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andrewilley

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Posts posted by andrewilley

  1. That is what you get, a scrollable list of what's up next and what's already been played.

    e.g. when listening to an album (below) you'd see 'Stark Raving Love' is highlighted as the current song, and 'Out of the Flying Pan' is the next song, and so on. Same applies if you are listening to folders, a playlist, etc.

    image.png

    Note: that won't work if you are in a Shuffled playback mode (where it's kinda the point that the next song is random, rather than expected). Currently the only way to see what's coming next in a Shuffle category would be to use (menu) > List Options > Sort Order > By Shuffle Order. That menu option will remain selected for when you are next browsing the same category, so remember to turn it off again if you want to see your Albums in their original order for example.

    There already a Feature Request for a separate simple flat list of history and upcoming tracks, which would work in any playback category or mode, see:

    Andre

  2. First, make sure you have  Settings > Library > Lists > List Item Click Action set to 'Play and go to Main UI' (which is the default, but you might have changed it).

    Then once you have opened an album page (i.e. the page you have shown above) just tap on whichever song you want to start listening to - mostly likely just the first song in the list. Note: if you instead use the 'Play' or 'Shuffle' icons in the header area, PA will start playback but remain in the list rather than going to the Player Screen.

    As to your second question, there are about ten different display styles for each category and level, including several text-only list formats. Just two-finger-pinch in or out to change them. You can also select specific ones directly by using (menu) > List Options.

    @maxmp This question just reminded me: a while ago there was a request to make those two 'Play' and 'Shuffle' header icons respect the user's choice of 'List Item Click Action', just like tapping on a song does. I think that would be a very good idea, as there's no reason for them to behave differently.

    Andre

  3. You'd have to ask Google that, as it's their app. I suspect not though, even scrolling through 400 items is not to be recommended on a system that's meant to have a very limited interface for use while driving. It used to be larger with earlier versions of AA I seem to recall, and has been reduced.

    Andre

  4. You can switch between skins (new or old) with the Settings > Look and Feel > Skin menu. And the Export/Import Settings feature saves the settings of all installed skins, not just the currently active one.

    I suspect this request of mine from a while back would do exactly what you want though, as you just could backup just the skin settings to a file so when you later restore that file it wouldn't affect any other changes you may have made in the meantime:

    Andre

  5. No, the only method PA provides for backing up ratings is via that extra line which is added to the Export Playlist feature. There is no other automatic backup facility, all ratings are kept in an internal database and not written permanently to files. So if you ever had a system crash and needed to reinstall from scratch, any ratings that you had previously created locally would be lost (along with internal playlists, play counts, etc).

    To backup the ratings for everything in your Library, you need to put everything into a temporary internal playlist first. Long-press on any song in the 'All Songs' category, select 'All', and tap '+Playlist'. Use a new list name, such as "Whole Music Library". Then you can use the Export Playlists feature to save that playlist to a permanent file - named Whole Music Library.m3u8 - which will contain an entry for every song in your library. Just save that file away somewhere that PA won't scan, and if you ever do need to restore ratings after a crash or to a new device, just copy the backup file over to somewhere PA is permitted to scan and it will merge the ratings information back in for you.

    There are other apps (such as New Playlist Manager) which can read/write/backup this information too, but again that would be a specific task that you need to run periodically, not a regular ongoing backup made whenever you change a single star rating.

    Andre

  6. Ratings are only read from suitable playlists if you have Settings > Library > Playlists > Import Ratings turned on. Once you've turned it on, you might want to do a FULL Rescan (in Settings > Library) to force PA to reread the content.

    To confirm your playlists actually contain ratings, open one of the M3U8 files in any text editor and make sure it has the PA-specific #EXT-X-RATING lines preceding each song filename, line this:

    #EXT-X-RATING:4
    D0D8-84ED/MusicFolders/Music/Singles/Waiting for a Girl Like You - Foreigner.mp3
    

    Andre

  7. PA saves ratings with its 'Export Playlists' function, so you could add some or all of your music into a temporary playlist, export the playlist to storage as an M3U8 file, and then copy that list back again at a later stage to get the ratings back. Make sure Settings > Library > Playlists > Import Ratings is enabled.

    Alternatively, there are external apps like New Playlist Manager that can handle ratings too.

    Andre

  8. A lot of this is conjecture, but I suspect PA doesn't bother with very much logic or pre-sorting at all when choosing elements from a group (such as working out a 'Year' for an album based on the contained songs). I'm guessing it either:

    Uses the entry in the first suitable file it finds, and then stops searching. So that would mean content is most likely based on first file found in any given database/directory crawl.
       or
    It reads each file, overwriting any saved values from previous files, until everything has been read - which would result in content being used from the last matching file in the database.


    I believe that selecting cover artwork from an audio file that contains multiple images (e.g. Front Cover, Back Cover, and Booklet) works using the second method. So PA goes through all the tags in the file from start to finish, saving the content as it goes. For cover images it only wants one piece of artwork, so that would end up being the last one found in the file.

    Andre

  9. Not really, I'd set Album Artist TPE2 anyway, just to be sure - but Artist TPE1 can vary.

    If you change some minor tag content of an existing filename, do a Full Rescan as the changes may not be picked up otherwise.

    PA may not be sorted content before it works out group details, so the file that gets chosen may be based on the underlying Android FAT storage order rather than any post-sorted sequence. (The same order you would see with a command-line "ls -f")

    Andre

  10. None of those will affect which album PA recognises several different songs as being a part of. Each track in an album can have a different year, track artist, genre, cover, length, etc.

    To check how "recently added" behaves, give the tracks new filenames as PA may have remembered the old ones.

    To check which song values are used for the combined album (e.g. which Year is picked) copy the files one by one into a newly created subfolder. I suspect the first one you copy (i.e. the first one in the underlying storage file table) will get used. Or the last.

    Andre

  11. In 'Album Artist' category, I expect the default setting would be to use the Album Artist tag. But that's what the settings are there for of course, so each user can set it as they wish.

    Of the three 'Album Artist Label' settings, I only have the middle one enabled - so the Album Artist tag is used in Album view headers too. I never want to see Album Artist used for individual tracks in any view, I want to see the track artists.

    Andre

  12. 6 hours ago, jster804 said:

    I was seeing artist names and album names fine.  It was the song titles that were showing up as the file name.

    Odd. The normal scanning process is first the whole selected directory structure is crawled to find all the music files, which would result in just filenames being present in the database, and then a second phase goes through each individual file checking its embedded tag data. So if that second phase failed, I would expect to see filenames for titles but no other tag info shown (so no artist, album, etc). Unless you have the Settings > Library > List > Filename as Title mode enabled anyway, but you said you'd already checked for that.

    I tend to agree with you about cover art choices. Embedded artwork is loaded from files at display time (so it happens whenever you open a new folder or album for example) as caching perhaps tens of thousands of images which are already saved inside the files would be excessive. However rather than reading sequentially through the file and loading more possible images, I think it would make sense to stop after the first one has been found and loaded. Or better still, for MP3/ID3 tags, just check for the $03 flag in the APIC frame (indicating Front Cover) and prioritise using that over, for example, $04 (Back Cover). The Vorbis METADATA_BLOCK_PICTURE frame has the same set of codes available for other file formats.

    PA is pretty well optimised for battery usage, but obviously the more processing tasks it has to do, the more power it will consume. I've never felt the need to optimise especially though.

    Andre

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