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Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa

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Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« on: January 16, 2017, 05:01:18 pm »
Hi

I recently purchased an Amazon Echo Dot (UK). I then saw that you could upload your own music collection to the Amazon cloud and then control your own music collection via the Alexa voice commands etc.

They offer only 250 songs to upload for free or for a yearly amount you can upload up to 250,000 songs. I uploaded eight albums as test using the Amazon Music desktop application for Windows.

However I am having some problems that has put me off from purchasing the 250,000 songs option.

All the music files I have uploaded so far are .mp3 format and are all correctly tagged for metadata and have an embedded cover image in each file. My music collection works perfectly well with other media systems like: Emby Media Server / Kodi Media Center / Logitech Media Server (Squeezebox) / Windows Media Player / Windows Media Center etc.

1. The Amazon Desktop application has issues displaying genres correctly.

The eight albums I uploaded fall in to the following genres:

Alternative
Alternative Rock
Dream Pop
Grunge
New Wave
Synthpop

There is also one other album that I did not upload but I purchased previously from Amazon, this also appears in the desktop app and else where.

Amazon Music Desktop app - Albums view

As you can see the eight albums I have uploaded are all showing in an "Unknown" genre when in the albums view.



You can see under Genres on the left hand side only "Alternative Rock" and "Unknown" are listed. If I click in to the "Alternative Rock" genre it shows that one album I purchased from Amazon.



If I switch the view from "Albums" to "Artists" it looks like this:

As you can see in this "Artists" view all the genres are now showing and also in addition the "Unknown" genre is there again:



If I click in to each of the genres from the left hand side then the correct album(s) are listed in those genres.

With the exception of the "Chvrches" album which has a problem. As you can see in the above screen shot it is correctly displayed in the Synthpop genre. However if I click in to the "Unknown" genre the same "Chvrches" album is also listed in here as well.

Why is it listed in both? I have no idea, as my files are tagged correctly.



2. Alexa also has issues with genres.

In the "Alternative" genre is an album by "The Cure" called "Disintegration"

In the "Alternative Rock" genre is an album by "Cocteau Twins" called "Pink Opaque" plus that album by "The Changelings" that was purchased from Amazon.

If I ask Alexa to play some "Alternative" she plays the "Cocteau Twins" / "The Changelings" albums from the "Alternative Rock" genre which is wrong she should have played "The Cure" from the "Alternative" genre.

If I ask Alexa to play some "Alternative Rock" she gets that right and correctly plays the "Cocteau Twins" / "The Changelings" albums.

Looking in the Alexa mobile app and in the Alexa web based app the genres are correctly displayed and there is no "Unknown" genre either.

Alexa web app:



Also if I go to the Amazon website and go to "My Account" -> "My Music" -> Genres they all look to be correct in here as well.

Amazon website My Music - Genres:



So why is the Amazon music desktop app so bad at displaying genres and why does Alexa get mixed up with genres?

3. Alexa can't seem to play my Artists that are not in the Amazon catalogue.

This is regarding artists that are not in the Amazon catalogue but are in my local collection and Alexa having issues playing that content.
 
I have an album called "Untogether" by an artist called "Blue Hawaii".
 
The files are .mp3 files that I uploaded to the Amazon cloud.
 
If I ask Alexa to "play some blue hawaii"
 
She says "I didn't find blue hawaii in your library but its available with Amazon music unlimited, would you like to know more?"
 
or she says "Here's a sample of blue hawaii by Elvis Presley"
 
If I say "Alexa play some blue hawaii from my music" it some times works and plays the songs from the Blue Hawaii Untogether album.
But most times it does not work and she says either of the two quotes above instead. Or she says "I couldn't find blue hawaii in your music collection".
 
If I search Amazon music for the artist "Blue Hawaii" its not listed in the catalogue.
 
Is this the best Alexa can handle artist names that are not in the Amazon catalogue ? Or are there better / different voice commands? I should be using for artists in my local collection but not on your catalogue.

I have been using Google Play Music and as they offer 50,000 songs you can upload for free! But I can't use Play Music with Alexa. Perhaps if Google Home is released in the UK, I should swap to using one of those rather than the Echo.

Thanks
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 06:52:24 pm by cw-kid »

Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 07:23:40 pm »
It may be how you catalog and then upload your music files.  My music cataloger is iTunes, and all my devices understand the metadata within those files.

I have copied a 250 list of random music files from iTunes and then uploaded them to Amazon music.  They all seem to work fine there.

If you are using a proper program to initially catalog your music (ALL of which you created) I think you should have no issues with Amazon music cataloging them.

Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 07:46:49 am »
Hi

All the albums / songs have been correctly tagged by myself over the years using MP3TAG application.

Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 08:19:47 am »
Here is an example the "Chvrches" album "Every Open Eye"

As you can see the genre tag is "Synthpop" not "Unknown"



There are 15 songs on the album.

However in the Amazon music desktop application it says there are 17 songs.

So taking a closer look it seems to have duplicated the last song #15 three times for some reason?



You can right click on a song and select "Remove from library" I did that twice only on the two extra duplicate songs, but not on the third one.

However looking at it again now, song #15 has gone all together.



The whole Amazon Music desktop app seems a bit buggy IMHO.

Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 08:36:01 am »
OK so I manually uploaded again that now missing song #15 using the Amazon Music desktop app.

Now it is correctly showing there are 15 songs on the Album and also the "Artists" view has corrected itself. There is now no "Unknown" genre showing and the "Chvrches" album is now only in the "Synthpop" genre, so that part of the problem seems to be fixed.



However the "Albums" view in the Amazon Music desktop app is still not correct. And lumps all my uploaded albums in to an "Unknown" genre.



Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 08:55:01 am »
I just uploaded a new album to the Amazon cloud using the Amazon Music desktop app.

Artist "Bob Marley & The Wailers" album "Uprising"

It uploaded OK and I now have a new "Reggae" genre showing in the "Artists" view.

It doesn't appear to be adding many pictures however for the artists as only two of them have images as you can see.




And looking again in the "Albums" view its still messed up, no genres listed and all my uploaded albums put in this "Unknown" genre.



Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 09:26:20 am »
I just uploaded another artist that is not on the Amazon catalogue. A DJ friend of mine.

When I ask Alexa to "Play some DJ (his name)" to be fair it does work and plays it.

So for the other problem artist that normally does not work, if instead I say "Play ARTIST Blue Hawaii" it works.

If I don't say "Artist" in that command, then I normally get samples of Elvis Blue Hawaii instead etc.

So now these issues remain un-resolved.

1 Why is the "Albums" view in the Amazon Music desktop app screwed up with genres.

2. Alexa playing the wrong genre "Alternative Rock" when I ask for "Alternative".

3. And why aren't there many artist images being displayed in the Amazon Music desktop app.

Thanks
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 03:10:56 pm by cw-kid »

Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 04:15:23 pm »
New problem now with the Amazon system changing my album cover art images !  ::)

I just added a new album, artist is "A Flock of Seagulls" the album is called "The Best of A Flock of Seagulls"

I have a hi-res 1000x1000 image embedded into the .mp3 files.

Mp3Tag:



When I upload this album using the Amazon Music desktop app, it correctly shows the right album cover image.

Amazon Music Desktop app - Correct album image



So far so good. However when I then looked on the Amazon Music app on my android tablet it had a totally different and incorrect album cover image.

So I then looked on the Amazon website in my account and my music and its wrong on there also.

Amazon website:

As you can see the image has changed to another one for a slightly different album called "Playlist: The VERY Best of A Flock of Seagulls"



However it gets worse if I click in to the album on the Amazon website it then shows a completely incorrect image for a completely different compilation album called "The New Romantics". No where in my files metadata does it say that album name.

And to make matters worse again there doesn't seem to be an option to change the album cover image to one of your choosing.



This is not a browser cache issue, I tried in two different web browsers and they both show the same incorrect album covers.

And Amazon expect you to upload 250,000 songs with these types of issues?

Google Play Music same album:



EDIT:

Tried three web browsers now they are all doing the same thing.

However now on the Amazon website My Music -> Albums it some times shows the correct album cover image as you can see in the below screen shot.



But if you refresh the page it shows the other incorrect album image for the incorrect album called Playlist: The VERY Best of A Flock of Seagulls

But on all three web browsers when you click in to the album they all show the totally incorrect album cover for the compilation album "The New Romantics".  Where its getting that from I have no idea?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:39:19 pm by cw-kid »

Re: Problems with my music collection in Amazon and Alexa
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 04:59:48 pm »
WTF ?

Cat Stevens - Catch Bull at Four

Amazon website - Correct cover shown  here



Click in to it and where the heck is that image coming from ??



However this time in the Amazon Music app for android on the tablet it is showing the correct cover for this album.

But its a crappy low-res image and not my hi-res embedded image that was in the mp3 files.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 05:03:04 pm by cw-kid »