response to q1 and q4 that SongKong could be useful.

Try this SongKong with Minimserver overview. It may be helpful.

Having read the tags available, the next step may be to amend them.
SongKong audio tagger can do this well. See What is Songkong.

Of course, there are plenty other taggers such as mp3tag etc.

Ps - I do not have or use SongKong nor do I have any affiliation. However, it does appear to be evolving to be useful with MinimServer and Roon.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have seen SongKong and I think I also read the section you refer to (but should perhaps revisit that). I have even tried SongKong on a few folders in my library. It seems a super powerful tagger, but it messed up when I tried on a few subfolders.

However, really the issue I have it is not how to tag audio files, but how to use more efficiently and possibly with more control minimserver. Once I am proficient with minimserver, then it may be a good idea to do more elaborate stuff with tagging or re-tagging.
Anyway, thanks for the help!
Cheers, M
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18-02-2021, 10:07 (This post was last modified: 18-02-2021 10:22 by simbun.)
Post: #6
RE: Basic instructions - Basic syntax
(17-02-2021 13:50)Alandbush Wrote:  @simbun
Excellent summary.
Thank you for your kind words!

(18-02-2021 02:51)mbussolo Wrote:  Please send the unfinished unpolished "summary of sorts", I will really appreciate it!
I'll try and get something up tomorrow but I do need to clean it up a bit, and it's in markdown so I'll need to remove that.

(18-02-2021 02:51)mbussolo Wrote:  This is great, I almost get it... but not fully. This is where an example would really help. I know it is tedious request, but it will clarify things for sure. Imagine having two songs (two audio files) with tags that identify the albums, the artists, the composers, and then just play around with a couple of examples of indexTags and itemTags and show what the output should look like.
itemTags doesn't affect the output directly, it just tells MinimServer to make those tags available for use in the configuration so it doesn't waste time and resources reading in all the tags, many of which we won't have any intention of using.

Let's continue with your existing setup:

indexTags ---> Artist, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, #AudioFormat: MP3orFLAC
itemTags --->
tagOptions ---> Album.sortTags={Album, Artist}

...and assume you populated ComposerSort with the relevant values e.g. 'Vivaldi, Antonio' for the composer 'Antonio Vivaldi'.

Typically, one would want to use the ComposerSort value in the index, where you'd also want it to be sorted by ComposerSort, but when in Album View, or on a 'Now Playing' screen you'd want to see the name in the format 'firstname surname'.
To achieve this you'd add:
tagValue: Composer.value.sort.index={ComposerSort}

You don't want to also index by ComposerSort (as you'd have two essentially identical indexes that would only differ once you got to Album View), but you do need to tell MinimServer that you want to use it, so you'd need to add:
itemTags: ComposerSort

Let's consider another example. I use the tag Subtitle to hold information related to the track (but which isn't a part of the track title) such as whether it's Live, Radio Edit, Extended Version, Remix etc.
I want to include this information whenever I look at a track listing, so I use:
tagFormat: Title.displayFormat={$title^$subtitle^ (^)}

Again, I don't want to include Subtitle as it's own index, but I do need to tell MinimServer to make that tag available for use, so I add it to itemTags.

So we'd end up with:
Code:
indexTags ---> Artist, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, #AudioFormat: MP3orFLAC
itemTags ---> ComposerSort, Subtitle

tagOptions ---> Album.sortTags={Album, Artist}
tagValue ---> Composer.value.sort.index={ComposerSort}
tagFormat ---> Title.displayFormat={$title^$subtitle^ (^)}

Hope that makes it clearer.
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18-02-2021, 11:04
Post: #7
RE: Basic instructions - Basic syntax
(18-02-2021 02:51)mbussolo Wrote:  
(17-02-2021 11:37)simbun Wrote:  [...] The documentation is very extensive, but what I think people need is an entry point into the documentation e.g. the sections related to changing the sort order. I did produce a summary of sorts for a friend, and I keep meaning to clean it up and send it on just in case it's of use to others.

Please send the unfinished unpolished "summary of sorts", I will really appreciate it!

Without pre judging @simbun "summary of sorts", there is a SongKong overview of sorting which may prove helpful. Link here.
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