Workflow suggestions?

Hi. I’ve been using Audirvana for about 5 years and I love the sound quality. I run it headless on a MacMini, streaming from a NAS. Here’s where things get a little tricky…

I maintain two music libraries: lossless and MP3s, with lots of duplicate files therein. I stream my MP3 collection from my NAS while traveling and driving as it’s a more bandwidth-friendly solution then streaming lossless. At home, I listen almost exclusively to lossless files except in instances where lossless files aren’t available.

My Audirvana usage begun around 5 years ago by using iTunes integrated mode to create proxies of my FLAC files that could live alongside my MP3s. Using this workflow, I’ve been able to use iTunes for all library management while creating a super-library without duplicate files: Lossless if I have it, and MP3 otherwise. I then sync Audirvana to my iTunes database and playback exclusively using Audirvana. This has worked well for me over the years. I’ve been able to maintain my mirrored collections which mutually service my portable lossy needs as well as my lossless home needs.

Fast forward to 2019 and due to the new Audirvana remote iOS app not being fully compatible with my older version of Audirvana (searches aren’t possible, frustratingly), I’ve been considering upgrading to v3.5 and I’m considering a potential change of workflow.

If I designate both my lossless and lossy collections as target folders within Audirvana, I’m going to have thousands of duplicate files. My collection consists of over 80K tracks and I don’t have time for the massive undertaking of re-organizing the files within Audirvana. So the only way forward as I see it is to continue creating proxy files using an old copy of Audirvana (v1.5) so that I may take advantage of my well-organized iTunes library which is pruned of any duplicate files. Then, sync my iTunes library using Audirvana 3.5 and hopefully all will be well.

Does anyone have any workflow suggestions that are less cumbersome and don’t involve me having to manually prune dupes within Audirvana? If I could live without my MP3s, it would be an easy solve but I still have a lot of live, bootleg recordings that exist only as MP3s that I’m not willing to part with. These MP3 files are embedded within my full MP3 collection so sorting through tens of thousands of files is also not desirable.

Perhaps the only way forward is to continue as I described but I figured I’d put it out there in case anyone had any suggestions I hadn’t yet considered.

Thanks, all.

Simple way is to forget itunes. Then in your music disc, make 2 folders one for good and one for mp3. Clear your audirvana database. Close audirvana. Open it, choose mp3 folder as database. Go the track view not album… create a smart playlist… select all and drag them there, call playlist mp3. Do the same with good folder, call it good, then you have 2 apart playlist. You can make view of each playlist album view, then sort them like you want…

Or when you import first folder for database, select all in track view then tag them all as mp3 in a field you don’t use and create a smart playlist for it named mp3… then put the good one in the database. You could add then a filter to avoid the field mp3 or not…

Hope it is clear… iphone typing in my bed, cya :grinning:

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Interesting idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

The potential snag that I foresee is that since I use Audirvana headless, and just via the mobile App, I don’t think I’d have the ability to use the Search function within a specific smart playlist. And since I have 80K+ tracks, the search function is really the only practical way to locate music.

Honestly, I was perfectly happy with my admittedly cumbersome setup and never would have upgraded to 3.5 if it weren’t for being forced to do so by the mobile app having limited functionality on pre-3.5 versions. Aside from launching the desktop app via remote desktop (since I run Audirvana headless), the only interface I really ever see is the mobile one. I use Audirvana primarily for the sound quality. The UI is mostly lost on me. Still, if the search function results included the Playlist info so I could tell what was lossy vs lossless, it might work.

I did some experimentation and I spoke too soon. There is a way to search within playlists on the mobile app so I could effectively do as you described. Though unless I’m mistaken, I don’t see a way to do it within the desktop app. In any event, I’ll continue to play around with it and see how it feels. Thanks again!

Not sure to understand you correctly…

Yes you can do that with desktop app…
click + sign to create a smart playlist then edit it like that maybe…
then rename the playlist to MP3 or whatever. Create another one with your good folder…
whenever you will insert something in iehter folder they will be updated in the playlists, just be sure to create a smart playlist.

i use a headless mac mini also but i can control it via my 27 inch iMac :slight_smile:
i use screen sharing and for being able to use a mouse on my mac mini via my iphone, i use this free app:

If your file paths and names are identical (except for the extension) for those tracks for which you have both formats available, you could script creation of a tree of symlinks including everything, without duplicates (ie. leave out the mp3 if there’s a corresponding flac already in place). When done, use that link tree for your Audirvana library path. Space consumption - 320 MB for 80k files with 4k clusters… Peanuts.

Thank you. I’m experimenting with a few workarounds to see how intuitive and practical they are.

Hi Jannek. Thanks for the suggestions. My file paths are different; I have one folder for compressed media and another for lossless.

I’m not familiar with symlinks but I’m intrigued. Is that something done within Audirvana?

I tag in the metadata AlbumArtist - HD for high def, - CD for CD’s, - iTunes for those, and on and on. I have this spreadsheet like software called Tag Editor that shows the metadata in columns. You can drag any number of folders into it, copy the column and paste it in Excel or Libre Office or whatever. DO NOT SORT IN EXCEL (trust me). Make a formula like “=A1 &” - CD” in B1which will add that text to the end of albumartist. Copy your new album back into Tag Editor paste into the correct column and save. This keeps my folders separate and file rez findable. In A.V. you can search for HD and it will find all of those albums. I am sure are other/better ways but I have developed a deep and intense dislike of the stupid ITunes library.

i confirm Runhomeslow has proposed the best solution for your problem. you will also tackle the problem of still havin to live with Itunes :slight_smile: gone, out the door!

the one adjustment i would make is when creating the smart playlists, do not feed them manually by dragging and dropping … but use their “smartness” instead!! add a rule (right click on their name) that says you only want to see such extension, or bit depth/rate …
I don’t have A in front of me just now, but the same way Runhhomeslow has built playlists for 44kHz and above, then DSD etc … you can use SMart playslist rules to automatically preselect only MP3s, or only lossless …

the only downside is you will never use the Library Menu at the top (that one would display duplicates, as it would see both worlds), but who cares really… All the filtering,sorting viewing options of it, are also available inside PLaylists anyways …

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Interesting thread. I’m in a similar situation. Around 2006 I ripped all my CD collection to MP3 and used iTunes to access it. In the past year or so I adopted Audirvana and have started to re-rip to FLAC. I use iTunes in the car, at home I tend to listen to lossless if available. The files live on my PC, and I sync them to a Synology NAS. Synology DS Audio is pretty good, its only downfall is it doesn’t play gapless. And can’t cope with DSD. I’ve also tried Plex, that doesn’t play gapless either. Hence Audirvana is my player of choice at home.

In terms of the duplicate albums I hear your pain. Indeed I asked Damien for a modification where the album cover had a logo showing the audio format eg MP3 / FLAC. Roon does this and it is a nice feature. For now I’ve been retagging the FLAC files with (FLAC) appended to the album title - this makes things more distinguishable. Some albums I have 4 or 5 versions of if you include remasters / HiRes / DSD etc.

Anyway, it’s not a solution but just my two penneth. :slight_smile:

Hey all. I’ve taken some time to live with the smart playlist approach for the ‘split library’. For me, it works with mixed results. When using the desktop app, it’s just as easy to click on my smart playlist versus LIBRARY. However, when selecting a Playlist, there is no way to search within a playlist (a feature that’s available even in iTunes). So if I want to select a Pink Floyd album, I have to manually drag the scroll bar and hunt for ‘P’. As I mentioned, my library consists of over 80K unique tracks (not counting duplicate file formats), so this is a tedious, imprecise experience. Not with compared to clicking the ‘Search’ box and typing ‘Pink’.

Searching within a playlist is easier on the remote app (despite the extra three clicks needed to select to ‘Playlists’ on the home page, then my ‘Lossless’ smart playlist, then scroll down slightly to reveal the search box, then tapping the search box – as opposed to just tapping the ‘Search’ tab on the bottom). Once I search for ‘Pink Floyd’, I do see the full list of albums. Even losslessly, I have duplicate versions of several albums (reissues, remasters, remixes, etc). If I scroll down to ‘Wish You Were Here’, I see 6 album entries. Because the new Audirvana app doesn’t display or autoscale album names like the previous version, I can’t see my album suffixes so I have to blindly select each one. To make matters more irritating, when I select the ‘back’ button to return to my Playlist search results, it brings me back to the top of the list starting at the letter ‘A’ and I have to scroll down manually and try to remember which of my 6 entries I left off on and repeat the process.

I acknowledge that I could search specifically for ‘Wish You Were Here’ but that’s besides the point. Sometimes you just want to browse…

I also acknowledge that these might seem like petty complaints but it amounts to the overall user experience. The sound quality in Audirvana is a non-issue; It obviously sounds great. But my user frustrations with both the new remote app as well as Audirvana 3.5 is a decidedly diminished experience. I don’t care much bout a prettier UI (though that’s nice too). I just want it to work without having to deal with all the functional workarounds – and I’m not talking about the split lossy/lossless organization that began this thread. Honestly – and I’m not generally one who is opposed to change or app updates – I found the previous versions of both Audirvana desktop (3.2) and the older remote app to be far more stable and functional and I really miss them. There are certainly some nice new features but with a tradeoff in functionality that’s untenable for me.

On a related note, while using the desktop app, I no longer have the ability to use the ‘page up/down’, ‘home/end’, and arrow buttons… which is also extremely frustrating. I’ve enabled the Keyboard Accessibility within System Preferences per the installation instructions but I seem to have lose that ability. Any ideas on how to re-activiate these?

Also, since upgrading to 3.5, many of my albums have been split into multiple entries. For instance, ‘Wish You Were Here’ will have tracks 2 - 5, as one album entry, and track 1 as another. I’ve carefully checked the tagging on these albums and there are no discrepancies whatsoever. This has resulted in even more duplicate album entries to sift through. Does anyone know a solution for this?

Lastly, I have many playlists in Audirvana 3.2 that won’t import unto 3.5. When I select ‘Import Playlist’ from within 3.5, I’ll select the playlist and then nothing happens. The playlist doesn’t appear, nothing. I have tried importing the same playlists in 3.2 and they work fine. I noticed other users report this issue without any solve. It’s all very frustrating.

Thanks all for reading / chiming in.

Hello stu424,
I fully agree with danberilloux, I only use smart lists in my lib.
Let’s take your Pink Floyd example, I have several albums in my lib.
the screen shot attached shows my smart lists, I select the “rock progressif” list which is where Pink Floyd is located.
I type “Pink Floyd” in the search field at the top of the Audirvana window,
I can see my albums if I select “local” or Qobuz albums if I select the"qobuz" button.
the search functionality works pretty well.

Hi Alain. I also use smart playlists. However, if I type “Pink Floyd” in the search field atop the Audirvana window, it indeed shows my entire Local library results regardless of whether I initially select my smart playlist or not. In other words, there doesn’t seem to by any way to search exclusively within a playlist, smart or otherwise.

In the remote app, this functionality does exist though it also has some shortcomings as described above.

This is strange, I do not have this problem here !
May be it’s an HW or SW issue, here is my environment :
Audirvana Mac Version 3.5.24 (3554)
macOS 10.15.0 with 16384MB RAM

Are you saying that when select a playlist, and then use the search function, it only shows the results within your playlist?

Are all of your Pink Floyd albums located within your “rock progressif” playlist? If so, then the results would be same whether you were searching the playlist or the full library. And if that’s the case, you really can’t be sure whether Audirvana is only displaying the playlist results.

You are correct, I couldn’t be sure, so I just removed one Pink Floyd album from my “rock progressif” playlist.
Doing a new search shows only 21 albums, on the screen shot above it said 22 albums. This demonstrates that only the smart playlist is being searched , not the whole library.

I just did another test, and the search is now “broken” , exactly as what you described …
I am confused, it has worked for a while, searching only the playlist,
I moved a folder for testing purposes,
now the search function is not limited to the playlist, it searches the whole library, and showing duplicate files !!
You are correct, you found a bug …

Perhaps. I’ve never been able to search within a playlist using the desktop app even in previous versions. The latest remote app does allow playlist searching.

In any event, my desire for an optimal workflow that’s conducive to my specific library needs has taken a backset to the numerous bugs that are fundamentally diminishing what was previously a solid, pleasant experience for me. I’m all for updates and upgrades, but I truly miss the previous iterations of both the desktop and remote apps where I could just find my music easily and enjoy listening. Instead, I feel like everyday I find a frustrating new bug. It’s really disappointing and I hope it’s rectified soon.

i think there is some confusion (and we derive from the initial topic :slight_smile: ) but it’s ok.

Alain: your example is not a good one, as you distinguish albums that sit in Qobuz,vs album that sits on the PC. It is possible that AV does make a search distinction between both sources (i dont have quobuz so i cannot test). However, the user before you was complaining about 2 versions of the same album, both sitting on the PC, one was MP3 the other was lossless.

We have suggested use smartplaylists,but with the limitation Stu has highlighted.

I can think of another workaround : use filters within Playlists or within the Library search. This way you narrow your search to only a certain file format … ? maybe ? :slight_smile:

Overall i can only agree with Stu24 and RunHomeSlow, and i have experienced the same bugs and user unfriendliness as them, that is:

  • Duplicate files, apparently coming from adding music in watched folder, while AV is open (hey, this is 21st century!!!)
  • Albums getting split for no reason (eg: 1-3 tracks in one album, 4-7 tracks in another album, with identical tags).
  • Search is not fully google-style: if i type “pink floyd” “DSD”, it wont find my DSD versions of their albums, even though “DSD” appears somewhere in the tags (i dont need to know where, but i know it’s there).
  • the Remote app view always goes back to the top, which irritates me!!
    … and certainly many others that dont come to mind now. I could write a book.

I wrote personally to Damien, no reply yet. The guy must be busy. This is one of the busyest topic in this forum and seems to have no attention/resolution from Damien … Bizarre!

Overall i love AV and have loved since v1, for sound quality.
I dont want to let poor UX darken the picture and have me convert to another competitor (is there even one??). When i think of all the complex programming Damien has done for the sound part … i cannot think an equal quality job can’t be done for user interface programming …

Come on Damien, give us a jewel! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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