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More All songs -list arranging options

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When using All Songs category, one can currently arrange it with only one attribute, for examble one can have the order by artist but artist's songs are in alphabetical order. It would be great to get to choose more attributes by which one can arrange All Songs. For example first by artist and then by album, so your All Songs have always one artist's all albums grouped together and albums will stay whole, meaning songs are not arranged by name. 

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So you would still like to see a 'flattened' list (i.e. no drill-downs) but organised other than simple alphabetically - such as grouped by Artists first, then their Albums, and finally by Track number, but still as one long list of songs.

There have been quite of lot of requests for all sorts of extra sorting options over the years, and some time ago I mooted that a flexible customised sort/grouping option would satisfy everyone's need. It could actually be a really simple system, but still hugely flexible if desired:

  • You would first choose a top-down sorting order, using as many hierarchical layers as you like. Options could include genre, composer, year, track artist, album artist (which would drop back to using track artist if missing), album title, song title, path, filename, etc. There could easily be options for all of those esoteric things that people occasionally mention too, such as duration, bitrate, BPM, date added, star rating, most-played, etc. The resulting sort order could be as simple as just one layer, or as complex as anyone wishes. There would be optional Forward/Reverse/Random ordering available for each choice.
  • You would then choose which of those sorting levels you also want to act as a drill-down group. Selecting no grouping would give you a simple flattened All Songs list, or you could set just a one-layer Artists group which would contain all of that artist's songs in a long list, or more complex multiple drill-down layering as desired.

So as a fuller example, you could create:
    Sort ordering: Genre > Artist > Year (reverse order) > Album Title > Track#
    Grouping (i.e. drill-down) set on: Genre | Artist | Album Title
That would allow you to drill down from a top list of genres, into a list of artist names, and then down to their album titles (which would be sorted first by year with the most recent years first, then by album title), before finally getting down to the actual songs level, shown in track order.

As far as I can imagine, that simple set of choices (which could also be as complex as any user might want) could mimic pretty much every current category, sort order, and even most of the shuffle modes too. You could create as many of these customised categories as you like, giving each one a personalised name so you can return to it at will. Even the current pre-defined categories could be rebuilt using the same system, making them user-editable in the same way. It would resolve dozens of feature request threads in one go.

[Edit, idea picked up from another thread] It would also be pretty easy to add an option to use any tag (such as Disc# for example ) as an in-line separator in an otherwise flat list - so as to allow multi-disc albums to be shown as one long flat song list, but with a separator line between each individual disc. That would also allow users to do things like create a mode which displays all of the songs by one Artist in one large flat list (sorted by Album then Track#) but with a separator-line between each new album rather than requiring a drill-down.

Oh, and for the purposes of Shuffled playback, the 'category' concept (e.g. when using "Shuffle Only Categories, Songs in Order") would be the final grouping (drill-down) level before you get to the song files.

Well, it's a fun idea, but even though from an end-user point of view it would be incredibly simple and intuitive, yet hugely powerful, I have no idea how complex it would be for @maxmp to implement in terms of coding. 


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