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Thursday 4 May 2017

MinimServer with SongKong: Part 4: Groups and Works

Go forward to Part 5: The Artist Index
Go back to      Part 3:Sorting Conductor and other fields


Groups and Compositions

Minimserver has the concept of Groups and Works (or Compositions). In its purest sense Groups are simply a way to groups tracks within a particular album. But with regards to Classical music a Group is synonymous with a work, with each track representing a movement and all movements in a a work having the same value for Group.  

In the majority of cases the Work/Composition field has the same value as the Group field but it is used for a different purpose, if added to the indexTags field it can then be indexed and browsed in the same way as the artist or album.

But some music such as Operas are more complex than a simply consisting of movements and works. Operas can consist of multiple tracks per scenes that are part of acts that then make up the Opera. When there are more than two levels the Work/Composition should usually be set to the highest level, i.e the Opera name

Groups Example

Without using groups all tracks are listed in track order when you open an album

But with groups we see the groups representing a work when you open the album. This is much clearer, we can clearly see at a glance there are two different works, String Quarter in G minor Op 10 and String Quartet in F major. This makes sense because it is more common to play the complete work rather than just one movement of the work

but you can still double click on a group to see the  movements contained within, and play individual tracks.

Configuring Groups with SongKong

So how can SongKong help? 

Although the Group field is not a standard metadata field we have added support for it in SongKong so with SongKong your identified tracks will be automatically grouped by MinimServer with no further configuration needed.

If you don't want SongKong to group fields just add to the Never modify or add these fields list.

Browsing by Works

For browsing by work SongKong provides two different possibilities. 

Browse by Overall Work

The OVERALL_WORK field lets you browse by the top level work such as the Opera name. Simply add OVERALL_WORK to MinimServer indexTag field and rescan. I have renamed it here to the more user friendly Work using the originalName:NewName syntax.

Now you can browse the Work index

Browse by Work 

Alternatively the WORK field lets you browse at a level synonymous with Group . Simply add WORK to MinimServer indexTag field and rescan. 

There are some differences between the Group field and the Work fields. Sometimes movements are not listed contiguously within an album. MinimServer does not support non-contiguous Groups, but there is no such restriction on MinimServer Works.

This article is correct for SongKong 4.8 onwards it replaces this older article

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