Music Player 5.0 (firmware 2.3.3) – testing, findings, improvements expected

Discussion in 'HDD Media player(RTD 1296)' started by hao1080p, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    I have registered this forum mainly for this post, a bit long and a bit patient may be required.

    I have been using such similar HD boxes from Bivex to HIMEDIA and later switched to Zidoo Z9S since end last year, just 3 months after building my own Synology NAS (Video Station, Audio Station) + testing on KODI and EMBY, also some study of Zapitti (even though didnot buy the box).

    Despite Zidoo's quite attractive Posterwall, the key reason for me to buy Zidoo – is not on Video - but is the playback of DTS and HI-RES music. I still remembered how I was excited that finally my amplifier DTS lighted up when playing with Z9S! So thanks to Zidoo for bringing me this lifetime moment.

    But hate to tell, at this one exciting moment, I did not realize that how much time I have spent to tackle with all the issues of the Music Player (from MP3 to MP5.0 (FW2.2.96) to now MP5.x (FW2.3.3).

    One problem of MP (than Posterwall) is that, you could find quite no official guidelines, and discussions in this forum just warmed up recently. So you will have to check all such issues quite alone and blind.

    So quite a month ago after quite some testing (IDV3/folder names…), I decided to establish a serial testing program, mainly to understand how MP5 is working especially on matching and scrapping the albums and tracks metadata:

    1. Music Tag function (IDV3.x) – with or without.
    2. Album Name (Artist – Album Title) / Track Name (TrackNumber – track artist - track title): in different combination and the output.
    3. Scrapping and Grouping in Zidoo’s 2 main screen: Main Screen (Songlist, Artists, Albums) + Playback Screen (Disc info, CDART, Backdrop, Lyrics, editing windows...)
    4. Issues/bugs, tips, Improvements expected

    I use the MP3Tag2 for changing the IDV3 tags and track names (pretty easy and quick). Also watch the results in EMBY (although not always).

    Although previous testing was made on FW2.2.96, but it is pretty quick for me to re-do the tests again and see the differences with this 2.3.3 beta version, so some comments on the new changes and findings in 2.3.3 are also listed here.

    Note: my only interests is on the accuracy of matching and scrapping, least on the playback issues (even though I have noticed quite some during the testing). Also the comparison is mainly with such music player software like EMBY, Kodi and Synology Audio Station, Foobar2000.
    Another thread is more comprehensive on hardware and playback performance: (

    To make the reading easy, such music routined abbr. are used:

    A – Ablum Artist
    T – Album Title
    ## - track no.
    a – track artist
    t – track title
    Tof78 and gymnos like this.
  2. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    A. Current mechanism of matching and scrapping:
    Here I first listed the main assumptions of MP5 working principles through my testing (not sure fully right), but it is essential to read this first to understand the next paragraphs:

    A1. MP5 only reads the folder name to define the Artist / Album Title, with some rules:

    - From MP5.0 (than MP3.0), one folder started to be considered as one album.

    - MP5.0 only reads the LAST folder name (containing tracks). Multi-folders (ex. \A\T\t.ext, or \A\T\CD1\## - t.ext etc.) basically can’t be recognized or well recognized.

    - Folder Name: basically needs to be in the way of Artist – Album Title. A dash mark (-) is mandatory to distinguish the Artist and Title (ex. A T or A.T can’t be recognized). A bug here in such cases like A-Ha, MP5 interprets Artist as A and Album title as Ha).

    - Artist name: is matched in 100% accuracy, even with 1 additional space between or before the “-”, can’t be well recognized (ex. Taylor Swift - Lover).

    - Album Title: is in “similarity” match and accuracy is really not high (ex. Album “Pure” can be matched with the “The Best of Pure Voice”).

    A2. MP5 only matches and scraps info from its OWN database, and it is COMPLUSORY and FINAL:
    - OWN: No idea of which metadata database is used by Zidoo, but I can see the database is quite limited (guess it is especially true with English songs).
    - COMPUSORY: ironically MP5 does not allow “no result” output in any case, so even in one word match with the album name, it will throw out a result. Same case for track matching.
    - FINAL: MP5 leaves no 2nd chance to change the Album matching, no right-click interface is given for albums.

    A3. When MP5 “believes” it matches the folder name with its database, it will not go on comparing with the track name in the folder. And it will ONLY introduce the database data to all other interfaces (note again your own files or IDV tags are fully overpassed), 2 cases:
    - A3.1: album matched correctly: congrats you have opened the door of paradise - everything on every corner of MP5 will be perfectly right. In this case no restriction to the track names (as it uses only its database names).
    - A3.2: album not match correctly: (ex. album title is just partially matched, or album in different version and that track list is different) – sorry you are in the hell mode now:
    - Everything is mostly wrong (track list, sequence, cover, and lyrics on the play screen)
    - And again, you have no way to change the album match, except to change them in the Song Editing in the Play Screen, but it is song by song, and it doesn’t bring any change to the [Album] or [Artist] group…

    A4. It is only when folder name does not contain A and T, MP5 will go on reading the track titles (artist names, track title), cover jpg in the folder, and CDart from IDV, and introduce the FILE info into other windows. In this case:
    - The track name better contains the artist name with dash mark (ex. ## - a – t), at least MP5 can define correctly the artist and the song name.
    - In this case, MP5 acts more as a file manager. Basically it looks fine, but no scrapped info is added to MP5 (Artist not added into the [Artists] group, no album info on the [Play screen] left bottom. In the [Edit] popup, searching of lyrics basically does not work…
    => I take advantages of this case, to change those MP5 mismatched albums - using the file structure as \T\## - a - t.ext]. Although some functions are lost here and there, but overall it still looks acceptable, backdrop and lyrics basically works properly.

    A5. MP5 basically does NOT read IDV Tags:
    - Until now I still can not believe that MP5 don’t read IDV tags, but it is simply to test this: just to rename all folder name w/o info, and the track title in Track01, Track02…but every track contains full IDV tag info. MP5 will open its crazy match” compulsory mood: it will give you a full list of songs name contained “track##”), artist, album covers even though nothing is correct (and it is fun for me to see they can be in English, Korean, Chinese and Russian…).
    - If I am right, the only data MP5 takes from IDV is the CDart (the rotating CD cover on the [Play Screen], and possibly bitrate/bps (not sure as I can’t edit these 2 in the IDV).

    A6. MP5 only reads the artist and track title in the CUE
    This should be a highlight for MP5 capable of reading the cue, however it does not take full use of the CUE header part (i.e. gene, year, DISCID, disc number and total disc – are not introduced into the system).
    Tof78 and gymnos like this.
  3. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    B. MP5 windows elements and data origin, issues, improvements expected:
    This chapter is to review the MP5 different windows and sub-screens, which data it is indicated, how it is organized, issues/bugs and improvements expected.
    Note this only includes the above case of A3.2 or A4, as in case A3.1 everything is given by the database, and it is basically perfect everywhere.

    B.1 Main Screen – [Album] group:
    a. Album Cover: only links to your jpg file in the folder (cover.jpg or folder.jpg). IDV folder pic is not considered.
    b. Album Name: your folder name, however ignored the suffix, especially year, and suffix with CD1/CD2 (indicating the same Album names w/o CD1 or CD2).
    c. Album Artist: Artist name you have entered in the folder (\A – T\t.ext), or Case 2 - in the track name (\T\## - A – t.ext, in this case basically there should be only 1 artist name). If artist doesn’t indicate on the 2nd line, check the folder/track name, it affects at least the backdrop scrapping.
    d. Issues found:

    - Misinterpretation of A-T (like A-Ha) and of the dash mark “-” in the track name (like Ob-La-Di) need to be corrected.

    - Multi-folders - recognition and match basically no chance.

    - CUE files: at least the number of tracks is correctly indicated, but Artist is not indicated.
    - CUE in 1 image file (like CDIMG.ext), in the [Album] screen, it reads 1 song, although it has establish correctly the track list (minor).

    - Some albums correctly named but occasionally not indicating the Album Artist – reasons unknown.

    e. 2 columns indication (by ablum list on left + album introduction on right column – note the right column is closed now in this 2.3.3 version). Indication of 2nd column expected.
    f. [Album] \ [Track List]: your own track file name – artist, from B.1.c, or from your CUE file.
    BTW, there may need some shortcut keys under this screen: when you want to go back to the previous screen from the track list, you basically have to scroll up to the top to move back...

    Need to sat, I can observe significant improvements already made from the 2.3.3 update.

    B.2 Main Screen – [Artists] group:
    a. Artist Photo/Name: only MP5 matched album Artists are indicated here and these are taken from its database. User matched artists (as already indicated in the tracklist, or edited in the […Edit] menu on each single song), shall also be written back and indicated here.
    b. Artist 2 column indication (by list on left + album introduction on right column - note right column is closed in this 2.3.3 version): Indication of 2nd column expected (as it is anyhow indicated in the [Playback]\[…Edit]\[Artist info].
    c. Subfolder [Artist] \ [Track List]:
    - User edited contents to be written back - same like point B.2.a.
    - Seemed also some listing sequencing issues existed here (not by Alphabetic for sure, nor by album sequence).

    Other organizing & re-grouping issues missed here:
    d. [Album Artist] group shall be added: definition for the existing Artist group looks more like the “[Track Artist]” (as with the album MP5 matched, it also indicated those featured artists in this album. Also in the “crazy match” mode, all the wrongly matched artists are also listed here). But usual music play software also split the artists by albums, so the sorting and searching is bit more easier.
    e. Edit function of Artist expected: at least the backdrops pics in user’s folder can be used.
    f. Artists of Various Artists albums & featured artists: need to leave a controlling interface for users to decide they want to export these data to the [Track artist] group or not.

    B.3 Playback Screen – Playing mode
    - This is the new feature in the 2.3.3 update, after about 10 seconds, the screen changes to the full backdrop pics + lyrics on the bottom 2 lines - like Karaoke (similar like KODI). I love it as it gives more picture views, but for sure it won’t be loved by everybody as the progress bar and disk info are hidden.
    - So to avoid the claim, leave an interface for users to choose which Play Mode they want.
    - A small bug here: when you close the lyrics display in the […edit], the lyrics still goes under the full backdrop mode.

    B.4 Playback Screen – CD Art
    a. Seemed in the update 2.3.3, only use the pic. in the IDV3, and it will not show if no cover.jpg exists.
    b. Rotating is still expected in the new version (minor).

    c. Allow user to edit and use its own CDArt pics if existed in the folder (minor)

    B.5 Playback Screen – Backdrop
    a. Backdrop is mainly matched with the Track Artist names which are okay in most cases. When there is no artist indicated on the title block, the backdrops can’t be indicated, or accuracy can be very bad.
    b. I can feel the accuracy of backdrop is obviously improved in this 2.3.3 update, however still with some funs to see some common pics when the artist name is too common (ex. Trademark, Bangles… I have already observed).
    c. Size of backdrop pics (basically in the ratio of 1920:1080) needs some more filtering – even though MP5 resized (seemed to cut the mid part of a CD cover for example) to fill the full screen, in many occasions, the focus (eys, faces) of the pic can’t be seen (minor).
    d. So to avoid users shouting, better let them DIY:
    - Allow to use the user’s backdrop pics in the folder (mostly saved in the Artist folders) => related issue is to how to recognize the multi-folder structure like A\T\## - t.ext
    e. Allow to download the Backdrop (or at least to define for MP5 the backup folder to save the pics for users to pick up the files and save them into the track folder itself).

    B.6 Playback Screen – Lyrics
    For me, Zidoo’s lyrics function is quite powerful, and I can smell some improvements in the 2.3.3 version, but the search engine is not well organized. Some odd cases:
    a. When the album is not matched by MP5, in many cases the lyrics can’t be found even it exists (already shown when the album is matched by MP5 correctly).
    b. MP5 scraps the lyrics mainly by the track title, I can’t see the matching is really combined with artist name? (ex. even the track title block is with Taylor Swift, it still gives some Korean/Japanese songs as the first choices). On the other side, when the title block does not show the Artist name, lyrics basically does not work (at least better to annoy the users by giving something totally wrong).
    c. And the match is in “similarity match”, but too simple (even there is 2 words matched in the track title, it gives a result).
    d. Allow to download the lyrics to the folder (as in many cases we have to choose from […edit] the most suitable one, and all the editing will disappear again after updates).
    e. Allow to use the lyrics if downloaded by users and existed in the folder.

    B.7 Playback Screen – CD info (gene, year of publish, album artist…)
    In the 2.3.3 version, it gets smarter - MP5 will not indicate such info for those albums not matched by MP5. This is good, at least it will not annoy the users by giving wrong ones, however still can be easily improved => Allow to use these info from the track IDV tags (or the Cue header part).

    B.8 Playback Screen – [track list] (right to the Fast Forward button)
    A small bug here: every time you re-open this menu, it always starts from the 1st one, it should stay at the track you are playing.

    B.9 Playback Screen – [...edit]
    This is the only interface left to users to re-edit the tracks, but seemed the only useful function is for helping to re-match the lyrics. Again the edited contents are not written back to the [Artists] or [Album] group.
    Tof78 and gymnos like this.
  4. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    C. Overall improvements expected:

    In terms of the interface art-craft and buttons easy to use, Zidoo’s MP is indeed a beautiful and delicate music player, far better than the others. The main weak points are the matching and scraping mechanism + some basic configurations existed in most of other software:

    C.1 Main Setup Interface:
    Till now, MP is still without the Main Setup menu – which is quite the only such software without this. Even comparing with Zidoo’s PosterWall, I really doubt now MP is still in the premative stage. This is really expected, up to the PosterWall level is already quite fine, if you consider that music tracks than videos, are far far more in numbers, more varities in versions, and also far more diversified in users’ habits and music resources/rules.

    a. Language: more likely to guide the searching engine for album/artist info, lyrics.
    b. Meta Matching preference: by system, from IDV or CUE header, User DIY.
    c. Meta database preference: Zidoo(?), freeDB, Musicbrainz, TADB(?), Xiami(?)
    d. Manual matching results to be confirmed: Yes, No (this is to control to decide if to save user’s edited info into the system).
    e. Pics preference: by system scrapping, from user’s folder (define the name rules of the pic., see below C.2).
    f. [Album Artist] indicating preference: show all, only show the Album Artist, show the featured Artist, show all artists in VA tracks.
    g. Playback screen preference: standard mode, Karaoke (Screen-saver) mode.
    h. Backup folder: this is especially important when the updates come quite often.
    i. Download to folder: to track folder, defined folder.
    j. …

    C.2 Manual Album match window:
    Similar like the Poster-wall Manual Match window, but it is fundamental to significantly improve the album match => the quickest way is to add the Manual Match on the right-click menu.

    C.3 Really read and scrap IDV and CUE header meta info:
    This will save a lot on the folder naming works. Otherwise, the accuracy (by only reading the folder/track names) and supporting of multi-CD structure will NEVER be reached.
    Also to minimize the shouts for any mistake - mostly from those “professional” users (those mostly like album collectors than music funs –spending more time to change IDV/CUE than to listen the music;)

    C.4 User edited contents (either in the Main screen or Playback screen), to be linked and written back to [Album], [Artist], [Song List].

    C.5 Establish the Naming rules: accepted folder structure and naming (multi-folder structure, CD1/CD2…), track name format (+ how to indicate [year], how to write feat. Artist), cover/folder.jpg, CDart.jpg, backdrop1/2/3, lyrics…

    I was not expecting to finish the forum post like a “thesis”, but I really expect the essential & significant improvements can be made soon in the next version (MP6.0 ?).
    Especially now Zidoo has released such Hi-Fi new models like 2000, MP shall be no more a by-pass product (than Poster-Wall), it must be a real professional one!

    I am volunteered to go on testing with the new updates, and waiting for some new surprises -hopefully more good ones:)
    Tof78 and gymnos like this.
  5. mirror

    mirror Well-Known Member SUPER Administrator Zidoo TECH Supporter

    Thank you very much. We will give full consideration to all your suggestions.
  6. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Very good analysis. Thus far focussed myself on the very basis of a Music Player which is playing all formats in as good quality as possible.
    We got nearly there.

    It all starts with making choices and well communicating those: how it will work and which options/choices are being made available. Will be happy to comment on those even prior to any implementations.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  7. karipu

    karipu Member

    For proper matching Music Player must be able to read metadata tags (Musicbrainz, Discogs, AcoustID...).
  8. Reelyator

    Reelyator Active Member

    Thank you hao1080p!

    Have you been able to make the Music Player Work with SACd Iso´s? Especialy related to Artist- Album- and Title-Detection?
  9. gr3358

    gr3358 New Member

    Hi everyone
    How can I configure Music Player to display the artist name of the file on the main screen?
    It appears in the name of the song, the type of file (flac, mp3, etc.) and the size ... but not the name of the artist ... is that always the case?
    Thank you all
  10. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    I guess this is a question more likely for Nice Monkey;)
    I have not tried any SACD ISO before, but I have just tried few music BD (with all the single song in 1 m2ts), till now no idea how to play them except to play from the File Folders and use the Bluray Navigation in the next popup menu - if it has the next step - other wise to play the m2ts one by one...
    So the shortcut for me is just to focus on such resources of DTS or SACD in those standard WAV, flac files, or the CDIMG but with cue files - so the matching is coming back MP's scope.
  11. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    All my DTS-CD's come with a CUE sheet. Any original SACD has Artist, Title and Track information included in the ISO itself.
    Both will open as a single track and with a click on that one it will fold down the title information, which can be played one by one just like a CD.
    No problems here with gapless playback as that is implicit being a single track. Love both formats with often a great sound. There are many SACD's but original DTS-CD's are relative seldom.

    Concert and Pure Audio BD's should be played using the BD Menu always. Zidoo does a very reasonable job there. Nothing to do with Music Player 5.0 obviously. Also these may have a great sound.

    The only thing which can't be played at all is MCH SACD ISO's (only the 2CH tracks on it). One needs to extract those to DSF/DFF and convert them to MCH FLAC next. I still have the illusion Zidoo X will be able to do this real time and will be able to output DSD via HDMI too?
  12. karipu

    karipu Member

    >One needs to extract those to DSF/DFF and convert them to MCH FLAC next.

    Is there software for Mac for that?
  13. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    Thanks Nice Monkey.
    It also answered one of my question, such music BD (in m2ts) is not really recognized by MP5 nor Posterwall - this should be played from the File Folder and the next bluray navigation.

    BTW, is it a bug that when you play the concert BD for example, when you use go-forward to the next track, you always has to re-set again the audio setup (mostly it comes back to 2 channels while you have chosen the DTS-HD 5.1)?
    Tried again and understood: you need to choose the audio setup in the BD main menu, and then it applies to all the tracks, otherwise it takes the first on the audio setup list (possibly PCM2.0) as default for all tracks.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  14. karipu

    karipu Member

    Z9s Firmware 2.3.7 and Music Player 5.2.7

    Albums at left-hand column: if I try to move to the right in order to choose any of my albums; the Music Player crashes right away.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  15. Reelyator

    Reelyator Active Member

    That is more wishfull thinking than reality. My SACD Iso Database has 39 different artists, only 2 (!!!!) are displayed by the Music Player.

    And i agree with you related Multi-Chanel Playback. This is something that MUST be fixed as long as Zidoo claims to be capable of SACD Iso Playback!
  16. Reelyator

    Reelyator Active Member

    ....this is not a question of configuration, this is a bug! See post above.
  17. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    Yes indeed I also found the same issue, more possibly I saw when the first ablum is in DTS in the [Albums] group, it just crashed right away when you move to right.
    As far as I can observe, MP5.2.7 is more unstable, more unexpected crashes when playing DTS, more sudden restart (of MP only) when playing the usual tracks, and the recognition of ablums + even artist name now (with the space not well split), is even worse.
    The 2 points fixed already is the addition in the menu"full screen or not" (above C.1.g) + no more lyrics played in the full screen (B.3)

    Anyhow, FW2.3.7 is a beta version and it has been updated very quickly than the 2.3.3, so we can not blame too much, but I stop a while and expect to test again on the next version.
    And we need to be bit more patient as I can see the efforts with the frequent updates - which is not the ususal case for such HD boxes.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  18. zazas

    zazas New Member

    How do I properly name album artwork and CD images to display correctly in Music Player 5.0? I name the album cover (cover.jpg) the CD image (CD.jpg) MP5.x does not display the correct CD image but instead shows the album image with the CD stencil. Album images sometimes also show incorrect ones.Advise me what to do as I am very nervous when the cover of the wrong album I am listening to appears.
  19. hao1080p

    hao1080p New Member

    Album image naming: folder.jpg or cover.jpg - both are okay.
    When you have a different album image indicated, it mostly means that MP matches with a wrong album (or at least with a wrong version of the same artist). My way is to rename the folder (remove the dash mark between the A and T, or even remove the Artist name), to make it as an un-matched album. To improve the recognition of lyrics, better to add the Artist into each song name (ex. ## - a - t).
    CD art: MP currently only takes the ablum image as the CD image, so no solution yet to this point (this is a minor expected improvement to use CD or CDart.jpg for CD image).
  20. zazas

    zazas New Member

    Thank you hao1080p!

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