Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

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Havenstad FM
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Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

Post by Havenstad FM »

Hello Bernd,

It looks like a bug i found, but please prove me wrong ;-)

We noticed a long time ago that a lot of tracks seemed to be playing more often than they should according to the library settings.
Using your excellent statistics tool it became clear that indeed some of these tracks were played almost daily.

All of the offending tracks had a &-sign in either a tag or in the filename.

To investigate, in a certain track i removed the & from the artist-tag only and from another track i removed the & from both the tag and the filename.
After that i waited a few weeks and checked with the statistics tool if that made any difference. It did seem to help a little but not as much as i would have expected.

And then i noticed another thing: Although i removed the &-sign from the tags, the statistics tool still shows the & in the artist-tag. How is that possible?

Another thing is that if i lookup the info on the track there is no play information for any track with an & in a tag or filename not even after i changed the track to remove the &-sign. (for reference i also include the info for an Abba track which clearly shows the last played date)

That probably explains why the tracks get scheduled again and again, but how do i fix this?

The tracks i show in the screenshots are 'Al Bano & Romina Power - Liberta' and 'Hall & Oates - I Can't Go For That'. From the first i removed the & from both the tag and the filename, from the last i removed the & from the filename only. For reference i include Abba - Super Trouper which is in the same medialib but is played a lot less frequently.

Attached you will find screenshots of these findings as well as our relevant settings. Should you need any more data please ask for it. (As there are more than 3 screenshots i zipped them)

With kind regards,

Jack Reitsema
ICT Omroep Eemsdelta
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screenshots of findings and relevant settings
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radio42
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Re: Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

Post by radio42 »

I am pretty sure, that that there is no bias or bug with tracks having an &-sign in the title, artist or filename...as all is UTF-8 etc.
From your screenshots I can also not see or reproduce, that certain tracks are played more often then others.
However, as you also seem use a Media History and a global history, I assume, that this might be one reason for playing those tracks more often.
Another option is of course the use of your media libraries, e.g. in your script you might use some libs more often the others ...

I also recommend looking into the "11. The History settings, do not repeat... (english)" tutorial video - it might explain more reasons:
viewtopic.php?t=1018

Regardless, the Track Info (ALT-2) however looks really strange for some tracks, as they report a PlayCounter of 0:
where the track info shows " Played: 0/0 ..."
This looks indeed strange and I can not say from here to what tracks and how you are looking at it.
Also note, that this Track Info can be reset ans cleared independent from the statistics shown; e.g. the numbers do not necessarily need to stay in sync.

So you should get the number from the same source, e.g. the all from the statistics application - do you see a bias there as well?
If yes, please forward your findings...
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Havenstad FM
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Re: Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

Post by Havenstad FM »

Hallo Bernd,

Thank you for the reply. I assure you that i studied the manual, the tutorial video's and the forum regarding the format planning extensively (but ofcourse everybody says that ;-))

And one of the reasons i started collecting the statistics was to have hard data to check for problems. A lot of times a listener claims a song is playing a lot more than something else, but i can just pull the stats and proof them wrong.

Well, herewith i send you the stat-files i collected since october 2020 then you can have a look for yourself.

I did prepare some layouts for you to illustrate my point. Some info upfront:

We use folder libs with tracks separated by decade. All music for the nonstop hours is located in the subtree below D:\Music\PF-Nonstop in subfolders like \70, \80, \90 and some special genres like \NL, \Kerst and \Blues. I used this to my advantage in the filter rules in the table layouts.

I selected some tracks, so called one-hit-wonders, that are present only once in our entire library. Some have an '&' and some don't. I would think that 2 unique tracks within the same medialib which is only scripted for nonstop music hours are subjected to the same playout rules and therefore both of them should be played an equal number of times. Well it seems the tracks with an & are played significantly more often.

They do not break the artist/title rules, i was wrong to say that, they are just played more often.

Here to my results:

In the seventies i found for example the tracks:

Marmalade - Reflections Of My Life
5000 Volts - I'm On Fire
Dave & Ansil Collins - Double Barrel
Lulu & David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World

I made 3 comparisons, see the layouts: Test-70a, Test-70b and Test-70c

In the nineties i found the following tracks:

Des'ree - Life
Extreme - More Than Words
Jon Secada - Just Another Day
Chico & Roberta - Frente A Frente
Katrina & The Waves - Love Shine A Light
Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers - That Sounds Good To Me

I made 4 comparisons, see the layouts: Test-90a, Test-90b, Test-90c and Test-90d

And this last one is even more interesting as it is the Blues lib. The folder Contains 2702 tracks which are planned for 1 hour, six days a week. That results in approximately 30 weeks before a track should be repeated without taking the separation rules into account. The tracks are:

Betty Davis - 70's Blues
Nina Hagen & The Leipzig Big Band - Sugar Blues

See Test-blues.tablelayout for the result.

Feel free to check more tracks in our stat files, but i understand that without more knowledge of the number of songs in each medialib and the number of tracks per artist and the applied script rules it is hard for you to filter for specific cases.

Because of the size of the files i placed them on my dropbox, please download them from: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/18pahifr ... rc0a466ky6

With kind regards,

Jack Reitsema
ICT Omroep Eemsdelta.
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radio42
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Re: Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

Post by radio42 »

I will take a closer look to your stats, but this will take some time.

However, you do a few ‚mistakes‘ in your assumptions. Here is just one example. You say, that ‚those‘ tracks should result in equal playout, since the same rules apply to them.
This is unfortunately not correct, as you apply Title, Artist and probably Album rules to them. Ie. your assumption would only be correct, if you use NO rule at all, but only use pure randomness!
I give you a simple example:

Let’s assume you have 5 tracks in your lib. And you apply Artist repeat rules - like you are doing in your case. This rule says, do not repeat the same Artist within the last 3 tracks.
However, let’s further assume, that you have the following tracks in your lib:
Track1 - Artist1
Track2 - Artist1
Track3 - Artist1
Track4 - Artist2
Track5 - Artist3

You will immediately recognize, that the tracks from Artist2 and Artist3 will be played more often. Why? Artist1 tracks could not repeat, as such, real randomness can not happen!

It gets more complex with relaxed rules, where artist names are separated by keywords like ‚feat.‘, ‚meets‘, ‚starr.‘ and also the &-sign.

So, if your top priority is that most tracks are played equally ofter, start very simple, only the global history and use the LastRecentlyPlayed script-line mode.

But I will also do another long running test to see, if there is any bias.
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radio42
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Re: Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

Post by radio42 »

Here are my results after extensive testing ...

Result: Tracks are mostly equally distributed and there is no bias towards tracks with an &-sign.

Setup:
I created a test library with 11 test tracks.
Used a global history with a size of 5.
The script has just one line using the LastRecentlyPlayed mode.

Code: Select all

Filename	Title		Artist		Album
Track1:		A		A 		A
Track2:		B		B		B & C
Track3:		C		C		E
Track4:		D		D & E		F
Track5:		E & F		F		G
Track6:		G		G & H		H
Track7:		H		I 		I
Track8:		I & J		J		J
Track9:		K		K		K
Tracl10:	L 		L		L & M
Track11: 	M		M		N
The tracks are only 10sec. long to get quicker results. The test was running 24 hours.
Just one little adjustment was done in the test to better simulate the time: By default the LastRecentlyPlayed mode randomly sorts all tracks having played in the last 6 hour window, do give some randomness, as else (if really always the last recently played track would have been selected), this mode is actually a sequential mode. For the test this time window was reduced to the last 5 minutes.
Here are the result after the test (# of playouts):

Code: Select all

Track1:  906
Track2:  992
Track3:  947
Track4:  862
Track5:  859
Track6:  931
Track7:  918
Track8:  831
Track9:  830
Track10: 860
Track11: 884
As you can see, there is no bias towards tracks containing an &-sign. There is a slight bias towards the tracks 3 and 2 for example:
Track2: having just an &-sigh in the album (which I did even remove from my checks)
Track3: having no &-sign in any value

Total number of playouts is 9.820 - with tracks of an average length of 4 min. this reflects ~15 days.
Assume you have a library of 5.000 tracks (instead of 11), this would represent 20 years of playout.

I once did a text with 100.000 playouts and even got much better results, as any random generator gets better with bigger numbers. As here are 'only' 9.820 playouts are simulated, the results stay in the range of expected variations do to using just that small number.
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Havenstad FM
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Re: Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

Post by Havenstad FM »

radio42 wrote: 27 Nov 2022 17:54 However, you do a few ‚mistakes‘ in your assumptions. Here is just one example. You say, that ‚those‘ tracks should result in equal playout, since the same rules apply to them.
This is unfortunately not correct, as you apply Title, Artist and probably Album rules to them. Ie. your assumption would only be correct, if you use NO rule at all, but only use pure randomness!
I give you a simple example:
I am aware of that, that is exactly the reason why i chose the one-hit-wonders. Just one unique artist-title in our complete database. Only the Lulu & David Bowie is a wrong choice i realise now, because we have more tracks from David Bowie and one more from Lulu.
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Havenstad FM
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Re: Tracks with a & in tag or filename play too often

Post by Havenstad FM »

Well, what can i say. You did a lot more testing than i did apparently ;-)

Somehow i must be missing something, because as i said, i thoroughly studied everything that has to do with the format planning and playout rules.

Allright, we will be moving to a new studio soon, a good moment to rethink our PF setup and make a fresh start. Hopefully we will see the problem disappear then...

Thank you for your time,

With kind regards,
Jack Reitsema
ICT Omroep Eemsdelta

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