"This folder is empty" message for genre or artist playback

Hello all,

Apolgies if any of you are on WDTVForum.com as this is a crossport…

I am just starting to rip my CD collection for playback on my WDTV Live, and before I get too far I’m hoping to straighten out a little issue.

My setup: WD Elements Portable 640GB plugged in on USB2, fw 1.01.24 (.17, .11 and .00 did the same thing) a sample (~80 CDs) stored  as \Music{artist}{album}{song}.mp3
My main goal with the WDTV is audio playback, and my setup seems to be mostly working.

My issue is that when I browse the HDD by folder as far as an {artist} folder, or navigate to (as an example) a genre or artist and press play, I get the “This folder is empty message.”  I would have expected the WDTV to play all of the artist’s tracks, or all of the tracks within the genre at this point, but it plays nothing.  If I navigate through an additional level or two down to the {album} level and press play, it begins playback of that album.

I have read that for playlists to function properly through multiple levels of subfolders, the drive must be NTFS formatted.  Am I running into the same issue here?  Any other ideas?  I have searched and haven’t yet found an answer.

Thanks Smiley

make sure the privacy settings for your folders and files are set accordingly.

make sure you have your playback settings set to continuous play.

i havent tested out folder to folder playback yet, but im sure if everything is in the main share folder, once you finish 1 folder it would go to the next file in the next folder of alphabetical order.

and the format doesnt have to be NTFS, my usb flash drives are fat32 and my laptop is ext3

Thanks for the reply.  Playback is set to continuous.  As for permissions, the drive has only been accessed via the WDTV Live network share function.  From a PC my music is stored in  \\Elements\Music.

Since the HD has never even been plugged into a PC, the permissions are set however the WDTV Live set them as files were copied in.  From my Windows Vista machine, permissions for “Everyone” as well as the unix root user and group show up as Special permissions w/ a greyed-out check box for “allow.”

Any ideas what my next steps should be?  Full control for root?  Everyone?  Should I plug the drive into the PC and check permissions?


Update:  when viewing effective permissions of a folder in Vista (in folder properties / advanced), Everyone, and the root user have full permissions.  The root group has only “Traverse folder / execute file,” “List folder / read data,” " Read attributes," “Read extended attributes,” and “Read permissions.”

I don’t think permissions are the issue here, unless a user other than root on the WDTV Live is accessing the files.  Any other thoughts?

So does it work for everybody else to navigate on the WDTV Live to a particular genre or artist, hit play, and hear all of the tagged music from that genre or artist?

if you have only root access then you would have to sign in as root with the WD Player to have access to any share folders under root, but for desktop linux you would just have to use your normal user credentials to have access to the “home” folder which is the only section where the WD Player can see, even if you put the share folder on yoru desktop its not gonna see it. only under Home

then just make sure the permissions of the folder and the “files access” is set to “access” and “Read Only” under all 3 sections  OWNER GROUP OTHERS which will allow you to access the folder without using a username password. then click on the tab at the bottom that says “apply permissions to enclosed folders” so all the files and folders have the same permissions

thats the easiest and most open way for everyone on the network.

or if you want the folder private, just leave the “Others” section to private and make it so the Group has access, then just simply sign in to your Player with the same credentials you would need to access that group on your computer and you’ll see the folder.

you can also use Samba to create different groups than your Home group an assign passwords which is what i have setup now, and i have 2 players on the network so i have 1 folder set to OTHERS access, and the 2nd folder set to only group access under a different name, and when i sign in to that group i can also see the open folder aswell, where the 2nd player only sees the open folder.

heres a pic of the 2 folders side by side, the TEST folder is set to “others access” and the sandbox folder is my private group folder.

jspitz wrote:


So does it work for everybody else to navigate on the WDTV Live to a particular genre or artist, hit play, and hear all of the tagged music from that genre or artist?

Has never worked for me. I have had to make a .m3u playlist for each Genre.

Shortly after my post here I logged a support incident with WD.  After 10 days and 18 messages to or from WD’s tech support, WD support declared the case “Solved” with the suggestion to RMA the WDTV Live.  I’m still not sure the support rep has any idea what I am trying to do since he sent RMA instructions for a drive and refers to the WDTV Live as such.

My initial question specifically asked if it was possible to play an entire artist, folder, genre, etc., and WD didn’t answer that question until today.  The answer, by the way, was “The files should be playing with selecting a genre or even artist.”   I also requested that the case be escalated and that hasn’t happened.

Every revision of firmware, including the support-suggested pre-release 1.02.14, has behaved the same way, and I seriously doubt that the issue is hardware.  It really seems to be a feature oversight or programming error.

I really don’t want to waste any more time on this issue - especially since I feel that support doesn’t have a firm grasp on what it is that I am trying to do, much less where the problem could lie.  They focused on the attached HDD and file tagging despite the fact that I assured them the files were appropriately tagged, indexing was working, and the WDTV Live did the same thing with media on multiple drives.  Even after I sent them tag output from MediaInfo, they instructed me to tag my already tagged files.

Does genre, artist, or folder, etc., playback work for anyone?

Does anybody have any ideas?  Maybe a way to escalate this?  Anybody on the forum here from WD that can assist?

Thanks in advance!

This feature is currently not available for this product.  It has been added to the features request list and is being looked at by engineering and if possible may be added at a later date.

1 Like


While this is not exactly the answer I was hoping for, it certainly makes more sense than a hardware issue.  Thanks for the definitive answer.

If it makes any difference to the powers that be, I think the WDTV Live will be immensely more useful as an audio player if genre, and artist (or folder) can be played.  It is already just about perfect for my usage, but this will be icing on the cake.

Thanks again.

If anybody else is looking for these same features, they have been requested (deep within the ideas lab):

Specifically for the WDTV Live:


Specifically for the folder issue, but for WDTV Gen 1 and Mini:


Specifically for WDTV Gen 1, but seemingly the same problem (maybe) with the Live:


If you would appreciate these changes, let WD know and kudo these ideas up!  Thanks!