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TheFlyingCelt

Playlists won't keep sort setting

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Hi all,

I have noticed that tracks in playlists won't keep sorting by artist. Everytime I restart the phone or close and launch Poweramp I have to re-sort--> by artist for each and every playlist.

Am I missing something or it's a bug?

Thanks

V3 Build 860, on Samsung S7 Android 8.0 Oreo.

 

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Works fine for me. Is this for internal playlists or file-based ones? if file-based, does Poweramp have write-access permission to them?

Andre

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Hi @andrewilley and thanks for your kind reply.

I'm not sure what you meant though. Basically my playlists are correctly shown in alphabetical order, but the files into the playlists are not. I open the playlist and I press re-sort and choose "by artist" which is how I wish it to be, but the next time I reboot the phone or close Poweramp the files into the playlists are no longer in alphabetical order by artist.

I hope it will help you to help me 🙂

Thank you

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As I said, are these internal playlists which you have made within the Poweramp app itself, or are they files that you have previously created as .M3U or .PLS files (perhaps originally from another device or app) ?

Andre

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Oh ok, I got you now.

I use MusicBee as music player and organizer on my computer, and through their android app I synchronize music files and playlists (.M3U) to my phone which are stored on sd card. Poweramp is set so that it will read those files and playlists imported from MusicBee which I regularly update on a daily basis. "Auto-scan", rescan immediately" and "initial scan" are all ON in settings-> library-> scanner ), so the answer to your question is: playlists are created outside Poweramp by MusicBee, and updated, saved and imported regularly in M3U format to my phone.

Edited by TheFlyingCelt
added some more details

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The problem is most likely as I said above, that PA does not have permission to edit data (write access) in the storage area where you are storing your playlist files. I assume your playlists are in the same folder structure location as your music files, so try editing some tags on a few test music files from within PA (view the Info/Tags for any song, then tap to edit). That should tell you if PA has write-access to those folders.

Also, your syncing software could be copying the original master copies of your playlists back from the original sources into your phone, thus wiping out your changed files. It's worth checking whether it is set to overwrite automatically, or perhaps just turn the sync software off for a while and see if the problem still persists with syncing disabled.

Andre

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I tried to edit tags within the PA app and yes, it let me successfully edit the tags.

In my SD card I have a folder called "Music" where music files are. Into the music folder there's a subfolder called "Playlists" where .m3u files are updated/created when I connect my phone to my MusicBee music organizer. When I launch the sync operation, I see new files recently added to MusicBee being copied, as well as .m3u playlist files being copied and overwritten onto my phone. See attached screenshot for folder structure please.

9 minutes ago, andrewilley said:

Also, your syncing software could be copying the original master copies of your playlists back from the original sources into your phone, thus wiping out your changed files. It's worth checking whether it is set to overwrite automatically, or perhaps just turn the sync software off for a while and see if the problem still persists with syncing disabled.

As I said playlist files are overwritten when I sync, but that shouldn't affect the sorting order in my opinion if PA would monitor the playlists and re-sort files when files are added to a playlist or the playlist itself gets overwritten/edited. Basically every time I sync (hence when a playlist is modified outside PA) the "sort by artist" won't keep the setting, and that's an issue, as I guess I'm not the only one creating/editing playlists outside PA.  

photo_2020-02-23_10-20-18.jpg

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1 hour ago, TheFlyingCelt said:

As I said playlist files are overwritten when I sync, but that shouldn't affect the sorting order 

If PA's scanner sees a new file, or notices that an old file has been updated/changed, then it will automatically bring in that new or updated content. This will replace any content that it had previously found with the new versions. That is the purpose of the system.

Playlist sorting is not like choosing a Sort Order in other categories. In other categories, the sorting order just changed this viewing and playback order. With playlists, the Re-sort feature actually edits the list itself. moving lines up and down (e.g. it would change the contents of the lines in an .M3U file). If a newer version of the file is later found, PA will bring it that latest version (or the assumption you have made new changes outside of Poweramp). The only way to stop this would be to turn PA's scanner off (so it does not update anything when changes are made to the filesystem) or change your syncing software's settings so it operates bidirectionally and keeps the most recently updated version of a file irrespective of whether that is the source or destination copy. 

Andre

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I re-sorted all my playlist files by "artist", then I force closed Poweramp and didn't sync anything (I actually disconnected wi-fi right before closing PA. I re-launched PA and found my files into the playlists not sorted by artist anymore, therefore I assume MusicBee sync has nothing to do with the issue I'm having. 

I believe this is a Poweramp bug which is not keeping the sort by setting previously set for files into playlists, unless I missed something in the app's settings.

 

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Have a look at the file contents (M3U files are just plain text, you can open them in any text editor). Check the contents of an M3U before you make any changes within PA, and then again after you have made a change. That will tell us whether the file data is getting updated at all.

Andre

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Done as you said.

These are the first 3 lines after having re-sorted files in playlist '80s: 

/storage/D846-BBD6/Music/ABBA - The Winner Takes It All - Super Trouper.flac
/storage/D846-BBD6/Music/Ad Visser & Daniël Sahuleka - Giddyap a Gogo - Sobriëtas.flac
/storage/D846-BBD6/Music/Al Corley - Square Rooms - Square Rooms.flac

 

These are the first 3 lines after having edited the tag of 1 file into my computer's music organizer and player (MusicBee) and synced files and playlists to my phone:

\Music\Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf - Arena.flac
\Music\Duran Duran - The Chaffeur - Arena.flac
\Music\Frida - I Know There's Something Going On - Something Going On.flac

 

I don't get it... Also path is shown differently although they both target the same folder. I'm confused

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could it be anything to do with sync settings of MusicBee as shown in the screenshot or you believe it's fine as it is? I don't get why path are shown differently and also the slash becomes a backslash.

 

Screenshot_7.jpg

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When PA saves playlists, it uses absolute path references to the Android device's filesystem. The D846-BBD6 bit is what Android has randomly named your SD Card (rather like C:\ on a PC).

The version MusicBee is copying to your device uses relative Windows-style paths (with the \Music\ part meaning that the song file is contained in a folder called 'Music' which is found at the root level of that particular storage - regardless of whether that is C:\, D:\, or /storage/D846-BBD6/).

PA accepts either Windows or Android/Linux format paths ('\' or '/'), and it tries to interpret absolute paths as best it can. For example, if your Windows-copied playlists contained a full path such as C:\Music\Duran Duran.mp3 then PA would only look at the filename and the one folder above (in this case, 'Music') and it compares that with its existing database of scanned songs.

However from what you posted, it does look like PA is indeed saving the edits that you make back into the files (the /D846-BBD6/ reference could only have come from your edits). So we need to find out how/when the content is getting changed back to the original Windows relative-path files. Can MusicBee prevent overwrites to more recently modified files?

Andre

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From your newer 'Settings' post, you may want to try enabling 2-way sync - but remember that that will copy the /D846-BBD6/ style files back to your PC, which as likely as not will not work there. It may also delete content from your PC if you delete it from the Android device.

Andre

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enabling 2-way sync is not an option, as I only sync some playlists, not all playlists present in MusicBee. I sync about 1500 files whilst on the computer I have over 8000.

Another screenshot attached for relative path ticked off. No idea how to set it after what you told me.

Yet, I can't understand why sort order gets messed up in PA's playlists. Sorry if I am dumb :)

Nevertheless, before I disconnected my phone completely from the wifi, apparently PA messed up the sort order anyway, without me syncing anything. I'm very confused and if you can help me figure out what is going on, I'll be very grateful.

Do your files in playlists keep the same order you set? 

 

Screenshot_9.jpg

Edited by TheFlyingCelt
edded some more details

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Are the playlists being generated in MusicBee, or from elsewhere? Not sure exactly how it works as I don't use it. I copy my content manually, as I like to keep a fairly firm control of my folder structure and filenames. For the same reason I won't put iTunes on anything at all that I own, it's far too keen on doing things its own way rather than mine.

But as long as PA is saving your updated playlist orders back into the original files correctly, whatever the problem is, it probably isn't in Poweramp.

Andre

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 Playlists are manually created by me in MusicBee, and I add files to them. Those playlists, along with the files linked to them, are copied into my phone through an app called MusicBee wi-fi sync, which I manually launch, check for items to sync, and eventualy press "sync now". Once I do that, I see a progress bar with files being copied or deleted onto the phone, and also playlists .m3u are copied at every sync, whether if I made changes or not in MusicBee.

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1 hour ago, TheFlyingCelt said:

playlists .m3u are copied at every sync, whether if I made changes or not in MusicBee.

Which of course will be wiping out any changes or edits that you may make in PA. If you want to treat your MusicBee playlists as your "master" copies, and you allow them overwrite anything on your phone during syncing, then you need to make any changes there rather than in PA.

Andre

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Ok, but what in my opinion Poweramp should do is: when overwriting a playlist file, PA should maintain the "sort by" setting as I left it by detecting that the playlist has been edited/replaced/whatever and re-sort it accordingly. I agree with you that it's apparently MusicBee in this case to change the sorting order inside the m3u file, BUT Poweramp should be smart enough to apply my setting again when the playlist gets edited/overwritten, as the "sort by artist" is the setting I have set and I wish it stayed like that.

Let's put it this way: it would be a much appreciated improvement to the app, hence I still consider it if not a bug, a shortcoming for sure. What do you think @andrewilley ?

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1 hour ago, TheFlyingCelt said:

PA should maintain the "sort by" setting

As I think I said earlier, Playlists do not have a "view by" or "sort by" setting to temporarily display the lists in some particular order, they are always shown and played in the specific written order that the playlist defines. Rather like CUE files, they are a list of songs which are asked to be played in a particular order - that's really the point of them to be honest.

You can of course re-edit a Playlist any time you want, including using automated tools (either in PA or externally) to put the songs into some new specific sequence. But that is a one-off re-ordering of the lines in the file, the originally created order is overwritten, and the original order is completely lost so it cannot be returned to - rather like shuffling or manually suit-ordering a deck of cards. And as soon as PA detects a new or modified Playlist file, it will be reloaded by the scanner, overwriting any previous contents.

You could convert your playlists from file-based (which always reflect the current contents of that file) to internal which are saved in PA's database and no longer have any link to the original file, then delete the file copy from your Android device. To do this, simply long-press on the playlist title that you want to copy, tap on the '+ Playlist' icon and use the 'Add New' button to put all of the contents of that file into a new internal playlist. That will then be its own entity and you can add/remove/reorder songs as much as you like without affecting the old file. 

Andre

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If so, then the feature shown in this screenshot is basically useless as it won't maintain the sorting order I set.. 🤔

I believe that many of us users would like that setting to be permanent and it's not really complicated to develop an automatic scan for new files/changes to playlist and re-order accordingly.

photo_2020-02-23_18-08-48.jpg

Edited by TheFlyingCelt

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16 hours ago, TheFlyingCelt said:

If so, then the feature shown in this screenshot is basically useless as it won't maintain the sorting order I set.. 

As we have established several times above, this is indeed a permanent re-sort option, not just a temporary display order. So yes, PA saves the new order for any playlist that you apply changes to - and that saved order will remain in place for that particular playlist until you next alter it.

The fact that you are using an external syncing app, which is blindly overwriting all of the changes you made, is not in any way Poweramp's fault.

If you really cannot change your sync app or its settings, I suggest you switch to using internal Poweramp playlists which won't be affected if an external app decides to re-write your saved files. Or you could re-order the master playlist files on your source syncing device (Windows PC) so when your sync app re-copies the files they are already in your desired order.

Andre 

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Perhaps I didn't express myself properly as I'm not English native speaker. Forgive that.

I clearly got that it's not Poweramp fault if an external software messes up the playlist content's order. What I'm saying though is that it would be much appreciated if PA had the ability to re-scan and re-sort playlist's content when it detects that the playlists got altered by an external source.

Massimo

Edited by TheFlyingCelt

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1 hour ago, TheFlyingCelt said:

if PA had the ability to re-scan and re-sort playlist's content when it detects that the playlists got altered by an external source.

But that's the whole point: if an external playlist file has been modified, updated, edited, etc, or if new files have been added, then Poweramp is meant to re-load the file(s) so that it is correctly working with the user's latest version(s). That is the entire point of the automatic scan feature, to look for new or changed files and update PA's database accordingly. If it didn't work that way, any changes you made to files (including adding new ones, as well as updating existing ones) would get ignored.

Playlists do not have any concept of remembered Sort Orders, they are simply displayed and played-back in the exact sequence specified in the list itself. You can edit that saved sequence of course (either externally or within PA, manually or automatically) but doing so will updates the contents in the file rather than just showing the original file in a different way.

As far as I can see, there are three possible solutions for you, all of which have already been mentioned in this thread:

  1. Use internal Poweramp playlists, which will never be changed when files are changed, as they exist only in PA's database and are not based on files. 
  2. Stop any external apps from over-writing your edits. This is the main cause of your problem of course, and ideally your sync app should be checking the time/date stamps of files and not overwriting newer content with older files.
  3. If you really must allow other apps to forcibly over-write your files, make the sort-order edits on the source playlist files that the app is copying from (i.e. on your PC).

Andre

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