The functions in this section are varied and have specialized applicability. Some are primarily used internally by MC to generate values available in various Library fields.
- Returns a file's calculated album artist.
The AlbumArtist() function calculates the album artist value used in various views and fields. It is used to populate the Library field album artist (auto) with its value. Either the field or AlbumArtist() can be used.
Returns the value present in the album artist (auto) field.
- Returns a unique album key for a file.
The AlbumKey() function returns "[album artist (auto)] - [album]". It is a convenience function, used to return the generally unique album / artist combination string used to distinguish between two like-named albums such as "Greatest Hits".
For an album named Greatest Hits and an album artist (auto) of The Eagles, returns The Eagles - Greatest Hits.
- Returns the album type for a file.
The AlbumType() function returns a description regarding an album's completeness and its quantity of artists. It is used to populate the Library field album type with its value. Either the field or AlbumType() can be used.
Returns, for example, Single artist (complete), or Multiple artists (incomplete).
- Returns the state of audio analysis for a file.
The AudioAnalysisState() function returns a file's state of audio analysis. It can be used to determine if audio analysis (Library Tools > Analyze Audio...) should be performed on a media file. The AudioAnalysisState() function will return a string indicating the state of analysis. Possible values are currently:
Returns, for example, Needed for files that require audio analysis, or N/A if the file type does not support audio analysis.
- Returns a character from the numeric code of that character
|Description||Char(Numeric Number Code)|
- Counts upwards in specified increments.
|Description|| counter(start value, increment)
The Counter() function outputs a monotonically increasing number (more simply stated, it counts) from a start value, and each time called, increases by the increment value. It is useful for sequentially numbering fields. The Counter() function maintains an internal counter, and it resets itself to zero after five seconds of inactivity.
Because Counter() continues to count, it should only be used in single-use situations such as assigning its output to some field through field value assignment, for example, =counter(). With proper care, it can be used as part of an expression in the Rename, Move & Copy tool, but see also CustomData().
It is not recommended for use in any context that continually refreshes its content, such as in a panes column, file list, or expression-based custom query. Probably the best way to understand the results is to test the first example below as an expression column in a file list, and move the mouse around over that column.
Argument start value is optional (defaults to 1).
Argument increment is optional (defaults to 1).
Outputs values starting at 1, and incrementing by one, it will return 1, 2, 3, ... until no longer called. This might be used, for example, to assign to the [Track #] field of several tracks using the field assignment expression =counter().
padnumber(counter(370, 2), 4)
Outputs numbers beginning from 370, incremented by two each, and padded to four digits. For example, 0370, 0372, 0374, etc.
- Returns internal data to the expression language.
The CustomData() function supports returning Media Center internal data to the expression language. Currently the only supported mode provides a file's row number in a file list, which is useful in the Rename, Move & Copy tool to assist in numbering files. It can also be used in expressions in a playlist to obtain the file's sequence number.
Available mode values:
|Examples|| Spring_Break_Bash_padnumber(customdata(#), 4)
In the Rename, Move & Copy tool, each consecutive file would be named Spring_Break_Bash_ followed by a four digit, zero-padded number starting at 0001.
- Returns a list of playlists a file belongs to.
This function returns the list of playlists a file is in separated by semi-colons.
Using this will return a list of all the playlists a file is in, separated by semi-colons.
In and of itself, you might think that this is not 'all that', however, remember that we can combine this with other functions, thus giving us the ability to create expressions with playlist rules. A simple example would be:
which when used in the search bar, will return all files that appear on a playlist called 'Genre'
- Returns a string as given without any formatting or processing
Literal() returns a given string as-is without any formatting or processing
|Examples|| If(IsEqual([Artist], Queen, 1), Literal(If all music was Queen, I would be 10/10ths happy!), Literal(This is not Queen, which makes me sad. :-/))
/*Left(Theater,3) returns/* Left(Theater,3)
- Evaluates a given mathematical formula.
The Math() function performs mathematical calculations. Standard arithmetic operators are supported, as are various numerical, trigonometric, and comparative functions. Simple variables are supported, as are multiple statements.
The order of operator precedence is summarized as follows, from top to bottom:
Variables may be assigned and used by specifying a simple string of letters. Examples: math(val=2) or math(x=pow(2,3)).
Multiple equations may be specified, each separated by a semicolon. Expressions are evaluated left to right. The final value of the Math() function will be the result of the right-most equation. For example, the equation math(x=4; pow(2^x)) will output 16.
Note: Empty fields
Fields used inside of Math() are expanded (interpolated) directly. Fields with empty values may produce incomplete Math() statements. For example, if the field [number plays] is empty, an expression such as math([number plays] + 2) would be seen by Math() as + 2. This incomplete expression would produce a syntax error. See the Additional Examples for more information.
Note: Locales and Commas
Special care must be taken with the Math() function and locales that use , (comma) as a decimal separator. Many Media Center fields and the return values from functions may contain comma as the decimal point. Your expressions will need to Replace() these before passing the values to Math(), which always uses dot . as the numeric decimal point.
For example, the expression math(1,5 + 1,5) will fail since Math() does not consider 1,5 to be a valid number.
Fields that cause problems are any fields that produce floating-point values, such as any Date type field in raw format (e.g. [date,0], [last played,0], [date modified,0], and [date imported,0]), or any textual field that contains floating-point values that will be used for various calculations (e.g. any of the Dynamic Range variants). Certain functions such as Now() and ConvertTime() also return localized floating-point values.
|Examples|| math(10 + 4)
math(10 + 2 * 25)
Returns 60, demonstrating that multiplication has higher precedence than addition.
math((10 + 2) * 25)
Returns 300, demonstrating that parenthesis grouping has higher precedence than multiplication.
math(replace(now(), /,, .) - replace([last played,0], /,, .))
The , is replaced by a . in the output of both Now() and in the raw field value [last played,0]. Note that the comma must be escaped so that it is seen as an argument and not as an argument separator.
math(replace(now() - [last layed,0], /,, .))
- Returns the first number , including decimals, from a given string
Returns the first number , including decimals, from a given string. If there are other numbers along the string, these will not be returned as the function stops once it encounters and returns the first number. String can be given literally, as a library field, or combined with other expression functions.
|Examples|| Number(The number12 will be returned, but 13 will not)
- Returns a random number between two given numbers
|Description|| Rand(x, y, mode)
Available mode values:
Rand() returns a random value between x and y. x and y must be numbers and can have negative values.
Rand() is not recommended for use in any context that continually refreshes its content, such as in a panes column, file list, or expression-based custom query. Probably the best way to understand the results is to test the first example below as an expression column in a file list, and move the mouse around over that column.
- Creates a semi-colon delimited list of numbers in a field.
|Description|| Range(Start, Step, Count)
The Range() function returns a list of semi-colon separated numbers into one field, starting at the Start number, incrementing by the Step number, producing Count numbers.
Arguments Start and Step are optional (default to 0 Zero), and can be negative.
Argument Count is required and must be positive.
|Examples|| Range(1, 1, 10)
Range(5, -1, 6)
- Returns the row number of a list entry
Row() returns the row number for each item in a list.
- Returns a file's size in a format specific to the media type.
The Size() function returns media size information specific to the particular media type. It is used to populate the Library fields duration and dimensions with their values. Either the field or Size() can be used.
Type of information reported by size for the file's media type:
Returns values such as 400x225 for images, or 3:09 for audio files.
- Returns the number of files in a stack
StackCount() does not require any arguments and is used to return the number files in a stack. This is useful, for example, if you are creating custom tooltips and want that information in there or for inclusion in a view you could create to view and manage your stacks, something you might use heavily if you stack a lot of photos or regularly sync files to a handheld device using the convert format options available there. Note that some files can appear in multiple databases.
- Returns a file's track # value.
Returns the value present in the track # field.
- Converts an English string found in the program to the current language selected in the language menu
When using Media Center with any language other than English, the Translate() function can be used to translate an English string in the program to the current language.
- Miscellaneous television and other pre-formatted information.
The TVInfo() function is multi-purpose, and returns a specific type of information about television recordings, programs, and pre-formatted informational strings for use in captions, thumbnails, grouping, etc.
Available type values:
Returns formatted name and series output. If the file has no [series] value, only [name] is output.