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Playlist Data Lost


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Hello,

I am having an odd problem.  I have a playlist that lost data and won't resolve when selecting the resolve feature.  All the songs are there and play normally, but no artwork or other data is present.  Some songs are fine, and I am not sure what difference there is for them.  The songs appear normal in the library.

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1 hour ago, andrewilley said:

Sounds like the source audio files may have been moved to a new folder or renamed. Playlists link to specific files by path/filename, not to song titles or other library data.

Andre

Thanks, this is probably it.  It's strange that some of them work and that it worked without issue before, but I did change to a device that only has internal storage recently.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I constantly have this issue.

Ill add music every other week to my sd card, which I have organised below the music folder in subfolders by letter and then drop the new lps in there. Afterwards I open up Poweramp, hit resync, and organize said lp's into playlist by month of a year (e.g.2022-11) directly with the playlist feature in Poweramp (the pl file is not generated from outside). I dont touch the folders afterwards and I do understand why it wouldnt work in this case. Yet I suspect when I add new music a few weeks later older playlists have some but not all links to lp's broken (file cant be played, cant get any further informations over longpress file -> Info/Tags - the menu doesnt load, file doesnt have album art anymore) although the path hasnt changed. I suspect it could be related to me adding another album into the eg. letter S-folder - like I add an album by Soft Kill and the older added Schonwald has its playlist entry bricked.

I usually like to keep the playlist for the last 12 months around, but this bug has cost me hours so far and is a big turnoff. Any further ideas how I can avoid this issue or what I am doing wrong?

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@AgathoN When you find broken entries in your existing playlists - i.e. you see only a complete filename for a song, with no cover art or album/artist/folder/etc details - do you lose all of the songs from one folder (or more) at the same time, or can a single song form one folder disappear while other songs from the same folder still show correctly?

Max has been looking into this issue recently, and is working on some solutions that should make recovery more robust, but we've not yet discovered why it happens in the first place - other than it clearly occurs when PA does a rescan but for some reason during the scanning process it can't access the relevant song file(s). What we can figure out - given that there have been no changes to the storage layout and the storage is correctly mounted - is why some song folders might exhibit this issue while others don't. 

You can replicate this by simply renaming a music subfolder or a song file, and then getting PA to do a simple rescan. Any playlist entries that refer to locations (files, or folders) that are no longer present in storage will disappear from that list and show as filename-only. The actual song will most likely be visible in the main Library categories, but technically as a new item with a new path if you look at Info/Tags (Playlists link to specific files, not to song metadata).

At that point, if you restore the folder or file back to its original name, then internal playlists (i.e. the type you describe) can normally be fixed using the Resolve/Rescan Playlists facility. However file-based playlists appear to need a FULL Rescan, which forces the M3U file to be re-read from storage again.

Andre

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45 minutes ago, andrewilley said:

@AgathoN When you find broken entries in your existing playlists - i.e. you see only a complete filename for a song, with no cover art or album/artist/folder/etc details - do you lose all of the songs from one folder (or more) at the same time, or can a single song form one folder disappear while other songs from the same folder still show correctly?

<snip>

You can replicate this by simply renaming a music subfolder or a song file, and then getting PA to do a simple rescan. Any playlist entries that refer to locations (files, or folders) that are no longer present in storage will disappear from that list and show as filename-only. The actual song will most likely be visible in the main Library categories, but technically as a new item with a new path if you look at Info/Tags (Playlists link to specific files, not to song metadata).

 

Since I only add full folders to a playlist I can only state that I lose a full album/folder from a playlist, never only selected tracks

I tested your renaming experiment and it worked like described. I totally forgot about full rescan, which also fixed all my other broken playlist. This confirms though again that the paths didnt change of those bugged albums/folders at any time. Sadly full rescanning 9000+ files everytime this happens is annoying. Not sure any of this helped, but I keep my fingers crossed you can find that bug soon. (some caching issue with the Internal database when storing the paths from a pl file?)

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I connect my phone via usb-cable to my pc, select file-transfer mode, a windows explorer window opens listing the internal drive of the phone and the sd-card. Selecting that I see the contents on the sd-card and navigate to the music subfolder with the described alphabet letter subfolders.

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Somehow, when PA is doing a routine rescan, a folder (or folders) is not being made accessible to the app when it requests it. The question is why, of course? If you manage to work out any situation that reliably reproduces this problem, that would be really helpful.

In the meantime, you could turn all the auto scanning features off in Settings>Library>Scanner, and only force a manual scan from any category menu when you need to. That way it should never do background scans which are most likely when this problem is triggered (and once  it's occurred, the orphaned items won't go away without a Full Rescan).

Andre

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Okay, my full-rescanned and fixed playlistS(plural) from yesterday are broken again today.

I listened to the most recent playlist this morning and it was fine. I went to work and connected my phone to my pc to charge it (I know thats inefficient, but I dont have an extra charger here). Either its coincidence that a problematic automatic routine rescan happened to run in that timespan or I suspect connecting a phone to a pc is related to when the playlist entries broke again.

Further observation:

In older playlist it seems the same albums/folders broke that were broken before, while the same are fine that were before. So maybe there is a difference in how my work and home pc transfer files to the sd card and the ones broken are always those transfered from my work pc? I cant really say which one of those I transfered onto the sd from which pc for certain.

In one case an album was replaced by only parts of an entirely different album (a long various artists folder). Havent noticed this behavior before.

I unplugged my phone from usb and did a full rescan. This again fixed the missing entries and also the "parts of an entirely different album" and reverted everything to the expected state. I then closed PA and reconnected my phone to my work pc, started PA and went into the settings -> library menu to catch it doing the routine rescan, but the playlists remained unbroken. So, not related, I guess.

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@AgathoN Did you try turning the automatic scan system off, so no background scans occur when you are not expecting them? Not a long-term answer if you regularly update your music collection, but might be a step closer to establishing what is going on here.

The issue, as you are describing it, will definitely be caused by the scanner not being allowed access to some locations at times during during its directory crawl. It only needs to be a momentary issue, access could be available again a few seconds later but the damage to your Playlist(s) will have been done by then. 

Andre

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1 hour ago, andrewilley said:

Did you try turning the automatic scan system off, so no background scans occur when you are not expecting them? Not a long-term answer if you regularly update your music collection, but might be a step closer to establishing what is going on here.

I disabled the automatic scanning long ago. It is far more reliable to only run this manually whenever you make any changes to your library. That way you can expect it to be stable in day-to-day use.

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