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Irene C.

Playlists Visible But Empty

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Hi,

My phone is Xiaomi Redmi 5A Prime and I have the full version of PA installed, namely 2.010.588

The issues I am facing have to do with playlists.

The first one was that, out of the blue, my songs lost all the tag editing data I have added and appeared as 0kb. This was fixed after I did several soft reboots.

The second issue is that after the reboots, my playlists remained visible, but empty. In the past I had exported the playlists as a precaution, but in this case I couldn't reimport them successfully.

It is clear to me that I can't restore my lost data, but I would like to understand why this happened in order to prevent it to happen again.

So would someone explain to me in simple words (I am in my 50s ?) what is this switching from m3u to m3u8 format? And, since I have in store some m3u8 lists, can those

be played by Poweramp?

Sorry for the long post. Thank you if you read it to the end and thank you in advance for any help offered.

Edited by Irene C.

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M3U and M3U8 are basically the same thing, but M3U8 allows more of a variety of international characters rather than just the plain simple English alphabet. Technically, M3U8 uses the 'UTF-8' character set rather than just ASCII.

But for simple names the two are completely interchangeable and editable with any text editor.

Andre

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thank you Andre,

can you tell me please, if Poweramp application plays both formats? because, as i wrote in the previous message, i have m3u8 lists saved in my sd card, but they cannot be opened...

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1 hour ago, Irene C. said:

thank you Andre,

can you tell me please, if Poweramp application plays both formats? because, as i wrote in the previous message, i have m3u8 lists saved in my sd card, but they cannot be opened...

Yes. As I said, apart from the character set they employ, they are identical. You can rename an M3U as an M3U8 if you like and it will still work. At its simplest, it is just a list of filenames (with or without paths) each on a separate line.

Open one of the playlist files in a text editor (as I said, they are plain text) and see if the directory paths that are saved in the playlist match with your device's current file system. Sometimes Android will rename the path to its SD Card on a whim, which of course is a problem if you are using a fully qualified path name and suddenly that path is no longer there. That's easy enough to fix with a simple batch text editor if that's what has happened.

Andre

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Hi Andre,

Yeah, you were right. The paths have changed. Don't know about the batch editor solution though.. My lists contained more than 30 songs, so I guess that the editing goes item by item. 

Nevertheless, can you recommend a good editor?

Thanks again! 

Irene

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Personally I tend to do any serious editing on a PC where global search and replace makes that sort of task a doddle (e.g. Notepad++ can do it). However even a basic text editor on a phone should allow you to change all the occurrences of the wrong path within a given file to your new correct value in one go. I don't know of a batch text editing app that would do all of your playlist files at once though.

Andre

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The easiest is to use the import playlists option of new playlist manager. It will rebuild your m3u into an android playlist which you can import into Poweramp or export again as .m3u where it will have the correct paths

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7 minutes ago, flyingdutchman said:

The easiest is to use the import playlists option of new playlist manager. It will rebuild your m3u into an android playlist which you can import into Poweramp or export again as .m3u where it will have the correct paths

You must be the famous Theo! Read about you in the users reviews in Google Play. I already have the full version of you application. Still, i am learning to use it. I wanted to read the support in your web page, before bothering you in person. 

Up to now, I managed to save two of my playlists via your application. The manager displays them and reads the songs. Unfortunately, after exporting them to player, only one of them worked on Poweramp... The thing is, that as i am not understanding what i am doing yet, i cannot apply it to other playlists :(                                            

Thanks for answering!

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On 11/14/2018 at 5:19 PM, flyingdutchman said:

The easiest is to use the import playlists option of new playlist manager. It will rebuild your m3u into an android playlist which you can import into Poweramp or export again as .m3u where it will have the correct paths

I will amend the code such that it will create Poweramp playlists if you have set the option. You can use either Poweramp or npm to create m3u playlissts afterwards. I will release a new version this weekend

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Just released a new version of New Playlist Manager. It will import 1 or more "external m3u or .m3u8 playlists" and create new Poweramp playlists. An output text file is produced, located in playlist_manager folder of any errors encountered. Once the process finishes you get a notification in the top which you can click to read the information.

As long as the tracks listed in your m3u playlist exist on the device, NPM will find them so no need to worry about the file path

The only prerequisite is that all your music has been scanned first.

ps: it can create Android playlists too if you prefer.

 

 

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On 11/13/2018 at 6:19 PM, andrewilley said:

Yes. As I said, apart from the character set they employ, they are identical. You can rename an M3U as an M3U8 if you like and it will still work. At its simplest, it is just a list of filenames (with or without paths) each on a separate line.

Open one of the playlist files in a text editor (as I said, they are plain text) and see if the directory paths that are saved in the playlist match with your device's current file system. Sometimes Android will rename the path to its SD Card on a whim, which of course is a problem if you are using a fully qualified path name and suddenly that path is no longer there. That's easy enough to fix with a simple batch text editor if that's what has happened.

Andre

Andre, I have the same issue as Irene C.  I have spent a lot of time trying to investigate why the playlist files (from my JRiver Media) will successfully appear as File-based Playlists yet show they are "not loaded yet".  I know the JRiver playlist paths are pre-fixed with the paths for the JRiver app on my PC, But...If I import these same file-based playlists via the Poweramp "Import System Library Playlists" settings, Then those same playlists are perfectly recognized and executed by Poweramp.  Why?  Does not matter whether I place the playlists on internal or external storage.  This "Import System Library Playlists" feature is not an acceptable solution, however, since it effective doubles whatever system files already existed, as well as importing any additional file-based playlists.  

Andre, I have a separate player where the JRiver playlists are immediately recognized and imported individually, as I need or want.  Having to use a text editor, as you suggest above, seems impossible for the average user, who simply wants to listen to tunes not program or write code.  What else can you suggest?  I previously paid for the Unlocker, so I have serious intentions regarding the app.

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Hi @yoeleven, I have said it here before, Poweramp has issue with the playlists. Lately, after many application crashes and lists disappearing, I confirmed my suspicion that this happens when songs are being edited. 

For the issue you are facing now, try New Playlist Manager. It saves you a lot of pain. You can import your playlists there, use them as a backup, fix id tags and solve the issue of the different paths. I used it for my Lumia lists, which Poweramp wouldn't open for no reason and now they work in my Android.

Good luck!

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It will always be a problem when playlists containing absolute paths from one device (such as a PC) are imported to another device (e.g. phone) where that path, and thus the songs it refers to, does not exist. PA will make some best guesses as to where the song file are actually located on the new device, but to be fair they could now be anywhere.

One way around this is to use relative paths (where the "C:\..." bit is not stored, only the relative route from the current folder) or alternatively use an app designed for the purpose of tracking down and correcting lists from other sources that don't point to any song files in the new filesystem (such as the previously mentioned New Playlist Manager).

The scanner in the current version of Poweramp (v3) may also do a better job than the one in v2, but there is only so much it can guess.

Andre

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Andre, thanks for taking the trouble to answer. I would however appreciate an answer from the developer as to the issue of playlist/Poweramp crashing. Now with New Playlist Manager at least I am confident I am not going to lose the lists anymore, but still, as yoeleven points rightly out, this is too much asked from a simple user who just wants to enjoy his music. I ended up editing my songs outside Poweramp for fear of the loss of data... This means, that in order to make the player work I need two additional applications, three if you count the lyrics displayer! 

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As there will be no further work on the old v2 app now (which is where you are posting) probably better to post again in the v3 forum where we have also been discussing this issue.

Andre

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1 hour ago, andrewilley said:

It will always be a problem when playlists containing absolute paths from one device (such as a PC) are imported to another device (e.g. phone) where that path, and thus the songs it refers to, does not exist. PA will make some best guesses as to where the song file are actually located on the new device, but to be fair they could now be anywhere.

One way around this is to use relative paths (where the "C:\..." bit is not stored, only the relative route from the current folder) or alternatively use an app designed for the purpose of tracking down and correcting lists from other sources that don't point to any song files in the new filesystem (such as the previously mentioned New Playlist Manager).

The scanner in the current version of Poweramp (v3) may also do a better job than the one in v2, but there is only so much it can guess.

Andre

Andre, I am using version 2.5 because that is what the Playstore installed.  I came to the Forum as a last resort.  Also,  Poweramp v2.5 was measured against Pi Music Player, Google Play, and AIMP.  All three of these competitors recognized my JRiver Media generated .m3u playlists and played my tunes.  They did not require I resort to 3rd party apps to make them functional.  Maybe there should be a caveat in the Playstore about the extent to which externally generated playlists are viable in Poweramp.  I consider it a shortcoming, or a Bug, that Poweramp can play the playlist when manually imported, but, and yet, not when automatically scanned and then assigned, dormant, to File-Based Playlists library.  Again, are casual users expected to be fluent with terms like "relative paths", when there are other applications that do not suffer this condition.  

I did read up about version 3 and beta testing and it seemed like I already spent 10 hours, all for naught, dealing with a "Legacy" version that is still the Flagship stable version being delivered by Google.  The idea of "signing up" to be a beta-tester seems a little, additionally, daunting. I am about to ready to cut my losses, at this point.  But, I still have that $4 invested in the Unlocker.

 

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1 hour ago, Irene C. said:

Hi @yoeleven, I have said it here before, Poweramp has issue with the playlists. Lately, after many application crashes and lists disappearing, I confirmed my suspicion that this happens when songs are being edited. 

For the issue you are facing now, try New Playlist Manager. It saves you a lot of pain. You can import your playlists there, use them as a backup, fix id tags and solve the issue of the different paths. I used it for my Lumia lists, which Poweramp wouldn't open for no reason and now they work in my Android.

Good luck!

Irene.  Bless you.  I have sent an e-mail to the developer for the New Playlist Manager (NPM).  I am glad NPM has worked for you.  Sometimes we make our own mistakes and miss a small point and then nothing works.  Maybe that's the case here for both PA and NPM.  I could be totally wrong.  I shared my thoughts about New Playlist Manger with the developer, in a separate off-line email.  Maybe he can offer, off-line, some advice for my situation.  But really, my issue is with a shortfall in Poweramp handling "externally generated" playlists.

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Update.  I did upgrade to the latest version.  I am now a beta tester.  

Using Poweramp v3Beta now.  The same inconsistent ability or method of handling internally vs externally created playlists persists.

For the below, a .m3u playlist was generated external to Poweramp and the Android device player platform.  The playlist was generated on a Windows PC.  The contents of the .m3u playlist follow.  The file structure J:\NTFS.... reflects where on my PC those parent tracks reside.  I can export any and all PC tracks and my playlists to my Android devices, from my PC.

The immediately below .m3u playlist structure WILL work if Imported by Poweramp as a system file.  Poweramp can and does appropriately handle the structure of the below .m3u file.  However, the formal action of Importing, by Poweramp, causes a duplication of any and all already resident System Playlists.  It doubles the number of existing playlists.  If you have more than 1 existng System playlist, this saddles the user with unnecessary or impossible overhead to tidy up afterwards.  None-the-less, Poweramp WILL recognize and process the contents of this .m3u, without issue, if Imported, but Not if it is simply included along with the  associated tracks in the default Music folder. (Caveat: In my case).

J:\NTFS_1\MP3_D\Dan Fogelberg - River of Souls - 08 - A Love Like This.mp3
J:\NTFS_1\MP3_H\Harry Chapin - Verities & Balderdash - 04 - 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas.mp3
J:\NTFS_1\MP3_H\Harry Chapin - Story of a Life, disc 2 - 04 - 30,000 Pounds of Bananas (live).mp3


Now, below is my manually generated text editor processed .m3u version of the above.  All references to a disk drive letter and any number of sub-folders have been scrapped clean.  This version of the .m3u Was recognized and supported Poweramp requirements.  This version did Not support me, the user, owing to the extra effort required here.  My collection spans numerous directories A to Z and one for Alpha-numeric characters in the title.  That entails a lot of sub-folder search and replace.

Why does Poweramp force me to sanitize the .m3c in this one case, when it conveniently does just as well, when I manually opt to select File-System Import?  The below is recognized by Poweramp.

\Dan Fogelberg - River of Souls - 08 - A Love Like This.mp3
\Harry Chapin - Verities & Balderdash - 04 - 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas.mp3
\Harry Chapin - Story of a Life, disc 2 - 04 - 30,000 Pounds of Bananas (live).mp3

Basically, I need to move on from Poweramp.  Maybe this could be shared with some house programmer who can think a bit about what I have described above. Or, I am a Beta Tester, I could also forward it myself.  For playlists created within the Poweramp platfrom, there is absolutely no problem.  Great program.  But introducing playlists material from outside of Poweramp is handled inconsistently. 

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When you "Import System Playlists", all Poweramp does is bring in playlists that are already present in the Android system library. It does not import actual files at that point, only Android's virtual library. Obviously Android has already managed to decode your Windows M3U files and generates locally valid paths on your device. Those Android database playlists can then be imported by PA and it can then use them. If PA scans the same files as M3U files, you will of course see duplicates. You could avoid this by stopping PA from reading the actual M3U files at all (untick their folder location in Settings > Library > Music Folders)

The second example you give uses a relative path, without the Windows-only "J:\NTFS_1\" root path details. However if all three of those listed entries work then you have changed the folder structure on your phone and moved your songs into a single folder rather than using MP3_D, MP3_H, etc, as I would have expected them to need to be in the format:

\MP3_D\Dan Fogelberg - River of Souls - 08 - A Love Like This.mp3
\MP3_H\Harry Chapin - Verities & Balderdash - 04 - 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas.mp3
\MP3_H\Harry Chapin - Story of a Life, disc 2 - 04 - 30,000 Pounds of Bananas (live).mp3

Andre

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Andre,

I am writing (for the last time on this issue, I promise) to thank you for the time invested by you to clarify things. Same applies to flyingdutchman. What I will write now hopefully is aimed at the developer.

Yoeleven described very well the issue in technical terms, as he obviously knows more than I do. But I represent the average user who pays to enjoy the particular benefits promised to him in the application's description. Why should I (or anyone else) feel obliged to take a course in coding or buy two more applications to allow Poweramp to function as promised?

And more importantly, why is this problem (present both in standard and beta versions) particular only to Poweramp? I have three other players in my phone  and tried several more and all dealt well with playlists.

After investing time and effort and dealt with crashes and lost of data, I am reluctant to cut my losses (as yoeleven put it) and move on. Besides that, I do like Poweramp, it's a good player. I can only hope that this fault will be corrected soon.

Irene

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It is not a fault. If you have a PC-derived playlist file that tells Poweramp that a song is located at somewhere specific like C:\Users\yourname\Music\albumname\filename.mp3 , how can you expect a similar file to be found on an Android phone where the actual path is something like /storage/5DEF-4567/musicfoldername/albumname/filename.mp3 . Playlists with absolute paths like those are really only designed to work on the device that they were created for, and you need to use relative paths to resolve that (something like just the albumname/filename.mp3 portion).

Apps try their best to work it out, but Android's own library is best at it as it knows what it has randomly named the SD Card (I have no idea why is creates those random 8 digit names for SD Card, when it used to use more sensible designations like "extSdCard", but that designation can change when you alter the card's contents away from the phone, which makes it even more complex).

PA does try to work its way back from the right-hand side of the path/filename, but it's not an exact science.

Andre

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In another thread @maxmp talks about using file based playlists instead of the database. Can i suggest to keep it simple, Poweramp creates .m3u playlist in the background automatically. In the case as described, select an option "restore playlist" where the code simply looks at the track name and picks up the (new) full pathname from either its own database or the native android mediastore. My app applies this logic and works successfully.

 

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