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Si64
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Hi,

I'm tearing my hair out trying to manage the playlists in PA.  I've recently switched to a new phone, and moved across all my settings, but I can't work out where Android now stores the system playlists, and I keep finding them doubled up in PA.

I do use more than one music player, and like to sync my playlists across them all.  This was much easier when all music players used the system playlists, but since most of them now have independent playlists, it makes the job rather cumbersome.  I've had suggestions before to use a playlist manager, but these never seems to work properly.

The phone I had before (Samsung S10+) had the playlists stored in the Music folder in the Internal storage, whilst the music files themselves were on the SD card.  As this new phone (Samsung S22+) doesn't have an SD card, all the music files and playlists are stored in the Music folder in the main internal storage.  I managed to import my playlists from the old phone to most of my music apps, but for some reason, PA has decided to display two of each playlist, one with .m3u appended to the playlist name.  This doesn't happen with other players, which just display the playlist name.  I then rename the playlists within PA, and all is well until it scans again and re-imports the playlists from the Music folder, with the .m3u appended once again to the playlist name.  If I delete the playlists with .m3u appended within PA, then the playlist files are deleted from the Music folder, and I have to replace them by exporting from another music player app, and so the wheel turns again.

I do seem to recall having this issue before, but I can't remember how I resolved it.  I think before, PA was picking up duplicate playlists from somewhere, but I don't think this is the case now as the playlists it imports are the ones in the Music folder.

So, my questions are - how can I get PA to just display one set of playlists, but without the .m3u appended to the file name, and secondly, am I storing these playlists in the right place, or is there somewhere else hidden away that Android keeps system playlists?  If I export the playlists from the Samsung Music app, they go into the Music folder, which does make me think that's the correct place, but is there something I'm missing?

Thanks for any advice.

Simon.

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If you want to share playlists between different apps, or even devices, avoid using internal / database-based ones. Just use .M3U files instead, and place them in a folder that all of your apps are allowed to scan - e.g. "My Playlists", which you can tell PA to scan using PA Settings=>Library=>Music Folders.

Sounds like you've imported your settings from your old version of PA which will have brought in the old internal playlists too (or they have been imported from old Android system playlists). Internally stored playlists (saved in the database) don't have any file extenders as they are not files, while external file-based playlists show the full correct filename (including its extender).

I would suggest remove the internal ones if they are duplicates as which are only accessible by Poweramp and certain external playlist editors, and then you should only see the M3U versions which can also be used in other apps if you wish. 

 Andre

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Hi Andre,

Thanks, yes, these are all external playlists shared between several music apps.  

So, if I import the playlists into PA, can I then rename them to get rid of the .m3u appendage?  As I said, I didn't have this issue with my old phone.  PA just imported the playlists without including .m3u in the playlist name, and if I accidentally imported a duplicate playlist, it would add .1 the title.

I did import the PA settings from the old phone.  Do you think the old playlists are still being picked up?  Where would these be stored?

Thanks,

Simon.

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As I said in my earlier reply, it's not an "issue" that the .M3U extenders are visible when you are dealing with file-based M3U playlists, it's by design. It is the only way you can tell the difference between physical playlist files that have been read from your device's storage, and internal playlists which have no external presence beyond Poweramp's own internal music database.

Internal database playlists have no extender because they are not files, the title displayed is whatever you decided to give it when you used the '+Playlist' feature inside the app. They may also have been imported from old legacy Android system playlists (now depreciated, Google no long supports or recommends using Android system playlists). Internal playlists are just that though, they cannot be seen or accessed beyond Poweramp's own database, and they are also more transient - if you reset or re-install Poweramp without having made a backup first, they will be lost forever.

So what you are seeing here are internal playlists that have been restored from your previous setup (the ones with no extenders) alongside regular file-based playlists that have simply been read from .M3U files somewhere in your device's storage (which show as their full filename, including their appropriate .M3U, .M3U8, PLS, etc extenders).

Both types of playlist can be renamed and the contents can be manipulated to add, remove or re-order songs. If you edit an internal playlist, the contents of PA's database get updated, but no other music player app will know about the changes. If you edit an external playlist, the physical file is modified on storage. You need to keep the M3U extender though, otherwise it would no longer consider be considered to be a playlist (like removing the .PDF extender from a page description file, it would no longer be detected correctly in file explorers). Physical changes made to files will also be seen by any other music apps that are reading the same files.

So you have a choice: continue using internal playlists which have no extenders but which only exist within Poweramp's database, or use files (with extenders) which are safer and can be seen by other music players too. Simply delete the types that you don't want - or in the case of files, perhaps just move them to somewhere that Poweramp cannot scan, so other apps will still be able to use them if you want. Note: if you want to convert any internal playlists back to files so other apps can see them too, use the Export feature in the Library=>Playlists context menu.
 

@maxmp for future development, there was a suggestion a while back to replace showing file extenders with some kind of file/folder symbol next to the title in order to more tidily differential between internal and file-based playlists. Also it would be nice to have PA read and display the title information provided in any #PLAYLIST line, if one is present in the file. Not sure if these features are on the to-do list though.

Andre

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Thanks for your full explanation.  I know what to do now.  If I create new playlists within PA from the existing playlists, then those can be independent to PA and I can continue using the other playlists on the other apps.

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If you create playlists within PA (using the +Playlist feature) they will be internal, and can only be seen by Poweramp.

If you EXPORT any internal playlists - using the Library=>Playlists=>(menu)=>Export feature - they will be written to storage as simple M3U(8) files that any other music player can also see and use. It would probably then be a good idea to remove the original internal versions from PA at that point, otherwise you'll see two copes when the new files are scanned back in too.

Andre

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OK, but where is this mystical internal storage?  

Having them stored within PA is good, as it gives me an additional backup which nothing else can interfere with.

Edited by Si64
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  • Solution
20 minutes ago, Si64 said:

OK, but where is this mystical internal storage?  

It's an internally-used SQL database, the same database where ratings, play counts, list options, settings, etc are stored. There is no user-access to it, although there is an ability to read/write content at a code level (the third-party 'Music Playlist Manager' app is the only external app that I'm aware of which does this).

If you have playlists stored in two places (internally and as physical M3U files) then you will always see two copies in the Playlists category, which I thought was what you were trying to avoid? One would be just for Poweramp, and another for any app to use. And if you make any changes to one or the other, the two versions will start to diverge.

Andre

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I don't know how I did it before, but PA only had one set of playlists showing on my old phone.  As you can't sort by Album > Track No., I used to periodically import the system playlists into PA, then rename them, but I still don't remember them coming up with the file extension displayed.  I'll have to go back to my old phone and run some tests.

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Ah!  I think I know what the difference is.  On my old phone, PA only had access to the Music folder, which was on the SD card, so it never actually 'saw' the playlists in the Internal storage.  That must be why they weren't displayed twice.  Trouble is, if I move the playlists to another folder, than the other apps may not see them.

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