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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 12-18-2010, 04:41 PM
brotker brotker is offline
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How to best organize music files on thumb drive for random playback

I have been playing around with moving my music collection to a 32GB thumb drive. I ripped them in Windows Media Player using Windows Media Audio (Variable Bit Rate) format, best quality bit rate. This places the files in a directory structure based on artist/album. I am able to view and play them fine, and browse the directory structure in my iDrive. When I set the iDrive playback option to random, it only randomly plays the songs from a single album, not the entire library.

I created a playlist file on my pc and copied that to the thumb drive, but that does not seem to work. What steps am I missing here. Someone mentioned having to edit the playlist file and performing a search/replace using notepad. Exactly what needs to be changed in the file?

Any help/guidance to randomly play my entire library on the drive without intervention is certainly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2010, 08:28 PM
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markl53 markl53 is online now
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I think somewhere in the manual it might state that it's best to have all tracks in one folder. Regardless of order on the thumb drive, mine seem to be in alphabetical order. My iTunes tracks have an "invisible" 2-digit number in front of the name I learned. "01", "02", etc. My tracks turned out to be organized by this number then by track name even though this is not the order on my thumb drive.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2010, 02:01 AM
nosnoop nosnoop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brotker View Post
This places the files in a directory structure based on artist/album. I am able to view and play them fine, and browse the directory structure in my iDrive. When I set the iDrive playback option to random, it only randomly plays the songs from a single album, not the entire library.
If you browse to a specific folder/directory, then it would only include songs in that folder.
Instead, you should play all of them, and not going into specific folder. After you select your USB drive, wait until it finishes loading. For the first time, this can take a while, especially you have a 32GB drive. Subsequent playback would have much faster loading time. After it finishes loading, you can go to Current Playback, and it should display all the songs from all the folders in alphabetical order. Then you just select random playback.
You don't need to place them in one folder.

Quote:
I created a playlist file on my pc and copied that to the thumb drive, but that does not seem to work. What steps am I missing here. Someone mentioned having to edit the playlist file and performing a search/replace using notepad. Exactly what needs to be changed in the file?
When you save the playlist in your PC, the file paths for file names are that of your PC. So you need to modify them to that of your thumb drive.

For example, I copied my iTunes' "Music" folder to the root of the thumb drive.
In the m3u playlist files generated in my PC, all the files have file path:
"H:\iTunes\iTunes Media\Music\.........."
While in my thumb drive, it should just be "\Music\....."

So just load the m3u file in any file editor, and do a search for "H:\iTunes\iTunes Media" and replace all with nothing "" (basically deleting it). Not sure how WMP generate the file paths, I think it sometimes uses relative ones such as "..\..\xxxxx", you can do the same to replace them to that of your thumb drive.

Alternatively, you can duplicate your music folder structure of your PC in your thumb drive. In that case, if your playlist uses absolute file path, you simply need to delete the drive letter (e.g. "H:"). The rest of the file path would be the same.

If you use absolute file path, then you can place the m3u playlist files anywhere in the thumb drive.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2010, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosnoop View Post
If you browse to a specific folder/directory, then it would only include songs in that folder.
Instead, you should play all of them, and not going into specific folder. After you select your USB drive, wait until it finishes loading. For the first time, this can take a while, especially you have a 32GB drive. Subsequent playback would have much faster loading time. After it finishes loading, you can go to Current Playback, and it should display all the songs from all the folders in alphabetical order. Then you just select random playback.
You don't need to place them in one folder.
According to the manual, "Current Playback" lists the tracks of the last search function, or the album selected last. I have found that "Current Playback" is just another way to show the tracks from the album currently being played back. I don't believe it will combine all albums in one group.

Quoting here from the manual:

"Current playback
List of tracks that was generated last by the music
search or the album selected last."
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:47 PM
nosnoop nosnoop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
According to the manual, "Current Playback" lists the tracks of the last search function, or the album selected last. I have found that "Current Playback" is just another way to show the tracks from the album currently being played back. I don't believe it will combine all albums in one group.
Quoting here from the manual:
"Current playback
List of tracks that was generated last by the music
search or the album selected last."
Yes. you are correct. But when you first use your USB thumb drive, by default, it is to browse by all genre, all artists, all albums etc. So once the thumb drive is loaded, by default, it would list all the tracks in all the folders (during the initial loading process, this won't work and you can only browse by directories/folders ). And if you search for specific albums or browse to specific folders, then the current playback would only list what you have searched for.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2010, 07:38 AM
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markl53 markl53 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosnoop View Post
Yes. you are correct. But when you first use your USB thumb drive, by default, it is to browse by all genre, all artists, all albums etc. So once the thumb drive is loaded, by default, it would list all the tracks in all the folders (during the initial loading process, this won't work and you can only browse by directories/folders ). And if you search for specific albums or browse to specific folders, then the current playback would only list what you have searched for.
I thought the OP originally was asking how to randomize track play throughout his whole collection and you mentioned "Current Playback". If you agree that that only shows either a selection via a search, or the last album selected, it seems this is not a solution to his issue (as I was stating).
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2010, 08:17 AM
nosnoop nosnoop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
I thought the OP originally was asking how to randomize track play throughout his whole collection and you mentioned "Current Playback". If you agree that that only shows either a selection via a search, or the last album selected, it seems this is not a solution to his issue (as I was stating).
No.
I thought I have clarified that by default, the current playback would lists out ALL the tracks from ALL the albums/folders once the loading has completed (takes longer for initial loading). So the OP can easily randomize all the tracks on his flash drive.

The current playback would show a restricted list only if you set your search criteria or browse to a specific folder. If that's the case, just remove any search criteria, set to browse to all, and don't use the direct folder browsing, and you can list out all the tracks once again.
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