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Thread: Media Sorting

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    Media Sorting

    I am guessing this is a generic Windows problem, since it occurs in more than one program.

    When I double-click, or drag and drop numbered media files from a folder to players, they are added to the playlist in an oddly sorted way: they all start the playlist a few numbers in (say, on track X), go consecutively to the end, start over with track 1, and then continue consecutively to track X-1 (like this order 4,5,6,7,1,2,3).

    This happens with both video (AVI and MPG) and music files (MP3, WAV, Ogg).

    This happens with different players (WMP, WinAmp. MusicMatch Jukebox).

    Is there a workaround for this?

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    Re: Media Sorting

    Is X NOT the first file double-clicked or put in the playlist? If not, in what order are the files being selected? Can you supply the actual complete file names of a representative sample?

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Media Sorting

    Everything depends which way you selected multiple files. In your example, you selected Track 4 first and then expanded selection on all files (Ctrl-A), is it correct?
    Try to select Track 1 first, and then holding Shift key select the last track; or select Track 1 first and holding Ctrl key select all other tracks (Track 2, Track 3, etc.).

    Please post the result - does it make any difference?

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    Re: Media Sorting

    1) I am not talking about double-clicking items consecutively. If you do that, they go into the playlist in FIFO order.

    2) Normally I am doing this with something like a CTRL-A. In this case, I seem to get some order in the playlist (e.g., 3412), just not the structure that seems logical (e.g., 1234).

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    Re: Media Sorting

    1) If I click Track 1, and then do CTRL-A, they come up in some other order like 3412 rather than 1234.
    2) Seems to work the same way if I select Track 01 and then shift-click on the last track
    3) Seems to work the same way if I click on Track 01, and the CTRL click on consecutive files.

    Now I see something else interesting. I sorted the files by size, so the were in order 3124. I then used one of the above methods to add them to a playlist, and I got an order 2431. So, it is definitely using the order I have, but starting at some other point.

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    Re: Media Sorting

    1.) This is what you said you were doing in your original post.

    2.) Not sure but since all are selected it could be that Windows is selecting them by the sequence in which they are physically stored. Remember that Windows Explorer or an Open files dialog are just views not a representation of physical structure. By doing a CTRL+A you are not specifying an order.

    Joe
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    Re: Media Sorting

    Agreed - my original post should have made clear that I am doing a bunch of files simultaneously. Something like CTRL-A, or holding down the shift key, and then dragging and dropping.

    Anyway ... I am thinking that it has to do with underlying data storage as well.

    But ... I really don't care about the specifics, all I want is a workaround. Anyone got one?

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    Re: Media Sorting

    I doubt there is a workaround. When you multi-select you are not specifying an order just that you want multiple files. I believe that Windows supplies them as it wishes.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Media Sorting

    I "think" I agree with Joe that there's not gonna be much you can do about it if the "calling" application takes the files in the order that Windows sends them. This subject has been touched on before, although for different reasons than the playing of media. I think the last time it had to do with graphics. The order you see in a Windows "window" is a sorting choice of that particular application and doesn't seem to bear any resemblance to the way that the OS actually stores and deals with the files. Sorry, but I don't have an answer for your problem.

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    Re: Media Sorting

    Total Commander (shareware) has the option to show files in "Unsorted order", meaning the physical order on disc. You can call it with Ctrl+F7 or via menu Show. Maybe Ctrl+clicking on each file in the order you want before dragging solves your problem. Haven't tried it myself yet.

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    Re: Media Sorting

    Sorry ... I had to take some personal days. Thanks for the help folks.

    We can shut this down if you like ... but ... I still have doubts that this has to do with how the OS is feeding files to the application. The reason is that there is some filename-based ordering, just not the one that seems most sensible. If this was based on some order on the drive, or in a hash somewhere, it seems to me that the ordering would be more random than it is.To me, this looks like bizarre, but intentionally programmed behavior.

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    Re: Media Sorting

    At least as regards dragging audio files into the WMP "Now Playing" window, I certainly agree with you. What often happens is they show up mostly in order, but the first X tracks are bumped (as a block) to the end, so I get something like 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3, just like you do -- and it's erratic. This has nothing to do with their unsorted order in the OS's file system.

    For what it's worth, I seem to have better luck if, after I've selected all the files in Explorer, I make a point of clicking on the first file for purposes of dragging the bunch to WMP.

    PS. I also love the fact that the file names don't display in the WMP list if they include parentheses!

    UPDATE: Oops. Correction to PS: It's percent symbols, not parentheses, that cause WMP to hide file names.

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    Re: Media Sorting

    Just to venture a guess here, but "%" symbols aren't Windows friendly. They are most often seen in URL's in combination with "20". They are automatically inserted because there are spaces in the address. Why not try removing any spaces you have in the file names, e.g., by substituting a "-" dash or an "_" underscore and see if that makes a difference. <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/Ponder.gif>

    Jeff
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

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    Re: Media Sorting

    By Jove, I think you've got it!

    My assumption was always that if I did CTRL-A (or something similar) and then dragged and dropped that I would get the list in the same order that it appears in the source window - basically, that I didn't have to be too careful about my drag-and-drop to get it to work right.

    BUT ... after experimenting with this, it seems like XP uses the mouse click event's location (in the original list) to determine where to start the new list.

    This isn't dumb by any means, but it certainly requires a higher degree of attention than the "drag-and-drop" metaphor suggests.

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