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Old 2nd September 2008, 00:48   #1
azfrankie
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Please, please... Write ratings to the file!

I'm aware that this has been discussed a few times before. I would like to stress the need to include a song's (file's) rating into the file itself. Currently, Winamp writes all information into the 'main.dat' file.

Me, with more than 55,000 files, had to reset the whole 'main.dat' file twice this year. Result: all my previous rating were lost. I think it's time it's strongly considered to include the ratings into the file itself. What are other people's opinions about this? What does the Winamp staff say?

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Old 2nd September 2008, 01:08   #2
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What do other people have to say? I can't believe that you don't backup your precious data.

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Old 2nd September 2008, 01:39   #3
azfrankie
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Well, if all programs you're using require backing up permanently, it shows that something wrong with them. In the case if Winamp, it means that you cannot do this (backing up) from the program itself, but you have to open the Window Explorer -> goto C:\Program files\Winamp, search for the 'main.dat' file, and then create a copy of that. What a modern way to create a backup! Recommended in 2008!

This shows that a safer way is urgently needed. On top of that, if changing to another computer but using the same files, you have to make some sort of 'handstand' in order to transfer your ratings as well (which will only work if you're using the same drive letters with another computer system). All this is not practical at all.

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Old 23rd September 2008, 00:40   #4
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Please save ratings in the file itself!

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Old 1st October 2008, 10:18   #5
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Yes, please...

Same probs. More than 2 computers in a LAN but each computer has its own ratings. Hard to do it on more than 34000 files twice...

thx

NDJ
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Old 7th October 2008, 19:45   #6
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J_D makes the correct point, but Winamp puts this data either in c:\program files... or \docs and sets\user\application data. Most users, I guess, regularly backup My Docs and much less regularly backup the whole drive, hence that data is in more danger than important docs.
The Clear Media Library button in Prefs also does not make it clear that this deletes the ratings + play count data. When I was a newb I frequently cleared and scanned from scratch in the belief I was somehow starting the list afresh...but I didn't expect my ratings to go as well - I thought they were in the file itself. A warning close to the button would have been nice.
And lastly, "main.dat" is hardly the most identifiable filename...

A nice fresh \winamp subdir under My Docs with a file
called songratings.dat would save a lot of newb confusion.

cheers
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Old 7th October 2008, 20:57   #7
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I agree. Writing the ratings into the actual song files would be great. Why isnt it like this already? :S

Btw, the ability to save the Album art picture into the file tags would be great as well. Currently if we have an album art picture in a folder, that album art will be for all songs in that folder. But what if we have folders with a lot of different songs (ie. not sorted..)? Therefore it would be great to write the album arts into the file tags as well. I believe we cant have two pictures in the same folder as of today, cause one of the pictures will be for all songs in that folder.. Right?

Btw, a real backup system for Winamp would be great. A system similar to the WA installer, where we can choose what to backup etc etc.. And speaking of ratings; they could be saved into the actual song files as suggested, so they wouldnt need to be in this backup system.
Anyway, thats just my suggestion..

Last edited by Kn0tte; 7th October 2008 at 21:39.
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Old 7th October 2008, 21:43   #8
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Maybe writing the rating into the tags is difficult for the programmers. That's the only reason I can think of as to why this hasn't been done. It can't be a file size issue as it seems a 1-5 would not add many bytes. Album art adds substantially so I can understand not putting art into the files, though personally I do this to every song so as to make them more portable.
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Old 10th October 2008, 19:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by dgbx8
Maybe writing the rating into the tags is difficult for the programmers. That's the only reason I can think of as to why this hasn't been done.
i think the main reason (especially when ratings were implemented into the media library) is that it's more hassle than it's worth to go round adding additional data to user's files since for those who want it saved, there is a load who do not want things like that to be modified/set in their files.

there is then the next thing, how on earth do you apply the rating to be saved over ALL validly supported formats. since for mp3 you'd have to use a specific id3v2 tag (and then there's the lack of support for id3v1 unless you set something in the comment field <- which could make it feasible for most file formats). there is also the next thing of how/if you make it saved in a consistant manner that is readable by other players or do you go it alone with a new tag specification. i know for certain file types you can effectively save data in any tag that you want/specify but that causes more ambiguity than it is worth at times. just a simple comparison is album art which is saved in a number of different tag fields even within the same tag formats due to variations in other players.

so if there was an easy and consistant manner to do this then i'd have expected it to have been done by now but from how i see it, anyone who implements something like this would have to have a pair of iron pants from the abuse they'd most likely get from 'not doing it right' from multiple groups. and i don't blame 3rd party dev's not stepping up to do this either...

-daz
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Old 10th October 2008, 20:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kn0tte
Btw, the ability to save the Album art picture into the file tags would be great as well. Currently if we have an album art picture in a folder, that album art will be for all songs in that folder. But what if we have folders with a lot of different songs (ie. not sorted..)? Therefore it would be great to write the album arts into the file tags as well. I believe we cant have two pictures in the same folder as of today, cause one of the pictures will be for all songs in that folder.. Right?
Just a note about album art. You can have two images in a folder.
There is a "hierarchy" of album art criteria that is used to display the art, depending on whether there is embedded art, an .nfo file, or on which album names are present within the containing folder.

Evidently cover.jpg comes first in the hierarchy in your case. You probably have folder.jpg in there too, which will not be shown if cover.jpg is present.

Here's the breakdown (in order, as to which is to be used first)...
embedded art in tags
%album%.jpg/png/gif
.nfo file with matching *.jpg/.png/.gif name
cover.jpg
folder.jpg

So if you want seperate art for songs in a folder, name the image the album name. For example, For a track from Graduation by Kanye West, name the image Graduation.jpg
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Old 10th October 2008, 21:23   #11
Kn0tte
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Juanus:
Nice! But does this mean that we can only have two images in a folder, or can we have 3-4-5 etc as long as we change the name on them according to the Album name? If yes, its very nice if you have folders with songs who are not sorted..
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Old 10th October 2008, 21:26   #12
Juanus
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You can have as many images in a folder as you want. Just name the images the album name and that is what they will be associated with.
It has been this way since the beginning of the album art implementation
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Old 10th October 2008, 21:33   #13
Kn0tte
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Ok.. I didnt know that. Thanks for letting me know!
This way we dont need album arts in tags either (as I suggested). This is easier. Its a shame that I didnt know this before :P
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Old 12th October 2008, 20:28   #14
xurc
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Yeah! I'm not alone!!!

Follow up my suggestions.

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....62#post2420362
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Old 5th February 2009, 22:30   #15
phalancs
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Yea i want this too. I think its not omplemented cause searching for ratings would become tooo slow, just because winamp would haver to really scan the files now it just scans the main.dat

So we need to two parallel solutions!
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Old 5th February 2009, 23:27   #16
azfrankie
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If not the Winamp team, maybe some other third party is maybe create an addon that can do this. As explained above, if it's possibly to add lyrics, album art, and all kinds of information to a mp3 file, what should be difficult about simply adding one field for a rating?

BTW, I have 60,000 files, all of them on external hard drive which are connected to my home network. If I sit at my laptop (which is my 'office computer') I'd want to be able to listen to my music (which I can do easily), and rate from there at the same time.

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Old 5th February 2009, 23:56   #17
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and i quote myself as no one is bothering to read things around here nowadays...
Quote:
so if there was an easy and consistant manner to do this then i'd have expected it to have been done by now but from how i see it, anyone who implements something like this would have to have a pair of iron pants from the abuse they'd most likely get from 'not doing it right' from multiple groups. and i don't blame 3rd party dev's not stepping up to do this either...
so where's the definitive list of the tag fields that rating data is meant to be stored/read from for all of the popular tag formats (id3, ape, vorbis, flac, etc) and as used by the other popular players (itunes, wmp, foobar, etc)??? so provide the information and some of us might be more likely to try to implement it in some form...

-daz
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Old 6th February 2009, 03:39   #18
azfrankie
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If I'm not mistaken, Winamp is probably one of the most popular (if not, the most popular) media player around (notwithstanding the Windows Media Player). If such a feature was implemented to add ratings to mp3 files, and this is used by the Winamp player itself, I'm sure more external tools (like mp3tag) would use this feature as well. Sorry, this is just to respond. Or - as a general thought - how about being able to self-define fields with mp3 files (probably for catalog numbers, labels, session musicians, etc.)?

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Old 6th February 2009, 13:50   #19
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the problem is that other players have already adopted certain options and it's more sensible if this is even going to happen for winamp to be using those same fields (otherwise people will moan that we're not following what x y and z are doing, etc).

from a look at things, it seems like for id3v2.3/4 should be using the POPM (POPULARIMETER) field. as for other tags i've not gotten much further since there's the option of using a comment field as well (only viable way for id3v1 tags).

but really, need more info on how the other players do it before even attempting to implement anything like this.

-daz
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Old 17th February 2009, 02:23   #20
Paul_Bags
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Can I vote AGAINST this? Or at least an obvious option to turn off rating, or ideally run winamp in a 'read only' mode so that it can't edit files? I don't want winamp messing with my files.
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Old 17th February 2009, 03:06   #21
azfrankie
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I believe I didn't suggest that you were urged to rate at all. And if this take 8 bytes of one of your files (which you can remove anyway), where's the problem? Winamp already messes with your files... Just not inside the mp3 file itself, but inside the data file.

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Old 17th February 2009, 04:54   #22
Paul_Bags
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"Winamp already messes with your files... Just not inside the mp3 file itself, but inside the data file"

An mp3 is a data file, please elaborate.


[cough]delete the tracks you don't like[/cough]

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Old 17th February 2009, 05:18   #23
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I hate ratings!
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Old 17th February 2009, 10:46   #24
azfrankie
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Quote:
An mp3 is a data file, please elaborate.
I was just referring to the used words verbatim. Any rating writes to the main.dat file. That's a file too.

We seem to have two camps on this issue. Those who like the current concept of saving ratings in a separate file, and those who would like them joint inside the mp3 file. Since so much other information but the music can be saved inside a mp3 file (cover, lyrics, production credits,...) I don't see the problem with one field for the rating.

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Old 17th February 2009, 11:10   #25
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Cover is superfluous too, just reproduces the same file 12 or so times when 1 times in the folder as a straight jpg works just fine... [edit]if you even want it, it's not for me 'shrug'[/edit]

And main.dat is not song.mp3/.flac/.ogg, winamp can write whatever files OF IT'S OWN that it likes, EDITING MY FILES however is, to me, a no-no .

Anyway I'm going to leave this discussion now, it's not my thing, just wanted my objections/concerns noted .
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Old 17th February 2009, 13:05   #26
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as and when i/someone gets around to implementing the saving/reading of ratings from supporting media files, it will be an opt-in option to keep things the same as is currently the case (and is how i prefer it to be as well).

-daz
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Old 18th February 2009, 02:41   #27
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Well, I think it depends on individual needs, and the setup of each individual listening to mp3 files. I wonder if both vies can be combined somehow. Like a tool which could read the main.dat file, and add rating information to the files (IF WANTED). Just a thought...

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Old 18th February 2009, 12:17   #28
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the aim is to be able to read/write the ratings (configurable as to what is done) so that it should cover most people's varying quirks though will always use the winamp database to store things (that feature will not be removed).

-daz
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Old 19th February 2009, 06:51   #29
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to anyone interested in this:

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....hreadid=246869

good info in that thread, as well as the slim devices one.

PENN STATE Radio or http://www.LION-Radio.org/
--
BUG #1 = Winamp skips short tracks
Wish #1 = Multiple Column Sorting
Wish #2 = Add TCMP/Compilation editing
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Old 28th February 2009, 02:59   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrO
the aim is to be able to read/write the ratings (configurable as to what is done) so that it should cover most people's varying quirks though will always use the winamp database to store things (that feature will not be removed).

-daz
I've used user-defined tags in fb2k in non-standard ways, across many media types, so it can be done. Ex: %album date range%, %last backup%, %subgenre%, and %rating%.

From what's here, user-defined fields are supported by v2.3. This must be the frame foobar uses.
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Old 30th March 2009, 02:16   #31
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Ratings and Mobile Devices

Just to add to the pile...

The iPod has totally changed my listening habits and I love to randomly sync from my large collection and be surprised by music I've never heard before. The only input on the iPod is the rating which I use extensively to tag songs that I never need to sync again (but would like to keep such as Edison Cylinder recordings & old radio shows)-- and to tag great new discoveries so I can add them to playlists etc.

I now face the problem of a recent system wipe and all sorts of difficulties with the media library scan crashing winamp. I will keep reading related posts, but I have 9,000 songs rated so far and am scared to death that to correct other bugs in winamp, I could lose this data.

Moreover, and it's been mentioned above. I often correct typos in file names and occasionally move folders to more appropriate areas. I out grew a hard drive and split my collection among two drives. Any of these actions would cause problems with the ratings as they're currently stored.

Please add this functionality even if its only useful through Winamp. The reason we all left iTunes is because proprietary crap is rule not the exception. Even if it's a bit clumsy, it looks like it's desperately desired. If there was a way to sync the ratings back and forth from the file tags to the main.dat file, we could have our cake and eat it too.

Many thanks!
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Old 30th March 2009, 04:53   #32
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excellent post.

i'm sure DrO, who is NOT paid btw, will come up with a great system.

all we want is the OPTION to have our ratings included as a tag in the file, seems an obvious slamdunk to me.

PENN STATE Radio or http://www.LION-Radio.org/
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BUG #1 = Winamp skips short tracks
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Wish #2 = Add TCMP/Compilation editing
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Old 30th March 2009, 15:26   #33
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You mentioned that you have an iPod. I use the plugin ml_iPod. Since it uses ID3 data to sync. As long as you don't change the data, the sync from iPod to Winamp will find the files in their new locations. (Again if they were reloaded into the media library first). I tried it on a few files and it worked well. It is a workaround but will have to do until DrO finishes his plugin.

pmp-iPod, the one that ships with Winamp might also do this, but I have never tried this program. Copy a few songs to a new folder and test it out.
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Old 4th April 2009, 01:37   #34
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Just wanted to add my vote to a way to read/write the ratings into the MP3s. I really need to re-install and for some reason copying main.dat over simply cause winamp to lock up - so I've had to revert to my saved copy which is stuttering whenever I mouse wheel!

DrO Save us please!!!!!!!!!!!

N Hustak
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Old 8th May 2009, 13:24   #35
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I've been wanting this for years, imo the best way to implement this would be to copy the ml rating to the WMP IDV2 Tag as this has the advantage of syncing with WMP (when one is forced to use it) and other music players also tend to support this tag I believe Amarok is one for example.

And in the even't that a rating exists in the tag and ml and they are differnet just use the winamp rating by default (though a priority option could be added)

It should also be an option that is optional and disabled by default to keep all the nay sayers happy, I admit I don’t like winamp touching my tags but if it’s just the ratings tag then I’m fine with that.

And for those who want them kept synced with other rating types too add in the option to copy the rating to other widely used ratings tags too and in the event of some tags that use 0 - 255 for ratings just do it on an average such as 255 = 5 star 128 = 3 and so fourth.

And for those of you wanting album cover tag, i recommend using mp3tag, just drag drop and save.
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Old 8th May 2009, 20:14   #36
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if you look at the thread i posted, and the slim devices one, you see that its pretty complex.

yes, you COULD simply copy the WMP way of doing it, (which uses a 0-255 scale btw), but other apps do things slightly differently.

what DrO is charged with, is trying to figure out the best way to implement it, so it works for as many apps as possible, if such a path exists.

i would love to hear DrO, if you have made any progress with this?? thx again for your efforts!

PENN STATE Radio or http://www.LION-Radio.org/
--
BUG #1 = Winamp skips short tracks
Wish #1 = Multiple Column Sorting
Wish #2 = Add TCMP/Compilation editing
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Old 14th May 2009, 19:06   #37
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I second this idea.
I have asked this question on this forum and recieved no reply, but would love for someone too come up with a plugin or something integrated into the next version which we could do what is mentioned in the thread and be able to sync the ratings, playcounts from device to winamp and vice versa.
Good luck if somebody is working on it!
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Old 14th November 2009, 09:15   #38
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Hi there, just found this discussion on the internet. Im having this problem too and I startet to write an application to solve the issue. With my program you can copy ratings from id3 tag to the winamp database and vice versa.
application is not ready yet, but please have a look on search engines for "Mp3 Rating Friend" the next days.
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Old 14th November 2009, 09:19   #39
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you sir, will be hailed a god by a great many people here.

are you using the POPM frame? will it be compatible with WMP? will it use the 0-255 values?

PENN STATE Radio or http://www.LION-Radio.org/
--
BUG #1 = Winamp skips short tracks
Wish #1 = Multiple Column Sorting
Wish #2 = Add TCMP/Compilation editing
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Old 14th November 2009, 09:42   #40
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be sure to read the various links in various threads, as they have lots of good info:

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....=&pagenumber=2

will your app be free? open source?

PENN STATE Radio or http://www.LION-Radio.org/
--
BUG #1 = Winamp skips short tracks
Wish #1 = Multiple Column Sorting
Wish #2 = Add TCMP/Compilation editing
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