New Android User - Music Player Issues


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  1. link00seven

    link00seven Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi,

    I just got an HTC EVO 4G, and so far I like the device, though I've been having some major problems setting things up. The most prominent issue that's getting on my nerves is related to music.

    I've used iTunes for years to manage my library, and never had any problems with it. However, when I sync music to my Android phone, and use the default music player, I end up with multiple albums each containing one track. For example, if I have Michael Buble - Crazy Love, which has a couple tracks on it that feature other another artist, it shows up 4 times, once with just him, and 3 more each containing one track with that featured artist!

    I've done some reading about "Album Artist" so I said "okay" and I took some of the albums that have this situation and modified that spot to be something like "Various Artist" or "Michael Buble" (in the example above, since the music is primarily his, despite having featured artist) while keeping "Artist" correct (so him + featured). In this case, the music app on the phone does only list one album, but it list the artist as "Various Artist" - regardless of what the actual artist is labeled as!

    And it gets even more fun. I notice that that album was labeled as a compilation. Just to work on it and compare stuff, I took an OC Remix album. Each track has it's own artist, but the album artist is set by default to be "OCRemix Artists" - however it is NOT labeled as a compilation. In this case, despite "Album artist" being the same, it ignored it and went right back to the initial problem!

    So, I've come to two conclusions:
    • It completely ignores Album Artist
    • If you have a compilation, it'll assign "Various Artist" as the "Artist" and place it under one album (better then mutliple copies, but I want things labeled right!)
    • If you don't label it as a compilation, then despite Album Artist being correct, it looks only at Artist and goes back to making separate copies for each song.

    This is ridiculous! This problem on top of the confusion of HTC's garbage software is not leaving a good first impression to Android. People? What happened to just calling it Contacts and having things organized within the phone application properly; and the Facebook for HTC Sense I didn't even bother, it was cool that it linked all my contacts together and updated their info, but it also in the phone app made every single facebook friend I have show up in the dialer, which is unacceptable...and their built in mail client apparently can't force accept certificates, so my university email account can't be setup through it since they use weird, non-android approved certificates. I hear K-9 is good though, but it's weird having two email programs on the phone, one for Gmail (the native) and then this for everything else.

    The disconnect here is crazy...I've never done this, but if I start using third party stuff, how does it integrate into my phone? If I tap to send an email in "People" will it open K-9 or try to open HTC's default mail client no matter what? What about if I get a third party browser or SMS client - is the phone smart enough to set "default apps" for this sort of thing?

    Anyway...sorry just a bit frustrated. If anyone can shed some light on the music issue, and some tips on the other stuff, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.
     

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  2. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

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    Well that sort of sucks its not working out for you. I personally never touch the Album Artist field. I just label the Artists and leave it at that. Still, most of my music from iTunes transferred properly labeled and organized without many problems. Then again, I use Meridian as my music player, since the HTC Music Player runs really slow on my phone.

    How well a third party app integrates into the phone is really up to the developer. Android is pretty flexible when it comes to this. I don't really use any mail app except for Gmail, but I'm pretty sure you can select the default mail app. You can also select a default web app.And as for the SMS app, you should be able to select a default. Mind you, all the SMS apps share the Android SMS message service, so a message received can be accessed by any of them at any time. However, if you wanted to switch, you would need to disable notifications in the stock messenger settings.

    So odds are, if an app has been made, there is a replacement for the stock version. Although some cannot be replaced, due to you not having root privileges (its a Linux thing if you don't know). I know nothing on rooting the EVO, but you shouldn't need to unless you need to edit or replace low level apps and system settings.
     
  3. link00seven

    link00seven Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah I really don't get the album artist. I just try to have Artist, Track, and Album filled out but when you import CD's or purchase from iTunes, everything is filled out. Plus you have things labeled as compilations, etc etc...

    I just don't really know what to do to get this working right. I just want to select an album and have all the tracks show up for that album (that's how I generally sort). I don't care if I have a bunch of artist's (so I have Michael Buble and then a separate one for Michael Buble feat. Sharon Jones) - the album is Crazy Love, and that's what I'm trying to listen to).

    I did download K-9 and it worked for my school email and that's cool how it does integrate into the OS. When I select to send an email, I'm given a choice of what I want to open with that or Gmail and/or make it default. If other applications work this way, that really does offer a nice way to use what you want. Coming from the iPhone, I'm used to being forced to use their particular applications whether or like it or not - and even if you DO download a separate browser or something, you can't change the default regardless.

    Anyway, hopefully someone chimes in with some advice on this. Thanks.
     
  4. link00seven

    link00seven Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hmm, thread with someone having a similar issue: http://androidforums.com/android-applications/5239-sorting-various-artist-albums-album-artist.html

    1) Items labeled as Compilations changed the artist to show up as "Various Artist" by default. What? Just because it's labeled a compilation doesn't mean I want that to happen, but fine. That's an easy fix of the ID3 tag. However, the next issue is a problem...

    2) If it's not a compilation, but many artists are on the track, iTunes uses album artist and that keeps things organized. In other words, as far as I understand it, if you have, say an OC Remix album, each track has a different artist, but the album artist is labeled as "OCRemix", so on iPods, in iTunes, if I look at that album, it's still sorted correctly. However, Android completely ignores "Album Artist", which means that when I go to Album view, the album is showing up multiple times, once for each artist. On Android, these show up as a separate album each time, UNLESS labeled as compilations...which then ignores the artist field completely and replaces it with Various Artist. Stupid - why can't I just select "Album" -> "*title*" and have it not matter what everything else is

    Is this really an Android limitation? I guess the alternative is make playlist or set everything as a compilation and lose the artist label...but I can't believe that an advanced OS like this would have this oversight.
     
  5. opticalshadow

    opticalshadow Well-Known Member

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    well all my music on my pc is labled in all with the proper tags and all, and i just drag and drop to the phone, ive never had my phone act weird when sorting by any means.

    the only thing i could suggest is making sure all the file information on the actual mp3 are right.
     
  6. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    No. It's a limitation of the music app. Try some others. Part of the point of Android is that you're not stuck using the stock apps and you can extend and modify Android's capabilities with apps. If you're not happy with what comes stock then hit the Market. Better yet, hit the Apps forum on Android forum sites for recommendations. You'll go nuts if you try to browse the Market.

    As is always suggested, do yourself a favor and try to forget how your former device did things.
     
  7. link00seven

    link00seven Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Alright - reason I said that is that I found a thread somewhere online talking about this that was talking about the SDK not even having an AlbumArtist field that the developer could tap into - but I could've misunderstood what I was reading (very limited programming knowledge, just a couple C++ courses in college, heh).

    Thanks for the tip - I have been doing some searching on the market but I haven't downloaded much yet. I really like how Android lets you replace the stock apps like the mail client or music player; even the SMS client!
     
  8. fangorious

    fangorious Guest

    Are you using Salling Media Sync to put your music on your phone? That app rewrites the tags (to v1.x) while it syncs, causing the Artist tag to be set to Various Artists. The reason given is that some supported devices (it does more than just Android) don't support v2.x tags. I've yet to find a (Mac) desktop app that shows lets me sync my iTunes playlists and just copy the files from point A to point B. They all seem to want to do something clever be it replacing tags, coming up with their own folder structure even though they're already perfectly organized, or wanting to completely replace iTunes on the desktop (or whatever you use to organize and play your media).

    There are a couple of bugs on android - Project Hosting on Google Code about the Album Artist issue, so if you haven't done so please sign up there and vote on them by starring them.

    So far what I've found is that the Music player will group all files in a common directory into an album. So for a remix CD put all the files in one directory on your SD card and they'll be grouped as one album in the Music app. It will pick one of the artists to list for the album in the Albums view, but selecting the album to display all the tracks all the tracks will maintain their proper Artist.

    I've tried Meridian, DoubleTwist, Mixzing, and I think one more, and none of them seemed to be any different than the stock player in respect to this issue.

    I think Google just needs to step up and provide a proper sync app that handles this in a sane fashion. All we need is an app that lets us choose from our existing library (be it in iTunes, WMP, rhythmbox, amarok, foobar, whatever) and copy the files from computer to phone in whatever folder structure the apps need to group/sort them properly.
     
  9. fangorious

    fangorious Guest

    I just put a few tracks marked as compilations from different CDs on my SD card and the stock player didn't rewrite them to say 'Various Artist'. I'm using Cyanogen 6 RC1 so that could be something new in 2.2, or it could be something changed in the Cyanogen ROM. I think it's on the desktop syncing app, as I only noticed that when using a 3rd party syncing app like Salling Media Sync (forget if DoubleTwist rewrote the tags or not).
     
  10. link00seven

    link00seven Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah, Sailing Media is the program that I've been using due to a recommendation on this forum. I didn't realize that it was doing all of that - I thought it was just copying stuff straight to the SD Card.

    I also agree that Google should step up to the plate and provide a sync function, and I'll be sure to go to that site and star the issue so perhaps Google will release a fix down the road.
     
  11. skipcooney

    skipcooney Active Member

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