View Full Version : Proposal for a new approach of VA album handling

2005-09-01, 16:07
The present handling of VA albums with "Track Artist" instead of "Artist" leads to a lot of problems.

For all below mentioned examples the options "Group compilations albums together" and "Don't include compilation artists in artist list" must be set.

1. At the song info page of a song of a VA album the artist is shown as link after the label "Track Artist" (instead of "Artist"). When you then click on the link an empty page is shown (instead of the list of albums of this artist). These "artist links" work only for "Artist" but not for "Track Artist".

2. In the simple search page of the web interface artists of VA albums are not found. It seems that only the field "Artist" but not "Track Artist" is searched.

3. For Ogg-files, artists of songs of a VA album having an accented character in the artist name (e.g. Abwärts) are shown in the song info page twice, namely as "Artist" and as "Track Artist". This does not happen with mp3-files.

4. The artists mentioned under item 3. are shown in the "Browse Artists" list although the option "Don't include compilation artists in artist list" is set (remember: only for Ogg-files, artist names with accented character AND songs on a VA album).

5. When you search on the Squeezebox for an artist of a VA album (i.e. which is classified as Track Artist on the server) the artist is found, but when you press the right arrow "empty" is shown.

In my opinion the "Track Artist" should not be used for VA albums. It makes everything very complicated. There may also be plugins which do use the Artist field and are not aware of that there is now an additional Tack Artist field.

I propose a much simpler approach how to handle VA albums which is as follows:

At the moment for non VA albums there exists an "Artist" field and for VA albums there exists a "Track Artist" field and an "Album Artist" field which is set to "Various Artist" (or the string defined in server settings, e.g. Various, VA...).

I propose to replace the option "Don't include compilation artists in artist list" by an option "Use Album Artists for Browse Artists". In addition, for non VA albums "Album Artist" should be set with the value of "Artist" in the library.

If the option "Use Album Artists for Browse Artists" is set, the browse artists list only shows Album Artists which is exactly the same as not to show Track Artists (you see only artist name for which you have an own album). All VA albums would automatically be shown under the Albums Artist "Various Artist" (which is also simpler since at the moment the "Various Artist" entry must explicitely be generated).

In all songs there would only exists an "Artist" field and no "Track Artist" field. I assume that most or all of the above mentioned problems would automatically be solved (since they result all from the fact that there exist two different artist fields at the moment).

From the viewpoint of a song it is even more correct to have only one kind of Artist field. A song has always only an "Artist" (and not sometime an artist and sometime a track artist), if it is on a VA album or on a "regular" album of one artist. To specify whether a song is on a VA album or a regular album use of the Album Artist is the better and more intuitive solution (Album Artist = Various Artists or Album Artist = Artist).

The original request for the VA album handling was (as far as I know) that people (including me) did not want to have ALL their artists listed in the "Browse Artists" list since this list would be very long if even artists which have only one song on a VA album are listed. Using Album Artist for browsing artist does exactly result in this shortened list and seems to avoid a lot of problems.

I filed a bug report for this issue (bug 2056) (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=2056)
Any comments to this proposal?