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Full Version: How to display the playing playlist? + Bizarre screen blanking on music playback
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Very new to Kodi and am still lost in it a tad. But one thing that's throwing me is this screen blanking during music playback.

I've got a playlist playing, and there's this bizarre button with no name (as they all seem to lack pop up hints), but looks like this: Image

Has it got a name? I don't know, but if I click it takes me to a lovely page which shows me the playing song, its album cover and other useful stuff.

That'd great. But reliably after 5 seconds (yep, I've counted it many time, one thousand and eon, one thousand and two ...) this goes blank!

I can't for love or money find out why. There is no screen saver enabled. What gives?
I've looked and looked in Kodi, on-line, in the wiki, in FAQs and am still none the wiser.

I have a playlist playing music and I know this button: Image

takes me to a wonderful Now Playing page. Love it. But would love to see the playlist!

I can find no way to get to a view of it. Well not quite, here's what I do know:
  1. The web interface displays it without my even asking. Somehow it seems to know that's an obvious thing I'd want to see, but Kodi's own GUI doesn't?
  2. The Kore phone app. Simply has a sideswipe form Now Playing to Playlist and back. Nice.
  3. I can and did bind a key to "Show Playlist" using the Keymap editor addon (I used the q key) and then I could press q on the Now Playing page and a playlist shows. That was awesome to discover and see for the first time. But then all of a sudden (playing my first long playlist) it's stopped working. Grrr.
Why seeing the Playlist not easily and obviously at hand somehow, and what's with the flakey key assign?
(2019-08-20, 08:22)ThumbOne Wrote: [ -> ]I've looked and looked in Kodi, on-line, in the wiki, in FAQs and am still none the wiser.

I have a playlist playing music and I know this button: Image

takes me to a wonderful Now Playing page. Love it. But would love to see the playlist!

I can find no way to get to a view of it. Well not quite, here's what I do know:
  1. The web interface displays it without my even asking. Somehow it seems to know that's an obvious thing I'd want to see, but Kodi's own GUI doesn't?
  2. The Kore phone app. Simply has a sideswipe form Now Playing to Playlist and back. Nice.
  3. I can and did bind a key to "Show Playlist" using the Keymap editor addon (I used the q key) and then I could press q on the Now Playing page and a playlist shows. That was awesome to discover and see for the first time. But then all of a sudden (playing my first long playlist) it's stopped working. Grrr.
Why seeing the Playlist not easily and obviously at hand somehow, and what's with the flakey key assign?

Select "Go to playlist" from sidebar menu

Image
(2019-08-20, 10:35)jjd-uk Wrote: [ -> ]Select "Go to playlist" from sidebar menu

Image

I'm feeling a tad blind here. How to get that sidebar displayed. I see it nowhere on the Now Playing page. A bit lost.
(2019-08-20, 12:41)ThumbOne Wrote: [ -> ]I'm feeling a tad blind here. How to get that sidebar displayed. I see it nowhere on the Now Playing page. A bit lost.

From the Music section where you've selected the music to play, press left to open the sideblade menu which I'd assumed you already knew about as you had found

Image

which also resides there to open the music visualisation window, which is what I'm guessing you are referring to Now Playing.

Perhaps I'm not following what you want to know, so assuming I am at least correct in thinking what you call now playing is the music visualisation window. If it's to go back the the music selection windows once in now playing, then the tab key toggles in and out of there. If you want to see the playlist while now playing is open then this is not possible.
(2019-08-20, 08:14)ThumbOne Wrote: [ -> ]Very new to Kodi and am still lost in it a tad. But one thing that's throwing me is this screen blanking during music playback.

I've got a playlist playing, and there's this bizarre button with no name (as they all seem to lack pop up hints), but looks like this: Image

Has it got a name? I don't know, but if I click it takes me to a lovely page which shows me the playing song, its album cover and other useful stuff.

That'd great. But reliably after 5 seconds (yep, I've counted it many time, one thousand and eon, one thousand and two ...) this goes blank!

I can't for love or money find out why. There is no screen saver enabled. What gives?

That is the visualisation window and it will be blank because you've got no visualisation enabled or alternatively no artist artwork. The info bar automatically disappears to not cover visualizations and will automatically reappear on each track change before disappearing again. You can override this default behaviour by pressing I on keyboard or remote info button and then the info bar will display permanently, then to return to auto behaviour press I or info to dismiss info bar and it will auto appear/disappear on next track change.
(2019-08-20, 22:28)jjd-uk Wrote: [ -> ]That is the visualisation window and it will be blank because you've got no visualisation enabled or alternatively no artist artwork. The info bar automatically disappears to not cover visualizations and will automatically reappear on each track change before disappearing again. You can override this default behaviour by pressing I on keyboard or remote info button and then the info bar will display permanently, then to return to auto behaviour press I or info to dismiss info bar and it will auto appear/disappear on next track change.
Thanks. I took a look. I admit I find the whole thing very confusing and wish that I had some easy guide or help on F1 ;-)

I really appreciate your response because I took a look at settings. I'm still at aloss even how to describe what I'm doing. There's this odd button that I shared the image of above, let me call that the Now Playing button for now. When I press it I get a nice page show what is Now Playing. At bottom left of that is a gear icon, and up pops settings. On that is where I find the visualisation, and yes, none is set. But two options were set: Show fanart background and Animate background. I have no idea what either does (and gain where does one find the help/guide/documentation on that stuff?) but I turned them both off and returned to Now Playing and 5 seconds later what happened was not a blank screen (yay!) but just the controls disappeared on the bottom row of the screen is all, and if I move the mouse the reappear. That's fine.

So that problem is solved!

But, I press I on my keyboard (don't have a remote) nothing happens. So I experimented a bit. And think I finally worked something out. This Now Playing view has two modes.

Controls shown: which it starts with, and which it enters whenever I move the mouse, and it ends after 5 seconds inactivity after which it enters
No controls: the bottom row loses all controls and just shows the time total length and file format.

Now the I key does nothing when Controls shown, and when No controls it blanks the screen. And pressing I again returns.

From your description that blank screen is called "info bar". How so?
(2019-08-20, 13:15)jjd-uk Wrote: [ -> ]From the Music section where you've selected the music to play, press left to open the sideblade menu which I'd assumed you already knew about as you had found

Image

which also resides there to open the music visualisation window, which is what I'm guessing you are referring to Now Playing.

Perhaps I'm not following what you want to know, so assuming I am at least correct in thinking what you call now playing is the music visualisation window. If it's to go back the the music selection windows once in now playing, then the tab key toggles in and out of there. If you want to see the playlist while now playing is open then this is not possible.

Terminology sure is a hassle, and if there's a simple guide somewhere that I haven't found I'm happy to consult it. But I am a bit thrown I admit by how wildly complex Kodi UI seems to be, when its web interface and phone app are comparatively lucid and clear.

But yes if that button you pictures is the Visualisation window button then that is what we're talking about. When I click that it takes me here:

Image

(I have no idea how you get your images in-line BTW, I click the Image button on the form here and it demands a URL, so I have to upload an image to flikr etc, on github and other platforms today I can just paste an image and it goes inline like yours has).

Anyhow, as you can see where it takes me has a header on top row "Now playing ..."

Is that the Visualisation window?

What I consider the standard Kodi view probably has a name too and looks like this:

Image

and that's where I see the Visualisation button.

If on this view above I click an album then I end up here:

Image

Which is an album view, and finally here yes if I LEFT I can see that side bar! Also if I click Options on the bottom left I get the sidebar up.

But what puzzles me now is: is there not a global shortcut to jump to play playlist view? Surely no matter where I am, I might have the sudden urge to see what's on the playlist?

I mean both the web interface and the phone app Kore make it dead easy to see the playlist?

Now I have also learned something else puzzling. I noted above that I mapped the q key to "show playlist". And it was working and then not.

I've figured out why, or at least what is going on. The visualisation window (with Now playing... at top) has two modes: Controls and No Controls.

Controls are shown whenever the mouse moves or a key is hit. For me oddly too whenever I show Kodi (probably as I'm using my mouse and it notices mouse movement). After 5 seconds the controls disappear and I have No controls.

Now the q key works when No controls. It does not work with Controls.

Go figure. Leaves me yet again wondering if I can define a global shortcut to display the playlist.
As there is a lot of commonalty in what you are asking between your 2 threads I've taken the liberty of merging then and editing so the flow of posts makes sense by adding quotations where appropriate to show was a reply to what.
The first thing to convey is that Kodi is primarily design to be used on a device connected to a TV and controlled with a remote from a seating position several feet/meters away e.g. large screen lounge TV sat on sofa, my advice would to keep your hands off the mouse and use the keyboard as a remote.



In this video I attempt to show you the possibilities.

I start in the Album view, as I go over Queen Greatest Hits Vol 1 you should see artist artwork in background (this is fanart) this disappears when One Way of Life is selected.

I then move onto to queuing the Levellers and Queen album, I show this using the Context Menu (this is opened with C key) however when using keyboard it is quicker to use the Q key (for queue) with what you what to queue selected instead of the Context menu. Note - common keyboard shortcuts are shown at Keyboard_controls (wiki) and for the full list see https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/blob/master...yboard.xml

What to take away -keyboard not mouse.

At 0:32 I go left onto the sideblade menu (using left cursor key) then select Go to playlist, I can then see the album tracks I've just added.

What to take away - use cursor keys to navigate not mouse.

At 0:48 I select the 4 way arrow icon to go fullscreen into the Visualisation window and initially the Info Bar is shown (album art - album title - track title). Using the GUI button is the slow way, to quickly enter the fullscreen Visualisation window use the keyboard TAB key.

What to take away - use TAB key to quickly enter and leave fullscreen Visualisation window

At 0:59 the Info Bar hide leaving black screen. This is what I guess you mean by bizarre screen blanking. Using purely a keyboard the I key can be use to toggle the display of the Info Bar which is shown next in the video.

What to take away - Use I key to toggle Info Bar. Pressing I with no Info Bar shown result in Info Bar being permanently displayed, pressing I Info Bar shown will dismiss it and return to auto behavior of only displaying on track change.

At 1:13 the Menu Bar (playback controls + settings) appears from be using the keyboard M key again the display of this can be toggle using the M key.

What to take away - Use M key to toggle Menu Bar.
Pressing M with no Info or Menu Bar shown result in Menu Bar being permanently displayed
Pressing I with Menu Bar shown result in only Info Bar shown (press I again to dismiss)
Pressing M with Menu Bar dismisses it.


At 1:25 I toggle in and out of the fullscreen Visualisation window by using the keyboard TAB key. When exiting fullscreen Visualisation window it always goes back to where you were in the music listings so in this example the Music Playlist.

What to take away - use TAB key to exit and go back to playlist (assume that's where you were before entering fullscreen Visualisation window

At 1:33 You will then see me scroll down to Queen tracks then at 1:38 when I highlight the 1st Queen track you will see again the artist fanart background appear.

What to take away -Again I'm using keyboard cursor arrow keys to navigate

At 1:49 I enter fullscreen Visualisation window again and this time you will see it's different. As artist fanart is available this is displayed as the background, this is one of the reasons for the default auto behaviour of the Info Bar so the fanart is not obscured.

What to take away - what gets set as a background in fullscreen Visualisation window depends on if there is any artist fanart associated with the playing artist in the Kodi database

At 2:27 I navigate to Add-ons.

At 2:40 I go to Visualisations in add-on repo to install Milkdrop visualisation addon. Note - I'm using Windows, how this is done and what visualisations are shown may vary depending on the OS you are using.

What to take away - visualisation do not come package with Kodi so they need to be installed to be available for selection

At 3:05 I enable the Mildrop visualisation in Settings. Immediately you'll see visualisation start as a background.

What to take away - visualisation desired to be used needs to be enabled in Settings

At 3:17 I go back to music, then the playlist then at 3:28 to full screen Visualisation window (used GUI this time could have used TAB key instead). Now you see I have artist fanart backgroud with visualisation over top and initially Info Bar shown.

At 3:40 I TAB back to playlist and go back to a Levellers track then at 3:47 to full screen Visualisation window again. Since as shown before there is no artist fanart only the visualisation is displayed, thus when Info Bar auto hides you see the visualisation take up the fullscreen.

What to take away - if there is artist fanart the visualisation overlays it, if there is no artist fanart then only visualisation is displayed.

At 3:59 Then I start skipped tracks to show Info Bar is displayed on track change.

At 4:27 Then I TAB out of full screen Visualisation window and switch to a Queen track again.

At 5:07 Then bring up Menu Bar go to Settings then disable fanart with "Show Fanart background" toggle, thus only visualisation is displayed.

What to take away - you can display only the visualisation if you have artist fanart if you find the 2 together too busy/messy
In case you're wondering where the fanart comes from.

Adding Music to Kodi is a 3 step process.

1. Add music folders.
2. Scan music folders then Library is built from any embedded file tags.
3. Scrape additional info such as artwork from the internet.

For a complete walkthrough see HOW-TO:Create_Music_Library (wiki) this includes the scraping step to get the artwork Scraping_Music (wiki)

My Levellers album wasn't found by the scraper which is why that has no artist fanart, as this is only on the desktop I used to test with I haven't bothered correcting it.

Perhaps also see Quick_start_guide (wiki) and Basic_controls (wiki)
Absolutely stunning!

Your patience is exemplary and I offer you kudos and great thanks. I have learned much, not least terms like Info Bar (I would never have thought of that full screen thing as bar) and Menu bar. And a whole pile of use cases.

Part of where I ran aground is FYI that I actually select the songs to play using my phone and the Kore app because it has an excellent search tool that again as far as I call the Kodi GUI lacks (I installed a Global Search addon but it searches globally, the Kore app searches Music if I've selected music). And so when I when to the Kodi GUI it's mainly to explore in in particular I have to admit that my current use case is driven by exploring the Music IP Mixer addon script (I am a die hard fan of Music IP and in fact my deep love of it is no small part of the reason I am on Kodi now because I found someone had written a Music IP mixer addon!). Anyhow, that script is interesting int hat it has one clear bug that I'm exploring (upskilling myself so I might be able to fix it if it's in fact fixable).

On Kore I can find a song easily (which I can't do on the GUI as I break the designed for use case, and don't have a screen it's on nor am I sitting on a sofa with a remote, I'm out and about doing stuff and just putting music on) , and then I can play it easily and then run this script easily which builds a 75 song long playlist based on that seed song. It is a much much better mixer than the LastFM one, though I have that addon ready to explore too mainly to learn about addon writing and study how it works - again I am moving away from Guayadeque as a music player - which implements the LastFM playlist builder to Kodi specifically to explore Music IP again, I miss it, though I am winning much other awesomeness Kodi offers in the deal too, the phone app, the web interface).

But when I do this (and I can do it easily in the Chorus web interface too), the 74 songs after the seed song are listed simply as long, unintelligible file paths. Totally broken rendering.

So I explored what was going on by visiting the Kodi GUI, and I spent ages trying to find a playlist there! This was the source of my frustrations. You see the GUI now was on the home page and I could the playing song in top right, but no way to get to a play list. So I Googled and experimented and played around and the best I could. In that process I discovered the four arrow button and the visualisation window and my first confusion (it kept blanking) and second, that there was no way to get from there to a playlist ...

And here we are. I certainly think Kodi could use a little cleaning up in that space. It's so easy in your video, because the playlist is easily available when your building it and then TAB takes you to the visualization and back to the playlist. It is in fact slick in that use case! But I suspect my use case is not invalid and unusual (of queuing music using Kore). What is odd about my use case is wanting to come back to the GUI having done that. Now here's teh crunch as to why I currently have to do that:

It turns out that if I display the playlist in the GUI it is properly rendered! Yay. It visibly thinks a bit and says it's off to do so, and is no double scanning all those files in the playlist for their metadata Title, Artist and Art (one presumes in a database not on disk). But here's the deal: Having done that the playlist on the Kore app is now rendered well! And on the Chorus web interface! Yay.

Still, what this means is my current modus operandi while I investigate fixing this (if a script can can ask Kodi to do this, collect the playlist metadata without my having to view the playlist on the GUI), is to make a mix on Kore then go to my PC, and view the playlist. Then I go about my business listening to top music in a great mix.

Now, obvious questions that remain from your demo are:
  1. Given how incredibly disorienting that blank screen is how does one go about scraping ones entire music collection for fan art to act as a backdrop there? It would seem to be a recomended practice. I have the Universal Album and Artist scrapers already. And I can't see a fanart one.

  2. Wouldn't it still be a pretty groovy thing if there was a global key for showing the playlist, much like TAB goes tot he visualisation. Something like that to got to the Playlist?

  3. I'd still love it if you showed me how to get images in-line in forum posts here. Bamboozles me why you can do that and I can't find a way ;-)
Thank you so so so much for patience and support! You cut an example that inspires the rest of us I am sure (me at least).
Ok back to some basic.

Have you created a Music Library by scanning your music files, see Adding_music_to_the_library (wiki) (part of the HOW TO I linked to before). I think this because of:

Quote:But when I do this (and I can do it easily in the Chorus web interface too), the 74 songs after the seed song are listed simply as long, unintelligible file paths. Totally broken rendering.

Quote:It turns out that if I display the playlist in the GUI it is properly rendered! Yay. It visibly thinks a bit and says it's off to do so

Which suggest to me you might be using Kodi in a folder/file browsing mode only (which may also be the reason you struggle to find stuff).

Unfortunately I've never used any of the mobile install remote apps such as Kore, so can't help you with that, but you should be able to everything from the app, perhaps also try the unofficial YATSE remote.
That's the 'fullscreen' button by the way used when you have music or video playing in the background and want to go to the visualisation or fullscreen video.
(2019-08-21, 14:23)ThumbOne Wrote: [ -> ][*]Wouldn't it still be a pretty groovy thing if there was a global key for showing the playlist, much like TAB goes tot he visualisation. Something like that to got to the Playlist?

I mainly use the Confluence skin and hadn't noticed 4 arrow fullscreen icon Image at the top of the Estuary skin before. I now see why you hadn't the sideblade menu before

From the Home screen, all you need to do to access the playlist is select Music from Home menu, then once in Music section the sideblade menu is immediately available on left at the Music top level from which you can access the Go to playlist button.

There is also another toggle button I didn't mention before for fear of overloading you. While in the fullscreen Visualisation window the N keyboard key will take you straight to music playlist, then press N again will return you to fullscreen Visualisation window. It is also possible to specify a global key to go to the music playlist, there just isn't one included by default.

The action you want is https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/blob/master...d.xml#L464

Code:
ActivateWindow(MusicPlaylist)

That is defined only in the <Visualisation> and <MusicOSD> parts of the default keymap so what you need is a new entry in the <global> section by either changing the action of a existing keymap or create a new one for an unused key.
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