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Subject: RE: Symlinks on Archos

RE: Symlinks on Archos

From: <>
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 15:55:10 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of roland
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 1:57 PM
Subject: Re: Symlinks on Archos

Hi Sweth,
what about a playlist ?
or bookmark function ?
why do you need symlinks on your juke ?

-------end original message------

I don't know what Mr. Chandramouli's answer is, but I can tell you mine:
hierarchical organization doesn't scale well to large numbers of MP3s. This
is especially apparent with classical music, but it's noticeable with any
sort of music.

When a hierarchical file system is used to organize MP3s (or anything else)
each entity can have only a single parent entity, represented by the
directory in which that entity is contained. I organize my non-classical
music MP3s by Genre/Performer/Album/Tracks, where the slashes are directory
separators. An example: I have a directory off root named "Folk", it has a
directory (among others) named "Bob Dylan", which contains one directory for
each Dylan album I own.

Problem number one: while I consider Dylan to be a folk singer, some of his
works can legitimately be classified as rock music. But a hierarchical
directory cannot represent this, unless I'm willing to split my Dylan
collection up. To more faithfully represent the various Dylan genres, I
would pay the (unacceptable) cost of not being able to browse all the Dylan
canon at once.

This problem is more of an annoyance than a call to arms for non-classical
music. For classical music, however, it becomes a serious impediment to
understanding what one's collection of music contains. I organize my
classical music according to the following directory scheme:
Genre/SubGenre/Composer/Album (Artist)/Track, but this isn't really a fix.
(SubGenre: era/epoch, e.g. Baroque, Romantic, etc.)

Consider my copy of "Arthur Rubinstein Early Performances: The 1932
Recordings of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 and the Chopin Piano
Concerto No.1". Rubinstein is important enough a performer that I don't want
to split him up between the Tchaikovsky and Chopin directories, and the
performance is distinctive enough (i.e., recorded in 1932 with all the pops
and hisses that implies) that I'll usually want to listen to it as a piece,
not as its constituent parts. But by making this decision, if someone asks
me to play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1, I won't be able to find it
unless I remember it's in the Rubinstein directory. Browsing the Tchaikovsky
directory won't turn it up for me.

The problem gets worse: I'd like very much to list, in Opus order, all the
opera of a particular composer I have. But I also want to keep the original
albums somewhat intact. I can do one or the other: collapse all of Bach into
an Opus list or make a subdirectory for each physical album/CD of Bach
compositions. I've done both, in various places, and neither is fully
acceptable. Of course it gets all the worse when an Album, like
Rubinstein's, contains works by more than one composer.

Of course, one answer is playlists. I could have an Opus playlist, rename
the file using the playlist EXTINF line (Archos does not honor the EXTINF
line, using the regrettable ID3v1 tag; does Rockbox?). I could also have a
Rubinstein playlist. But under Archos, while I can /play/ a playlist, I
can't /browse/ it. Nor can I make it hierarchical or recursive (e.g., a Folk
play list that would have entries only for folk singers, which singers could
be 'descended' into to display all that artist's folk recordings).

Another answer would be symlinks: I could leave the Rubinstein where it is,
and symlink to the Tchaikovsky and Chopin tracks from the Tchaikovsky and
Chopin directories respectively. (Note that the Archos firmware displays a
windows symlink "shortcut" as if it were an MP3, but fails to play it.)

A third answer would be to construct a database in place of (or more likely
on top of) the hierarchical file system, to allow access to tracks via a
multiple paths, a graph-like rather than the tree-like structure of the
hierarchical file system. It's this third answer I'm currently working on;
whether it will fit on an Archos is another question (but I don't rule it

Should anyone have ideas of what facilities a database like this should
provide, please feel free to let me know.

Sorry not to be more brief,

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of roland
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 1:57 PM
Subject: Re: Symlinks on Archos

Hi Sweth,
what about a playlist ?
or bookmark function ?
why do you need symlinks on your juke ?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sweth Chandramouli" <>
To: "Rockbox" <>
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 7:07 PM
Subject: Symlinks on Archos

> I suppose it would be foolish to hope that the Archos could
> support NTFS and NTFS junctions (the Windows equivalent of symlinks);
> is there any other way to get a symlink on the Archos that anyone is
> aware of?
> -- Sweth.
> --
> Sweth Chandramouli Idiopathic Systems Consulting
Received on 2003-01-26

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