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View Full Version : Artist sorting works like crap



krokodil
2007-06-03, 04:25
The idea of having one text for presentation and another for sorting makes me want to rip my hair out! I can see that some people prefer to organize on last name rather than first, but for reasons which should be obvious to anyone with basic knowledge of the alphabet, the list of artists must be presented the same way it sorted.

When browsing through a list in alpabetical order you always look at the first letters on the line, right? But when you sort on last name but present the list with first name first, there is no way to browse through the list fast and know where you are:

Johnny Cash
Eddie Cochran
Cocorosie
Leonard Cohen
Concretes

So either the artist list should be presented by SORTNAME, or whatever is used, or it should be sorted by artist. Anything else is meaningless. There should at least be an option not to use this brain dead sorting/presenting technique!

smc2911
2007-06-03, 04:30
I like the way it works currently. It's how I sort my CDs (not that I use them much anymore).

erland
2007-06-03, 04:54
So either the artist list should be presented by SORTNAME, or whatever is used, or it should be sorted by artist. Anything else is meaningless. There should at least be an option not to use this brain dead sorting/presenting technique!
Just use a tagging program and set the "sort tags" to the same value as the "presentation tags". Many tagging programs support selecting multiple files and overwrite one tags value with a value from another tag. I personally use foobar2000 for this kind of things but there are a lot of other options also.

Siduhe
2007-06-03, 05:01
There should at least be an option not to use this brain dead sorting/presenting technique!

There is, set some ARTISTSORT tags (which Slimserver supports in priority to ARTIST tags AFAIK) on the files that you want to sort a different way. Then do a full clear and rescan.

HTH

krokodil
2007-06-03, 12:39
I like the way it works currently. It's how I sort my CDs (not that I use them much anymore).

You may have them sorted anyway you like. My point is that I want to see the key the list is sorted by when I'm browsing through the sorted list. There is a big difference in looking at a bunch of cd:s and looking at a screen with one line at the time.

JJZolx
2007-06-03, 12:55
You may have them sorted anyway you like. My point is that I want to see the key the list is sorted by when I'm browsing through the sorted list. There is a big difference in looking at a bunch of cd:s and looking at a screen with one line at the time.

There's one fairly significant problem with using the "sortname" as stored in the database as a display string - it's a normalized version of either the ARTIST tag value or (if present) the ARISTSORT tag value. This is a string that has had punctuation removed, has been tranformed into all caps, and has had "articles to ignore" removed.

Some examples:

The Beatles -> BEATLES
10,000 Maniacs -> 10 000 MANIACS
J.J. Cale -> J J Cale

So, as you can probably see, it's not really fit for display purposes.

It sounds like what you want to do, if you want first name, last name sorting and wish to also have the same presented, is to use only ARTIST tags, with the desired sort order and skip the ARTISTSORT tags.

ARTIST=Cash, Johnny

will be sorted on "CASH JOHNNY" and displayed as "Cash, Johnny".

aubuti
2007-06-03, 13:06
You may have them sorted anyway you like. My point is that I want to see the key the list is sorted by when I'm browsing through the sorted list. There is a big difference in looking at a bunch of cd:s and looking at a screen with one line at the time.
Glad to see that you're accepting of other people doing it their own way (unlike your absolutist initial post of "...but for reasons which should be obvious to anyone with basic knowledge of the alphabet, the list of artists must be presented the same way it sorted." and "So either the artist list should be presented by SORTNAME, or whatever is used, or it should be sorted by artist. Anything else is meaningless.") As a word of advice, you'll find the forum a much better place if you don't come in on your first-ever post insulting everyone for not doing it your way and calling the existing setup brain-dead.

Because of your strong preference for making the display order exactly match the sort order, you probably should re-tag your files to match that preference. If you have ARTISTSORT defined, it should be pretty easy to copy that over to the ARTIST tag using a good tagging program like mp3tag.

You might also look into Erland's Custom Browse plugin. I don't know for certain if it will do that, but I'd be surprised if it didn't. And if it doesn't he might add the feature.

brucegrr
2007-06-03, 14:19
Count me as one who doesn't get what the problem is here.

I guess SMc2911 and I are in the same boat. My cd's (which ARE used by wife in car, kids in room) are sorted same way as in Slimserver. Works fine.

And I do understand the alphabet :)

Bruce

aubuti
2007-06-03, 18:48
Count me as one who doesn't get what the problem is here.

I guess SMc2911 and I are in the same boat. My cd's (which ARE used by wife in car, kids in room) are sorted same way as in Slimserver. Works fine.

...and it takes so much less time than using scissors and glue to the CD inserts to change "Johnny Cash" to "Cash, Johnny", etc. <g>

smc2911
2007-06-04, 03:14
You may have them sorted anyway you like. My point is that I want to see the key the list is sorted by when I'm browsing through the sorted list. There is a big difference in looking at a bunch of cd:s and looking at a screen with one line at the time.
Seeing "David Bowie" in the B's doesn't bother me any more on the Squeezebox than it did when I'd scan down the spines of my CD collection.

MelonMonkey
2007-06-04, 12:50
This is something that is entirely in the control of the individual user by employing the desired tags.

ARTIST tags are what is displayed. Slim does no alterations to this.

ARTISTSORT (TSOP, etc) is a SORT tag that will be used in preference to the ARTIST tag if it is present. This tag should normally not be present in your files.

Slim will normalize ARTIST for sorting purposes if there is no ARTISTSORT tag (as mentioned in the example of removing punctuation and designated articles).

By tagging your own ARTISTSORT you can refine or redefine tracks will be sorted.

For instance, I tag all my 10,000 Maniacs with an ARTISTSORT of "TEN THOUSAND MANIACS" to make them sort under "T" - I don't alter the ARTIST tag because I still want to see entries listed as "10,000 Maniacs"

Having an check-box option to "display artist name as contents of ARTISTSORT tag if present" would allow what is being requested in the first post without using the normalized sort version, but it would be redundant. Since it would always be displayed according to this preference, you might as well just alter the ARTIST tag to match your style.

So for instance, "David Bowie" becomes "Bowie, David"

Now the only the only reason I can see for having that option would be if it were made more granular still by making it a pop-up with multiple options: "display artist name as contents of ARTISTSORT tag if present" with options for "in all instances" and "only for browse lists, but not for track/info display"

But I'd consider this one of those esoteric features that would do more harm than good to the product. Just tag your music the way you want it.

CatBus
2007-06-04, 14:29
Just tag your music the way you want it.

Hate to pile on, but I agree sorting works perfectly as-is--you just have to understand what the tags mean and tag your music accordingly. ARTIST is the display name. If the display name doesn't look right, change this tag. There's also ALBUMARTIST which can be used to show a different artist for the album than for individual tracks, if that's relevant to you.

Because it should be safe to assume that ARTISTSORT is used only for sorting and never for display, people could conceivably have all kinds of things in their ARTISTSORT tags. Examples:

10,000 Maniacs = Ten Thousand Maniacs
Maceo and the Macks = Parker, Maceo
Billy Bragg and Wilco = Bragg, Billy [or Wilco, depending on your tastes]
R.E.M. = REM (so that it sorts after Lou Reed instead of before)

These are all decipherable if displayed, but there are probably some ARTISTSORT tags that would make things totally indecipherable too. Either way, it's not the best thing to use for display.

SadGamerGeek
2007-06-05, 05:58
I'd just like to echo that this also reflects my physical CD shelf ordering.

I really can't see how the software could handle the sorting better than it currently does. It seems like it give you both options. I guess most people have the artist tag set as on the CD cover. For the people who want the ordering by forename first, they don't need to do anything else. For those (like me) that want lastname, firstname ordering they just set the artistsort tag (I do this with a mp3tag action to copy the MUSICBRAINZ tag across).

pichonCalavera
2007-10-04, 16:18
I too would like to sort my artists by first name, for example, right now David Bowie appears between Apocalyptica and Coldplay, but I would like David Bowie to appear between Coldplay and Elefant instead.

Is there a way to acomplish this? , I don't mind modifying source code or some configuration file in order to do this.

JJZolx
2007-10-04, 16:21
I too would like to sort my artists by first name, for example, right now David Bowie appears between Apocalyptica and Coldplay, but I would like David Bowie to appear between Coldplay and Elefant instead.

Is there a way to acomplish this? , I don't mind modifying source code or some configuration file in order to do this.

It should do this without having to do anything. Just _don't_ use ARTISTSORT tags.

snarlydwarf
2007-10-04, 16:23
Modify your tags so that the ARTISTSORT on Bowie tracks is set to "DAVID BOWIE"... or just delete them....

See, SS is not smart enough to know that "David Bowie" is of the construct Firstname Lastname. You must have a tag somewhere that sets artistsort.

Changing the code isn't really workable: since it doesn't try anything clever anyway (or you would have horrible things like "King Crimson" sorting in the C's), it knows what it knows based on your tags. Stop telling it that "David Bowie" should be sorted as "Bowie, David" if you don't want it to do that.

pichonCalavera
2007-10-05, 00:05
Thanks for the quick replys.

Ok, I finally understood, there is a tag for FLAC files named ARTISTSORT, and upon doing some investigating I found that there is an MP3 tag named TSOP, that is supposed to be the equivalent of ARTISTSORT.

I could not get it the first time since I did not tagged my music manually, (hence, my ignorance in the ARTISTSORT manner), I did it with MusicBrainz Picard, and on the MusicBrainz page there is a field for changing an artist Sort Name, so I guess that takes care of changing the appropiate tag on a MP3 or FLAC file.

Time to investigate some way of changing this, since it looks is not a standard tag supported by most changing-tag programs.

Robin Bowes
2007-10-05, 02:15
pichonCalavera wrote:
> I too would like to sort my artists by first name, for example, right
> now -David Bowie- appears between -Apocalyptica- and -Coldplay-, but I
> would like -David Bowie- to appear between -Coldplay- and -Elefant-
> instead.
>
> Is there a way to acomplish this? , I don't mind modifying source code
> or some configuration file in order to do this.

The only way that can happen is if you have an ArtistSort tag in the
file(s). So, set ArtistSort to the sort order you require, or just
delete it so "Artist" is used for the sort order.

R.

Robin Bowes
2007-10-05, 02:17
pichonCalavera wrote:
> I too would like to sort my artists by first name, for example, right
> now -David Bowie- appears between -Apocalyptica- and -Coldplay-, but I
> would like -David Bowie- to appear between -Coldplay- and -Elefant-
> instead.
>
> Is there a way to acomplish this? , I don't mind modifying source code
> or some configuration file in order to do this.

The only way that can happen is if you have an ArtistSort tag in the
file(s). So, set ArtistSort to the sort order you require, or just
delete it so "Artist" is used for the sort order.

R.

stevekdavis
2007-10-05, 07:30
It should do this without having to do anything. Just _don't_ use ARTISTSORT tags.

In my experience is does for most things but in my list of artists there are one or 2 that just point blank refuse to be listed as expected.

I'm of the mind "keep it simple" so have it all alphabetic on first letter of artist (excluding the).

eg...
Aerosmith
Alicia Keys
All Saints
..etc

but wait, where's Alice Cooper?
Communards
Alice Cooper
The Coral

Listed under C not A. I have a few (less than 10 out of about 900 artists that do this). I've looked at the tags in these artists and even re-written them but they still come up in the wrong place.

Another example in my list is sheryl crow, listed under C.

Just now I've tried forcibly adding a TSOT tag but nothing changed. All music is mp3 format.

Any other tips?

msherman
2007-10-05, 07:41
stevekdavis wrote:
>
> Listed under C not A. I have a few (less than 10 out of about 900
> artists that do this). I've looked at the tags in these artists and
> even re-written them but they still come up in the wrong place.
>
> Another example in my list is sheryl crow, listed under C.
>
> Just now I've tried forcibly adding a TSOT tag but nothing changed. All
> music is mp3 format.
>
> Any other tips?

You've probably got multiple _kinds_ of tags on those tracks, such as
id3v1 and id3v2, or APE tags. The app you're using to view the tags
doesn't show them all, just one kind, but Slimserver sees them all.

- Marc

stevekdavis
2007-10-05, 07:58
so is there a windows tool that can be recommended to clean the tags, ie wipe and reset? I use Windows and mp3tag currently

JimC
2007-10-05, 08:05
so is there a windows tool that can be recommended to clean the tags, ie wipe and reset? I use Windows and mp3tag currently

I haven't used it (as I'm lucky enough to have tags that aren't a mess), but a good friend of mine swears by Media Monkey. It allows you to batch strip tags according to format, it will look up tags for you, and will fetch album art from Amazon.


-=> Jim

Mark Lanctot
2007-10-05, 08:18
so is there a windows tool that can be recommended to clean the tags, ie wipe and reset? I use Windows and mp3tag currently

Mp3tag can be configured to wipe everything but ID3v2, see http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?Mp3tagGuide

JJZolx
2007-10-05, 09:26
Just now I've tried forcibly adding a TSOT tag but nothing changed. All music is mp3 format.

In ID3 (ID3v2.4) it would be the TSOP frame that governs artist sort order ("sort-order performer"). My guess is that a few of your MP3 files must have TSOP frames. Remove them if you can. TSOT is "sort-order title".

http://www.id3.org/id3v2.4.0-frames

stevekdavis
2007-10-05, 10:52
In ID3 (ID3v2.4) it would be the TSOP frame that governs artist sort order ("sort-order performer"). My guess is that a few of your MP3 files must have TSOP frames. Remove them if you can. TSOT is "sort-order title".

http://www.id3.org/id3v2.4.0-frames

Hmm very strange, mp3tag is showing nothing under file properties or extended tags. Is a frame the same as an extended tag? How would I add a "frame" using mp3tag?

If I we're to zip up one of the folders with the rogue files (total of 1 album) would someone with more knowledge about this than me be able to take a look?

hickinbottoms
2007-10-06, 15:52
I've been seeing problems with artist sorting recently and this thread prompted me to look into it a little deeper.

I've tagged my collection with MusicBrainz and I've been seeing the sort order that's defined in MB being used for MP3 files in my collection, but not for FLAC files.

I've looked into it and I think I might have found a bug. I've raised a post on the developers list to discuss that, but I thought I'd mention it in this thread in case it helps others:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=39070

Stuart