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dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit

[WIN7] Getting text listing of albums/artists from media player

Does anyone know a way to get a textual listing of albums and artists out of Media Player 12?

Here's my problem: by counting files and directories, I reckon I have 795 albums by 472 artists. (Counting done by my code, I am sure it is accurate, see below).

Media player reckons I have 796 albums by 471 artists.

I need to figure out the discrepancy, it's driving me nuts. Obviously there are too many things to eyeball it, so I need to get a list from each place (file system, media player) and compare it programatically.

I know how to get a list from the file system (obviously) but not from media player.

Absent that, I have applied every check I can think of to the file system tree: every artist directory has a desktop.ini saying it is a MusicArtist, every album directory has a desktop.ini saying it is a MusicAlbum, there are no artists that have zero albums, there are no extra files in the artist directory and there are no extra directories in the album folder.

So, any kind of text listing of albums *as seen my media player* would be all I need. I can perl the list into useful form. I just need the list. Maybe a 3rd party app that can read the media player database would do it.

Aieee....

EDIT: Ah, I just figured out that 'extractor' is the magic googleword: 'wmdb extractor' lists a few likely tools. I'll take a look tomorrow. Any recommendations?


sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA

2 recommendations

Re: [WIN7] Getting text listing of albums/artists from media pla


dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Thanks for the suggestion, but it doesn't appear to be capable of doing what I want.

My basic issue is to reconcile a bunch of directory files (/artist/album) with the content of some Media Player database (something.wmdb). My approach is to get listings, in appropriate text form, of the two, and then write a reconciliation script.

I already have appropriate listings of the files. What I need is a listing of the .wmdb content. mp3tag appears to work only on a list of files (you give it a directory to look in) and not on a Media Player database.

Still, thanks for bothering, I appreciate it anyway.

This program might be the sort of thing I want, but it's part of a for-pay tool suite, and I don't yet think my one-time need for one tool warrants spending $100.


sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA
It can't reconstitute the data you need from the ID3 tags in the files themselves?

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by sbconslt:

It can't reconstitute the data you need from the ID3 tags in the files themselves?

Maybe it can, but the point is I need to compare files versus the WMP view of the world, and your suggestion would have me comparing files against what I would have to guess would be the WMP way of processing ID3 tags.

i.e., I don't know what WMPs decision algorithm is when it wants to figure out "is this a distinct album?".

I used to think it was based on the structure of the artist/album hierarchy, but I was wrong there. Then I thought it was based on the content of the desktop.ini files but I was wrong there. I don't have a good track record with guesses!


sbconslt

join:2009-07-28
Los Angeles, CA
When you figure it out it's going to be something so mundane, like a capitalization difference, you're going to want to punch a hole through the wall.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Yeah, you're right.

I'm reconsidering: maybe I'll see if I can figure it out with the tags. It might be faster than my current progress.

Consulting this »msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library···220.aspx it seems like the things I'm after in the database come directly from ID3 tags.

There's Microsoft APIs I can use to query the library (I don't actually have to touch the raw wmdb file) but that involves C# and .NET, neither of which are in my current skill set, so I'm trying to avoid even thinking of that approach.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dave
Progress of sorts: after a few false starts, I figured out that the provided export formats export the 'artist' tag, which is contributing artists, and not the 'albumartist', which is what I need. And then I figured out how to make my own custom export format.

I found a couple of tracks with odd lacunae in the metadata. Neither of them have filled-in 'albumartist' or 'album' tags, they have duration 0' 0" (despite playing just fine), and one of them is missing 'tag: WMA(WMA)' than all other tracks have.

No effort with any tool was able to get the missing tag info updated (Media Player just does nothing, mp3tag says it's unable to write to the file -- a local copy I made just to play with). So my next plan is to simply re-rip those two tracks.

I can't explain how those holes resulted in the observed count discrepancy, but I'm just going to fix ;em and see what happens.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dave
The above errors were not part of the problem.

I did however find one album that thought it was two. That is, given one album-on-disk /foo/bar/*.wma, some of the files had metadata saying they belonged to album 'bar' and some had (incorrect) metadata saying they belonged to some non-existent other album. So Media Player counted that as two.

That's the excess-album part solved. I still have a deficiency of one artist, though. Still looking...

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
That was an accounting error.

In the file system, I have separate trees for 'classical' and 'not classical', for reasons too tedious to mention.

I was implicitly assuming that total artists = classical artists + non-classical artists. But that's not true if there is an artist name that shows up under classical and non-classical.

And naturally both trees have a "Various Artists".