Playlist making


I have a problem, which probably is not to be dealt only within Mp3tag, but I'll try. I will try to describe it in simplified terms

All my tracks / files can be divided like that:

  • track is "normal": one file is present in my set [collection], in single catalog
  • track is "double": two [exact same] files are present in my set [collection], in two different catalogs
  • track is "triple": three [exact same] files are present in my set [collection], in three different catalogs
  • track is "quadruple": four [exact same] files are present in my set [collection], in four different catalogs
  • ...and so on

And here's how the tracks are distinguished:

  • normal [x1]: [just lacking characteristics of all the other kinds]
  • double [x2]: every file like that has "xyz." in the ARTIST tag between names
  • triple [x3]: every file like that has "xyz." in the ARTIST tag between names and also "&" sign
  • quadruple [x4]: every file like that has "xyz." in the ARTIST tag between names and also "&" sign and a "," sign
  • quintuple [x5]: every file like that has "xyz." in the ARTIST tag between names and also "&" sign and a "," sign and a "," sign
  • ...and so on: the more copies, the more coma signs; "decuple" [x10] has "xyz." in the ARTIST tag between names and also "&" sign and seven "," signs [but not as a one word ",,,,,,,"]

And here is my wish in steps:
1] load the whole set [all files, including all the doubles, triples etc.] into Mp3tag
2] make a playlist, where every "normal" is present [for example] 10 times, every "double" 9 times, every "triple" 8 times, ..., every "decuple" is present 1 time
3] load such an extended playlist to Winamp

But the full wish is to make it as much automatically as possible and also easily repeatable [because every now and the there will addition of new files to the set]. The whole system can't depend on manual creation of playlists, because then it would have to be done after every addition of new files w[which are often]; and all sorts of mistakes are easy to make

What I've accomplished so far is:

  • pinning to the Mp3tag icon on Taskbar in windows 7 an ".m3u8' playlist, which loads all my files
  • pinning to the Winamp icon on Taskbar in windows 7 an ".m3u8' playlist, which loads all my files

And this is how I come to the explanation to my wish and the problem itself:
right know, "normal" tracks are played rarely, while the "triple"and "quadruple" are played all the time

So, I would need somehow to make a playlist with some of the files repeated once and other five or seven times and export it to a single file [which would be pinned to a Winamp]. The only other facilitation that I can think of, is to use some spare tag field and just create names / codes [for "normal", "double", "triple" etc], so that there won't have to be involved the counting of the comas and the search for "&" sign

And yes, there is a shuffle option in Winamp- that doesn't seem to help at all, no matter how set

There is also the stars tag system in Winamp that can be adapted for this purpose, but which [as I understood the conclusion of discussion of this problem on the Winamp forum], will work best only for a set of tracks with similar length and quite short at the same time [because it counts the number of stars per hour]

Also the ".m3u8" files do not read tags before loading and do not take filtering commands; or at least that's what I know about them [and so my three step wish cannot be done directly in playlist]

One dedicated tag-field "NC" (number of copy) with a numerical value from 0 to 9 or from 1 to 10 ...
or a tag-field "CC" (current copy) with a letter from A to J, should help to replace the complicated "xyz./&/,,,,,,,"system.

Probably could be done by a Mp3tag export script.

There is also one in Mp3tag.
In Mp3tag list view ... click on the header of the very first column (the icon column).


What is the point in adding a simple track 10 times to a playlist instead of cleaning up the collection. If you have 10 reincarnations of a track and you hear it too often (and you realize that with a manual instead of an automatic playlist - iTunes and WMP keep track of how often a file has been played) I would edit the playlist and remove that track.

There is a utility called "Similarity" which scans through your files and finds the duplicates. You can then decide what you want to keep and what to delete.

In my system, If an ARTIST tag for the "Song" is

"Band A feat. Musician From Some Other Band B, Musician From Some Other Band C & Vocalist D"

then I have the same file "Song" in folders:

"Musician From Some Other Band B"
"Musician From Some Other Band C"
"Vocalist D"

My system upside:

  • every artist folder has all his / hers songs, on which he / she is featured; accessible right away from the proper artist folder
  • "backup" copies; they come in handy in case of bad sectors and the loose of external backups

My system downside:

  • waste of hard disk space; but in a few years it won't be a problem anymore, because cost per GB drops down
  • multiple instances of one and the same "Song" on a playlist of whole the set; tracks by just one artist get to be played seldom- and that is the real problem

I use Winamp, because I can have it docked as a thin toolbar on top of my screen: it takes very little space, it's always there no matter what I do, and still gives me all the tag information I need [and quick accesses to controls]. The only as useful alternative to this would be using a high end keyboard, with some kid of a display, that could show me the tags. Because the problem with iTunes is that I would have to use iTunes- and can I use it like Winamp [mostly: as a thin bar]?

I don't thing that switching to some other player is an option, because [if I'm correct] Winamp can also take into consideration how often a song is played. But what good can it do if the playlist is being changed almost every day? Doesn't a solution like this work on a fixed set of files [playlist consisting of list of files written down to a file]? My pinned shortcuts to all the files to not list any files; my .m3u8playlist is just:


That way, I don't have to actualize it almost every day, whenever I add something new or change / delete something old. I just make the changes I need, like creating a new folder for a new artist and putting in it some new files- and don't have to generate a new [actualized] playlist. Becasue two click on a Taskbar do it for me [and put it right away directly to Winamp]

Getting rid of all those "additional" copies is the most obvious option; and is to be considered for me only if there is no solution to my problem

But now if I know that the "longest" collaboration consists of 10 artist, then in order to balance 10 copies of theirs song [10 existing files] I can have all the single artist song multiplied [only on a playlist] to 10 instances. The downside of this would be of course a very long playlist, probably consuming a much more CPU power and reading a HDD for a long tie when created- but which will stop to be a problem in a future

Some players support either allow multi-value fields i.e. that you have several fields of the type ARTIST each with a different contents.
Or others use a field separator in the field (e.g. WMP uses "semicolon blank" as separator in COMPOSER.
Like that you can access a title form any known name of a composer or artist.
Any player that supports an automatic playlist that uses criteria in fields from a database saves the number or replays with the entry for a filename (as this has to be unique).
So if you only update the tags but not the filename, you will not listen to that song again once you have played it.

For the backup-idea I would strongly recommend a second media as usually it is not individual sectors that fail but much more likely it is something crucial like the FAT area which makes the whole media unusable if corrupted. But you will have your experiences.

I think it's simpler to keep list of artists [composers or whatever] in on field. Separated by comas or whatever sign I may choose, with some additional rules [like using "feat." instead of coma before the second one]

To many fields- to many problems

Can Winamp work like that?

Sometimes I have 10-20 covers of a one song. They would require some change in naming, but that's the easy part


If I were to choose the most obvious solution, and thus keeping always only one version of a file [no matter how many artist worked on it], how would any of you suggest me to to do it?

I mean: do I keep the file in the folder of the artist, who is mentioned first in the ALBUM tag [and probably is the main / ALBUM ARTIST]? This would seem to be a logical system

But how then I keep remixes? Every remix is named [titled] after its remixer- or remixers. If it is the "Heresy (Blind) (Dave Ogilvie, Anthony Valcic & Joe Bisara Remix)" version of a song by the band Nine Inch Nails, should I still keep it in Nine Inch Nails folder or Dave Ogilvie?

And what in case of mashups? If it is song titled "The Message vs. No Diggity (Soulwax Mashup)" of the artists "BLACKstreet feat. Dr. Dre & Queen Pen vs. Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five", do I keep it in Soulwax folder or that of the band BLACKstreet? And again: what if Soulwax made that mashup in collaboration with some DJ XXX?

I can see already a problem with that: any change of order in the ARTIST or TITLE tag, implies moving a file to a different folder. After a couple of years and thousands of operations I will probably have many errors [inconsistencies] of that kind. So I'm looking also for some alternative suggestions: how else can you keep your track, if not in the artists folders? Any alternatives? [Keeping in album folders is not an option for me]

There is also a minor downside of getting rid of doubled files: I would have to delete empty artists folder- and so I wouldn't be able to keep track of how many individual artists I know [listen to in overall]. [That is just for the statistics]

I have physical copies in more than one location

Such doubled / tripled files are just a backup of a last [or first, because it is the quickest] resort; which comes from my experiences

This is the Mp3tag forum. Please check the Winamp forum for that. AFAIK it is possible to see how many times a track has been played and also it is possible to filter for files.

This refers to a fully qualified filename. Not just the last bit. So the filenames differ as the path-part is different for the files. Otherwise you would have the same address for 2 files which is not possible. So I doubt that you have to rename the files.

I still don't understand what the physical location of a file has to do with the representation in the player. All those options with multi-value-fields and comma-separated lists rely purely on the functions of a player. And this has nothing to do with the filesystem. Ideally, you do not see any location, so the file could be stored locally, in a cloud, somewhere on a NAS.
If you want to implement your own saving scheme, then this is totally down to your personal taste.

After a much consideration, I decided to remove "additional" copies of files

This solution has minor setbacks and a lot of pluses

But it will require a small revolution in my naming system

So now the big question is: what would be the code for filter for finding all the doubled files?

The simple version would only look for the exact FILENAME or TITLE

The more advanced would search for the exact FILENAME or TITLE and at least two versions of the same ARTIST

So the first would show me for example:
"Some Song" Band A
"Some Song" Band A
"Some Song" Band A
"Some Song" Band B
"Some Song" Band B
"Some Song" Band C

But the second would show me only
"Some Song" Band A
"Some Song" Band A
"Some Song" Band A
"Some Song" Band B
"Some Song" Band B

[leaving out the "Some Song" by Band C, because there is no copy of this file and this C version has no relation to A and B]

[I want to evaluate results as copies-to-removed by hand; but I do not wish to use some external program, which I do not know and have zero experience in using, on my collection]

I have found a partial solution to this problem, outside the filter:

Second instance or alternative