HowTo: Generate Audio Playlists with Plait, Plaiter, Gjay, fapg - And Listen to Them
Every now and then I try to find better ways of listening to my music collection.
One tends to listen to the same stuff again and again and some good music never gets listened too - or one just totally randomly listenes to everything.
I admit, my songs are very poorly tagged, i don't like ratings or genres or playcounts very much so i'm looking for a different approach.
While I was searching for a new audio player (I love gmusicbrowser, but it has difficulties with my old ntfs usb harddrive with bad sectors, buggy music files and whatnot; if someone has some advice to that, let's hear it!) i came across a few playlist generating tools.
I like the idea behind gjay a lot - it analyses all songs frequencies and bpm, plus you can set rating and color/mood, from which it generates a database (takes days) from which you can then generate custom playlists (takes seconds).
i was intrigued by the idea of an objective analysis that comes close to something resembling a mood, plus once you have the database it doesn't consume your cpu. also you can set a song as starting point.
unfortunately i couldn't get it to work properly - i suspect my hard drive / buggy files again.
but i could get it to generate a few playlists (which is possible before completing the database). interesting.
then there is fapg, a commandline utility that uses id3 genres to put together lists - or just from a directory. so it reads tags, but it's still quite fast. example:
creates a list of all tracks tagged ambient in your music directory recursively. 26 stands for ambient. (list)
fapg -r -g 26 -o list.m3u /path/to/music
but my favorite is plait.
it allows you to play songs from your collection based on file names, but very intuitively, e.g.
the first works in my music collection because i put all jazz in a folder named jazz, but i don't want dizzie gillespie in the mix cause it's corny.
plait jazz not dizzie
plait doors 196
the latter would ideally play the doors from the 1960ies.
it requires a minimum of setting up. you have to create the ~/.plait directory, then it asks you where your music directory is. then i manually edited the config file to this:
there's also a daemon called plaiter which is supposed to take care of feeding the playlists to an audio player, but i could not get it to work. i almost gave up on it but then i made alittle shell script that takes arguments in the above way, and gives the playlist to an audio player of your choice. like this:
TYPES=".mp3 .wav .aif .ogg .flac .m4a .mpc .wma .mpeg3 .MP3"
i saved it to ~/bin as mu (make it executable).
plait $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 $10 $11 $12 $13 $14 $15 $16 --list > mutmp.m3u
rm -f mutmp.m3u
then i can use it thus:
i have another version that uses deadbeef (audio player) by default:
mu deadbeef jazz not dizzie -r
and another one that has also the --random option hardcoded
mus jazz not dizzie -r
this works with most players. some require a different syntax.
mur jazz not dizzie
this obviously requires that your music collection is sorted in a recognizable file structure and that you more or less know what you have. so if you downloaded an album with files named 8743508702.mp3 and put it in New Folder (23), it won't work. but if you suddenly remember that you ripped queens of the stone age half a year ago, just type mus queens stone age - voilá!
similar scripts could be made for fapg - an extra challenge to use words instead of numeric values for genres - preferably with flexible syntax.
gjay should do that from a gui - if it works. did someone get it to work fully?
PS: all 3 utilities are in the repositories.
PPS: to include more audio filetypes it isn't enough to edit the config file - you have to edit the actual script.
- edit lines 617-620 to include more filetypes.
sudo gedit /usr/bin/plait