Further to our discussions, on the Magic Nodes forum, let me begin by explaining how I manage my music and syncing to my devices.
Firstly, I am surprised that media player companies haven't thought about the management of music to devices more – although MM, especially combined with Magic Nodes is streets ahead of other software. I want to be able to plan how I sync, without having my devices connected, and want to be able to sync in the same way to multiple devices.
I have a lot of music on my PC, and I have Windows Mobile phone which I use as an MP3 player and an IPod in the car. Especially in the car (I’m sure this will start to happen as more people use their IPod etc in the car), everything has to be as simple as possible, and ideally just serve up music, either via a handful of playlists or handful of artists.
As I have said, I have a lot of music, but don't want to sync all my music to my devices. Generally I have a lot of complete albums/greatest hits and some single tracks. On my devices, I don't want to see 1000's of artists listed, only my favourites artists (approx 150 of them), and especially don't want to see artists that don't have complete albums - in the artist listing. However, I do want top rated music from my non-favourite artists synced to the device. So for these non-favourite artists, I don't want the metadata on the PC altered, but I would like the song synced with a AlbumArtist of "Various Artists (Compiled)".
I use 3 key fields which I use to build automatic playlists (and for which Magic Nodes is an absolute blessing). I use Genre, as you would expect. I use rating, and generally my playlists only contain 4*+ or 5*+ songs. Finally I use Grouping (GroupDesc) which is key. I use several values and ! character, to describe my groupings. EG. “(!!!!!) – Favourites”, “(!!!!) – Latest Music”, “(!!!) – Legends”, “(!!) – Sync”, “(!) – Other Music”. Different devices have different capacities, but for example, I will sync anything, unaltered, that begins with “(!!!” regardless of rating. I will then sync anything that begins with “(!” but does not begin with “(!!!” and has a rating of 4* or above to the device, but from my “Various Artists” version of the song (as described in the Magic Nodes forum). I create 2 master playlists, one for the “(!!!” + songs and another containing the “(!!” or less “Various Artists” versions of the songs. Using these 2 master playlists I build my actual playiists, Eg, “Fav, Rock, 4*+”, “Fav, Pop, 4*+”, “Fav, Everything, 4*+” and “All Groupings, Rock, 4*+“ etc etc.
And these playlists actually get synced to my device.
With this set up, just by tagging a song into the right grouping, and rating etc, will add it to the appropriate playlists either as the actual artist or the “Various Artists” version. I don’t have to actually add any songs to playlists. This happens automatically.
The problem I have at the moment, is I have used directory junctioning to create a “Various Artists” version of the song, with Album name derived from the Genre. I have to have every version of the song duplicated in the database as a “Various Artists” version. (I could alter the directory structure to reduce this, but don’t really want to if I can help it).
What would allow me to use Track Redirection to solve my problem would be for Track Redirection to monitor my library, and automatically create a redirection, based on a filter. So for example, any file that has a grouping which begins with the string “(!)” or “(!!)” and had a rating of 4* or above, would automatically have an ascx created. I would be able to set properties for these ascx files. So AlbumArtist would become “Various Artists”, “Album Name” would become the Genre, and I would be able to fake the bitrate of file type, so that I can tell MM only to convert the redirected files (I have to convert so that the metadata properties are altered on the device for those songs). The ascx files would be in addition to the original file, not replace it.
I hope that makes sense.
Let me know if you have any questions.