dropping a directory list into mp3tag


I've created an m3u which has a list of folders in a specific order. When I drag it into mp3tag these are expanded into the music tracks, but although they are grouped by album in the original order, the tracks are in a random order. I don't there's a sort option to allow me to retain the original album order but then sort by track order.

So I'd like to work out how to get an m3u with directories in a specific order like:

artist Z -album A
artist A - album A
artist K - album A

expanded by mp3tag (or another means) into:

artist Z -album A - track 1
artist Z -album A - track 2
artist Z -album A - track 3
artist A - album A - track 1
artist A - album A - track 2
artist K - album A - track 1
artist K - album A - track 2

Here's two ideas.


Could I define an mp3tag action to populate each album with a sort key using a spare field (e.g. comment)?

Immediately after import, the tracks are arranged in the right album order but random tracks order, so if I could select all tracks and run the magic action I could then sort by track then comment and generate my playlist, then clear down comment.

Could I do that, and if so, how...?


Use Export in some way.

I am not sure if MP3tag really messes up a playlist with an order of its own.

If you succeed to load files right the first time, you could apply an action of the type
Format tag-field for a user-defined field, e.g. MY_PLAYLISTORDER
Format string: %_counter%

You can add that field to the columns and sort by it or you use it a sort criterion for an already existing field.
You can move files in the files list by clicking and pressing the Alt key at the same time and then move the file.
After you have arranged the files in the right sequence you can run the above action again to reflect the new order.

This is a tricky one to explain. Let me try again. Here are my steps:

  1. create a text file with full path folder names of required albums. They are in the order I want to play them.
  2. Rename it to m3u.
  3. Start up mp3tag - it is now empty of music files.
  4. Drag the m3u file and drop it into mp3tag.
  5. mp3tag does a marvellous thing - it looks at the folder names and then gets the music files
  6. the albums are in the original order but the tracks are jumble up. I'd assumed that mp3tag just goes to the folder and gets them in any order without any other instructions. mp3tag isn't sorting on any column at this point.

My question is then how to generate a playlist with the music tracks in it with the albums in the original order (as they are now in mp3tag) but with the tracks in sorted order.

I hope that's clearer but let me know if I've clarified or confused it...

Before I try to get into more details:
Why the trouble with extra text file and the renaming stuff?

You can use MP3tag and drag one folder after the other into MP3tag while simultaneous pressing the Ctrl key.
This adds one folder after the other to the files list.
The last folder can usually be found at the bottom of the list.
If you sort by track number, the newly added files should be ordered by track number for the new batch.
You can create a new playlist from any intermediate stage and then add further files.
So perhaps that does the same thing without the trouble of typing in text files and such.

That's a good question!

I'm not typing in my list of folders. I use a file manager called directory opus, and I have a little macro button which I use to write the currently selected folders to my text file.

To go back one more step I listen to a lot of jazz and I read about jazz too, so if I have the music associated with the book I'm reading I will just capture that folder in the text file and then later (might be a week or two later) I'll turn the captured folder names into a playlist.

That's probably one of the reasons why I don't use mp3tag to capture albums as I go along, and the other is that whenever I've tried to do what you suggest my fingers fail me and I end up wiping out whatever has been captured thus far by fumbling the ctrl key or whatever.

The other thing I've thought of is that my music is stored on a nas and I'm pretty sure that files are returned for a directory request in a random order or the order they were written or whatever but certainly not in sorted sequence.

Hopefully that's a bit clearer. The challenge now is whether it's possible to, for example, create a temporary sort key in another field based on the album names in their original order so that I can then sort on track number then temporary sort key, then get rid of the temporary sort key.

You could do the following:
Load the files
Select those of one album, regardless of their sequence but, say, this should become album no. 6 in the playlist
use the function Convert>Tag-Tag for a user-defined field
Format string: 06$num(%track%,2)

which would then put the prefix 06 to all track numbers and store the result in tmp_key.

You can then sort by tmp_key in the end.

Thanks for that.

That sounds similar to my manual workround, which is to select the albums one by one, put a sequence number in the comment field, then be able to sort including the track number. The thing I was hoping for was a way to do it in one go...

Coming back to export, would there be a way to create a temporary list of tracks including a temporary sort key which could then be sorted in dos and the temp sort key removed...

Yes, it has to be manual as the sequence is according to your personal requirements and cannot be created by ordinary sorting.
I am still not sure: have you tried the following with your list of files:
First, sort by TRACK (click on the column header)
Second, sort by ALBUM (CLick on the column header)
now you should have all albums grouped together, sorted by track number.
It is an alphabetic order of albums, though. But using the ALT-key, it should be easy to move whole albums to the correct position.
And from this order, you can generate your own (new) playlist.

I am not sure about what the outcome should be.
MP3tag can sort for you, it should not be necessary to sort at the command prompt...

You can create a report that loops around the tmp_key.
Or one that first takes the album and then the tmp_key.