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Is this a bug or am I doing something wrong?


oskado

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Hi team. Love PA and use it constantly, it's the best non-streaming music app. I have 3 annoying issues, maybe related, but I cannot see that they are. As I've not seen anything on this in the forum, it's perhaps me doing something wrong.

First, the info part: a well organised PA library of about 200GB on an S10+ running Android 12 (One UI 4.1). The PA is a paid-for ‘build-976-bundle-play’. The phone shows that I have both the 'Poweramp Full version Unlocker' and 'Poweramp Music Player (Trial)' installed. I normally manage my files using Samsung My Files app, basically to put them into the Android Music folder, sorted by artist > album > song, then PA scans (only the music folder) for adding to library. All songs have well maintained tags, using either Mac Music for mp3 and m4a or MusicBrainz Picard for flac, both on a Mac.   

The 3 issues with PA I have:

1) Ratings are lost (I use the thumb-up type). Some songs that have been rated thumb-up loose the rating, sometime single tracks from an album, but most often all songs that were rated in a particular album. Somehow I feel this is more frequent for flac than mp3, but it happens for both, and also other file-types. As a consequence, the number of songs in the 'Top Rated' category drops by dozens of songs all of a sudden, and this happens frequently. 

2) I like keeping recently added albums on top of a list for quick access to new albums, and for this there are at least two solutions I’ve been using, the Poweramp own ‘Recently Added’ category ordered by ‘By date added to Library’, or use ‘Albums’ and sort by ‘By date added to Library’, and tick ‘Reverse’ to get the new albums on top. This was working wery well until I started having albums that were added to the library months or years ago starting to appear on top in both cases. I was thinking that Android was messing up with file-dates, as Windows sometimes did, with PA sorting them as newly added albums, but when looking at the assigned file dates, this is not the case. So why does PA mis-sort these albums as newly added? 

3) I like using PA playlists, but all of them have had songs un-linked from the song in the PA library, thus just remaining in the playlist as a filename without any link to the parent file thus cannot be played from that playlist. This happens frequently and does not seem to be linked to the problems above. It requires deleting (should rather say ‘Remove’, right?) the entry from the playlist, and adding it again. Not feasible when you have long playlists, or a lot of them.

I've been having these issues for about 2 years now, thinking an update may fix it, but all problems are still occurring, and in fact all 3 problems are getting worse.

Thank you for your help.

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All of those issues sound like files that are no longer in the same folder folder locations that Poweramp first saw them in. Ratings, Last Added, etc are not based on song/artist/album tags, but on exact paths to a specific audio file. These are all stored in an internal database.

Changed folders will be found again, and songs re-added to the Library, but as 'new' items. Have you changed any folder or file names?

Andre

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7 minutes ago, andrewilley said:

All of those issues sound like files that are no longer in the same folder folder locations that Poweramp first saw them in. Ratings, Last Added, etc are not based on song/artist/album tags, but on exact paths to the audio file.

Changed folders will be found again and added to the Library, but as 'new' items. Have you changed any folder or file names?

Andre

Thank you Andre.  No, unless Android does some file arrangements without any user intervention, but if so, many people would have the same issue I presume. The only thing I do is to add new folders (from a Mac usually via Google Drive) containing (the new) artist, album, and songs, using the Android My File app.  This is the only "edit" I do to the Android Music folder.  The old albums that suddenly show up as new, or loose their rating and links, etc., are not necessarily albums in the same artist folder as the new album I've just added, but totally non-relevant artist/albums from the next level up in the folder hierarchy.

Thanks     

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Adding new folders is fine, they would simply be picked up by the next background scan and songs added to the Library as new items. Ratings are not read from audio files by the way, they are only created internally within Poweramp.

Ratings can be overridden by special "#EXT-X-RATING:<n>" lines in Playlists when they are read and applied to a specific song. Prior to the backup options in 'Export Settings/Data', this was the only way to save and restore Ratings from the database. If you don't want this to happen, you can turn it off by disabling Settings=>Library=>Playlists=>Import Ratings.

But otherwise, unless you are finding some odd database corruption which is only affecting certain fields, as long as the filename and its exact path have not changed, the rating and date-added details should not change. They are linked to the path/filename though, so any change in that will cause song to be treated as a new item, even if the Title/Artist/Album info is exactly the same.

Andre

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Thanks. So if I understand correctly, it seems these issues may arise from some file changes that occur outside of PA. I'll do some tests and report back. Maybe change the way I import songs and albums into the library. It would be interesting to know how people are generally doing this.

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@oskado It does sound very much like something is changing the filenames (or folders) so songs gets read as a 'new' items. You can long-press on any song and select Info/Tags to see the audio file's path and exact filename.

As for how I copy files to my phone, mostly I just use a file explorer app with networking capabilities to access my NAS. Sometimes direct from the PC via USB cable though, or wirelessly using FTP transfer from Windows.

Andre

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey @oskado,

So, first off, big fan of Poweramp here, it's my go-to music app too. But sounds like you're dealing with some pesky issues, huh? Let's see if we can untangle this mess.

1) Losing ratings - That's a bummer. So, it seems like your thumb-up ratings are disappearing randomly, especially with FLAC files, huh? Could be a glitch somewhere. Have you tried reaching out to Poweramp support about this? They might have some insights or fixes.

2) Sorting headaches - Ah, the ol' "Recently Added" list going haywire, huh? It's weird that albums from way back when are showing up as new. Could be something funky with how Poweramp is reading the file dates. Have you checked if there's any setting that might be messing with this? Might be worth digging into the app's settings a bit.

3) Playlist woes - Ugh, having songs unlink from your playlists is a real pain. Seems like a glitch too, especially if it's happening often. Have you tried updating the app or reinstalling it to see if that helps? Sometimes a fresh start can do wonders.

Overall, it sounds like you've been wrestling with these issues for a while now, huh? It's frustrating when updates don't seem to fix things, but hang in there. Hopefully, the Poweramp team can get to the bottom of these quirks for you.

Good luck, and keep the tunes playing!

Edited by marryjw9
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi again, the OP here. Sorry to come back on this but this is very peculiar and I would like a solution. As suggested above by Andre, and I was also thinking, it looks like there's some modification to the file or the path so PA sees it as a new item. However, I've checked the file paths and all file dates, including parent folder dates etc., and nothing indicates that there are any changes, or that there are new file or folder dates assigned. The last example was this weekend;  I added two new albums with the same artist to the Music folder. It's a new artist in my Library so I created a new folder for that artist in Music (in Android, using the My Files app by Samsung). The organisation for all songs in my library are Music > artist > album > songs, which is very typical. Just after adding these two new albums using this organisation, totally unrelated albums appear as more recent, than the two new ones just added, in the Album group when ordered 'By date added to library'. These are 9 albums, 8 of which are with the same artist (see figure). This suggests there could be a file change at the Artist level since these are all the albums I have with these two artists. When checking these paths and dates at all levels (from song file to album to artist) they're all from 4 years ago, so no changes in file dates anywhere that could explain this. I even re-ordered the Album group several times using different criteria, and then back to 'By date added to library', without any success. On the figure you can see eight Genesis albums and one by Donna Summer, all 9 appearing ahead of the two new ones just added with Laetitia Sadier.  Hmmm. 

thanks. Oskar

aa7acc7b-8695-4528-9745-455ba8a858f0.jpg

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Hi again, just to add to the above and it may help, and it also argues against that this has something to do with file-system effects. If I go to the 'All Songs' group, and do the same sorting exercise, only the sort by 'By date added to library' behaves like described above (incorrect sorting), but not the 'By date added/modified (file system date/time)'. This last sorting is correct, ordered as it should be.  

Cheers,  Oskar

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Remember that 'Date Added to Library' applies only to individual songs. Any other Category levels - such as folders, albums, etc - will just be interpreted as best guesses based on the Added dates of the contained files (usually that would be the Date of the first contained song encountered in the scanning process, which has nothing to do with alphabetical or any other sorting order, it's low-level raw filesystem ordering).

The date that a given file was first Added to the Library is an internal field though, nothing is visible in the regular list views. Modifying the audio or tag contents of a file won't change its Date Added to Library, but changing anything about the filename or its overall path will.  

Andre

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, the OP again, please don't give up on me just yet 😔  With the issues above continuing, and the more loss of song ratings (thumb up), I uninstalled and reinstalled PA. Before doing so, I did 'Export Settings/Data' selecting all tickmarks, but mainly concerned with keeping custom playlists and ratings. Now after reinstalling PA, selecting music folder, and scanning library, and all good, how do I re-import settings/data?  When selecting this option in Settings, then clicking the 'Select File' optio, no file is shown for re-importing, nor a way to navigate to such a file. Will I ever get my ratings and playlists back?

Thank you.

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The exported backup file should be in the format <date and time>.poweramp-settings . Check that you can find this with a file explorer app first. When you know where it is, use Settings=>Import Settings/Data and tap the 'Select File' link at the bottom of the Import page, then navigate to the location of the saved file and tap on it. Choose which elements you want to restore, and tap 'Import' to set it going.

Andre

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Thanks, but I cannot find any file with this name using the file explorer app I normally use, and then search, nor if I do a new 'Export Settings/Data' and then search (after the re-install of PA).

Also, when selecting 'Import Settings/Data' no file is shown, nor can I navigate anywhere from this screen (see screenshot). When re-installing PA, I select File Access Legacy Mode to allow me to select the specific 'Music' folder containing the library, is this something that is causing this issue?  Thanks.

1241.thumb.jpg.91c78405c1a2faa909aed9315317c7e0.jpg  

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@oskado You should see the same type of folder explorer when importing as you saw when exporting (access permission must be granted). What location where you trying to use? By default if you don't change anything, I think the backups go into PA's data folder, Android/data/com.maxmpz.audioplayer/files/ . File explorer apps can see into this folder up to Android 13, but from Android 14 onward Google's restrictions mean you might have to use a USB connection to a PC to view the contents. Did you check the backup file was present before resetting your installation?

Andre

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