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Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - Pazzoppe - 2016-12-10

At present the Kodi library is limited to the basic mp3tags. I consider these far too limited to do a quick selection and want to add my own tags.

Example: how can I differentiate between ten recordings of artists playing Chopin preludes, or find the right version between the dozens of live performances of a Stones number?
In my music cabinet I make this selection based on location of the CD and often also based on the side color of the box. I typically forget where a specific performance was given (was it Fillmore, Atlanta, Carnegie hall, etc).

My ideal solution would be a graphic drag/drop and swipe solution allowing me to "throw" any albums or songs in a database folder that I tag in my own way ("poor recording", "best performance", "old albums").
I'd like to be able to browse the library/database using keywords or quickly swipe through my music "cabinet" in the same way I browse through my digital shelves with e-books or search my image collection based on the name of a friend or any other tag that I've created for an item in the image.

We know that Google/Picasa etc can easily do this for images and books, Why not for audio?
Kodi has a lite database function so why not expand this with custom tags or meta words allowing for better filtering. From my perspective there does not need to be a compatibility with the limited mp3 tags. It may also be implemented using a hashtag option within one of the mp3tag fields, such as under comments. In that case I can filter using #great#live#stones#satis, for example to find the songs I am looking for.

Am I overlooking something and does this already exist?


RE: Additional custom library feature - Tippon - 2016-12-10

There is a comment box in ID2 tags for mp3, so that may cover it. I'll be back on my computer in about half an hour, so I'll check if there's anything else that might be suitable


RE: Additional custom library feature - Tippon - 2016-12-10

Sorry, I missed where you mentioned the comment tag earlier. There are Artist, Album Artist, Composer, and Conductor fields too, but none of them will be completely useful for what you want


RE: Additional custom library feature - DaveBlake - 2016-12-10

It does not exist yet, but something similar has been asked for before, and I have been giving it some thought.
(See thread http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=29569)

In my own music library I have abused the genre tag - using it for any meta-words I want not just genres - to achieve some kind of custom tagging available via Kodi music navigation, but that is not ideal (makes for a big genre list too).

My mission is to make my music collection as accessible via Kodi, now it is all on a NAS drive, as it was as many CDs on shelves. In theory, with full database search capability it should be better than CDs on shelves ever was e.g. find all the songs with Stevie Wonder laying harmonica. But IMO it isn't there yet in other ways, so I am listening Smile

The downside with doing any meta-word tagging inside Kodi is much the same as playcount or scoring is now, drop the source you lose the data and can't use it in other media players. So I would choose to either custom tag the music files themselves (using a tagging tool), and get Kodi to handle those, or ensure there was a flexible import/export from the Kodi library.

Maybe we talk some more?


RE: Additional custom library feature - Pazzoppe - 2016-12-11

Thanks for your useful insights.

For me, portability isn't much of an issue. The browsing advantage of customizing my 15,000 song audio library outweighs the limitation when I use a different Kodi engine. I envision that each audio file name connects into a library dataset composed of the ID3tags associated with that file and any other custom tags I create. The database may also have custom 'domains', such as 'harmonica' which contain pointers to audio files. Porting this info to a different Kodi engine can be done via an XML or other (csv) export/import mechanism. If I connect one of my 256G USB audio sticks to a friend's Kodi player I envision the system may allow me to import the associated library file.

Portability to other players could be more of an issue, but if the library export (xml, csv or whatever) format is clear than any other player could include a similar export/import mechanism.
It would be nice if part or all of it could be included as a string in the audio ID3/Vorbis structure. Currently I see the Comments field as candidate: it has 30 characters in its simplest form and usually is blank. A hashtag-string sequence (#harmonica) could be inserted into this field allowing sophisticated media players to include the comments field to filter and sort information, somewhat similar to what you do when you tag your video uploads in Youtube. A search engine will do the rest.

The graphic approach is key. On my tablet and smartphone I can create multiple screens each providing a group of apps that I'd like to use together (e.g. a travel screen with maps, hotel booking info, language apps, etc.). Why not do the same for audio, so a screen for piano music, one for 20th century compositions, one for jazz, etc. Within each screen I'd like to move albums/songs (album art) around so I could start with 1930's jazz on the left side and contemporary jazz on the right side: an audio gallery.

We're almost in 2017: It takes me just a few seconds to find pictures of my favorite pet in my image library (with whatever tags I created stored in exif) but that for audio files this is limited to a bunch of text in fixed fields.
I'm sure we can do better than that?


Visual Browsing feature - Pazzoppe - 2016-12-15

Compare the present media player software to going to a museum or a department store and being forced to browse their collection online at the entrance.

If you always know what you want you probably prefer this, but if you want to be inspired or simply want to browse through ten different versions of a single product, a visual display is essential.
Even though you may be searching for a specific artwork or product you may suddenly see something you forgot about and decide you want to know more about it.

I want to do the same thing with my collection of 15,000 music pieces (which, by the way, is in the same ballpark as a museum or supermarket inventory).

I cannot believe that present database and graphics developers can only come up with a 1990's lookup table rather than a 'browsing experience'.

Cheers


RE: Additional custom library feature - DaveBlake - 2016-12-15

I'll agree that portability of any custom data to other media players is not really Kodi's problem. Output as xml perhaps and let others workout if and how they can use it. But permanance (portability between Kodi versions and different installations) is important. If you spend time flagging items in some way using Kodi then you want to be able to keep/transfer that information.

Given that both ID3 and Vorbis tagging allows for custom tags, there really is no need to hijack the comment tag for this purpose. Turning separate custom tags into a hash-tag string is also easy, should we need to output a string rather than individual tag values. Also as separate custom tags some could develop into future standard ones via common use.

I am increasingly excited about the idea of Kodi making use of custom tags (in the music files) to enhance the library browsing experience. Where I pause, for thought and other input, is how much "hash-tag" management we do from the Kodi UI? At the moment only playcount and rating are entered via the UI, so this would be a vast expansion of Kodi functionality into media management. It does go hand in hand with the tag processing and library creation that Kodi already does, also the video library already has a "tag" facility for TV shows. But how many users will want to spend time organising their music in Kodi in ways that only Kodi can use?

The other big question is whether the kind of UI opperation you suggest fit the general Kodi UI philosophy of being a "10ft interface". You mention tablets and smartphones, not 55" TV controled by a TV remote, and the UI requirements differ between these devices. I'm not saying it doesn't, just that it needs to be considered.

I'm not sure it is fair to call the current UI a 1990's lookup table! And if it were just that then I would get more than 10 items in a list at a time (I so wish that the lists were just lists). Most skins have embraced the wall of icons approach to displaying things. But while being graphical and not a "1990's lookup", it does not provide an easy and pleasing access to thousands of items. Whether you show images, just text or a mix, what makes browsing a positive experience is providing a natural way to navigate quickly to subsets of those items most of interest at that time. Coming from the data side of things, it is this last part that interests me.

I can see the analogy between online grocery shopping and music selection, but doesn't Kodi library navigation already fit the department store model? Genre > Artist > Album > Song nodes. Moreover you can create your own "departments" using smart playlists or custom nodes.

For inspiring you with things you have forgotten there are random album and artist widgets on the home music page in Estuary (not sure about other skins). I guess genre specific versions of these could be nice.

What does your "museaum entrance" look like that differs from these things? I'm inviting more details, not objecting Smile

AFAIK the supermarket shopping web site does not let you rearrange the store, but what we are discussing in original posts as the addition of custom tagging (via music file tags and possibly with editing in UI) is the ability to do just that. So I think we want to move beyond the museam/supermarket analogy of your last post. When I get to the museum of my music collection I may want to head for a genre, or a style of music, or an artist, or things I have flagged as "female vocal", or something I haven't played for ages, or some combination of those.

Saying all that I am reminded that via NFO one can set the style, theme and mood of an album via NFO. Maybe what is needed is a codefication of these values, and a UI navigation from them much like genre? And I guess you would ask for a UI means to edit rather than editing NFO files. Yet custom tagging would open that up entirely - not limited to just style, theme and mood but any kind of tag you like.

I am going to edit the title of this thread to see if we can attract input on how desireable custom tagging is for other users


RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - HomerJau - 2016-12-18

I use an iPad to browse, filter and search my 1000+ album collection using the Kodi Music Remote app.

That really improves the user experience and maybe using a tablet such as an iPad to do the UI is a way forward, especially if it can handle the various tags mentioned here.

If you have an iOS device it's worth playing with the Pro version. Hopefully the developer will support other devices moving forward.

http://www.kodimusicremote.com/apps/kodi-music-remote-pro


RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - DaveBlake - 2016-12-18

Actually I use a tablet to browse/control my music playing too, I don't want the TV on to listen to music. My finger on an app is also faster than the simple buttons on a remove too.

But the JSON API interface largely mimics the way you can navigate in the Kodi UI, and offers a subset of Kodi UI functionality. Apps are still tied to what Kodi can do and the data that it holds. So I figure that any changes need to be made first in Kodi (both UI and API), and then if what you can do on your TV screen is really good the remote app devs will adopt any useful ideas (and present them even better). For example both Kodi UI and remote apps offer Genre > Artist (or Album) > Album > Song navigation. The idea in the OP would suggest also having "Hash-tag" > Artist > Album > Song, where hash-tag is any user defined thing. An even broader idea would be to be able to set multiple filters e.g. genre, style hash-tag = "Carnegie hall" or whatever and then see and be able to move about the artists, albums and songs that match the criteria.

Maybe remote apps can already do some of this? I don't know I haven't tried them all (a fruit free household). Perhaps the future is a headless Kodi? Meanwhile what can I do for v18?


RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - HomerJau - 2016-12-18

If the app can get to the hash data then no problem. I can see how it could be done.

Actually that could all be done outside Kodi, especially since Kodi doesn't know about the hash. The app could deal with it all and use the current JSON API to play (or add to the playlist).


RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - Uatschitchun - 2016-12-19

For a better music experience, besides custom tags, it would be nice to have the possibility to get to items more straight and direct.
It would be nice to jump directly to the album or artist of currently playing song, to look at the album or other albums from this artist. Maybe even genre or custom tags could be included

When playing a real CD or Vinyl, I'm not only viewing the front cover, but am able to turn the cover to see the track list.

Picking up the museum idea, I would surely like to look left and right of the current item found. Maybe head for something I know and get inspired from there...

Up to know I haven't found a quick and intuitive way to get to 'relations' of what I'm currently playing. Examples are:
* show releases of same genre and year
* show albums of same artist
etc

Sorting music in "hardware", I never would expect Jazz in the same space as Metal. Genres are nice, but the discussions on genres is well known (could be just 5-10 or 500-1000). So custom tags come in handy here, having some main genres within custom tags like 'Rock' (which sums up Hardrock, Postrock, Metal, Punk for me), Jazz (New Jazz, Experimental, Swing, etc)...

My main problem with music in Kodi (and with all tag based players like Ipod fi) is that there's no way of 'own ordering' my music. Databases are a nice to have, like catalogs in museums are, but the art displayed in a museum isn't unordered.

Widgets are nice, too. But even there I haven't found a way to 'jump' to a random album displayed in a random albums widget, but only am able to play that album. If I like to draw a path from there, I start listening to a random album, I have to be able to get to wherever I'm inspired from by that album in a quick and intuitive manner. It even takes "millions" of buttons to get to the current playlist...

In a museum I'm able to start and go on from there. Head left for photography or right for paintings. Head for the upper floor to see more experimental or contemporary art or downstairs to see Mona Lisa :-)


RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - tkgafs - 2016-12-19

going with the museum idea, i group some things by using the album artist tag

for example classical albums have artist tag set correctly but the album artist is set to "Classical - ArtistName"

do similar for jazz, reggae, christmas etc so when browsing through the album listings they are grouped together but you can still look by artist if required

watch gallery



RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - DaveBlake - 2016-12-19

(2016-12-18, 21:48)HomerJau Wrote: If the app can get to the hash data then no problem. I can see how it could be done.

Actually that could all be done outside Kodi, especially since Kodi doesn't know about the hash. The app could deal with it all and use the current JSON API to play (or add to the playlist).

An app is more likely to provide the kind of "move about" UI the OP wanted than the "10ft interface" with TV remote. An app could add such hash tag functionality now. But for poratbility and persistence it would better to have the data inside the music library, not just in the app copy.


RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - DaveBlake - 2016-12-19

(2016-12-19, 11:26)tkgafs Wrote: going with the museum idea, i group some things by using the album artist tag
for example classical albums have artist tag set correctly but the album artist is set to "Classical - ArtistName"
I can see your reasoning, but abusing the album artist tag this way you lose all the nice things you could do with artist. Not an approach I would encourage.

Instead an "order by genre" option would be an easy and usefull addition?


RE: Custom tagging & library navigation - how can browsing be improved? - DaveBlake - 2016-12-19

(2016-12-19, 10:21)Rusendusen Wrote: For a better music experience, besides custom tags, it would be nice to have the possibility to get to items more straight and direct.
It would be nice to jump directly to the album or artist of currently playing song, to look at the album or other albums from this artist. Maybe even genre or custom tags could be included
Agreed. Bi-driectional navigation e.g. having selected a song link to the album (maybe even albums if you have compilations too and mbids to identify the recording), or artist(s) etc. or from album to artist etc.

Quote:When playing a real CD or Vinyl, I'm not only viewing the front cover, but am able to turn the cover to see the track list.
Do you mean having more than one image per album? Or having a songs list in a panel when an album is selected on album node?

Quote:Picking up the museum idea, I would surely like to look left and right of the current item found. Maybe head for something I know and get inspired from there...

Up to now I haven't found a quick and intuitive way to get to 'relations' of what I'm currently playing. Examples are:
* show releases of same genre and year
* show albums of same artist
etc
I get the idea, but how would we define "related" items? Surely we need to let the user choose the criteria? But interesting.

Quote:Sorting music in "hardware", I never would expect Jazz in the same space as Metal. Genres are nice, but the discussions on genres is well known (could be just 5-10 or 500-1000). So custom tags come in handy here, having some main genres within custom tags like 'Rock' (which sums up Hardrock, Postrock, Metal, Punk for me), Jazz (New Jazz, Experimental, Swing, etc)...
I do think users need to get control of genre, certainly in what they tag. Scraping online genres for artists and albums can resuklt in a mess too - do any of us agree on genre? I want to get Kodi to propagate song genre into artist genre, and allow the user to refuse the scraped values that come with other nice things like biogs. I also wonder about having a genre / sub genre relationship, sort out the Hardrock, Postrock, Soft-rock etc.

What I am saying is that we tackle the genre mess independantly of having a hash-tag or custom tag facility.

Quote:My main problem with music in Kodi (and with all tag based players like Ipod fi) is that there's no way of 'own ordering' my music. Databases are a nice to have, like catalogs in museums are, but the art displayed in a museum isn't unordered.
It is the database that makes ordering possible, although Kodi only offering a limited variety at the moment (and has some odd bugs). But what do you mean by "own ordering"?

Quote:Widgets are nice, too. But even there I haven't found a way to 'jump' to a random album displayed in a random albums widget, but only am able to play that album. If I like to draw a path from there, I start listening to a random album, I have to be able to get to wherever I'm inspired from by that album in a quick and intuitive manner. It even takes "millions" of buttons to get to the current playlist...

In a museum I'm able to start and go on from there. Head left for photography or right for paintings. Head for the upper floor to see more experimental or contemporary art or downstairs to see Mona Lisa :-)
Agreed. From any item, any where (nodes, widgets etc.) you want to be able to play, but also go to related items and chose that relationship e.g. other items by artist, other songs on that album etc., other items that genre, other items that year, other items that genre and year, other items with same hash-tag or combination of tags.

Keep the ideas comming.


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