Emby's recognition and use of .m3u playlist files is a major advantage over Plex. I think they could be better used, though. Currently, all playlists are accessible via a Playlists 'library' on the Emby home page, or the Playlists view within a library. But all playlists, no matter where the .m3u files reside, are gathered together in one monolithic page. If I want to find a Dvorak Symphony to play, I have to sift through the entire list.
I think it would be a better, more usable model, if it worked something like this:
I have a box set of all 9 Beethoven symphonies. Since each symphony consists of 4 or 5 tracks, I created a .m3u file for each symphony. It would be nice if, when viewing the Album Detail page, I had the option of seeing the discrete list of tracks (the current view) or a playlist view, which would look something like this:
There are cases where a CD may have a 4-track symphony as well as some single-track works. I attempted to show how this might appear in the mock-up.
I can think of 3 ways to go about this.
- My mock-up includes buttons for 'Disc View' and 'Playlist View.' The Disc View button reveals the current discrete track list. The Playlist View button reveals my proposed view. Emby should remember this selection on a per-album basis.
- There could be a Library-level setting to enable/disable Playlist view for the entire library.
- Since discrete tracks are displayed the same way in either mode, there may be no need for the buttons at all. If at least one .m3u file exists in the media folder, the UI displays it in the new format. Would people want/need the option to switch views? I don't know.
I would also expect that the 'shuffle' function would keep playlisted groupings (like entire symphonies) intact, so Beethoven's 9 intact symphonies would be played in random order, but each symphony is internally not shuffled.
What do you think?