Playlist ordering for NAS-held music


I have a Western Digital NAS which contains a copy of all my PC-held music. I use MusicBee to sync the music and playlists to the NAS. Looking at the data, all the files are in the right place as are the playlists and all the playlists show the music files in the right order i.e. grouped by album then track number. So far so good.

I know that the Twonky server on the NAS can be a bit strange so I logged on to it and checked the playlists shown there and again, all was well. However, when I use the Naim app and browse to the Playlists folder on the NAS, it shows all the playlists OK but within each playlist, the file order is all over the place. It looks like it’s sorted A-to-Z or something and not grouped by album and track number. There doesn’t appear to be any setting to change this but why does it not stick to the order defined in the playlist files on the NAS?

Baffled :upside_down_face:


I know nothing about the Twonky server, but I would guess that it normally uses the metadata stored in each music file to present a coherent browsing tree. However, if you are browsing your music via a folder view then you might be seeing the files as they are stored on the disk, in filename order.

It could be. The Naim app recognises the playlists OK but it doesn’t adhere to the defined playlist order of files therein for some weird reason. If the app was browsing as one might browse data on one PC from another then I would expect to just see folders (my playlist folders) and the contents listed A to Z as per Windows. My question is, if the app can recognise that the entity it’s looking at is a playlist i.e. I see a thumbnail of the artist in question and not a ‘folder’, then why doesn’t it follow the playlist’s file order?

I only have limited experience of using playlists, but I do know that you have the freedom to rearrange the order as you see fit. Are you saying that what you see in the Naim app is neither in playlist order nor filename order? If so, can you see any metadata-related logic to the order?

Indeed. The ordering is set by my PC software where I choose to order playlists by album and then by track number. That is what I see in the playlist file which gets copied to the NAS. In the Naim app it ignores that grouping by album and track and just shows a long list of the artist’s files in A to Z order, so the albums are all jumbled up. There doesn’t appear to be an option to even temporarily group that list in the desired way.

I have no such problem with my playlists, which are created and edited using Playlist Creator and saved as .m3u files on my NAS, where it is then served up to my Naim NAC-N 272 via MinimServer. Are you using a different format of playlist? Perhaps Twonky is not good with playlists.

Given what you said, perhaps Twonky is automatically sorting by Artist.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that despite the Twonky interface displaying the playlists correctly, when it comes to a device actually wanting to use them it decides to do something off-the-wall. Yes, the playlists are in m3u format. They are created in MusicBee and look OK in that interface. Like I said, they are physically in the correct place and the playlist files show the correct ordering. If I plug in my iPod Classic, the app shows correct playlists - it’s just the app when using the NAS-based playlists that is the problem. On the face of it, Twonky is showing everything as it should be. Maybe the app doesn’t like Twonky for some daft reason.

The Naim should just be consuming the browsing tree delivered by Twonky. Can you view your Twonky browsing tree in another app, such as Foobar2000?

I installed Foobar2000 on my Android tablet and browsed to the NAS playlists…all ordered and grouped as they should be. As a sometime software tester, this suggests to me that the app has a bug/problem with Twonky-held playlists.

It certainly looks like the Naim app might have an issue with Twonky. Are both Twonky and your Naim app up to date? If you are using the Naim app on an Android device then have you the opportunity to try it on an iOS device, like an iPad (or vice versa)?

If the problem won’t go away then perhaps it’s time to consider another server. I’m a great fan of MinimServer. It is endlessly configurable, unmatchable for classical music requirements (though just as good for other genres) and is well supported by its author via the MinimServer forum.

Everything is as up to date as it can be. I’m afraid I don’t earn enough to own an iPad :slight_smile: I’m not sure how I’d rip out Twonky from the NAS (if that’s possible) and replace it. The app’s handling of Twonky playlists is a bit of a nuisance but I’ll just have to use my iPod and wait for someone to fix the bug in the app. Thanks for the tip though.

I use a Synology NAS, so I’m not familiar with how you manage a Western Digital NAS, but I’m sure you must have a way to disable software packages such as Twonky and install alternatives, such as MinimServer.

The following thread on the MinimServer forum addresses how to install it on one type of WD NAS. The responses from ‘simoncn’ are from Simon Nash, the developer of MinimServer. He is always very helpful.

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Cheers for that - I’ll look into it.

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