Playlists for music on NAS server

Hi,
I’ve installed Volumio on a Pi B, and for the moment I’m using the line out (I have a DAC en route from China).

But I think I might be missing something fundamental about these headless media players (I found the same thing when I tried Rune Audio).

The support for Playlists seems a bit weird - or lacking, perhaps. Is this correct?

My setup is probably the most common one. I’ve ripped my CD collection to a NAS drive and over the years I created playlists that I store on this NAS drive in a specific folder. So imagine the folder structure on the root of the NAS share looks something like:

  • Folder containing all playlists
  • Folder for Artist A albums
  • Folder for Artist B albums
    Etc.

I use VLC Player and a PC to open a playlist, or add multiple playlists to the VLC playlist. It’s really quick and easy, but of course it’s limited to using a PC, which is expensive (even though I now have a cheap WinTel Pro box as my PC - it still needs a monitor which is clunky).

A headless server seems like the perfect alternative, as long as it supports playlists.

What I would like to do is use the Library view on Volumio to navigate to the Playlists folder on the NAS and choose a playlist to add to the queue. But when Volumio scans my library it does not even display my playlist folder. I assumed it might not like the playlist format, so as a test I saved a playlist to every format supported by VLC player and re-scanned. Still no playlist folder.

Am I doing something wrong here? Surely we’re not limited to creating playlists in the web UI of Volumio - that would be torture. It seems like such a trival feature to just have Volumio recognize playlists as add them to the library.

Is there any documentation on how to use playlists on Volumio, given that they are so fundamental to the operation of a music server?

Again, I accept I may have totally the wrong idea of what these headless music servers are supposed to do in terms of ease of use. Apologies if that is the case.

Cheers,
Geoff

No comments on playlists? OK, here is my own progress so far…

I found a free Windows application called Auremo, which is an MPD client for Windows. This connected first time to my RPi Volumio server and I found that Auremo has a pretty nice user interface for creating playlists using a multi-pane drag and drop.

When I saved the playlist in Auremo I wondered if the file is stored locally on the Auremo PC, or maybe it’s stored on the RPi SD card. So I logged onto the Volumio server, and sure enough the UI does not have my playlist there if I click Browse/Playlists.

On a hunch I logged onto the Volumio server using MPDroid on my phone, and to my surprise there was the playlist! So playlists must be stored on the RPi SD card after all. This is progress of a sort, but storing playlists on the RPi is the wrong place to put playlists if you plan to deploy a multi-room system.

More serious is that Volumio is not showing the playlist that is clearly available to another MPD client. So I assume there’s a bug in the Volumio UI so that it does not show playlists?

I still haven’t found a way to import the playlists I have on my NAS. Storing playlists on the NAS along with the music files would seem to be the obvious place to store and manage playlists anyway, because the RPi servers in a multi-room implementation would all have access to the same set of playlists.

Again - is there a reason that playlists support seems so weak on all these headless server implementations? Maybe I shouldn’t be using playlists, but I can’t think of any other way you’d want to access a collection of thousands of music files.

Cheers,
Geoff

Hi, Volumio handle playlists differently from mpd, since this way we can add spotify items (and future music services ) to playlists.
As of now, there is no way to manage mpd’s playlists, but we’ll add in the future.

Also, controlling Volumio from mpd clients will result in weird behaviours since queue, services and other stuff in handled directly from Volumio and not mpd. To have a perfect integration we need to add an mpd client compatibility layer…

Playlist are a part where we put much effort. Try them via Volumio’s UI and let me know

Hi Michelangelo,
I have another update for you:

Volumio Web App on Android
I’m afraid I don’t have a choice not to use MPDroid as the Volumio Android app doesn’t work :slight_smile:
I’m using the same phone on which MPDroid works perfectly. I have entered the same IP address, and the Volumio Web App comes back with this error:

OK MPD 0.19.0
ACK [5@0] {} unknown command “GET”
ACK [5@0] {} Invalid word character

I tried connecting with Chrome from the same phone and it works fine.

Playlist created with Auremo
Good news! I found where my playlist is in the Volumio structure! Using Chrome on a PC I connected to the RPi Volumio server, and I expected to see the playlist in the Playlist section. But instead, if I look in Music Library, I see my NAS Folder, and underneath I see “Playlist 1”. I can add this to the queue and it plays!

I would suggest it is more logical for this to appear in the Playlist section, but at least I can use it now.

Importing Existing Playlists
As a feature development strategy I would suggest that it is always better to try to support things that your users are already doing - especially if they have put a lot of time and effort into creating playlists.

So the ideal situation would be for Volumio to be able to use the existing playlists I have on my NAS server, without having to “import” them to Volumio, and for these playlists to appear in the “Playlists” section of the UI. Keeping playlists on the NAS drive is also the ideal way to support a multi-room system.

I tried to use the Playlist section on the Volumio UI on Chrome, but I can’t really figure out what to do. There doesn’t seem to be a way to import existing playlists, and the only way I found to create a new playlist is to save the current queue as a playlist. Adding individual songs to the queue is not very quick or easy with the Volumio UI. If you check out Auremo they have a multi-pane drag and drop UI that is quite quick. But as always the best approach would be to be able to work with existing playlists. That way the user can choose the tool they want to use to create Playlists, and they can take advantage of the many hours of work spent creating playlists in the past.

Do you have a description of how you want playlists to work - something you use to guide your programming work? I’d be happy to help out with useability suggestions if I can figure out how it’s supposed to work.

Cheers,
Geoff

Hi Michelangelo,

Playlist are a part where we put much effort. Try them via Volumio’s UI and let me know

Sorry…I just can’t work out how to manage playlists in the Volumio UI. It doesn’t seem to actually do anything - so I must be missing something.

If you’re doing something different from MPD, and it’s not intuitive what to do, is there any tutorial or explanation of how to create, import, or manage “Volumio style” playlists?

For me the perfect situation would be for Volumio to detect my existing playlists when it scans my music library, and for these playlists to appear in the Playlist section of the Volumio UI.

In other words, there should be no need to import playlists at all.

I don’t use Spotify, but I assume that people must build up Spotify playlists that they have spent a long time creating. Why not just use these playlists directly?

Cheers,
Geoff

Hi guys. Ditto me on this… I’m not getting any love when I try to use playlists… I use Volumio pretty much exclusively as a web radio… I’ve got a crapton of playlist files for individual stations, but can’t seem to figure a way to pull them in as a batch… I saved a queue as a playlist, and went snooping about to find it. .It wasn’t in the location I found in previous versions of this app, but in /data/playlist… Figured ah ha I can just put my playlist files in this folder… I did so, and they showed up, but no workie. I then discover the file i created by saving a queue to a playlist is very different from standard playlist format. So I’m kinda stuck at the moment. Love the new look, feel, and stability… Just need to figure this playlist issue out…