The Music 'rethink' Thread
great to see a thread which is watched by the dev - thank you.

I use kodi only for music on a tablet, simply because it is beautiful to scan through artists, albums, ratings, ...
Everything tagged (picard) and on a nas via nfs or smb (WD myCloud), network is 1Gb/s, tablet (galaxy tab 2 10") is wlan,
audio out is direct cable connection to amp.

Fields of enhancments:

1) use a circular buffer in memory of (adaptive or configurable size) around 15 minutes of music, or something like the actual plus the next 1~2 songs.
This should be no problem on any device or any preload of a 10~15 minutes song with any music codec. Keep the buffer filled.

In my environment I have horrible stuttering every few seconds whenever I touch something like adding songs to playlist, scrolling through albums
etc. or simply while playing. Only kodi running on the tablet.
It is definitly no fun to listen to music! Other tools like sambaplayer, which is specialzed in playing smb network contents, has absolutly never ever
problems with stuttering. It simply take a very few seconds to start the very first song. But I like the UI of kodi much better.

I understand that scrolling through albums or artists scans database or reads files over the network from nas, but playing uninterruppted music
is priority number one.

2) clarify filenames and search order for albumart, cdart, artistart, playlistart, ...

Is is AlbumArt.JPG or albumart.jpg or album.png or Folder.jpg ... and plugins even add confusion to that ...

I can dream of clear information on
- case (natural alphabetical/ascii/UTF sort, uppercase before lowercase - searching case insensitive)
- extension (prefer .png for transparency, then jpg, ...)
- path inside directorystructure of artist/album/disc/song or subfolder and/or single directory for eg. genreart, playlistart, yearart, ... <artist>-<album>.png, <playlist>.jpg <year>.jpg
- native support for more than one picture (without plugins) like artist1.jpg, artist2.jpg, ... (sort numbers by number , eg. 1,2,3... 9,10,11, 12... not 1,10,11,2,20,21,3,4,...)
- native support for cycling fanart
- configure display of albumart [in album] artistart [in artist] genreart [ in genre], playlistart [in playlist], ...
*) native support: means running with Estuary and Estouchy.

3) enhance playlisteditor
- move title(s) up/down
- mark several items to move/delete/add
- concat playlists
- verify playlist that all included tracks are reachable (are not deleted or moved)

I am very happy if you consider looking into my suggestions, and absolutly happy with a hint on approving my top problem - circular buffer to prevent stuttering play back
Feel free to ask questions - thank you!

I agree about the buffering, but it's not at clear how music (or video) buffering actually works in Kodi.
A few years ago, people argued that network speed was the issue, but many will testify that it's not always about overall throughput, but overcoming temporary transients in network throughput.

As for the artwork, the flexibility offered by Kodi is also one of its weaknesses, as you can usually supply artwork in a number of ways and use a number of filenames - and as you say, sometimes it can be hard to discover the order of precedence if there is a conflict / multiple artwork.

Definitely agree with the playlist editing - up and down / ordering.
As far as art, Kodi currently uses (for library items) the concept of "arttype". It comes pre-configured with fanart, poster, and thumb (and will scan for these as part of library scanning). Additional "arttypes" can be added via add-ons or the UI. Skins can display art by specifying the arttype to display. There is in addition the concept of "icon" which is context-dependent.

scott s.
maintainer of skin  Aeon MQ5 mods for post-Gotham Kodi releases:
Matrix see: Aeon MQ5 Mod Martix release thread
Leia see: Aeon MQ5 Mod Leia release thread
@harvey637: I'm running Kodi on an Intel NUC and using the Kodi Music Remote app on my iPad and I can browse artists/albums with images, search, create a playlist, view artist info, album covers, edit a playlist (remove song, insert song next or last, change order of songs etc) all while playing music (or watching a music video) without any stutter or delay in Kodi.

The Kodi Music Remote app also has an internal web browser to view Wikipedia, Amazon etc directly for the current Artist, Album or song. It's a really nice app for playing music with Kodi but IOS only:

The album covers and artist photos are cached on the iPad and it works with any skin.

I am currently using the Aeon Nox Silvio skin with the ArtistSlideShow addon which does a great job of finding artist fanart and displayed the slideshow on my Kodi screen (NUC to 65" TV). If you have tagged your music there's not much else you need to do except configure a few options in the Skin and in the ArtistSlideShow addon.

good point!

My preference is to keep running systemcount low, because of noise, temperature, power consumption, hardware costs, updates frequency, time spent to keep the system running, failures, backups, ...
So a full NUC plus IPAD consumes more standby power and is quite expensive ... just to play some music :-)

This use case may be perfect for this equipment and this equipment might be perfect for this usage, but it looks like overkill to me.

Mine is a 2 TB WD MyClound NAS with 8W power consumption and ~100€ plus a galaxytab 2 10", some hours/week charging and ~60€. Or even a 2.5" disk attatched to my router, ~zero extra power, zero maintenance.
Opulent and performance consuming skins are not necessary, estouchy is fully touch optimized, and I can (in theory) take full advantage of the nice UI of estouchy. I dont need to
switch on a 65" flatscreen just to start a playlist or select a song, everything is on this galaxy tab, native in the kodi android app (v1.7beta).

Other apps, namely sambaplayer, have absolutely never ever any problems with stuttering on my same tablet, simply because of a simple circular buffer. Stuttering has nothing to do with
network speed or bandwidth, my tablet is also capable of playing full-HD videos from the same nas over wlan. From my experience stutterung only originates from the way kodi fetches
the next audiosamples on the fly without considerung something as short spikes of progamm or network activity parallel to an audio playback.

Using a circular buffer im memory makes is easy for the playback thread to fetch the next audiosamples fast, while the filling thread can insert larger blocks with minimal network overhead
and no short lived timing constraints. It is simply easier and much more efficient to read several kilobyte in one block than near relatime small samples.
Even a high power device can spent more time for tasks, that might affect seamless playback, like importing and scanning of libraries, exports, ...

So my only intention is to point out, that a small circular buffer in memory makes it easy to play uninterrupted audio or also videostreams on non high-end hardware.

Thank You for keeping this rethink thread active!

I would be happy with nothing more than long titles scrolling like long movie titles do.
Jon Heal
Have a nice day!
KODI 16.1 (Amber skin) on Windows 10 | Ancient HP dc-7800 refurbished business desktop | 3.00 GHz Core 2 Quad | 8 GB RAM | Movie Collection: MPEG-2 DVD rips and H.264 Blu-ray rips | Music Collection: FLAC and mp3 | Collections accessed via SMB from a NAS4Free server running in a VMware virtual machine on the same box
Thanks for the posts....I am getting a bit closer to a solution. If anyone has an example of an NFO that could allow the following, PLEASE feel free to chime in.

The obstacle is creating an NFO file that somehow establishes that multiple MP4 files, with different artists/titles are organized into a single compendium under my MOVIE collection

Title: 80’s New Wave Collection (with my original key art jpeg). This is the proposed “Title” of the collection, appearing in the movies section
File 1: DEVO – Through Being Cool.mp4
File 2: Yello – Oh Yeah.mp4
File 3: Missing Persons – Walking in LA.mp4


How would I create an NFO that could stack the files so that they appear in a specific playlist order, all with a movie title, “80’s New Wave Collection”? Almost like a "Best of..." DVD

It’s likely something simple that I am overlooking, but I cannot seem to find it. Thanks, again!

Jake R.
(2017-02-07, 09:29)Gweilojake Wrote: Thanks for the posts....I am getting a bit closer to a solution...

Put all your '80's New Wave Collection' into a folder with that name.

Then create an NFO file for each media file (named same as the file but with .nfo extension) - with this content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<title>DEVO – Through Being Cool</title>
<album>80's New Wave Collection</album>
<genre>New Wave</genre>

'Track' is the sequence you want to see the files in.

'Album' is how all the music videos are grouped together.

My Music Media Helper will create the NFOs automatically and also create m3u playlists for music videos (Kodi will play them ok)

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