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Old 11-11-2007, 06:45 PM
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Jeton Jeton is offline
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Default AlbumArt thoughts....

Currently the comimited AlbumArt is a good news.

However there are some issues that I think need to be taken into consideration.
First, my mp3 files are in the MUSIC folder, and aren't organized by folders, they're all there, some 200 at the moment. Now if i want to add AlbumArt for all of those i need to:

- Get all the Album Art images from the net, or with a program (RockAA being one).

- Resize them to 100x100 in order not to get jaggy pictures when I use them with the KratoJet theme. If I use the Zune theme (as each theme has a specific size for AlbumArt), the images gets zoomed in and they look ugly. The scaling algorithm isn't 'smooth'.

- Then i need to rename each .bmp file to the 'Artist - Track Name' convention. That's 200 files renamed one by one (there's no other way to do it, not an easy one at least.)

In the end I end with 200 songs and 200 .bmp files (i repeat that all the mp3 files are in one folder).

Now if Rockbox has embedded(JPEG) AlbumArt support and a better resizing algorithm, you can simply add an AlbumArt image to every single file with MediaMonkey (i've tried and it works, I'm sure there are other apps that can do that as well), we can like add a 300x300 image inside the .mp3 and we don't have to go through the process of converting, resizing and renaming.

It's easy to do that with 10-20 songs, but with today's DAP capacity we usually have at least a 100 songs in our players.

As for now I am not ready to go into the process I mentioned above in order to get AlbumArt on my Sansa, although I would love to have Album Art.
But all that work isn't worth it, for now at least.

Just wanted to share this opinion in the forum.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2007, 07:03 PM
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kugel kugel is offline
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Just start to organize your music in folders. That's it. There is absolutely no reason to have all files in 1 folder.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:24 PM
donutman25 donutman25 is offline
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Is album art really of that much importance? If yes then you have alot of work cut out for you if you dont want to organize your masterpieces into folders
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2007, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kugel View Post
Just start to organize your music in folders. That's it. There is absolutely no reason to have all files in 1 folder.
That's a matter of preference kugel. I don't think organizing my music in folders would make sense, as I have from 300 songs at least 240 artists, which would translate into 240 folders....
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:46 PM
Reggie Reggie is offline
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personally i think the whole album art thing is a pain full stop. any kind of resizing that the user has to do because of poor algorithms is just wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising anyone over the current implimentation of album art, I just think it needs more work and as there isn't a standard size between themes that makes it harder (unless they limit/restrict album art size), as for embedding that might be the right way forward, but one way or another some modification needs to be done by the user, are they worried about album art enough to mess with their entire collection embedding jpgs or would they prefer to have the hassle of renaming their jpgs to match the songs/albums?
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:40 PM
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Whenever I put a file anywhere it is always in an appropriate folder. I have only started with music for a couple months and have 317 folders with 3172 files in them. it goes artist/album and all art is just named cover.bmp. Then again, most all of my music is personally ripped CD and DVDs so I don't get one song here or there usually, it is mostly an album which makes things easy for me. If the image was in every song on an album, it would take up a lot more space. It would only really make sense for singles, but for albums it wouldn't be logical.

For me art is just a cool thing I show someone and they say "wow that's a cool thing" and then they hand it back to me and I put my large font theme back on so I can see it when it is hanging on my neck. I only glance at it on the player, but I do like it on the PC in thumbnail view.

It really boils down to where you want to spend time, making a place for files, or renaming art. The folders have a lasting benefit and it is simple to maintain. All my downloaded files (since 1996) are in neat folders and I can find anything I ever downloaded on a PC in a couple seconds. (you need drivers for ECS MB circa 1996, or adobe 4.0?)

I have to have some odd folders (party or Misc) where odd ones go, but still artist folders with cover.bmp put there by rockAA.

When I move the songs to the player they stay in the folders artist/album. I put the entire album, then delete songs right then or over time. It is actually pretty easy since I started day one like this. Once you set it up, it just takes an extra couple seconds to make the right folder and then it is always where you expect it.

I don't scrutinize the quality much, and never would since for me it is a novelty I show folks, but there isn't much of a use for me otherwise.

I don't know if this helps, but maybe you can get some ideas from how other folks do things.
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2007, 10:50 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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I doubt you'll convince anyone to commit embedded support for album art unless you could do it quite efficiently. I don't know if thats possible.

Resizing +JPEG is probably viable though on the Sansa I suspect there'd be some considerable load time. The CPU isn't all that fast.

A better solution might be for someone to write a plugin that simply scans through and converts embedded album art to the proper BMP format automatically. That way theres no overhead.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:52 AM
Llorean Llorean is offline
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I love the statement that "any kind of resizing that the user has to do because of poor algorithms is just wrong" showing the complete lack of understanding that COMPUTERS ARE MUCH MUCH FASTER THAN YOUR DAP. A smooth resize takes a lot more work and time than a cheap and dirty resize.

If you want minimal work, write an automated program to download and resize the images for you. Run the program once, and be done with it, share the program with all your friends. But the Sansa is not some magical device that can do anything you want, and while a better resizing algorithm is probably possible on the Sansa, you're still working with limited resources and processor speed.

Meanwhile, jpeg decoding in the core will increase binary size and complexity, and for many targets this will decrease battery life because it reduces the RAM available for buffering.

Please, remember that NOTHING is free, and when and where possible preprocessing should be handled on the computer as it's far faster and far more efficient. If someone has to write the code to handle it anyway, it may as well be done in a way that maximizes efficiency on the player.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:51 AM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llorean View Post
I love the statement that "any kind of resizing that the user has to do because of poor algorithms is just wrong" showing the complete lack of understanding that COMPUTERS ARE MUCH MUCH FASTER THAN YOUR DAP. A smooth resize takes a lot more work and time than a cheap and dirty resize.

Meanwhile, jpeg decoding in the core will increase binary size and complexity, and for many targets this will decrease battery life because it reduces the RAM available for buffering.
You got me thinking. JPEG and resizing can both be done with FFTs (and some other stuff). Maybe if we ever get around to writing that fixed point transform library for rockbox, it could be used here and shared with whatever audio codec is currently running, thus not consuming any audio buffer space. Of course, an FFT resizer would be slowish, but also very high quality. Should be ok for smaller album art, maybe anything under 500*500 or so.
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2007, 05:10 AM
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I would add up that for the majority of DAP that run Rockbox 500x500 or even 400x400 is a reasonable size as I'm not aware of a DAP that has a 500x500 screen size and is Rockbox is ported on that DAP.

So in a way, that size becomes a "standard", which then might be resized.

Thanks for all the feedback on this.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:27 AM
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Yep I'm really hoping they can sort jpeg art.
I have all my albums in folders too, would have a nightmare organising without!
Artist - [Year] Album
I always use file view too & never the database, find it much more practical.

The fast stone photo resizer is pretty fast & easy to use, just gotta make sure you got exactly square bmps.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:13 AM
niemand0815 niemand0815 is offline
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and with mediamonkey you can easily reorganize your file structure to a folder structure with just a few mouseclicks.
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  #13  
Old 11-12-2007, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llorean View Post
Meanwhile, jpeg decoding in the core will increase binary size and complexity, and for many targets this will decrease battery life because it reduces the RAM available for buffering.
But why can't the JPEG viewer take that job? It's allready implemented in rockbox.

Anyway. I have no problem with bmp at all. The only problem is, that every programm uses jpeg, so I have to have 2 arts for each song/album.

Does anyone know a programm, which sync's not only the music but the album arts too?
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kugel View Post
Does anyone know a programm, which sync's not only the music but the album arts too?
MediaMonkey 3 does that, it's in RC1 State at the moment.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:28 AM
Reggie Reggie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llorean View Post
I love the statement that "any kind of resizing that the user has to do because of poor algorithms is just wrong" showing the complete lack of understanding that COMPUTERS ARE MUCH MUCH FASTER THAN YOUR DAP. A smooth resize takes a lot more work and time than a cheap and dirty resize.
Nice assumption Llorean, but funnily enough I do realise that all of my PCs are faster than my DAP. I like the way that you assume people wouldn't want to give up some battery life for a life without hassle.

Quote:
If you want minimal work, write an automated program to download and resize the images for you. Run the program once, and be done with it, share the program with all your friends. But the Sansa is not some magical device that can do anything you want, and while a better resizing algorithm is probably possible on the Sansa, you're still working with limited resources and processor speed.
I hope you aren't thinking that I am criticising the rockbox programmers in any way. I do appreciate that the sansa is a limited device, but we were asked for our thoughts on album art and whilst the sansa isn't some magical device it *is* already performing this function albeit not as well as might be liked. And running the resizing program once for every piece of album art might be efficient for rockbox programmers is it efficient for the user?

Quote:
Please, remember that NOTHING is free, and when and where possible preprocessing should be handled on the computer as it's far faster and far more efficient. If someone has to write the code to handle it anyway, it may as well be done in a way that maximizes efficiency on the player.
Just so we're perfectly clear, I do appreciate all the work that is done by anyone on rockbox (even stuff that breaks!) and I know its all free, check my post again though Llorean, do you notice anywhere where I am actually asking for these functions to be implemented?

I don't use album art because its clunky, I really don't see the point of going to the extra effort for something that is mostly illuminating my pocket but I might if it worked in a manner more like I have already described. Not everything has to be about maximizing the efficiency on the player, I do appreciate that as programmers you would like everything super efficient, but sometimes there is a trade off, which you'll notice i did pose the questions from a users point of view at the end of my post. I should've posed a third alternative where the user simply doesn't use album art because its a pain to use.

How much power/time does it actually take to resize a jpg on average say 1x/per hour? Thats roughly how long my albums are, some are longer, some shorter. Maybe it would be more useful if there was a user choice as to which way to implement their album art? off, average, good quality settings maybe?

I'm still not asking for any of these functions to be implemented, just giving my thoughts on the subject.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:32 AM
Llorean Llorean is offline
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Well, you claimed "any kind of resizing that the user has to do because of poor algorithms is just wrong" which seems a pretty sharp criticism for someone who claims he isn't asking for the solution to be implemented in Rockbox. As for your suggestion that you're willing to give up battery life: You're suggesting taking battery life from everyone, even those who don't use Album Art at all, because it requires implementing thins on the core.

As for the person who mentioned jpeg is already implemented in Rockbox: It's NOT. There's a jpeg viewer PLUGIN, which is not in the core.

The point is: if something's in the core, it always reduces RAM. Plugins don't, because they have a reserved area of RAM. Each plugin essentially uses the same small portion of RAM, so adding more plugins doesn't increase the RAM usage, but they're only loadable one at a time. JPEG decoding for album art would, at this time, require a JPEG decoder in the core, which then consumes RAM whether it's in use or not, because of the statically allocated nature of Rockbox and the simple fact that the Rockbox binary must be in RAM to run.

Adding an "Off, Low Quality, Good Quality" setting is even worse, because then you need to implement TWO different resizing algorithms.

It's not the time it takes to resize, it's the fact that the code to resize it takes up RAM. The time to decode is secondary (if it's not "fast" enough, happening at the wrong time could in theory cause buffer underruns and require coding around it. Not a battery life issue, but a glitch-avoidance issue). It's entirely possible it'd be fast enough to avoid glitches.

But it still reduces the over all battery life and free RAM for EVERYONE including those not using album art for something that could very easily be handled by a quick preprocess script.

I really don't understand why you people are so vehemently against a PC-side solution: You have to copy your songs to the device anyway, and you have to *acquire* your songs anyway, which means at some point you have to sit down at a computer. Why can't you, at this time, run a script that converts your album art?
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:10 PM
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Because not everyone is familiar with scripting etc I guess. And without scripts, Album Art is hard to manage imo, since most of the sync programs do not offer album art sync (gotta try media monkey). Not everyone wants to drag'n'drop his files on the player, many people prefer easy syncing.

€dit: MM seems to be very cool
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:32 PM
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I use Mediamonkey since my tracks are classified by genres, not artist. So MM has an option to synchronize my music to the Sansa using a specified folder structure. I use /artist/album. Once synchronized, I use a script in MM : AlbumArt Tagger. Since my artwork is in mp3 tags, the script extracts the artwork to a mask, cover.jpg, respecting the folder structure. After that, I convert jpg to bmp using FastStone Photo Resizer. Might look complicated, but once you're used to it, it's no big deal.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:23 PM
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But if you think about that. There isn't real reason to store the album art in the file, is it? I mean, you have 15 songs per album, and the album art is stored in each song.

But yea, I'm gonna switch to media monkey, sadly I haven't heard of it earlier =(
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:20 PM
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Llorean, you chose to take to heart the bit that seemed like I was criticising but then ignored the part of my post that (I thought) made it clear that I wasn't criticising. I will repeat though, I am not asking for these solutions, Its just my opinion.

My thought on having album art settings of off, low and good quality only requires having good quality algo. being written as low quality is implemented already, and with even just an on/off setting it gives flexibilty for the DAPs/Owners that don't use album art.

Not sure about everyone else, but apart from the original acquisition of the media, dumping the media on the device, the only real interaction I want is just to play the media, not worry whether the associated pictures are the right size for the unit or has the right name, so as a general rule I don't use album art.
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