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Organising multi-disc sets

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Getting Slim Server to work with Multi-Disc Sets


Like many of you, I have a lot of multiple disc sets in my collection. When I first set up SlimServer last week I noticed a setting under /Slim Server Settings => Behavior/ that was called Multi-Disc Options (Check this). In it you can select whether SlimServer treats your multi-disc albums as one disc or multiple. I selected the option /treat multiple disc albums as a single album/ and expected it to combine my albums like:

  • Pink Floyd
    • Dark Side of the Moon
    • The Wall (Disc 1)
    • The Wall (Disc 2)

Into a single album as such:

  • Pink Floyd
    • Dark Side of the Moon
    • The Wall

After making the change, I could not see any difference though. The Wall was still showing up as in the first example. Like a typical user I decided the software was broken, and went looking in the forums to see if anyone had found a fix for this. In short it turns out this feature (mostly) works just fine if you use it correctly. Here is what I found:

Instructions for getting Multi-Disc working

First off, SlimServer is not complex enough to look at the name of all your albums and figure out which ones are part of a multi-disc set. In order for two CDs to be grouped together you need to tell it explicitly through the use of the file tags. I am using Tag&Rename for all my tagging issues, and I have a mix of MP3 and FLAC files in my music Library. The procedure below works for both file types, and should work with any tagging program that supports Disc Number

First off, you need to set the album name exactly the same for all discs in the set. Originally, I had two album names specified in the file tags: "The Wall (Disc 1)", and "The Wall (Disc 2)" For Slim to get this working, I had to change the album name to "The Wall" for all 26 tracks.

Now you have to go into the tagging options for all tracks on the first disc and find a field called "Disc #", DISC or DISCNUMBER (the last two are standard vorbis tags, and other tagging programs might name it slightly differently). Set this tag to 1 for all tracks on disc 1, and to 2 for all tracks on disc 2.

While Slimserver is happy with tags for this form for mp3s, other players may not be and technically the standard way to tag mp3s for multi-disc collections is to use the TPOS tag, which has values "1/2" for the first disc of two and "2/2" for the second disc of two, etc. Have a look here for all Slimserver supported tags: SlimServerSupportedTags.

Lastly, you need to select the option to treat multi-discs as one album (as noted above, this is through Server Settings => Behaviour, under Group Discs), and do a complete re-scan of your library. I tried just doing an update the first time, but it did not work because I told tag&rename not to update the file modification time for the files it updates. I recommend playing it safe and re-scanning the entire thing.

To take full advantage of this approach, you'll want to have the disc number displayed in your now playing format. This is done using Player Settings => Basic Settings and choosing a format that has DISC-TRACKNUM in it. You can even get creative and add new Title Formats under Server Settings => Formatting and add a Title Format like "DISC-TRACKNUM. TITLE by ARTIST from ALBUM - BAND TRACKSTATRATINGDYNAMIC", for example. Whatever you add here will then be available under Player Settings.

You should be golden, but...

File Naming

If you were like me, and had the album names embedded in the file names of your songs, you now have one album name in the tags, and two different names in the files. You could leave this discrepancy as it is, but since I'm anal, I wanted it perfect. So...

I recommend renaming your files from the tags, but with the same album name you get two track 1 from "The Wall". I worked around this by including the disc# tag in the file name. In fact, I include the Disc# tag in all my filenames even for non-multi-disc albums since if it is blank, nothing gets filled in. The format I used was this: <artist> - <album> <disc#>- <tracknum> - <title>

Still Broken

Now when you play "The Wall", you will play all 26 tracks from both discs in order, however, when you browse the album, there still exists a small bug that orders the songs by track number instead of disc number. That means you will see both Track 01 followed by both Track 02, etc. This is a minor glitch, and should be an easy fix. I will fix it myself if I can find the time.

This is no longer a problem in Slimserver 6.3 or 6.5 (although you may need to make sure you have Disc in your title formatting).