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JimC
2008-04-09, 23:59
Amidst the noise in the now closed "Sort by Album Artist" thread there was some good content. I'll paraphrase some of it, expand on it with my limited knowledge, and hopefully allow the signal to continue.

Premise #1 - Tags, depsite everyone's wish to the contrary, are broken, at least in the sense that their behavior varies by application and they are not used consistently.

Premise #2 - SqueezeCenter supports more than one kind of file format and, by extension, more than one kind of tag. To accomplish this, it "normalizes" the tags according to specific rules that have been established over time.

Premise #3 - For some set of users, the SqueezeCenter tag normalization is perfect. For some other set of users, it is acceptable. For yet another set, it is unusable. There may be other nuances, but these sets seem adequate to capture the idea.

Premise #4 - General adjustments to the way SqueezeCenter normalizes tags will result in changes to the sets described in #3 but will never eliminate the problem that it does not work perfectly (or even acceptably) for everyone. It would simply sort the members into different sets.

Now on to the problem...

MP3 is the single most-popular file format used for digital music today; sadly, it does not have an AlbumArtist tag. It does have a Band tag (referred to as TPE2). Some, but not all, music library applications use Band as AlbumArtist. If you use one of these applications, you will have a certain expectation of how Band should work.

SqueezeCenter is one of the application that does not map Band to AlbumArtist. This is a result of wanting to support as many formats as elegantly as possible, and other tag formats include BOTH Band and AlbumArtist.

SqueezeCenter does respect the Band tag, but does not allow a sort on that field. This creates confusion for some users, especially those who use applications that consider Band to be AlbumArtist. These users would like to see Band used the same way the ALBUMARTIST tag is used inside SqueezeCenter.

So, how about we continue this dialog as a discussion where you can share your opinions about how we can address the problem of normalizing ALL the different tag formats in a useful way, with an eye not toward solving just your particular individual needs (it's open source, you can do that yourself), but works toward making sets 1 and 2 the most likely result for any given user.

Please, chat amongst yourselves (but play nice).


-=> Jim

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 00:31
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=4584 is my only tag annoyance.

This doesn't sort right:


TIT2 (Title/songname/content description): Needles and Pins
TPE1 (Lead performer(s)/Soloist(s)): Flat Duo Jets
TALB (Album/Movie/Show title): Bonograph: Sonny Gets His Share
TRCK (Track number/Position in set): 1/16
TYER (Year): 1991
TXXX (User defined text information): (ALBUMARTIST): Sonny Bono
TXXX (User defined text information): (ALBUMARTISTSORT): Bono, Sonny
TXXX (User defined text information): (COMPILATION): 0


(And, yeah, Sonny Bono was actually a good writer... great album.)

(And, yes, I set compilation to 0 to force this to disregard the track artists and file by albumartist only.)

(No, I do not want to buy any Sonny Bono albums to get it from ARTISTSORT... scary.)

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 00:32
Please, chat amongst yourselves (but play nice).

absolutely, i feel i was doing just that, but mherger singled me out, even though clearly it was not me to first be rude in that thread. any honest reading of that thread would see snarly attacked me first for no reason whatsoever. therefore i don't appreciate mherger singling me out.

its also ridiculous that my SENTENCE was deleted/edited out, but none of the rude things snarly said were. i mean COME ON, this is why you guys shouldn't be casting yourselves in the censor role to begin with.

in any case...

JIM, since you summed it up more or less succinctly, here are my questions for you:

1. are you saying that "List albums by Band" is NOT meant to sort?

(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is a poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like SORT than 'show albums as by...')

2. should SC7 not be able to sort via the data from a mp3s TPE2 tag?

if not, why not? why can't that be an "on" or "off" option? (likewise, why can't such an option be added if need be?)

(it could simply use SC7s internal BAND tag, which is populated via TPE2)

3. if no other data is in the mp3, why can't the TPE2 data populate both the internal BAND and ALBUMARTIST SC7 tags?

4. just how am i supposed to get my albums to sort properly tagged as is? (in other words, not needing a MB workaround to get them to do so)

5. what is the point of giving us the option to "List albums by band" if they are going to be sorted out of place? is that not stupid?

what i am asking for is for slim to acknowledge the reality of many users mp3 tags and circumstances. i am hardly an anomaly.

is slim just going to let this persist as is? in other words, does slim acknowledge there is a problem here, and that it needs fixed?

this is what i want someone from slim to address.

thx.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 00:48
btw, the thread really ought to be called "sort by TPE2/Band/Album Artist non-existent, please implement" as that is what the OP of the now closed thread was requesting, (there is no band vs album artist battle here i don't think)

smc2911
2008-04-10, 03:27
I would also like to reiterate a comment I made early on in the closed thread (before it became mp3 focused), which is related to http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=5108


(slightly edited)

For example, consider the following two compilations (all flac files)

ALBUM=Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage
ALBUMARTIST=Larry Levan
COMPILATION=1

and then each track has a different artist. I have no other albums by Larry Levan.

ALBUM=On the Floor at the Boutique
ALBUMARTIST=Fatboy Slim
COMPILATION=1

and then each track has a different artist. I have a number of other artists by Fatboy Slim.

On the Floor appears under Fatboy Slim when I browse artists for Fatboy Slim. Larry Levan does not appear anywhere when I browse for artists, instead the album appears under Various Artists.

I have settings to Group Compilation Albums together and Group Albums by Band Thus, the behaviour seems to depend not just on the tags for all the tracks on the album, but also on the existence or otherwise of other albums by the same artist. A partial workaround (courtesy of JJ I seem to recall) to get the Larry Levan album into the artists list is to set COMPILATION=0, but then all the other track artists from the album show up too. I voted for the bug 5108 (linked above) as a way to fix this, but to my mind, it would make sense for Larry Levan to appear under artists even with COMPILATION=1 just as Fatboy Slim does.

smc2911
2008-04-10, 05:05
btw, the thread really ought to be called "sort by TPE2/Band/Album Artist non-existent, please implement" as that is what the OP of the now closed thread was requesting, (there is no band vs album artist battle here i don't think)If I understand correctly from the closed thread (which, admittedly, was challenging at times!), when viewing Albums sorted by "Artist", it will be sorted by ARTIST or (if it exists) ALBUMARTIST but not by BAND. Since SC7 interprets TPE2 tags as BAND not ALBUMARTIST, this means that the Albums will not, in this example, be sorted by the TPE2 tag.

radish
2008-04-10, 06:15
there is no band vs album artist battle here i don't think
There needn't be a battle at all IMHO.

The question seems to boil down to: should SC treat TPE2 as BAND (not sortable) or ALBUMARTIST (sortable)? Given the nature of ID3 it seems an app has to decide one way or the other on this. Is there a reason this can't be made an option? What cases wouldn't this solve?

slimkid
2008-04-10, 08:36
Hi,

why not start with the thorough explanation how (internal to SC) BAND and ALBUMARTIST should behave right now. I'd appreciate if somebody who is responsible for maintaining that piece of functionality could explain it. Or point me to the place on this site where that has been documented. Especially in relationship to COMPILATION tag.

As said, I'm not looking for wishes, guesses and interpretations, but rather to the piece of original documentation.

thanks,

K

Listener
2008-04-10, 09:27
Amidst the noise in the now closed "Sort by Album Artist" thread there was some good content. I'll paraphrase some of it, expand on it with my limited knowledge, and hopefully allow the signal to continue.

Premise #1 - Tags, depsite everyone's wish to the contrary, are broken, at least in the sense that their behavior varies by application and they are not used consistently.

-=> Jim

Excellent summation, Jim. A suggestion for a resolution of the problem

- Integrate the custom Scan and Custom browse functionality into SqueezeCenter so that users can specify what's in the menus

- Document that functionality with an explanation of concepts and some how-tos.

- Provide some flexibility in mapping tags from a specific format to internal names. (TPE2 = Band or TPE2 = Album Artist.)

Ceejay filed some bug reports (2696-2701) for enhancements for classical music a long time ago based on threads to which he and I contributed. Those enhancements got plenty of votes but no action. Erland's plugins implement some of this functionality but it really should be thoroughly integrated with SqueezeCenter itself.

You can go on with these fruitless arguments where everyone argues that the way his first player s/w worked is the one true way or you can enhance SqueezeCenter to allow each user to do things his preferred way.

Bill

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 10:30
That's a good concise summary. I'll try to respond with a bit of knowledge based on my investigations (which I did during SC7 beta testing, and added to bug 6490).

Firstly, how contributors are scanned from tags and stored in database tables:

The scanner finds all contributors for all songs, based on supported tags for the file type, and stores:
A distinct list of contributors (contributors table).
A one-to-many link table between songs and contributors (contributor_track table).
A single album contributor in the album table (album table, contributor column).

An album record can have exactly one contributor, which is determined using the following rules:
1. If an album artist tag is stored on the songs, the album is not flagged as a compilation and the album artist is stored as album contributor.
2. If an album has songs by different artists, or a song has more than one contributing artist, or the songs are tagged as a compilation, the album is flagged as a compilation, and the album artist is "Various Artists".
3. All songs on an album have the same contributing song artist, so that artist is used as the album artist.

There is a sort order stored against each contributor (in the contributors table). The sort order can be populated from sort tags. Currently, the scanner only recognises ARTISTSORT associated with the song artists. If no artist sort tag exists, it is set to be the same as the name of the artist (minus leading articles, such as "The", etc), so "The Beatles" will be sorted under "Beatles".

If there are any songs in the library with artists with an artist sort tag, all uses of that distinct artist from the contributors table will use the artist sort.

eg. if I have an album with songs by XYZ with artist sort ZYX, and another album with various song contributors but an album artist XYZ, this album will also make use of the same artist sort because it refers to the same (distinct) artist contributor record.


In Music Library Settings, there are options to include Composer, Conductor and Band/Orchestra as extra contributors in the list of artists. There is no standard tags for defining sort order on these contributor types. In fact, ARTISTSORT is not a standard tag either (in ID3v2.3 at least), but adopted by a few software applications.

When browsing by artist, the list of artists will contain:
Artists associated with at least one album.
Composers if enabled in Music Library Settings
Conductors if enabled in Music Library Settings
Band/Orchestra's if enabled in Music Library Settings
Any artist that has performed a song on a compilation album if "List compilation albums under each artist" is chosen in Music Library settings.

The list of artists are sorted by the artist sort stored against each artist in the contributor table.

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 10:47
The sort problem that people are complaining about is when they set an album artist tag, and that artist doesn't exist as a main/leading song contributor elsewhere, so SqueezeCenter scanner doesn't find any ARTISTSORT tag.

It seems to me as if it would be possible for the scanner to support another TXXX custom tag for ID3 called ALBUMARTISTSORT. This is totally bespoke; it's unlikely to be supported by any other software/mp3 player. I see no harm with that, other than the scanner may be slower as it has another tag to detect.

The scanner could perhaps detect any TXXX tag with a name in the format <tagname>SORT, such as BANDSORT, TPE2SORT, etc, and set the contributor sort accordingly.

Other file formats may define standards for sort tags. If so, the scanner should support those too.


An alternative "fix" may be to create a plugin that corrects the content of the contributor table as a post-scan action. A separate mapping of artist names to artist sort names could be retrieved from somewhere (eg xml file, text file, Squeezecenter wiki page, etc), and the plugin would read this content and update the contributor table for any matching artist name.

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 11:23
It is not very clear what the intended behavior of "List albums by all artists for that album/List albums by band" is/was. But it does currently seem to be broken (or was, when I tried it a month back).

I changed the option between "List albums by band" and "List albums by all artists for that album", but I noticed no difference, even after a complete rescan.

I think the word "List" confuses people into thinking it has something to do with how the browse by album page is sorted (as in "display a list of band tags only, sorted by band"). This was captured on bug 6490.

I think the intention of this setting is "Treat BAND as album artist?", and thus should be a checkbox labelled as such to be clearer.

If this was the intention of the setting, with the current database schema it would require a rescan after a change in order to change the contributor associated with the album. There was a long term design goal to do away with the need to do full rescans. Alternatively, if a full rescan is required after changing a setting (a user is likely to not change it often!), it would warn the user when applying the change.

I would make the default for "Treat band as album artist" as unchecked, as this then follows the ID3 standard, but users have the option to make it work out-of-standard and similar to other (inferior!) software packages (i.e. iTunes).

Phil

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 11:29
The sort problem that people are complaining about is when they set an album artist tag, and that artist doesn't exist as a main/leading song contributor elsewhere, so SqueezeCenter scanner doesn't find any ARTISTSORT tag.

That is one problem (and, indeed, my only whine atm). The other is that some people wish TPE2 to be identical to ALBUMARTIST. But I'll ignore that one for now...



It seems to me as if it would be possible for the scanner to support another TXXX custom tag for ID3 called ALBUMARTISTSORT. This is totally bespoke; it's unlikely to be supported by any other software/mp3 player. I see no harm with that, other than the scanner may be slower as it has another tag to detect.


Well it has another tag to skip over at the moment... I am not sure the processing of the tag would be that painful, especially if it is not present. If Present, well, assumedly someone wanted it processed so the time it takes to process even repeated N times is a requested action, so 'reasonable time' is permitted.

It is supported by Picard:
TXXX (User defined text information): (MusicBrainz Album Artist): The Hellboys
TXXX (User defined text information): (MusicBrainz Album Artist Sortname): Hellboys, The

of course that would have to be normalized back to just plain ALBUMARTISTSORT, but that's true of lots of MB tags.

According to id3.org, iTunes has this tag as 'TSO2' (but then, that would be tied to the whole "is BAND == ALBUMARTIST").



The scanner could perhaps detect any TXXX tag with a name in the format <tagname>SORT, such as BANDSORT, TPE2SORT, etc, and set the contributor sort accordingly.

There is code sort of like that in Schema.pm.. it is just that by that point the tags have already been parsed and 'unknown' tags discarded.



An alternative "fix" may be to create a plugin that corrects the content of the contributor table as a post-scan action. A separate mapping of artist names to artist sort names could be retrieved from somewhere (eg xml file, text file, Squeezecenter wiki page, etc), and the plugin would read this content and update the contributor table for any matching artist name.

There is a feature request for something like that, a way to normalize all sorts of things (ie, "Elvis Costello", "Elvis Costello and the Attractions" could be forced to be under one artist). I have mixed feelings about that... but then I sometimes manually edit mysql tables instead of waiting for a rescan.

"update albums set compilation = 0 where id=945;" is a lot faster than a clear-and-rescan.

Nice documentation in your prior post, though.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 11:33
>(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is a
>poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like
>SORT than 'show albums as by...')

The word "list" has nothing to do with sorting. There are many examples of sorted lists and unsorted lists. The alphabet is a list of letters. A "list of letters" doesn't mean the letters are sorted, but "the alphabet" is letters in a certain order. My shopping lists are always randomly ordered items.

However, I do agree ;) I suggested a different wording for this option many slimserver versions ago, and it was decided that the setting was obvious as it stood.

Phil

JimC
2008-04-10, 11:58
...its also ridiculous that my SENTENCE was deleted/edited out, but none of the rude things snarly said were. i mean COME ON, this is why you guys shouldn't be casting yourselves in the censor role to begin with...

Please. The sentence contained the something very close to the phrase: "Yes, this is a personal attack." That's a direct violation of our forum guidelines, and deliberately baiting the moderators here. Removing that bit was really a very, very light bit of moderating.


1. are you saying that "List albums by Band" is NOT meant to sort?

(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is a poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like SORT than 'show albums as by...')

No, that's not what I'm saying. I was simply summarizing what I understood the behavior to be. I don't use Band (because I find it broken in some apps and unneeded in the apps I do use), so I don't really have any opinion as to how it should behave.


2. should SC7 not be able to sort via the data from a mp3s TPE2 tag?

if not, why not? why can't that be an "on" or "off" option? (likewise, why can't such an option be added if need be?)

(it could simply use SC7s internal BAND tag, which is populated via TPE2)

As our programmers like to say "Contributions welcome." Tagging is a mess... not just for us, but for any music manager. How tags are used is a very personal thing, and one man's pleasure is another man's pain.

I suggest that you open an enhancment request at bugzilla.slimdevices.com and put your proposal in there.


3. if no other data is in the mp3, why can't the TPE2 data populate both the internal BAND and ALBUMARTIST SC7 tags?

See above.


4. just how am i supposed to get my albums to sort properly tagged as is? (in other words, not needing a MB workaround to get them to do so)

"Properly tagged" is in the eye of the beholder. I consider my files properly tagged and TPE2 is used only sporadically. Stuff sorts fine for me, so a change in behavior isn't needed as far as I am concerned. That doens't mean how SC handles tags works for everyone, but tags aren't handled consistently in any application.

You have a problem with the way SC handles the particular way you tag your files. You want a different behavior and I've proposed a way for you to get this request to our engineering team. During our regular bug scrubs, we'll take a look at the request and the suggested implementation and try to determine if/how/when it will be done.


5. what is the point of giving us the option to "List albums by band" if they are going to be sorted out of place? is that not stupid?

what i am asking for is for slim to acknowledge the reality of many users mp3 tags and circumstances. i am hardly an anomaly.

is slim just going to let this persist as is? in other words, does slim acknowledge there is a problem here, and that it needs fixed?

Please reveiw premise #3 above. I don't disagree that you find yourself in the latter set, but not everyone considers it to be "broken". I suggest that you use the tools at hand--bugzilla.slimdevices.com and these forums--to provide constructive feedback and suggestions as to what you would like to see so that when we are working on the scanner/tag handling, the engineers can understand both the problem and the various solutions proposed.

Even better, you might want to see if one or more of the folks in the developer forum would be willing to work on coding your suggestions as a replacement scanner, as a plug-in or even as core functionality for a future release.

JJZolx
2008-04-10, 12:40
One thing about ALBUMARTIST is that it's an _album_ tag, whereas BAND is more like ARTIST and can differ from track to track. So imagine:

TRACKNUMBER=1
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra

TRACKNUMBER=2
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Nelson Riddle Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra

Is this a compilation album? (I'd say No, but if you look at the BAND field you might want to say Yes.) What is the album's BAND if we wanted to sort albums by BAND?

If we were viewing tracks, say in a grid, like so many popular programs use, then sorting by BAND makes sense. At the track level you can sort by just about anything you like.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 12:55
i apologize for what will be a long post and multiple posts, but i want to respond to everyone...


If I understand correctly from the closed thread (which, admittedly, was challenging at times!), when viewing Albums sorted by "Artist", it will be sorted by ARTIST or (if it exists) ALBUMARTIST but not by BAND. Since SC7 interprets TPE2 tags as BAND not ALBUMARTIST, this means that the Albums will not, in this example, be sorted by the TPE2 tag.

yes, that is correct. and this causes chaos for any album that has even one track with differing TPE1 info on it, b/c it then becomes a VA album.


There needn't be a battle at all IMHO.

The question seems to boil down to: should SC treat TPE2 as BAND (not sortable) or ALBUMARTIST (sortable)? Given the nature of ID3 it seems an app has to decide one way or the other on this. Is there a reason this can't be made an option? What cases wouldn't this solve?

exactly.

we could be given the option to sort by BAND, [ie. the SC7 internal tag already filled in by TPE2]. or, we could be given the option to let our TPE2 tags fill in the SC7 internal ALBUMARTIST tags, (if no other info is there to fill it).


why not start with the thorough explanation how (internal to SC) BAND and ALBUMARTIST should behave right now. I'd appreciate if somebody who is responsible for maintaining that piece of functionality could explain it. Or point me to the place on this site where that has been documented. Especially in relationship to COMPILATION tag.

As said, I'm not looking for wishes, guesses and interpretations, but rather to the piece of original documentation.

exactly.

i have been asking for this in varying ways to varying degrees for a long time now. most recently, i said a wiki project should be done:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=45876

i also have asked slim to say categorically how "List albums by Band" is supposed to work:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490

no answer as of yet.


- Integrate the custom Scan and Custom browse functionality into SqueezeCenter so that users can specify what's in the menus

do you mean how the scanner works?


- Document that functionality with an explanation of concepts and some how-tos.

- Provide some flexibility in mapping tags from a specific format to internal names. (TPE2 = Band or TPE2 = Album Artist.)

or both.


Ceejay filed some bug reports (2696-2701) for enhancements for classical music a long time ago based on threads to which he and I contributed. Those enhancements got plenty of votes but no action. Erland's plugins implement some of this functionality but it really should be thoroughly integrated with SqueezeCenter itself.

You can go on with these fruitless arguments where everyone argues that the way his first player s/w worked is the one true way or you can enhance SqueezeCenter to allow each user to do things his preferred way.

Bill

i'll have to check those out. i agree with your last statement. to me this isn't about doing it any "one true way" but rather having the option to do it many differing ways, which would be flexible to a lot of users.

JJZolx
2008-04-10, 13:03
As an option I don't understand the objection to using TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST. If you don't want it used as such, then TPE2 should remain mapped to BAND.

The current wording of the 'List albums by band' option, though, and placing it under the heading 'Compilations' in the settings is enormously confusing. My understanding has been that the mapping of TPE2 is _all_ the option is supposed to do, but that's never been verified. I don't honestly think anyone knows for sure at this point. Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe that's desirable, maybe not.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 13:20
That's a good concise summary. I'll try to respond with a bit of knowledge based on my investigations (which I did during SC7 beta testing, and added to bug 6490).

Firstly, how contributors are scanned from tags and stored in database tables:

i'm sorry, but you'll have to bear with me... please define contributors. TPE2 only? or what? do user defined tags get to be contributors too?


The scanner finds all contributors for all songs, based on supported tags for the file type, and stores:
A distinct list of contributors (contributors table).
A one-to-many link table between songs and contributors (contributor_track table).
A single album contributor in the album table (album table, contributor column).

An album record can have exactly one contributor, which is determined using the following rules:
1. If an album artist tag is stored on the songs, the album is not flagged as a compilation and the album artist is stored as album contributor.

here is where you really start to confuse me. can you please use snarlys convention of writing BAND or ALBUMARTIST in caps and without the space when you mean SC7 internal tags? (not saying you didn't, just making sure)

now, above, when you say album artist tag in the songs, i'm sure you realize id3 has no standard for that. so you are talking about when someone with mp3s has used a workaround to put such tags in there, yes?

in other words, a Txxx tag or user defined tag.

that means anyone not using a workaround is screwed right off the bat.


2. If an album has songs by different artists, or a song has more than one contributing artist, or the songs are tagged as a compilation, the album is flagged as a compilation, and the album artist is "Various Artists".

right, and this happens in spite of the fact that many mp3 users have set TPE2 to avoid this very issue. but SC7 doesn't give an option to employ TPE2 the way most apps use it.


3. All songs on an album have the same contributing song artist, so that artist is used as the album artist.

There is a sort order stored against each contributor (in the contributors table). The sort order can be populated from sort tags. Currently, the scanner only recognises ARTISTSORT associated with the song artists. If no artist sort tag exists, it is set to be the same as the name of the artist (minus leading articles, such as "The", etc), so "The Beatles" will be sorted under "Beatles".

ok... but if an album has already been tagged VA when it isn't, this doesn't matter.

i don't have these user defined tags like artistsort or albumartist in my MP3s, so as far as i know, those same named SC7 internal tags are empty.


If there are any songs in the library with artists with an artist sort tag, all uses of that distinct artist from the contributors table will use the artist sort.

eg. if I have an album with songs by XYZ with artist sort ZYX, and another album with various song contributors but an album artist XYZ, this album will also make use of the same artist sort because it refers to the same (distinct) artist contributor record.

you lost me a bit here, but i think it doesn't apply to me anyway.


In Music Library Settings, there are options to include Composer, Conductor and Band/Orchestra as extra contributors in the list of artists. There is no standard tags for defining sort order on these contributor types. In fact, ARTISTSORT is not a standard tag either (in ID3v2.3 at least), but adopted by a few software applications.

just to be clear, i have all those unchecked BUT when i did check "Band/Orchestra" it made no difference, it only slowed down my scan.


When browsing by artist, the list of artists will contain:
Artists associated with at least one album.
Composers if enabled in Music Library Settings
Conductors if enabled in Music Library Settings
Band/Orchestra's if enabled in Music Library Settings
Any artist that has performed a song on a compilation album if "List compilation albums under each artist" is chosen in Music Library settings.

The list of artists are sorted by the artist sort stored against each artist in the contributor table.

Phil

ok, but that doesn't apply to me. i choose the list albums by band option b/c i want SC7 to both sort and display my TPE2 tags. right now, it only does he latter (dispaly).

thx for this breakdown.

slimkid
2008-04-10, 13:27
...Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe that's desirable, maybe not.

No, it doesn't. And to everybody who is trying to justify that word 'list' doesn't mean sorted. Listing by band does so into already sorted list (by artist), so it should be sorted equally.

Now I'm just starting to understand what's really going on behind the scenes.

As stated earlier, give as clear set of rules and I'll adjust. No problem - SC is my most important application and I'll adjust mu use of tags to it. Just don't make me change it again and again and force me to numerous recans just to try to figure out how it works using try and miss method.

Talking about the partial rescan, it's not flexible enough to recognize when the file has changed. It is based on the last update, and that's not very useful, particulalry when one is doing constant updates to tags. Probably should also consider, file size, archive attribute or even checksum.

K

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 13:29
The sort problem that people are complaining about is when they set an album artist tag, and that artist doesn't exist as a main/leading song contributor elsewhere, so SqueezeCenter scanner doesn't find any ARTISTSORT tag.

are we misunderstanding each other?

thats not what i'm complaining about i don't think.

i am complaining that TPE2 tags are ignored for sorting. the entries do exist as BAND in SC7 and typically my tags will have TPE2 tags that match TPE1 tags on another album, (so i have one album with Eric Clapton as TPE2 that has some differing TPE1 artists, but i also have a second album that has Eric Clapton as TPE1 artist on every track).

maybe i don't get how ARTISTSORT is populated?

but if TPE2 also filled the ALBUMARTIST tags, it would sort properly.


It seems to me as if it would be possible for the scanner to support another TXXX custom tag for ID3 called ALBUMARTISTSORT. This is totally bespoke; it's unlikely to be supported by any other software/mp3 player. I see no harm with that, other than the scanner may be slower as it has another tag to detect.

i don't have user defined tags. my whole problem is getting SC7 to sort properly with standard tags that aren't user defined.


The scanner could perhaps detect any TXXX tag with a name in the format <tagname>SORT, such as BANDSORT, TPE2SORT, etc, and set the contributor sort accordingly.

Other file formats may define standards for sort tags. If so, the scanner should support those too.

An alternative "fix" may be to create a plugin that corrects the content of the contributor table as a post-scan action. A separate mapping of artist names to artist sort names could be retrieved from somewhere (eg xml file, text file, Squeezecenter wiki page, etc), and the plugin would read this content and update the contributor table for any matching artist name.

Phil

would it not be simpler to just give an option to sort by BAND?

or

when scanning, have the TPE2 field populate both BAND and ALBUMARTIST?

JJZolx
2008-04-10, 13:34
No, it doesn't. And to everybody who is trying to justify that word 'list' doesn't mean sorted. Listing by band does so into already sorted list (by artist), so it should be sorted equally.

What does 'list by band' mean (to you)? Include Bands in the artist list? Display Band as the byline for an album?

vrobin
2008-04-10, 13:37
This suggestion may be na´ve, but wouldn't it be possible to create some sort of "tagging scheme" configuration, in the spirit of the format transcoding configuration?

This "tagging scheme" would permit to create tag mapping on the fly.

It could be in a dumb way:
For every type of file (flac, mp3, m4a), or type of tag format (id3v1, id3v2.x, vorbis comment) the user could map every given tag (standard and evolved... and why not personnal tags) to a given known SqueezeCenter tag.

Or in a more evolved way:
- Scanner record every tag found in every file of the user music library, store them in the database (tag name/type not tag value)
- User is then prompted to map those dynamically found tags type to a given known SqueezeCenter tag (a multiple "select box" with "found tags", "squeezecenter tags" and "add" "remove" button could do the trick.

In either case, it would be interesting to create default "tagging scheme" for the basic user. "Pop/rock tagging scheme", "classical tagging scheme", "itunes tagging scheme", "windows media player tagging scheme", "picard tagging scheme". The user could then freely customize a given pre-made tagging scheme.

I think it's important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as "the good solution". So, giving the user the power to decide (or to use multiple predefined settings) is the only way to get everybody happy.

Is this a dream?

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 13:50
It is not very clear what the intended behavior of "List albums by all artists for that album/List albums by band" is/was. But it does currently seem to be broken (or was, when I tried it a month back).

AGREED.


I changed the option between "List albums by band" and "List albums by all artists for that album", but I noticed no difference, even after a complete rescan.

this might have something to do with your tags, as i gather you use user defined ones?

i can tell you there IS a difference.

if i say "List albums by band" then it will use the TPE2 tag in my files to say who the album is by.

if i do the other option, it will say the album is by various artists (if its an album with some differing TPE1 tracks).

if its not differing artists, then it just uses the TPE1 tag to say who the album is by.


I think the word "List" confuses people into thinking it has something to do with how the browse by album page is sorted (as in "display a list of band tags only, sorted by band"). This was captured on bug 6490.

agreed. and why shouldn't it? how many people want to display an album as by someone but then at the same time not sort them into that same someone's place?


I think the intention of this setting is "Treat BAND as album artist?", and thus should be a checkbox labelled as such to be clearer.

it is pure folly at this point to guess at what the intention of the setting was.

what is clear, is what the setting does currently. i just described it above.

what is not clear, is how do people then sort to be in agreement with how it is displayed? as far as i can tell, they can't without user defined tags.

if i had to GUESS, i would think that logically, the setting was in fact intended to do both. but clearly it only does half, (the display part, and thats how it has been for years, since i started using SS).


If this was the intention of the setting, with the current database schema it would require a rescan after a change in order to change the contributor associated with the album. There was a long term design goal to do away with the need to do full rescans. Alternatively, if a full rescan is required after changing a setting (a user is likely to not change it often!), it would warn the user when applying the change.

I would make the default for "Treat band as album artist" as unchecked, as this then follows the ID3 standard, but users have the option to make it work out-of-standard and similar to other (inferior!) software packages (i.e. iTunes).

Phil

of course the problem is there IS NO OPTION to "treat band as album artist."

but that would be one solution as you suggest, i would say if "checked" it would mean TPE2 tags populate both BAND and ALBUMARTIST SC7 tags.

the other solution, is to offer an option of sort by BAND which already gets TPE2 tag data.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 13:59
As an option I don't understand the objection to using TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST. If you don't want it used as such, then TPE2 should remain mapped to BAND.

I objected to the "this affects all mp3 users" (which is clearly wrong, it does not affect me at all, nor apparently does it affect JimC and most likely a ton of others who do not use TPE2 for ALBUMARTIST) and the insistence that following the specifications is somehow a 'workaround'.

If it is changed, it must be an option or lots of people will have their tags break.

(And I also object to calling it 'Album Artist'.. it is not the name of the tag, or the normalized tag, and it is confusing and misleading to talk about it as such.)



The current wording of the 'List albums by band' option, though, and placing it under the heading 'Compilations' in the settings is enormously confusing. My understanding has been that the mapping of TPE2 is _all_ the option is supposed to do, but that's never been verified. I don't honestly think anyone knows for sure at this point. Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe that's desirable, maybe not.

The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.

From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.

Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.

This was most likely meant to be used for a case like this:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet

To distinguish it from:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped a ton of tags that are irrelevant to the illustration) would display:

Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)

which lets you distinguish between the two.

(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and tastes.)

So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not really the correct setting.

slimkid
2008-04-10, 14:02
What does 'list by band' mean (to you)? Include Bands in the artist list? Display Band as the byline for an album?

It means two things:
1 - in the 'by' part of album name replace artist with band
2 - place it that way in album listing among other albums alredy listed by artist.

It doesn't mean place it randomly in otherwise sorted list.

Now, I'm beyond that. Simply replaced BAND with ALBUMARTIST tag in all my flacs and now it sorts correctly (what I consider correctly).

But now, I have to figure out how ALBUMARTIST is going to work with ARTIST in more complex scenarios (which is most of classical music) and all that with COMPILATION.

I have already mention (in one of numerous threads) that there is a real problem when combining ALBUMARTIST and ARTIST - ARTIST becomes trackartist and some strange things happen.

K

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 14:07
>(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is a
>poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like
>SORT than 'show albums as by...')

The word "list" has nothing to do with sorting. There are many examples of sorted lists and unsorted lists. The alphabet is a list of letters. A "list of letters" doesn't mean the letters are sorted, but "the alphabet" is letters in a certain order. My shopping lists are always randomly ordered items.

However, I do agree ;) I suggested a different wording for this option many slimserver versions ago, and it was decided that the setting was obvious as it stood.

Phil

well, we can argue the semantics, but what point is there in that? i think we both agree its confusing. (a shopping list is not comparable to a music server whose job is to catalog and organize music btw)

here is what i would suggest:

the word list be removed. display is not a good word either, as that also could imply sort.

what i think is least problematic is:

1. Denote all artists on an album
and
2. Denote albums as by band

this methodology is flexible, meaning a second option can then be created for sorting as a separate function.

btw, the infobox currently says this:

"Albums that contain songs that are tagged with a band may be listed under that band name or with the other artists for that album. The band tag is also known as TPE2 and may appear as the "album artist" in some software."

i would change it to:

"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 tags, the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist" in some other software)."

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 14:25
"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what artist an album is by. The firts choice uses TPE1 tags, the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist" in some other software)."

The first choice is ALBUMARTIST.

If this does not exist and the flag is set, use BAND

Else if not COMPILATION, return list of artists.

etc.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 14:31
i don't understand your point, you don't have much context to explain what you are saying. and those are INTERNAL SC7 tags and users would not understand the implication of that. can you please explain just what you mean?

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 14:34
>i'm sorry, but you'll have to bear with me... please define
>contributors. TPE2 only? or what? do user defined tags get to be
>contributors too?
>
I am trying to stay format agnostic, and also not mention how I want things to work. I was just stating the facts.

Contributors are any type of artist role associated with a song. A lead performer, band, composer, conductor, etc.
As far as I can recall, SqueezeCenter scanner only understands one user-defined TXXX tag - ALBUMARTIST.

>here is where you really start to confuse me. can you please use
>snarlys convention of writing BAND or ALBUMARTIST in caps and without
>the space when you mean SC7 internal tags? (not saying you didn't,
>just making sure)
>
No. BAND, etc, look like ID3 frame names, like TPE2. It's less confusing to use lower case to represent how SqueezeCenter stores information in its internal database.

>now, above, when you say album artist tag in the songs, i'm sure you
>realize id3 has no standard for that.
>so you are talking about when someone with mp3s has used a workaround to put such tags in there,
>yes?
>
Yes - Txxx ALBUMARTIST is a user-defined tag, because there isn't a defined standard. However, it is an adopted format that several apps follow. I believe FooBar understands it, and a few other apps.

In the same sense, the BAND tag is NOT supposed to be used as album artist. According to the standard it is meant to represent the band that plays on a song, i.e. a contributor; a type of performer that makes up the set of people/names that perform the song. Eg. ARTIST=Buddy Holly, BAND=The Crickets. The fact that there is no standard support for album artist meant that some apps miss-use BAND for storing album artist. That is fact.

Other formats do apparently define a proper album artist tag as part of their standard.

>that means anyone not using a workaround is screwed right off the bat.
>
Not sure what you mean by screwed. If you don't set album artist, you get some albums appearing as compilations, because of a guest performance on one track. Most people probably don't bother setting a list of several artists on a song (not sure if that's standard anyway), and won't be affected. eg. SqueezeCenter allows a separator for defining multiple track artists (eg. ";").

>right, and this happens in spite of the fact that many mp3 users have
>set TPE2 to avoid this very issue.
>
Thus not following the standard.

>but SC7 doesn't give an option to employ TPE2 the way most apps use it.
>
I think there is an intention to allow SC to not follow the standard like other apps that abuse the tag, but it appears to be broken.

>ok... but if an album has already been tagged VA when it isn't, this
>doesn't matter.
>
Don't know what you mean. If it has been tagged as VA then it is VA. If it is tagged VA and it isn't then the tag is wrong???

>i don't have these user defined tags like artistsort or albumartist in
>my MP3s, so as far as i know, those same named SC7 internal tags are
>empty.
>
No. If you don't have any ARTISTSORT tags, all artists will have their internal artist sort set the same as the artist name (except leading articles are removed). "Paul Simon" would be sorted as "Paul Simon", and "The Beatles" will be sorted as "Beatles". If ARTIST="Paul Simon" and ARTISTSORT="Simon, Paul", it would be sorted under S.

>just to be clear, i have all those unchecked BUT when i did check
>"Band/Orchestra" it made no difference, it only slowed down my scan.
>
So you want BAND to be ALBUMARTIST but you normally don't even bother to have BAND ticked in the settings?

If you have used BAND, you would then see the Band listed as a contributor on a song if you navigate down to song information.
The contributor in BAND would be searchable.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 14:56
i don't understand your point, you don't have much context to explain what you are saying. and those are INTERNAL SC7 tags and users would not understand the implication of that. can you please explain just what you mean?

That is what the code does. That is the context.

If you wish to change the help documentation, it should match what the code does.

. getting-artist-for-album-display
. if ALBUMARTIST return ALBUMARTIST
. if bandtag and BAND return BAND
. if !COMPILATION and !VA return list of ARTISTS (on all tracks)

etc.

You said that TPE1 (track artist) was checked first. It is not.

ALBUMARTIST is.

Then BAND.

Then a variety of things dealing with VA stuff.

But the code checks ALBUMARTIST first. Then BAND.

It is not TPE2. This is only executed long after the file has been scanned. It affects all formats, not just MP3: ie, FLAC has no commonly used tag called 'TPE2' but this will affect FLACs that have a field named 'BAND'.

Again, this section of code does not have access to the names of the tags (TPE1 or TPE2, etc), so it must be discussed in terms of the internal names of the tags. Saying it would return TPE2 is blatantly wrong: it would return no such thing on WMA, FLAC, APE, OGG, WAv, AIFF, etc. It returns the BAND field, regardless of what the original tag name was.

Saying that it uses TPE1, therefore is wrong on two counts: the code is cross-format and FLAC does not have a TPE1 yet is still subject to the behavior of this code.

It is also wrong because TPE1/ARTIST is not checked first.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 14:58
Please. The sentence contained the something very close to the phrase: "Yes, this is a personal attack." That's a direct violation of our forum guidelines, and deliberately baiting the moderators here. Removing that bit was really a very, very light bit of moderating.

look, thats fine. but i see it as selective. does he have to say it (as i did) to get corrected? is it not obvious how rude he was? as his stuff is still there.

and i think you missed my point in WHY i said it. i said it b/c up until that point, nothing prior i had said was meant in ANY way as a personal attack, but he took many things as such, and without basis or reason or grounds to do so. so i was demonstrating that THIS was a personal attack, (so he'd know what one was) while the other stuff was not. i still see no way he could take what i was saying personally, (the non censored stuff), its ridiculous.


No, that's not what I'm saying. I was simply summarizing what I understood the behavior to be. I don't use Band (because I find it broken in some apps and unneeded in the apps I do use), so I don't really have any opinion as to how it should behave.

well thats a huge part of the problem.

can someone from slim please expalin how their option in their program is supposed to work?


As our programmers like to say "Contributions welcome." Tagging is a mess... not just for us, but for any music manager. How tags are used is a very personal thing, and one man's pleasure is another man's pain.

i'm not a programmer, i'm a user who wants to use something that i have a reasonable expectation will work reasonably.


I suggest that you open an enhancment request at bugzilla.slimdevices.com and put your proposal in there.

i have done bugs before. the problem is i can't even get an answer to the question above.

in other words, is this issue a bug? or is it an enhancement request? how can i know if i don't know from slim how the option is meant to work?

and btw, i have voted for MANY bugs and enhancement requests related to this issue, in other words, this stuff is already represented in bugzilla.


See above.

exactly.


"Properly tagged" is in the eye of the beholder. I consider my files properly tagged and TPE2 is used only sporadically. Stuff sorts fine for me, so a change in behavior isn't needed as far as I am concerned. That doens't mean how SC handles tags works for everyone, but tags aren't handled consistently in any application.

u misread that. its "sort properly" not "properly tagged." i suppose i could have written that better. my bad.

the point is it doesn't sort properly and i have no way to get it to, with my tags remaining as is. and i think SC7 should fix this b/c my tags are how a LOT of people do their mp3 tags. i daresay the majority.

and i am not asking for SC7 to accomodate sloppy tagging. i am asking for it to realize that many mp3 users don't use user defined tags, (most i daresay), and do use TPE2 to perform the album artist function, which while out of OFFICAL id3 standard, is regardless, the defacto standard of most mp3 users.


You have a problem with the way SC handles the particular way you tag your files. You want a different behavior and I've proposed a way for you to get this request to our engineering team. During our regular bug scrubs, we'll take a look at the request and the suggested implementation and try to determine if/how/when it will be done.

many bugs, some old, are already in place. i voted for them, and commented on some.

and its not really how "i tag files" but stated much more accurately, how winamp, itunes, WMP, and most large market share programs tag files.


Please reveiw premise #3 above. I don't disagree that you find yourself in the latter set, but not everyone considers it to be "broken".

thats b/c if they are mp3 users they have found a workaround via user defined tags. these are not part of the id3 standard either btw (obviously).


I suggest that you use the tools at hand--bugzilla.slimdevices.com and these forums--to provide constructive feedback and suggestions as to what you would like to see so that when we are working on the scanner/tag handling, the engineers can understand both the problem and the various solutions proposed.

thats exactly what i've been trying to do, off an on, for many years now.


Even better, you might want to see if one or more of the folks in the developer forum would be willing to work on coding your suggestions as a replacement scanner, as a plug-in or even as core functionality for a future release.

thats fantastic, and i will post something in there.

just to be clear, i am not trying to be difficult, i GREATLY appreciate your feedback and the feedback of others, including snarly, but i don't understand the basis for lack of clear information from slim, or resistence to the idea that there is in fact, a problem, and that its a fairly large issue which should be addressed asap. thanks.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 15:00
>> I think the word "List" confuses people into thinking it has something
>> to do with how the browse by album page is sorted (as in "display a
>> list of band tags only, sorted by band"). This was captured on bug
>> 6490.
>
>agreed. and why shouldn't it? how many people want to display an
>album as by someone but then at the same time not sort them into that
>same someone's place?

If you have both albums with and without band tags, how would they be listed and sorted by band? Only display items that have a band tag, or use the artist name if there isn't a band? Or list all of the NULL bands first?

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 15:12
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort, (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)

JJZolx
2008-04-10, 15:19
If you have both albums with and without band tags, how would they be listed and sorted by band? Only display items that have a band tag, or use the artist name if there isn't a band? Or list all of the NULL bands first?

It's not unlike the current situation with ALBUMARTIST.

The way it's done now is through the internal notion of a 'primary artist'. If you look in the albums table you'll see a 'contributor' column. It contains an id of one artist in the contributors table. This is the artist used for sorting by 'Artist'. I'm not sure exactly when this artist is arrived at - probably in one of the post-scan passes. But it basically gives priority to the ALBUMARTIST, then to ARTIST(s).

With this approach it's easy to see that changing the primary artist because you want to favor the BAND will either require a full rescan of the library or else the running of a lot of queries whenever the option is changed.

The artist displayed, on the other hand, is arrived at a lot more laboriously thorugh a series of queries. When there's no ALBUMARTIST (or VA) then artists from every track in the album are queried. This is why the browse album pages in the web ui (when showing artist names) are so slow - displaying a page of 50 albums often entails running 700-900 or more SQL queries.

JJZolx
2008-04-10, 15:23
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort, (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)

Then one of the problems with TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping may be that it's only being applied to compilations.

That would be consistent with problems I've seen with how track artists (the 'Group compilation albums together' option) are treated in artist lists. This option really means "Suppress artists who don't have full albums" and needs to apply to compilations and non-compilations equally.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 15:29
>the point is it doesn't sort properly and i have no way to get it to,
>with my tags remaining as is. and i think SC7 should fix this b/c my
>tags are how a LOT of people do their mp3 tags. i daresay the
>majority.

What doesn't sort properly for you is adequate for the majority already, otherwise there would have been a lot more noise by now.

There may not be a fault, just a different way that you want it to work.

A lot of rippers won't set any ALBUMARTIST or BAND tag, and thus sorting will be by ARTIST tag. This will be the majority of users. There may be some people that have badly sorted artists, but I daresay the majority don't bother with any sorting at all.

Most probably rip their albums and inherit whatever tags have been defined in freedb, etc. That probably means they have inconsistencies, spelling mistakes, etc. They certainly won't have any specific ARTISTSORT tags to do proper sorting. I recently ripped three Cranberries albums, and got "The Cranberries", "Cranberries" and "Cranberries, The".

How many people go into a record shop and look for "Phil Collins" albums under the P section? How many look for Phil Collins under P in SqueezeCenter? How many add an ARTISTSORT="Collins, Phil"?

Phil

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 15:38
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort, (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)

Sure, eventually it may or may not display TPE1 if the file is an MP3. If it is not an mp3, it will never display TPE1.

But that is not what you said.

You said:


"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what artist an album is by. The firts choice uses TPE1 tags, the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist" in some other software)."

That does not describe what it does.

'useBand' unset (default):
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even ARTIST)
2) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and how compilations are grouped)

'useBand' set:
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even ARTIST)
2) if BAND set, use BAND
3) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and how compilations are grouped)

Describing this in help information as applying to TPE1, TPE2 or any id3 specific name is wrong.

It applies, again, to all filetypes, even those that do not have TPE1 or TPE2 fields.

It also is incorrect in that it ignores the role of ALBUMARTIST, which effectively overrides this setting if it is set.

As for:
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)

Use of the 'COMPILATION' tag (or the non-standard iTunes TCMP) will let it figure how you want it to handle a given compilation album.

(Ie, the Sonny Bono album above, I want it filed specifically under Sonny Bono. On an album like "Original Jazz Masters" I might it listed under VA.)

A decent tag editor lets me tell SC how to file these two albums, and to handle them in entirely different manners.

Winamp/WMP/iTunes are not decent taggers. (Though, ironically, iTunes would let you set the compilation flag as you desire, even if you think it sucks for everything else.) Find a good tagger that lets you do everything you need so you don't have to switch between taggers to accomplish anything.

(How long would it be before you tossed the PC out the Window if Word did Bold but not Underline and WordPerfect did Underline but not Bold, so you had to keep switching between two pieces of software to write as you wished? A good tagger should let you tag what you want, setting sort orders, lyrics, as well as compilation, etc.)

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 15:40
Then one of the problems with TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping may be that it's only being applied to compilations.


There is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping.

It would be in Slim/Formats/MP3.pm if it was there.

There is a "show BAND if ALBUMARTIST isn't defined" option. But that isn't the same as "TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping."

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 15:44
jim, just to be clear i am using Snarly's convention of caps = SC7 internal tags.


One thing about ALBUMARTIST is that it's an _album_ tag, whereas BAND is more like ARTIST and can differ from track to track. So imagine:

TRACKNUMBER=1
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra

TRACKNUMBER=2
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Nelson Riddle Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra

let me be clear...

i have TPE2 tags. i do NOT have Txxx user defined ALBUMARTIST tags.

so my mp3s have nothing by standard to indicate ALBUMARTIST.

and so SC7 has ALBUMARTIST as blank i'd imagine.

however, since i tag using programs like winamp, TPE2 is essentially album artist as far as my mp3s are concerned (meaning outside of SC7 since thats the defacto standard)

in other words, i don't use TPE2 "properly" (by standard) and neither do most people. but the reality is what it is, and most people are ignorant of the standard b/c programs do in essence "lie" to them.

the point is a lot of us use it this way, and some of us don't so i say simply give SC7 an OPTION that accomodates EITHER way.

that would keep it from being a problem for people who use the TPE2 tag properly and don't want to use it to sort.


Is this a compilation album? (I'd say No, but if you look at the BAND field you might want to say Yes.) What is the album's BAND if we wanted to sort albums by BAND?

various artists logic does not go by TPE2 as far as i know. meaning, SC7 calls something VA if there is disagreement between TPE1 fields on the same album. it might also use TPE2 if all the TPE2 fields specifically say certain terms like "Soundtrack" or "Various Artists" but i can't say that for sure.

point is, i am not looking for SC7 VA logic to start looking for differentiation in the TPE2 field.


If we were viewing tracks, say in a grid, like so many popular programs use, then sorting by BAND makes sense. At the track level you can sort by just about anything you like.

not sure what you mean here.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 15:54
As an option I don't understand the objection to using TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST. If you don't want it used as such, then TPE2 should remain mapped to BAND.

exactly.

i would clarify that a bit, and say "as an option, i don't understand the objection to using TPE2 as BOTH BAND and ALBUMARTIST (if no other tag exists for SC7 to use for ALBUMARTIST)"


The current wording of the 'List albums by band' option, though, and placing it under the heading 'Compilations' in the settings is enormously confusing.

preach it! :)


My understanding has been that the mapping of TPE2 is _all_ the option is supposed to do, but that's never been verified. I don't honestly think anyone knows for sure at this point.

as you can see from my posts, i've been trying to figure that out too, BUT i also have written what it looks to me are the results of using it one way or the other.

i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7 internal tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currents only affects how things are denoted when displayed.


Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe that's desirable, maybe not.

i can't speak to that at all.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 16:02
This suggestion may be na´ve, but wouldn't it be possible to create some sort of "tagging scheme" configuration, in the spirit of the format transcoding configuration?

This "tagging scheme" would permit to create tag mapping on the fly.

It could be in a dumb way:
For every type of file (flac, mp3, m4a), or type of tag format (id3v1, id3v2.x, vorbis comment) the user could map every given tag (standard and evolved... and why not personnal tags) to a given known SqueezeCenter tag.

Or in a more evolved way:
- Scanner record every tag found in every file of the user music library, store them in the database (tag name/type not tag value)
- User is then prompted to map those dynamically found tags type to a given known SqueezeCenter tag (a multiple "select box" with "found tags", "squeezecenter tags" and "add" "remove" button could do the trick.

In either case, it would be interesting to create default "tagging scheme" for the basic user. "Pop/rock tagging scheme", "classical tagging scheme", "itunes tagging scheme", "windows media player tagging scheme", "picard tagging scheme". The user could then freely customize a given pre-made tagging scheme.

I think it's important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as "the good solution". So, giving the user the power to decide (or to use multiple predefined settings) is the only way to get everybody happy.

Is this a dream?

excellent ideas!

can you program?

i could definitely see use in predefined templates but a custom template would also be required.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 16:36
I objected to the "this affects all mp3 users" (which is clearly wrong, it does not affect me at all,

it does affect you, as you both use user defined tags to get what you want, (proper sorting) and that if it [the 'list albums by band' option] was to sort by TPE2 tags, it would break your methodolgy.


nor apparently does it affect JimC and most likely a ton of others who do not use TPE2 for ALBUMARTIST) and the insistence that following the specifications is somehow a 'workaround'.

following the spec isn't the workaround, using MB to make user defined tags to get proper sorting is the workaround.


If it is changed, it must be an option or lots of people will have their tags break.

i completely agree.


(And I also object to calling it 'Album Artist'.. it is not the name of the tag, or the normalized tag, and it is confusing and misleading to talk about it as such.)

i call it TPE2. some other programs call it Band or Album Artist. yes, calling it Album Artist is wrong, but they do.

should TPE2 be used to to fill ALBUMARTIST? maybe. or maybe BAND should be used as an option to sort by.


The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.

i responded to Jim on this and i think i said the same thing differently, essentially that VA logic is unrelated to TPE2 / BAND tags, except possibly for certain words, (like soundtrack).

(thats assuming i am understanding you correctly)


From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.

agreed.


Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.

agreed, (afaik).


This was most likely meant to be used for a case like this:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet

To distinguish it from:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped a ton of tags that are irrelevant to the illustration) would display:

Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)

which lets you distinguish between the two.

(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and tastes.)

So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not really the correct setting.

i just want to add one point to that... if those were tracks, and you had group comps together AND list albums by band picked, then SC7 would show BOTH TPE2 values; this gets unwieldy very quickly if your album has a lot of differing TPE2 values, b/c they ALL are shown.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-10, 16:38
>and so SC7 has ALBUMARTIST as blank i'd imagine.
No, you misunderstand/haven't been reading.

Every album has exactly 1 album artist (main contributor). It is set when you scan the library. If you haven't defined a Txxx ALBUMARTIST tag, then the artist associated with an album record will be:
If the same artist contributor(s) appears on all songs of the artist, that artist(s) name will also be the album artist.
If there are different artists on songs on an album, the album artist will be the record meaning "Various Artists".

Eg. I have an album "No Pussyfooting" by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. That's two contributors to every track on the album. I also set the Txxx ALBUMARTIST to "Fripp & Eno". I see the album listed under "Fripp & Eno" as an artist. I also see it listed under Robert Fripp and also under Brian Eno, because I have other albums by those artists as solo performers.

In addition, the "list albums by band" *might* be intending to use BAND as album artist, such that at scan time, the album artist is set to the artist in the BAND tag, otherwise the artist of the songs, or Various Artists. I say might, because I don't know for sure how that option was intended to work. But the point is that after a scan, every album will have an album artist.

If you were to examine the content of the database, the following query would confirm it for you:

SELECT distinct(namesort)
FROM albums a
JOIN contributors c on a.contributor = c.id
ORDER BY namesort

would return all main contributors (album artists) sorted by album artist name sort order. Every album has a contributor.

I believe I would have no quarrels if "list album by band" caused the scanner to read a band tag and store it as the album artist, like rule 1 above. It should remain an option, as I consider the current implementation without "list album by band" to be correct. BAND is not ALBUMARTIST in my mind.

By the way, there is a description of the database tables available at http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?SlimServerDatabaseStructure

Phil

kdf
2008-04-10, 16:46
> i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7 internal
> tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currents only
> affects how things are denoted when displayed.

correct. The pref, 'useBandAsAlbumArtist' is only used in one place in
the code. When the $album->artists are requested, setting this option
means you get the BAND in the album listing "ThisAlbum by BAND (20xx)".
It has no other internal use aside from being in the list of contributors.

If you want BAND to have a different purpose, such as the ALBUMARTIST you
could add it to the %tagMapping in Formats::MP3.

I don't personally use BAND tags, but based on that pref's use in the
code, it works as advertised. However, it wouldn't take too much to
convince me that the wording in that pref is somewhat confusing.
Primarily, the mention of "album artist" would tend to increase the odds
of confusion.

Thing is, Album Artist is not the same thing as Band. Album Artist, as
mentioned before is a single performer name for an entire album, things
like "Original Cast of the Motion Picture", "People I've seen at the
Commodore" or "Various Artists". Band is a performer of a track, like
referring to Rush instead of Peart, Lee & Lifeson.

SC does not use BAND in any context of VA/compilation handling, except to
perhaps allow you to decide what is shown in the listing. See
Slim::Schema::Album::artists(). Only 4 places call this function:
AlbumQuery (for CLI), TitleFormatter (for formatted song string),
BrowsedbItemName (for playerUI browsing), and displayAsHTML (for web ui
album lists).

-kdf

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 18:06
>i'm sorry, but you'll have to bear with me... please define
>contributors. TPE2 only? or what? do user defined tags get to be
>contributors too?
>
I am trying to stay format agnostic, and also not mention how I want things to work. I was just stating the facts.

Contributors are any type of artist role associated with a song. A lead performer, band, composer, conductor, etc.
As far as I can recall, SqueezeCenter scanner only understands one user-defined TXXX tag - ALBUMARTIST.

understood, (thx).

and that means SC7 has no reasonable method to sort all albums for users who do not have user defined tags in their files.


>here is where you really start to confuse me. can you please use
>snarlys convention of writing BAND or ALBUMARTIST in caps and without
>the space when you mean SC7 internal tags? (not saying you didn't,
>just making sure)
>
No.

interesting. Snarly seemed quite certain his convention was universal in the forums here. maybe you guys should duke it out. ;)

please understand tho, that it seems to me in these recent posts, you are the only one not using Snarly's convention, so it will be confusing understanding your posts. i will continue to use it.


BAND, etc, look like ID3 frame names, like TPE2. It's less confusing to use lower case to represent how SqueezeCenter stores information in its internal database.
>now, above, when you say album artist tag in the songs, i'm sure you
>realize id3 has no standard for that.
>so you are talking about when someone with mp3s has used a workaround to put such tags in there,
>yes?
>
Yes - Txxx ALBUMARTIST is a user-defined tag, because there isn't a defined standard. However, it is an adopted format that several apps follow. I believe FooBar understands it, and a few other apps.

In the same sense, the BAND tag is NOT supposed to be used as album artist. According to the standard it is meant to represent the band that plays on a song, i.e. a contributor; a type of performer that makes up the set of people/names that perform the song. Eg. ARTIST=Buddy Holly, BAND=The Crickets. The fact that there is no standard support for album artist meant that some apps miss-use BAND for storing album artist. That is fact.

Other formats do apparently define a proper album artist tag as part of their standard.

agreed on all fronts. but it should not be forgotten that a mp3 user defined Txxx field is ALSO NOT by a standard, and is a lot less common.

(at best, all you can say is that those programs, like FooBar, have a "defacto" standard)



>that means anyone not using a workaround is screwed right off the bat.
>
Not sure what you mean by screwed. If you don't set album artist, you get some albums appearing as compilations, because of a guest performance on one track. Most people probably don't bother setting a list of several artists on a song (not sure if that's standard anyway), and won't be affected. eg. SqueezeCenter allows a separator for defining multiple track artists (eg. ";").

what i mean is this:

if someone has mp3s and does not have user defined tags, they are screwed right off the bat, b/c they have no way to get SC7 to work right. this is inspite of the reasonable expectation they would have b/c programs like WMP, winamp, and itunes use TPE2 in that way.

and i would argue that todays programs, like EAC (and the ones i mentioned above) do by default in fact put several artists on one track, (its automated). the problem then comes in when SC7 campares tracks of the same album and finds those differences.


>right, and this happens in spite of the fact that many mp3 users have
>set TPE2 to avoid this very issue.
>
Thus not following the standard.

right, and Txxx is not "standard" either.

the point isn't some esoteric religious type either/or mac/windows argument; the point is this is the REALITY of many users setups, and i would argue the majority of mp3 users (not on the forums, but in the marketplace), have things this way, b/c most people by marketshare use the programs i mentioned, and nothing else.

does SC7 not want to accommodate such users? leave them hanging?

why? why can't an option be employed?



>but SC7 doesn't give an option to employ TPE2 the way most apps use it.
>
I think there is an intention to allow SC to not follow the standard like other apps that abuse the tag, but it appears to be broken.

where do you see such an intention? what specifically are you saying is broken?

meaning, what makes you say that?



>ok... but if an album has already been tagged VA when it isn't, this
>doesn't matter.
>
Don't know what you mean. If it has been tagged as VA then it is VA. If it is tagged VA and it isn't then the tag is wrong???

let me restate that, i wrote that poorly:

'if SC7 has already decided that an album is VA when in reality it isn't, this doesn't matter.'

sorry for the confusion.



>i don't have these user defined tags like artistsort or albumartist in
>my MP3s, so as far as i know, those same named SC7 internal tags are
>empty.
>
No. If you don't have any ARTISTSORT tags, all artists will have their internal artist sort set the same as the artist name (except leading articles are removed). "Paul Simon" would be sorted as "Paul Simon", and "The Beatles" will be sorted as "Beatles". If ARTIST="Paul Simon" and ARTISTSORT="Simon, Paul", it would be sorted under S.

ok... i understand ARTISTSORT will use my TPE1 tags as is.

but SC7 ALBUMARTIST will be empty, yes? and if it were not empty, and if it used TPE2 data, then SC7 would have TPE2 data to use for ARTISTSORT, (b/c it uses ALBUMARTIST data for that).



>just to be clear, i have all those unchecked BUT when i did check
>"Band/Orchestra" it made no difference, it only slowed down my scan.
>
So you want BAND to be ALBUMARTIST but you normally don't even bother to have BAND ticked in the settings?

right, why should i? the scanner still scans TPE2 regardless. it still makes it BAND internally, (but not ALBUMARTIST internally).


If you have used BAND, you would then see the Band listed as a contributor on a song if you navigate down to song information.
The contributor in BAND would be searchable.

ok, but none of that helps my sorting issue.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 18:42
here is what i would suggest:

the word "list" be removed. display is not a good word either, as that also could imply sort.

what i think is least problematic is:

1. Denote all artists on an album
and
2. Denote albums as by band

this methodology is flexible, meaning a second option can then be created for sorting as a separate function.

btw, the infobox currently says this:

"Albums that contain songs that are tagged with a band may be listed under that band name or with the other artists for that album. The band tag is also known as TPE2 and may appear as the "album artist" in some software."

i would change it to:

"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 tags, the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist" in some other software)."


The first choice is ALBUMARTIST.

If this does not exist and the flag is set, use BAND

Else if not COMPILATION, return list of artists.

etc.


i don't understand your point, you don't have much context to explain what you are saying. and those are INTERNAL SC7 tags and users would not understand the implication of that. can you please explain just what you mean?


That is what the code does. That is the context.

If you wish to change the help documentation, it should match what the code does.

i assume you mean the infobox, right?


. getting-artist-for-album-display
. if ALBUMARTIST return ALBUMARTIST
. if bandtag and BAND return BAND
. if !COMPILATION and !VA return list of ARTISTS (on all tracks)

etc.

so thats what the code looks like and thats what it does in actuality is what you are saying, right?

keep in mind, i do not know how to write code, so the ! means nothing to me.

and do you mean to say that the above is how it works when 'group comps together' and 'list albums by band' are both chosen?


You said that TPE1 (track artist) was checked first. It is not.

ALBUMARTIST is.

Then BAND.

Then a variety of things dealing with VA stuff.

But the code checks ALBUMARTIST first. Then BAND.

when scanning you mean? or what?

i did not btw say it was CHECKED first, i said the first CHOICE refers to the TPE1 tag. the second CHOICE refers to the TPE2 tag. please see above as i requoted it in this post.

i think perhaps on rereading what i wrote, you won't object to my suggested changes on this option.


It is not TPE2. This is only executed long after the file has been scanned. It affects all formats, not just MP3: ie, FLAC has no commonly used tag called 'TPE2' but this will affect FLACs that have a field named 'BAND'.

i understand all that. but i don't see what i wrote as being confusing on that point.

we agree that the option as is is for denoting the internal BAND tag. my infobox explanation will get that point across to users without steeping them in a technical discussion.


Again, this section of code does not have access to the names of the tags (TPE1 or TPE2, etc), so it must be discussed in terms of the internal names of the tags. Saying it would return TPE2 is blatantly wrong: it would return no such thing on WMA, FLAC, APE, OGG, WAv, AIFF, etc. It returns the BAND field, regardless of what the original tag name was.

the infobox as is already does not get into such issues as "internal SC7 tags." i'm pretty sure slim doesn't want it to.

the scanner does in fact populate BAND with TPE2 tags, so my explanation is reasonable for a non-technical explanation. (again, the current explanation ALREADY mentions TPE2)

and since it wouldn't change how it currently works, it wouldn't confuse people like you who already have it the way they want. it would be a transparent change.


Saying that it uses TPE1, therefore is wrong on two counts: the code is cross-format and FLAC does not have a TPE1 yet is still subject to the behavior of this code.

the infobox already mentions TPE2, i see no problem with mentioning TPE1 as well, but if you like we could be more precise (in bold):

"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 (or Artist) tags, the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist" in some other software)."


It is also wrong because TPE1/ARTIST is not checked first.

indeed, good thing i didn't say that.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 19:04
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort, (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)


Then one of the problems with TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping may be that it's only being applied to compilations.

currently, TPE2 is NEVER mapped to ALBUMARTIST.

i however think one solution would be to allow for an option to do just that.


That would be consistent with problems I've seen with how track artists (the 'Group compilation albums together' option) are treated in artist lists. This option really means "Suppress artists who don't have full albums" and needs to apply to compilations and non-compilations equally.

i have no idea what you are saying here. can you please explain what you mean by also saying what options are specifically picked?

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 19:27
>the point is it doesn't sort properly and i have no way to get it to,
>with my tags remaining as is. and i think SC7 should fix this b/c my
>tags are how a LOT of people do their mp3 tags. i daresay the
>majority.

What doesn't sort properly for you is adequate for the majority already, otherwise there would have been a lot more noise by now.

i disagree. i think a lot of people just deal with it, meaning they can see something is wrong but put up with it, or they can see something is wrong and find a workaround.

in the marketplace, would you deny that the majority is made up of mp3 users?

out of that population, how many use a separate tagging program? not even close to 50%.

most use winamp, WMP, itunes, etc... and this is how they work.


There may not be a fault, just a different way that you want it to work.

well, if you can tell me how a MP3 user is supposed to get albums to sort properly when there is no way to do it without a separate tagging program and user defined fields, then i might agree.

i don't really care about fault and blame, i just want it fixed, added, whatever so it'll sort by whats in my TPE2 field.


A lot of rippers won't set any ALBUMARTIST or BAND tag, and thus sorting will be by ARTIST tag. This will be the majority of users. There may be some people that have badly sorted artists, but I daresay the majority don't bother with any sorting at all.

i disagree. winamp, WMP and itunes all set that, [ie. tpe2, via gracenote or some similar service i think. not sure if EAC does or not].

in any case, autotaggers (in some of those apps) set it too. and those apps allow you to manually edit the field as well.

and the question isn't who bothers with it and who doesn't, or concerns with sloppy tagging. the question is should SC7 handle defacto standards out there in a reasonable way?

i think its obvious it should.


Most probably rip their albums and inherit whatever tags have been defined in freedb, etc. That probably means they have inconsistencies, spelling mistakes, etc.

again, thats not the question.


They certainly won't have any specific ARTISTSORT tags to do proper sorting. I recently ripped three Cranberries albums, and got "The Cranberries", "Cranberries" and "Cranberries, The".

and again, thats not the point. with an editor you can clean up sloppiness like that.

what we are trying to address is not sloppiness, but rather reasonable expected behavior based on reasonable expectations.

thats where defacto standards come into play.

not sure what the point of this next section is, but i'll play along...


How many people go into a record shop and look for "Phil Collins" albums under the P section?

none, and whats the relevance?


How many look for Phil Collins under P in SqueezeCenter?

a lot of people, b/c thats how their tags are.


How many add an ARTISTSORT="Collins, Phil"?

Phil

i have no idea, but i bet its not as many as you think it is.

its all besides the point...

my main point has been that SC7 should reflect the reality defacto standard that is out there, (just as it does the user defined tags of foobar, that are also a defacto standard).

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 20:20
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort, (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)


Sure, eventually it may or may not display TPE1 if the file is an MP3. If it is not an mp3, it will never display TPE1.

we were talking about sorting, is that what you meant by display? i'm just confused by this whole sentence. what do you mean it may or may not display TPE1? i agree with the last line, please clarify the rest.


But that is not what you said.

You said:


"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 tags, the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist" in some other software)."

That does not describe what it does.

keep in mind, i said CHOICE not CHECK. i think u were confused on that score.

also, i have since offerred a revision for this explanation.

"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 (or Artist) tags, the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist" in some other software)."

i think the part in bold covers non mp3 users and since this is just a change to how the option and infobox is worded it would be completely transparent to users like you who already have things the way they want it.


'useBand' unset (default):
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even ARTIST)
2) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and how compilations are grouped)

'useBand' set:
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even ARTIST)
2) if BAND set, use BAND
3) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and how compilations are grouped)

i think i follow that and i agree thats how it currently works, (the list albums by band option, set or unset).


Describing this in help information as applying to TPE1, TPE2 or any id3 specific name is wrong.

well, maybe you should tell slim that, b/c they already mention TPE2 for the infobox. i agree with what i think is slims POV on this, they do not want this option (list albums by band) or its infobox to be steeped in a technical discussion. i think my explanation accomplishes all worthy goals and ends without confusing anyone or changing anything other than wording.

keep in mind, slim is not capitalizing band or even putting forth thats the convention they are using, they just say Band, mention TPE2 and album artist, and are extremely ambiguous.

no question though, that the option as it currently works regards the internal BAND field.


It applies, again, to all filetypes, even those that do not have TPE1 or TPE2 fields.

true, thus the revision.


It also is incorrect in that it ignores the role of ALBUMARTIST, which effectively overrides this setting if it is set.

i was trying to stay close to what slim already had in place, making only minimal but necessary corrections.

i agree with you though, but again thats for slim to figure out. (i mean, this criticism of yours could apply to whats there now, right?)


As for:

Use of the 'COMPILATION' tag (or the non-standard iTunes TCMP) will let it figure how you want it to handle a given compilation album.

(Ie, the Sonny Bono album above, I want it filed specifically under Sonny Bono. On an album like "Original Jazz Masters" I might it listed under VA.)

A decent tag editor lets me tell SC how to file these two albums, and to handle them in entirely different manners.

Winamp/WMP/iTunes are not decent taggers.

i disagree. winamp lets me do what i want to do, and lets me edit all id3 standard tag fields i want to edit.

i also don't want or need compilation tags, and i don't ever plan to employ them.


(Though, ironically, iTunes would let you set the compilation flag as you desire, even if you think it sucks for everything else.) Find a good tagger that lets you do everything you need so you don't have to switch between taggers to accomplish anything.

(How long would it be before you tossed the PC out the Window if Word did Bold but not Underline and WordPerfect did Underline but not Bold, so you had to keep switching between two pieces of software to write as you wished? A good tagger should let you tag what you want, setting sort orders, lyrics, as well as compilation, etc.)

see, this i think is where you just aren't understanding where i am coming from.

winamp DOES do everything i want done. my tags are ALREADY exactly the way i want them. its SC7 that is in need of an option, imo.

my tags follow a defacto standard, that is no less a defacto standard than the way your tag editors set your user defined tags.

but this isn't a personal matter... it isn't just "what i want."

believe it or not, i am looking out for other users like me, as well as slim who i want to succeed like crazy.

as it happens, i already use:

EAC (and lame)
Winamp
WMP
SC7

for various things.

adding another program just to add tags i don't need except to provide a workaround to get SC7 to act in a reasonable way is NOT something i want to do or plan to do.

moreover, i did not like foobar or mp3tag when i experimented with them.

but MY feelings aren't the issue... i clearly represent a large portion of the mp3 marketplace, (as someone could clearly use winamp and nothing else) and i want such users who have reasonable expectations of SC7 to get reasonable results without having to figure out all this stuff, and then actually apply the knowledge via some tagging app.

i don't see why i should have to defend this POV, it seems extremely reasonable to me. i just want a sorting option that will use my TPE2 data, given the marketplace reality, whats wrong with that?

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 20:24
There is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping.

It would be in Slim/Formats/MP3.pm if it was there.

There is a "show BAND if ALBUMARTIST isn't defined" option. But that isn't the same as "TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping."

that was to jim, and i agree there is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping, but my question is where are you saying the "show band if ALBUMARTIST isn't defined" option is?

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 20:44
>and so SC7 has ALBUMARTIST as blank i'd imagine.

No, you misunderstand/haven't been reading.

trust me, i may misunderstand, but i read everything you or anyone writes many times over before i reply to it.


Every album has exactly 1 album artist (main contributor). It is set when you scan the library. If you haven't defined a Txxx ALBUMARTIST tag, then the artist associated with an album record will be:
If the same artist contributor(s) appears on all songs of the artist, that artist(s) name will also be the album artist.
If there are different artists on songs on an album, the album artist will be the record meaning "Various Artists".

ok, so its not blank, got it.


Eg. I have an album "No Pussyfooting" by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. That's two contributors to every track on the album. I also set the Txxx ALBUMARTIST to "Fripp & Eno". I see the album listed under "Fripp & Eno" as an artist. I also see it listed under Robert Fripp and also under Brian Eno, because I have other albums by those artists as solo performers.

ok, i believe all that.


In addition, the "list albums by band" *might* be intending to use BAND as album artist, such that at scan time, the album artist is set to the artist in the BAND tag, otherwise the artist of the songs, or Various Artists. I say might, because I don't know for sure how that option was intended to work. But the point is that after a scan, every album will have an album artist.

(i am keeping in mind u go by the opposite of snarlys convention)

well, i agree we don't know what the intention is or was. i have beseeched slim to answer this, no dice yet.

what we do know, is what it does now in practice, from a user POV, and i already went over that.

so if its intended, its broken. if it isn't intended, we need a solution to the issue.


If you were to examine the content of the database, the following query would confirm it for you:

SELECT distinct(namesort)
FROM albums a
JOIN contributors c on a.contributor = c.id
ORDER BY namesort

would return all main contributors (album artists) sorted by album artist name sort order. Every album has a contributor.

I believe I would have no quarrels if "list album by band" caused the scanner to read a band tag and store it as the album artist, like rule 1 above. It should remain an option, as I consider the current implementation without "list album by band" to be correct. BAND is not ALBUMARTIST in my mind.

By the way, there is a description of the database tables available at http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?SlimServerDatabaseStructure

Phil

like i said, i think the current option (list albums by band) only needs to be reworded.

i then also think a brand new and wholly separate second option needs to be added.

how should the second option be implemented? i'm not slim, i don't program, i can't say.

but i have suggested that the point of the second option should be to sort.

and i suggested it could sort via internal BAND tags that SC7 already gets from TPE2 tags (as well as other places) OR that it could tell the scanner to populate the internal ALBUMARTIST field from TPE2 tags on scan.

Phil, i'm feeling the love, you with me on that?

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 20:58
> i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7 internal
> tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currently only
> affects how things are denoted when displayed.

correct.

thx for helping with this.


The pref, 'useBandAsAlbumArtist' is only used in one place in
the code. When the $album->artists are requested, setting this option
means you get the BAND in the album listing "ThisAlbum by BAND (20xx)".
It has no other internal use aside from being in the list of contributors.

so what you are saying is "list albums by band" is in the code as 'useBandAsAlbumArtist' but only for the one purpose of denoting the Band field (instead of ALBUMARTIST) when displayed on a webpage.

right?

and other than that, BAND is just another "contributor" field one could use for searching.

right?


If you want BAND to have a different purpose, such as the ALBUMARTIST you
could add it to the %tagMapping in Formats::MP3.

ok, good to know, but what i really want is for slim to provide the option to conform to the market reality and defacto standard. besides, i update slim a lot and don't want to edit that every time.


I don't personally use BAND tags, but based on that pref's use in the
code, it works as advertised.

i don't disagree it works as the code would have it work, i do question though what purpose there is [for mp3 users without user defined tags] in displaying the BAND field without also sorting by it.


However, it wouldn't take too much to
convince me that the wording in that pref is somewhat confusing.
Primarily, the mention of "album artist" would tend to increase the odds
of confusion.

indeed.

i think elimination of the word 'list,' using 'denote' instead, and rewriting the explanation to what i put would be a very positive change in the right direction. it may not be perfect, but its a lot better.


Thing is, Album Artist is not the same thing as Band. Album Artist, as
mentioned before is a single performer name for an entire album, things
like "Original Cast of the Motion Picture", "People I've seen at the
Commodore" or "Various Artists". Band is a performer of a track, like
referring to Rush instead of Peart, Lee & Lifeson.

agreed.


SC does not use BAND in any context of VA/compilation handling, except to
perhaps allow you to decide what is shown in the listing.

if you mean how it is denoted, you are correct.


See
Slim::Schema::Album::artists(). Only 4 places call this function:
AlbumQuery (for CLI), TitleFormatter (for formatted song string),
BrowsedbItemName (for playerUI browsing), and displayAsHTML (for web ui
album lists).

-kdf

thats beyond me, but i believe you.

JJZolx
2008-04-10, 21:37
Sounds like the following is needed (my apolgies to Mr Sinatra if he already stated this, but I gave up on trying to sift through all those very long replies quite a while ago):

First, there's something we'd have to come to agreement on: There just isn't a whole lot of use for _displaying_ BAND as the byline for an album when you're not also sorting by that name. I can't see anyone wanting/needing this behavior with Flac/Ogg/Ape files when they have the ALBUMARTIST tag readily available.

So...

We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the 'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3 Tags' heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page. So the option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for display purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3 tag.


When the option is set, map TPE2 directly to the ALBUMARTIST role. When not set, leave it as BAND.


Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested (somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND, VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.

I believe this is the approach suggested by Philip in bug 6490 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490). It permits you to maintain contributor roles of both BAND and ALBUMARTIST except when needed for dealing with TPE2 tags.

smc2911
2008-04-10, 21:44
When browsing by artist, the list of artists will contain:
Artists associated with at least one album.
There's the rub for me! This seems to exclude artists that appear only as an ALBUMARTIST.

2. If an album has songs by different artists, or a song has more than one contributing artist, or the songs are tagged as a compilation, the album is flagged as a compilation, and the album artist is "Various Artists".My own view is that if the ALBUMARTIST tag exists for every track on an album, it would be nice not to classify it as "Various Artists" whether or not COMPILATION is set. Currently, if you have COMPILATION=1 and "Group Compilation Albums together", it's almost as though ALBUMARTIST is ignored: the album just ends up under Various Artists, unless there are other albums featuring this ALBUMARTIST as ARTIST.

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 21:57
Sounds like the following is needed (my apolgies to Mr Sinatra if he already stated this, but I gave up on trying to sift through all those very long replies quite a while ago):

i hope you at least read all my replies to YOU. i do apologize for seemingly taking over the thread, but i think everyone deserves a response (if there is a constructive purpose in my giving one) and i do want this issue solved, in other words, i'm motivated to get this done this time.


First, there's something we'd have to come to agreement on: There just isn't a whole lot of use for _displaying_ BAND as the byline for an album when you're not also sorting by that name. I can't see anyone wanting/needing this behavior with Flac/Ogg/Ape files when they have the ALBUMARTIST tag readily available.

thats essentially my POV, altho maybe Snarly can show where it might be useful?

but maybe not, since you'd already have other methods available to you.

still i think this functionality is probably best left as is, and a new, wholly separate second option is added to do the sort function.


So...

We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the 'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3 Tags' heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page. So the option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for display purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3 tag.

When the option is set, map TPE2 directly to the ALBUMARTIST role. When not set, leave it as BAND.

Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested (somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND, VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.


I believe this is the approach suggested by Philip in bug 6490 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490). It permits you to maintain contributor roles of both BAND and ALBUMARTIST except when needed for dealing with TPE2 tags.

again, i would simply leave the function alone, meaning leave it as is, and go for adding a second option:

either 1. sorting by SC7 BAND tag
or 2. at scan time, have SC7 map TPE2 tags to SC7s internal ALBUMARTIST field (if the mp3 file had no user defined tags for that value).

slimkid
2008-04-10, 22:56
Hi MrSinatra,

please, help me understand one thing about all this issue. You claim that you can't use existing features regarding the BAND option. I understand that ALBUMARTIST would work for you (I'm talking internal tags). Now, from a limited number of mp3 files I have, it looks like it is easy to include ALBUMARTIST tag into ID3V2.3 tags. So, what's preventing you from doing it - convert your BAND tags to ALBUMARTIST (I used mp3tag tool for that) and be done with it. What am I missing here?

K

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 23:20
Hi MrSinatra,

please, help me understand one thing about all this issue. You claim that you can't use existing features regarding the BAND option. I understand that ALBUMARTIST would work for you (I'm talking internal tags). Now, from a limited number of mp3 files I have, it looks like it is easy to include ALBUMARTIST tag into ID3V2.3 tags. So, what's preventing you from doing it - convert your BAND tags to ALBUMARTIST (I used mp3tag tool for that) and be done with it. What am I missing here?

K

i know its a lot of posts, but i already explained this.

i already have TPE2 tags. they already are the way i need them to be if SC7 would only use them for sorting, and not just labeling.

i do not see why i must get yet another program and retag all my stuff AND all new future stuff. its a pointless and unnecessary extra step.

if this were simply a case of "island sinatra" then i would do it, but its not. a lot, if not the majority of the mp3 marketplace is in the same boat i am in.

that being the case, SC7 should recognize and respect a "defacto standard" that affects a lot of people, dare i say, the majority. its no different than having SC7 respect the much smaller minority of mp3 users who use the Txxx user defined mp3 fields, but are still a defacto standard, just of a different type (which are just as non-standard as using TPE2 as the 'Album Artist' field).

people do download and try this SC7 stuff out, and if it doesn't work as they believe (and i agree) they think it reasonably should, then they'll ditch slim, with nary a complaint to anyone. that should be avoided at all costs. i want slim to succeed. more purchasers make this stuff cheaper.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 23:33
i do not see why i must get yet another program and retag all my stuff AND all new future stuff. its a pointless and unnecessary extra step.


You would probably want to anyway: to change TCMP (unless you went to iTunes to change just that one tag), to add various sort options (ie, ARTISTSORT: does WinAmp support that? As what tag?), and because its a heck of a lot easier using mp3tag to change every track in an album (or even a set of albums) than WinAmp.

Especially when as far as I can see, WinAmp does not provide for setting artistsort or albumsort type tags at all.

JimC
2008-04-10, 23:35
Sounds like the following is needed (my apolgies to Mr Sinatra if he already stated this, but I gave up on trying to sift through all those very long replies quite a while ago):

First, there's something we'd have to come to agreement on: There just isn't a whole lot of use for _displaying_ BAND as the byline for an album when you're not also sorting by that name. I can't see anyone wanting/needing this behavior with Flac/Ogg/Ape files when they have the ALBUMARTIST tag readily available.

So...

We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the 'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3 Tags' heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page. So the option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for display purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3 tag.


When the option is set, map TPE2 directly to the ALBUMARTIST role. When not set, leave it as BAND.


Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested (somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND, VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.

I believe this is the approach suggested by Philip in bug 6490 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490). It permits you to maintain contributor roles of both BAND and ALBUMARTIST except when needed for dealing with TPE2 tags.

So here's the issue, as I see it (personally speaking--I'm still waiting for enough info to make a professional call on it):

Band was never supposed to be used for AlbumArtist, but it's been co-opted to this task by several applications. Given that, some people would like SqueezeCenter to optionally normalize Band (TPE2) to our internal ALBUMARTIST tag. That seems innocent enough a request, but Snarly pointed out this issue:


The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.

From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.

Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.

This was most likely meant to be used for a case like this:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet

To distinguish it from:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped a ton of tags that are irrelevant to the illustration) would display:

Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)

which lets you distinguish between the two.

(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and tastes.)

So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not really the correct setting.

Which also seems reasonable enough (as well as a pretty apt description of what actually happens).

I'm of the mindset--again, personally speaking--that the esoterica of these kinds of tags are so user- and application-specific that we really should not change much, in terms of the current behavior, but should better document how tags are used to people can mash their tags about in a fashion that works for them.

As I stated at the very beginning of this thread, SC's handling of tags is either perfect, acceptable, or broken depending on your individual use of tags, music collection, and expectations of the result. Any change will likely just change the members in each of these sets, rather than eliminate the "broken" set. Given that, I'm working internally to gather as much information as possible to be able to suggest the lowest impact changes to how things are handled. Otherwise, we're right back here with a different set of users complaining about the way it works.

However, I encourage the community to continue to debate this topic as it is very informative, both to the team here and to other users.

Mr. Sinatra, I truly don't mean to be offensive, but just because an application with a big market share (like iTunes) handles tags a certain way doesn't make it the way all applications should handle tags. We support more music tag and file formats than iTunes and can't simply change things because a small, but vocal, group of forum posters thinks we should. As someone suggested in an earlier message, you might want to use an external tagging application to duplicate your TPE2 tags to the Txxx AlbumArtist tag we already support.


-=> Jim

MrSinatra
2008-04-10, 23:38
You would probably want to anyway: to change TCMP (unless you went to iTunes to change just that one tag), to add various sort options (ie, ARTISTSORT: does WinAmp support that? As what tag?), and because its a heck of a lot easier using mp3tag to change every track in an album (or even a set of albums) than WinAmp.

Especially when as far as I can see, WinAmp does not provide for setting artistsort or albumsort type tags at all.

this is what i am trying to say, i DON'T want to.

i do not use or need those tags! i don't need or use artistsort, albumsort, or TCMP.

all i need is for SC7 to give me an option, one way or another, to sort my albums via my existing TPE2 tags.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 23:45
this is what i am trying to say, i DON'T want to.

i do not use or need those tags! i don't need or use artistsort, albumsort, or TCMP.

all i need is for SC7 to give me an option, one way or another, to sort my albums via my existing TPE2 tags.

Then you can have Buddy Holly appear in the B's instead of the H's... And JS Bach in the J's. Sinatra? He's over in F's.

And you will continue to be baffled as to why some albums sort as VA and some not. (ie, TCMP or COMPILATION type tags, which are easy to see and delete... but not with WinAmp.)

snarlydwarf
2008-04-10, 23:48
that was to jim, and i agree there is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping, but my question is where are you saying the "show band if ALBUMARTIST isn't defined" option is?

Exactly where I said it was... in Schema::Album::artist, and it is only used for -display-.

It is the flag you are going on about where you insist it means TPE2, not BAND.

Again, at that point in the code, the scanning is long done. It is displaying a web page or sending something to the SB3/SBC to display.

It has no concept of mp3, FLAC, APE, whatever: just the already parsed tags, and it refers to BAND. Not TPE2. Hence why calling it TPE2 in the help is wrong: it isn't. That is only for MP3, and the checkbox affects -all- formats.

JimC
2008-04-10, 23:55
i know its a lot of posts, but i already explained this.

i already have TPE2 tags. they already are the way i need them to be if SC7 would only use them for sorting, and not just labeling.

i do not see why i must get yet another program and retag all my stuff AND all new future stuff. its a pointless and unnecessary extra step.

if this were simply a case of "island sinatra" then i would do it, but its not. a lot, if not the majority of the mp3 marketplace is in the same boat i am in.

that being the case, SC7 should recognize and respect a "defacto standard" that affects a lot of people, dare i say, the majority. its no different than having SC7 respect the much smaller minority of mp3 users who use the Txxx user defined mp3 fields, but are still a defacto standard, just of a different type (which are just as non-standard as using TPE2 as the 'Album Artist' field).

people do download and try this SC7 stuff out, and if it doesn't work as they believe (and i agree) they think it reasonably should, then they'll ditch slim, with nary a complaint to anyone. that should be avoided at all costs. i want slim to succeed. more purchasers make this stuff cheaper.

First, respecting the Txxx user defined tag IS NOT the same as mapping an existing tag to a different use. That tag is mapped directly to its intended use; it is not redefined to mean something else internally. The TPE2 tag is also used exactly as it was intended--to display the band information when appropriate (see Snarly's example for how that works).

Have you suggested to the good folks at Apple that *their* implementation of ID3 tags is not correct? How about ID3.org--have you tried discussing with them the fact they didn't do a very good job of defining useful tags for anything other than a standard, non-compilation album? Seriously. Do you think they even care that they've made this mess?

The mantra that SqueezeCenter should conform to some other application's broken (i.e., not conforming to standards) implementation is getting a bit strident. We may decide to do that, but I don't find the argument that "itunes does it so you should too" to be very compelling. Nor do I think this problem is a significant inhibitor to our success at this point.

But rest assured I get the message that you want what you perceive as the "majority" of MP3 files supported the way you think is correct. You may stop flogging that horse now; it's long past deceased.

We're looking at what would make sense, given our current user base, our target audience, our product requirements, and our resources. Once I have all the information we need, we'll put together a proposal and gather feedback on it. I'll make sure we get you involved in that process as I'd like to see if we can reasonably accommodate your request without creating an overly-complex user experience or breaking things for other users.


-=> Jim

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 00:05
So here's the issue, as I see it (personally speaking--I'm still waiting for enough info to make a professional call on it):

Band was never supposed to be used for AlbumArtist, but it's been co-opted to this task by several applications. Given that, some people would like SqueezeCenter to optionally normalize Band (TPE2) to our internal ALBUMARTIST tag. That seems innocent enough a request, but Snarly pointed out this issue:

or, sort by SC7s BAND, or whatever method SC7 will allow so that someone can use their TPE2 field in their files for SC7 to sort by.

anyway, you quoted snarly here:



The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.

From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.

Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.

This was most likely meant to be used for a case like this:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet

To distinguish it from:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped a ton of tags that are irrelevant to the illustration) would display:

Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)

which lets you distinguish between the two.

(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and tastes.)

So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not really the correct setting.

Which also seems reasonable enough (as well as a pretty apt description of what actually happens).

sure. i am not advocating changing the existing functionality of the option as it currently exists.

i am talking about ADDING a second option to do sorting.

please see this thread in developers forum, which i wrote as per your suggestion:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=290178#post290178

and allow me to repeat this from an earlier post in response to what you quoted of snarly above:


i just want to add one point to that... if those were tracks, and you had group comps together AND list albums by band picked, then SC7 would show BOTH TPE2 values; this gets unwieldy very quickly if your album has a lot of differing TPE2 values, b/c they ALL are shown.


I'm of the mindset--again, personally speaking--that the esoterica of these kinds of tags are so user- and application-specific that we really should not change much, in terms of the current behavior, but should better document how tags are used to people can mash their tags about in a fashion that works for them.

i am not advocating changing current behavior, but rather adding an option.

TPE2 already fills the SC7 BAND field, why can't that be an option for sorting?

and i absolutely agree about better documentation.


As I stated at the very beginning of this thread, SC's handling of tags is either perfect, acceptable, or broken depending on your individual use of tags, music collection, and expectations of the result. Any change will likely just change the members in each of these sets, rather than eliminate the "broken" set. Given that, I'm working internally to gather as much information as possible to be able to suggest the lowest impact changes to how things are handled. Otherwise, we're right back here with a different set of users complaining about the way it works.

i personally do not believe that to be true. meaning i understand sloppy coding of SC7 could lead to that potentially, but it is not a NECESSARILY unavoidable outcome.

i think adding an option to a program that has many options is not an impossible task.

i do not claim to know how to do it, or which way is best. but in the developers forum i do suggest two possible way to achieve the goal.

i do not think you should lean to being against it without showing or explaining how adding a new, wholly separate sorting option would break everything. and i don't see why such an option would be impossible.


However, I encourage the community to continue to debate this topic as it is very informative, both to the team here and to other users.

Mr. Sinatra, I truly don't mean to be offensive,

i promise you, i do not take offense to your comments, but i just want to be sure you actually understand what i am proposing before you shoot it down b/c i am not sure you do yet, which is not a knock in any way, i'm just saying i'm not sure.


but just because an application with a big market share (like iTunes) handles tags a certain way doesn't make it the way all applications should handle tags.

and i never claimed it should.

i have been arguing here for an OPTION, not a mandate.

it just so happens that itunes, winamp, WMP, and many others have co-opted the TPE2 band tag to serve the album artist role (in those same apps). thats just the reality and it is a huge majority.


We support more music tag and file formats than iTunes and can't simply change things because a small, but vocal, group of forum posters thinks we should. As someone suggested in an earlier message, you might want to use an external tagging application to duplicate your TPE2 tags to the Txxx AlbumArtist tag we already support.

-=> Jim

i am asking for a new OPTION, and i am not asking to change or degrade or revoke ONE SCINTILLA of current functionality.

i am asking to add ONE more piece of functionality.

considering the facts at play here, i don't see it as minority request.

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 00:11
Then you can have Buddy Holly appear in the B's instead of the H's... And JS Bach in the J's. Sinatra? He's over in F's.

you assume two things:

1. that i don't want to use first names
and
2. that my tags aren't ALREADY "Sinatra, Frank"

since you don't know if either is true, you can't claim its a problem.


And you will continue to be baffled as to why some albums sort as VA and some not. (ie, TCMP or COMPILATION type tags, which are easy to see and delete... but not with WinAmp.)

you assume i have TCMP/Comp tags, when i already told you i don't. i know i don't b/c if i did, i would have figured that out already by SC7 sorting something into VA that had no obvious known reason to be in VA, (such as differing TPE1 artists on the same album).

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 00:24
that was to jim, and i agree there is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping, but my question is where are you saying the "show band if ALBUMARTIST isn't defined" option is?


Exactly where I said it was... in Schema::Album::artist, and it is only used for -display-.

right agreed. i just wanted to know where it was in the UI, meaning i wanted to confirm its the "List albums by band" option you were talking about, and it is. thx for the clarity.


It is the flag you are going on about where you insist it means TPE2, not BAND.

thats what the SC7 infobox insists, and in fact while i agree it isn't always TPE2 that fills this SC7 BAND field, it is in my case. and my case is not some rare anomaly.


Again, at that point in the code, the scanning is long done. It is displaying a web page or sending something to the SB3/SBC to display.

agreed.


It has no concept of mp3, FLAC, APE, whatever: just the already parsed tags, and it refers to BAND. Not TPE2. Hence why calling it TPE2 in the help is wrong: it isn't. That is only for MP3, and the checkbox affects -all- formats.

again, i understand that. but i didn't write the current infobox, slim did, so your complaint is with slim. i just tried to be minimal in my changes, just doing what was absolutely necessary.

i know that my proposed wording is similar but i think most people would figure it out fine, and the wording is all i would change, not the functionality, so in practice, its transparent to you.

the fact is TPE2 does populate the SC7 BAND field if nothing else is available. but if something else is available, SC7 will use that. and i allude to that in my proposed wording when i say 'Band in some other software' (paraphrased).

feel free to offer up how you would word it exactly. i'm sure my wording isn't the best, i just know its better than what is currently existing.

JimC
2008-04-11, 00:24
i promise you, i do not take offense to your comments, but i just want to be sure you actually understand what i am proposing before you shoot it down b/c i am not sure you do yet, which is not a knock in any way, i'm just saying i'm not sure.



and i never claimed it should.

i have been arguing here for an OPTION, not a mandate.

it just so happens that itunes, winamp, WMP, and many others have co-opted the TPE2 band tag to serve the album artist role (in those same apps). thats just the reality and it is a huge majority.



i am asking for a new OPTION, and i am not asking to change or degrade or revoke ONE SCINTILLA of current functionality.

i am asking to add ONE more piece of functionality.

considering the facts at play here, i don't see it as minority request.

Here's the real problem: you think of this a simply an option, because on the surface that's the simple way to see it. However, the reality--as everyone has tried to point out--is that this isn't a simple solution and handling it in the way you suggest may have all kinds of unintended consequences. Tag handling is borked, mostly because of these types of "simple" workarounds that have created a mess of the intended use of the tags.

As I said in a separate message: we're gathering all the information we need to understand this issue and address it. Once we're confident we have some idea of what's going on, we'll put together a proposal and let the community comment on it. Once that's done, we'll be able to close on when/how it will be implemented.

No one is dismissing your request. We're not guaranteeing it will be implemented exactly as you wish, but at least it's being considered. Can we let it go at that--at least for now?


-=> Jim

snarlydwarf
2008-04-11, 00:29
since you don't know if either is true, you can't claim its a problem.


And you assume I care how you organize your music. If you want Sinatra under the Q's that is your business. I think it would be truly stupid and painful to navigate that way, but it is your library.



you assume i have TCMP/Comp tags, when i already told you i don't. i know i don't b/c if i did, i would have figured that out already by SC7 sorting something into VA that had no obvious known reason to be in VA, (such as differing TPE1 artists on the same album).

I assume you do, or you should, because you stated:


(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)

That exactly describes the problem of having incorrect or missing TCMP tags.

If you have an album that is being detected as VA because it has one track with some-other-artist, the proper way to fix that is COMPILATION=0. This forces the scanner to treat it differently. For an example, see the 2nd post on this topic where I showed some of the tags from a Sonny Bono tribute album, which I wanted attributed to Sonny Bono as Album Artist and did not want to clutter up my 'browse artist' with a bunch of bands I have no other tracks from.

If you want to make SC (and iTunes!) handle those correctly, you should set the TCMP tag.

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 01:10
First, respecting the Txxx user defined tag IS NOT the same as mapping an existing tag to a different use. That tag is mapped directly to its intended use; it is not redefined to mean something else internally. The TPE2 tag is also used exactly as it was intended--to display the band information when appropriate (see Snarly's example for how that works).

i understand that, i agree.

the point i was making is that Txxx tags are a defacto standard, but not a true standard. yet, SC7 still respects it.

likewise, other software uses TPE2 as album artist. this is indeed not a true standard. but it is a defacto standard. i think SC7 should respect it.

PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND: mp3 users have no way, NONE, to get their CDs to sort properly in SC7 using only standard tags! i think thats a huge part of this, one that can't simply be ignored.

that means unless a user uses a Txxx type tag, it will be impossible for them to get an album sorted properly that may or may not be a VA album.

if it offends your sensibilities to have an option to map TPE2 to both BAND and ALBUMARTIST, then allow a user an option to sort by BAND tag, (which is already populated by the TPE2 field).


Have you suggested to the good folks at Apple that *their* implementation of ID3 tags is not correct? How about ID3.org--have you tried discussing with them the fact they didn't do a very good job of defining useful tags for anything other than a standard, non-compilation album? Seriously. Do you think they even care that they've made this mess?

why are you trying to fight the tide? i'm not some lone nut. there are lots of people in this boat thru no fault of their own, people who you have sold to or want to sell to. is your reaction to them (assuming they even bother to complain if they don't like the results after DL), going to be "blame apple and blame id3? go get another program, learn it and retag your stuff with non-standard tags?"

i know this isn't slims fault, i never said or meant to imply it is. all i am suggesting is it is to slims benefit to allow mp3 users to sort by TPE2 if they want, (and as many programs have made them expect will be the case). (i don't mean to say exactly how slim should accomplish this, just that it should be a goal)

i mean, whats more important, SC7 and slim martyring themselves for a point that is true but nonetheless unchangeable, OR making the product flexible to account for an erroneous but widespread defacto standard?


The mantra that SqueezeCenter should conform to some other application's broken (i.e., not conforming to standards) implementation is getting a bit strident. We may decide to do that, but I don't find the argument that "itunes does it so you should too" to be very compelling. Nor do I think this problem is a significant inhibitor to our success at this point.

well, you conform to using Txxx tags that have a defacto standard. and thats a smaller overall population.

did slim always conform to using Txxx tags? i'm asking that seriously, b/c i don't know.

i agree its broken usage. but it is what it is. like i said, slim offers mp3 users NO WAY to sort their albums using only standard id3 tags. should that not be a goal, especially since a defacto standard using TPE2 exists in many apps?

and no doubt slim is successful. but there is always room to improve.


But rest assured I get the message that you want what you perceive as the "majority" of MP3 files supported the way you think is correct. You may stop flogging that horse now; it's long past deceased.

i do NOT think its "correct." i agree its wrong. but it IS the reality. it is the defacto standard.

how am i supposed to sort using only standard tags? that option is what i want. if i can denote by it, i should be able to sort by it.

i'm not trying to exasperate you, just make my case. i'm sorry if how i do it bothers you.


We're looking at what would make sense, given our current user base, our target audience, our product requirements, and our resources. Once I have all the information we need, we'll put together a proposal and gather feedback on it. I'll make sure we get you involved in that process as I'd like to see if we can reasonably accommodate your request without creating an overly-complex user experience or breaking things for other users.

-=> Jim

i absolutely don't want to change current functionality, or make other people have to switch up their existing info to fix this. i merely want to ADD to the functionality, via a single option.

i guess ultimately i am confused why you would have a user like me have the option to DENOTE my TPE2 / BAND info, but not sort by it... what good is it for me to have things sort out of place? why is the first possible, but not the second?

TPE2 is already in SC7 as BAND. is it an app killer to add an option to then sort by BAND?

i hope you understand i only mean to argue for my point, not antagonize you or anything else negative.

once again, please see my proposal i did per your suggestion:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=290178#post290178

Philip Meyer
2008-04-11, 01:15
>- We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be
> equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the
> 'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3 Tags'
> heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page. So the
> option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for display
> purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3 tag.
>
Shouldn't refer specifically to id3 tags.

There are two very separate parts of the system that we should be talking about:
1. The Scanner, for reading tags into the internal SqueezeCenter representation of a music library.
2. SqueezeCenter that reads the internal representation for display purposes.

I agree with someone else's suggestion that there should be a screen that allows specific file format tags to be mapped to a consistent internal representation. A "Scanner" settings page for configuring what tags the scanner should look for, and how they are mapped to things that SqueezeCenter understands. Only in this screen should it refer to TPE2, etc.

All other screens about the SqueezeCenter music library should use sensible names like Album Artist, Band, etc. From reading other threads, it looks like "List albums by Band/by other artists" option is working as intended, but has nothing to do with scanning or Various Artists/Compilation settings. It is a display formatting setting, so perhaps should be moved to Interface settings, or Advanced/Formatting settings page.

The intenal SqueezeCenter processing of Album Artist and Band should remain as-is. If someone wants TPE2 (BAND) to really mean Album Artist, that would be configured as part of the Scanner settings. They then wouldn't have any Band contributor roles, because the scanner would have put that data into Album Artist instead.

>- Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested
> (somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND,
> VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.
>
Disagree. If id3 TPE2 tag is mapped to SqueezeCenter "Album Artist" contributor role, there would be no need for this. You wouldn't have any Band contributor roles, because the scanner would have put that data into Album Artist instead.

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 01:21
Here's the real problem: you think of this a simply an option, because on the surface that's the simple way to see it. However, the reality--as everyone has tried to point out--is that this isn't a simple solution and handling it in the way you suggest may have all kinds of unintended consequences. Tag handling is borked, mostly because of these types of "simple" workarounds that have created a mess of the intended use of the tags.

i totally get that. please understand that its the GOAL i am arguing for, i leave the implementation to brilliant coders like you and dean and the rest of slim and the community. i just want to communicate how this lowly 'user' sees it.


As I said in a separate message: we're gathering all the information we need to understand this issue and address it. Once we're confident we have some idea of what's going on, we'll put together a proposal and let the community comment on it. Once that's done, we'll be able to close on when/how it will be implemented.

No one is dismissing your request. We're not guaranteeing it will be implemented exactly as you wish, but at least it's being considered. Can we let it go at that--at least for now?

-=> Jim

you're a scholar and a gentleman. thx.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-11, 01:32
>and that means SC7 has no reasonable method to sort all albums for
>users who do not have user defined tags in their files.
I think you meant "sort all artists". SC does - it sorts by artist if there is not album artist.

If you want an option to sort by Band, then there should also be options to sort by Conductor, Composer, etc, as Band shouldn't be singled out as being different from any other contributor role.

I think when you talk about not sorting properly, you don't really mean "sort" at all. SqueezeCenter will always sort by the sort title of the artists (when there isn't an ARTISTSORT tag, the artist name is used as the sort title), but you don't tag songs with ARTISTSORT. You mean that you want a browse by band menu (as you have put an artist name in the TPE2 tag of all of your mp3 files)?

Nb. CustomBrowse can do a browse by band menu.

Phil

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 01:57
And you assume I care how you organize your music. If you want Sinatra under the Q's that is your business. I think it would be truly stupid and painful to navigate that way, but it is your library.

always good for a laugh, huh? maybe i assume since you said "You would probably want to anyway" but now u don't care! i'm heartbroken. but enough about that... truly meaningless.

anyway...



you assume i have TCMP/Comp tags, when i already told you i don't. i know i don't b/c if i did, i would have figured that out already by SC7 sorting something into VA that had no obvious known reason to be in VA, (such as differing TPE1 artists on the same album).

I assume you do, or you should, because you stated:


(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)

That exactly describes the problem of having incorrect or missing TCMP tags.

just b/c i think it makes more sense, the full context was:

"if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort, (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an album it THINKS is VA)"

so first of all, its not a problem by definition to not have a non-standard tag. nor is it necessarily missing. i did not find TCMP on http://id3.org/id3v2.3.0

i also found no reference to the word "compilation" on that page.

secondly, since there's no reason i should necessarily have non-standard tags, i totally understand why SC7 is putting albums into VA that in reality don't belong there.

so when you said:


And you will continue to be baffled as to why some albums sort as VA and some not. (ie, TCMP or COMPILATION type tags, which are easy to see and delete... but not with WinAmp.)

you were incorrect. i am not baffled in the least. any album in my VA section is there due to differing TPE1 tags. if one was there that DIDN'T have differing TPE1 tags, then i would be baffled, and it would point to an incorrect TCMP tag. but i don't have that issue, (namely b/c i don't use itunes).

now, if SC7 would use the BAND tag to sort, it wouldn't put these differing TPE1 albums into the VA section.

there is an interesting question as to whether SC7 would still consider it a VA album however.


If you have an album that is being detected as VA because it has one track with some-other-artist, the proper way to fix that is COMPILATION=0. This forces the scanner to treat it differently.

proper way? by what standard?

look, i appreciate the advice, but it applies to someone else. i don't use itunes, and i don't use non-standard user defined tags.

i think if someone chooses the option of sorting by BAND, then on scanning some extra logic might be needed to determine if the album was VA or not if it had differing TPE1 tags. for instance, if the TPE2 tag said "Various Artist[s]" or "Soundtrack" or "Original Soundtrack" or maybe even user identified criteria to SC7, then it would be a VA album that should be sorted in the VA area. otherwise it might still be a VA album, but it should be sorted alphabetically by the BAND tag.

again, i do not know the best implementation, i am just arguing for the goal.

remember, half of such an option is "off" or in other words, not to use it. in the off position, it wouldn't affect you or anyone else, assuming it was properly designed. in the "on" position it might not be perfect at first, but honestly i wouldn't expect it to be. like everything else with slim, i would expect refinements/improvements going forward.


For an example, see the 2nd post on this topic where I showed some of the tags from a Sonny Bono tribute album, which I wanted attributed to Sonny Bono as Album Artist and did not want to clutter up my 'browse artist' with a bunch of bands I have no other tracks from.

If you want to make SC (and iTunes!) handle those correctly, you should set the TCMP tag.

i am well aware everyone thinks i should just give in and use a tagging app. but i don't think thats ultimately the proper solution.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-11, 02:14
>My own view is that if the ALBUMARTIST tag exists for every track on an
>album, it would be nice *not* to classify it as "Various Artists"
>whether or not COMPILATION is set. Currently, if you have COMPILATION=1
>and "Group Compilation Albums together", it's almost as though
>ALBUMARTIST is ignored: the album just ends up under Various Artists.
>
I think ALBUMARTIST should prevent the album from being tagged as a compilation (compilation albums effectively sets ALBUMARTIST to "Various Artists").

I thought this was fixed (bug 3815 maybe?).

I haven't noticed any problems like that in my library, but I may have set COMPILATION=0 to be sure, because there was a problem with this in the past.

Phil

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 02:19
>- Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested
> (somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND,
> VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.
>
Disagree. If id3 TPE2 tag is mapped to SqueezeCenter "Album Artist" contributor role, there would be no need for this. You wouldn't have any Band contributor roles, because the scanner would have put that data into Album Artist instead.

i'm not sure who wrote what ur responding to, but consider this...

what you're saying is true IF TPE2 is mapped to the internal SC7 ALBUMARTIST field. (and btw, the TPE2 field could be mapped to BOTH BAND and ALBUMARTIST)

however, i think what the person was saying is that a sort order logic could go progressively in that order if TPE2 filled the BAND field, which it does, and if ALBUMARTIST was empty.

i know you said its never empty, and i'm sure you are right. so in that case, if the option is turned on, BAND could be at the front of the order instead.

MrSinatra
2008-04-11, 02:33
>and that means SC7 has no reasonable method to sort all albums for
>users who do not have user defined tags in their files.

I think you meant "sort all artists". SC does - it sorts by artist if there is not album artist.

no, i specifically said what i said on purpose.

and what i said is true.

SC7 has no way to sort ALL albums reasonably using only standard mp3 tags.

that is fact.

the main issue, (but not the only issue) is with albums that have differing TPE1 fields. other programs hijack TPE2 to fix this. SC7 however, does not respect that. and i am just repeating myself beyond that.

as i alluded to earlier, it may take some extra logic-programming to have SC7 decode mp3 tags to get it to figure out what should be the VA section or not, but thats the kind of thing that can be worked on as we go i think.


If you want an option to sort by Band, then there should also be options to sort by Conductor, Composer, etc, as Band shouldn't be singled out as being different from any other contributor role.

well i don't think so, for two reasons:

1. i don't think anyone has asked for that
and
2. probably b/c that is not a defacto standard in the mp3 population, meaning most programs don't give you that [sort] option for those tags, as they do via TPE2.


I think when you talk about not sorting properly, you don't really mean "sort" at all. SqueezeCenter will always sort by the sort title of the artists (when there isn't an ARTISTSORT tag, the artist name is used as the sort title), but you don't tag songs with ARTISTSORT.

i do not use ARTISTSORT tags at all.

and SC7 does not sort by artists if an album has differing TPE1 tracks on it. in that case, it uses its own internal logic to classify it as VA.


You mean that you want a browse by band menu (as you have put an artist name in the TPE2 tag of all of your mp3 files)?

Nb. CustomBrowse can do a browse by band menu.

Phil

what is Nb? what is CustomBrowse?

yes, i have all my TPE2 tags organized to sort things where i want them.

here's what i mean, and i thought it was the same:

when i browse artwork via artist, year, album, i want my albums to sort via the info that SC7 calls BAND, namely the TPE2 tags in my files.

whats the difference between browse by band and sort by band?

smc2911
2008-04-11, 03:08
>My own view is that if the ALBUMARTIST tag exists for every track on an
>album, it would be nice *not* to classify it as "Various Artists"
>whether or not COMPILATION is set. Currently, if you have COMPILATION=1
>and "Group Compilation Albums together", it's almost as though
>ALBUMARTIST is ignored: the album just ends up under Various Artists.
>
I think ALBUMARTIST should prevent the album from being tagged as a compilation (compilation albums effectively sets ALBUMARTIST to "Various Artists").

I thought this was fixed (bug 3815 maybe?).

I haven't noticed any problems like that in my library, but I may have set COMPILATION=0 to be sure, because there was a problem with this in the past.

PhilThe reason setting COMPILATION=0 doesn't work for me is that for albums like my Larry Levan example (he's the ALBUMRARTIST) I want Larry to appear in the artist list (despite not having any other Larry albums) but I do not want all the other track artists to appear in the artist list. The only way I know of to exclude artists is to set the "Group Compilation Artists together" and set COMPILATION=1. At the moment I seem to have only two options:

1. (COMPILATION=1) Larry isn't in the artist list, neither are any of the track artists
2. (COMPILATION=0) Larry is in the artist list, but so are all of the track artists

what I want is
3. Larry is in the artist list, the track artists are not.

I'm not at all precious about what is or is not a "compilation", I just want to achieve #3. Note that were there just one other album by Larry Levan, I would actually get the desired #3 by setting COMPILATION=1. Maybe all of this would be solved by addressing http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=5108

vrobin
2008-04-11, 04:41
The message I wrote earlier about some sort of "tag mapping customization" seems to have been overwhelmed by tpe2/band/albumartist/txxx messages.

Is the idea totally broken? or definitely too complicated ? or not user friendly enough? and doesn't worth talking about it?

To answer MrSinatra, I can code, and I put a lot of free time working on a metadata handling framework that begins to reveals itself useful (for me at least... I must admit that is not *yet* a good definition of "universal" :) ). This work -I aim this goal- would permit to adapt tagging to any format and any existing software or softwares that are yet to come (and little after, I plan to rule the world, but that's another thread;) ).

snarlydwarf
2008-04-11, 08:06
so first of all, its not a problem by definition to not have a non-standard tag. nor is it necessarily missing. i did not find TCMP on http://id3.org/id3v2.3.0

i also found no reference to the word "compilation" on that page.

Yes, it is one of your "defacto standards". iTunes uses it, and iTunes has more users than WinAmp, therefore Winamp should add support for it.

Sort of like some other tags misuse....



secondly, since there's no reason i should necessarily have non-standard tags, i totally understand why SC7 is putting albums into VA that in reality don't belong there.

And there is a mechanism for changing that.

Many unix commands support a '-f' option. It means "yes, I know this is not what I am supposed to do, but I am the human and I am not making a mistake, this is really what I want". -f is very useful.

In the same sense, forcing compilation (or decompilation) is useful.



now, if SC7 would use the BAND tag to sort, it wouldn't put these differing TPE1 albums into the VA section

It would add all artists, even one-track-wonders to your artist list.



there is an interesting question as to whether SC7 would still consider it a VA album however.

It would set the COMPILATION to 1, yes.



i am well aware everyone thinks i should just give in and use a tagging app. but i don't think thats ultimately the proper solution.

If you choose to make your own life difficult, that is your choice.

JimC
2008-04-11, 10:08
The message I wrote earlier about some sort of "tag mapping customization" seems to have been overwhelmed by tpe2/band/albumartist/txxx messages.

Is the idea totally broken? or definitely too complicated ? or not user friendly enough? and doesn't worth talking about it?

To answer MrSinatra, I can code, and I put a lot of free time working on a metadata handling framework that begins to reveals itself useful (for me at least... I must admit that is not *yet* a good definition of "universal" :) ). This work -I aim this goal- would permit to adapt tagging to any format and any existing software or softwares that are yet to come (and little after, I plan to rule the world, but that's another thread;) ).

The idea isn't broken, and it may well be how this "problem" gets solved in the end. However, it adds a layer of complexity to the process and we're already being dinged for being too hard for the average user.

What we need is the most sensible default rules (which I think we may already have, Mr. Sinatra's opinions/issues notwithstanding), and a reasonable method for changing those. I would really like to avoid moving these types of settings to the SC interface, because they would require a rescan; much better to do them upfront, if possible.

I'd love to see what you're working on, and would encourage you to contribute it to the code base here. There are some pretty amazing programmers (both here and in our community) that you would be able to work with on the framework and on the code. My team and I would be happy to provide input, as well, at least from a product marketing/customer-centric viewpoint.


-=> Jim

Philip Meyer
2008-04-11, 10:30
>SC7 has no way to sort ALL albums reasonably using only standard mp3
>tags.
>
>that is fact.

That is not what you meant. The Browse by Album menu sorts perfectly well.

The Browse by Artist menu will also sort perfectly well if you have only artist tags. As an added extra, you can override the default sorting by artist name by specifying an ARTISTSORT. As another added extra, you can use ALBUMARTIST tags to stop an album becoming a various artist album if you want guest contributors on an album.

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-04-11, 11:15
>and SC7 does not sort by artists if an album has differing TPE1 tracks
>on it. in that case, it uses its own internal logic to classify it as
>VA.
>
Which for most people is normally the correct behavior. Most albums ripped from a CD with info obtained from an internet music source will have the same artist for each song, unless the album is specifically a various artist album.

For people who want to further refine their albums/song metadata, they can define different artists on an album, and set compilation=0, which will force one of the artists to be chosen as the album artist. Or the Album Artist can be overridden by setting an ALBUMARTIST tag.

>what is Nb?
Short for "note:".

>what is CustomBrowse?
One of a set of third-party plugins written by Erland, which provide different ways of organising/browsing your music collection.

>yes, i have all my TPE2 tags organized to sort things where i want
>them.
>
You don't mean sort. Or maybe you do, but you are wrong. If you truly mean sort by BAND, then songs with no BAND would not sort correctly.

What you mean is you have set TPE2 (BAND) to group all songs to appear under one artist on the album (which is not what TPE2 is meant to do, and not what the SqueezeCenter scanner does). If there were an option to do this for you, then the songs on the album would appear under that artist. That doesn't define a sort as such, the artist will be sorted by whatever sorting title attribute that artist may have. Eg. under "B" (not "T") if it where "The Beatles".

Every song appears on an album, and every album has an artist. The artist associated with an album is an album artist, and that is what the browse by artists list shows, sorted by the artist sort title.

>when i browse artwork via artist, year, album, i want my albums to sort
>via the info that SC7 calls BAND, namely the TPE2 tags in my files.
>
No you don't; that doesn't make sense. Every album has an album artist, and therefore you can create a list of artists from the set of album artists. But not all albums will have a Band, and not all songs on an album may have the same Band, so it's not feasible.

>whats the difference between browse by band and sort by band?
If it existed, Browse by band would list all albums that have songs that have a band tag set. The list could be sorted by anything else you fancied; sorted by band would make most sense, but other sort ordering could be feasible.

Sort by band suggests some other list of things, of which they are sorted by band.


The way forward that makes most sense is to have another setting option for the scanner, to tell it to set Album Artist to the content of any TPE2 tag when the library is scanned. I suggest that this sets Album Artist only and not also the Band contributor for the song, but maybe people would want both. SqueezeCenter itself would remain exactly the same; you have a way of correctly setting Album Artist.


Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-04-11, 11:34
>What we need is the most sensible default rules (which I think we may
>already have, Mr. Sinatra's opinions/issues notwithstanding), and a
>reasonable method for changing those. I would really like to avoid
>moving these types of settings to the SC interface, because they would
>require a rescan; much better to do them upfront, if possible.

I think the simple way to keep both sets of users happy is to have a setting that affects the scanner. It would require a rescan if the setting was changed. But I feel that is okay, as a user would always want to use the same setting.

There are two types of possible users:

1. Those that want to use id3 TPE2 (BAND) as a contributor.
2. Those that want to use id3 TPE2 (BAND) to set the Album Artist.

That setting would affect the scanner; the scanner decides what contributor roles to set when songs are scanned and calculates the album artist when an album record is created. Nothing else need to change.

It may be possible for SqueezeCenter to work out dynamically whether to use BAND as an Album Artist, but that would seem to really complicate the software and would undoubtedly affect performance of building up the browse lists. I would have thought that a user would pick the setting one way or the other, and stick with it.

Keeping the change to the scanner is less risk. I suggest the default is (1), as then no existing users would be affected by the change, but users could change to (2).

The setting should be as clear as possible.

However, the installation wizard could suggest the correct setting based on a set of questions, such as "Do you use Band to represent bands performing on songs?". Maybe if the user answers yes to "Are you an iTunes user", then the setting (2) could be picked by default?

Phil

smc2911
2008-04-11, 15:08
>what is Nb?
Short for "note:".For the pedants, NB stands for "nota bene", Latin for "note well".

vrobin
2008-04-11, 15:19
The idea isn't broken, and it may well be how this "problem" gets solved in the end. However, it adds a layer of complexity to the process and we're already being dinged for being too hard for the average user.


Since I'm watching SqueezeCenter evolution, I learnt that any change could be far more complicated than it seems at first sight, and I know that "more simplicity" is now the leitmotiv of SC evolution. That's why I think there is need for a predefined set of templates that would be set by default to the most common behavior (ie present SC behavior). But for sure, the way I described it isn't the easiest way to deal with the problem. It could (even only partially implemented) be the only way to please everybody.



What we need is the most sensible default rules (which I think we may already have, Mr. Sinatra's opinions/issues notwithstanding), and a reasonable method for changing those. I would really like to avoid moving these types of settings to the SC interface, because they would require a rescan; much better to do them upfront, if possible.


To keep it simple, if the only thing is to deal with is this BAND/ALBUMARTIST problem adding a single option like "emulate itunes broken BAND tag behavior" tick box could do the trick... (that's the user interface point of view, implementation is a different problem).
To be honest, I learned to use SC "as is" for basic pop/rock browsing and to use Erland plugins for classical music... so I'm not really concerned nor very knowledgeful about this TPE2/BAND/TPXXX problem :).



I'd love to see what you're working on, and would encourage you to contribute it to the code base here. There are some pretty amazing programmers (both here and in our community) that you would be able to work with on the framework and on the code. My team and I would be happy to provide input, as well, at least from a product marketing/customer-centric viewpoint.


Since the beginning I have "open source" and "community" in mind. There's no doubt I will publicly share most of my work (except for restricted data connector like AMG). But as I need this work for my own music, I want it quickly (ok, more than six months have passed since I began to work on this:) ), and I'm not sure I want to spend the little free time I have to work on this with dozens pages of arguments about how to handle "band" and "album artist" ;).

I already talked here of tagging problems I had, and a little about this "metadata framework" I'm working on, but SNR are sometimes too high on forums to be efficient. Furthermore, everybody has its own problems and its own little tools and tricks not wanting to change its habits (the only true generic tools I know are Erland's wonderful plugins).

As no software/hardware handle tags the same way, I decided that metadata cannot be stored in standard tags and soon concluded that metadata had to be kept away from media files.
I thought to a central repository holding all metadata, but I wasn't pleased with this idea as music is moved, copied, transfered, renamed, etc.
I've decided that metadata would be "album centric". Assuming that every album is stored in its own folder (or set of subfolders like disc1, disc2, etc), each "album folder" can easily contain a single xml file holding the metadata (like sfv files).

The concepts that guided me are:
- limit manual input to the minimum (only typing data at the hierarchical level needed: album, group of tracks (work), or track
- store the data for what they really are, not for what they are going to be in music files (handle composer as composer, not "album artist" because you want to browse it)
- be versatile enough to adapt to different level of complexity according to the user personnal needs
- keep tagging for the end of the process, so that it's always possible to "batch retag" a full collection (when you change your mp3 hardware, or your media management program)
- include some little tricks/automation to ease handling data like: generic aliases (making data uniform by considering "Bach", "JS Bach", "Bach, J.S." are the same and are all tagged "Johan Sebastian Bach"), sort name guessing, opus and catalog extraction from classical work titles, etc.

To be more practical, this "metadata framework" consist of:
- a complex data model defined with XSD (xml was my goal, but it could be anything else from txt file, to sgbd, passing by yaml). This data model can be used in a simple way (to represent data like in FreeDB: album artist, album name, tracks name) or in a complex way (It is designed to be compatible with AMG and Discogs data model... right now I still have to check if it can also fit Amazon model)
- a Perl library to handle this data model in memory, and serialize/deserialize it in xml files
- a set of DataSource plugins (to get data from Discogs, Amazon, FreeDB, cduniverse, etc.) to fill xml
- a set of DataExporter plugins that can tag mp3 files, tag flac files, print a report, etc.

Right now, I have beta versions of these four components (more a Proof Of Concept needing perl coding to be used, than a real ready-to-use tool, but I'm using it), and I'm working on some kind of graphical interface to make it friendly and accessible enoughg before it's released. (you can have to wait another six months as after having to re-learn perl in the beginning of this project, I now have to learn tk widgets and tkx programming:) ).

bullgod
2008-04-13, 05:31
The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different to the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing the other, and more important problem: usability.

Please, please, please can the issue of which tags, which version of tags etc but put aside for one thread. Can you please consider the users' perspective we don't care if the tag is Band, AlbumArtist or what ever. That is the angels on a pinhead issue. You are missing the mote in your eye:

The fact remains that stated way of working:
-if the album is natural compilation multiple authors and there is album artist it is listed under album artist.

Irrespective of whether this is Band tag, ALBUMARTIST it doesn't matter, because this functionality is still broken!

Such an Album is still found under: Home->Artists->Various Artists
(albeit listed as by the album artist). And it is not listed under Home->Artists->album artist. Where it is wanted.

For example:
My Favourite Band, creates an album called "Debut", all tracks are by "My Favourite Band", the album by "My Favourite Band", but the last track they are joined by "Guest Artist"

Currently album "Debut" is listed as being by "My Favourite Band". But because of the last track this album is found under "Home->Artists->Various Artists" - it's listed as "Debut" by "My Favourite Band" - but it's in the wrong place. If I navigate to "Home->Artists->My Favourite Band" album "Debut" is not there.

This is the real problem, not the internal representation of the band's name.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-13, 08:30
>The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different to
>the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing the
>other, and more important problem: usability.
>
I'm sorry, but I disagree. I believe developers are very conscious of usability, and do a good job of catering for all people. I don't believe there is a big problem with usability. Whilst I sympathise with you about your problem (I'll try to help), it is a different problem to the one discussed in this thread.

>Please, please, please can the issue of which tags, which version of
>tags etc but put aside for one thread.
>
I'm afraid not - it's kind of fundamental. Whilst a user may not want to care about tags, if music doesn't have tags, they can't really hope for songs to appear in the library 100% how they expect. If some tags are set (automatically when you rip them), music may appear reasonably well in a library, but may need some tailoring to be perfect for how *you* want them to appear. This is likely to be the case for your problem.

It's likely that you

>Can you please consider the users' perspective we don't care if the tag is Band, AlbumArtist or what ever.
>
>From a users' perspective, you must appreciate that you need to set something in your tags for it to look correct in your library. If you don't then you shouldn't care if it doesn't work 100% how you want it.

>The fact remains that stated way of working:
>-if the album is natural compilation multiple authors and there is
>album artist it is listed under album artist.
>
I don't quite understand what you mean in that sentence.

The album is deemed to be a compilation album if not all of the artists on all songs are the same, and thus will appear as album artist="Various Artists".

>Irrespective of whether this is Band tag, ALBUMARTIST it doesn't
>matter, because this functionality is still broken!
>
Don't understand what you mean.

>Such an Album is still found under: Home->Artists->Various Artists
>(albeit listed as by the album artist).
If you are looking in Home > Artists > Various Artists, all albums listed in there are by album artist = Various Artists. You won't see any album artists within Various Artists.

>And it is not listed under Home->Artists->album artist. Where it is wanted.
>
Then fix your tags! No other music library software that I have used will interpret this correctly either. In fact, most other software wouldn't let you have multiple artists. You must have tagged that song specifically to have two performing artists, so you must already know something about tagging. If you'd not set the guest artist, the album would have been detected with album artist = "My Favourite Band".

Actually, I suspect that you haven't actually defined two artists on the song, but one artist called something like "My Favourite Band and Guest Artist".

>For example:
>My Favourite Band, creates an album called "Debut", all tracks are by
>"My Favourite Band", the album by "My Favourite Band", but the last
>track they are joined by "Guest Artist"
>
That last track makes the software think that the album is a compilation album, because the last song isn't by the same artists as all of the other songs. That is why you need to set an albumartist tag. The scanner doesn't second-guess how you want that album to appear.

>This is the real problem, not the internal representation of the band's name.
This is your problem, caused by the information in your song tags.

Phil

slimkid
2008-04-13, 11:21
>The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different to
>the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing the
>other, and more important problem: usability.
>
I'm sorry, but I disagree. I believe developers are very conscious of usability, and do a good job of catering for all people. I don't believe there is a big problem with usability. Whilst I sympathise with you about your problem (I'll try to help), it is a different problem to the one discussed in this thread.
...


Hi Philip.

It does indeed look like this thread is becoming too broad to be effective, and that there are a lot of various issues with tagging that concern a customer. I'm deliberately not going to use a term 'average', 'typical' 'advanced' e.t.c., just a customer - person who doesn't need to concern themselves with the internal workings of SC.

However, I'm assuming here that anybody with complex tagging needs would be willing to separate tagging as a step in 'music obtaining process', use dedicated tagging program and do some custom tagging.

While I'm sure that developers do their best to make very usable code, they will do it within the bounds of their musical interests, experiences and musical collections, probably do the testing the same way and slowly drift off. Surely, there are people in SC's customer base who's needs (or wants) are more complex than what the developers could imagine.

So, how about creating some form of case study - a separate thread (best in 'ripping/tagging' forum) that would discuss various tagging scenarios and provide solution(s) to the best approach? Ideally, make it a sticky and set up some rules how to present a scenario and how to suggest a solution. Maybe make somebody powerful enough to go in there from time to time and swipe the noise. If we find some scenario that doesnt' have good solution, then raise a ticket or enhancement request. I wouldn't mind making serious contribution there as I have a library of a couple of thousands meticulously tagged classical tracks and there I have encountered most of the real world scenarios one is likely to hit.


Now, back to the internals of the code. There are two things that are purely developers prospective/error (IMO) here that I could see going through the code:

- scanner. Last time I mentioned that its functionality to recognize changed tracks isn't good enough - does it solely based on file update date vs last scan date. I suggested doing it also based on size, archive attribute or checksum. Well, going through the code, surprise, surprise - there's a comment there that states:

# When rescanning: we need to find files:
#
# * That are new - not in the db
# * That have changed - are in the db, but timestamp or size is different.

A code following it handles timestamp but not size. So they even knew that there was a problem but for some reason choose not to solve it.


- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically, if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs become trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes little sense.


K

Philip Meyer
2008-04-13, 11:43
>- scanner. Last time I mentioned that its functionality to recognize
>changed tracks isn't good enough - does it solely based on file update
>date vs last scan date.
Is that not good enough? If tags or actual song data change, most tools that write the content back will cause the last changed timestamp to be updated.

>- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically,
>if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs become
>trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on
>one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or
>drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that
>might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes
>little sense.
>
I always thought that the "track artist" contributor type was a little strange, or at least that artists performing on a song when there is no album artist should also be called track artists. Not sure why there is a distinction, but I'm guessing it is to do with whether a user wants to show all track artists in the browse by artist list, or to only show album artists.

Phil

bullgod
2008-04-13, 13:07
The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different to
the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing the
other, and more important problem: usability.

I'm sorry, but I disagree. I believe developers are very conscious of usability, and do a good job of catering for all people. I don't believe there is a big problem with usability. Whilst I sympathise with you about your problem (I'll try to help), it is a different problem to the one discussed in this thread.


Perhaps, but is this thread not the continuation of a thread that I began?
Do you want me to start an other thread? As each time I do it get hijacked by discussion of internal representation.
Look I believe there is a major problem of usability.
It has nothing to do with the internal representation of the band or album artist, and every time I try to bring it up, the discussion misses the point, and goes off on the matter of tags.





Please, please, please can the issue of which tags, which version of
tags etc but put aside for one thread.
I'm afraid not - it's kind of fundamental. Whilst a user may not want to care about tags, if music doesn't have tags, they can't really hope for songs to appear in the library 100% how they expect. If some tags are set (automatically when you rip them), music may appear reasonably well in a library, but may need some tailoring to be perfect for how *you* want them to appear. This is likely to be the case for your problem.



OK. I will try to clarify, again. If it turns about to be a problem with my tags I will accept that.
However I strongly, not very strongly believe that tags are not the problem.






Can you please consider the users' perspective we don't care if the tag is Band, AlbumArtist or what ever.

From a users' perspective, you must appreciate that you need to set something in your tags for it to look correct in your library. If you don't then you shouldn't care if it doesn't work 100% how you want it.


Yes, tags should be correct. Garbage in, Garbage out.





The fact remains that stated way of working:
-if the album is natural compilation multiple authors and there is
album artist it is listed under album artist.


I don't quite understand what you mean in that sentence.


I was paraphrasing a previous post where it was stated that:
if not all of the artists on all songs are the same, and thus will appear as album artist.



The album is deemed to be a compilation album if not all of the artists on all songs are the same, and thus will appear as album artist="Various Artists".


I know this is what it currently does.
Where is that specified and what is the mechanism for changing it?
What I'm asking for is for something different
because this is SO broken I don't know where to start, but I'll try.

It's also open to interpretation: then album might appear under Home->Artist->Various Artists,
but there it is listed as being by the Album Artist. And if such an album is listed as by Album Artist,
would not a more sensible place for it to appear be under Home->Artist->Album Artist ?

Snip






Such an Album is still found under: Home->Artists->Various Artists
(albeit listed as by the album artist).

If you are looking in Home -> Artists -> Various Artists, all albums listed in there are by album artist = Various Artists. You won't see any album artists within Various Artists.

Not True. See attached image.






And it is not listed under Home->Artists->album artist. Where it is wanted.



Then fix your tags!
No other music library software that I have used will interpret this correctly either. In fact, most other software wouldn't let you have multiple artists.



iTunes. I'm not talking about multiple artist tags, just multiple artist in one tags. Nonetheless, iTune is still bright enough to list and sort by Album Artist.



You must have tagged that song specifically to have two performing artists, so you must already know something about tagging. If you'd not set the guest artist, the album would have been detected with album artist = "My Favourite Band".


Actually, I suspect that you haven't actually defined two artists on the song, but one artist called something like "My Favourite Band and Guest Artist".


Yes! So? this is perfectly valid.
But here's the problem. Doing so makes the "Album Artist" almost entirely pointless. And makes the album a Compilation. This is broken.





For example:
My Favourite Band, creates an album called "Debut", all tracks are by
"My Favourite Band", the album by "My Favourite Band", but the last
track they are joined by "Guest Artist"

That last track makes the software think that the album is a compilation album, because the last song isn't by the same artists as all of the other songs. That is why you need to set an albumartist tag. The scanner doesn't second-guess how you want that album to appear.


I know! This is broken! It's not a question of second guessing! I have explicitly told the software that this whole album it to be considered as "My
Favourite Band" by setting the Album Artist on all tracks



This is the real problem, not the internal representation of the band's name.
This is your problem, caused by the information in your song tags.
Phil

No. The problem is that SC doesn't cater for the situation where one track
is different without making the whole album a compilation.

If I have 20 Albums by "My Favourite Band", How do I get to see all 20
listed under Home->Artist->My Favourite Band?
If there is one album there is one track list as My Favourite Band and Guest Artist.

The only way to do this is by removing Guest Artist, from this one track.
Is this really what is expected to be done, when a much more sensible solution would be to acknowledge the Album Artist that I've taken pains
to specify in my tags.

Worse still is the effect on my classical collection where, every soloist,
conductor, orchestra has to be removed before the album is listed under the
Home->Artist->composer

smc2911
2008-04-13, 15:41
If I understand correctly, it sounds to me as though bullgod's requirements could be met with the following additional logic:

If every track has TRACKARTIST=Artist X (even if some tracks have multiple TRACKARTIST tags) and ALBUMARTIST is not already set, then set ALBUMARTIST=Artist X.

You'd want to exclude the extreme cases where there is more than one artist that every track is tagged with.

Nonreality
2008-04-13, 17:19
I've been using album artist to keep albums together and artist so that I could see who is on the track. I started with Itunes, then went to Media Monkey and I use mp3tag to correct everything. It was with mp3tag that I discovered that I had to use band to see album artist. I didn't know about mp3 standards, just didn't know that it was my job to find out that my programs didn't use standards correctly. Now after wondering why some of my albums end up as Various Artists and trying to fix, I find out that one different track artist will make that happen no matter what you have in album artist.

Someone earlier had said: As stated earlier, give as clear set of rules and I'll adjust. No problem - SC is my most important application and I'll adjust mu use of tags to it. Just don't make me change it again and again and force me to numerous recans just to try to figure out how it works using try and miss method.

This would have been nice and maybe it's there somewhere, but I can only read and search so much. I think an option to have squeezebox scan differently would be a good thing. I don't use Itunes anymore so I don't use that switch but I think a lot of people organize by Album Artist so they can keep the artist tag accurate to the song.

Anyway I'll adapt, but just need to know how to adapt the right way.

Nonreality
2008-04-13, 17:22
Hey I just became a member instead of a junior member! Pops cork!
OK I'll leave now. :)

slimkid
2008-04-13, 18:41
>- scanner. Last time I mentioned that its functionality to recognize
>changed tracks isn't good enough - does it solely based on file update
>date vs last scan date.
Is that not good enough? If tags or actual song data change, most tools that write the content back will cause the last changed timestamp to be updated.


No it isn't good enough. Quite contrary. The most advertised tagging program here, mp3tag, allows not to change a file update date (preserves it, to be exact) when changing tags. Purpose of this would be that, when using New Music option (one very useful and well though of feature), album doesn't get to be included just because I changed a tag; New Music playlist remains filled in chronological order of ripping and adding to library.

Even file size wouldn't cut it as it looks (at least in flac) that some tagging space is already allocated, so that file size isn't going to change with updating tags.


>- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically,
>if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs become
>trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on
>one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or
>drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that
>might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes
>little sense.
>
I always thought that the "track artist" contributor type was a little strange, or at least that artists performing on a song when there is no album artist should also be called track artists. Not sure why there is a distinction, but I'm guessing it is to do with whether a user wants to show all track artists in the browse by artist list, or to only show album artists.

Phil

It works fine for not showing artists in the artist list if that is their only performance. However, it also doesn't allow you to go (following artist link, drilling down by tag) to other albums of that artist if there are any. For example (I'm repeating myself, but this was obviously missed before, and it clearly shows that the concept is incomplete):

Album 'Genius Loves Company' by Ray Charles. Every track is performed as duet with some other (fairly known artist). So, there is a track with Diana Krall.
Now, I tagged it with Ray Charles as ALBUMARTIST for every track (the whole album) and ARTIST on each track being the other performer. During the scan, those artists are converted (assigned role) to trackartist (that is not a tag per se, but a role and a literal in browser and in SB menu). Album will be listed by Ray Charles (fine), maybe under various artists too (fine), and none of the artists won't show in browse by artist listing (that's also fine). However, I have a couple more albums where Diana Krall is the artist (the only one, so albums are listed by Diana Krall). Problem is that Diana Krall from Ray Charles' album doesn't see her other albums if I browse by tag artist (trackartist, that is) while listening to that track. Interestingly enough, if I had another album where Diana is also a guest artist, those two albums would see each other (and still none of big albums by Diana).

Now, there is solution to this problem, but not suggested on this site and not suggested in user documentation. I got to it analyzing the code, so it doesn't qualify as targeted to the end user.

K

JJZolx
2008-04-13, 18:54
No it isn't good enough. Quite contrary. The most advertised tagging program here, mp3tag, allows not to change a file update date (preserves it, to be exact) when changing tags. Purpose of this would be that, when using New Music option (one very useful and well though of feature), album doesn't get to be included just because I changed a tag; New Music playlist remains filled in chronological order of ripping and adding to library.

Even file size wouldn't cut it as it looks (at least in flac) that some tagging space is already allocated, so that file size isn't going to change with updating tags.

No way that's going to happen. There's no way to do it without examining the tags in every file. Who wants a scan for new music to take as long as a full scan, which is what would happen if every file is examined in detail? Just do a clear/rescan if you're in the habit of changing files without updating their mtime. If SqueezeCenter ever gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a split second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to do a full scan without first clearing the database.

JJZolx
2008-04-13, 19:04
>- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically,
>if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs become
>trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on
>one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or
>drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that
>might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes
>little sense.

I always thought that the "track artist" contributor type was a little strange, or at least that artists performing on a song when there is no album artist should also be called track artists. Not sure why there is a distinction, but I'm guessing it is to do with whether a user wants to show all track artists in the browse by artist list, or to only show album artists.

Strange. Inconsistent. Unnecessary. Take your pick.

pfarrell
2008-04-13, 19:10
JJZolx wrote:
> If SqueezeCenter ever
> gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a split
> second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to do
> a full scan without first clearing the database.

Clearing the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
folks to accept that.

The database should be the repository of data, some from the tags, some
from other sources.

There is no possible way to handle the rich data needs of a complex
library, especially for genres other than pop/rock/country with tags.

All of these many discussions/threads and confusion will go away when we
just stop thinking that the tags are the only source of data.

Its a relational database. It can do nearly anything. There is no hope
for a hierarchical tag based solution to do what we really need.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

pfarrell
2008-04-13, 19:23
Sorry, typo alert

Pat Farrell wrote:
> JJZolx wrote:
>> If SqueezeCenter ever
>> gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a split
>> second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to do
>> a full scan without first clearing the database.
>
> Clearly the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
^^
Should have been

> Clearing the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
> folks to accept that.
>
> The database should be the repository of data, some from the tags, some
> from other sources.
>
> There is no possible way to handle the rich data needs of a complex
> library, especially for genres other than pop/rock/country with tags.
>
> All of these many discussions/threads and confusion will go away when we
> just stop thinking that the tags are the only source of data.
>
> Its a relational database. It can do nearly anything. There is no hope
> for a hierarchical tag based solution to do what we really need.


The database should not be reset glibly. Its a data source. It needs to
contain data that is not in the tags.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

snarlydwarf
2008-04-13, 19:27
A code following it handles timestamp but not size. So they even knew that there was a problem but for some reason choose not to solve it.


Most likely removed to speed up rescans and because it isn't as useful as you would think.

Most taggers pad. This is true not only of mp3 tags but also flac: "By default metaflac tries to use padding where possible to avoid rewriting the entire file if the metadata size changes. Use this option to tell metaflac to not take advantage of padding this way."

So it is very possible to change tags and not have the filesize change. In fact, in many if not most cases (unless you write a ton of tags, such as with Picard and all the MB tags), the file size won't change due to padding.

JJZolx
2008-04-13, 21:24
JJZolx wrote:
> If SqueezeCenter ever
> gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a split
> second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to do
> a full scan without first clearing the database.

[quote]Clearing the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
folks to accept that.

No. There's nothing in the database right now that can't be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch with a library scan. At some point in the future maybe this will not be the case - such as for ratings. But even with ratings, developers are (wisely) devising schemes that will survive a complete wipe of the database.

As to whether it's unnecessary... there are unfortunately still situations that require it. Artwork problems immediately come to mind. We still even have SD support telling people to uninstall, delete everything, and reinstall, to fix some problems.


The database should be the repository of data, some from the tags, some from other sources.

That might be nice. Like the plugin someone did to let you enter and manage sort strings for contributors that lives in a database outside of the tags. No need then for things like ALBUMARTISTSORT, COMPOSERSORT, BANDSORT.

But when that day comes I'd imaging 'clearing' the database would then just selectively clear it. Keep the data in the ratings table, for instance, but delete all tracks and albums.


There is no possible way to handle the rich data needs of a complex
library, especially for genres other than pop/rock/country with tags.

All of these many discussions/threads and confusion will go away when we
just stop thinking that the tags are the only source of data.

Its a relational database. It can do nearly anything. There is no hope
for a hierarchical tag based solution to do what we really need.

Perhaps. I certainly don't see any movement in the software, though, toward this end.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 00:40
>No it isn't good enough. Quite contrary. The most advertised tagging
>program here, mp3tag, allows not to change a file update date
>(preserves it, to be exact)
I predominantly use mp3tag, which is configured to update the timestamp.

You should untick Mp3Tag Options > Tags > Preserve file modification Time when saving tags.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 00:59
>It works fine for not showing artists in the artist list if that is
>their only performance. However, it also doesn't allow you to go
>(following artist link, drilling down by tag) to other albums of that
>artist if there are any.

You're right. That seems undesirable to me - it only shows other albums that the track artist has performed as a track artist. It should display the same list as navigating to that artist.

I had a look at the link, (eg. http://localhost:9000/Default/browsedb.html?hierarchy=contributor,album,track&level=1&contributor.id=703&contributor.role=TRACKARTIST&player=00%3A04%3A20%3A06%3A38%3A3c) I can see contributor.role=TRACKARTIST.

Similarly, the album artist link has (contributor.role=ALBUMARTIST) in the link.

If you remove that part of the link (eg. so it becomes http://localhost:9000/Default/browsedb.html?hierarchy=contributor,album,track&level=1&contributor.id=703&player=00%3A04%3A20%3A06%3A38%3A3c), then you'll see all albums that the artist has performed on (whether as an album artist, band, track artist, composer, etc).

I see no reason for filtering the link to a specific contributor role. I think that's a bug.

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 01:02
>Perhaps, but is this thread not the continuation of a thread that I
>began?
I'm sorry, I never saw the original thread. This one was pointed out to me from a bug that was hijacked. I don't read much in the discuss mailing list, because it's full of unnecessary chaff.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 01:04
>iTunes. I'm not talking about multiple artist tags, just multiple
>artist in one tags. Nonetheless, iTune is still bright enough to list
>and sort by Album Artist.

No it's not. It displays as Band. And it's far from intelligent. Quite awful in fact.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 01:12
>If I understand correctly, it sounds to me as though bullgod's
>requirements could be met with the following additional logic:
>
>If every track has TRACKARTIST=Artist X (even if some tracks have
>multiple TRACKARTIST tags) and ALBUMARTIST is not already set, then set
>ALBUMARTIST=Artist X.
>
No, what he's asking for is not possible, because he has used a single artist name, not multiple artists. It works in iTunes because they have used the frig of using Band to mean album artist, and he's got a single string literal in the band tag for each song (which may contain several artist names in the one band name).

The scanner would have to cope with looking for sub-string matches in the artist tags. It would then have to decide that as a substring of each artist string matches for every song, set the album artist to that substring. It would also have to guess when that sub-string is not actually an artist, etc. Eg. an album with songs by "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones", should not be known as album artist = "The ".

There is no problem to solve in this example. The tags aren't set right.

Phil

bullgod
2008-04-14, 03:52
If I understand correctly, it sounds to me as though bullgod's requirements could be met with the following additional logic:

If every track has TRACKARTIST=Artist X (even if some tracks have multiple TRACKARTIST tags) and ALBUMARTIST is not already set, then set ALBUMARTIST=Artist X.

You'd want to exclude the extreme cases where there is more than one artist that every track is tagged with.

No. I don't think it will. Because I have ALBUM ARTIST set, and that's what I want SC to key on.

Most of my desired functionality will be achieved by turning off, or overriding, the logic that says:
"Albums with tracks where artists aren't all the same, implies an compilation".

You're trying to second guess, where there is no need.
I've said where I want this album to appear by either setting Album Artist or Compilation explicitly.

The logic I want is:
"if there is a consistent Album Artist => not a compilation"
and this overrides the current rule "multiple artists => Compilation".

I've hacked the code to remove the "multiple artists => Compilation"
and it worked fine (for me) - where there is a album artist, it gets listed there.
When I've said it's a compilation it's under Various Artists.

The only down side is that every track artist gets displayed in the Artist List which others might dislike.

So probably what's really needed is Home->Album Artist listing, but that's another story.

bullgod
2008-04-14, 04:17
>iTunes. I'm not talking about multiple artist tags, just multiple
>artist in one tags. Nonetheless, iTune is still bright enough to list
>and sort by Album Artist.

No it's not. It displays as Band. And it's far from intelligent. Quite awful in fact.

Not true. It displays as "Album by Artist", what the internal representation of this is I don't care.

bullgod
2008-04-14, 04:34
>If I understand correctly, it sounds to me as though bullgod's
>requirements could be met with the following additional logic:
>
>If every track has TRACKARTIST=Artist X (even if some tracks have
>multiple TRACKARTIST tags) and ALBUMARTIST is not already set, then set
>ALBUMARTIST=Artist X.
>
No, what he's asking for is not possible, because he has used a single artist name, not multiple artists. It works in iTunes because they have used the frig of using Band to mean album artist, and he's got a single string literal in the band tag for each song (which may contain several artist names in the one band name).

The scanner would have to cope with looking for sub-string matches in the artist tags. It would then have to decide that as a substring of each artist string matches for every song, set the album artist to that substring. It would also have to guess when that sub-string is not actually an artist, etc. Eg. an album with songs by "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones", should not be known as album artist = "The ".

There is no problem to solve in this example. The tags aren't set right.

Phil

No, it wouldn't. It's already worked who the Album is by.

For example in my previous post, the image shows an Album by Frank Sinatra list under "Home->Artist->Various Artist"
there is nothing stopping this Album being listed under "HOME->Artist->Frank Sinatra".

The scanner does not need to go through the sub string album tags, to find the Album artist. It can use the one explicitly given in the tags.

The scanner is demonstrably already determining the correct Album Artist, it's just I question of listing it in the appropriate place.

Your example is inappropriate, in that case there is unlikely be an explicit Album Artist, in which case SC can fall back on "Various Artists".

pfarrell
2008-04-14, 06:03
[QUOTE=pfarrell;291088]JJZolx wrote:
No. There's nothing in the database right now that can't be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch with a library scan.


You are correct that the current implementation relies on destroying the database with every scan.

This does not mean its a good idea. Its just the current idea.

To support the proper handling of complex data structures requires a change in the philosophy of the database. It requires that the database not be treated glibly as ephemeral, but rather its the source of all knowledge, some comes from the tags, some from other sources.

I proposed how to do this back in the 5.4 time frame, but the others did not see the need.

I believe that the need was there then, and is there now.

Technically its not a major code change, but it takes a different mind set.

slimkid
2008-04-14, 08:22
[QUOTE=Philip Meyer;291154...You should untick Mp3Tag Options > Tags > Preserve file modification Time when saving tags.[/QUOTE]

Well, I know that. But I want to be able to use it as it serves good purpose.

@snarly & jjZolx too. I know that about the allocated tag space also. Point of my post is, there are ways to recognize that the file has changed and re-scan it beyond checking the change date. No need to check all tags either (ZZolx). And the current solution is only half baked. As I said, check how it's done in incremental backup programs.

K

slimkid
2008-04-14, 08:34
No. I don't think it will. Because I have ALBUM ARTIST set, and that's what I want SC to key on.

Most of my desired functionality will be achieved by turning off, or overriding, the logic that says:
"Albums with tracks where artists aren't all the same, implies an compilation".

You're trying to second guess, where there is no need.
I've said where I want this album to appear by either setting Album Artist or Compilation explicitly.

The logic I want is:
"if there is a consistent Album Artist => not a compilation"
and this overrides the current rule "multiple artists => Compilation".

I've hacked the code to remove the "multiple artists => Compilation"
and it worked fine (for me) - where there is a album artist, it gets listed there.
When I've said it's a compilation it's under Various Artists.

The only down side is that every track artist gets displayed in the Artist List which others might dislike.

So probably what's really needed is Home->Album Artist listing, but that's another story.

In order to achieve what you want, just set COMPILATION tag to 0 for every track that contains the artist you DO wish to show on the artist list.

I don't like this solution because it is undocumented and it is internal and can change with the next change to scaner code. But still cleaner than changing a code itself.

K

snarlydwarf
2008-04-14, 09:01
@snarly & jjZolx too. I know that about the allocated tag space also. Point of my post is, there are ways to recognize that the file has changed and re-scan it beyond checking the change date. No need to check all tags either (ZZolx). And the current solution is only half baked. As I said, check how it's done in incremental backup programs.


That depends on the program. It can be last-modified-time, size, md4 or some other hash.

Computing md4 on every file would be rather time consuming for a fast scan: it should not be the default.

pfarrell
2008-04-14, 09:09
snarlydwarf wrote:
> That depends on the program. It can be last-modified-time, size, md4
> or some other hash.

MD4 is way obsolete. Use at least a SHA1.



> Computing md4 on every file would be rather time consuming for a fast
> scan: it should not be the default.

I agree it has to be a user control option. But for some folks who care
about the database, you have to be able to control, and tell if the song
has changed.

There is another philosophical question: do you SHA the whole file or
just the music parts?


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

slimkid
2008-04-14, 09:18
snarlydwarf wrote:
> That depends on the program. It can be last-modified-time, size, md4
> or some other hash.

MD4 is way obsolete. Use at least a SHA1.



> Computing md4 on every file would be rather time consuming for a fast
> scan: it should not be the default.

I agree it has to be a user control option. But for some folks who care
about the database, you have to be able to control, and tell if the song
has changed.

There is another philosophical question: do you SHA the whole file or
just the music parts?


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

I don't know if checksum would be viable option here since it would be faster to do a full clean rescan. However, there are other ways. If I was to design to solution I'd make it user cofigurable: tick whether you want it checked by date, or/and by size and/or by archive attribute and do you want to reset the attribute afterwards and/or buy checksum (but that's going to cost you some time). BTW, mp3tag sets the archive attribute after change to the file has beeen made. I mean, no need to rediscover hot water - those things have been resolved. Just implement them right.

K

bullgod
2008-04-14, 09:43
In order to achieve what you want, just set COMPILATION tag to 0 for every track that contains the artist you DO wish to show on the artist list.

I don't like this solution because it is undocumented and it is internal and can change with the next change to scaner code. But still cleaner than changing a code itself.

K

You, too, have missed the point.

The point is not that artist fail to appear in the Artist list.
The point is to get albums with tracks from different artists to appear under
Home->Artist->Album Artist.

I already have Compilation = 0 on all these tracks.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-14, 09:46
MD4 is way obsolete. Use at least a SHA1.


I didn't say that is what I would use. I said that is what programs use in order to do incremental backups when they cannot rely on filesize or modification time. Specifically, rsync uses md4: whether you believe SHA1 is better or not does not change the fact that rsync does incremental backups quite nicely and uses md4 to determine if files are changed.



The recipient splits its copy of the file into fixed-size non-overlapping chunks, of size S, and computes two checksums for each chunk: the MD4 hash, and a weaker 'rolling checksum'. It sends these checksums to the sender.



I agree it has to be a user control option. But for some folks who care
about the database, you have to be able to control, and tell if the song
has changed.

There is another philosophical question: do you SHA the whole file or
just the music parts?

You should include the tags otherwise we are back where we started. ("How come when I use XYZTagger, the changes aren't picked up?").

Therfore you must check the entire file.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-14, 09:52
You, too, have missed the point.

The point is not that artist fail to appear in the Artist list.
The point is to get albums with tracks from different artists to appear under
Home->Artist->Album Artist.

I already have Compilation = 0 on all these tracks.

Then you don't have the album artist set. Perhaps you mean "I set what iTunes/Winamp/whatever calls Album Artist, but is really the id3 tag called 'TPE2', and I would like SC to be able to treat TPE2 as Album Artist because I don't want to use another tagger to correct this."

Again, there is a ton of confusion here when people refer to 'Album Artist': it is -not- (at present anyway) the same as what Winamp or iTunes uses. Setting it in those programs does not mean SC is using it as such.

It -does- work if you set the FLAC tag "ALBUMARTIST" or TXXX ALBUMARTIST or TXXX MusicBrainz Album Artist...

But we keep going around in circles when you say "I am setting album artist" when really you are not (at least according to id3 specs and SC).

slimkid
2008-04-14, 10:28
You, too, have missed the point.

The point is not that artist fail to appear in the Artist list.
The point is to get albums with tracks from different artists to appear under
Home->Artist->Album Artist.

I already have Compilation = 0 on all these tracks.

But they should. Are you sure you are using ALBUMARTIST tag and not BAND tag? Can you check in some specialised software like mp3tag?

K

grommet
2008-04-14, 10:56
FYI, to possibly add to the confusion.

Mp3tag, a leading tagging tool, maps what is calls "BAND" to MP3 IDv2.3 TPE2. This is fairly normal. But... It also directly maps it's "BAND" variable to WM/AlbumArtist for WMA content, and to the aART atom for M4A content. (These two are "real" Album Artist tags.)

So, at least for 3 media formats with non-'free-form' tagging (MP3, WMA & M4A)... in Mp3tag, what it calls BAND is really Album Artist based on the cross-mapping.

Anyway, like it or not, TPE2 is a popular de facto standard for Album Artist for MP3. iTunes, WinAmp, Mp3Tag, MediaMonkey, Sonos, Rockbox, Explorer shell, WMP 10/11, etc. It's a shame ID3v2 was half-baked at design, but we're stuck with it.

Slim should offer a simple setting to treat TPE2 MP3 as Album Artist as much as WMA WM/AlbumArtist and M4A aART.

bullgod
2008-04-14, 10:56
But they should. Are you sure you are using ALBUMARTIST tag and not BAND tag? Can you check in some specialised software like mp3tag?

K

If you look at the picture I posted on page 10 of this thread you will
see that irrespective of whatever or wherever the internal representation
of the Album Artist is stored SC is reading it and displaying it.

So why can't I navigate by it?

Look it might be Band it might be something else. I might be persuaded to use some other tool, but Mrs bullgod won't be, neither will 99.9% of the world.

The tags are good enough this is proved by SC already knows that "20 Golden Greats" is by "Frank Sinatra"
whether this is by band or artist tag doesn't matter, because whichever it is, SC has read it, and is already using that tag.

To say that I have to know to navigate to "Various Artists" in order to play this album, just because Shirley MacLaine sang on one track, is utter madness.

And that's all that requires going: (optionally) removing the test that makes this album a compilation, would fix my world.

slimkid
2008-04-14, 11:34
...Look it might be Band it might be something else. I might be persuaded to use some other tool, but Mrs bullgod won't be, neither will 99.9% of the world.

...

Look, that has been beaten up in this thread already. It is now in SD hands to do something about it. Will they - I don't know.

The question is, whether you are going to do something about it for yourself, or you intend to sit there and cry with 99.9% of the world. If former, I'm offering you a solution. If not, well ...

And as far as Mrs bullgod is concerned (respect), something tells me that she might be even happier if you took tagging fine tuning completely out of her hands and did it for her.

K

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 12:21
>Not true. It displays as "Album by Artist", what the internal
>representation of this is I don't care.
>
That image is a picture of iTunes - what relevance has that to the content of your SqueezeCenter library?

Out of curiosity, what version of iTunes do you use? I have v7.6.2.9 which allows the user to show "Artist", "Album Artist" and/or "Sort Album Artist". I can't see an "Album by Artist" column like yours. Either way, whenever you see "album artist" in iTunes, for mp3 files it's actually the Band tag that it is stored in, due to it mis-using that tag.

Album Artist is the column title that you can see in the grid, and it groups songs in the list by that when in "album view" display mode, but that's about all that iTunes will do with it. eg. if you set an album artist, it won't appear in the artist filter. Only the content of artists appears in the list, and you get all artists even if they only appear on one song in a compilation.

So in iTunes if you have an album with songs by different artists, and set it as not a compilation album and set an "album artist" (really this is band), then that band will not appear in the list of artists.

SqueezeCenter is much more intelligent and conformant to standards. I dare say that something will be changed to allow it to work in a non-standard way to make it act like iTunes.

grommet
2008-04-14, 12:54
Out of curiosity, what version of iTunes do you use? I have v7.6.2.9 which allows the user to show "Artist", "Album Artist" and/or "Sort Album Artist". I can't see an "Album by Artist" column like yours.Album by Artist is a sort view. Click on the Album column header and it'll swap between "Album", "Album by Artist" & "Album By Year" as you click.


Album Artist is the column title that you can see in the grid, and it groups songs in the list by that when in "album view" display mode, but that's about all that iTunes will do with it. eg. if you set an album artist, it won't appear in the artist filter. Only the content of artists appears in the list, and you get all artists even if they only appear on one song in a compilation.

So in iTunes if you have an album with songs by different artists, and set it as not a compilation album and set an "album artist" (really this is band), then that band will not appear in the list of artists.Regrettably, Album Artist is barely used in the UI. It's completely ignored in the retro Quick View, too. The Cover Flow view, however, depends on it.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 14:54
>I don't know if checksum would be viable option here since it would be
>faster to do a full clean rescan. However, there are other ways. If I
>was to design to solution I'd make it user cofigurable: tick whether
>you want it checked by date, or/and by size and/or by archive attribute
>and do you want to reset the attribute afterwards and/or buy checksum
>(but that's going to cost you some time). BTW, mp3tag sets the archive
>attribute after change to the file has beeen made. I mean, no need to
>rediscover hot water - those things have been resolved. Just implement
>them right.
>
Yes, you could calculate a checksum, read it from the database, and if different read the file content again. Pretty pointless - a full rescan would be faster!

Yes, you could check archive bits, and providing you are on windows, and you have a tagger tool that sets it, that would work. It's not cross platform, and if you rip a new CD and don't need to check tags, you'll also need a ripper that sets the archive bit correctly. If you do backups that mess with the archive bit, that will also affect your next rescan.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 15:06
>Album by Artist is a sort view. Click on the Album column header and
>it'll swap between Album, Album by Artist & Album By Fear as you
>click.
>
Ah, thanks! It's another dodgy iTunes hack. It's only possible to sort by clicking on one column header, so when you want to sort by artist and then by album, you click on the album column twice to filter by album artist and then by album. It's not possible to sort descending.

Sorting by Album By Fear sounds interesting. Does it put the scariest albums at the top or bottom :-)

Phil

pfarrell
2008-04-14, 15:10
Phil Meyer wrote:
>> I don't know if checksum would be viable option here since it would
>> be faster to do a full clean rescan.

> Yes, you could calculate a checksum, read it from the database, and
> if different read the file content again. Pretty pointless - a full
> rescan would be faster!

Its not about the speed, or just about the speed.

The concept of 'just do a rescan' is very limiting.
To move past it, you have to consider other data sources than the tags.

> Yes, you could check archive bits, and providing you are on windows,
> and you have a tagger tool that sets it, that would work. It's not
> cross platform

And its not really robust. It will get the naive users in trouble, which
is exactly what you don't want to do with something as important and
complex as proper library management.

Pat

grommet
2008-04-14, 15:20
Sorting by Album By Fear sounds interesting. Does it put the scariest albums at the top or bottom :-)Yeah, I fixed that. :) Though that might be handy in a future release... ;-)

It's not possible to sort descending.Get ready for this one: You click on the little arrow at the end of column header to switch between ascend and descend.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-14, 16:05
>Get ready for this one: You click on the little arrow at the end of
>column header to switch between ascend and descend.
How about that, you learn something new each day.

Nonreality
2008-04-14, 17:04
>

>Please, please, please can the issue of which tags, which version of
>tags etc but put aside for one thread.
>
I'm afraid not - it's kind of fundamental. Whilst a user may not want to care about tags, if music doesn't have tags, they can't really hope for songs to appear in the library 100% how they expect. If some tags are set (automatically when you rip them), music may appear reasonably well in a library, but may need some tailoring to be perfect for how *you* want them to appear. This is likely to be the case for your problem.

It's likely that you

>Can you please consider the users' perspective we don't care if the tag is Band, AlbumArtist or what ever.
>
>From a users' perspective, you must appreciate that you need to set something in your tags for it to look correct in your library. If you don't then you shouldn't care if it doesn't work 100% how you want it.

>The fact remains that stated way of working:
>-if the album is natural compilation multiple authors and there is
>album artist it is listed under album artist.
>
I don't quite understand what you mean in that sentence.

The album is deemed to be a compilation album if not all of the artists on all songs are the same, and thus will appear as album artist="Various Artists".

>Irrespective of whether this is Band tag, ALBUMARTIST it doesn't
>matter, because this functionality is still broken!
>
Don't understand what you mean.

>Such an Album is still found under: Home->Artists->Various Artists
>(albeit listed as by the album artist).
If you are looking in Home > Artists > Various Artists, all albums listed in there are by album artist = Various Artists. You won't see any album artists within Various Artists.

>And it is not listed under Home->Artists->album artist. Where it is wanted.
>
Then fix your tags! No other music library software that I have used will interpret this correctly either. In fact, most other software wouldn't let you have multiple artists. You must have tagged that song specifically to have two performing artists, so you must already know something about tagging. If you'd not set the guest artist, the album would have been detected with album artist = "My Favourite Band".

Actually, I suspect that you haven't actually defined two artists on the song, but one artist called something like "My Favourite Band and Guest Artist".

>For example:
>My Favourite Band, creates an album called "Debut", all tracks are by
>"My Favourite Band", the album by "My Favourite Band", but the last
>track they are joined by "Guest Artist"
>
That last track makes the software think that the album is a compilation album, because the last song isn't by the same artists as all of the other songs. That is why you need to set an albumartist tag. The scanner doesn't second-guess how you want that album to appear.

>This is the real problem, not the internal representation of the band's name.
This is your problem, caused by the information in your song tags.

Phil

Mine work the same as his does. I always us albumartist and I leave the artist as the actual performer. I like this because in most programs this will show who is actually performing in the now playing list. But in Squeeze db a few of them or put in the Various Artist section because of one or two guest artists. There is no compilation tag set and the Albumartist is not set as Various Artist but as the Performer who's album it is. I do actually tag albums that are all various artists as Various Artist in the albumartist tag, but with others it makes no sense to call the artist Various Artist because of a song or two by a guest. I'd like to have the album grouped with the main artists albums. I'm not losing my mind over this but I'm telling you it's not a problem with my tags but with the way the Squeeze server deals with it. I think the presence of an album artist tag should override the compilation setup they now have. If there isn't a albumartist tag use the current method , if there is use the tag. Oh and I'm really not sure how you can tell someone it's automatically their fault when you haven't seen their tags. Also many other programs allow you to have multiple artists as in an artist and album artist. I have Mediamonkey automatically move and keep all my music by album artist. Db poweramp rips to my collection by album artist and in all my players the artist tag shows who is performing in any givin song. It just makes sense to organize this way, it keeps your albums in the right folder and shows the current performer on playback. But I also know it's very confusing as to standards and individual programs interpretations. I'm not losing my mind over this, but it would be nice to have it all laid out so a person can try to adapt if possible.

Nonreality
2008-04-15, 00:25
>Not true. It displays as "Album by Artist", what

SqueezeCenter is much more intelligent and conformant to standards. I dare say that something will be changed to allow it to work in a non-standard way to make it act like iTunes.

I'm not sure how intelligent it is to have 10 songs by one artist and one by another and decide to put it as Various Artists. If it's intelligent it sure isn't common sense.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-15, 00:30
>I'm not losing my mind over this but I'm telling you
>it's not a problem with my tags but with the way the Squeeze server
>deals with it.
Oh no, not another one...

I bet you it is your tags, and you haven't read the numerous posts in this thread about the differences of album artist and band.

>I think the presence of an album artist tag should
>override the compilation setup they now have.
>
It does.

>Oh and I'm really not sure how you can tell someone it's automatically
>their fault when you haven't seen their tags.
Because its obvious that they are using band, not album artist.

>Also many other programs
>allow you to have multiple artists as in an artist and album artist.
>
Some understand delimiters in artist tags, such as "Robert Fripp;Brian Eno", so that they read that as being two artists. I believe Media Monkey does that. They don't generally allow multiple artist tags to be set.

Although many tagging applications report "album artist", this is usually storing in the band tag. A quick google suggests that this is the case with Media Monkey, so suprise suprise you haven't got album artist tags at all, and SqueezeCenter reads your songs as having a band. You can confirm this by browsing to a song, and seeing if it reports an album artist or a band contributor in the song information panel.

>Mediamonkey automatically move and keep all my music by album artist. Db poweramp rips to my collection by album artist
>
Actually they are ripping into the band tag...

A quick google for "dbPowerAmp album artist band" found a hit:

"I can confirm that dBpoweramp uses the BAND tag for album artist information when ripping to mp3 (and uses ALBUM ARTIST for Ogg as stated previously)."

>It just makes sense to organize this way, it keeps your albums in the right
>folder and shows the current performer on playback.
>
Yes, it makes perfect sense to organise music to have album artist tags, and SqueezeCenter is working exactly as it was intended. There's just confusion over "album artist" for mp3 tracks due to a lack of a standard tag for storing it in id3v2.3 tags. Quite a lot of applications use Band, and report it as album artist, which just makes things very confusing for novices that want to use their music across different applications.

>I'm not losing my mind over this, but it would be nice
>to have it all laid out so a person can try to adapt if possible.
>
I think as a minimum, the content of this thread should be summised and fed back into some official documentation. There should also be a new option to allow SqueezeCenter to interpret ID3 TPE2 (Band) as Album Artist, for compatibility with other non-standard apps.

This has been said many times now...

Phil

bullgod
2008-04-15, 07:55
Look, that has been beaten up in this thread already. It is now in SD hands to do something about it. Will they - I don't know.

With all the speed of addressing "List by Band" confusion? I won't hold my breathe.


The question is, whether you are going to do something about it for yourself, or you intend to sit there and cry with 99.9% of the world. If former, I'm offering you a solution. If not, well ...

Well I have a hack that's a solution that works for me.
You offered me a solution to a different problem, and you're surprised I declined it. I wonder if you ever really understood the problem?



And as far as Mrs bullgod is concerned (respect), something tells me that she might be even happier if you took tagging fine tuning completely out of her hands and did it for her.
K
No, surprisingly, she expects to rip a cd using iTunes, and it appear in on Slimserver in what she believes to be Album Artist, and as justification she might point to Slimserver's ticked "I use iTunes" option.


>I'm not losing my mind over this but I'm telling you
>it's not a problem with my tags but with the way the Squeeze server
>deals with it.
Oh no, not another one...


Yes another one, and I suspect one of many who find your "but you're not doing it properly" argument unsatisfying.



Yes, it makes perfect sense to organise music to have album artist tags, and SqueezeCenter is working exactly as it was intended


Yes, but when "as intended" is does not coincide with the users' expectations it's not a defence. Especially when the only documentation I find for what "as intended" means http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?VariousArtistsLogic is sketchy and is incomplete. Hiding behind such a defence usually relies on a bigger fig leaf.

This has been dragging on for so long now, and shows little sign of resolution. Bug 4624, for example was opened in end 2006, this is why I don't share slimkid's optimism.

Perhaps what is required is a little bit more pragmatic understanding of how user actually uses the product and I little less blind standard conformance.

If this does show any sign of being addressed, I'll be happy to do beta testing, you you where I am.

Until then I'll live with my own hack. If anyone is interested, you can contact me, it's simple enough to replicate and appears to give a much better browsing experience with a straight forward iTunes/SC setup, listing multiple artist albums under Itunes's "Album Artist", and doesn't appear to have broken anything else, but YMMV.

Thank you to those that have shown understanding.

slimkid
2008-04-15, 09:00
...You offered me a solution to a different problem, and you're surprised I declined it. I wonder if you ever really understood the problem? ...

Nice, flashy sentence. Care to elaborate? With arguments, perhaps? Show that you understood the solution I offered?

K

bullgod
2008-04-15, 10:42
Nice, flashy sentence. Care to elaborate? With arguments, perhaps? Show that you understood the solution I offered?

K

Because your solution is already in place
(viz. all tracks in the the album in question have Compilation = 0)
and this does not have the desired effect.

If this isn't your solution, or I have misunderstood it in some way then I apologise unreservedly.

slimkid
2008-04-15, 12:52
Because your solution is already in place
(viz. all tracks in the the album in question have Compilation = 0)
and this does not have the desired effect.

If this isn't your solution, or I have misunderstood it in some way then I apologise unreservedly.

It doesn't have an effect because it is only half of the solution. The other half, which you might missed, is that you have to have tag ALBUMARTIST explicitly set. You think you do, but you don't. What you do have is tag BAND that you see in iTunes or Winamp as 'Album Artist'. We have already established that SC scanner doesn't convert more universally accepted BAND to ALBUMARTIST internaly. We also established that it would make sense and it would be nice to make it do it, since 99.9 % of the world rightfuly expects to see their iTunes/Winamp 'Album Artist' behave the same in SC. :)

Now, as said earlier, I'm not holding my breath waiting for SD to do something about it (contrary to the fact you believe I'm an optimist), so I'm working on my solution (just like you). I also don't use iTunes and I always review tags in newly ripped tracks. So, my solution is to use mp3tag and add ALBUMARTIST where I think it makes sense. That approach actually has some benefits, since it frees tag BAND to be used for other purposes, like Band or Orchestra, and that helps very much for complex tagging.

If you think you problem is complex - think for example Opera Gala. There is an orchestra, conductor, composers, let's say four singers who might sing solo, duets, tercets, or quartet on some tracks. Not all tracks have composers, one might not care for all composers or performers (don't want to see them in artist listings, but still want to be able to search for them and to be able to drill down on their names) ... you get the idea. Took me a year to figure out how to go about stuff like that, and there are still ways to go.

My grudge with SD is that most of those things are not documented, or even worse, the existing docs are poor and missleading. For example, I only learned about ALBUMARTIST internal tag and its importance in prior discussion with Snarly. Now, I'm even afraid they will change things to meet BAND with ALBUMARTIST and break what I already have (pesimist, you see):)

regards,

K

Philip Meyer
2008-04-15, 13:12
>So, my solution is to
>use mp3tag and add ALBUMARTIST where I think it makes sense. That
>approach actually has some benefits, since it frees tag BAND to be used
>for other purposes, like Band or Orchestra, and that helps very much for
>complex tagging.
Exactly. That is the correct solution - tag things properly. It doesn't take long to open your whole music collection in mp3tag, and make it copy the content of TPE2 (BAND) into TXXX ALBUMARTIST. Rescan SqueezeCenter.

Problem solved. No frigs, no hacking around in the source code. It won't break other rubbish applications that misuse BAND as ALBUMARTIST, so you can continue to use iTunes and WinAmp, but as a bonus SqueezeCenter will work as you expect, and FooBar will too.

Phil

snarlydwarf
2008-04-15, 14:08
My grudge with SD is that most of those things are not documented, or even worse, the existing docs are poor and missleading. For example, I only learned about ALBUMARTIST internal tag and its importance in prior discussion with Snarly. Now, I'm even afraid they will change things to meet BAND with ALBUMARTIST and break what I already have (pesimist, you see):)


I don't worry about that... enough hardcore SC users have very spammy tags (yes, I add Lyrics when bored) and I doubt they would remove support for them.

(If anything, the future would be to integrate more tags, ala CustomScan/CustomBrowse to allow even more complex setups.)

gregklanderman
2008-04-15, 16:11
>>>>> kdf <slim-mail (AT) deane-freeman (DOT) com> writes:

>> i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7 internal
>> tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currents only
>> affects how things are denoted when displayed.

> correct. The pref, 'useBandAsAlbumArtist' is only used in one place in
> the code. When the $album->artists are requested, setting this option
> means you get the BAND in the album listing "ThisAlbum by BAND (20xx)".
> It has no other internal use aside from being in the list of contributors.

> If you want BAND to have a different purpose, such as the ALBUMARTIST you
> could add it to the %tagMapping in Formats::MP3.

> I don't personally use BAND tags, but based on that pref's use in the
> code, it works as advertised.

Why would you infer the intended semantics from the current code? How
do you know someone else that didn't understand what the option was
supposed to do hasn't changed the code implementing it? Or that
several major rounds of changes to the scanning and db schema haven't
invalidated assumptions that the original implementation of this
preference was relying on? Or that the original implementation was
complete?

It is *very* hard for me to believe with an internal name as clear as
'useBandAsAlbumArtist' that the preference was not intended to cause
any BAND(TPE2) tags to be treated as though they were ALBUMARTIST
tags, for exactly the reason MrSinatra wants.

JimC, if the resolution is to create a new preference to resolve
MrSinatra's request, please change the internal name of
'useBandAsAlbumArtist' to more clearly reflect its semantics and
intended use, in addition to clarifying the description on the
preferences page.

thanks,
Greg

JJZolx
2008-04-15, 16:55
The description needs clarification no matter how you slice it.

From what I've read in this thread, the current implementation, which does nothing more than use BAND as a display substitute for an album's byline, is being used as a kludge for SqueezeCenter's complete lack of support for cataloging classical music. While I wouldn't necessarily want to see this broken, it's a weak argument for continuing this odd behavior in the exclusion of all others.

The argument that TPE2 is spec'd to mean only BAND, and therefore should never be used for anything else, is equally absurd. _Many_ other applications have made this interpretation a de facto standard. SqueezeCenter has had a history of working well with other applications, so saying that it's best to to conform to some nine year old, poorly thought out scheme (that virtually everyone has augmented or outright abandoned) is an about face from the direction that the software has moved since its inception. And again, when presented as an _option_, it shouldn't matter to anyone.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-15, 17:51
It is *very* hard for me to believe with an internal name as clear as
'useBandAsAlbumArtist' that the preference was not intended to cause
any BAND(TPE2) tags to be treated as though they were ALBUMARTIST
tags, for exactly the reason MrSinatra wants.


It is easy for me to believe because the proper place to do that is in the scanner when the db is built (specifically in MP3.pm).

That section of code is used only for display, and well after the DB has been loaded.

JimC
2008-04-15, 17:55
>>>>> kdf <slim-mail (AT) deane-freeman (DOT) com> writes:

>> i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7 internal
>> tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currents only
>> affects how things are denoted when displayed.

> correct. The pref, 'useBandAsAlbumArtist' is only used in one place in
> the code. When the $album->artists are requested, setting this option
> means you get the BAND in the album listing "ThisAlbum by BAND (20xx)".
> It has no other internal use aside from being in the list of contributors.

> If you want BAND to have a different purpose, such as the ALBUMARTIST you
> could add it to the %tagMapping in Formats::MP3.

> I don't personally use BAND tags, but based on that pref's use in the
> code, it works as advertised.

Why would you infer the intended semantics from the current code? How
do you know someone else that didn't understand what the option was
supposed to do hasn't changed the code implementing it? Or that
several major rounds of changes to the scanning and db schema haven't
invalidated assumptions that the original implementation of this
preference was relying on? Or that the original implementation was
complete?

It is *very* hard for me to believe with an internal name as clear as
'useBandAsAlbumArtist' that the preference was not intended to cause
any BAND(TPE2) tags to be treated as though they were ALBUMARTIST
tags, for exactly the reason MrSinatra wants.

JimC, if the resolution is to create a new preference to resolve
MrSinatra's request, please change the internal name of
'useBandAsAlbumArtist' to more clearly reflect its semantics and
intended use, in addition to clarifying the description on the
preferences page.

thanks,
Greg

We're working on the best way to handle all of this. I think I remember seeing your name on the check-in of code for at least one of the bugs as I was researching this issue, so I know you're aware of what's going on internally to the scanner code.

I'm not sure what prompted the useBandAsAlbumArtist variable to be added, or how it was intended to be used, but the whole issue of normalizing tags is currently being reviewed (there's a LOT to it) and how we will provide additional "mapping" flexibility has yet to be determined. What I do know is that we have to find a way that doesn't add too much complexity, or break the exisiting tag usage, to provide that functionality.

In addition, we're looking at how "various artists" are consolidated, and how the Compilation tag is/is not used in that process.


-=> Jim

smc2911
2008-04-16, 04:10
I'm not sure what prompted the useBandAsAlbumArtist variable to be added, or how it was intended to be used, but the whole issue of normalizing tags is currently being reviewed (there's a LOT to it) and how we will provide additional "mapping" flexibility has yet to be determined. What I do know is that we have to find a way that doesn't add too much complexity, or break the exisiting tag usage, to provide that functionality.

In addition, we're looking at how "various artists" are consolidated, and how the Compilation tag is/is not used in that process.


-=> JimThis is good news! I'd love to see this deliver a solution to the problem I posted here (and in the prior closed thread): if I have an album with multiple track artists and a single album artist who doesn't appear on any other album, no amount of option or tag tweaking will get that album artist into the artist list without getting the track artists in there as well (I call this the Lee Perry or Larry Levan problem :)).

Nonreality
2008-04-16, 06:33
>So, my solution is to
>use mp3tag and add ALBUMARTIST where I think it makes sense. That
>approach actually has some benefits, since it frees tag BAND to be used
>for other purposes, like Band or Orchestra, and that helps very much for
>complex tagging.
Exactly. That is the correct solution - tag things properly. It doesn't take long to open your whole music collection in mp3tag, and make it copy the content of TPE2 (BAND) into TXXX ALBUMARTIST. Rescan SqueezeCenter.

Problem solved. No frigs, no hacking around in the source code. It won't break other rubbish applications that misuse BAND as ALBUMARTIST, so you can continue to use iTunes and WinAmp, but as a bonus SqueezeCenter will work as you expect, and FooBar will too.

Phil

Man you are one of those again. Anyway where was I? Oh yes a question for you. You said that one of the problems is that there is no standard for albumartist in the mp3 standards.

"There's just confusion over "album artist" for mp3 tracks due to a lack of a standard tag for storing it in id3v2.3 tags. Quite a lot of applications use Band, and report it as album artist, which just makes things very confusing for novices that want to use their music across different applications."

If this is correct, and I assume it is as you have said it, then why are you insisting that using band tag as album artist for the lead band of an album is the wrong way? Most programs have accepted this as the standard for representing the lead band. And before you look down and talk down to me from your lofty tower of music knowledge, I'd like you to know that I didn't have to read all of this thread to know that I was using band as album artist. I did it on purpose, imagine that. Incorrigible...yes, ignorant...no. Most programs use it and I surmised that it was the best way to go to be compatible. So in my mind my tags are correct, maybe not for you, maybe not for SB but right for most programs. I would like to know why you think yours is the standard for mp3 implementing if there is no standard. If I'm going to change mine I'd like to make sure it's needed and if SB is planning on an option for people like me before I add another tag to everything. Oh one more thing, if you've already answered all this somewhere else, in these forums, in some other forum, a letter to a fan and it would put you out too much to answer here, just don't answer and I'll be fine. It will hurt, but really I'll be fine.

PS: So you consider Mediamonkey and dbpoweramp as rubbish applications? You're going to lose me as fan if you keep this up Phil.

slimkid
2008-04-16, 08:24
So, to help out with sorting this issue, here is another point.

Composer don't show on artist list even if it is ticked off in 'Composer, Band and Orchestra in Artists' setting. It would show for non compilation albums, but not for compilations regardless of wether all tracks are marked with the same composer or not. That is contrary to information for that option that reads: 'Song information about composers, bands and orchestras can be included in the artists list for browsing and search.'

EDIT: This behavior is when ALBUMARTIST is not present. When it is, it does work.

K

slimkid
2008-04-16, 09:03
... and while I am on it, searching functionality doesn't work with BAND tag.

K

Nonreality
2008-04-16, 09:59
... and while I am on it, searching functionality doesn't work with BAND tag.

K

I've previously set up band to show as Album Artist in mp3tag. What is the proper method to get albumartist to show up in mp3tag. Thought I'd give your technique a shot but I have to test it because I have Mediamonkey and dbpoweramp set up to organize and save music to the current album artist tag. Shouldn't be a problem because I'll just dup the band tag to album artist again but using the new version (for me)

Philip Meyer
2008-04-16, 11:12
>if I have an
>album with multiple track artists and a single album artist who doesn't
>appear on any other album, no amount of option or tag tweaking will get
>that album artist into the artist list *without* getting the track
>artists in there as well (I call this the Lee Perry or Larry Levan
>problem :)).

Hmmm, interesting - it works for me.

Eg. A single album by album artist="Alio Die & Saffron Wood", has two track artists: "Alio Die", "Saffron Wood".

"Alio Die & Saffron Wood" appears in the browse artists list. I haven't got any other albums by either track artist, so both do not appear in the browse artists list.

My relevant Music Library settings are:

Band/Orchestra is ticked
Group compilation albums together
List albums by all artists for that album

Phil

gregklanderman
2008-04-16, 16:25
>>>>> snarlydwarf <snarlydwarf.37xq9n1208307301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> It is easy for me to believe because the proper place to do that is in
> the scanner when the db is built (specifically in MP3.pm).

> That section of code is used only for display, and well after the DB
> has been loaded.

Again, it does not make sense to infer the intent from the current
state of the code implementing this preference. All the scanning and
db code has been completely rewritten at least once since it was
originally implemented. I traced the code back in svn history a bit
but at some point I think it was moved to Slim/Schema/Album.pm from
another file but svn log just gives me an error probably because I
have not fixed my working directories since the svn reorg a while
back.

Also, as has been pointed out by others, the proper place to do what
has been requested is not in the scanner, because you don't want to
force a rescan when changing the option. It's possible the
implementer thought adding some logic in the display code was
sufficient and other bits have been lost in the shuffle. It might
even have been prior to the introduction of the TRACKARTIST
contributor role which I think changed some things.

Anyway, while I do think SC should support the interpretation of TPE2
which some other programs use, I really don't care enough about this
anymore to keep tracking this thread, as I will happily use the TXX
frames.

greg

gregklanderman
2008-04-16, 16:32
>>>>> Phil Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk> writes:

>> if I have an
>> album with multiple track artists and a single album artist who doesn't
>> appear on any other album, no amount of option or tag tweaking will get
>> that album artist into the artist list *without* getting the track
>> artists in there as well (I call this the Lee Perry or Larry Levan
>> problem :)).

> Hmmm, interesting - it works for me.

Yep, works for me too.

The one thing I'm conflicted over is that if I do have another "real"
album by an artist that is a track artist of a single song on an album
I'm using an album artist on, that album shows up with the track
artist's other albums as an album of one song.

Sometimes I think I don't want it to appear at all, but mostly I'd
rather it appear as the complete album. I really don't like how SC
sometimes will represent a subset of an album as if it were an album.

greg

gregklanderman
2008-04-16, 16:34
>>>>> JimC <JimC.37xqhz1208307601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> We're working on the best way to handle all of this.

Thank you Jim, I appreciate your efforts to get to the bottom of
all this tag interpretation stuff..

greg

Philip Meyer
2008-04-16, 17:21
>Also, as has been pointed out by others, the proper place to do what
>has been requested is not in the scanner, because you don't want to
>force a rescan when changing the option.
>
I think it should be an option appropriate only to the scanner. I believe we are NOT saying that any scanned Band contributor should be considered as an album artist, but only when interpretting ID3v2.3 tags (eg so that TPE2 would mean album artist). Better formats, such as OGG, have support for both band and album artist tags as part of the defined standard.

I don't think anyone has seen the need for a contributor role of band to be seen as album artist, but for a band tag to be read as album artist. There's a difference.

I don't think it's a big deal that if an option for how the scanner would translate tags were to be changed, that a rescan would be required. I would assume that a user would set the option that they want as a one-off and stick with it forever. eg. I would never want to translate TPE2 to album artist, as I want to see band contributors, and I already have album artist tags. However, other people who are more accustomed to iTunes for example, may never have proper band contributors and use the TPE2 tag for album artist. They are unlikely to change the option for scanning too.

I would hope that such a scanner option would be set automatically by the installation wizard, e.g. if the user indicates that he uses iTunes, etc. For existing users, they'd have to choose the right option and rescan - a one-off change that they are unlikely to need to do ever again.

There are other benefits; the change to implement within the scanner would be a lot easier than the potential rework to SqueezeCenter to dynamically work out how to group by album artist and what artists to list. Also, performance may be worse if it has to work out album artist groupings dynamically all the time.

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-04-16, 17:42
>The one thing I'm conflicted over is that if I do have another "real"
>album by an artist that is a track artist of a single song on an album
>I'm using an album artist on, that album shows up with the track
>artist's other albums as an album of one song.
>
>Sometimes I think I don't want it to appear at all, but mostly I'd
>rather it appear as the complete album. I really don't like how SC
>sometimes will represent a subset of an album as if it were an album.

Yes, I pondered on that myself once.

However, I came to the conclusion that the current functionality is the best option. I actually like the fact that when I browse to an artist it shows all albums that the artist has contributed on, and only songs by that artist are listed when I click on an album. I can always see all songs on the album by clicking on the album name. If it were to always show all songs, and I had boxed set compilation album of hundreds of songs, I'd be hunting around for a single song by the artist I'd chosen with no easy way of filtering it down. Also, would you want to chose and artist and hit play all and get all songs by the artist, or all songs on all albums where the artist appears at least once?

Phil

Wirrunna
2008-04-16, 18:09
>>>>> JimC <JimC.37xqhz1208307601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> We're working on the best way to handle all of this.

Thank you JimC, I appreciate your efforts to get to the bottom of
all this tag interpretation stuff..

greg

I agree with greg and will add the following comments.
The most users of computer stored and served music are iPod owners. iTunes allows the entry of Album Artist when ripping and in the iTunes GUI it can be used as a sort item.
When an iTunes user fires up SC GUI he/she quickly discovers that the Album Artist column is not available (there have been numerous posts about this), I have only seen one contributor to this thread mentioning the iTunes use of this tag.
Many contributors to this forum decry iTunes for a lot of valid and some not so valid reasons, but iTunes users are where Logitech's mass market is. So, JimC, get SC to handle Album Artist in a similar manner to iTunes and you will improve the marketability of SC.

Philip Meyer
2008-04-16, 18:26
>If this is correct, and I assume it is as you have said it, then why
>are you insisting that using band tag as album artist for the lead band
>of an album is the wrong way?
>
I am not really saying it is the wrong way, just not the right way for SlimServer/SqueezeCenter, which has never supported it that way (intentionally it appears).

I asked a few questions when I first joined this community to get album artist working. I entered the required tags, as required for SlimServer to function as I wanted, and I'd had very little problems since. I've responded to many calls for help in tagging to get SC to work correctly.

I have subsequently hacked some of my mp3 albums to copy the album artist in the band tag, just to satisfy iTunes when I need to use that for syncing to an iPod.

I guess I'm just a bit frustrated that this keeps coming up. People point blank insist that their tags are right, even when told the reason, etc. They insistn that the really do have album artist set, and that SqueezeCenter is not working because their tags are perfect.

>Most programs have accepted this as the
>standard for representing the lead band.
No, most programs have misused the TPE2 tag for storing band. Other conformant apps suffer as a result.

I believe most people with classical music collections use Band for storing the orchestra, because there isn't a specific orchestra tag. That's a mis-use of the tag to some degree, but it isn't a mis-use of functionality. Album artist is for grouping, whereas a contributor role is just someone that performs on a song.

>Most programs use it and I surmised that it was the best way to go to be compatible.
SqueezeCenter in it's current form is not compatible.

I think it's fine to set band to work as album artist for other applications. I also think it's absolutely correct for SC to be updated to support (as an option) this alternative way of working. If an option is added in SC to support it, it would also seem reasonable to then turn off Band as a contributor role in SqueezeCenter (don't report album artist and band, because the album artist would then not be a band).

>I would like to know why you think yours is the standard for
>mp3 implementing if there is no standard.
There is a standard. TPE2 means Band.

>If I'm going to change mine
>I'd like to make sure it's needed and if SB is planning on an option
>for people like me before I add another tag to everything.
I would assume that some good developer folks will find some nice option to get BAND working as ALBUMARTIST. It may take a while, so if you want your library fixed soon, you're best off adding a specific ALBUMARTIST tag. It won't affect how other apps interpret your music collection from your tags. If later you decide to use an SC option to use BAND as ALBUMARTIST, you shouldn't need to do any retagging either.

>PS: So you consider Mediamonkey and dbpoweramp as rubbish applications?
>
iTunes is definitely rubbish. Unfortunately I still use it, but as little as possible. Not sure I've ever used MediaMonkey, but I've read other forum posts, and it does seem to make assumptions about how tagging should be done. dbPowerAmp is not bad I think. I only use the converter tool, which is quite good.

Mp3tag does everything I need from a tagger and more, so I stopped looking for other apps. I also use FooBar for playing music, which is a good app too.

To add a Txxx ALBUMARTIST tag in Mp3tag:
select some songs, go to Extended Tags dialog, enter field ALBUMARTIST and enter the artist as the value.
You can also configure that to come up as a column in the grid, and as a field in the Tag Panel.
You can create an action to copy the BAND tag value into ALBUMARTIST. Then select all music and run the action to do your whole collection in one go.

So I'm sorry if I've been a bit vocal. I'll back off now and see what happens. I've tried to explain why people's tags don't work, and what to do to get it working really well in SqueezeCenter now, with minimal fuss.

Phil

snarlydwarf
2008-04-16, 23:25
I believe most people with classical music collections use Band for storing the orchestra, because there isn't a specific orchestra tag. That's a mis-use of the tag to some degree, but it isn't a mis-use of functionality. Album artist is for grouping, whereas a contributor role is just someone that performs on a song.


Actually TPE2 isn't just 'Band', it is "The 'Band/Orchestra/Accompaniment' frame is used for additional information about the performers in the recording."

So it is basically subsidiary information to the main performer tag (TPE1).

Classical works should be tagged with the main performer (featured soloist perhaps) in TPE1 and the Orchestra in TPE2. For Completeness, conductor would be in TPE3.

TPE2 or BAND is very useful on classical albums which often have similar titles.

smc2911
2008-04-17, 06:05
Hmmm, interesting - it works for me.

Eg. A single album by album artist="Alio Die & Saffron Wood", has two track artists: "Alio Die", "Saffron Wood".

"Alio Die & Saffron Wood" appears in the browse artists list. I haven't got any other albums by either track artist, so both do not appear in the browse artists list.

My relevant Music Library settings are:

Band/Orchestra is ticked
Group compilation albums together
List albums by all artists for that album

PhilIt's probably worth adding that in my problem cases, not a single track has the ALBUMARTIST as the TRACKARTIST. For example, the CD with ALBUMARTIST=Lee Perry, but the TRACKARTISTS include The Upsetters, Max Romeo, etc, but never Lee Perry. Is that the case for your album? Also, if I search for "Lee Perry", he appears as an artist. It's only in the browse artists that Lee Perry does not appear. My Music Library settings are the same as in your list.

smc2911
2008-04-17, 06:08
P.S. Phil: what COMPILATION tag (if any) have you got for the album? If I set COMPILATION=1 Lee Perry appears in the artists list, but so do all of the TRACKARTISTS. If I set COMPILATION=0, the TRACKARTISTS disappear, but so does Lee Perry!

Philip Meyer
2008-04-17, 12:19
>It's probably worth adding that in my problem cases, not a single track
>has the ALBUMARTIST as the TRACKARTIST. For example, the CD with
>ALBUMARTIST=Lee Perry, but the TRACKARTISTS include The Upsetters, Max
>Romeo, etc, but never Lee Perry. Is that the case for your album?
>
Yes. Each song has ALBUMARTIST="Alio Die & Saffron Wood", and that artist string doesn't exist anywhere else.
Each song has ARTIST="Alio Die" and ARTIST="Saffron Wood", so none of the artist names match.

I also have ARTISTSORT="Die, Alio" and ARTISTSORT="Wood, Saffron", so that the individual performing artists are sorted correctly in my artist list.

The only inconvenience I have with this is that the ALBUMARTIST doesn't have a correct sort order, as I have no ARTIST tag to associate an ARTISTSORT with (so it appears under "A" rather than "D").

As I said elsewhere, an ALBUMARTISTSORT would be nice. Failing that, a plugin that can correct artist sort data in the database, based on a list of artists and sort names.

>if I search for "Lee Perry", he appears as an artist. It's only in the
>browse artists that Lee Perry does not appear.
>
If I search for "Alio Die", I get two matching artists:

Alio Die & Saffron Wood
Alio Die

Phil

smc2911
2008-04-17, 14:03
Yes. Each song has ALBUMARTIST="Alio Die & Saffron Wood", and that artist string doesn't exist anywhere else.
Each song has ARTIST="Alio Die" and ARTIST="Saffron Wood", so none of the artist names match.Well, in that case I can't see the difference in our setups. Very strange that it works for you and not me! It's got me stumped.

Nonreality
2008-04-17, 14:36
>If this is correct, and I assume it is as you have said it, then why
>are you insisting that using band tag as album artist for the lead band
>of an album is the wrong way?
>
I am not really saying it is the wrong way, just not the right way for SlimServer/SqueezeCenter, which has never supported it that way (intentionally it appears).

I asked a few questions when I first joined this community to get album artist working. I entered the required tags, as required for SlimServer to function as I wanted, and I'd had very little problems since. I've responded to many calls for help in tagging to get SC to work correctly.

I have subsequently hacked some of my mp3 albums to copy the album artist in the band tag, just to satisfy iTunes when I need to use that for syncing to an iPod.

I guess I'm just a bit frustrated that this keeps coming up. People point blank insist that their tags are right, even when told the reason, etc. They insistn that the really do have album artist set, and that SqueezeCenter is not working because their tags are perfect.

>Most programs have accepted this as the
>standard for representing the lead band.
No, most programs have misused the TPE2 tag for storing band. Other conformant apps suffer as a result.

I believe most people with classical music collections use Band for storing the orchestra, because there isn't a specific orchestra tag. That's a mis-use of the tag to some degree, but it isn't a mis-use of functionality. Album artist is for grouping, whereas a contributor role is just someone that performs on a song.

>Most programs use it and I surmised that it was the best way to go to be compatible.
SqueezeCenter in it's current form is not compatible.

I think it's fine to set band to work as album artist for other applications. I also think it's absolutely correct for SC to be updated to support (as an option) this alternative way of working. If an option is added in SC to support it, it would also seem reasonable to then turn off Band as a contributor role in SqueezeCenter (don't report album artist and band, because the album artist would then not be a band).

>I would like to know why you think yours is the standard for
>mp3 implementing if there is no standard.
There is a standard. TPE2 means Band.

>If I'm going to change mine
>I'd like to make sure it's needed and if SB is planning on an option
>for people like me before I add another tag to everything.
I would assume that some good developer folks will find some nice option to get BAND working as ALBUMARTIST. It may take a while, so if you want your library fixed soon, you're best off adding a specific ALBUMARTIST tag. It won't affect how other apps interpret your music collection from your tags. If later you decide to use an SC option to use BAND as ALBUMARTIST, you shouldn't need to do any retagging either.

>PS: So you consider Mediamonkey and dbpoweramp as rubbish applications?
>
iTunes is definitely rubbish. Unfortunately I still use it, but as little as possible. Not sure I've ever used MediaMonkey, but I've read other forum posts, and it does seem to make assumptions about how tagging should be done. dbPowerAmp is not bad I think. I only use the converter tool, which is quite good.

Mp3tag does everything I need from a tagger and more, so I stopped looking for other apps. I also use FooBar for playing music, which is a good app too.

To add a Txxx ALBUMARTIST tag in Mp3tag:
select some songs, go to Extended Tags dialog, enter field ALBUMARTIST and enter the artist as the value.
You can also configure that to come up as a column in the grid, and as a field in the Tag Panel.
You can create an action to copy the BAND tag value into ALBUMARTIST. Then select all music and run the action to do your whole collection in one go.

So I'm sorry if I've been a bit vocal. I'll back off now and see what happens. I've tried to explain why people's tags don't work, and what to do to get it working really well in SqueezeCenter now, with minimal fuss.

Phil

Very good post, I think they need to have you write this up and put in the tagging section of the wiki. I'm sorry if I razzed you too much in my post, I'd probably get tired and short with people if I had your smarts and kept getting the same questions. I figured it out in mp3tag by some trial and error and copied my band tags to true albumartist tags and rescanned my library. Everything worked as advertised other than a problem I've having with a few duplicate albums showing up containing 1 to 3 songs. It's getting these from my C: drive which I still have a copy of my library but have moved it to my K: drive (seagate usb drive). I have no idea why it would pick up a few songs from the old library but it does. Thanks for the explanations on band vs album artist. I've learned a lot. I really feel that they need to have an option to accept the band tag as such a high percent of the customers they are going to get will come from the Itunes world and I really don't think that they are going to want to explain to everyone of them how to switch their tags around to work properly. A lot of people will just accept it and complain and cause a bad word of mouth about the Squeezebox. It's the kind of simple stuff that can lose a company a lot of business without ever knowing why. Right or wrong you need to make things work for your largest base of customers. I think that they can do this without compromising the power users, but they need to do it now! Again my apology Phil and thanks.

snarlydwarf
2008-04-17, 14:41
Everything worked as advertised other than a problem I've having with a few duplicate albums showing up containing 1 to 3 songs. It's getting these from my C: drive which I still have a copy of my library but have moved it to my K: drive (seagate usb drive). I have no idea why it would pick up a few songs from the old library but it does.

Playlists or CUE sheets that point to the old files? Or something like iTunes/MusicIP that point to the old ones?

Nonreality
2008-04-17, 19:58
Playlists or CUE sheets that point to the old files? Or something like iTunes/MusicIP that point to the old ones?

Just traced it about an hour ago. I renamed my library in explorer and did a scan so only the strange albums showed up. It was my playlists. I don't use them much and had made some to experiment with them. When I moved my library the playlists still look at my old library and adds them I guess. Nice job snarlydwarf!

MrSinatra
2008-04-28, 14:14
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8001

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=46145