Winamp not reading tags in MSC mode!

Hi,

After some days trying the MTP mode, either with Winamp or WMP, I decided to switch to MSC mode and so I have used my clip for a couple of months. I mainly transfer music using the Windows Explorer and manage the tags with mp3tags. Now I would like to have a better way of managing/creating/synchronizing playlists, and I thought that Winamp should be a good option for doing that, as it (supposedly) works well with both transfer modes.

So I plugged my clip with Winamp running, Winamp correctly recongnized the Clip, loaded its playlists, but… the database is all messed up! Instead of reading the tags information, Winamp tries to extract the info from the folder structure, assuming something like \Artist\Album\track-title. I know I can change that configuration, but the way I have the folders in my clip is not consistent at all. Besides, the playlists (.m3u) were correctly ‘detected’ and listed in Winamp but they are show empty! (though they are not empty and work perfectly within the Clip)

What do I have to do to make Winamp read the tags? and correctly read the playlists?

Should I delete everything from my Clip and transfer it again using Winamp? (In that case I’d rather switch to MTP mode!)

Regards.

Yeah, it happens occasionally.  No big deal though, it’s easy to fix.

For MSC mode devices, Winamp keeps a catalog of everything on the device in a file called winamp_cache_0001.xml.  You can find this file in the root of the Clip.  It’s a hidden file, so if you can’t see it you probably don’t have the “show hidden files” option enabled in Windows Explorer.

Winamp uses this file to know what’s on the device.  When it get’s screwed up you see the funky browse you described and syncing won’t work properly.

Do the following to fix it:

  1. Connect the Clip to your computer
  2. In Winamp, go to Options->Preferences
  3. Select your Clip under the Media Library\Portables node in the tree on the left of the screen
  4. Select the Advanced tab
  5. Click the Refresh Cache button and close the Preferences dialog.  This will cause Winamp to rebuild the winamp_cache_0001.xml file.  It takes several minutes to rescan all the files on the player, so be patient.  Unfortunately, there’s no indication of progress or completion.  Just periodically click on the Clip in the Media Library and eventually you’ll see the artist/album info appear correctly in the browse.

If you haven’t already done so, review all the other tabs in the Portables Preferences for you Clip before you try to Sync.  Particularly, note that the first tab has a vertical scroll bar.  A lot of people don’t notice and miss some critical settings by not scrolling down.  Also, make sure the File Name Format and Playlist Directory are correct on the Advanced tab.  Finally, always make sure you have the latest version of Winamp (currently 5.541).

If you’ve already got playlists working in MSC mode, then I’m sure you are aware of the relative path issue.  If you sync with Winamp you will end up with full paths in your playlists and they won’t work on the Clip.  After syncing you need to fix the paths in the playlists on the Clip.

Here’s a little utility with the amusing name FART (Find and Replace Tool) that I use to deal with the realtive path issue.  It’s a nice little search and replace command line utility.  I put my playlists in the \MUSIC folder, so I use FART to remove “\MUSIC” from the paths in the playlists.  I just made a little batch file that I run after syncing to fix the playlists.

Message Edited by Skinjob on 08-26-2008 01:07 PM

It works!!

I should have pressed that button before, because now it took almost no time to display correctly. But when I did it first, I didn’t notice any instantaneous change.

Thanks a lot!!

Oooops… I only read the first part of your answer and thought that everything was fine… until I realized about playlists. The path issue wasn’t a problem until now because I made my playlists with mp3tag, which handles very well the relative paths. But what I wanted winamp for was exactly that: to create/organize/synchronize my playlists in a more dyamical way.

Let me explain myself: first of all, there is no sense in making playlists for albums or artists. Now let’s say that I make a  playlists taking this and that song from different album/artists/compilations. Just a bunch of songs that I like (10? 20? 50? I don’t know). What I like an intelligent piece of software to do if I drag’n’drop this list into the Clip is to copy the necessary songs into an appropriate folder and not copy the songs that already are in the device. Now, if I remove an album from the clip I would like to preserve/resynchronize those tracks that belong to any playlist that exists in the Clip. That kind of management would make my listening experience to take a step further from the artists/album scheme.

Apparently, Winamp does a great deal of what I want (I have not tested the part of deleting an album yet), but it fails when it comes to playlists!!! And I don’t want to be fixing the playlists in a second step.

Should I move to MTP? Before that, I will give FART a try.

Regards.

Here’s 1 way of doing it in Winamp that I’ve found works. Of course you can always drag the songs from the Media Library listing over to the playlist (on the left) too.

Thanks a lot, but it doesn’t do what I want. I want to keep playlists synchronized between my PC media player and the Clip, and/or MANAGE (this is more than create) the playlists in the Clip from the media organizing application.

The FART thing won’t do the trick either, as I have noticed that Winamp will not read correctly playlists in the Clip that have relative paths. So after editing them they are no longer ‘manageable’ by Winamp. Everything would be fine if one could set an option in Winamp to work with relative paths!!

I guess that I will give MTP mode a try, but I’ve heard that you cannot have more than 6 or 7 playlists in the Clip at the same time. Is that true?

I’ve played a little with MediaMonkey and it has a much more customizable plugin for device synchronization. I can set where the playlist is going to be and if set properly an appropriate relative path is generated… except for a f***ing (sorry) leading ‘’. When the Clip is expecting something like  Artitst\Album\track.mp3  (assuming that the playlist is in the same folder where the Artist folder is), the playlist generated by MM (and also by Winamp) says \Artist\Album\track.mp3

I’ve searched in the Winamp forum and it seems that the leading ‘’ is endorsed by some people when dealing with relative paths. To make things worse, the lack of the leading ‘’ is what makes Winamp not read properly the playlists that are in the Clip.

Perhaps the solution is in the next firmware? some fix that will not let the Clip be fooled by the leading ‘’?

Meanwhile, I keep on searching for a workaround…

@porio wrote:

Oooops… I only read the first part of your answer and thought that everything was fine… until I realized about playlists. The path issue wasn’t a problem until now because I made my playlists with mp3tag, which handles very well the relative paths. But what I wanted winamp for was exactly that: to create/organize/synchronize my playlists in a more dyamical way.

Let me explain myself: first of all, there is no sense in making playlists for albums or artists. Now let’s say that I make a  playlists taking this and that song from different album/artists/compilations. Just a bunch of songs that I like (10? 20? 50? I don’t know). What I like an intelligent piece of software to do if I drag’n’drop this list into the Clip is to copy the necessary songs into an appropriate folder and not copy the songs that already are in the device. Now, if I remove an album from the clip I would like to preserve/resynchronize those tracks that belong to any playlist that exists in the Clip. That kind of management would make my listening experience to take a step further from the artists/album scheme.

Apparently, Winamp does a great deal of what I want (I have not tested the part of deleting an album yet), but it fails when it comes to playlists!!! And I don’t want to be fixing the playlists in a second step.

 

Should I move to MTP? Before that, I will give FART a try.

 

Regards.

Winamp will do everthing you want.  Here’s the basic idea:

  1. Add all the mp3s on your computer to Winamp’s Media Libray (ML). You can drag/drop files into the ML or go to the ML preferences and tell Winamp what folders to scan.
  2. Build your desired playlists in the ML.  Note, at this point the playlists reference files on your computer, not the portable device.
  3. Connect your portable device.  When Winamp asks if you want to manage the device, click Yes.
  4. Go to the preferences for your device (as described in previous post).
  5. Here you can specify which ML playlists you want to sync to the portable device.
  6. Also check all the other tabs to make sure you are happy with the settings.  Especially the paths on the Advanced tab.
  7. When you finish the preferences setup, select your device in the ML.
  8. Click the Sync button towards the bottom of the screen.
  9. Winamp will send all the files in your selected playlists to the portable as well as the playlist files themselves.  If there are files on the device that are not in the selected playlists, you have the option to add them to the ML or delete them from the device.
  10. Now, whenever you edit your playlists in Winamp it’s just a matter of connecting your device and hitting Sync.

The only issue is that the playlists need to get fixed after syncing.  For example, I have Winamp put the playlists in the \MUSIC folder.  Winamp will put full paths in the playlist, like so:

\MUSIC\SomeArtist\SomeAlbum\SomeSong.mp3

The paths need to be relative to the location of the playlist, so I use FART to remove the “\MUSIC” from the beginning of the paths, so they end up like:

SomeArtist\SomeAlbum\SomeSong.mp3

To create a batch file to do this, go to Notepad and enter the following text:

@ECHO OFF
fart --remove \Music*.m3u \MUSIC\

Save the file to the root of your player and name it FixPlaylists.bat.  Also, copy fart.exe to the player root.  Then whenever you sync, just double click FixPlaylists.bat afterwards.

Yes, that’s what I was planning to do. However, as I pointed before, the fixed playlist are no longer accessible by Winamp. And what’s worse, I’ve noted that sometimes Winamp mess up my pre-existing playlists: they appear empty, even if I didn’t do anything with to them within WInamp!

@porio wrote:
Yes, that’s what I was planning to do. However, as I pointed before, the fixed playlist are no longer accessible by Winamp.

If you mean that the contents of the fixed playlists don’t show up in the portables section, thenyes, that’s correct.  However, is that actually important?  Presumably you would be playing & maintaining the playlists in the Media Library, not in the portable section.  The playlists on the portable would only be maintained via syncing and would only be played from the device itself.  Unless maybe I’m not understanding your desired usage.  Note that the portable’s playlists will still work in Winamp, meaning you can drag a fixed playlist from the Clip into Winamp and it will play back correctly, it just won’t display correctly in the portables section.

@porio wrote:

And what’s worse, I’ve noted that sometimes Winamp mess up my pre-existing playlists: they appear empty, even if I didn’t do anything with to them within WInamp!

I’ve never seen this issue.  I use Winamp exclusively to sync my Clip and Fuze and it’s been pretty painless.  I update my ML playlists, click Sync, then run FixPlaylists.  It’s worked really well for me.

Message Edited by Skinjob on 09-04-2008 09:48 AM

@skinjob wrote:


@porio wrote:
Yes, that’s what I was planning to do. However, as I pointed before, the fixed playlist are no longer accessible by Winamp.


 

If you mean that the contents of the fixed playlists don’t show up in the portables section, they yes, that’s correct.  However, is that actually important?  Presumably you would be playing & maintaining the playlists in the Media Library, not in the portable section.  The playlists on the portable would only be maintained via syncing and would only be played from the device itself.  Unless maybe I’m not understanding your desired usage.  Note that the portable’s playlists will still work in Winamp, meaning you can drag a fixed playlist from the Clip into Winamp and it will play back correctly, it just won’t display correctly in the portables section.

Mmmmmmhhhhh…  yesssss, you’re right. Thanks for helping me see that point.

@skinjob wrote:


@porio wrote:

And what’s worse, I’ve noted that sometimes Winamp mess up my pre-existing playlists: they appear empty, even if I didn’t do anything with to them within WInamp!


 

I’ve never seen this issue.  I use Winamp exclusively to sync my Clip and Fuze and it’s been pretty painless.  I update my ML playlists, click Sync, then run FixPlaylists.  It’s worked really well for me.

I don’t know, I am not sure about what’s actually going on. I’ll play a little with your approach and let you know if I find something more specific about it.