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How to sort tracks / folders on SD-Cards, USB-Sticks?
Dirki
post Nov 19 2012, 19:11
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Is there a tool / add on / an option to sort files / folders on SD-Cards, USB-Sticks etc. to play the tracks in the desired arrangement on a CD-Player, MP3-Player, car radio etc.?


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Daeron
post Nov 19 2012, 20:23
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You can try using playlists or renaming your files numerically.
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Dirki
post Nov 19 2012, 20:43
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Thanks Daeron.

Yes, of course, that was one of my first thoughts, but it doesn't work (because of the FAT system or so).


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Remedial Sound
post Nov 19 2012, 20:57
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Could you give a specific example of what you're trying to accomplish? I assume you know that you need to define your desired arrangement first, and that you can do so by loading all the tracks to an empty playlist and sorting as you see fit. I'll also assume that playlist files (e.g., fpl or m3u) aren't an option given the hardware.

Unless they have some sort of navigation/browsing functionality, most mp3-cd players will play folders/files in alphanumeric order. If you're willing to live with it, you can take your sorted playlist name/rename the files on your removable media using File Operations and the %list_index% field.
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CiTay
post Nov 19 2012, 21:12
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There's this old freeware called FolderSort. Let this loose on your USB stick and the songs will play in the right order.

The original website doesn't exist anymore, but you can get it here for example ("Download starten").
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lvqcl
post Nov 19 2012, 21:12
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http://hem.passagen.se/chsw/fatsort/index.html
http://www.anerty.net/software/file/DriveSort.php
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Dirki
post Nov 19 2012, 21:14
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Thank you.

QUOTE
Could you give a specific example of what you're trying to accomplish?

A have a specific order of folders / tracks, I want to listen to them, on PC / Notebook that can easily be done of course, so I want to hear the tracks e.g. on a CD-Player a M with USB or SD-Card connection, but even when the folders are renamed the way (e.g. 1 to 100) I want to listen to the tracks or access them according to the folders, so when I want to play the tracks of folder 5, I want to access folder 5 and listen to the tracks which are contained in the folder, but when I access folder 5 it is another folder, e.g. folder 11. Renaming doesn't help.

QUOTE
I assume you know that you need to define your desired arrangement first, and that you can do so by loading all the tracks to an empty playlist and sorting as you see fit.

Yes, on PC or Notebook it works without problems.
QUOTE
I'll also assume that playlist files (e.g., fpl or m3u) aren't an option given the hardware.

Yes, indeed, playlists does not work on these players.

QUOTE
Unless they have some sort of navigation/browsing functionality, most mp3-cd players will play folders/files in alphanumeric order.

Alas, all the players I know do not do that, that would be easy to handle.

QUOTE
If you're willing to live with it, you can take your sorted playlist name/rename the files on your removable media using File Operations and the %list_index% field.

Yes, that all works fine, but it didn't help, changing the file creating, changing time etc. doesn't help also.

Thanks again.


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Dirki
post Nov 19 2012, 21:28
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Many thanks.

QUOTE
There's this old freeware called FolderSort. Let this loose on your USB stick and the songs will play in the right order.

The original website doesn't exist anymore, but you can get it here for example ("Download starten").

http://www.anerty.net/software/file/DriveSort.php


I have already tried these kind of programs, they do not seem to work on my systems. They arrangement doesn't change.


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Dynamic
post Nov 20 2012, 01:46
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A good few SD or USB players with an MP3 decoder will simply play any file in the order it appears in the file allocation table (FAT), which, when writing to a formatted flash drive will almost certainly be the order they were written to the card.

fb2k includes File Operations to Copy files in your playlist (in the order you have them) to a location, specifying the filename using title formatting syntax. It should do so in that sequence, writing the FAT in that sequence, causing playback in the required order.

This old thread details steps I took to accomplish the desired playback order, which I still use when loading a new SD card for the same system (and I'll be doing a new mix of Christmas and non-Christmas tracks soon). The second post simplified my replacements of non-filename characters.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=76573
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Dirki
post Nov 20 2012, 02:17
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Many thanks.

Sorry, what does fb2k mean? Ah yes, an add on, where can I download it?

QUOTE
fb2k includes File Operations to Copy files in your playlist (in the order you have them) to a location, specifying the filename using title formatting syntax. It should do so in that sequence, writing the FAT in that sequence, causing playback in the required order.

Does that work with folders, also (foobar shows the tracks without folders after dropping the folders to the playlist)? So, when I have folders 1 to 100, how could I make foobar to copy them in the right order to a SD-Card or an USB-Stick?

Thanks for the link to the old thread, I will try the steps there. At the moment, I don't have any player to test.

This post has been edited by Dirki: Nov 20 2012, 02:25


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Dynamic
post Nov 20 2012, 03:21
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Foobar2000 = fb2k (the sub-forum you're posting in uses that in its title, so I adopted the abbreviation too)

You could specify the folder name using title formatting strings such as %list_index%. For my needs, I only wanted one folder for all 300+ tracks on a 1GB SD card. I don't know what pattern you want, e.g. what goes in which folder.
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Dirki
post Nov 20 2012, 10:13
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QUOTE
Foobar2000 = fb2k (the sub-forum you're posting in uses that in its title, so I adopted the abbreviation too)

OK, I understand, no add on.

QUOTE
You could specify the folder name using title formatting strings such as %list_index%. For my needs, I only wanted one folder for all 300+ tracks on a 1GB SD card. I don't know what pattern you want, e.g. what goes in which folder.

OK, so I could foobar let create foulders, I would first try to enumerate from folder 1 upwards.


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Dynamic
post Nov 20 2012, 17:00
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Do you have limitations such as file name length being 8 characters? If not, things are easier.

Do all your devices play strictly in alphabetical order or if you copy an extra file beginning with A after all the rest, will it play at the end (meaning that Windows happened to just copy the files over in alphabetical order and the devices play them in order of being written to the disk)?

What will go into folder 1, folder 2 etc if you use that numbering scheme (or better 0001 to 0002 to match alphabetical order to numeric order? It sounds like you have certain playlist you'd like in each folder, but it is not anything like the first 100 tracks, the second 100 tracks etc, or all tracks from the same album. Any examples to help us understand?

If you drag the files into the order you want in a foobar2000 playlist and sort or randomize and drag them into a suitable order it's possible to select those files you want in a single folder and run the File Operations/Copy... (or indeed the Convert option in similar fashion) and change the title formatting string manually to include a new folder name or number.

Or it's possible to come up with other folder names or numbers from parts or the whole of the metadata or the playlist position %list_index%. I think you can do things like integer division and derive folder names, so for example you can put n tracks into every playlist by dividing %list_index% by n to derive your folder number.

In my example, all going into one folder so it would play continuously, I had room for about 650 tracks so I used %list_index% and chose only the third character from the right (the 'hundreds' digit) so I had separate filenames written to my SD card even when the same track was repeated in my Christmas playlist over 100 songs after it was last played. I also used only 5 characters from the %title% and up to two initials from the %artist% to separate files that otherwise might have the same 8.3 format filenames. I also used the $replace function to remove illegal characters that aren't permitted in file names in the disk system I was using.

If you can use more than 8.3 characters (or 11 for folder names) you might be able to use some other tag field that separates the file you want in different folders and also get foobar to sort them into a suitable order so that they are written to the flash drive in the right order.

If there's no pattern or tagging to allow it to be automated in any way, you can simply sort your playlist using any mixture of automatic sort patterns and manual drag & drop moving and copy a selected group of tracks semi-manually to the folder in order and if it must be alphabetically sorted to append numbers to the front of the file name within that manually typed folder name but some automation on the track titling within that folder.

For example supposing 41 tracks were what you consider Cheesy Pop Songs and your Flash Drive is drive G: after selecting those 41 songs in your playlist you can manually enter a number (to put that folder first) and a suitable title.

For example something along the lines of:
Destination folder:
G:\01 Cheesy Pop Songs
File Name Pattern:
%list_index% - %title% - %artist%
and uncheck the "copy entire source folder" box.

Then as it's the first bunch of songs, they'll be numbered 01 to 41 which makes the alphabetical order work. Once copied, you could remove the selected songs from the playlist so that the next song will now be list_index 01, and select the next bunch of songs. Then edit the destination line along these lines:

G:\02 Alt Rock
%list_index% - %title% - %artist%
and run the copy function again. Rinse & repeat as required.

But, if you can automate things like the folder naming using Genre, Year, Artist tags etc depending how you want to divide into folders, then you could probably make the whole thing run once and filter the whole lot into the right folders automatically. It really depends if there's structure to it or most of it is on a whim.

E.g. you'd then use G:\ as the destination folder and use the \ within the naming format box to separate folders, subfolders and file name formats, e.g.

File Name Pattern:
%genre% '('%date%')'\%list_index% %title% - %artist%

to obtain things like:
G:\Rock (1979)\048 Another Brick In The Wall (part 2) - Pink Floyd

if that's the sort of way you wanted to organise things (unlikely in the specifics, but you get the idea of how you can build upon the syntax).

You can do similar things in the Convert dialogue if you have lossless files to start with and wish to convert them, though multi-threaded conversion may muck up the order of file-writing, it it's enabled.
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Dirki
post Nov 21 2012, 03:25
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QUOTE
Do you have limitations such as file name length being 8 characters? If not, things are easier.

I didn't notice any so far, long file names work.

QUOTE
Do all your devices play strictly in alphabetical order or if you copy an extra file beginning with A after all the rest, will it play at the end (meaning that Windows happened to just copy the files over in alphabetical order and the devices play them in order of being written to the disk)?

At the moment - I don't have any devices to test - I am not sure about the order of the tracks, but if I am right, the tracks are played in the right, desired order, starting e.g. with 0 (Zero) to 1, 2, 3 and so on or alphabetical. Ah yes, at the beginning these folders called 1, 2, 3 till e.g. 60 were played in the right order, but after having added a new folder named e.g. "5" I replaced with the old folder "5", "5" was played at the end, if I remember right. Yes, the devices play them in order of being written to the disk obviously.

QUOTE
What will go into folder 1, folder 2 etc if you use that numbering scheme (or better 0001 to 0002 to match alphabetical order to numeric order?

All the different kinds of renaming of the folders didn't take any effect, numerical, alphabetical, the order stayed the same. Renaming the tracks I will test the next time.

QUOTE
It sounds like you have certain playlist you'd like in each folder, but it is not anything like the first 100 tracks, the second 100 tracks etc, or all tracks from the same album. Any examples to help us understand?

Am I right, you do not mean the playlist files like m3u (I could not use them, they do not work, if I am right, on these devices) you mean just the order, albums, kind of tracks etc. There are some complete albums I must listen to in the same orders like they are on the albums and there are 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 tracks or so in a folder without the need to have a special order. E.g. ABC, The Look Of Love or some albums of Dream Theater I would listen to in the same order the tracks are on these albums.
So, I would like to access a special folder, e.g. folder "15" actually containing e.g. the band ABC, but according to having replaced folder "2" with a new folder "2" containing other or more tracks the order of the folders has changed and now folder "2" is the last one which is played and folder "15" now is folder "14", if I see it right.

QUOTE
If you drag the files into the order you want in a foobar2000 playlist and sort or randomize and drag them into a suitable order it's possible to select those files you want in a single folder and run the File Operations/Copy... (or indeed the Convert option in similar fashion) and change the title formatting string manually to include a new folder name or number.

Or it's possible to come up with other folder names or numbers from parts or the whole of the metadata or the playlist position %list_index%. I think you can do things like integer division and derive folder names, so for example you can put n tracks into every playlist by dividing %list_index% by n to derive your folder number.

In my example, all going into one folder so it would play continuously, I had room for about 650 tracks so I used %list_index% and chose only the third character from the right (the 'hundreds' digit) so I had separate filenames written to my SD card even when the same track was repeated in my Christmas playlist over 100 songs after it was last played. I also used only 5 characters from the %title% and up to two initials from the %artist% to separate files that otherwise might have the same 8.3 format filenames. I also used the $replace function to remove illegal characters that aren't permitted in file names in the disk system I was using.

If you can use more than 8.3 characters (or 11 for folder names) you might be able to use some other tag field that separates the file you want in different folders and also get foobar to sort them into a suitable order so that they are written to the flash drive in the right order.

If there's no pattern or tagging to allow it to be automated in any way, you can simply sort your playlist using any mixture of automatic sort patterns and manual drag & drop moving and copy a selected group of tracks semi-manually to the folder in order and if it must be alphabetically sorted to append numbers to the front of the file name within that manually typed folder name but some automation on the track titling within that folder.

For example supposing 41 tracks were what you consider Cheesy Pop Songs and your Flash Drive is drive G: after selecting those 41 songs in your playlist you can manually enter a number (to put that folder first) and a suitable title.

For example something along the lines of:
Destination folder:
G:\01 Cheesy Pop Songs
File Name Pattern:
%list_index% - %title% - %artist%
and uncheck the "copy entire source folder" box.

Then as it's the first bunch of songs, they'll be numbered 01 to 41 which makes the alphabetical order work. Once copied, you could remove the selected songs from the playlist so that the next song will now be list_index 01, and select the next bunch of songs. Then edit the destination line along these lines:

G:\02 Alt Rock
%list_index% - %title% - %artist%
and run the copy function again. Rinse & repeat as required.

But, if you can automate things like the folder naming using Genre, Year, Artist tags etc depending how you want to divide into folders, then you could probably make the whole thing run once and filter the whole lot into the right folders automatically. It really depends if there's structure to it or most of it is on a whim.

E.g. you'd then use G:\ as the destination folder and use the \ within the naming format box to separate folders, subfolders and file name formats, e.g.

File Name Pattern:
%genre% '('%date%')'\%list_index% %title% - %artist%

to obtain things like:
G:\Rock (1979)\048 Another Brick In The Wall (part 2) - Pink Floyd

if that's the sort of way you wanted to organise things (unlikely in the specifics, but you get the idea of how you can build upon the syntax).

You can do similar things in the Convert dialogue if you have lossless files to start with and wish to convert them, though multi-threaded conversion may muck up the order of file-writing, it it's enabled.

OK, that sounds good, one of these methods must work on these devices, I will try this next time. Especially as foobar copies files in the right order to an USB-Stick, Card it should work. I am wondering whether copying with CopyHandler or TeraCopy or FastCopy could work, may be they copy the way foobar can do. I will try also next time.

Many thanks indeed for your ideas and explanations.



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Dynamic
post Nov 22 2012, 02:28
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It sounds like, within each folder, the contents are presented in the order you wrote them. Therefore you don't have to name them 1 2 3 4 5 etc. You could name them by album artist (in case it's various artists with individual track artists), then an album subfolder, and inside that, all the album tracks in the right order. You could also load m3u playlists into fb2k.


G:\

%album_artist%\%album%\%track% - %title% - %artist%

or something like that.

Then you might have:

A folder ABC containing two subfolders called The Lexicon Of Love and Beauty Stab (you could even append the year or release if you like) each of which contains the tracks from those albums with track numbers in the file names. If that approach suits your whole collection you can select the whole fb2k playlist and run the File Copy on them all to do it automatically.

They key is sorting by the order you want things in. Foobar reads all the tags so it can do that. I don't imagine the other file handlers read audio tags.
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Dirki
post Nov 22 2012, 03:04
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QUOTE
It sounds like, within each folder, the contents are presented in the order you wrote them. Therefore you don't have to name them 1 2 3 4 5 etc.

Yes, it seems to be all the same the way they are named.

QUOTE
You could name them by album artist (in case it's various artists with individual track artists), then an album subfolder, and inside that, all the album tracks in the right order. You could also load m3u playlists into fb2k.

Yes, I understand.

QUOTE
A folder ABC containing two subfolders called The Lexicon Of Love and Beauty Stab (you could even append the year or release if you like) each of which contains the tracks from those albums with track numbers in the file names. If that approach suits your whole collection you can select the whole fb2k playlist and run the File Copy on them all to do it automatically.

Yes, that would be great. I will try.

QUOTE
They key is sorting by the order you want things in. Foobar reads all the tags so it can do that. I don't imagine the other file handlers read audio tags.

Yes indeed, they cannot, but I already have the existing folders (1, 2, 3...) and if they copy them in the right order it might work for these folders.

Thanks again.


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southisup
post Nov 28 2012, 02:48
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QUOTE (Dynamic @ Nov 20 2012, 11:46) *
A good few SD or USB players with an MP3 decoder will simply play any file in the order it appears in the file allocation table (FAT), which, when writing to a formatted flash drive will almost certainly be the order they were written to the card.

If that's the problem here, the simplest way I found of writing in order to the FAT was:
  1. Click on a column header to sort the files into the desired playing order in Windows Explorer (I used Lupas Rename 2000 if renaming was necessary).
  2. Select all the files.
  3. Click on the top file in the list, & drag them onto the player in another Windows Explorer window.

That was under Windows XP, but would be worth trying in 7. Dragging by any other file in the selection resulted in the files being written to the FAT, & therefore played, out of order.
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Dirki
post Nov 28 2012, 03:13
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Thanks, southisup,

I couldn't test the ideas of Dynamic, yet, I am sure they will work.

<<<Click on the top file in the list...
So all files are marked, Ctrl key pressed.

<<<...& drag them onto the player in another Windows Explorer window.
Or to an USB-Stick or SD-Card.

OK, thanks again, I will try also.


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Dirki
post Dec 28 2012, 16:09
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All of that Dynamic suggested / explained works perfectly (so, using the copy option of the context menu "Copy to" or "Move to"). Many thanks again.

When you use the "Copy to" option, is it possible that foobar automatically enumerates the copied or new created folders, so to add a 1 in front of the folder name, 2, 3 etc. So, when foobar copies or creates the first folder named "folder1" the name shall be changed to e.g. "1 - folder1", the second folder named "folder2" to "2 - folder2" and so on?

E.g. dragging the files being in the right order in foobar from the play list to a SD-Card, USB-Stick does not seem to work.

The different players I have, seem to react differently, so you have to try out how you copy the files.


QUOTE (southisup @ Nov 28 2012, 03:48) *
QUOTE (Dynamic @ Nov 20 2012, 11:46) *
A good few SD or USB players with an MP3 decoder will simply play any file in the order it appears in the file allocation table (FAT), which, when writing to a formatted flash drive will almost certainly be the order they were written to the card.

If that's the problem here, the simplest way I found of writing in order to the FAT was:
  1. Click on a column header to sort the files into the desired playing order in Windows Explorer (I used Lupas Rename 2000 if renaming was necessary).
  2. Select all the files.
  3. Click on the top file in the list, & drag them onto the player in another Windows Explorer window.

That was under Windows XP, but would be worth trying in 7. Dragging by any other file in the selection resulted in the files being written to the FAT, & therefore played, out of order.


Yes, that works, unbelievable, I hadn't get that idea. The easiest way. The only thing I didn't try. It also works with e.g. CopyHandler. And I can drag by any of the marked files (also with the Windows copy option). I am wondering why there are programs like foldersorter. By the way, (AntRenamer and ReNamer work very well for renaming, also.

Thank you very much again.


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southisup
post Jan 3 2013, 02:51
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QUOTE (Dirki @ Dec 29 2012, 02:09) *
Yes, that works, unbelievable

Yes, not very discoverable. Glad it's documented here now. Is it under Windows 7 that it works for you?
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Dirki
post Jan 3 2013, 14:49
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Yes, it is Win 7.

Thanks again.


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southisup
post Mar 29 2013, 02:52
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Quick footnote:

I just had to put an audio book onto an old Conia CMP12801 MP3 player, using Windows 7. The tracks are both named & tagged 01 to 59 but the player took no notice of either when it came to play order. Just copying the directory over resulted in apparently random order.

Selecting all & dragging via track 01 did put them in order, but starting a few tracks in - at 06 I think - & wrapping round. Probably good enough but I had one more go at getting it right. The player has a little LCD screen so you can see the sequence numbers it has allocated the tracks, alongside the tags, which it can read, so it was fairly easy to tell when things were right.

I ended up doing a full format from Windows 7, and then the tracks, when dragged & dropped by track 01, wrote in an order the player saw in the correct play order.
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