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|27th January 2017, 18:08||#1|
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Create Playlists for MP3s - A Utility
Create Playlists for MP3s - A Utility
Background & Context
Quite soon after having purchased my Sync-equipped EcoSport, I noticed that the Sync system had a behaviour that annoyed me to no end. I have over 5000 songs in the MP3 format that I have saved on a USB pen drive, and use Sync to play music from this pen drive. This music is neatly categorized by into one folder for each artist, and a sub-folder for each album by that artist. The tracks are also named correctly with the track number and track title (e.g. '01 The First Song.mp3', '02 The Next One.mp3', and so on). Within each MP3, its metadata is also correctly populated for artist, album, year, track number, song title, etc. As you can see, I'm quite OCD about having these organized.
When I choose 'Play All', I'd expect Sync to be smart enough to navigate the folders logically and play the MP3s in order (i.e. for each artist, play each song for an album, followed by the next album, and so on). The 5000 rupee Kenwood head-unit that I used in my Getz worked correctly this way, and I took it for granted. After all, Sync is co-developed by Microsoft, so they would use a logical approach, similar to what they use in Windows Media Player, wouldn't they?
'Play All' plays all songs, just not in the order you'd expect!
Boy, was I mistaken.
In all their cleverness, it appears they used an inexperienced engineer to decide the playback order. If I choose to play all the songs from the pen drive (or play all songs by artist), the order is based purely on the filename of the MP3 track, and without paying any attention to either the folder it is present in, or the artist/album metadata. Now, since all my MP3 tracks are named as '<Track #> - <Track Title>.mp3', you can see where this is heading - Sync will play the first song of every album, followed by the second song of every album, and so on.
These 3 songs are the first songs of 3 very different albums from different artists!
Playing all songs by an artist exhibits the same problem - these tracks appear twice because one is from a studio album and the other is from a subsequent live recording. Having songs alternate and play in such a manner is annoying.
Now, this might not be a problem for some kinds of music, or for those people who enjoy shuffling their music. But if you listen to certain types of music (e.g. progressive rock, live concerts, etc.) then the order of songs is important. Or if you're as OCD as me, it just won't do
There were a couple of ways out of this annoyance:
I wasn't keen on the first approach of renaming the MP3 files, since it would mean reorganizing the way I stored music on my computers, all due to Sync's silliness.
So, I took the second approach, of generating playlists that have the songs ordered correctly. To generate the playlists with the correct order of songs, I created a small utility that I've been using for a few years now. I realized that this might be useful for others, in case they are facing the same (or a similar) issue. Bear in mind that this utility just creates playlists for MP3 tracks, it has nothing to do with Ford, or Sync, nor is it specific to Ford or Sync. If you have any head-unit which does not play MP3 tracks in a logical order, but does support playlists, then you can use this.
Steps To Use The Utility
Firstly, download the 'CreatePlaylistsForMP3s.zip' ZIP file attached to the bottom of this post, and unzip it. There's a single file named 'CreatePlaylistsForMP3s.exe'.
Launch the utility by running the file 'CreatePlaylistsForMP3s.exe'. It will show the following UI:
From this UI, you can select:
I hope you find this of use, and please post any comments or questions you might have.
|6th February 2017, 13:45||#2|
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Re: Create Playlists for MP3s - A Utility
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