Re: Media library (summer of code)

tobutaz wrote:
This is a (late) attempt to discuss a library / desktop service I have
proposed at google's summer of code.
I just noticed murrayc had commented on it, which means I may upgrade
the proposal depending on your reactions.
The gist of the proposal (more below) is a media library that is able
to handle file moves, edits (think retaggings), new files and hotplug
events transparently. The metadata sniffing problem is not addressed,
however the application can use the library to store its metadata, or
just an external reference to it. The proposal also includes a tool
for the user to setup its desktop-wide music database, and adapting at
least one application to use the service.

I'd like to know if that is something you would want to integrate in
your application; this is particularly aimed at music players and
jukeboxes, but there may be other uses (sync tools come to mind).

Wow, This sounds really interesting. Some time ago (about a year I wrote a proposal for what I wanted to do, but never got round to doing: MetaLibrarian:

This sounds very similar. And I'd be very interested in following this development.

One thing I'd be very keen to see is the ability for the system to be network-wide as well as desktop-wide. e.g. In my network I have an NFS server which stores my main music collect. I would like to run your daemon on that server and on my laptop run another copy of the daemon that knows about the one on my server (Bonjour?) and can query the data both locally and on the sever, and if permissions allow, edit the data on the server. So anything I have on my local laptop (or when I plug in my iRiver), is detected by the daemon running on my laptop, but I can still access all the music on the server too.

I also use multiple MythMusic frontends and although it's interface is lacking in terms of music selection etc. it serves well the purpose I need it for. These machines are network booting and do not have HDD in them. I would not like to run your daemon on these machines, just access the information directly over the network.

I believe that the future of home entertainment will be networked devices and central file shares and it would be a shame if all your effort in developing this excellent idea missed out on the network transparency aspect.

I know that MythMusic is also hopefully going to be subject to a SoC project, so perhaps this work could be coordinated? Tho this may be more trouble than it's worth - probably better taking a stable app as your base.

One thing which I also mention on my webpage above is the ability to configure (through simple rules) a set of heirarchies. Most music applications use heirarchies to navigate music. However they are often rather rigid in terms of the levels they use. If you could define an n-depth view and assign a rule at each depth as to what text to display.
e.g. For Arist/Album/Track "View" for use with Mix Albums you could do:
Levels: 3
Level 1 Name: Artist
Level 1 Text: if(!empty(album_artist),album_artist,if(!empty(artist),artist,'Unknown Artist'))
Level 2 Name: Album
Level 2 Text: if(!empty(album),album,'Unknown Album')
Level 3 Name: Track
Level 3 Text: if(!empty(tracknum),tracknum,'??') - if(!empty(trackname),trackname,'Unknown Track')if(and(!empty(album_artist),!empty(artist),album_artist!=artist),' (Track by 'artist')','')

This would display e.g.
Nightmares On Wax
  Late Night Tales
    01 - Midnight Marauders (Track by DJ Fietchie feat. Joe Dukie)

Rae & Christian
  Another Late Night
    11 - Roll Call (Track by Pablo)
    15 - Flashlight

(NB although Another Late Night is a mix album, track 15 is by the album artist, hense why the additional info is not displayed.

If such heirarchies were created a killer addon would be a virtual file system that you can browse with regular tools, like Nautilus, just pick a view and browse away :)

Another good feature to add in the future would be playlist management. I may want to use several different applications (or switch applications to try out a new one, but if I've spent time setting up my playlists (and smart playlists - auto-generated rules based playlists) and I'd probably 99 times in 100 want to take them with me. Again a virtual file system coudl view your playlists (and even be used to edit them (albeit ordering would perhaps be difficult there).

I guess some of the features I am suggesting here are perhaps better left to the application, but if it is well written and flexible enough, I can't think of any reason for media application developers not to adopt it.

Hope this feedback helps.


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