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Add album artist and smart playlist support to file sync feature

Hey,

the new possibilities for synchronizing files to folders and especially MTP devices in Helium 13 are awesome! Format conversion is also a big deal since I'm using a lot of FLAC music on the computer that won't fit on the mobile device.


What I'm missing about it: In the file synchronization dialogue, if it was possible to select sync items according to album artists and smart playlists also, that would be perfect.


But again, I'm very happy about this new feature.

Ben


This is implemented in our most recent release, 13.0.14923, released the 8th of January 2018.

Sounds great, thank you! I'm looking forward.


> The smart playlist contents will be rendered during runtime, e.g. like any playlist.
You will run into problems, when you don't store the items of the last synced SMP (smart playlist) anywhere...

For example, you use a SMP with all tracks that have a rating of least 4 stars and limit the SMP to 20 tracks. Every time you render this SMP you will get 20 different tracks!
So at the first sync you need to push 20 tracks to your device, at the second sync you'll need to remove these 20 tracks and push 20 other tracks - but how do you know which tracks to remove, when you didn't store the list at the first sync?
Even when you remove the SMP from the sync-list you'll never be able to remove the tracks from your device...

(By the way: you will run into the same problem when a static playlist has been changed between two syncs...)

The smart playlist contents will be rendered during runtime, e.g. like any playlist.

If a synchronized smart playlist contains lots of randomization (content will change a lot upon each invocation), it will of course lead to synchronization of lots of files.

If the smart playlist is somehow constrained (e.g. select top 100 tracks from 2017) it will of course generate a smaller payload between synchronizations.


It can best be compared to a playlist that is either more or less static (some tracks are added, some tracks are removed from and to) or a playlist that is equivalent to the Play queue, which changes a lot over time.


In the end it will of course be up to the end-user how much data that will be changed.


Btw. album artists will not be directly supported but it will be possible to select one or more albums from an artist, with more proper formatting in the next release.


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@Ben: it's not that easy, to simply create the SMP on the fly, since it may differ every time you create it. You wouldn't know which files to remove on the next sync. So Helium has to store the old SMP entries anywhere...

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Support for Smart playlists is planned to be included in our next service release.

Thanks for these suggestions.


> Of course you'll loose the "smart"-part of your playlist, and depending on your playlist you might 

> end up with a mess of tracks in your synchronization list.


What I typically like to do with smart playlists is e.g. have the best rated tracks of the current year on the smartphone. Manual sync itself is not so convenient, but if I have to convert the smart list into a normal one everytime, that makes it more complicated. In theory it's possible, of course.


So still I would very much like to see the possibility implemented to sync smart playlists directly. It probably means the program would have to collect the corresponding tracks while doing the sync, not when adding the playlist to the sync. Also, it should be possible then to remove a playlist from the sync list rather than having to remove all the tracks. As you said, the list can quickly become pretty confusing.



Thanks for the additional details Sven.

The naming is fixed in our next build, prevention of duplicates is queued for a future release.

@Mikael:
Well, I tried again to add some AC/DC albums using the multiselect feature and couldn't find them in the list:

image


But then I scrolled through the list - and found them multiple times:


image


So the problem is, that they're not added as "{{albumartist}} - {{albumtitle}}" but as "{{albumtitle}}".

Although it shouldn't be possible to add the same item multiple times...

@Sven:

>>Unfortunately this doesn't work right now...

Is this constantly reproducable for you? I cannot seems to reproduce this, or I might have fixed it (although the code shows no changes though....)

> if it was possible to select sync items according to album artists

Well, in theory you can go to artist details and use the "multiselect"-feature. Simply select the releases you want to add to the synchronization and then use the context-menu to "add to synchronization".


image


Unfortunately this doesn't work right now...


> if it was possible to select sync items according to [...] smart playlists

What you can do: open the smart playlist, that you want to synchronize, hit CTRL-A and use the context-menu to add the items to your synchronization-list.


image


Of course you'll loose the "smart"-part of your playlist, and depending on your playlist you might end up with a mess of tracks in your synchronization list.


But smart playlists are hard to sync anyway, since they might change every time you look at them.

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