View Full Version : Stop this Various Artists Madness !

2006-10-17, 14:47
Hi Folks

This isnt a rant... honest...I truly think my squeezebox and slimserver are absolutely marvellous, and all the developers deserve big houses with swimming pools and French maids...


The way 6.5 treats compilations / various artists is really getting me down.

All my comps are tagged correctly…. All have Various Artists as “Album Artist”, all have a “yes” in the “part of compilation” box, and, up to upgrading, all behaved as you would expect. I could play “24 hour party people” by selecting “24 hour party people” from the albums list.

Now, since I organise my folders by artist / album /track.mp3, (hardly a radical way to store your digital media !) slimserver now displays “24 hour party people” about 8 times…. Once for each artist represented.

OK, fine, I could re-organise my folders to "album artist" / album / track, but what happens when I have two comps with the same title ? Not as odd as you may think…..

Would it not be simpler to have a switch in the interface that forced slimserver to ignore folders, and just work from the tags ?

Just a thought.....


2006-10-17, 15:01
I had the same problem. In my case, it wasn't a tagging issue, but a folder issue. When there's too much folders, Slimserver gets confused.

In my main music folder, I have a folder for artists (containing all their albums) and folders for each various artist albums I have. Now, all the tracks from the various artist albums are in their respective folders. Forget about putting artist folders in the various artist album folders. That'll just screw everything up. Copy the songs directly in the various artist album folders. It works perfectly for me, and I didn't even write "various artist" in the "album artist" tag.

For example, I have a folder for the Fog of war album, which contains tracks from P. Glass and another guy. All the tracks from that album are in that folder. No other folders are needed.

I've configured EAC to use artist / album /track for normal CD's and various album /track for various artist CD's. No hassle.

P.S. Don't forget to set Slimserver to group compilation albums together.

2006-10-17, 15:23
Hi Nostromo

I understand that the issue is folders. I just dont understand why it should be an issue. Every other device I have, or have owned (Rio Karma, Creative Vision M) happily ignore folders and work exclusively at tag level. At most levels, Slimserver is much cleverer (I cant understand why Creative haven't figures out how to remove "The" from artist names sorts !) but since 6.5, for me at least, it has taken a step backward in its navigation interface.

2006-10-17, 17:35
Yes, collections are a problem.

I like using audiograbber to rip CDs, because when it sees an album that's a collection, it has an option to say that it's NOT a collection -- which is great, because if you turn that off, then it places the Track Artist as part of the title of the song. Then I simply rename the album artist (and therefore all the track artists, because it's 'no longer a collection') something like "Collection - 24 Hour Party People". That way all my collections sort together alphabetically and I know where to find them, and the track artist is always highly visible as part of the song title.

This works great whether using folders or tags to find your stuff.

Of course if you've already ripped them, you can accomplish the same thing using MP3Tag Studio and/or Flash Renamer.

Anyway, that's what works for me. Of course, I'm using slimserver 6.3.1 because 6.5 botched up my library something wicked. Not to mention crashing, etc. So god knows what you'll wind up with using 6.5. But the above technique works awesome in 6.3.1.

2006-10-17, 23:30
I have to agree that the way that SlimServer 6.5.* handles folders is painful. I've got a folder called 70s pop singles under a folder called MP3 and a folder in the root of my drive also called 70s pop singles. The reason for this is that I keep my (few) MP3s separate from my Flacs. All the files in these two folders have the same album tag (70s pop singles) yet Slimserver lists them as two albums (both called 70s pop singles)... and there is no way round it.
I much preferred the arrangement as it was in 6.3.

Yes, I agree, it'd be good to have a switch allowing us to switch off Slimserver's over-clever folder behaviour.

One other thing:
Shouldn't the Compilation tag have a value of 1, not Yes? (Or maybe that's the same thing in some taggers).


2006-10-19, 17:49

One thing to check, it'll only take a few minutes.

A few months back there was someone else with this problem, only it was 6.2 or 6.3, not 6.5.

Turns out, he (she? Can't remember now) had ID3V1 and ID3V2 tags in some files, and the info from one set was different than the other set.

Don't know if that's the problem here, but check it out.

2006-11-04, 03:12
I have reverted to SlimServer 6.2.2 purely because of this issue. It works absolutely fine in 6.2.2 so something has been changed (for the worse in my view).

I don't know about 6.3.1 as I never downloaded or installed this and I can't now get it to test.

At least now (with 6.2.2) I don't have to scoll through multiple repeated album titles. Bonkers!

I did try changing the compilation tag to solve the problem in 6.5.0 but to no avail.

I'd welcome more input on this from Slim Devices themselves (and anyone else for that matter - sure this is hurting just about everyone?

2006-11-04, 03:47
Surely this cant be difficult to fix ??
Even my vision:m handels comps better.

2006-11-04, 04:15
Not as simple as a "fix", sadly. There are so many people out there with vastly varying music collections, tagged differently, organised differently, and with different expectations as to how they want it to work.

SD have changed the code in this areas several times trying to keep up with all the conflicting requirements, and the one constant is that they have never been able to please everyone.

As it happens, I'm one of the ones that is very happy with the way its working right now, so I'm biased!

But don't just assume its "broken", because it isn't. It just isn't the way that best suits you, which isn't the same thing.

If you organise your compilation albums with one folder = one album you will be fine.


2006-11-04, 04:59
While I cannot comment with any authority on the thinking behind the current approach, I imagine that part of it is that if only tag information was used (as opposed to folders), there could be problems with distinct various artists albums with the same name. Using folders allows these to be distinguished. Of course this is a compromise and, as ceejay says, you can't please everyone all of the time.

2006-11-04, 06:08
Ceejay/Everyone, can you clarify the structure that works? My collection is setup as mymusic/artist/album/track which sounds like the original poster. So, when you look in the "Various Artist" folder, each album has it's own discreet subfolder, and then each track contains the actual artist info. This is working fine for me in 6.3. Will it work in 6.5 and if not what should it be changed to?



2006-11-04, 06:14
See my note above. There's also a change in how files with both V1 and V2 tags are handled (especially when some info was supplied by one, some by the other).

2006-11-04, 06:15
Ceejay/Everyone, can you clarify the structure that works? My collection is setup as mymusic/artist/album/track which sounds like the original poster. So, when you look in the "Various Artist" folder, each album has it's own discreet subfolder, and then each track contains the actual artist info. This is working fine for me in 6.3. Will it work in 6.5 and if not what should it be changed to?



That should work.

The arrangement that has caused problems, AFAIK, is where compilation albums are split up so that there is a folder under each of the artists who are represented on it.

To repeat, the key is to have one folder=one album. It doesn't matter where that folder appears in your file system.


Mark Lanctot
2006-11-04, 08:05
I don't know about 6.3.1 as I never downloaded or installed this and I can't now get it to test.

All versions are available at http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads

2006-11-04, 10:29
Even changing to a folders structure doesnt make for a tidy elegant soluciton with comps.

Fine, I can navigate to "pogo-a-gogo", but If I select Buzzcocks, the "pogoagogo" title isnt included in my listing, even though they have a track on this comp. If I tick the box that fixes this, I then get "pogoagogo" listied however many tracks are in that album in the album list.

2006-11-04, 11:15
I've been using a workaround by adding the DISC tag to my compilation tracks. It seems that as long as the DISC tag matches, the tracks are considered to be from the same album. I use DISC=0.

2006-11-05, 02:17
You shouldn't need to use the DISC tag for single-disc sets, but it is certainly worth setting DISC (and DISCC) for multi-disc sets. The set-up that works for me in 6.5 is the one album per folder (in the case of multi-disc sets, I have a folder for each disc, but set the DISC or DISCNUMBER and DISCC tags). In additional, for all various artist albums, I set COMPILATION=1 (I use mp3tag, but I seem to recall from other posts that in the mp3tagger this is set to TRUE rather than 1, although I suspect the tag that is written is 1). Finally, in the case of various artist albums that are nevertheless associated with a single artists (e.g. FatBoy Slim, On the Floor at the Boutique which has individual artists for each track, but I want it to appear in the FatBoy Slim album list), I set the BAND tag to the album artist (I use flac and for mp3 this is the TPE2 tag. I set the Band/Orchestra check box on slimserver Server Settings > Behaviour and in the Compilations Settings, I "Group Compilation Albums Together" and "List Albums By Band" (I also treat "Multi-Disc Sets as a Single Album"). This all works very nicely, although note that Artists that only appear on a compilation album will not appear under Browse Artists, but I can search for them.

2006-11-05, 04:45

I too had many of the same problems. My main one was; I made a play list of 2011 songs. When I went to use it, the display said 87 songs. I go to my server, only 87 songs listed too.

The songs were in group of 400 folders, each one a album if you will(or CD).

Taked to Dan it tech support, he said use 6.3.1v. That worked!!

I hope this gets fixed soon!

Happy listining!!