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New Media Browser - compilation albums.


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I was just marveling at the improvements to the new Media Browser and the app for the iOS which I am using - which are I have to say a huge improvement on what was available before. I notice that the ability to switch tracks remotely has been fixed which is excellent for people driving and using the app on a device connected to a car. Now we can switch through a playlist from remote controls.


There is an issue with browsing the Albums part of music library though.

There doesn't seem to be any logic which handles compilation albums. These are being displayed as a separate album for each track. Which means I have ALLOT of albums.


I think the logic goes something like:

"If all the tracks in the same folder have the same album name - but different artist names - then display them as one album" This does not seem to be handled - I was just wondering if I am doing something wrong?



This also means that these albums can't be played, because only each individual track can be selected. I suppose I could write a playlist for each album to work around the problem - (that would mean I would need to write around seventy playlists - which is definitely an automation job.)

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Turns out the playlists are created via the app (iOS or Android) and are collated in a (SQLite format 3) playlist.db file which doesn't seem editable except via the app - so I don't think automation to create these, is practicable.


Unless I can find an external editor. . .



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I found you can use the browser at <yourdevice IP address> to create and edit playlists.


But what I did was to point JRiver at my compilation albums (on the voyager drive) and then replaced all the artist names with the tag "various Artists" - since I am not interested in 'who played what' for this storage solution.


That has fixed my album issue.


Looking at the database structure the reason for this is apparent.

There are five rows:

File_ID Title Album Artist Genre Track Duration.


With those fields I don't believe it's possible to make a compilation distinction.

Which is why I edited the TAG's to solve.

I did try adding every file to a playlist - with the idea to hack the playlist.

But I assume there is a limitation there as the list was never successfully created. (7000 files) at the moment - who creates a playlist of 7000 files? So fair enough.

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Let me clarify - in the current release (2.0.0) the app will use the value in the AlbumArtist tag, if it is present, for compilations. It should not be displaying the compilation as a set of albums (one for each artist) if the AlbumArtist tag says "Various Artists". iTunes and other tagging utilities usually will automate this for you - for example, marking an album as a Compilation in iTunes puts "Various Artists" into AlbumArtist for each track of the album.


However ... when the app uses the AlbumArtist value (like "Various Artists") right now it uses that value everywhere, so if the compilation has tracks by Katy Perry they won't appear when navigating to Artists > Katy Perry. The artist name also won't be displayed in the Now Playing screen, which is annoying. These are the behaviors we will fix in v2.1 or v2.2 (depends on how quickly we can get it done). (I suspect it means adding an AlbumArtist field to the database, since as you note, right now there is just one Artist value stored).

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Just to confirm for other readers:

I edited all my Albums which do not use the same artist for each track to reflect Bill's explanation earlier.


I edited "Album Artist" to read "Various Artists" for each track of every album in this category - and then copied them back into the Air Drive.


Now, as expected each album is showing up as, just one album - which is great as doing it this way, the artist data as been retained as opposed to removed, as per my earlier solution.


That way, when the release which accommodates this comes, it will still work correctly and at that point 'better'.


It takes around 120 mins for the drive to scan the 7000 tracks I am testing with - each track is around 28mb in size. (200gig total).


I also found I can delete the library.db-shm and library.db-wal files to clean out the library - I did not delete the library.db file though as it's always only 1k in size. Hope this helps.

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