Listing composers of classical music

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MuseChaser Offline
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Post: #1
Hi, all..

I'm new to Kodi, and loving it so far although it's been a semi-painful "birth." Started out using JRiver 21 for ripping and tagging my classical and jazz CD collection (about 1000 discs) to FLAC files then transfering them to an NAS, and using RuneAudio on a Pi3/HifiBerryDac and Daphile on an ancient Netbook w/ DacMagic DAC for playback via my network in two different audio rooms. Works and sounds great. RuneAudio is a VERY simple, rudimentary web-based interface, but Daphile (also w/ web-based headless control) is very flexible, as is JRiver, and I can do with both what I'm about to ask you about in regards to Kodi...

I have a fairly extensive classical music collection and make sure that every file has a "Composer" tag; this, above all, is the prime organizational tag for classical music. I use the "genre" tag for just that; jazz, jazz-vocal, jazz-fusion, Classical-Renaissance, Classical-Baroque, blah blah blah. All that works great. The catch is, no matter what genre I click on in Kodi (and Rune.. but that's neither here nor there), the albums are then listed by artist. Not real helpful. I have a tag for Composer and they are all accurate. Is there a way w/in Kodi to display albums by "Composer?"

I read the other four-page thread discussing suggestions and implementations to improve browsing, but my eyes kind of glazed over.. I couldn't find any specific "how-to's" but a lot of "wouldn't it be great ifs".... I also did some searching on this forum and the web in general before bothering you all with my question.

Soo.. Is there a way to set up Kodi so that I can click on a specific genre and choose to have the next screen display composers, rather than artists?

Thanks very much, in advance, for any suggestions. I tried Kodi 17 first, but didn't have as much luck w/ it as I did 16, so I'm using 16 now on a Raspberry Pi3 running LibreElec, and also have Kodi 16 installed on an Ubuntu desktop. To be honest, I'm not sure which build of 16, but I can check if it's important.

Best to all!
(This post was last modified: 2017-02-10 10:25 by DaveBlake.)
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DaveBlake Offline
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Post: #2
(2017-02-08 22:36)MuseChaser Wrote:  Is there a way w/in Kodi to display albums by "Composer?"

...Is there a way to set up Kodi so that I can click on a specific genre and choose to have the next screen display composers, rather than artists?

I tried Kodi 17 first, but didn't have as much luck w/ it as I did 16, so I'm using 16 now on a Raspberry Pi3 running LibreElec, and also have Kodi 16 installed on an Ubuntu desktop. To be honest, I'm not sure which build of 16, but I can check if it's important.
Yes, but only starting in v17

Not sure what your lack of "luck" was or what build you tried, but LE 7.95.2 includes v17.0 with a full relase imminent. I have been running the recent beta of LE on RPi3 for the family system with great success. I encourage you to give LE another go, or if you really don't like betas in anyway then wait a week or so (no promises) for the full release.

Krypton processes the composer tag along with others such as conductor, and all the musician credit tags. It is a new feature, and quite flexible, but also needs some work from the user to shape the feature to their exact needs.

So install v17, scan your music files into the library and then....

1) On the music library menu is a "roles" item. Under that there is a default node that lists all composers. Rather tucked away, but composers not seen as main stream requirement. There is also "Conductors" (if you have tagged those).

You possibly will have composers for non-classical music tagged, so a mixed list of composers may be too much.

2) To see just classical composers, or even more specific genre create a custom node. You can do this via the Node Editor addon or manually editing xml files.
Code:
<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<node order="13" type="folder" visible="Library.HasContent(Role, Composer)">
    <label>Classical Composers All</label>
    <path>musicdb://artists/?role=Composer&genre=Classical&albumartistsonly=false</path>
</node>

3) You can also create "artists" type smart playlists with rules including role = "Composer" etc.

Very brief description, I hope that you will try it out and see.
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MuseChaser Offline
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Post: #3
Dave!

Wow.. thanks so much for the incredibly helpful reply. I'm not exactly an old pro (more like a newborn idiot) w/ Linux and Pi stuff, but I'll give it a shot. Am I correct in assuming that if I power off my Pi3 then just swap cards (with the new LE/Kodi 17 build on a new card), that going back to my old Kodi 16 installation if necessary would be as simple as putting the old card back in (after powering down of coruse), and that all of my current configurations and library would still be there? If so.. then I'll DEFINITELY go ahead and take all of your suggestions!

Thanks again!

Barry
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DaveBlake Offline
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Post: #4
Yeap, swapping cards will do it without risk of loss. It does mean that you will have to go though settings and adding sources, creating the library etc. from scratch on the v17 build, but have a go, nothing to loose. Smile

There is a default skin change between v16 and v17, so for ease of familiarity you could always load Confluence from the repo on v17.

I find it amazing what a brilliant player Kodi on Pi can be. The lack of support for Classical music is what lead me into contributing to Kodi development. It is still a work in progress, but initial bones are there even if I have not found the time or inspiration to write the wiki user info to go with it.

Correctly tagged music and you can list just composers, or conductors or orchestras etc. (I hated the jumble of "artists"), or even trace a particular soloist e.g. all the albums where XXX played organ.
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MuseChaser Offline
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Post: #5
Great, Dave. I've down loaded the LE release you suggested and am writing it to a card right now. I'll give it a go and get back to you. SO nice to know I'm not the only classical music fan who uses Kodi!

Best,

Barry
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MuseChaser Offline
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Post: #6
Dave..

It works great! Found the "composer" function under "Nodes" as you described, and it's wonderful. I'm having a little trouble finding settings and the like in the new skin, but I like the fast, uncluttered look of it so I think I'll stick with it for a while rather than adding the Confluence skin.. we'll see.

I'm sure I'll have a bunch more questions, but for now, well.. just.. THANK YOU!

Barry
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DaveBlake Offline
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Post: #7
You are welcome. I am editing the thread title to something more related to the contenty, may help others find it.
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pierocol Offline
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Post: #8
Now that classical music aficionados can finally list their album by composer, which is a fantastic thing, it would be great if one could also display the composer as part of the string that is displayed on the "now playing..." screen. It looks like it is not possible to do it by default (http://kodi.wiki/view/Audio_file_tags#Formatting_tags). Does anybody know a trick?
Thank you in advance.
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scott967 Offline
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Post: #9
I "bit the bullet" and adopted the Musicbrainz classical music style guide described here: https://wiki.musicbrainz.org/Style/Classical and re-tagged all my classical music. Give it a try on one of your albums and see how that looks for you in your skin of choice.

It would be nice to have a different UI for classical. Right now there is no flag for it in the music library, unless you consistently use something like genre: classical and then sub-genres.

I think Dave might also be considering adding support for a "WORK" tag, so you could filter for all recordings of Mozart's Symphony No. 41 for example.

I'm not 100% sure yet how best to deal with choral music. For example if a composer's work is scored SATB how best to show that? (Maybe in the ideal world there would be a "work" table in the library and you could display a "work" musicinfo dialog.) Then you could add various comments on the score and history of the work (and things like Opus or BWV, etc) since in the MB system, each eg. movement is treated as a "song" and the "song" comments should really relate to just that movement (or whatever) and not to the work as a whole.

scott s.
.
(This post was last modified: 2017-04-30 00:18 by scott967.)
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DaveBlake Offline
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Post: #10
@Pierocol there is an info label that skins can use to show the composer, so I think it should be possible to add it to the audio player OSD. I just don't know enough about skinning to tell you more. But of course if you already have composer as the first artist, alla muiscbrainz style guide, then this could liook a little odd.

I agree Scott if would be nice to have an adaptive UI depending on what is playing, and genre would probably be the best parameter for such a thing.

And yes I would like to add support for WORK too, if I live long enough to get even part way through my todo list!
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scott967 Offline
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Post: #11
The problem of recognizing "classical" is why I haven't implemented a "composer" display more generally in my skin mod of Aeon MQ5. I do display it but I'm not happy yet with the layout. I can create a layout with visibility conditioned on song genre (LisItem.Genre or more useful MusicPlayer.Genre) which I am looking at for Leia. I know there's various practices out there on the hierarchical concept of Genre and Subgenre.

scott s.
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DaveBlake Offline
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Post: #12
I would like to see such an adaptive skin in action Scott. Since Kodi supports multi-genre values it is not too bad to have "classical" as a genre value amongst others on every item that isn't pop or jazz etc. But large music libraries would benefit from having a sub-genre or genre hierarchy support implemented.

For the adaptive UI idea maybe a future custom tag would be a better longterm approach? I know I abuse genre too much, so maybe I need to stop thinking like that. Just having a way to flag some items has being displayed in way "b" rather than way "a" could be nice.
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pierocol Offline
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Post: #13
(2017-04-30 00:03)scott967 Wrote:  I "bit the bullet" and adopted the Musicbrainz classical music style guide described here: https://wiki.musicbrainz.org/Style/Classical and re-tagged all my classical music. Give it a try on one of your albums and see how that looks for you in your skin of choice.
.

Thank you very much for the advice. Re-tagging all my music collection looks like a monumental task to me, but I will think about it.
(This post was last modified: 2017-05-13 12:13 by pierocol.)
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pierocol Offline
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Post: #14
(2017-04-30 12:13)DaveBlake Wrote:  @Pierocol there is an info label that skins can use to show the composer, so I think it should be possible to add it to the audio player OSD. I just don't know enough about skinning to tell you more. But of course if you already have composer as the first artist, alla muiscbrainz style guide, then this could liook a little odd.

probably there is something I do not know/understand: would it be so difficult for a programmer to add the list of tags that can be visualized
%N TrackNumber
%S DiscNumber
%A Artist
%T Title
%B Album
...
another one for "Composer"? like
X% Composer?
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DaveBlake Offline
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Post: #15
It is not a matter of difficulty, but a question of whether that is an outdated and largely deprecated approach to providing UI with information. I am interested to know what others think, especially skinners.

What you call the "tags that can be visualized" - %N, %S, %A, %T, %B etc. - are a hang over from the early days of XBMC. I know the wiki calls them "tags" but I really wish it didn't, they are symbol keys that can be used to define label format masks (better name anyone?). They are implemented in CLabelFormatter::GetMaskContent.

Use defined label format mask use in music is very limited now. The "label1" and "label2" values are mostly hard set depending on the sort order selected. As a user you will see for example that sorting songs by rating shows the rating, not the track number. Of course skins can choose to show something else entirely.

There is still a track format setting, Settings>Media>Music>Track Naming Template, that several users have accidently edited and then complain that all song names come out with "%" or "-T" in a funny place. This mask format is used when songs are sorted by track or name, but not otherwise. It does not effect the OSD, on Estuary and Confluence anyway.

So if I were to add a format key for composer, the only place users could use it would be the Track Naming Template, and then it would only show when sorting songs by track. Pretty limited and useless in my opinion. Sad

What I do wonder is if the user should be given back more control over what is shown and when, rather than be forced to have what Kodi thinks is best for the sort order. I really miss the track number when songs are sorted by other fields, and on wide list displays (like Confluence Big List) there is lots of room for much more detail. But would that user choice be best implemented by extending use of keys and masks/templates, or is there a better way? Or should it be left to the creative skinners?
(This post was last modified: 2017-05-13 18:57 by DaveBlake.)
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