Friday, December 26, 2008

KritZu: Zune playlist generator based on folder structure

 

Some time back we got Zune and uploaded our thousands of songs on to it... 

One of the things that we had earlier done was arranging all the songs based on playlists on our computer hard disk in folder structure; things like "Classic Rock", "Heavy Metal", "Jazz", "Ghazals", etc... Many a times we also had multiple level of folder hierarchy set up like My Music --> English --> Rock --> Classic Rock OR Hindi --> Ghazals --> Movie Ghazals and so on...

Anyway's we painfully learnt that Zune's software runs out of meta-data; although it allows me to sort songs based on genres, album, artist etc it does not create playlists based on the directory structure on my computer hard disk...  Well we initially started off doing this manually but soon realized that this will take days for us to complete...  So I wrote this quick utility which will create Zune playlists based on the folder structure on the hard disk...

Following are the easy steps to use it:

  1. Download KritZu from https://cid-c4e57bdd18ff6eaa.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Public
  2. Unzip KritZu.Exe at the location you want...
  3. Launch KritZu... 

KritZu-Help

Few points to note:

  • KritZu will pick up .mp3, .wma, .m4v, .mp4, .m4a, .m4b and .mov files inside the playlists...
  • To find out the location where Zune playlists should be placed (i.e. second textbox on KritZu) follow below steps:
    • Open Zune software, on top right you should find settings options:image
    • Go to the Zune Folder section as shown below and note the location of Zune folder image
    • Notice that the Audio location in the above example is C:\Users\user\Music\Zune... In this situation the playlist location for audio will be C:\Users\user\Music\Zune\Playlists
    • If the Playlists folder does not exist then feel free to create it or else KritZu will create it for you...  Now the output of KritZu will automatically be picked up by Zune next time you connect to your machine.

Hope this will help...

-Vishal

PS: Do make sure that you have atleast one media file in the root folder coz KritZu is little silly, it gets confused if no media file is present in the root folder :-)

62 comments:

mikedopp said...

Vishal,
Excellent application. Works great thanks for the comment and the application. I will pass this along.
Thanks,
Mike Dopp
http://weblogs.asp.net/mikedopp

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE amazing! Thank you so much!! I can't believe how awesome you are! This is absolutely what I was looking for. You're a genius. Thanks a Billion. (I'm thanking you so profusely just so you'll understand how much this is appreciated. :) )

Vishal R Joshi said...

I am glad you folks liked it...

Joe Levi said...

You've got half of what I'm looking for! Any way you could extend this a bit to look for (1) words in the title, (2) words in the lyrics, (3) Beats Per Minute, (4) based on an external, web-based library of other's submitted playlists....

I know they're not easy, but I've been hoping for a playlist generator that does tese (or a subset thereof) for a long, long time now...

Thoughts?

- www.JoeLevi.com

Vishal R Joshi said...

Hi Joe,
Thanks for your comments, those are nice suggestions, this first version is to get you started, I will work on the future versions eventually now about your specific suggestions:
(1) words in the title --> Seems doable easily
(2) words in the lyrics --> Not very sure about this as KritZu might need to go online and fetch lyrics from somewhere on the fly might be time consuming operation if you have thousands of songs... Did you have any thoughts on getting the lyrics to look into?
(3) Beats Per Minute, --> As far as just analyzing the BPM if it is pre-recorded is concerned that should be doable, if you are suggesting that KritZu also finds out BPM of the songs then it might take me longer but hopefully doable again :-)
4) based on an external, web-based library of other's submitted playlists.... --> Is there a place where I can look for generally submitted playlists? Can you elaborate more?

Thanks
Vishal

Matt said...

this is exactly what i was looking for. thanks a lot. the forum that you posted this in on zune boards got locked for some reason though.

Vishal R Joshi said...

Matt, glad you found KritZu useful... I actually just joined the zune boards and possibly that's why I guess link posting must be locked... I am not sure how to unlock it...

Marcia said...

Thanks for the great program! I have been struggling to organize my songs into playlists on the ipod and Zune, as I already have them all organized in folders... the program came in just in a perfect time!!!

Eric Freitas said...

Thank you Vishal..

For doing something that the Zune (and it's software) should do in the first place. How hard could it be for Microsoft to add "Folder" as an option? (BTW, all of us that organize by folders are MUCH smarter. It's a fact) :)

Thanks Again Vishal.

chris said...

I have had my Zune for a while and have been trying to find a way to add folders because I have my files organized just like you in separate folders. The zune program doesnt allow it to organize by folders but thanks to your program it will allow me to use it like if there was folders. Thanks so much. Let me know if you make a new program, I would love to try it out. Thanks my email is avngrboy@hotmail.com

Jacob said...

Hey,

I happened to stumble across your program and fell in love with it. Its a great tool. One problem I have encountered with it is this:


Let us say you have a folder called music and subfolders in it:

C:\Music\Classical\Met Orchestra - May 29\Met Orchestra - May 29 - 01 - Vivaldi (fall).mp3

or

C:\Music\Rock\Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here\Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - 01 - Shine On You Crazy Diamond.mp3


so that as you can see you have one main folder, that then continues to sub categorize into sub genres and each genre will have a folder with the artist - title which will contain the actual mp3's. At this point if your musical collection is in upwards of 50 gigabytes, going into each individual folder and generating a playlist can take a massive amount of time.

My suggestion is to allow KritzZu a main folder, which it will use as a starting point, then continue into subfolders until it finds mp3's and creates a playlist in that subfolder using that folder's contents as the display name for the playlist (artist - album).


I am new to programming but if I can assist you in anyway I have a very limited knowledge of C. Let me know if I can help!

Anonymous said...

This program is precisely what I need. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be working for me. I'm getting the error "no media files found in the source folder". I'm not sure why this is an issue, as that SHOULD be the case since it's a structured main directory with subfolders of genre's and artists. I'm running Vista, so that may be the issue if you wrote this for XP. As a test, I selected a album folder with songs in it and it created the album playlist just fine. Any ideas? I NEED this!!!! Thanks in advance.

Brian

Vishal R Joshi said...

Brian,
There is a very small bug in there... Just put one media file in the root/main folder; if there is no file in the main folder then the error comes up...
I created it on Vista as well so it should be okay, I think... Let me know how it goes...
-Vishal

Anonymous said...

Ahh, yep that worked. Although, for some reason I thought it would set subplaylists of playlists to exactly mirror the folder structure, but I guess that isn't possible. All I really want to do is browse by genre, then artist. I have no idea why Microsoft decided this was not a worthy feature. I mean... I'm in the mood for some rock, or maybe some Jazz, let's see who I can choose from.... seriously!!! I don't want to have to scroll through countless albums to get to who I want! ok, that's my rant.

Brian

Vishal R Joshi said...

Brian,
Can you explain in detail what you mean by "it would set subplaylists of playlists to exactly mirror the folder structure, but I guess that isn't possible."
Let me see if I can help...
-Vishal

Anonymous said...

Vishal,
By "subplaylist of a playlist", I basically meant that what you see in the playlist screen is exactly what you would see at each level of your folder structure. (ie. Rock, Jazz, Blues, etc. at level one) Upon selecting the "Rock" playlist, it would present you with another set of playlists of rock artists. Upon selecting the desired artist playlist, it would present you with a playlist of that artist's albums, which would then contain the actual songs. It would be a round about method in my attempt to see all the artists within a certain genre, and then select the desired album. So basically, one playlist would contain other playlists instead of just songs. Think you can help?

Matt said...

The link in the post no longer works.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the application I am looking for! Please can you re-link it or make it available on any of the Zune boards/Mod Boards.
Thanks,
Savio

joshua said...

please relink! desperate for this program!

joshua said...

please relink! i am desperate for this program!

Vishal R Joshi said...

Now i am trying to find a home for the setup file... I am amazed that as I did not log into 4shared.com for a month or so they wiped off the file and the link... That is pretty sad...
I will work on getting in back soon again...

Anonymous said...

Would love to have this program. Anyway you might be willing to email this to me? Sam

Vishal R Joshi said...

I will be happy to email it as well, as such I am trying to find some good home for it, I will share the same pretty soon I hope...

Anonymous said...

This is what I've been looking for

Anonymous said...

I am trying to download off the link (4shared) and it says link is not valid on 4shared website.

Vishal R Joshi said...

Send me your email id at Vishal.Joshi@Microsoft.com and I will send you the zip, till I find the new home for the tool...

Vishal R Joshi said...

KritZu is live again... Sorry for all the trouble of it being down for such a long a time...

jacob said...

WOW that worked really good it was a lot faster than it would have taken me put 12 thousand songs in playlists

To improve you should be able to change how it makes the play lists ex. By folder, by date added, by name etc.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much! Just used it and I Luv your app!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello
I really like what I see !
One question - how can I make the defined play list to appear on the Zune?
I can see it on the Playlist Menu, I can sync it but only the contents.
If I sync 2 play lists the songs will be mixed
Am I missing anything?

Thanks a lot!

Adrian Saidac
arsaidac@att.net

Vishal R Joshi said...

Hi Adrian,
The playlists are altering the location of your music files... It is just creating a virtual list... You can copy the playlist files whereever the rest of the playlists files are...

I am not sure what you mean by syning 2 playlists and songs getting mixed... Can you further elaborate...
-Vishal

Anonymous said...

Hello again

Here is the scenario:
Target
d:\My_MP3s\Playlists
Source
D:\My_MP3s\Rock
D:\My_MP3s\Jazz

The Rock and Jazz lists are correctly created
I open the Zune SW - v.3.1
I can see the Play lists as
Rock
Jazz

Step 1.
I sync to Zune Rock => OK
Step 2.
Sync Jazz ==> not OK
the songs from Rock are mixed with Jazz on the device (sorted by Artist alphabetical order.

Can I have separate Rock, Jazz on the device (AKA iPod)?

Sincerely,

Vishal R Joshi said...

Hi Adrian,
Can you give me a call at +425-705-2031 and we can talk about this a little more I am not aware of any issue so probably a quick disucssion will help narrow it down...
-Vishal

Anonymous said...

Hi Vishal,
great work! Thanks.
A comment:
when there is a directory and there subdirectories in it,then the kritzu will generate a playlist only if there is at least one media file in the directory.
Cheers, Sin

Jerry said...

Vishal...just discovered this great program for the zune!!! It was exactly what I was looking for and it worked out very nicely!!!! Thanks for contributing this to the Zune Community!!!

Anonymous said...

Vishal, great program! Much thanks to your efforts.

Chirag said...

Vishal, great program! Much thanks to your efforts!

Ennai Thedi said...

This software rocks.. exactly what i was looking for thanks so much vishal u saved my time

Grant Lewis said...

Fantastic tool! Thanks very much for sharing this with the Zune community.

Afternoon said...

Best Zune app ever. Was looking for something like this. Thanks a million! With all the music i had with folders this is the BOMB!

Anonymous said...

Hi Vishal,

Thanks :-)))) Last eve, broke my head on it for 4hours and here i find a solution to the exact problem :-)))) thanks again :-)))

My first impression was IMPRESSSIVE but then when i went thru ur profile (for i was sure u hv to b some s/w geek) i thot to myself :-)))) this was expected from a s/w geek :-)))) not impressed anymore :-)))) i am sure coming up with these solutions is like peanuts :-)))) cake walk for u guys!!!! yet :-))))) thanks much :-)))))

~ Preets

Hans van Burk said...

Brilliant little utility, but I have one question.

Is it possible to generate m3u or pls playlists instead of zpl?

Much obliged

Hans van Burk
the Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Vishal.This is exactly what I am looking for ...

Vishal R Joshi said...

Hi Hans,
I am sure that would be doable to produce m3u or pls playlists, will just have to spend some time on it... Honestly I think I have even misplaced the source code since my hard disk crash but if I find it again then I will expand the feature set...
Thanks
Vishal

Anonymous said...

I just found this site while trying to find a way to create playlists based on BPM (to make a playlist for exercise workouts with songs 120-140 bpm) for the Zune. I used MixMeister BPM analyzer to change the MP3 tags to include BPM. I wish they had BPM as a genre to sort songs.
Anyway, can your program be used for this task? It's amazing work that you've done. I wish there were more Zune apps.

vincentlauzon said...

Hi,


Just to tell you I recently got my Windows Phone 7. This morning I finally add some music to it and hit the wall as to how to create those playlist when I already had them in my folder structure but where the meta is junk ('unknown albums').

I quickly found your blog post, downloaded the util, used it and bam! I'm done!

So thanks a lot for publishing that mate!


Vincent-Philippe Lauzon

http://vincentlauzon.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

Hi Vishal,

Great work,thanks
It's long time the app I am looking for.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vishal,

I use Windows 7 and Zune (4.7). I followed the steps given by you but unfortunately no sub-folders were created in the playlist. I did check the 'create separate playlist per sub-folder' check-box. The directory of my music is as follows "E:\Music for Zune" with 3 MAIN folders 1)ENGLISH 2)HINDI 3)TELUGU and each folder consists of respective albums. But the playlist doesn't create sub-folders. It puts every separate album in one big playlist. Where have I gone wrong? Help!!

Bobby

saurabh said...

This is exactly what I was looking for. Zune software doesn't allow me to create "smart" playlist for songs which are not part of any playlists.

Vishal, your software saved me SOOOOO much frustration and time. Makes switching to my WP7 phone worth a lot more - Microsoft should pay you.
You're a genius!!!!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!

Vishal R Joshi said...

Hi Bobby,
I think there is a small limitation that you need to have atleast one song in the root folder under which you have the sub folders. I was going to fix that bug at some point but never got to it. Checkout whether the solution works for you.
thanks
Vishal

Vishal R Joshi said...

Hi Saurabh,
I am so glad that Kritzu worked for you. It exactly saved the same type of frustration for me :-)
-Vishal

sazzad said...

This is the best thing that can happen to Zune software.

sazzad said...

Hi Vishal,

I understand it creates a playlist for each subforder. But is it possible to create super playlist and each folder will be under that playlist? It's just like the playlist will be the same tree structure as the folder structure. If you can do that it would be superb. Also can you please post the source code?

Unknown said...

Thank you so much, this is amazing. I've been extremely frustrated with the Zune software. I just tested it and your program works perfectly.

iqak said...

What sets the Playlist sequence.
I have several albums arranged by folder that are best listened to in Track sequence (Abbey Road, The Wall, Night at the Opera, etc.

The playlists output sequence does not appear to use track number for sorting the order of the list.
My collection filenames are usually ripped "Song-Album-Group"

Am I missing something?


This program is mandatory for any CD Ripper or MP3 collector.

Anonymous said...

Nice program thank you

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for the program! You saved me HOURS of work once I realized that ZUne didn't sort like I wanted and I was a bit worried this program was too old and the screenshot was slightly off of the way Zune looks now but it wasn't too far off to work!

Anonymous said...

GREAT - Thank you very much !!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome, I hope they overhaul how zune playlists work for WP7. But your program did the trick! :D

mesoundcrazy said...

its been four years since this post, but still its useful. please suggest microsoft something. when it comes to music, i don't know what they think. even if you say windows media player or this zune... it sucks big time when it comes to music.

you can't imagine how happy i am because of your this amazingly awesome application. Bhai tum chhaaa gaye.

Cicero Miele Jr. said...

Thanks a lot! i brought my zune back to life. I bought my 32gb zune 2 years ago and i didnt`t like it, so i bought a sony mp3 and kept the zune on the top shelf of my wardrobe. after 2 years the sony died on me, and before buying a new one i decided to research a little bit and gladly found your program! now i can use my zune again! thank you!

Anonymous said...

You're a genuis! You've saved all my money. I was so pissed that Zune had this silly metadata problem. Great app, great job, thanks a billion!