Seed your database – part 3 – usage tips

Contents

1. Fixing mismatches the other way

The preceding discussion focused upon how you could fix mismatches by creating a rule to translate the scrobbled tags to your current tags.

Sometimes it is just best to update your current tags with MediaMonkey, so that they match the incoming scrobbles. If Last.fm has “corrected” your scrobble, and you have no strong preference for your own tag, it is simplest to just accept their correction.

Use MediaMonkey to re-tag your track, and then rerun the Approve action.

Important It is important that you do use MediaMonkey, and not some other tool, to do any track re-tagging. The reason for this, is to ensure that your track and your MediaMonkey tags remain in synchronisation. Your scrobbles are generated using your track tags, but AlbumPlays works by matching importing these & matching them against your MediaMonkey tags (except for Sonos owners)

2. When you have a lot of streamed items

Mark all items as streamed

If your grid contains a lot of streamed albums or tracks, you may mark the whole grid as being streamed via the check-box at the top of the streamed column.

Then un-check just the exceptions. A template row will be automatically unchecked if you select any item from either of it’s check-boxes.

3.Take care not to accidentally set any of your own albums as being streamed

Album recorded as being streamed

If you tell AlbumPlays that an album or track is streamed, you are indicating that you don’t own the item, and it is therefore not in your MediaMonkey database. The rule will mean that the album or track will be automatically suppressed from any future unmatched action list.

If you subsequently buy and play the item, and a future scrobble is successfully matched against your MediaMonkey database of the time, it will used to upgrade MediaMonkey regardless of the rule. But should it remain unmatched against your MediaMonkey database due to Last.fm tag “corrections”, it will be suppressed from your default action list, so the issue can be difficult to detect.

You can review those albums from the current batch which have been designated as being streamed, by checking the “Include streamed albums” checkbox on the dialog box offering you the update grids. You may reset an album’s status by un-checking the “streamed” checkbox, and then exiting via F3 or Navigate|Apply menu item. (NB: you may need to press F5 a few times to toggle the active filter to “Streamed or Suppressed” … see the section below named “Display Grid filters”)

There is also a button on the Status Report tab to list “Unmatched streamed scrobbles”. The report for the current batch remains available until you run the 1st get action for the new batch.

4. If you have tracks with blank album tags

When Last.fm receives a scrobble with a blank album tag, it seems to “help” by supplementing your scrobble with the title of the album generally accepted as owing the track.

This false album tag will cause the track to be unmatched when it is re-imported from Last.fm. If want to create a rule to reset the LFM value back to your blank tag, you need to use a special token character, because if you leave the “Correct Album” value as a blank, the AlbumPlays application will assume that you are not making a change.

Use the ~ character to cause the scrobble’s album tag to be reset to a blank.

Create rule to set blank album tag

This functionality is turned off by the _no_blank_album_tags configuration as described here.

5. Identifying which of an album’s tracks remain unmatched?

Output from the Lookup button

If you are uncertain which of an album’s tracks remain unmatched, causing a album template to be generated, you can display a list of the tracks affected by pressing the “Lookup” button at the right hand end of the template row.

6. Helpful to refer to the list of unmatched scrobbles while editing templates?

You can refer to the list of unmatched scrobbles, while editing rule templates, but it takes a small amount of preparation. You need to display the list of unmatched scrobbles before initiating the edit session. You do this by tapping on the Status Report tab on AlbumPlay’s main screen, and then pressing the Unmatched Raw Scrobbles button. This will display the list of unmatched scrobbles. The report is modal, meaning that you must close it before starting any other action in AlbumPlays.

Then start the template editing session (Edit|ActionList..). If you need to refer to the list of unmatched raw scrobbles during the template editing session, you take option File|ShowLastReport, or press the F8 key. This will load the unmatched listing into your browser.

7. The combo-boxes are too narrow?

If the a combo-box is too narrow to see enough of the row to make a choice, you should stretch the whole window. Only the entry columns will be stretched, which hopefully will open up enough room to identify the correct row.

8. Handling composite albums (ie. albums with tracks for various artists)

If a composite album is unmatched because the album name has changed, there will be a separate template row for each artist who has tracks on the album. This situation would require that you update each of the artist rows in order to make a rule which updates the album title for all artists. The same thing if you want to mark the album as being streamed.

There is a more efficient way to address composite albums. Check the “Include ALL rows for composite albums” option, as shown below, and a template rule for the album as a whole will be added to your grid.

*ALL* artists for composite albums

A template rule for the whole album

The All artists template has no combo-box for album title adjustment, but you may paste the correct album title from MediaMonkey, or enter it via the keyboard, or cut and paste it from a combo-box on one of the artist rows.

9. Handling composite albums, when an artist is mistagged.

Before and after a deep search

The above section covered how to address the situation when the composite album’s name was incorrect. The situation is also complex if the artist name for one of the tracks is incorrect. The combo-box will only contain the albumartist tag, so it will be “Various Artists” or whatever you use to group your composite albums.

You can load the combo-boxes with all of the individual artist tags for the album. You trigger this, for the current grid, via the menu item Action|DeepSearch, or via the “Deep Search” button at the bottom of the grid.

10. Upper vs Lower case

AlbumPlays will successfully match scrobbles to your tags regardless of case differences. eg. “Let it Bleed” matches, without assistance, to “Let It Bleed”.

11. You have redundant templates?

It is possible to generate a jumble of redundant rule templates. For example, maybe you make an incorrect entry into a rule template. The next approve action will correct nothing, the incorrect template will remain in the grid, and another template row will be generated for you.

Incorrectly specified templates cause no problem, excepting visual clutter which may confuse you during the editing cycle. They will be permanently deleted when you close the batch, but you may chose to manually delete them by blanking out both combo-boxes, pressing Update, and then running an Approve action. (nb. a quick way to blank out a combo-box entry is by selecting the blank entry sitting at the top of each combo-box)

12. Display grid filters

You may control which items to allow into the template editing grid via the following check-boxes:

  • “Include rules requiring further action” includes all rules which have not been fixed, ie no successful tag translation has been provided, and nor has the album been marked as being streamed
  • “Include *ALL* rows for composite albums” also include whole-album templates, discussed above, for any albums containing tracks for a mixture of artists
  • “Include streamed albums” include any albums which either you, or the application, has marked as being streamed … it is assumed that you don’t own these, that they won’t be in your MediaMonkey database, and as such may be ignored
  • “Include albums which you have already fixed” include any templates which you have already updated, and a subsequent Approve action has confirmed that the issue is now successfully resolved

By default, only the first item is checked, meaning that your action list will initially contain only items requiring your attention.

The editing grid is loaded, according to the above restrictions, but is then is further filtered to segregate the display into separate groups. Only a single group is on display at the one time, and you can progress from group to group via the F5 key:

Filter options

F5 toggles from Requiring Action –> Streamed –> Fixed –> All mixed together –> Requiring Action –> etc etc

13. Getting more fresh scrobbles

You can run multiple Get actions to extend the quantity of fresh scrobbles that you are working with. Additional Get actions extend the batch of fresh scrobbles, ie. they do not overwrite those that you have already downloaded.

You can also adjust the number of scrobbles downloaded from Last.fm by each Get operation. See the Last.fm section in the FAQ for instructions.

14. The “Plays” column

The Plays column shows how many scrobbles from the current batch of fresh scrobbles, are affected by the rule template. In the example shown, The Mikhail Pletnev has 22 track plays within the current batch of scrobbles, and that some or all of these scrobbles are unmatched.

Filter The Plays column

15. Handle the Album action list before the Track action list

As illustrated in the User Guide, it is best to handle Album action list (menu item Edit|ActionListAlbumBasedRules) before the Track level action list. This is because a single fix at the album level may fix all of the album’s tracks.

It is best if you run the Approve action, after updating the Album templates, before starting work on the Track templates.

16. What to do when you have finished seeding your database?

You don’t need to do anything. Get actions will now download your current scrobbles, and the same processing cycle will attempt to match and use then to update your MediaMonkey database. It should become a lot easier now, due to:

  • the reduced volumes
  • the library of remap rules and streaming rules which you have built up should silently auto-correct many issues which arise
  • and you shouldn’t have to handle issues caused by any track re tagging that you do between the time that you scrobble play, and the time when download it back from Last.fm

You should open and review the suggested workflow discussed further down this page.

You should consider “vacuuming” your AlbumPlays database to do some housekeeping that will keep it in good shape and reduce any bloat that has been left over after all the inserting and deleting that is a natural part of the seeding process.

To vacuum your database, press the Set options button, and then select the vacuum radio-button as illustrated. Then run a Get action to trigger the vacuuming.

Set Options button

Vacuum your database

Sonos owners: you should also read the discussion elsewhere in the site, describing the merits of running this application in the mode where it directly detects your Sonos scrobbles, by observing your zones, rather than continuing to rely upon what Sonos manages to scrobble to Last.fm.

17. Recap: suggested workflow

click open workflow
step Your action AlbumPlays response
Get Run the Get action Imports a batch of fresh scrobbles from Last.fm
. – nb. may be rerun, at any time, to extend the batch of fresh scrobbles .
Approve Run the Approve action Detect mismatches, and generates rule templates
. . – any prior rules are automatically pre-applied,
. . translating tags to avoid mismatches,
. . – also ignores any unmatched scrobbles for which
. . you have streaming rules
Review If there are mismatches, press Unmatched Scrobbles button on Status Report tab List any unmatched scrobbles
. – sometimes it is best to adjust your tags to LFM’s tags – use MediaMonkey to do this .
. – then rerun the Approve action .
Albums If remaining issues, select ActionListAlbumBasedRules from the Edit menu Generate fuzzy logic pre-selections, then display
. . for approval, your action list with pre-selections
. . – scrobbles where neither artist nor album are in MM
. .    are hidden (pre-selected as being streamed)
. Review any fuzzy logic pre-selections. Correct or blank out where necessary. .
. Make any combo-box selections, or manual entries, to enable scrobbled tags to be matched. .
. Optionally flag any streamed albums (to exclude them from future action lists if they are replayed) .
. Optionally review any streaming assumptions (use F5 key to toggle action grid’s filtered view) .
. important Make sure that you exit via F3, or Update button, or Apply from Navigate menu. .
. . .
. If many mismatches, rule templates will be prioritised, and segmented into separate action grids
. – use Next button to review each action grid (otherwise pre-selections are neither generated nor enacted) .
. – when you get to an empty action grid, close and press Finish .
Approve Rerun the Approve action Apply pre-selections and any updated templates
. . – make new matches, hide away fixed items
. . – generate updated templates for remaining unmatched
Albums If is often worthwhile returning to re-review Album Based Rules Regenerate fuzzy logic & streamed pre_selections
. – corrections to one tag may open up combo_box or fuzzy logic pre-selections for the other tag .
. – it is easier to see smaller details once all of the fixed items are hidden from view .
. – if problems resist fix, it may be due to track level issues (see following) .
Approve Rerun the Approve action .
Tracks Select ActionListTrackBasedRules from the Edit menu; handle as above Same as at the album level, but this time where
. . Artist & Album combination in MM, but not the track
Approve Rerun the Approve action .
Review If remaining significant mismatches, press Unmatched Scrobbles button on Status Report tab Lists any unmatched scrobbles
. – use the report’s ViewLastReportFromBrowser option in the File menu A copy of the report is sent to your browser
. – review any issues using MediaMonkey; either re-tag the tracks, or make further template alterations .
Approve Rerun the Approve action to handle any final adjustments .
Close The batch of scrobbles will auto-close whenever everything is matched, otherwise you may force-close Matched scrobbles are exported to MM
. . – unmatched and streamed scrobbles are discarded
. . – successful templates are saved as ongoing rules
. . – the next Get action will start a new batch
. – force-close by checking any ignore check-boxes, then re-pressing Approve

close workflow