Author Topic: Can't get Playlists to work  (Read 30138 times)

April 04, 2009, 03:33:12 PM
Reply #30

b-rad.cc

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One other thought. Your playlists need to use both upper and lower place characters exactly as they appear in the folder and file names of your music. I started with playlists from my mp3 player and they were all lower case. Just one of the reasons they didn't work for me on the WDTV.

;D :D yes, another windows 'feature' that makes no sense. Filenames should have always been case senstive.

April 04, 2009, 09:57:41 PM
Reply #31

andy13870

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Hope you've sorted your problems out!

Do you still need this text editor thingy - if so, someone will have to tell me how to do this - I opened a playlist in wordpad, but the information didn't appear to be particularly useful??

If it's any help, I'm using a WD My Passport hard drive and the playlists are located in the main part of the drive (E\playlist.m3u) or in the artist folder (E\artist\playlist.m3u).

Remember - if you move your music around after you've created the playlist, it won't be found when you try and open the playlist again.

I'm also trying to keep the number of sub-folders to a minimum - don't know if this makes a difference for playlists?

Andy

April 05, 2009, 08:44:00 AM
Reply #32

Pennhaven

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Hope you've sorted your problems out!

Do you still need this text editor thingy - if so, someone will have to tell me how to do this - I opened a playlist in wordpad, but the information didn't appear to be particularly useful??

If it's any help, I'm using a WD My Passport hard drive and the playlists are located in the main part of the drive (E\playlist.m3u) or in the artist folder (E\artist\playlist.m3u).

Remember - if you move your music around after you've created the playlist, it won't be found when you try and open the playlist again.

I'm also trying to keep the number of sub-folders to a minimum - don't know if this makes a difference for playlists?

Andy
Yes! If you would please open one of your working playlists in Wordpad and select and copy at least a portion of the playlist showing the paths used for your track selections and paste that portion here it would be very helpful to validate what I think I have learned and am about to summarize here. Also please tell us what folder that playlist is in.

I'm going to try to carefully summarize what works for me and why in a manner that I really hope will solve ParallaxView's problem, but since I am not using a USB drive I can't easily test that it will work for certain. Seeing exactly what works for you with a USB drive will provide evidence to support or refute what I plan to tell him.

In short he really could use some help from another WDTV owner with a similar setup to his!

April 05, 2009, 10:37:59 AM
Reply #33

Pennhaven

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OVERVIEW

Playlists cannot be created directly on the WDTV (at least not without specially modified firmware). Normally they must be created using another computing device. So it is critically important if playlists are to work properly on the WDTV that all path and file information by correct relative to the location of the playlist on the WDTV.

Playlists that were originally created for use on another device can be copied to the WDTV's storage drive, but care must be taken that the relative path names in the playlists remain correct. To insure that they are the playlist may have to be edited with a text editor.

Probably the best way to insure that the playlist paths are correct is to create new playlists specifically for the WDTV. This should be done directly on the USB storage drive while it is connected to a computer with playlist authoring software. (WinAmp, Windows Media Player, etc.) Care should be taken to make sure that:

1. The tracks are entered into the playlist software from the external storage drive (not from music stored elsewhere on the host computer).

2. The playlist is saved directly to the selected folder on the external drive, using either of the two locations  described below.

If necessary the completed playlist, now stored in the correct folder on the external drive, may be opened and edited with a text editor program to correct any path issues. The search and replace function of the text editor should be used to change the path names of all the tracks as necessary to the appropriate format shown below.

So, for example, if the playlist shows a path of:

E:/Music/[Artist]/[Album]/[Song.mp3]

...you would instruct the text editor to search for all "E:" and replace with either ".." or "." (depending on the location of the playlist on your drive as described below).

This would change all of the track paths in the playlist to:

../Music/[Artist]/[Album]/[Song.mp3] or ./Music/[Artist]/[Album]/[Song.mp3]

After saving the edited playlist file it should be ready to work when the storage drive is connected to the WDTV.


DIRECTORY STRUCTURE, PLAYLIST LOCATION AND PATH FORMAT

The following methods of organizing and utilizing playlists on the WDTV have been successfully tested by me using a network attached storage drive connected to the WDTV with modified firmware. I believe my results should also hold true for a user with a standard USB external drive and the WDTV manufacturer's firmware. All of the testing I have performed was using modified firmware built on the official 1.02 beta. This all relates primarily to music playlists, but the principles for path structure and playlist location would also apply for video playlists as they are implemented on the WDTV.

I have successfully tested playlists in all three formats supported by the WDTV (.wpl, .m3u, .pls)  using the methods described here.

The following assumes that the music files are organized on the storage drive in this fashion:

  >> Drive root directory
  >> >> "Music" folder (subdirectory)
  >> >> >> "Artist" folder (subdirectory)
  >> >> >> >> "Album" folder (subdirectory)
  >> >> >> >> >> "Track" files
 
Other directory structures with fewer or more levels will also work, and the same principles will apply, but I'll leave it to the reader to adjust what I state below to best reflect their own situation.
 
The actual folder and file names obviously may be different. The important thing is that whatever the actual names are they must be correctly entered into the playlist and that includes the use of upper and lower case characters exactly as in the actual folder and file names.

Note: I have tested and confirmed that the WDTV will correctly recognize path names using either "/" or "\" as path separators.

Playlists on the WDTV may be navigated to, opened, and played using two different methods.

1. From the Playlist view

2. From the Folder view

In order to have playlists that will work properly with either method, the location of the playlist on the storage drive and the paths described within the playlists should follow either one of the two following methods.


1. Playlist located in "Music" folder

  Playlist path format:  [Artist]\[Album]\[trackfilename] or .\[Artist]\[Album]\[trackfilename] The ".\" is optional. Same result either way.
 
  Example - .pls format:  File2=Billy Joel\River of Dreams\05 - Shades of Grey.mp3
 
  Example - .m3u format:  Jethro Tull/Jethro Tull Christmas Album/03_Christmas Song.mp3

  Example - .wpl format:  <media src="Nick Lowe\Untouched Takeaway\10_What&apos;s So Funny &apos;Bout Peace, Love And Understanding.mp3" tid="{BBBED9F7-594C-4F23-9E2B-D0081A919244}"/>



2. Playlist located in a "Playlist" subfolder in the "Music" folder

   Illustration of folder structure:

   >> Drive root directory
   >> >>"Music" Folder
   >> >> >> "Playlist" folder
   >> >> >> >> "Playlist" files
   >> >> >> "Artist" folder (subdirectory)
   >> >> >> >> "Album" folder (subdirectory)
   >> >> >> >> >> "Track" files

  Playlist path format:  ..\[Artist]\[Album]\[trackfilename]
 
  Example - .pls format: File2= ..\Billy Joel\River of Dreams\05 - Shades of Grey.mp3

  Example - .m3u format:  ../Jethro Tull/Jethro Tull Christmas Album/03_Christmas Song.mp3

  Example - .wpl format:  <media src="..\Nick Lowe\Untouched Takeaway\10_What&apos;s So Funny &apos;Bout Peace, Love And Understanding.mp3" tid="{BBBED9F7-594C-4F23-9E2B-D0081A919244}"/>
 
 
CONCLUSION

Finally, I make no claim to be any kind of expert at implementing playlists. What I have written here are basic conclusions that I have reached by testing and deduction as well as from helpful comments posted by other members. If you know better please share your knowledge so that users of the WDTV can benefit from it!


[Edit 2009-04-06] Revised this to reflect information supplied by other members since it was originally posted. Thanks to all who posted working playlists.[/Edit]
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 09:55:27 AM by Pennhaven »

April 05, 2009, 11:39:09 AM
Reply #34

andy13870

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Phew! All looks a bit complicated to me!

Below are the first few lines of two working m3u playlists on a USB hard-drive:

Playlist 1:

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:235,You Make Me Feel Mighty Real
Party Tracks\80's\You Make Me Feel Mighty Real.MP3
#EXTINF:290,Dirty Dancing - (I've Had) The Time Of My Life
Party Tracks\80's\(I've Had) The Time Of My Life.MP3
#EXTINF:346,Bonnie Tyler - Holding Out For A Hero
Party Tracks\80's\17 Holding Out For A Hero.mp3
#EXTINF:211,Fine Young Cannilbals - She Drives Me Crazy
Party Tracks\80's\20-She Drives Me Crazy.mp3
#EXTINF:326,Simple Minds - Alive & Kicking
Party Tracks\80's\Alive & Kicking.mp3

Playlist 2:

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:262,Abba - Voulez vous
Abba\Voulez vous.flac
#EXTINF:204,Anouk & Sarah Bettens - I Alone
2 Meter Sessies\Anouk & Sarah Bettens - I Alone.flac
#EXTINF:204,ABC - Poison Arrow
ABC\Poison Arrow.flac
#EXTINF:312,AC-DC - Hells Bells
AC-DC\ACDC 2009 setlist\09 Hells Bells - AC-DC.flac
#EXTINF:220,Action - I'll Keep On Holding On
Action\I'll Keep On Holding On.flac
#EXTINF:240,Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
Amy Winehouse\Back To Black.MP3
#EXTINF:205,Anouk - Nobody's Wife
Anouk\Nobody's Wife.flac
#EXTINF:209,Barry White - Let The Music Play
Barry White\Let The Music Play - Barry White.flac

Playlists created in Winamp using song files already on the external hard disk and then the playlists saved into the main root folder on the disk. No other changes made. The second playlist is the first few songs of a test playlist I made taking one song from each artist folder on the hard disk - it plays fine.

Hope this helps?

Andy

April 05, 2009, 12:23:31 PM
Reply #35

Pennhaven

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Playlists created in Winamp using song files already on the external hard disk and then the playlists saved into the main root folder on the disk. No other changes made. The second playlist is the first few songs of a test playlist I made taking one song from each artist folder on the hard disk - it plays fine.

Hope this helps?

It has helped. I did some more testing using your format and it works, both from the playlist and folder views.

But for it to work in my case, where I have a "Music" folder as the parent of all my album folders, the playlist would have to be in the Music folder.

In your case it appears that you must have all of your "Artist" or music category folders located directly in your drive's root folder. i.e., Root/Artist/Album/Track instead of my Root/Music/Artist/Album/Track, so you need to have a playlist with this path format in the root directory where I would need to store it in "Music". (The reason many of us chose to use a "Music" parent folder is to keep our music files separate from our video and photos.) You also were fortunate enough to use Winamp the proper way to take care of all this for you automatically.

Your format also excludes the "./" or ".\" that I used. This works because the path expression has exactly the same meaning with or without those strings. I just failed to consider using the simpler expression, probably because I was focusing on how to get playlists to work from a "Playlist" subfolder which does require "../" or "..\".

Bottom line is your playlists worked effortlessly and simply because you used authoring software that correctly and simply handled the path structure, and you used it the right way. Where I and apparently some others got in trouble was trying to copy existing playlists from another source onto the WDTV drive without being careful enough about the path structure.

When I get a chance I'll rewrite my previous post to include the simpler format you shared and to make clear the playlist doesn't require a parent "Music" folder, it only must be in the parent folder of all the music. ;)

Thanks for helping to clear things up. A little quicker response (or more responses from other people) would have saved me a whole lot of time. I was trying to work quickly to help out ParallaxView before he got any more frustated so I spent a lot more time than I would have had to if I had this information earlier. I really hope all of this will solve his problem.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 02:23:16 PM by Pennhaven »

April 05, 2009, 03:42:04 PM
Reply #36

ParallaxView

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To: Everyone who has been helping me with this.

I just want to say Thanks.  You guys have really been bending over backwards to help out someone whom you don't even know.
I really appreciate it. 

I am going to try this using the suggestions you have been giving me right now. 

I promise I won't get upset anymore. ;D

Of course, it remains to be seen whether I can keep that promise...

I'll post back in a while.

April 05, 2009, 05:13:29 PM
Reply #37

ParallaxView

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Well, everything that has been suggested to me has failed.

I have tried to follow all the good advice you guys have offered. 
I set up playlists in the playlist folder, with a '..' prior to the path
I set up playlists in the My Music folder, with a '.' prior to the path.
I set up playlists in the root folder, with '..' , '.' , and no dots at all  (three separate lists)
I confirmed the paths to the music were correct to the letter (no pun intended) as well as the appropriate case.

I even tried to call the playlists using the playlists option as well as from the direct folders option on the unit.

At this point, I have done everything that I possibly can, set up every iteration with dot conventions, called the lists both ways.
Yet I am still doing something wrong.

Hete is my playlist, generated from Windows Media Player:
<?wpl version="1.0"?>
<smil>
    <head>
        <meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Windows Media Player -- 11.0.5721.5260"/>
        <meta name="IsNetworkFeed" content="0"/>
        <meta name="AverageRating" content="50"/>
        <meta name="TotalDuration" content="2496"/>
        <meta name="ItemCount" content="5"/>
        <title>Pink Floyd Animals</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <seq>
            <media src="..\Pink Floyd\Animals\Pigs On The Wing (Part One).wma" cid="{0F1D9F44-7DA0-4D28-9ADA-2EFABF790501}" tid="{5201DCE6-AB62-47CC-B442-55C1B5EBE2BE}"/>
            <media src="..\Pink Floyd\Animals\Dogs.wma"/>
            <media src="..\Pink Floyd\Animals\Pigs (Three Different Ones).wma"/>
            <media src="..\Pink Floyd\Animals\Sheep.wma"/>
            <media src="..\Pink Floyd\Animals\Pigs On The Wing (Part Two).wma"/>
        </seq>
    </body>
</smil>

This file is located in My Music\My Playlists on my HDD
The Album referenced in the list is located in My Music\Pink Floyd\Animals\...
All case, spacing, and spelling matches the path and filename.

So, if I understand correctly, the .. makes the system check one step up the folder tree (to My Music)
then it goes from there to the track.

Now, either I am still being incredibly dense (which is possible, I will grant that)
or something is terribly wrong.

Continued help, please.  And I feel very stupid, for continuing to harass you guys after your great efforts to help me.


April 05, 2009, 05:25:57 PM
Reply #38

Autumnsboy

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Here is a working playlist that I generated in Windows Media Player:

<?wpl version="1.0"?>
<smil>
    <head>
        <meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Windows Media Player -- 11.0.5721.5260"/>
        <meta name="AverageRating" content="45"/>
        <meta name="TotalDuration" content="1230"/>
        <meta name="ItemCount" content="4"/>
        <title>Sample</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <seq>
            <media src="..\The Cars\The Cars Greatest Hits\04 Good Times Roll.mp3" cid="{53348BCE-5C39-447D-AEF9-E97D91412E7D}" tid="{73083B4D-7B98-48ED-946A-CA2D4ABA9373}"/>
            <media src="..\The Who\Then and Now- 1964-2004\13 Won&apos;t Get Fooled Again.mp3"/>
            <media src="..\The Who\Then and Now- 1964-2004\02 My Generation.mp3"/>
            <media src="..\Kid Rock\Rock N Roll Jesus\03 All Summer Long.wma"/>
        </seq>
    </body>
</smil>

It plays the proper songs, although not in the proper order.  WDTV orders the songs numberically, ie 02 My Generation, 03 All Summer Long, 04 Good Times Roll, etc.  Perhaps someone can suggestion a solution to the order problem.

Note, my playlists are located in a folder (My Playlists) at the same folder level as my Artists.  For Example

Music\The Who\Then and Now\02 My Generation
Music\My Playlists\Sample Playlist

Are others getting their playlists to play in the proper order?

April 05, 2009, 11:29:37 PM
Reply #39

andy13870

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Thanks for helping to clear things up. A little quicker response (or more responses from other people) would have saved me a whole lot of time.

I did get back on a Sunday morning! I'm on European central time remember!

Are others getting their playlists to play in the proper order?

Haven't really checked this yet - I tend to play playlists in shuffle mode, so it's not really an issue for me.

April 06, 2009, 05:50:54 AM
Reply #40

ParallaxView

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Here is a working playlist that I generated in Windows Media Player:

<?wpl version="1.0"?>
<smil>
    <head>
        <meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Windows Media Player -- 11.0.5721.5260"/>
        <meta name="AverageRating" content="45"/>
        <meta name="TotalDuration" content="1230"/>
        <meta name="ItemCount" content="4"/>
        <title>Sample</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <seq>
            <media src="..\The Cars\The Cars Greatest Hits\04 Good Times Roll.mp3" cid="{53348BCE-5C39-447D-AEF9-E97D91412E7D}" tid="{73083B4D-7B98-48ED-946A-CA2D4ABA9373}"/>
            <media src="..\The Who\Then and Now- 1964-2004\13 Won&apos;t Get Fooled Again.mp3"/>
            <media src="..\The Who\Then and Now- 1964-2004\02 My Generation.mp3"/>
            <media src="..\Kid Rock\Rock N Roll Jesus\03 All Summer Long.wma"/>
        </seq>
    </body>
</smil>

It plays the proper songs, although not in the proper order.  WDTV orders the songs numberically, ie 02 My Generation, 03 All Summer Long, 04 Good Times Roll, etc.  Perhaps someone can suggestion a solution to the order problem.

Note, my playlists are located in a folder (My Playlists) at the same folder level as my Artists.  For Example

Music\The Who\Then and Now\02 My Generation
Music\My Playlists\Sample Playlist

Are others getting their playlists to play in the proper order?

If you look at my post just above, you'll notice my playlist is of the same type, format, the music structure is identical, etc.
Why doesn't mine work?  Any suggestion?  I tried playing it via playlists and through the folders view.

April 06, 2009, 05:51:52 AM
Reply #41

Pennhaven

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Thanks for helping to clear things up. A little quicker response (or more responses from other people) would have saved me a whole lot of time.

I did get back on a Sunday morning! I'm on European central time remember!

I appreciate your help. Just voicing my own frustration at how much effort this is taking. (Would have been better off keeping that to myself!) Good to see others chipping in with information now!

Are others getting their playlists to play in the proper order?

No. As confirmed above by me and first reported here by CappyD.  Playlists currently do not play in the assigned order. They play in track file name alphanumerical order. This is the remaining bug with playlists, though it remains to be seen what is going on with ParallaxView's problem getting them to work at all.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 06:48:31 AM by Pennhaven »

April 06, 2009, 05:57:16 AM
Reply #42

Pennhaven

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If you look at my post just above, you'll notice my playlist is of the same type, format, the music structure is identical, etc.
Why doesn't mine work?  Any suggestion?  I tried playing it via playlists and through the folders view.

PV,

I just can't see what can be keeping this from working for you, but there does have to a be a reason and a solution. If enough of us keep thinking about we'll figure it out eventually! Sometimes it pays to step back from the problem a while and when you come back to it the solution will be staring you in the face.

[Edit] Question: When it doesn't work. What exactly happens? Do you get the "Empty Folder" message when you try to open the playlist? Or are you able to open and see the playlist, but it just won't play?[/Edit]
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 06:09:05 AM by Pennhaven »

April 06, 2009, 07:59:05 AM
Reply #43

ParallaxView

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If you look at my post just above, you'll notice my playlist is of the same type, format, the music structure is identical, etc.
Why doesn't mine work?  Any suggestion?  I tried playing it via playlists and through the folders view.

PV,

I just can't see what can be keeping this from working for you, but there does have to a be a reason and a solution. If enough of us keep thinking about we'll figure it out eventually! Sometimes it pays to step back from the problem a while and when you come back to it the solution will be staring you in the face.

[Edit] Question: When it doesn't work. What exactly happens? Do you get the "Empty Folder" message when you try to open the playlist? Or are you able to open and see the playlist, but it just won't play?[/Edit]

I get the folder is empty message.
I agree with you about stepping back from this, because I have passed out of frustration and am now just puzzled.

I am waiting on a call back from WD as well, maybe they'll have something to contribute.

Thanks again for the help.

April 06, 2009, 09:58:01 AM
Reply #44

Pennhaven

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I rewrote my original Playlist Formatting post to reflect what I've learned since and hopefully make it a little better organized.