Difference between revisions of "MrC-temp"

From JRiverWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Completed examples, added sections for expression-based queries and bugs/limitations)
(moved search and smartlist to its permanent home.)
Line 1: Line 1:
 +
'''Note:''' The Smartlist and Search - Rules and Modifiers page is now at its permanent home:
 +
[[Smartlist_and_Search_-_Rules_and_Modifiers|Smartlist and Search - Rules and Modifiers]]
 +
 
'''Note:''' The Regex() page is now at its permanent home: [[Media_Center_expression_language#Regex.28....29:_Regular_expression_pattern_matching_and_capture|MC expression language page]]
 
'''Note:''' The Regex() page is now at its permanent home: [[Media_Center_expression_language#Regex.28....29:_Regular_expression_pattern_matching_and_capture|MC expression language page]]
  
Line 5: Line 8:
 
== This is MrC's working space for work-in-progress Wiki pages. ==
 
== This is MrC's working space for work-in-progress Wiki pages. ==
  
[ in progress, search and smartlist rules ]
+
Nothing currently in progress.
 
 
== Searching ==
 
Before getting too detailed, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how a query works in Media Center.  Being at its core a database, the Media Center library maintains information (or properties) for each file (e.g. audio tracks, image files, video files, etc.) that has been imported.
 
 
 
Conceptually, when performing a query, Media Center tests a search phrase against each file in the library.  If the search phrase evaluates to ''true'' for the file, the file is included in the final file list; otherwise, it is not.
 
 
 
A search phrase may be one or more search terms.  Each search term, in order, is tested against every file in the current file list.  The basic idea is that of filtering.  From the list of all imported files, a initial search term reduces the list, and additional search terms further narrows the results to produce a final list of matching files.
 
 
 
Queries can generally test any file properties, or even test the results from an evaluated expression.  So long as the query produces a ''true'' value (a value of 1), the file will be included.
 
 
 
Queries are used or input in numerous places throughout Media Center - they are the heart of what drives file list production used to populate Views (panes and categories values, file lists) and Smartlists, or via Search to narrow the list of files presented in the current view.  Queries can be entered in the Search bar using Text or Wizard mode, the Edit Smartlist dialog box, and in any ''Set rules for file display'' dialog available in view customization (Standard View, Theater View, Gizmo/WebGizmo, Media Network's DLNA server).
 
 
 
A simple query might test some value against the contents of a specific property, such as the name of an album, a date, or episode number.  For example, the following search phrase:
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Album]=Pina</span>
 
 
 
queries all files asking if the Album property contains the exact sequence of (case-insensitive) letters ''pina''.  Files that match are included in the resulting list; non-matching files are excluded.
 
 
 
Compound queries may be constructed by adding additional search terms, thus testing additional properties.  Multiple search terms are combined by an implicit '''and''' operator.  So it follows that the search phrase:
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Name]=Midnight [Artist]=Thelonious</span>
 
 
 
queries all files whose Name contains ''Midnight'' and from those, queries the current list to test that the Artist property contains ''Thelonious''.
 
 
 
Generally, any library field may be used in a query; see the Media Center [[File_Properties_%28tags%29|File Properties]] document for a list of the standard properties, and see Options > Library & Folders > Manage Library Fields for the complete list, including custom user fields.
 
 
 
Keep in mind that the order of the files returned from a query is generally undefined or random.  Sorting is done by the view, or specifically by other query constructs such as Modifiers.
 
 
 
The next few sections describe the available operators available to construct search queries from simple to complex. Following that will be a description of search query [[#Modifiers|Modifiers]].
 
 
 
== Comparison Operators ==
 
The query language provides the standard comparison operators of equal-to, less-than, less-than/equal-to, greater-than and greater-than/equal-to.  These allow defining a search term to compare a specified ''value'' against a given ''field'' (also called ''property'').
 
 
 
For date fields, values may include units such as '''d''', '''w''', '''y''', '''h''', '''m''' and '''s''' to indicate ''day'', ''week'', ''month'', ''year'', ''hour'', ''minute'', and ''second'' respectively.  Floating point values may be used (e.g. .5w for 1/2 week).
 
 
 
{|  border="0"
 
|-  valign="top"
 
!  width="120"  | Operator
 
!  align="left" | Description
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''field'''''='''''value''</span>
 
| Equal to the specified ''value''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files whose Artist field contains ''smith'' anywhere.
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Artist]=Smith
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''field'''''=<'''''value''
 
| Less than the specified ''value''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files imported within the last 1/2 day (12 hours):
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Date Imported]=<.5d
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''field'''''=<='''''value''
 
| Less than or equal to the specified ''value''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files that are rated less than or equal to 2:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Rating]=<=2
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''field'''''=>'''''value''
 
| Greater than the specified ''value''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files that are rated greater than 3:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Rating]=>3
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''field'''''=>='''''value''
 
| Greater than or equal to the specified ''value''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files whose bitrate is greater than or equal to 256kbps:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Bitrate]=>=256
 
</span>
 
|}
 
 
 
Take note that the '''=''' character ''always'' follows a field name in comparison operations.  In the case of ''equal to'', the equivalence operator is implicit.  This can be best illustrated by comparing the following example comparisons operations on the [Date (year)] field:
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Date (year)]'''='''1980</span>
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Date (year)]'''='''<1980</span>
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Date (year)]'''='''<=1980</span>
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Date (year)]'''='''>1980</span>
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Date (year)]'''='''>=1980</span>
 
 
 
== Quoting and Anchoring ==
 
 
 
Certain characters are used by the Media Center query language (e.g. ''<space>'' as the separator for search terms).  To use these characters, they need to be quoted.  Additionally, by default, Media Center queries are free to search anywhere within a given property.  The special constructs listed below provide a means to both quote and anchor search terms.
 
 
 
A pair of double quotes '''"''' '''"''' is used to include spaces or special characters in a search phrase.  Replacing the opening quote with an opening bracket '''[''' will anchor the search to the beginning.  Likewise, the closing quote may be replaced with a closing bracket ''']''' to anchor at the end.  Replacing both quotes will fully anchor the search, requiring a full match from beginning to end.
 
 
 
{|  border="0"
 
|-  valign="top"
 
!  width="120" | Quote/Anchor
 
!  align="left" | Description
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''"'''''phrase'''''"'''</span>
 
| Double quotes are used to include spaces or special characters in the search ''phrase''.  The ''phrase'' will match anywhere within a string.
 
 
 
Example: Match something that contains the string ''Steve Miller'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
"Steve Miller"
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''['''''phrase'''''"'''</span>
 
| Same as double quotes above, but forces the ''phrase'' to match only at the beginning of the string.
 
 
 
Example: Match something that starts with ''Stan'', such as ''Stan Getz'', ''Stand by Me'', but not ''One Standard Night'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Stan"
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''"'''''phrase''''']'''</span>
 
| Same as double quotes above, but forces the ''phrase'' to match only at the end of the string.
 
 
 
Example: Match something that ends with ''stand'', such as ''I Will Stand'', ''I Didn't Understand'', but not ''The Standards'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
"stand]
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''['''''phrase''''']'''</span>
 
|Same as double quotes above, but forces the ''phrase'' to match both at the beginning and end of the string.
 
 
 
Example: Match exactly ''Bob Dylan'' and exclude ''Bob Dylan & the Band'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Bob Dylan]
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''^'''''word''</span>
 
|Restricts matching to a full word.  A word is broken by space, punctuation, etc.
 
 
 
Example: Match ''car'' as a full word, as in ''A Car for All'', but not ''Barcarolle''.
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
^car
 
</span>
 
|}
 
 
 
== Grouping and Combining ==
 
Multiple search terms can be combined to form more complex queries.  Queries are read and evaluated left to right.
 
 
 
{|  border="0"
 
|-  valign="top"
 
!  width="120"  | Grouping
 
!  align="left" | Description
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''s1'' '''and''' ''s2''</span>
 
| Narrows the results returned by requiring matches of both of the search terms ''s1'' and ''s2''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files by artist ''Frank Sinatra'' and orchestra ''Tommy Dorsey'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Artist]="Frank Sinatra" and [Orchestra]="Tommy Dorsey"
 
</span>
 
 
 
Since the '''and''' operation is implicit between search terms, is it not required.  The following search phrase is equivalent to that shown in the example above:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Artist]="Frank Sinatra" [Orchestra]="Tommy Dorsey"
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''s1'' '''or''' ''s2''</span>
 
| Expands the results returned by accepting matches of either (or both) of the search terms ''s1'' or ''s2''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files named ''Spying Glass'' or named ''Angel'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Name]=[Spying Glass] or [Name]=[Angel]
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''('''''s1 op s2''''')'''</span>
 
| Groups search terms to force precedence when using multiple search terms with the '''and''' and the '''or''' operators.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files whose artist is exactly ''Bob Dylan'' and whose year is either ''1966'' or ''2001'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Artist]=[Bob Dylan] ([Date (year)]=1966 or [Date (year)]=2001)
 
</span>
 
 
 
Note the distinction of the example above with the following example:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Artist]=[Bob Dylan]  [Date (year)]=1966 or [Date (year)]=2001
 
</span>
 
 
 
The first example uses grouping parenthesis to force the order of evaluation, and returns files from Bob Dylan as the artist, from the year 1966 or 2001.  The second example, due to order of evaluation from left to right, returns files with Bob Dylan as the artist from the year 1966, and also returns all files with year 2001.
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">''val1''''','''''val2''</span>
 
| Combines two or more values into a list, identical to the '''or''' operator.  No spaces are allowed between the comma(s) and the values.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files whose artist is any of ''Queen'', ''Heart'', or the ''Grateful Dead'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
artist=[Queen],[Heart],"Grateful Dead"
 
</span>
 
 
 
The search phrase in the example above is identical to the more cumbersome:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
([Artist]=[Queen] or [Artist]=[Heart] or [Artist]="Grateful Dead")
 
</span>
 
|}
 
 
 
== Negation ==
 
 
 
{|  border="0"
 
|-  valign="top"
 
!  width="120"  | Negation
 
!  align="left" | Description
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''-'''''field''</span>
 
| Inverts the sense of the comparison, returning those files whose ''field'' does not match the specified value.  Usage is limited to the equality and comparison operators.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files whose track number is not 1:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
-[Track #]=1
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Return all files whose track number is not greater than or equal to 3:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
-[Track #]=>=3
 
</span>
 
 
 
Note that this equivalent to the more direct search phrase:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Track #]=<3
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Return all files by artist ''Mark Isham'', except those whose album names begin with ''after'' or ''quiz'', or end with ''home'', and exclude files from ''1993'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Artist]="Mark Isham" -[Album]=[after",[quiz","home] -[Date (year)]=1993
 
</span>
 
|}
 
 
 
== Modifiers ==
 
 
 
Queries and results can be modified by using one or more of the following special modifiers.  Some modifiers act globally on, or affect the context of, the query, while others operate on the results returned as the query is being processed from left-to-right.
 
 
 
Some complex queries with modifiers will require manual entry in the '''Search Rules Importer/Exporter''' dialog available via the '''Import/Export''' button.  The '''Edit Search''' wizard forces modifiers to the end of the query, thus removing the left-to-right processing required for certain modifiers such as '''~seq''' or '''~sort'''.  Hint: always copy your complex query before leaving the Importer/Exporter so that it can be pasted again after testing.
 
 
 
Some of the modifiers below can operate on one or more fields.  These compound field lists are expressed as a list of comma-separated fields [''field1''],[''field2''],...,[''fieldn''].
 
 
 
Note: For single character modifiers (i.e. ~n, ~d, ~s and ~t), the '''=''' character between the modifier and the ''value'' is optional (e.g., '''~n30''' is equivalent to '''~n=30''').
 
 
 
{|  border="0"
 
|-  valign="top"
 
!  width="120"  | Modifier
 
!  align="left" | Description
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~d='''''database''</span>
 
| Selects (limits) the Media Center '''database''' used in the query (e.g. Main, CD, Bad, Removed, etc.).  More than one ''database'' may be specified by combining selectors.
 
 
 
; Database selectors
 
: a = All
 
: b = Bad (or corrupt files get placed here) [starting w/v16.0.164]
 
: c = CD (and DVDs)
 
: e = Explorer
 
: g = Guide (Television) [starting w/v15.0.160]
 
: i = Category Images
 
: m = Main
 
: r = Removed  [starting w/v15.0.160]
 
: s = Store
 
: t = Temporary (Playing Now)
 
 
 
Example: Limit the query to the CD and Main databases:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
~d=cm
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~dup='''''fields''</span>
 
| Returns a list of only duplicate files, where duplicates are determined by comparing the combined values in the specified ''fields'' list.  Duplicate detection is based on matching values in fields, not by examining file content.
 
 
 
Example: Return a list of duplicate files by using the [Name] and [Artist] fields as the duplicate detectors:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
~dup=[Name],[Artist]
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~nodup='''''fields''</span>
 
| Returns a list with duplicate files removed, where duplicates are determined by comparing the combined values in the specified ''fields'' list.  Only one of any duplicate file is included in the list.  Duplicate detection is based on matching values in fields, not by examining file content.
 
 
 
Example: Return a list of all files with duplicates removed, by using the [Genre] field as the duplicate detectors.  The returned list include one random file from each genre.
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
~nodup=[Genre]
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~fill'''</span>
 
| Returns a list of files to fill the specified device to maximum capacity.  This modifier limits the number of files returned based on the amount of empty space left on the default or specified device.
 
 
 
Examples:  Fill the default or specified device to maximum capacity:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">~fill</span>
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">~fill=[D:\]</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~a'''</span>
 
| Expands the track list (if necessary) to include the remaining tracks from the album(s).
 
 
 
Example: Return all tracks containing the name ''Feliz Navidad'', and expand that list to include the remaining tracks in the album(s).  If the track is on three albums, then all tracks from all three albums are returned.
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Name]="Feliz Navidad" ~a</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~limit''' ''f''''','''''n''''','''''fields''
 
</span>
 
| Limits the set of files to at most ''n'' files from each of at most ''f'' values from the combined ''fields''.  This is easier explained with a simple example.  From there, the general concept should be clearer.
 
 
 
Example: Limit the returned files, first by selecting at most 10 unique artists, and from each of those artists, return at most 2 files:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:~limit=10,2,[Artist]
 
</span>
 
 
 
First 10 distinct artists will be randomly selected from the list of all possible artists, and then 2 random files from each of those artists will be selected and returned.  If the limit cannot be satisfied (because there are too few artists, or too few files-per-artist), the available artists or files will be returned.  In other words, these values are upper limits.
 
 
 
The value of '''-1''' is used to select ''all'' values, and can be used for either ''f'' or ''n''.
 
 
 
Example: Return all files from the ''Rock'' genre, but limit those results, first by randomly selecting at most 5 unique album / year pairs, and selecting all files from each of those albums:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:[Genre]=Rock ~limit=5,-1,[Album],[Date (year)]
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~n='''''num''</span>
 
| Limits to a maximum of ''num'' files.
 
 
 
Example: Return at most 20 randomly selected tracks:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:~n=20
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~mix='''''n''''','''''s''</span>
 
| Creates a mix of ''n'' files, according to the rules set by one or more comma-separated mix specifiers ''s''.  The format of each search specifier ''s'' is:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:''val,{criteria}''
 
</span>
 
 
 
and ''val'' is either a number (e.g. 15) or a percentage (e.g. 10%), and ''criteria'' is a standard search phrase.  The overall mix syntax follows the form:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:''~mix=n,val1,{criteria1},val2,{criteria2},...''
 
</span>
 
 
 
The values ''val1'', ''val2'', ... should be either all percentages or all numeric, and should sum to either 100% or to the maximum number of tracks, respectively.  Otherwise, the resulting mix proportions are not clearly defined.
 
 
 
Example: Selecting from all ''Rock'' tracks, return a 10-track mixture with a 60/40 percentage split between artists whose names contain Mark or Tom, respectively.
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:[Genre]=Rock ~mix=10,60%,{[Artist]=Mark},40%,{[Artist]=Tom}
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~s='''''num''</span>
 
| Limits the number of files such that the cumulative size does not exceed ''num'' megabytes.
 
 
 
Example: Return a random set of files totaling a maximum of 650MB.
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:~s=650
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~sort='''''fields''</span>
 
| Sorts the list of files by the specified list of ''fields''.
 
 
 
Example: Sort the list of files first by date, and then by track number:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:~sort=[Date],[Track #]
 
</span>
 
 
 
Two special sort terms can be used: '''Random''' is used to randomize the order of list of files, and '''[Sequence]''' can be used to sort by the sequence number previously set with the '''~seq''' modifier.
 
 
 
Example: Randomize (shuffle) the list of files:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:~sort=Random
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~t='''''num''</span>
 
| Limits the cumulative track time to not exceed the ''num'' minutes.
 
 
 
Example: Limit the set of files to a maximum of 60 minutes:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
:~t=60
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~%='''''num''</span>
 
| Limits the set of files to a maximum of ''num'' percent of the total possible.
 
 
 
Example: Randomly select and return 50% of the files imported into Media Center within the last week:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Date Imported]=<1w ~%=50
 
</span>
 
 
 
|-  valign="top"
 
|  align="center" | <span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">'''~seq'''</span>
 
| Assigns a monotonically increasing sequence number to the current set of files.  This modifier is useful in a more complex query to return the sort order set earlier.
 
 
 
Example: Select all tracks imported in the past 4 weeks, and sort them in descending order by date imported, assign a sequence number to be used later, limit the number of tracks to two per album, and sort based on the sequence number assigned earlier:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
[Date Imported]=<4w ~sort=[Date Imported]-d ~seq ~limit=-1,2,[Album] ~sort=[Sequence]
 
</span>
 
 
 
|}
 
 
 
== Search, Search Wizard and More ==
 
 
 
The query language has grown over time, and there are several ways to express an identical query.  Where '''Search''' tries to ''do what you mean'' (by searching most fields automatically and presenting a list of possible matches from which to choose), the translation into the '''Search Wizard''' often requires a more specific or precise query.  Also note that the '''Search Wizard''' tends to restructure queries, preferring the less ambiguous, but more pedantic form.  This can result in some queries not translating accurately from Search into Search Wizard.  For example, the loosely written three-term search query using the '''or''' operator
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Artist]=[Queen] or [Artist]=[Heart] or [Artist]="Grateful Dead"</span>
 
 
 
will be incorrectly translated by Search Wizard into a three-term '''and''' operation
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[Artist]=[Queen] [Artist]=[Heart] [Artist]="Grateful Dead"</span>
 
 
 
instead of the correctly grouped search phrase
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">([Artist]=[Queen] or [Artist]=[Heart] or [Artist]="Grateful Dead")</span>
 
 
 
Media Center [[File_Properties_%28tags%29#Predefined_Fields|file properties]] support search keywords, often abbreviations or alternate forms of the property name.  These keywords can be used to specify searching a given field.  For example, the '''[Date (year)]''' field can be specified either by using its full field name '''[Date (year)]''' or by using the '''year=''' search keyword.  As mentioned above, when pushing a query from Search into the Search Wizard, search keywords are translated into the field's full name form.  This can be seen by entering a search keyword into Search, and then entering Search Wizard and using the Import/Export button to examine the full query.
 
 
 
== Searching with Expressions ==
 
 
 
For richer, more advanced queries, Media Center Search supports using the [[Media_Center_expression_language|Media Center Expression Language]].  Expression-based queries can be entered anywhere a Search query would be used, and as a Custom rule under Edit Search > Rules.  The general syntax for using expressions formed as a query is:
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[='''''expression''''']'''=''value''</span>
 
 
 
Media Center will evaluate ''expression'', and compare the result to ''value''.  All files for which the comparison produces a True result will be included in the query results.  The following demonstrative (and utterly useless) queries would return all files:
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[=1]=1</span>
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[=math(0 * 2)]=0</span>
 
 
 
The equal comparison operator is a string comparison, so the following expression-based search works as expected:
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[=Orientation()]=Portrait</span>
 
 
 
Currently only the equal operator is supported.  Be sure to properly quote ''value'' when necessary, as mentioned above in [[#Quoting_and_Anchoring|Quoting and Anchoring]].  In the following examples, the first search expression will be True for all files, and the second will be False:
 
 
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[=math(10 + 1)]=1</span>
 
:<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">[=math(10 + 1)]=[1]</span>
 
 
 
== Current Limitations or Bugs ==
 
 
 
The following are some of the known limitations and/or bugs with certain queries:
 
 
 
1. The search Range operator only works with some units:
 
 
 
The h, d, w, y unit specifiers work with [Last Played] (and perhaps other date fields), but m and s do not.
 
 
 
:Works:
 
::[last played]=1d-3d
 
 
 
:Fails:
 
::[last played]=10m-300m
 
::[last played]=10s-300s
 
 
 
2. Fractions are not working correctly when used with some units:
 
 
 
:Works:
 
::[last played]=1h-2h
 
::[last played]=1.0h-2.0h
 
 
 
:Fails:
 
::[last played]=.5h-2h
 
 
 
3. Range operator with units is not working with [Date Imported] (and perhaps other date fields):
 
 
 
:Fails:
 
::[Date Imported]=1d-3d
 
 
 
4. The values used in the ~mix modifier val1, val2, ... should be either all percentages or all numeric, and should sum to either 100% or to the maximum number of tracks, respectively. Otherwise, the resulting mix proportions are not clearly defined.
 
 
 
== Examples ==
 
 
 
The following are a few example queries to help solidify your understanding of how to form search queries.  These rules can be copy/pasted into the Search box, and you can use the Search Wizard for more assistance in developing search rules.  Note: some of the examples show variations of the same rule, illustrating the use of full field names or their (keyword) abbreviations. 
 
 
 
Example: Files from album names containing ''Greatest Hits'':
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[album]="Greatest Hits"
 
::al="Greatest Hits"
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Files imported into Media Center in the past 7 days:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[Date Imported]=<=7d
 
::dateimported=<=7d
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Tracks greater than 5 minutes (300 seconds) in duration (length) that have played in the last 60 minutes, with the results sorted by track length:
 
 
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[Duration]=>300 [Last Played]=<60m ~sort=[Duration]
 
::length=>300 lastplayed=<60m ~sort=length
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: All mp3 files by any artist whose name begins with ''Joe'':
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[File Type]=mp3 [Artist]=[Joe"
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Files that are in either the genre Opera or Classical:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[Genre]=[Opera] or [Genre]=[Classical]
 
::g=[Opera] or g=[Classical]
 
::g=[Opera],[Classical]
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Files from genre names beginning with ''Rock'', where the number of plays is less than 5, and the Artist is neither ''Sting'' nor ''Beatles'', shuffling the results:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[Genre]=[Rock" [Number Plays]=<5 -[Artist]=Sting,Beatles ~sort=Random
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Ten random files from the "Top 40 1983" playlist which were not played in the last 5 days:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[Playlist]="Top 40 1983" [Last Played]=>5d ~n=10
 
</span>
 
 
Example: 60 minutes worth of files rated 3 or higher, sorted randomly:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::~sort=Random [Rating]=>=3 ~t=60
 
</span>
 
 
Example: 100 rock tracks, 50% of which are rated 4 and 5, 25% of which are rated 1 and 2 and 25% unrated:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::g=rock ~mix=100,50%,{[Rating]=>3},25%,{[Rating]=1,2},25%,{[Rating]=[]}
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: 50 tracks, ½ of which are Country Rock, and ½ of which are Alternative Rock:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::~mix=50,50%,{[Genre]=[Country Rock]},50%,{[Genre]=[Alternative Rock]}
 
</span>
 
 
Example: From the opera genre, limit the results to all tracks from seven albums:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[genre]=[opera] ~limit=7,-1,[album]
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: One file from each artist, and from those only two files per year:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::~limit=-1,1,[Artist] ~limit=-1,2,[Year]
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Images from the years 1930 to 1963, limited to 1 random year with the results randomly sorted:
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[Media Type]=[Image] [Date (year)]=1930-1963 ~limit=1,-1,[Year] ~sort=Random
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Files with a rating of 4 and that are either in the rock genre or from the year 1970 to 1980 (compare with the next example):
 
<span style="font-family: Consolas, monospace;">
 
::[Rating]=4 ([Genre]=[Rock] or [Date (year)]=1970-1980)
 
</span>
 
 
 
Example: Files with a rating of 4 and in the rock genre, or files from the year 1970 to 1980 (compare with the previous example):
 
::[Rating]=4 [Genre]=[Rock] or [Date (year)]=1970-1980
 
 
 
[[category:Smartlist:Examples]]
 

Revision as of 19:49, 19 January 2013

Note: The Smartlist and Search - Rules and Modifiers page is now at its permanent home: Smartlist and Search - Rules and Modifiers

Note: The Regex() page is now at its permanent home: MC expression language page

Note: The File Properties page is now at its permanent home: File Properties (tags) page

This is MrC's working space for work-in-progress Wiki pages.

Nothing currently in progress.