Mosaic Control Scrolling Option

KJ Westone installed my Bartok two days ago and we were mystified as to why Mosaic library search does not have a scroll bar. I have over 11,000 albums on my NAS and the only way to navigate is swiping with my thumb. Needless to say this is not a viable proposition so hopefully scrolling can be added in future.

Agree absolutely; scrolling is virtually essential for navigating large libraries of music. Having ‘grown up’ with this facility in the BubbleUPnP control app I found its absence a major retrograde step when I started using Mosaic.

We’re well aware of the issues here and the problem stems from the fact that with very long lists (thousands of entires) the typical methods for fast scrolling and indexing break since the ENTIRE list needs to be read in each time it’s accessed. Various apps have different ways of dealing with this, but all of these methods have some major shortcomings. We have a plan in place to address this the right way and that will come in a future release.

In the mean time if you use MinimServer then you can have the server bin the list for you using the alphaGroup property. There’s information in the MinimServer user guide in the Alphabetical Grouping section, but here’s a short summary to get you going.

In MinimServer’s configuration interface the second item on the Server page is alphaGroup and you can populate this with a list of tags for which you want the server to group into an A…Z selection.

Setting the following values:

Artist, Conductor, Composer

would cause all lists of Artist, Conductor, and Composer tags to be binned into A…Z groups. This isn’t ideal as in some cases, depending on how you are browsing, you could end up with a relatively short list and the binning isn’t needed. To overcome this you can specify a number of entires which must be present prior to binning taking place. The above example could change to:

Artist=50, Conductor=100, Composer=150

That would tell MinimServer that lists should only be grouped if there are at least 50 Artists or 100 Conductors or 150 Composers in the list. If the number is less than that then the full list will be shown with no grouping.

There are also some special values which can used and these are the most useful.

[albums] – This will cause any album list to be binned alphabetically
[items] – This will cause any item list (think tracks) to be binned alphabetically
[folder] – This will bin the lists generated when browsing by folder.
[all] – This will cause all lists to be binned / grouped alphabetically.

All of these can have a minimum number assigned which follows the same convention as the example given above.

A useful starting point would be:

[albums]=200, Artist=200, [folder]=200, [items]=200

This would cause all album, artist, folder, and track views to be grouped alphabetically as long as they have at least 200 items in them. You can adjust the numbers up and down to taste depending on how you browse your library. The end result will be that when browsing long lists of albums, artists, folders, or tracks you’ll be presented with an A…Z index and that will allow you to quickly navigate to the appropriate area of the alphabet without having to start from the very beginning just to get to “ZZ Top”.

You’ll need to restart MinimServer after changing these values, but it won’t need to do a complete rescan of your library.

As an aside, this is a case where utilizing MinimServer’s relational browsing features can be useful. If you know that you’re in the mood for Jazz then select the genre first and narrow your selection from there. Not only will lists be shorter, but you won’t need to scan through a bunch of unrelated items which could cause you to miss that hidden gem that you haven’t listened to in a while.

What you describe is certainly helpful. When I first defined how I would organise my music library I started by splitting the library into separate sub-genres (classical-early, classical-baroque etc, jazz-traditional, jazz-mainstream etc). As the library grew in size the response time for listing became unacceptable. Simon Nash then pointed me to using the ‘alphaGroup’ property in MinimServer as you describe. Using this for albums gave me an acceptable listing response. Note that for classical music I redefine ‘album’ as ‘work’ in the format:
[composer] - [work type] [no.] [qualifier]
e.g. Mozart - Symphony No.39 in E flat major, K.543
Hence my searches are almost exclusively: Genre > Album.

I’d note that the power of the cpu running MinimServer is important. My library is held on a Synology DS412+ NAS; upgrading this to one with a more powerful cpu e.g. DS918+ would reduce listing time I’m sure.

Agreed - tagging by genre etc. makes searching more efficient but I have never found scrolling through 2,000+ artists with BubbleuPnP to be a problem even on my old DS214+ (now replaced by a QNAP HS-453DX). Minimserver+Bubble worked perfectly with my Chord DSX but with the Bartok I lose gapless playback. Mosaic gives me gapless but the Bartok will only recognise Minimserver if I turn the Bartok off and on, which I would have to do every time I used it. As Andrew has confirmed, the Bartok is not a true uPnP renderer; hence, the playback and connection issues. Hopefully, Mosaic will improve so we don’t need these workarounds.

Just tried scrolling through 3700 artists not using the side bar on BubbleUPnP and it is (literally!) a long drag.

Only been using the Network Bridge a few days - so far it has been rock-solid in connecting and play.

My ideal would be a scroll bar with the letters of the alphabet alongside so I could just jump to (say) artists beginning with the letter S. Roon has a good alternative where as you scroll it shows a range of letters (eg Sa-Se) to make finding a specific artist easier. Having no scroll bar at all is definitely a drag (not to mention a very sore thumb).

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Part of your ideal already exists in Mosaic of course. I am talking about navigating using the Artist, Album or Composer indexes. So you already have the ability to go straight to e.g. artist S. All you may need is the addition of a scroll bar. But the index for “S” will limit the number of alternatives anyway so unless you have a gigantic collection a scroll bar when using the indexes may not be essential.

Thanks Pete but not sure what you mean by an index that allows me to go straight to artists starting with S. When I tap ‘Artist’ I see a vertical list of my 2,500 artists but no alphabetical index. Are you perhaps looking at your TIDAL library? I am looking at Minimserver.

One problem is knowing which features in Mosaic are purely down to what I will term the dCS Mosaic framework and those which are really content features and which are provided via the server.

I my case I am currently using Twonky as my UPnP server and I see in order of opening Mosaic: UPnP/N1-2CB1; Music Library ( that’s the host name and description of my NAS)/Music. Then when I select " Music" I see a list of search criteria : By Folder; Recently Added; Artist; Artist Index, Composer; Composer Index etc.

So it seems that the index feature may actually be a facet of Twonky if it does not appear in the Mosaic display when using MinimServer ( which I shall be migrating to shortly).

So, the answer to your need ( and to mine at some point during the next few weeks) may be to ask via the MinimServer forum if it is possible for this to be incorporated as a feature. This was not apparent to me until your response. It will be interesting to see what I find when I transfer to MInimServer as there is one further twist as my NAS is a Melco N17H/2 music library. So I guess I also need to eliminate that as a source for the index category but looking at its folder structure seems to support the idea that Twonky is the source of these indexes ( which are very useful).

The instructions I gave in the post above will allow you to enable the alphabetical index in MinimServer.

Andrew thanks for the tip, which I have now enabled and certainly makes browsing a lot easier. My only problem is that Mosaic only sporadically connects with Minimserver on my Android tablet. Currently the only uPnP server it is showing is Jriver on my desktop. Every other control point I have tried - Bubble, Gizmo, Lumin, Mconnect, MediaMonkey etc. Maintains a stable connection to Minimserver so what is Mosaic doing that is different?

I have occasionally seen Jriver’s UPnP server “step” on others on the network. Try disabling JRiver’s UPnP media server functionality, then restart MinimServer and power-cycle your dCS device. See if connectivity improves after that.

Keep in mind that in our products the media browsing function is being performed by the Mosaic Processor in the dCS streamer. The app running on your tablet is merely a remote control for that process. This is an important thing to keep in mind as what a UPnP app on your tablet can see uses a very different network path than the UPnP browsing function of Mosaic.

I closed Jriver MC and powered off the Bartok as suggested and as long as MC was not running Mosaic could see Minimserver. When I restarted MC, Mosaic did not immediately drop Minimserver but eventually it did. Clearly MC and Mosaic can co-exist but eventually some conflict arises. Could this perhaps be something to do with network discovery and how the Bartok advertises its IP on the LAN? Unfortunately, I use MC to manage the DLNA library on my QNAP and for music and films played on my desktop - disabling is not an option so this rules out Mosaic for now. It is rather surprising that dCS can accommodate obscure technologies like MQA and Roon but is not stable in a uPnP/DLNA environment where industry standards are well-established. Still, I live in hope.

Yes, but you can disable JRiver’s UPnP server function in the settings. Unless you are using JRiver’s UPnP server function elsewhere this will have no impact on your ability to manage your library or play content on your desktop.

This is something which we have no control over and it’s not related to how the Bartók advertises itself on the network. This is rooted in JRiver doing something odd at the network multicast level which is causing it to bump other devices. Other apps may function correctly due to a different network path to the server (wired vs wireless) or a different approach to device discovery (i.e. not forgetting a previously discovered device).

I’ve observed this behavior using some UPnP reference tools and they all behave the same as our device. JRiver eventually bumps one or more alternative UPnP servers off the LAN. This appears to be somewhat network dependent and is also impacted by the operating system hosting JRIver.

Looks like your theory is correct. By disabling various MC DLNA services I can maintain a consistent connection using Minimserver. Unfortunately it means that I have to disable the server function that is necessary to stream films to my OPPO 103 player. Still, a solution of sorts and hopefully once Mosaic has more functionality (scroll bar, track & album times, grid layout etc) one I can live with in return for gapless playback.

We have around 4000 albums on our NAS.

I would like to add support for the request that Mosaic allow alphabetical search on album and album artist. Before moving to our Rossini we had an Aurender streamer. The Aurender App was a dream in comparison to the search facility offered by Mosaic. Given the Aurender was a fraction of the price it is both disappointing and frustrating to scroll through our entire album or artist list to find what you are searching for - a premium product in all respects should afford owners the simple option to search alphabetically.

I have retained the older dCS app which at least allows for a limited alphabetical search.

Andrew of dCS suggested a method earlier in the thread to force Minimserver to group albums or artists by letter. This works a treat but still means manually scrolling through albums or artists within a letter. This can be tedious when you have hundreds of entries under each letter.

Indeed. As is the case with our music collection.

I just passed adding my 1,200th album to my NAS library. Yes I too am now understanding the advantage that a scroll bar would bring to browsing.

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