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Old 03-24-2010, 08:39 AM
wuhan_clan wuhan_clan is offline
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Default the REAL playlist solution (MSC mode using MediaMonkey)

Ok, not another playlists related thread... i know. But I've searched around and there doesn't seem to be a concise explanation of how to do it so here goes.

The following method allows you to use extended m3u playlists while in MSC mode. Until I can find a program that writes extended m3u files to the S9 based on S9 folder structure, this is the easiest way to do it.
Use of MediaMonkey is highly recommended though any program that can write extended m3u should work just as fine.

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MAIN METHOD:

The KEY to this method is you must ensure the music folder/file directory in your S9 music folder matches the music folder/file directory on your computer.


If your music is rather unorganized and/or spread out in multiple locations on your computer, you MUST consolidate it, either manually or have a program do it for you (recommended). Like many others, I prefer MediaMonkey.

In MM, after you have built your library, simply ctrl+a all your songs in your library and right click -> "Auto-Organize". You will now be able to tell MM how exactly you want your music to be consolidated: folder structure + file name structure.

eg. C:\Users\<user>\Music\<Artist>\<Album>\<Artist> - <Album> - <Track#> - <Title> (Note you will have a root music folder. The root music folder doesn't have to be named \Music but as long as all your music falls into subfolders of your root music folder, you're fine)

Now you must configure MediaMonkey to send your music to your S9 using that same folder/file structure. At the top of the player select "Tools" -> "Sync Device" -> "Configure Device" with your S9 plugged in. The 4th tab should be called "device configuration". Here you can configure the folder/file structure that MM will put onto your S9 during syncing. As long as the structure you use here is the same as the one you used to auto-organize, everything will work. Now every time you use MM to add new music to your S9, you can be assured it will be added into a folder structure identical to your computer.

Now that MediaMonkey has organized your music collection and retained the identical organization onto your S9, you are ready to build your playlists.
Simply build whatever playlists using MM. In the left-hand tree menu, select any playlist you have created (to include auto-playlists), right click -> "Send To" -> "Export as .m3u playlist".

Save the new playlist to your root music folder on your computer
. This ensures that the .m3u will map out the correct paths. Then finally copy the newly created playlist.m3u to your S9 music folder. DO NOT copy the playlist.m3u file to your S9 playlists folder. Don't worry, your S9 will still find it when you go to your playlists menu on your S9.

C:\..\..\..\Music <----create your .m3u files in this location on your computer
F:\Music <-------copy your .m3u files to this location on your S9

Now you have working extended.m3u playlist while in MSC mode, so no worries about playlists disappearing when switching modes. (though I don't see why you would ever need to use MTP again)


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Alternative Method:

You can choose to have MediaMonkey scan your music-loaded S9 and use the music stored on the S9 to build your library (make sure that your entire music library is built using music scanned off your S9 and NOT off your computer). Build your playlists as normal and then export them as .m3u files straight to your S9's Playlist folder without issue.
Note that you will not need to change any kind of folder/file structure on your computer. This can be good, especially if your music collection is organized in a system that MM can't emulate (though unlikely). However drawbacks sill apply.

Adding new music to your collection will take quite a bit longer. You must first use drag and drop (or another program other than MM) to place the new music files onto your S9. Then you open up MM and rescan your S9 to update your library with the new music. Only after the library is updated can you start adding the new music to playlists and do other things like edit tags. I know you can use something like mp3tag to do that for you but the whole point of using Mediamonkey is that it can do pretty much everything. Plus when your library is built straight off the S9, because you are reading off USB flash media, all operations will take longer than if the files were off your hard drive. Also if you want to utilize any of MM's great auto file management systems, you will need to keep the S9 plugged in.
Unless you absolutely MUST have your .m3u playlists saved in the Playlist folder on your S9 (instead of Music), using the main method is probably most convenient.

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My Notes:

Yes, I realize you still are not actually auto-syncing the playlists to the S9. You still have to manually copy some files over to the S9 but this can be done within a few clicks. Another drawback are that playlists are still not dynamic (no creating or making changes to existing playlists on-the-fly on the S9 itself). To do this requires using a custum playlist utility such as the one that came with Claw's Wallpaper UCI (wiki here). However, using playlist editors that come with UCI's means you can't edit them on your computer. So really, it depends on how you like to use playlists.
If you like the speed and ease of making them on your computer, then going the MediaMonkey auto-organize method is the way to go. The advantage here is that making playlists on your computer is very fast. You can add hundreds* of songs within seconds. You can also have MM create auto-playlists (AKA smart playlists) using a wide variety of criteria.
If you prefer to create your playlists on-the-fly when listening to your S9, then you should go with Claw (official thread here). I personally do not prefer using Claw's Playlist Editor because I find it too slow to add songs and too slow to load up lists. You are waiting on the UCI to process too much.
Of course, you can use both this and Claw but there can be no interaction between the 2 kinds of playlists.
I know a lot of people are lazy and won't want to organize their music collection (especially if it's really large and messy) but in the end, you will benefit, and not just from being able to use m3u playlists. Besides, the moving and renaming of files is all automated when you use Media Monkey.

* 400 song limit on .m3u playlists still exists. Not sure how many total playlists the S9 can handle but I don't think anyone has enough playlists for this to become an issue.

Also, MediaMonkey is excellent at maintaining your library. Going to "Tools" -> "Options" , on the left-hand tree should be 2 menus called "File-Monitor" and "Auto-Organize". Enabling both of these will ensure that your library will stay organized. Just make sure that the rules you create for Auto-Organize match the rules you create in the syncing options for your S9.


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Edit 3:
Alternative Method is touched upon more. Personally, I don't like this because I'm almost constantly adding new music and having MM use my computer to build the library is way more convenient then waiting to read data on the S9.

Edit 2:
Realized I messed up the instructions pretty bad earlier. I finally figured out the .m3u generating and mapping. As long as you create the .m3u file in the root music folder, the mapping then becomes the same whether the .m3u file is stored in your computer's root music folder or the S9's root music folder.

Sample .m3u code (what it SHOULD look like):

#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:152,The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night <----- This line simply means the file is 152 seconds long, and in your playlist the track will appear as "The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night"
The Beatles\A Hard Day's Night\The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night - 01 - A Hard Day's Night.mp3 <------ The actual file path of the music file
#EXTINF:260,The Beatles - Come Together
The Beatles\Abbey Road\The Beatles - Abbey Road - 01 - Come Together.mpg

Note since the .m3u was created in the root music folder on your computer, you don't need to worry about the higher level path (the complete path being C:\..\..\..\Music or wherever your music directory is located). The .m3u only needs to map to files RELATIVE to where the .m3u file is located.

Last edited by wuhan_clan; 03-24-2010 at 10:10 PM. Reason: improved alternative explanations, now working 100%
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