Jason Soza wrote:
> Hey all... I really do want to thank everyone for all the help and 
> advice you give. I know my questions sometimes are probably more 
> annoying than anything else, but your input really does help.
> Anyway, I have a stack of 76 playlists I need to consolidate and 
> display. These are from radio shows, so each playlist has the date, the 
> name of the radio show, and anywhere from 20 - 27 tracks, artists, and 
> albums on them.
> I know I could simply stick these into a MySQL database using fields 
> like, date, show, track1, artist1, album1, track2, artist2, album2, 
> etc. but would that really be efficient and would I be able to use PHP 
> effectively to retrieve all that information and display it correctly?
> Has anyone out there done a similar project? If so, what was your 
> approach? Thanks in advance,
> Jason Soza

Using MySQL or any database for that matter will be most efficient, 
however, they way you lay it out may not be.  You'd want to store tracks 
  individually which would have columns associated with it for example, 
Artist, title, album, show date, and most importantly the playlist it is 
associated with.  You could have a seperate table for information 
specific to the playlist, so you don't have to repeat information when 
you insert songs into the track table, but isn't necessary as long as 
you maintain some consistency.

If you want to get really fancy, then you could have at least 3 tables 
like the following...

A songs table with title, author, album, song_id, where each song title 
and author combination are unique and only occur once.

A playlist table which stores the song_id in the order that is played 
and the playlist_id, the date of the show and the show_id that the 
playlist is associated with.

and a Show table which stores information specific to the show.

with three tabels you will minimize the amount of information that is 
repeated, since you'd only need to insert a particular song once, and 
build playlists from that list of songs.

The other less sexy option is to use flatfiles.  Which wouldn't be 
pretty straight forward.  Just right some information about the playlist 
at the beginning of the file in a consistent manner and fill it with 
song titles, one on each line.

I think you are on the right track with MySQL though, you just need to 
break it down to at least more than one table since having 20+ columns 
that store song names is rather ineeficient.

Hope that provides some insight.

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