How play order is determined for music!

Hey guys, I already spent a lot of time trying to divine the play order for podcasts and audiobooks here.  Yesterday I ran into a problem ordering music.  I have some files named like this:

Artist-Album-CD1_Track_01.mp3
Artist-Album-CD1_Track_02.mp3

Artist-Album-CD2_Track_01.mp3
Artist-Album-CD2_Track_02.mp3

When I upload they appear like this:

CD1 Track 1
CD2 Track 1
CD1 Track 2
CD2 Track 2

Pretty annoying.  I tried changing “CD” and “Track” to A and B etc- no difference.  I tried changing the track tag- no difference.  To make a long story short, it appears the clip completely ignores all tags when determining the order!  Even though it uses the artist/album/title tags to create the folders.  Instead, it uses the filename for ordering.

Specifically, it seems to interpret the last number on the right of the filename as the track number.  Which explains the above.  So I’ve worked around it by having my uploading program (amarok) get the track number from the tag and append that to the filename:

CD1_Track_1-01.mp3
CD1_Track_2-02.mp3
CD2_Track_1-03.mp3
CD2_Track_2-04.mp3

Sorry if this is obvious to everyone but it wasn’t to me- hope it helps someone.  I would expect the device to use the actual track tag in the file for determining order but perhaps that means it would need to read all the file headers instead of looking at the filename.  Moral of the story: put the track number at the end of the filename.

Oh for the love of… Yes, that does explain my recent problems.

Thank you for your post.

It means that I must also change the file names… *sigh* Gosh, I really miss the simple folder view of my precedent player. The Clip is a lot smaller, and the sound is astoundingly good, but dealing with its firmware has proven… painful.

Message Edited by Sinocelt on 12-10-2008 06:24 AM

No, you should not have to change the file name at all.  The player will only use the file name for sorting if the track and title tags are missing.

Make sure your Artist, Album, Track and Title tags are correct and make sure you are using ID3v2.3 ISO format tags.

I’m guessing that either your tag information is missing/incorrect or it’s not in ID3v2.3 ISO format.

Message Edited by Skinjob on 12-10-2008 10:12 AM

OK, the issue is that when you select Menu --> Music --> Play All, the songs are played alphabetically by the track title ID3 tag, not the filename.  If you want Play All to play by artist then album then track number you can create a playlist and use that rather than Play All (search for lots of posts here on how to do playlists in MTP or MSC mode)   --OR--   set the track title ID3 tag to “Artist-Album-Track#-SongTitle” using one of the ID3 tag programs mentioned all the time on this forum (Mp3tag comes to mind).  Good luck.

MP3tag’s autonumbering wizard is what I’ve been using. The tracks were numbered correctly, but still played in the wrong order on the Clip.

The next f/w update is supposed to fix the multi-disc set issue and play songs sequentially as you want. A few weeks out, I believe.

I don’t care quite as much as I used to. :smileyvery-happy:

@Skinjob- I’ve been writing both ID3v1 and ID3v2.4- the latter for the future.  Maybe this is an error on my part but the player seems to have no problem reading the ID3v1.  That would be pretty weird for it to use the ID3v1 Artist/Album/Title tags and ignore the ID3v1 Track tag!  The Artist/Album/Title tags are exactly as I described them above- written in ID3v1 and ID3v2.4.

@SteveG- To clarify, I’m not using Play All.  The play order above is the order that’s displayed for the Titles when navigating to Artist->Album.  I’m using Linux so I can’t run Mp3tag natively.  It works fine under wine but there are Linux apps that work just as well- I use Picard and Easytag.  Easytag can write out a dos-style playlist.  Thanks though.

@Tapework- Good to hear ;)  For now I’ll just make sure the track number is at the end of the filename.

@sansa4eva wrote:

@skinjob- I’ve been writing both ID3v1 and ID3v2.4- the latter for the future.  Maybe this is an error on my part but the player seems to have no problem reading the ID3v1.  That would be pretty weird for it to use the ID3v1 Artist/Album/Title tags and ignore the ID3v1 Track tag!  The Artist/Album/Title tags are exactly as I described them above- written in ID3v1 and ID3v2.4.

 

@steveg- To clarify, I’m not using Play All.  The play order above is the order that’s displayed for the Titles when navigating to Artist->Album.  I’m using Linux so I can’t run Mp3tag natively.  It works fine under wine but there are Linux apps that work just as well- I use Picard and Easytag.  Easytag can write out a dos-style playlist.  Thanks though.

 

@Tapework- Good to hear ;)  For now I’ll just make sure the track number is at the end of the filename.

When you say “ID3v1 and ID3v2.4”, does that mean you aren’t using ID3v2.3?  The Fuze doesn’t currently support ID3v2.4, so that could be your problem.  Also,since you’re using Linux, make sure you use ISO encoding on the tags.  I’m sure Linux apps would default to one of the unicode encodings (UTF), which are not fully supported yet either.  If you just use ID3v2.3 ISO only, most tag related problem will disappear.

The next FW is supposed to add ID3v2.4 support, but for now ID3v2.3 ISO is the only reliable format on the Fuze.

And since you confirmed that you are using Album play mode, I can attest that the track tag will be used to sort the songs if the tags are formatted properly.

Easytag should be able to switch your tag formats automatically.

@skinjob wrote:

When you say “ID3v1 and ID3v2.4”, does that mean you aren’t using ID3v2.3?  The Fuze doesn’t currently support ID3v2.4, so that could be your problem.  Also,since you’re using Linux, make sure you use ISO encoding on the tags.  I’m sure Linux apps would default to one of the unicode encodings (UTF), which are not fully supported yet either.  If you just use ID3v2.3 ISO only, most tag related problem will disappear.

 

The next FW is supposed to add ID3v2.4 support, but for now ID3v2.3 ISO is the only reliable format on the Fuze.

 

And since you confirmed that you are using Album play mode, I can attest that the track tag will be used to sort the songs if the tags are formatted properly.

 

Easytag should be able to switch your tag formats automatically.

That’s correct- I’m not using ID3v2.3.  I know that ID3v2.3 ISO is the only officially supported format- at least for ID3v2.  I haven’t read anything that explicitly says ID3v1 isn’t supported as well.  And it seems to be recognizing the ID3v1- I have no Unknowns with it present whereas if I remove that and leave only ID3v2.4 of course I get the Unknowns/missing files.

Both Picard and Easytag can write ID3v1, ID3v2.3 (ISO/UTF-16) and ID3v2.4 (ISO/UTF-16/UTF-8).  I’ll give it a shot tonight with ID3v2.3 ISO (and only that) to test your theory :slight_smile:

OK, my bad with the Play All assumption.  Since you’re using Artist > Album the track number tag will be used to sort the songs, just like Skinjob mentioned.  So for an album with more than one disc there is a fix that should work.  Try setting the track number tags for disc 1 to 101, 102, … and the track number tags for disc 2 to 201, 202, … and so on.  Does this solve the problem?

All that matters for order is the tags, unless you use playlists.  File names are irrelevant, unless no tags are present.

What are the tags for your album?

If the tag for the album is “album”, for both CDs, and the track field is filled in with track one for CD 1 and for CD 2, then you’ll have two files with the same album and track number.   If you are going to assign several CDs to a single album tag, then you must use sequential track numbers, to avoid duplication.  

I haven’t run into problems playing multi-volume albums.  I use two methods to tag them.

First, simply assign track numbers sequentially.  CD1 has 10 tracks 1-10, CD2 has 11 tracks 11-21, CD3 has 6 tracks 22-27.

Second, set the album name to “Album CD1” for the first CD in the set, “Album CD2” for the 2nd, etc.

The first method lets you select the entire set as one album, but makes it hard to select a particular CD from it, while the second makes you pick one CD at a time from the album list.

Either way, playlists offer a much simpler way to handle the play order for albums, and album sets.  You can have separate playlists for each album, including doubles and box sets, and even a playlist which holds a complete discography (if you have that much on your player). 

@SteveG and Inka- sorry didn’t mention that…  My tracks are already numbered sequentially, starting at 01 and going up to 96 (for 8 CDs).  But thanks for trying to help! :slight_smile:

As it turns out- it was the thing Skinjob suggested- not using ID3v2.3 ISO.  I’m very surprised (and wrong).

Using ID3v1 (and only ID3v1) the Album/Artist/Title tags are all displayed correctly but the Title order is sorted by the rightmost number of the filename- as I originally posted- ignoring my Track tags.  The Titles:

CD1 Track 1
CD2 Track 1
CD1 Track 2
CD2 Track 2

Using ID3v2.4 (and only ID3v2.4) it’s worse.  The Album/Artist are both Unknown and the Title is the entire filename (minus .mp3) and sorted the same as above:

Artist-Album-CD1_Track_01

Artist-Album-CD2_Track_01

Artist-Album-CD1_Track_02

Artist-Album-CD2_Track_02

Since I was using both ID3v1 and ID3v2.4 apparently it was ignoring the latter and using the former.  Using ID3v2.3 ISO solves the problem- whether or not I also add ID3v1.

Sorry for wasting everyone’s time!  I hope this still helps someone.

Hi just to ask before i buy a Sansa Fuze 8gb mp3, i know you can do a play list of your own music from selecting the music from different albums but can you make several playlist ie one for the gym then one for in the car & one just for everyday?  or is there only one playlist for so many songs on this mp3???  i know it had a really good review in the paper but i would rather buy this one if it does do that than buy an ipod?

Please help???

Indeed, you can generate multiple playlists with the Sansa, using the program of your choice: Rhapsody, Napster, Windows Media Player, Winamp, and more.  You can even generate them directly by a simple right click while using Windows Explorer.

A playlist is a simple menu listing for the player to use groups of your favorite music.  You can choose lists for activities, a party, working out, or even your particular mood.

The Sansa even has an on-the-go playlist that can be built on the fly, directly from the device, no computer required.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

After hours of trying to get my files to play in the order I decide, it occurred to me to check with a Sandisk user group. That is how I came across your solution. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It worked right off the firat time.

I still cannot understand why the system does not use the file order colum to determine the play order. Now that I have it fixed, I do not really need the answer to this question, but I am still wondering about it. Is there a good reason why the file order column is ignored by my Sansa Clip?

This may help also.

Using ID3v2.3 ISO tagging no longer solves this problem. Playback order is reportedly broken again for multi-disc albums using any recent firmware version.

A fix would be welcome.