Skip to main content
Topic: organizing collections (Read 3419 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

organizing collections

I'm presently working on getting all of my music onto harddrives (cd-eac-flac) and I'm beginning to think of the best way to organize it, access it, allow others to access it on a LAN and to a very limited extent remotely. I'm not sure if I should approach it as a fileserver or a database. Basically I haven't decided anything though I have some thoughts about some things that would be cool to do. Basically, I'm curious how others here are approaching their own collections.

I'm aware of things like netjuke, jinzora, and slimserver thought I havn't actually looked at any of them in detail yet. I also live with a programmer so if an existing application doesn't blow me away we might try to do something more customized to our own ideas. What features would you guys include in your dream solution?

organizing collections

Reply #1
It might also be interesting to hear about what doesn't work for some folks.  For instance, I'm finding that Winamp doesn't like filenames with parenthesis -- instead of having 10 songs by U2, it thinks I have ten artists ranging from "(01) U2" to "(10) U2".  Is there a "lowest common demoninator" that should be kept in mind when planning organization and access methods so we can avoid common pitfalls?

In other words, when planning your "server" organization and distribution method(s), can you store the most important data (lossless, archival files) in such a way that no clients run into problems actually getting the data?

organizing collections

Reply #2
Quote
It might also be interesting to hear about what doesn't work for some folks.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=257269"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


good thinking

organizing collections

Reply #3
I have a media server that is mostly music - a mix of flac and mp3 files that are self-ripped.  Audiobeans mentioned "lowest common denominator" and I think that's important - but it can be a bit of a pain sometimes. "Lowest common denominator" for me means file names with only "regular" characters ([-_0-9a-z]) with "_" replacing spaces. I use the format "artist_-_album_-_99_trackname.ext" or "album_-_99_artist_-_trackname.ext" for compilations. This way every song on the server has a unique name. For mp3 files I also only use id3v1 + a subset of id3v2 tags when a tag length exceeds the id3v1 limit. This gives maximum compatibility for tags. Vorbis tags on FLAC files are a lot easier to deal with.

I think Linux or some unix variant makes a better server than Windows but this is obviously a personal preference. It seems you can get just about any client to talk to a unix file server pretty easily. NFS is used to share on the LAN to unix clients and Samba to Windows clients. I use slimserver to power multiple Squeezeboxen around the house and to handle remote Internet streaming (it can stream in full quality or bitrate limit as needed). Don't forget backups as part of your strategy. I use a simple cold mirror on a separate hard drive. I think the complexity of RAID is overkill for a simple home media server.

After about 4 years and 120 GB I think this has been a success. At least no one's ever complained to me about anything. 

organizing collections

Reply #4
Quote
In other words, when planning your "server" organization and distribution method(s), can you store the most important data (lossless, archival files) in such a way that no clients run into problems actually getting the data?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=257269"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



this is certainly a valid consideration but i'm not looking to stream media to anyone but myself and a few friends so i can tailor things to the player of my choosing (foobar).

i think the plan right now is:
1) all of the music stored on a basic file server
2) write some simple software that grabs info out of the tags of these files and all files added in the future and throws that info into a database .... that gives you a file server of the actual media and a separate db of information to query about the files
3) design a pretty frontend to access the db through a browser (locally and over web)

right now i'm tagging all of the files with song title, tracknumber, artist, album title, release date, genre, discid, original label of release, a url for cover art (amg's site), amg rating, and total lengthl of the album. this stuff should automatically be yanked into the db when i upload new files to the file server. can anyone think of other tags to include? the front end should then be able to dynamically generate a fairly complete page of album info from the db which got it's info from the tags. this should all work, no?

anybody got any ideas for other elements or features? i know there must be others out there doing something like this.

organizing collections

Reply #5
Quote
Vorbis tags on FLAC files are a lot easier to deal with.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=257277"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


what makes them easier to deal with? i'm pretty new to the tagging game so i'm curious about others' experiences

Quote
it can stream in full quality or bitrate limit as needed).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=257277"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


can it can stream native flac?

Quote
Don't forget backups as part of your strategy. I use a simple cold mirror on a separate hard drive.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=257277"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


yes, the backup ... i'm hoping to find some poor soul willing to mirror my setup but it's going to be quite a commitment of disk space ... probably going to be about 600-700gb of music plus a bit for the db ... actually i have no idea how big the db will be, never managed one before. should be fun.

organizing collections

Reply #6
db size should be pretty easy to estimate.    What database are you going to use?

To estimate, just design your tables, estimate your row count then multiple by the max length of each row.  If you have any variable length columns in it then you will just know that it's going to be a little less than your estimation, but db overhead (and things like indexes) will probably fill that gap.
Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

organizing collections

Reply #7
Quote
what makes them easier to deal with? i'm pretty new to the tagging game so i'm curious about others' experiences


There are no practical length restrictions on vorbis tags - which is helpful when dealing with classical music among other things.

Quote
can it can stream native flac?


Only if you use the java Softsqueeze hardware emulator to stream instead of a standard streaming client like Winamp. I hope you have more upstream bandwidth than me, though if you want to use it.

organizing collections

Reply #8
Quote
What database are you going to use?
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=257359"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


mysql

organizing collections

Reply #9
The server would transcode on-the-fly to a chosen lossy codec or stream a lossless flac. A dynamic script that reads the foobar database file and updates everything to MySQL in a remote administration interface. A platform independent Java client would search your database and cue files into a playlist according to a string or from a manually browsed menu. That way you could dedicate a linux thin-client to a jukebox!  Think: a jukebox specific distribution of linux...party mode etc.

Digital audio is definately heading this way. We have yet to see the marriage of Apache and Media Servers. All of the components exist they just havent been glued together yet. Setup would also be pretty intimidating to most but more and more people are willing to spend hours building a media setup in their homes/work places. What features would you also want?

 

organizing collections

Reply #10
jokull, the future is now (at least with audio - video is catching up). Check out slimserver and the softsqueeze application included with it.

 
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2019