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MrSinatra
2008-05-05, 22:44
(please, if i mis-state the facts below, just correct me. this is just a question with a POV, if i'm wrong i'm more than happy to see it. no pyrotechnics)

the relevant option under music library is:

List compilation albums under each artist
or
Group compilation albums together

you have to pick one or the other.

now, if you DON'T use comp tags:

if you pick the first one, your one album is listed multiple times under every artist on the one album. so choosing this means VA logic is moot at least insofar as sorting the album, b/c the album is listed all over the place.

if you pick the second one, any one album with differing ARTIST fields on even one track, gets called a VA album. so while it often does correctly identify a VA album, it seemingly just as often mis-identifies a VA album. (but at least in this case, it only lists this album once)

many users then as a result also set a compilation tag as 0 or 1 ...sometimes just to over-ride the VA logic.

so the comp option isn't really in question, (it is useful to ID an album as comp or not) its the VA logic thats in question, or rather, its usefulness.

furthermore:

most users use their tags in their files to group/sort/organize/arrange/order/list their collections.

currently, if you have a tag that populates the internal SC7 ALBUMARTIST field, it will override the VA logic. (that is correct, yes?)

there are also other tags that one can use to sort.

SO...

what i want to know is who is using the VA logic, and why?

the VA logic is described here on the wiki in a somewhat dated article:

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/VariousArtistsLogic

as far as i can tell, the VA logic is only meant to be useful if your files don't have tags to populate the internal ALBUMARTIST field, or other sorting fields in SC7.

and most users then use the comp tag to say if an album is comp or not, since the VA logic is so unreliable as to it accurately reflecting a VA album or not.

what am i missing? when is the VA logic useful? wouldn't it be better to retire this function by turning it off by default, and only having users turn it on by opt in if they feel they need it?

ps.
my personal situation is such that i have neither comp tags, nor tags that specifically are designed to populate ALBUMARTIST, (nor any sort type tags). what happens for me, (mp3s) is that my TPE1 tags, or "artist" tags are used to populate the internal ARTIST field for SC7, and these then in turn fill in the ALBUMARTIST field for SC7, unless the VA logic steps in and tells SC7 a given album should be a VA album, in which case SC7 then puts "Various Artists" in the internal ALBUMARTIST field.

the thing is, this is not useful, b/c any differing TPE1 info on an album results in the VA designation. so some are correctly classified, but most others are not. its basically a useless function.

now granted, i am trying to optionally get TPE2 to be recognized by SC7 to over-ride all this, much as 'Txxx album artist' tags do now. but i still don't see where the VA logic would be useful for me or anyone. there is a question as to how SC7 would distinguish compilation albums at all in my case, if it didn't have VA logic or comp tags, but i think that should be done by recognizing certain terms in my tags. for instance, if i had the words "Various Artists" in my TPE2 tags, SC7 could be made to annotate that internally as a compilation album, b/c it would know thats what that term meant.

ModelCitizen
2008-05-05, 23:56
I have not been able to read all your post as I don't have time (helpful hint: you might find that more concise and considered posts get a better quality of reply). However, I think the way Various Artists is implemented in SC is odd, even eccentric especially in relation to the

List compilation albums under each artist
or
Group compilation albums together

setting.

Neither option works for me. To compound this there seems to be some problem with the Varuious Artists database query that needlessly searches through millions of records and completely destabilises my computer. I've been active on various bugs to do with VA but AFAIK none of them have been resolved (or if they have, the result was unsatisfactory).

When I have more time, I'll describe exactly what I find wrong with VA as it stands now and point to the relevant bugs.

MC

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 00:07
yep, i'm not shakespeare. ;)

here it is concisely:

i think the VA logic is totally useless.

i think it is useful for SC7 to be able to tell what albums are "compilation" albums.

therefore, i think the VA logic should be abolished, b/c it will never work properly, and compilations should be identified to SC7 in an altogether different manner.

either by "compilation tags" (which i don't use), or by a tag recognition system that allows SC7 to know that if a users tags say eg. "Various Artists" in them, its a compilation album.

i would have this work in a way such that non-coding SC7 users could add and edit the complete list of terms SC7 utilized to annotate an album as a compilation, (via the webUI settings page)

mherger
2008-05-06, 00:57
> I have not been able to read all your post as I don't have time (helpful
> hint: you might find that more concise and considered posts get a better
> quality of reply).

Thanks :-).

> Neither option works for me. To compound this there seems to be some
> problem with the Varuious Artists database query that needlessly
> searches through millions of records and completely destabilises my
> computer.

Hmm... didn't you report this bug and it has been fixed since?

> I've been active on various bugs to do with VA but AFAIK none
> of them have been resolved (or if they have, the result was
> unsatisfactory).

I hope you reported this back in the appropriate bugs.

Michael

mherger
2008-05-06, 01:01
> yep, i'm not shakespeare. ;)

But even Mr. Sinatra was known for well composed lyrics.

Michael

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 01:11
known for SINGING them. ;)

gosh, its still english people, i mean ok, its long but it is legible.

by MCs request, i have since put in a concise second post mherger, what do you think of it?

(if you want my rationale i'm afraid you'll have to slog thru the first post. not all ideas can be conveyed in soundbites)

JJZolx
2008-05-06, 01:52
what am i missing? when is the VA logic useful? wouldn't it be better to retire this function by turning it off by default, and only having users turn it on by opt in if they feel they need it?

Many tagging systems have no way to both positively and negatively assert when an album is a compilation. ITunes, for instance, only sets its id3v2 TCMP frame to 1 when an album is a compilation, but it deletes the frame when not. This isn't the same as saying it's _not_ a compilation. Other music formats may not even have a recognizable compilation tag, so that's why the VA logic is necessary. Does it have some bugs? Probably.

egd
2008-05-06, 02:18
Many tagging systems have no way to both positively and negatively assert when an album is a compilation. ITunes, for instance, only sets its id3v2 TCMP frame to 1 when an album is a compilation, but it deletes the frame when not. This isn't the same as saying it's _not_ a compilation. Other music formats may not even have a recognizable compilation tag, so that's why the VA logic is necessary. Does it have some bugs? Probably.

To my way of thinking I'd prefer to have to explicitly tag an album as being a compilation, with the inference being that if there is no compilation=1 tag, don't list the damned thing under VA.

simply
2008-05-06, 03:20
To my way of thinking I'd prefer to have to explicitly tag an album as being a compilation, with the inference being that if there is no compilation=1 tag, don't list the damned thing under VA.

It sounds like this shouldn't be so tricky...
With another option under settings and some code for it, like:

[ ] Automagically sort compilations under Various Artists
[ ] Use the Compilation tag to determine if an album is a compilation.

Keep it simple... right?

/sss

mherger
2008-05-06, 05:52
> [ ] Automagically sort compilations under Various Artists
>
> Keep it simple... right?

Define "Automagically" and you'll think twice about the simplicity of this "solution".

--

Michael

Philip Meyer
2008-05-06, 06:21
I think SlimServer/SqueezeCenter makes a good job of guessing when albums are compilations. Or at least it used to; just recently a change was made in SC 7.1 that affected the logic, which for me at least seemed to make things worse.

I had to set COMPILATION=1 for all songs on all compilation albums in SC7.1 to get my library to work the same as 7.0.1. I'm not sure what was changed to cause that. Michael Herger I think did the change, so perhaps he can explain more.


I think the scanner generally does something like the following:

1. if there is a compilation tag (I think there's several different tags it looks for, eg. I think iTunes uses it's own custom tag, something like Txxx ITUNESCOMPILATION), SqueezeCenter reads this and doesn't use it's own guessing logic.

2. If an album has songs by different main performing artists, and an album artist tag is not set, SqueezeCenter will guess that the album is a compilation album.

This seems quite logical to me. The key to success is to set album artist tags such that guest performers don't cause an album to become a compilation album.

I don't have a problem either with the need to set compilation tags to either 1 or 0 to get the album detected correctly. I find I have to do this anyway in iTunes, as iTunes doesn't guess at all.

One improvement to the guessing logic would be to say that if an artist always appears on all songs on an album, then that is the album artist (if an overriding album artist tag has not already been set). i.e. if a song has an additional guest artist, that shouldn't cause it to be a compilation album.


I think there were complications due to the ways that people set up their folder structure that stores the source music files. To overcome the "Greatest Hits" problem, it used to assume songs in the same source folder with the same album name are part of that album, whereas songs in the different folder with the same name are another album with the same name. iTunes however by default stores songs under a strict artist/album/song heirarchy, including for compilation albums. I think this is why some people pre 7.1 had to specifically set a COMPILATION=1 tag, to force the songs to be considered part of the same compilation album, otherwise there would be lots of albums with the same album name containing one song. I could be wrong; as I don't use iTunes in that mode.

I think an issue now is that even if an album artist exists for an album, SqueezeCenter still tries to set compilation to either true or false. I think that if an album artist is set, SqueezeCenter should assume that it's not a compilation. I believe I had to set COMPILATION=0 for some albums that had an album artist, otherwise it lists all track artists instead of the album artist when browsing albums.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 09:43
i think we've gotten off track here...

YES, it IS worthwhile for SC7 to know what is, and what is not a compilation. i think everyone agrees with that.

NO, it IS NOT working to use the "Various Artists Logic" to do so.

the problem is the VA logic does not identify VA albums. all it does is identify albums that happen to have dis-agreement on their artist tags.

...but only some of those are actually VA albums. i have tons of albums that are misidentified, probably almost as many as those that truly are VA albums.

this means if even one track has disagreement, its called VA. that methodology for determining a VA album is broken and useless. (i'm not sure of what, if any, other method it uses)

given the above as fact, would it not be better to scrap the VA logic altogether and replace it with a different system?

if not, why not?

would it not be better for the user to:

1. set an explicit comp tag, (with no tag meaning its isn't a comp)
and/or
2. be able to set the terms in ones own tags that SC7 would know indicated a compilation so it could annotate it as such upon scanning? (such as having "Various Artists" in your tags)

i have yet to hear how the VA logic is useful, given that it is so unreliable to be correct, and so often demands users add a tag to override it. i don't think the point of SC7 is to force users into tagging to overcome its "logic."

gregklanderman
2008-05-06, 10:10
>>>>> Philip Meyer <Philip.Meyer.38zqbn1210080301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> I had to set COMPILATION=1 for all songs on all compilation albums in
> SC7.1 to get my library to work the same as 7.0.1. I'm not sure what
> was changed to cause that. Michael Herger I think did the change, so
> perhaps he can explain more.

That's bad news - do you know was this intentional? Is a bug opened?

I'm starting to think I will just scrap all the VA detection in SC and
instead tag my VA albums with ALBUMARTIST="Various Artists". I
already tagged a bunch of Christmas compilations using
ALBUMARTIST="Various Christmas" to get them out of the way. And I
really dislike how SC is always moving "Various Artists" to the top of
lists, and showing it on every page. Just sort it under "V". I think
this actually causes some problems with using the number keys on the
remote to jump within the artist list - binary search doesn't work so
well when the list is not sorted. Plus if I can avoid the VA stage of
the scan process that should save a lot of time.

greg

Siduhe
2008-05-06, 10:38
Finally, a bit of this debate that I can comment on! Have been reading the many (many) threads on this subject with some interest. Various Artist/Compilation behaviour is pretty important to me in one sense, because approx 80% of my music are compilation albums (electronic music). However, in another sense (and as a direct result of the type of music I tend to listen to) it's not so relevant, because I don't browse by artist very much at all. Electronic artists often use different names for each release and often list more than one artist, so I think I have about 9,000 tracks and over 11,000 individual artists.

So, what is important to me is the ability to remove those artists from my browse by artist list proper, and the current VA logic works well for that for my personal situation. If the logic were to be changed I would very much want the COMPILATION tag to work as it does now, by overriding the VA logic and forcing an album to be listed under "various artists" (which in my set up is renamed "Compilations").

At a more general level, I think this is a good debate to be having - although I remain to be convinced that major changes are needed to the current logic. What strikes me from the last few posts is that it is reasonably clear that people have different ways of managing and sorting their music. Mr Sinatra in particular thinks that his/her way is closer to the default behaviour that the average user will expect (and may well be right about that). Classical music is a completely different issue which doesn't even come into play in some of the proposals, and has very different requirements. Whilst I welcome the suggestion to clarify and fix default behaviour, the thing that Slim does very well is keep the option for users to customise their experience by adding tagging/sorting options.

To that extent, I don't quite follow the "why should I have to add a specific tag to get the behaviour I am asking for?" (this is very much paraphrasing, and not aimed at anyone in particular). Surely there are three questions here:

1) what is the right behaviour for SC to have as default behaviour? As I said above, I think the artist logic works quite well, but that may well be because I have lots of albums with many different artists on them, and only one or two albums with a main artist but some guest artists (which I resolved by setting an explicit "Compilation=0" tag. I can see the issues which others have raised with their particular music collections and think it's a valid discussion whose libraries are closer to the "average" - I suspect it's not me.

2) is is possible to achieve the sorting options the various posters on this thread have requested by amending the tagging or sorting options? If so, can these operations be done simply and easily or do they require very time intensive work? If not, is this an option that SC should really be looking to support either as default or via an option for the users who want it?

3) If the requested sort cannot be achieved, what changes would be required to meet this concern and how easy are they to implement? My experience of floating around these boards for a while suggests that, where VA logic is concerned, small changes can have massive, unexpected impact on a whole section of users who don't post on these boards often and who aren't vocal about their needs until something gets "broken" from their perspective. There was a massive issue in the move from 6.4 to 6.5 where something changed in the VA logic (possibly having to put your VA artist tracks in a single folder) - and there were many many posts complaining about a small change (to some) which turned into a big issue for others. [Happy to be corrected on which version change this was].

And I very much like having Compilations at the top of the list, because it is such a distinct section of my music - again that is very probably unique to me or people with libraries like me.

Phil Leigh
2008-05-06, 10:41
I must admit I'm having trouble following this. I've always had any albums I wanted treated as "Various Artists" in sub folders of a folder called "Various Artists" and this has always worked superbly for me.
I don't use all these fancy tags (album artist etc...) maybe I'm just weird?
The VA albums show up under Various Artists in the Artist browser and the individual track artists on each track show up under the Artist Browser too...am I missing something?

grrman
2008-05-06, 11:01
I must admit I'm having trouble following this. I've always had any albums I wanted treated as "Various Artists" in sub folders of a folder called "Various Artists" and this has always worked superbly for me.
I don't use all these fancy tags (album artist etc...) maybe I'm just weird?
The VA albums show up under Various Artists in the Artist browser and the individual track artists on each track show up under the Artist Browser too...am I missing something?

Don't think so. Mine show up the same way, and I haven't had any problems with it.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 11:12
I must admit I'm having trouble following this. I've always had any albums I wanted treated as "Various Artists" in sub folders of a folder called "Various Artists" and this has always worked superbly for me.
I don't use all these fancy tags (album artist etc...) maybe I'm just weird?
The VA albums show up under Various Artists in the Artist browser and the individual track artists on each track show up under the Artist Browser too...am I missing something?

as far as i know, what folder its in or what the folder is called doesn't matter at all. i don't think SC7 uses folder names in any way to decide if an album is VA or not. i could very well be 100% wrong on this, (not the first time) but as i write this, i don't think i am.

i think it is your tags, in one way or another, that gets those albums classified as VA albums. if you have any disagreement in your artist tags, and no other comp related tags, your album will show up as a VA album.

are you saying btw, that you don't have even one album misidentified? what kind of music do you have? in what format?

if you did have an album that had one guest artist on one track, that album would get called a VA album. try it to see what i mean.

Phil Leigh
2008-05-06, 11:21
as far as i know, what folder its in or what the folder is called doesn't matter at all. i don't think SC7 uses folder names in any way to decide if an album is VA or not. i could very well be 100% wrong on this, (not the first time) but as i write this, i don't think i am.

i think it is your tags, in one way or another, that gets those albums classified as VA albums. if you have any disagreement in your artist tags, and no other comp related tags, your album will show up as a VA album.

are you saying btw, that you don't have even one album misidentified? what kind of music do you have? in what format?

if you did have an album that had one guest artist on one track, that album would get called a VA album. try it to see what i mean.


I was under the impression that in the absence of tags, SC would guess the artist etc based on the file name...?

I don't have any albums misidentified.

The music is an eclectic mix of all genres (not much classical though...maybe 100 discs?)
I'll try it...

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 11:43
Finally, a bit of this debate that I can comment on! Have been reading the many (many) threads on this subject with some interest. Various Artist/Compilation behaviour is pretty important to me in one sense, because approx 80% of my music are compilation albums (electronic music). However, in another sense (and as a direct result of the type of music I tend to listen to) it's not so relevant, because I don't browse by artist very much at all. Electronic artists often use different names for each release and often list more than one artist, so I think I have about 9,000 tracks and over 11,000 individual artists.

this is a salient fact, the issue would not be apparent to you, but as you said, that doesn't mean the issue doesn't exist.

to put it another way, the VA logic was not designed and implemented to handle your situation [only]. thats the rub.


So, what is important to me is the ability to remove those artists from my browse by artist list proper, and the current VA logic works well for that for my personal situation. If the logic were to be changed I would very much want the COMPILATION tag to work as it does now, by overriding the VA logic and forcing an album to be listed under "various artists" (which in my set up is renamed "Compilations").

right. all i would suggest is that the logic be optional, and off by default. you should have the option to turn it on, and you should also have the option to over-ride / manipulate both it, and the db in general, with comp tags.


At a more general level, I think this is a good debate to be having - although I remain to be convinced that major changes are needed to the current logic. What strikes me from the last few posts is that it is reasonably clear that people have different ways of managing and sorting their music. Mr Sinatra in particular thinks that his/her way is closer to the default behaviour that the average user will expect (and may well be right about that).

thanks for saying that, but please allow me to clarify, (not specifically at you but in general). i think the first kind of library slim should have been designed to work with, is the most common kind. right? anyone disagree with that? mp3 using 2.3 tags WITHOUT ANY user defined tags is the most common kind of audio file out there. thats so obvious i shouldn't have to say it. at that point, you can then use popular and classical music, (as mp3 using 2.3tags) to see how the library works.

once you have that down, THEN you go on to user defined tags, other formats, etc... i also believe slim should have multiple libraries of the same music just with different formats and tags, to see how their product handles all these various situations. not EVERY mutation mind you, but a good representative of different styles.

the VA logic and the album sorting has never ever worked properly for me. i think its b/c slim got ahead of themselves, and didn't follow the above. its not a major sin and i'm not upset over it, i just think its truthful to point it out.

i also think its important that slim does get this "sorted" out. ;) i am not alone as being one of the great unwashed masses, and any user like me who tries slim freely as a DL will ditch it most of the time b/c of its rather unexpected behavior. i would think that is also obvious.


Classical music is a completely different issue which doesn't even come into play in some of the proposals, and has very different requirements. Whilst I welcome the suggestion to clarify and fix default behaviour, the thing that Slim does very well is keep the option for users to customise their experience by adding tagging/sorting options.

agreed, it should remain as an option.


To that extent, I don't quite follow the "why should I have to add a specific tag to get the behaviour I am asking for?" (this is very much paraphrasing, and not aimed at anyone in particular). Surely there are three questions here:

that really isn't the question. the question is "why should i have to add a tag to undo the ridiculous things SC7 does?" i'm not trying to GET a behavior, i am trying to UNDO a behavior.

in such a situation, if we are looking at this from a design standpoint, the onus is on slim to undo an errant behavior that is illogical and unreliable, esp as it does not work as its intended to.


1) what is the right behaviour for SC to have as default behaviour? As I said above, I think the artist logic works quite well, but that may well be because I have lots of albums with many different artists on them, and only one or two albums with a main artist but some guest artists (which I resolved by setting an explicit "Compilation=0" tag. I can see the issues which others have raised with their particular music collections and think it's a valid discussion whose libraries are closer to the "average" - I suspect it's not me.

agreed. again, if mp3 with 2.3 tags is the baseline, (it certainly is in the marketplace), then the logic doesn't work, and comp tags aren't used.

the solution would be to have SC7 recognize user defined terms in their existing tags as signalling compilations.


2) is is possible to achieve the sorting options the various posters on this thread have requested by amending the tagging or sorting options? If so, can these operations be done simply and easily or do they require very time intensive work? If not, is this an option that SC should really be looking to support either as default or via an option for the users who want it?

let me be clear... i didn't want to get into a sorting discussion here, but of course it is related. but my intention was to say that:

1. we need a way to identify compilations, we all agree with that. but

2. the VA logic is not the way to go about it.

sorting issues really are the other side of the dime if you will. my intention here is to just call into question VA logics usefulness, and why it can't at least be turned off.


3) If the requested sort cannot be achieved, what changes would be required to meet this concern and how easy are they to implement? My experience of floating around these boards for a while suggests that, where VA logic is concerned, small changes can have massive, unexpected impact on a whole section of users who don't post on these boards often and who aren't vocal about their needs until something gets "broken" from their perspective. There was a massive issue in the move from 6.4 to 6.5 where something changed in the VA logic (possibly having to put your VA artist tracks in a single folder) - and there were many many posts complaining about a small change (to some) which turned into a big issue for others. [Happy to be corrected on which version change this was].

again, i am all for having functions be optional. now, it may be that the VA logic works for you, or others, b/c they simply don't have a situation that exposes its very clear and obvious flaws, but just b/c it happens to work for you all in that boat, does NOT mean thats how it was supposed to work, or intended to work. at the very least, with such a broken function, it should imo be off by default.


And I very much like having Compilations at the top of the list, because it is such a distinct section of my music - again that is very probably unique to me or people with libraries like me.

thats really an altogether different issue, but if anyone is interested, it doesn't bother me as is, however if an option existed to just have it under V, i'd probably use it.

CatBus
2008-05-06, 12:33
There are two kinds of "VA logic" at play: 1) The logic that determines whether or not an album is a compilation, and 2) The logic that determines how compilations should be displayed in the interface.

In my opinion, the logic for #1 is PERFECT...and I don't use that word lightly because I'm very particular about how I tag my collection. If you're willing to do some minor housekeeping with explicit COMPILATION tags, you have the flexibility to do anything you want, without breaking compatibility with other music management software. Considering how many organizational styles there are out there, this is pretty much the only way I can imagine accommodating them all. Excellent work, SlimDevices!

The logic for #2 on the other hand...could use some cleaning up. For example, I'm one of those dinosaurs who pretty much exclusively plays albums straight through. But what happens when you have an artist with a full album, but they are also featured on a compilation? Right now, no matter which compilation options you choose, when you browse by artist, you get the full albums, plus little compilation "stubs" that only show the one or two songs from that compilation associated with that artist. If I'm interested in playing the compilation at all, I'd want to play the whole thing, because that's my style. So for me, the compilations should either not be listed at all under the artists, or they should be listed as complete albums. Ideally if they are listed under the artist, they would all be sorted after the artist's proper albums. But then that's just for album-playing dinosaurs like me--others would argue vehemently that this is exactly the wrong way to do things, and they'd be right--for them.

#2 is the path to insanity for software developers though. Getting a "YES" or "NO" answer to the question "Is this a compilation?" is well-suited to automation and SD deals with the problem admirably. How to display that data is an open-ended question with nearly infinite answers, and that's NOT quite so well-suited for automation.

Phil Leigh
2008-05-06, 12:42
There are two kinds of "VA logic" at play: 1) The logic that determines whether or not an album is a compilation, and 2) The logic that determines how compilations should be displayed in the interface.

In my opinion, the logic for #1 is PERFECT...and I don't use that word lightly because I'm very particular about how I tag my collection. If you're willing to do some minor housekeeping with explicit COMPILATION tags, you have the flexibility to do anything you want, without breaking compatibility with other music management software. Considering how many organizational styles there are out there, this is pretty much the only way I can imagine accommodating them all. Excellent work, SlimDevices!

The logic for #2 on the other hand...could use some cleaning up. For example, I'm one of those dinosaurs who pretty much exclusively plays albums straight through. But what happens when you have an artist with a full album, but they are also featured on a compilation? Right now, no matter which compilation options you choose, when you browse by artist, you get the full albums, plus little compilation "stubs" that only show the one or two songs from that compilation associated with that artist. If I'm interested in playing the compilation at all, I'd want to play the whole thing, because that's my style. So for me, the compilations should either not be listed at all under the artists, or they should be listed as complete albums. Ideally if they are listed under the artist, they would all be sorted after the artist's proper albums. But then that's just for album-playing dinosaurs like me--others would argue vehemently that this is exactly the wrong way to do things, and they'd be right--for them.

#2 is the path to insanity for software developers though. Getting a "YES" or "NO" answer to the question "Is this a compilation?" is well-suited to automation and SD deals with the problem admirably. How to display that data is an open-ended question with nearly infinite answers, and that's NOT quite so well-suited for automation.

aha - this I totally agree with.
maybe an option: "display Whole album containing compiled tracks by artist" vs. "display only tracks by selected artist" (or something like that?)

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 12:43
There are two kinds of "VA logic" at play: 1) The logic that determines whether or not an album is a compilation, and 2) The logic that determines how compilations should be displayed in the interface.

In my opinion, the logic for #1 is PERFECT...and I don't use that word lightly because I'm very particular about how I tag my collection. If you're willing to do some minor housekeeping with explicit COMPILATION tags, you have the flexibility to do anything you want, without breaking compatibility with other music management software. Considering how many organizational styles there are out there, this is pretty much the only way I can imagine accommodating them all. Excellent work, SlimDevices!

that may be true for users who use comp tags. but a lot of users don't use comp tags, and further, SC7 should not force you to use comp tags to get it to behave properly.


The logic for #2 on the other hand...could use some cleaning up. For example, I'm one of those dinosaurs who pretty much exclusively plays albums straight through. But what happens when you have an artist with a full album, but they are also featured on a compilation? Right now, no matter which compilation options you choose, when you browse by artist, you get the full albums, plus little compilation "stubs" that only show the one or two songs from that compilation associated with that artist. If I'm interested in playing the compilation at all, I'd want to play the whole thing, because that's my style. So for me, the compilations should either not be listed at all under the artists, or they should be listed as complete albums. Ideally if they are listed under the artist, they would all be sorted after the artist's proper albums. But then that's just for album-playing dinosaurs like me--others would argue vehemently that this is exactly the wrong way to do things, and they'd be right--for them.

i have no problem with how SC7 does this currently, but i def think you have an interesting request to try to follow thru on and get implemented, (as an optional function).


#2 is the path to insanity for software developers though. Getting a "YES" or "NO" answer to the question "Is this a compilation?" is well-suited to automation and SD deals with the problem admirably. How to display that data is an open-ended question with nearly infinite answers, and that's NOT quite so well-suited for automation.

i can live with any albums identified as a compilation under the VA section. my issue mainly is with how that comp annotation gets made in the db, (ie. the VA logic)

SilverRS8
2008-05-06, 12:49
> [ ] Automagically sort compilations under Various Artists
>
> Keep it simple... right?

Define "Automagically" and you'll think twice about the simplicity of this "solution".

--

Michael

For the Album Catalog Creator tool I created I determine who is the actual Album artist and if he/she is singing more than half (or 2/3) of the album songs, I consider it the Album artist. It works really well. Albums which appear on my controller under Various Artists display OK in ACC using this algorithm.

I admit this is by no means 100% proof (probably has problems with Classical albums) but does the job a whole lot better than SC (at least for me) and it is a simple automatic solution.

Frank

JJZolx
2008-05-06, 12:49
There are two kinds of "VA logic" at play: 1) The logic that determines whether or not an album is a compilation, and 2) The logic that determines how compilations should be displayed in the interface.

Yes!


In my opinion, the logic for #1 is PERFECT...and I don't use that word lightly because I'm very particular about how I tag my collection. If you're willing to do some minor housekeeping with explicit COMPILATION tags, you have the flexibility to do anything you want, without breaking compatibility with other music management software. Considering how many organizational styles there are out there, this is pretty much the only way I can imagine accommodating them all. Excellent work, SlimDevices!

Explicit COMPILATION tags shouldn't be necessary in most cases. It's easy when working with certain types of files - Flac, Ogg, Ape, even Mp3. Not so easy with others. There must be some type of compilation logic beyond this, and I don't think it's perfect. The logic is dead easy when everything is marked explicitly.


The logic for #2 on the other hand...could use some cleaning up. For example, I'm one of those dinosaurs who pretty much exclusively plays albums straight through. But what happens when you have an artist with a full album, but they are also featured on a compilation? Right now, no matter which compilation options you choose, when you browse by artist, you get the full albums, plus little compilation "stubs" that only show the one or two songs from that compilation associated with that artist. If I'm interested in playing the compilation at all, I'd want to play the whole thing, because that's my style. So for me, the compilations should either not be listed at all under the artists, or they should be listed as complete albums. Ideally if they are listed under the artist, they would all be sorted after the artist's proper albums. But then that's just for album-playing dinosaurs like me--others would argue vehemently that this is exactly the wrong way to do things, and they'd be right--for them.

In the web interface it's easy enough to get to the "full" album. But if you don't want the partial, filtered albums, maybe all that is needed is another filtering option similar to the Genre>Artist>Album option that now exists.

CatBus
2008-05-06, 13:53
that may be true for users who use comp tags. but a lot of users don't use comp tags, and further, SC7 should not force you to use comp tags to get it to behave properly.

As far as I know, you only have to use comp tags when your tagging is otherwise ambiguous. I only needed comp tags on about 6 of my 300 or so albums, and those 6 were definitely ambiguous. Maybe an example of where comp tags are needed but shouldn't be? I've actually perused the Perl code and I can't figure out how it could possibly be fooled by unambiguous data. Maybe you have a more unique tagging situation than you think?

Siduhe
2008-05-06, 14:02
There are two kinds of "VA logic" at play: 1) The logic that determines whether or not an album is a compilation, and 2) The logic that determines how compilations should be displayed in the interface.

In my opinion, the logic for #1 is PERFECT...and I don't use that word lightly because I'm very particular about how I tag my collection. If you're willing to do some minor housekeeping with explicit COMPILATION tags, you have the flexibility to do anything you want, without breaking compatibility with other music management software. Considering how many organizational styles there are out there, this is pretty much the only way I can imagine accommodating them all. Excellent work, SlimDevices!

The logic for #2 on the other hand...could use some cleaning up. For example, I'm one of those dinosaurs who pretty much exclusively plays albums straight through. But what happens when you have an artist with a full album, but they are also featured on a compilation? Right now, no matter which compilation options you choose, when you browse by artist, you get the full albums, plus little compilation "stubs" that only show the one or two songs from that compilation associated with that artist. If I'm interested in playing the compilation at all, I'd want to play the whole thing, because that's my style. So for me, the compilations should either not be listed at all under the artists, or they should be listed as complete albums. Ideally if they are listed under the artist, they would all be sorted after the artist's proper albums. But then that's just for album-playing dinosaurs like me--others would argue vehemently that this is exactly the wrong way to do things, and they'd be right--for them.

#2 is the path to insanity for software developers though. Getting a "YES" or "NO" answer to the question "Is this a compilation?" is well-suited to automation and SD deals with the problem admirably. How to display that data is an open-ended question with nearly infinite answers, and that's NOT quite so well-suited for automation.

I would also agree with this, much more succinctly expressed than my own post.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 14:39
As far as I know, you only have to use comp tags when your tagging is otherwise ambiguous. I only needed comp tags on about 6 of my 300 or so albums, and those 6 were definitely ambiguous. Maybe an example of where comp tags are needed but shouldn't be? I've actually perused the Perl code and I can't figure out how it could possibly be fooled by unambiguous data. Maybe you have a more unique tagging situation than you think?

what you are saying doesn't make any sense.

my tags aren't ambiguous, SC7's interpretation of my tags however is. simply assuming that any album with TPE1 disagreement is a VA comp in lieu of other tags is not a good system, and i would say useful only to people who don't care if it works how it was intended or supposed to work, but are happy with the output nonetheless, (like Sidhue). (thus why i say it should be left in as an opt-in option)

i agree with you that using comp tags probably works fine. i say this b/c i haven't seen anyone complain about how SC7 uses comp tags.

i also agree SC7 needs to know what is a comp, and what isn't.

what i am saying is that the VA logic does not do this properly. it can not be counted on to discern which albums are truly compilations as currently implemented for most generic users and generic libraries.

if you were a mp3 user using only 2.3tags, you'd see the problem. since you use comp tags, (which aren't part of the 2.3 spec) you don't.

the easy answer is to just tell me to use userdefined tags, like comp, as a workaround. but that doesn't solve the issue for others like me, nor is it something i want to start doing as an additional step.

its the VA logic i am calling to task, not the need for annotating comps or how SC7 uses comp tags.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 14:43
For the Album Catalog Creator tool I created I determine who is the actual Album artist and if he/she is singing more than half (or 2/3) of the album songs, I consider it the Album artist. It works really well. Albums which appear on my controller under Various Artists display OK in ACC using this algorithm.

I admit this is by no means 100% proof (probably has problems with Classical albums) but does the job a whole lot better than SC (at least for me) and it is a simple automatic solution.

Frank

i definitely thought of this, but the answer to this riddle can't be solved by an arbitrary line in the sand mathematically.

for users without comp tags, i think SC7 needs some kind of webUI option that lets users say "look for these terms in the tags, if they are in there, its a compilation." such a system would be fullproof, and compliant with the 2.3 tags that aren't Txxx user defined ones.

(i look forward to trying out your plugin btw!)

CatBus
2008-05-06, 15:41
my tags aren't ambiguous, SC7's interpretation of my tags however is. simply assuming that any album with TPE1 disagreement is a VA comp in lieu of other tags is not a good system

I think what we have here is a disagreement over what "ambiguous" means. If you've got TPE1 disagreement within an album, I'd say the most logical assumption is that it's a compilation, unless explicitly marked otherwise.


if you were a mp3 user using only 2.3tags, you'd see the problem. since you use comp tags, (which aren't part of the 2.3 spec) you don't.

Sounds to me like your real beef is with the inadequacies of the 2.3 spec. If a file doesn't have any means of unambiguously telling a music manager whether it's a compilation or not, you should use a better file.

pfarrell
2008-05-06, 15:51
CatBus wrote:
>> (which aren't part of the 2.3 spec)
>
> Sounds to me like your real beef is with the inadequacies of the 2.3
> spec. If a file doesn't have any means of unambiguously telling a
> music manager whether it's a compilation or not, you should use a
> better file.

This whole thread is tedious to read, but this part struck me.
The MP3 tag "spec" is a farce. It is not maintained by any recognized
party (IETF, ISO, etc.) and as far as I can tell, no one implements all
of any part of it. Mostly because its a bad spec.

Considering the MP3 tags as more than suggestions is not very useful.
IMHO, YMMV.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 15:57
I think what we have here is a disagreement over what "ambiguous" means. If you've got TPE1 disagreement within an album, I'd say the most logical assumption is that it's a compilation, unless explicitly marked otherwise.

well, as i've made clear, SC7 gets this wrong half the time (for me). it is not a logical assumption to make, and i could show you dozens of my own examples and there are literally tens of thousands of more potentially out there.

tell me, why should a billy joel box set CD that has ray charles guest on one track (and thus is marked as such on TPE1) be called a VA album by SC7?


Sounds to me like your real beef is with the inadequacies of the 2.3 spec. If a file doesn't have any means of unambiguously telling a music manager whether it's a compilation or not, you should use a better file.

thats a fine opinion for you to have, and its certainly reasonable for you to have it.

it however is not reasonable for slim to have it. i am not the only person in this position.

its also interesting to note that you aren't defending the Various Artists logic, which is what i am criticizing. rather, you are defneding how SC7 deals with comp tags, which i have no beef with.

the problem is the VA logic, and it could be replaced by something much more accurate and fullproof, that i described in my previous post.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 16:02
CatBus wrote:
>> (which aren't part of the 2.3 spec)
>
> Sounds to me like your real beef is with the inadequacies of the 2.3
> spec. If a file doesn't have any means of unambiguously telling a
> music manager whether it's a compilation or not, you should use a
> better file.

This whole thread is tedious to read, but this part struck me.
The MP3 tag "spec" is a farce. It is not maintained by any recognized
party (IETF, ISO, etc.) and as far as I can tell, no one implements all
of any part of it. Mostly because its a bad spec.

Considering the MP3 tags as more than suggestions is not very useful.
IMHO, YMMV.

i agree. however, it is a universal baseline most apps have basic compatibility with.

the main thing i am trying to point out is that most users in the marketplace do not have user defined tags.

all of these issues are separate from the main question of the thread, which is: is the VA logic necessary?

i would say that so far, the only answer i have gotten on the VA logic itself, is that it is not necessary, and does not work properly or as intended, BUT that for some people it is useful.

therefore i think it should only be included as an opt-in option.

CatBus
2008-05-06, 17:02
tell me, why should a billy joel box set CD that has ray charles guest on one track (and thus is marked as such on TPE1) be called a VA album by SC7?

That's a great example of our difference of opinion on the matter. I believe the boxed set you describe is ambiguously (but not incorrectly) tagged (I have two or three albums in my collection with the exact same scenario which needed to be explicitly tagged as non-compilations). Lacking any other information, the most logical guess any automated system could make is that it's a compilation. In most cases this would be a correct guess, and in this case it's wrong. All "guessing" algorithms you could ever devise will be wrong some of the time, because guessing is what you're is forced to do when you don't have enough data to make a clear choice. The ONLY way to get 100% accurate results is to provide enough data to the interpreter.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 17:50
i'm just repeating myself now but for me and many others its wrong 50% of the time AT LEAST. (meaning, half of what it IDs it IDs incorrectly)

the whole methodology is totally ridiculous. its unnecessary, it should not be in effect by default, (without the ability to turn off no less!)

it should be REPLACED with an effective methodology that does not ask users to alter their tags. from a design POV, thats the holy grail, and i've suggested a way in which it could be done.

you certainly don't benefit from the VA logic. in fact, you have to set a tag to defeat it.

so why would you want it? remember, its not comp tags i have a beef with, its the VA logic.

your premise is that "guessing" is the only way it could be done. i reject that outright, and have an alternative that doesn't require guessing.

Philip Meyer
2008-05-06, 18:03
>i definitely thought of this, but the answer to this riddle can't be
>solved by an arbitrary line in the sand mathematically.
>
I agree, such arbitrary math decisions like that would not work for everyone.

>for users without comp tags, i think SC7 needs some kind of webUI
>option that lets users say "look for these terms in the tags, if they
>are in there, its a compilation." such a system would be fullproof,
>and compliant with the 2.3 tags that aren't Txxx user defined ones.
>
The only way to be sure is to set compilation tags. I can't see what the problem is with setting COMPILATION=1. I'm not aware of any software that does it any other way. eg. iTunes requires you to pick all songs and set Compilation=Yes to group them under a single album.

The only possible debate I think is perhaps whether SC should guess at all if an album is a compilation (might be broken in SC7.1 anyway), or assume COMPILATION=0 if there is no compilation tag.

Phil

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 18:14
>i definitely thought of this, but the answer to this riddle can't be
>solved by an arbitrary line in the sand mathematically.
>
I agree, such arbitrary math decisions like that would not work for everyone.

cool.



>for users without comp tags, i think SC7 needs some kind of webUI
>option that lets users say "look for these terms in the tags, if they
>are in there, its a compilation." such a system would be fullproof,
>and compliant with the 2.3 tags that aren't Txxx user defined ones.
>
The only way to be sure is to set compilation tags. I can't see what the problem is with setting COMPILATION=1. I'm not aware of any software that does it any other way. eg. iTunes requires you to pick all songs and set Compilation=Yes to group them under a single album.

The only possible debate I think is perhaps whether SC should guess at all if an album is a compilation (might be broken in SC7.1 anyway), or assume COMPILATION=0 if there is no compilation tag.

Phil

i agree the only solution as it currently exists is to set comp tags. i am not saying there is anything wrong with using them, i am only saying you should NOT HAVE TO USE THEM, if you don't want to. the reason is most of the marketplace will not understand this, and SC7 will act very unexpectedly. also, i don't want the extra step of setting a tag i do not otherwise need.

i don't use itunes btw, and its the only mainstream app i know of that uses comp tags.

what i am suggesting is what you allude to. it should not guess at all by default. its just too crappy at it.

instead of assuming comp tags, which i see no need for, (and would create its own issues since there are three discrete comp tags according to slimkid, of 0, 1, and none at all, which in turn have 3 separate effects) i think the VA "math based" detection logic should instead be replaced by a system where the user can specify terms. that would be fullproof.

CatBus
2008-05-06, 18:30
i'm just repeating myself now but for me and many others its wrong 50% of the time AT LEAST. (meaning, half of what it IDs it IDs incorrectly)

Within your sample data, perhaps. It's right almost all of the time for me. Go figure.


it should be REPLACED with an effective methodology that does not ask users to alter their tags. from a design POV, thats the holy grail, and i've suggested a way in which it could be done.

I've re-read this thread just to make sure I didn't skip something and failed to find this more effective methodology. You mentioned scanning for any tag containing the string "various artists", but this would also require retagging and doesn't seem any more effective at disambiguating data than the compilation tag.


you certainly don't benefit from the VA logic. in fact, you have to set a tag to defeat it.

I said I used the explicit compilation tag for about 6 albums out of 300. That means the VA guessing algorithm has a 98% success rate. It saved me the work of explicitly tagging nearly 300 albums as either compilations or non-compilations, so I feel I've benefitted quite a bit.


your premise is that "guessing" is the only way it could be done. i reject that outright, and have an alternative that doesn't require guessing.

Any algorithm that makes a decision based on inadequate information is a guessing algorithm. Any method that uses "extra" data to figure it out is just a variation on the current behavior.

erland
2008-05-06, 20:09
instead of assuming comp tags, which i see no need for, (and would create its own issues since there are three discrete comp tags according to slimkid, of 0, 1, and none at all, which in turn have 3 separate effects) i think the VA "math based" detection logic should instead be replaced by a system where the user can specify terms. that would be fullproof.

I think one thing that is missing in this discussion is a major SqueezeCenter design decision that has been made a long time ago and still exists as far as I know. The SqueezeCenter database is just a temporary storage, it's a design decision that it should be possible to discard at any time. This means that you can't store anything in it which you like to survive over a longer time. This is a BIG difference compared to other music library manager applications such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, Media Monkey. SqueezeCenter shouldn't be considered to be the application where you manage your music library, this is something that you do should in some other application. To not limit the user to a single music manager application the decision has been made that ALL information that needs to survive a longer time needs to be transferred into SqueezeCenter through explicit tags or by automatic detection logic in SqueezeCenter based on tags.

I'm not saying that this is a good design decision, but it exists at the moment and it is a lot bigger to change this than just changing the handling of the compilation state.

As I understand it you are suggesting that SqueezeCenter shouldn't read the "compilation" state from the files at all, instead it should be possible for the user to enter the "compilation" state directly in SqueezeCenter and store it somewhere outside the music files. I'm afraid that a changed like this unfortunately would be a conflict with the above mentioned design decision. There IS a way for the user to enter the "compilation" state already today, it's done by adding a compilation tag to the files. It is not possible for the user to do this directly in SqueezeCenter, because Logitech has choosen to delegate that functionality to the tagging programs since it's already supported in these. Why spend time implementing things in SqueezeCenter that is already supported in other programs which the user needs to use anyway.

SqueezeCenter needs to rely on custom tags (COMPILATION) for the compilation state, because I don't think there is a standard way in the different music format specifications to indicate that an album is a compilation album.

I'm not saying that the above mentioned design decision is a good one, because I personally have doubts regarding it when we talk about statistic data such as ratings, last played time and play counts. I believe this kind of information needs to survive a longer period of time to get good support for smart playlists. Statistic data isn't and shouldn't be written to tags in the music files.

As long as I can force SqueezeCenter to handle a specific album as a compilation album or not, I am happy. This is something I can do already today by adding a compilation tag to the file. If SqueezeCenter besides this tries to help my figure out the compilation state for the rest of my albums, where I haven't any compilation tags in the files, that is a good thing. This saves me some work since I don't have to add compilation tags to ALL my music files, just those where the SqueezeCenter logic fails. This automatic logic works better for some people and worse for other people, depending on how your music library looks like. In your case it unfortunately works pretty bad but for other people it works pretty good. So forcing all the people where the automatic logic works good to manually enter the compilation state in SqueezeCenter would just result in these people getting upset instead.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 21:46
Within your sample data, perhaps. It's right almost all of the time for me. Go figure.

yes, exactly. the point is its made for both of us, and others, not just you, (or me). its not surprising it works right for you b/c you use comp tags, and i couldn't be happier for you. (truly, but it doesn't end with just those for whom it works well)


I've re-read this thread just to make sure I didn't skip something and failed to find this more effective methodology. You mentioned scanning for any tag containing the string "various artists", but this would also require retagging and doesn't seem any more effective at disambiguating data than the compilation tag.

the difference is twofold. first, it would work with standard (read: universal) tags, and thats what most users have. thats an important point. why? b/c it means new users will have an expected experience out of the box and not have to go to slimserver university for a tagging degree.

secondly, most users with standard tags would already have certain recurring strings like "various artists" in their TPE2 field, (or other fields). its very typical. if retagging would be required, it would be no different in that sense from having to give it a comp tag, except of course, that a comp tag would be added from scratch, and would be a new, user defined tag to a users file, that in most cases they didn't need until SC7 forced it. (and not all apps support it)

and i can assure you my suggestion would be totally accurate [reflecting whats in the tags] as opposed to simply assuming all albums with TPE1 differentiation of even only one track are VA albums. thats a totally ridiculous method, b/c you know from the get go it has flaws in the design.


I said I used the explicit compilation tag for about 6 albums out of 300. That means the VA guessing algorithm has a 98% success rate. It saved me the work of explicitly tagging nearly 300 albums as either compilations or non-compilations, so I feel I've benefitted quite a bit.

and this is germane b/c why? the point of a design is to work as often and for as many people as possible. i am glad it works for you, but you are not the only concern. please don't read anything into that, i am just trying to give you my perspective, but it does seem that b/c u don't see it as a big problem based on your personal exp, you then reject a problem exists. (i have told you, and i am not the only one, that SC7 got dozens and dozens of my albums wrong). its your right to do so, but its not necessarily true.


Any algorithm that makes a decision based on inadequate information is a guessing algorithm. Any method that uses "extra" data to figure it out is just a variation on the current behavior.

i think you're just being argumentative here. i agree its guessing, and thats the problem. i want to replace the broken guessing game with a full proof methodology that is defined by the user. (and yes, if anyone still wants the current VA logic, by all means, leave it in, but don't make it a requirement and don't make it by default)

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 22:11
I think one thing that is missing in this discussion is a major SqueezeCenter design decision that has been made a long time ago and still exists as far as I know. The SqueezeCenter database is just a temporary storage, it's a design decision that it should be possible to discard at any time. This means that you can't store anything in it which you like to survive over a longer time. This is a BIG difference compared to other music library manager applications such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, Media Monkey. SqueezeCenter shouldn't be considered to be the application where you manage your music library, this is something that you do should in some other application. To not limit the user to a single music manager application the decision has been made that ALL information that needs to survive a longer time needs to be transferred into SqueezeCenter through explicit tags or by automatic detection logic in SqueezeCenter based on tags.

i am not trying to rewrite the SC7 philosophy.

i am not saying SC7 should manage or edit my tags. i absolutely don't want that.

i am saying that this is now a logitech product, and its being aimed at the masses, and it will continue to be, and over time i expect it will get cheaper and cheaper.

all i am suggesting is that normal mp3 users with tags but WITHOUT user defined tags, (since they are by far the marketplace majority), should be accommodated.

i've pointed out a clear flaw in the VA logic. everyone knows its there. but no one wants to fix it b/c it either works for their situation, (in a clearly unintended manner), or they are fine with their workaround, (comp tags, other user defined tags).

if i were slim, i would want users who can freely DL and try SC7, to have a reasonable expected behavior out of the box. they won't. and it will hurt sales. now, maybe they don't care about that, (although i think they do) but i know logitech would.

you say that automatic detection logic is needed. i agree. where i disagree is how that automatic detection is implemented. there is no need for it to guess, or for guessing to be a function you can't turn off. better methods exist.


I'm not saying that this is a good design decision, but it exists at the moment and it is a lot bigger to change this than just changing the handling of the compilation state.

As I understand it you are suggesting that SqueezeCenter shouldn't read the "compilation" state from the files at all, instead it should be possible for the user to enter the "compilation" state directly in SqueezeCenter and store it somewhere outside the music files.

no, i am not suggesting that.

SC7 should absolutely use comp tags, i have said that the whole time.

but if there are no comp tags, it should not use the current VA logic, (looking for TPE1 differentiation) to mark an album as Various Artists / Compilation.

rather, that logic should be turned off by default, and instead replaced with terms the user can set in SC7 that if the scanner finds in the files, it then knows its a compilation.

do you follow me now?


I'm afraid that a changed like this unfortunately would be a conflict with the above mentioned design decision. There IS a way for the user to enter the "compilation" state already today, it's done by adding a compilation tag to the files. It is not possible for the user to do this directly in SqueezeCenter, because Logitech has choosen to delegate that functionality to the tagging programs since it's already supported in these. Why spend time implementing things in SqueezeCenter that is already supported in other programs which the user needs to use anyway.

please see my previous paragraphs.


SqueezeCenter needs to rely on custom tags (COMPILATION) for the compilation state, because I don't think there is a standard way in the different music format specifications to indicate that an album is a compilation album.

right, most mainstream music managing software doesn't support the comp tag. so the alternative (instead of VA logic guessing) is to teach SC7 to be smart enough to look for certain user defined terms (in the webUI settings) in a users tags, like "Various Artists" or whatever they use.

the added benefit is that this would be compatible with virtually all tag editing software, from WMP and winamp to mp3tag. and it would work for the unwashed masses like me, (barbarians that we are), who don't get fancy with their tags.


I'm not saying that the above mentioned design decision is a good one, because I personally have doubts regarding it when we talk about statistic data such as ratings, last played time and play counts. I believe this kind of information needs to survive a longer period of time to get good support for smart playlists. Statistic data isn't and shouldn't be written to tags in the music files.

ok, but please understand, what i am proposing is a method that depends on a users tags and then how SC7 interprets them. i am not proposing entering anything directly into SC7.


As long as I can force SqueezeCenter to handle a specific album as a compilation album or not, I am happy. This is something I can do already today by adding a compilation tag to the file. If SqueezeCenter besides this tries to help my figure out the compilation state for the rest of my albums, where I haven't any compilation tags in the files, that is a good thing. This saves me some work since I don't have to add compilation tags to ALL my music files, just those where the SqueezeCenter logic fails. This automatic logic works better for some people and worse for other people, depending on how your music library looks like. In your case it unfortunately works pretty bad but for other people it works pretty good. So forcing all the people where the automatic logic works good to manually enter the compilation state in SqueezeCenter would just result in these people getting upset instead.

not if it was left in as an optional function, which i would advocate. i just want the option, at the very least, to turn it off, and have SC7 use a different, (and fullproof), method for recognizing my compilation / VA albums.

erland
2008-05-06, 22:43
i am saying that this is now a logitech product, and its being aimed at the masses, and it will continue to be, and over time i expect it will get cheaper and cheaper.

The current cost of SqueezeCenter is zero as far as I know, so it can't get much cheaper, but I suppose you are talking about the whole system including the SqueezeBox hardware.


you say that automatic detection logic is needed. i agree. where i disagree is how that automatic detection is implemented. there is no need for it to guess, or for guessing to be a function you can't turn off. better methods exist.

...

rather, that logic should be turned off by default, and instead replaced with terms the user can set in SC7 that if the scanner finds in the files, it then knows its a compilation.

I think the problem is that it will result in extra options and more configuration parameters which gets the whole system even more complicated to use than today. More options also results in a support nightmare for Logitech since it makes the handling of end users problem a lot more complex when there are a lot of variations. So even though correct default values could make it simple for end users it causes problem for the Logitech support team that needs to handle the users that actually use the advanced configuration of the automatic detection logic.

I'm not against more options myself, which I think all the configuration options in my plugins shows, but I can understand why Logitech has tried to limit the number of configurable options available.

However, it should be fairly simple if we limit the options to a single checkbox that enabled/disabled the current automatic logic. If disabled it would only detect albums with COMPILATION tags as compilations and the rest would be considered to be non compilation albums. If enabled it would use the current automatic logic that works for some people and doesn't work for other people.
The default value after installation could be that this option is disabled, so the user explicit have to select to use the current automatic logic.

A solution like this would be fairly simple to implement is doesn't result in a lot of extra complex configuration parameters that needs to be handled in the code and in the user interface.

MrSinatra
2008-05-06, 23:00
i want to thank you again for your other post in the other thread.


The current cost of SqueezeCenter is zero as far as I know, so it can't get much cheaper, but I suppose you are talking about the whole system including the SqueezeBox hardware.

actually, that works against them! :)

the "free" part is the part that needs fixed and is the only part they can try ahead of time. i assert that if they get a bad "out of box" experience, (meaning, it acts unexpectedly), they will ditch it there and then. thats what i really don't want to see happen.


I think the problem is that it will result in extra options and more configuration parameters which gets the whole system even more complicated to use than today. More options also results in a support nightmare for Logitech since it makes the handling of end users problem a lot more complex when there are a lot of variations. So even though correct default values could make it simple for end users it causes problem for the Logitech support team that needs to handle the users that actually use the advanced configuration of the automatic detection logic.

there's a difference between needed options and un-necessary options.

i would contend this is in fact, needed.

but setting aside that argument for a moment, what about the support problems and threads the current broken system generates?

and more importantly, what about the abortions, rather than adoptions, the current broken system causes?

b/c thats how i see it.

forcing joe average user to go to the slimserver university of tagging to figure out how to overcome its broken VA logic is not a good design.

i think its possible to give a sensible out of box solution that keeps them out of the options altogether. turn TPE1 differentiation logic off. let SC7 search for terms in the tags to indicate comps. have "Various Artists" filled in already. allow them to edit it and add or remove more via webUI.


I'm not against more options myself, which I think all the configuration options in my plugins shows, but I can understand why Logitech has tried to limit the number of configurable options available.

absolutely, but some are necessary.


However, it should be fairly simple if we limit the options to a single checkbox that enabled/disabled the current automatic logic. If disabled it would only detect albums with COMPILATION tags as compilations and the rest would be considered to be non compilation albums. If enabled it would use the current automatic logic that works for some people and doesn't work for other people.

right, thats an important first step. allow users to turn it off, (and i would say, have off by default)

but you need a second step. you need to have something to replace it thats better (although also optional). specifically, my "VA terms" suggestion.

the reason you need it is for users that won't have comp tags, and won't want to add them or learn anything about it. and i can't blame them, b/c their exp up to that point of other apps will be their music was handled properly.

so they will need a method, thats fullproof, to allow them to get their comps annotated as comps in the db.


The default value after installation could be that this option is disabled, so the user explicit have to select to use the current automatic logic.

we are singing the same tune. :)


A solution like this would be fairly simple to implement is doesn't result in a lot of extra complex configuration parameters that needs to be handled in the code and in the user interface.

right, and it is needed, but it is only HALF the solution. (although for now i'll take what i can get).

Philip Meyer
2008-05-07, 05:22
I really can't see what everyone's problems are with compilation tags. It's quite simple. SqueezeCenter applies good sensible logic for determining compilation albums, if the user hasn't set up their own compilation tags. This is better than all other apps, that don't auto-calculate, and require tags to be set.

It really is no hassle at all to set COMPILATION=1 on all various artist albums. People using other apps have probably done this already, to get the other apps working correctly.

I expect the vast majority of users don't set differing artist information. Most tagging apps that read information from internet resources, such as freedb, will set all songs to have the same artist (and thus SC will not decide it to be a compilation album), or will set the album to be a compilation.

So, if a user is messing about in a tag editor setting a guest artist for a song on an album, it's surely not too much to expect the user to set an Album Artist tag to define and/or set Compilation=0.

The argument is that SqueezeCenter could *perhaps* be more intelligent and guess that one song with a different artist out of 10 songs on the whole album should not denote the album as a compilation, but instead denote it as being by the artist that performs the most on the album. However, that is not easy logic to guess in a consistent way. What if there's only two songs on an album? What if the album is intended to be a compilation album? No logic can ever be right all of the time in this case - it needs the user to define the tags.

SqueezeCenter's general rule is quite simple and logical to understand: if there are different artists on songs on an album, the album is a compilation album.

SqueezeCenter VA logic also handles the "Greatest Hits" problem, for libraries that are organised in different ways. There may be many artists in a collection that have a "Greatest Hits" album; great lengths were made to correctly NOT merge them into one "Greatest Hits" compilation album. Any change in guessing compilation albums needs to remember all of the fixes in the logic that have been applied that solve many REAL support problems that have happened over the years.

CatBus
2008-05-07, 08:19
you certainly don't benefit from the VA logic. in fact, you have to set a tag to defeat it.

so why would you want it?


I said I used the explicit compilation tag for about 6 albums out of 300. That means the VA guessing algorithm has a 98% success rate. It saved me the work of explicitly tagging nearly 300 albums as either compilations or non-compilations, so I feel I've benefitted quite a bit.


and this is germane b/c why?

Let's see...you ask me a direct question. I answer that question in a direct manner. You then ask how my direct answer to your direct question is germane. Interesting debate tactic.


i think you're just being argumentative here.

Oh I really think otherwise. I'm not the one throwing around the phrase "standard tags" as if it meant something and refusing to use ID3 2.4 because it's only been around for a decade. You asked questions. I answered them. I'm sorry you didn't like the answers.

aubuti
2008-05-07, 09:34
I really can't see what everyone's problems are with compilation tags. It's quite simple. SqueezeCenter applies good sensible logic for determining compilation albums, if the user hasn't set up their own compilation tags. This is better than all other apps, that don't auto-calculate, and require tags to be set.

It really is no hassle at all to set COMPILATION=1 on all various artist albums. People using other apps have probably done this already, to get the other apps working correctly.

I expect the vast majority of users don't set differing artist information. Most tagging apps that read information from internet resources, such as freedb, will set all songs to have the same artist (and thus SC will not decide it to be a compilation album), or will set the album to be a compilation.
<snip>
SqueezeCenter VA logic also handles the "Greatest Hits" problem, for libraries that are organised in different ways. There may be many artists in a collection that have a "Greatest Hits" album; great lengths were made to correctly NOT merge them into one "Greatest Hits" compilation album. Any change in guessing compilation albums needs to remember all of the fixes in the logic that have been applied that solve many REAL support problems that have happened over the years.
With you 100% on this Phil. After reading this thread I went back and checked my tags, because my VA works and I couldn't remember whether or not I had set compilation tags. Turns out I hadn't. And it all Just Works(tm).

So to get back to the question in the OP, I'd have to answer yes. Does the OP need something else? Maybe. But please don't break what already works out of the box.

erland
2008-05-07, 10:20
but you need a second step. you need to have something to replace it thats better (although also optional). specifically, my "VA terms" suggestion.

I'm sure the "VA terms" suggestion is described somewhere, but unfortunately I don't have the time to find it at the moment, so if anyone that knows in which post/bug it is described could refer me to it I would appreciate it.

MrSinatra, unless this is already described in the "VA terms" suggestion, could you describe how you would configure the "VA terms" in your own library to get the desired behaviour ?

If I understand you correctly, you don't have COMPILATION tags and if I've understood it correctly there is no standard compilation indication in the different music format specificatiosn, so I suppose you have some other custom tag or some smart other smart detection logic you would use ?
It would be great if you could take the time to describe this so we can get the feeling how complex your solution would be.

If this is described somewhere already, just refer me to the correct place.

erland
2008-05-07, 10:31
I really can't see what everyone's problems are with compilation tags.
Neither do I and I don't think "everyone" really is that many users. I still suspects the current automatic VA logic or setting the compilation tags works good enough for most users.



It really is no hassle at all to set COMPILATION=1 on all various artist albums. People using other apps have probably done this already, to get the other apps working correctly.

I think the issue MrSinatra and some other users are seeing, is that COMPILATION needs to be set to 0, not 1. I've set the COMPILATION tag to 1 for all my VA albums, but I haven't set it to 0 for all the rest. Still, it's really simple to set it to 0 for all the other albums, in any of the tagging programs available, if SqueezeCenter would require this in some future release. So neither I can see the big problem with this.

Making it possible to turn of the automatic VA logic which isn't based on the COMPILATION tags makes some sense to me, at least if it would result in a few more happy users and Logitech is willing to handle support issues for this extra checkbox in the setting pages.

MrSinatra
2008-05-07, 11:51
With you 100% on this Phil. After reading this thread I went back and checked my tags, because my VA works and I couldn't remember whether or not I had set compilation tags. Turns out I hadn't. And it all Just Works(tm).

So to get back to the question in the OP, I'd have to answer yes. Does the OP need something else? Maybe. But please don't break what already works out of the box.

Aubuti,

out of curiousity, please answer the following:

what format are your files?

and do you have the ALBUMARTIST field populated in SC7?

b/c if so, it would over-ride the VA logic, and therefore the VA logic would NOT be necessary for you.

Philip Meyer
2008-05-07, 12:05
>as far as i know, what folder its in or what the folder is called
>doesn't matter at all. i don't think SC7 uses folder names in any way
>to decide if an album is VA or not. i could very well be 100% wrong on
>this, (not the first time) but as i write this, i don't think i am.
>

I believe there are some circumstances (certainly used to be, but may have changed?) where the source folder does matter.

I think songs are only considered to be on the same album if they are in the same source folder. The reason for this is to avoid albums with the same name being merged together (the "Greatest Hits" problem).

If for example all songs in your collection were located in the same source folder, all songs would appear in one single compilation album.
If each song were in its own individual source folder, I believe they would appear as a separate album entry for each song.

Also, if there are no tags, SC can guess the tags based on folder heirarchy rules.

Phil

MrSinatra
2008-05-07, 12:34
its interesting to me that phil, cat, and erland (and otehrs) all don't really see the point of this, while at the same time they all use comp tags, (or ALBUMARTIST tags).

i think it explains a lot.

i don't expect people who use comp tags to be advocating for what i am advocating, but by the same token, i don't expect them to advocate against it either.

there is a great unwashed mass of users out there, of which i am one, who won't get the best experience they COULD get, if only the elites would listen.

i'm baffled by the resistence. truly.


I really can't see what everyone's problems are with compilation tags.

neither can i.

i have no beef whatsoever with comp tags.

my beef is with the VA logic. separate and distinct.

my only comment about comp tags is most people don't use them. so SC7 should accommodate these users as well. thats all i'm saying.


It's quite simple. SqueezeCenter applies good sensible logic for determining compilation albums, if the user hasn't set up their own compilation tags. This is better than all other apps, that don't auto-calculate, and require tags to be set.

i don't see how you can say that when i tell you that it gets at least as many wrong for me as it gets right.

thats means if i have say 100 VA albums that are in fact VA albums, it then says another 100 are VA albums that are NOT VA albums.

sensible? no.


It really is no hassle at all to set COMPILATION=1 on all various artist albums. People using other apps have probably done this already, to get the other apps working correctly.

the only mainstream app i know of that uses it is itunes, and i think its transparent to most itunes users.

i agree that it isn't a big deal for people here at the forum, i disagree that it isn't a big deal for most people. most people don't want to learn what they would need to learn to figure out whats wrong, and how to fix it. not to mention, people like me don't want the extra step, and it would require instlling an extra app just for this purpose of this one tag. (in my case, but i'd hardly be alone, i'm just using myself to illustrate the example)


I expect the vast majority of users don't set differing artist information. Most tagging apps that read information from internet resources, such as freedb, will set all songs to have the same artist (and thus SC will not decide it to be a compilation album), or will set the album to be a compilation.

i have a lot of exp with mainstream apps, and most of them now at the very least, give the option to the user to do this easily. its a good point you raise, but the fact is a lot of people would have TPE1 differentiation of all kinds of albums, (not just comp albums).


So, if a user is messing about in a tag editor setting a guest artist for a song on an album, it's surely not too much to expect the user to set an Album Artist tag to define and/or set Compilation=0.

other than itunes, i don't know any mainstream app that uses comp tags. as to album artist tags, i'm not as sure what apps do... i know winamp doesn't however, (they use TPE2 for that, like a lot of mainstream apps).


The argument is that SqueezeCenter could *perhaps* be more intelligent and guess that one song with a different artist out of 10 songs on the whole album should not denote the album as a compilation, but instead denote it as being by the artist that performs the most on the album. However, that is not easy logic to guess in a consistent way. What if there's only two songs on an album? What if the album is intended to be a compilation album? No logic can ever be right all of the time in this case - it needs the user to define the tags.

thats why we agreed earlier the math way is arbitrary and guessing.

i then made the leap it should be replaced with a better method.


SqueezeCenter's general rule is quite simple and logical to understand: if there are different artists on songs on an album, the album is a compilation album.

doesn't mean its a good rule. certainly isn't for me.


SqueezeCenter VA logic also handles the "Greatest Hits" problem, for libraries that are organised in different ways. There may be many artists in a collection that have a "Greatest Hits" album; great lengths were made to correctly NOT merge them into one "Greatest Hits" compilation album. Any change in guessing compilation albums needs to remember all of the fixes in the logic that have been applied that solve many REAL support problems that have happened over the years.

thx for suggesting this isn't a REAL support problem.

whats so scary about having an option to turn it off?

and i don't see where anything i am talking about threatens greatest hits fixes or any of the rest of what you said.

Philip Meyer
2008-05-07, 12:45
>1) The logic that determines whether or not an album is a compilation, and
>2) The logic that determines how compilations should be displayed in the interface.

>In my opinion, the logic for #1 is PERFECT...and I don't use that word
>lightly because I'm very particular about how I tag my collection.
>Excellent work, SlimDevices!
>
>The logic for #2 on the other hand...could use some cleaning up.
>Right now, no matter which compilation options you choose, when you browse by
>artist, you get the full albums, plus little compilation "stubs" that
>only show the one or two songs from that compilation associated with
>that artist.

>How to display that data is an open-ended question with nearly infinite
>answers, and that's NOT quite so well-suited for automation.

Great post - this is pretty much how I feel about the current state of compilation albums too. I too mainly play full albums (otherwise random music).

Albums where an artist is only a guest performer are also listed under browse albums.

Eg. When I browse artist Thom Yorke, I see:

The Eraser (by Thom Yorke)
No Album (by loads of artists, including Thom Yorke) - because I have a song that isnot associated with any album - "No Album" is considered a compilation containing many hundreds of such songs by different artists.
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (by PJ Harvey) - because Thom Yorke makes a guest appearance on "This Mess We're In" (great song!).

However, I find it useful to be reminded that an artist performed an otherwise unavailable track on a compilation album, and it also makes the songs playable via Play All by artist.

I agree that it would be nice to sub-categorise the list of albums when browsing an artist, such that you can clearly see main albums by the artist, compilation albums that the artist appears on, and albums where the artist makes a guest appearance.

This could be taken this further and categorise albums where the artist is a composer, conductor, band, remixer, original artist of a cover song, etc.

And like you said, that is the main problem - everyone wants their library presented in different ways. Classical music buffs may only want to list orchestras, etc. The important bit I feel to get right is #1, to ensure the library data is maintained in a logical way. Then it is always possible for third-party plugins or skins to present the information as desired.

MrSinatra
2008-05-07, 12:45
Let's see...you ask me a direct question. I answer that question in a direct manner. You then ask how my direct answer to your direct question is germane. Interesting debate tactic.

i'm gonna try again...

first, you had to defeat the choices it made 6 times. now, i don't know how many it got right, so maybe that, for you, did save you some time.

but would you not rather have a system that got NONE wrong?

secondly, as i was trying to say b4, you are but one case. you are lucky it only got 6 wrong. perhaps your tags don't list guest artists as often as mine do, who knows? but you can't extrapolate from your case that if its good for you its great for everyone else.

my point isn't that its broken for everyone. my point is that its broken for a lot of people, and thats a reasonable extrapolation.

thats why i said what you were saying about your case wasn't germane, b/c it doesn't extrapolate as meaning nothing should be done to address the issue.


Oh I really think otherwise. I'm not the one throwing around the phrase "standard tags" as if it meant something and refusing to use ID3 2.4 because it's only been around for a decade. You asked questions. I answered them. I'm sorry you didn't like the answers.

it does mean something.

like it or not, 2.3 tags are the universal baseline defacto standard that apps from every corner have the most overlapping compatibility with.

thats just the way it is, don't get mad at me for pointing it out.

a lot of users will come to SC7 with no user defined tags. thats just the truth.

aubuti
2008-05-07, 12:49
Aubuti,

out of curiousity, please answer the following:

what format are your files?

and do you have the ALBUMARTIST field populated in SC7?

b/c if so, it would over-ride the VA logic, and therefore the VA logic would NOT be necessary for you.
They're about 95% FLAC and 5% MP3, and I don't have any ALBUMARTIST tags. I have yet to see much use (for me) in the ALBUMARTIST tag, although I do have ARTISTSORT (lastname, firstname where relevant) and have recently added ALBUMSORT. Btw, I added ALBUMSORT so that when browsing by album on my SBC it will sort them by artist/year/album just like the web ui, which I know is a feature you've been looking for.

Also, as Phil notes, the source folder is relevant. Certainly for dealing with VA and probably for dealing with common titles issues (eg, Greatest Hits). Some people have their tracks from compilation albums spread around under directories for the specific artist, and SC does not see them as coming from the same album.

MrSinatra
2008-05-07, 13:00
thx for taking the time to answer my Q.


They're about 95% FLAC and 5% MP3, and I don't have any ALBUMARTIST tags. I have yet to see much use (for me) in the ALBUMARTIST tag, although I do have ARTISTSORT (lastname, firstname where relevant) and have recently added ALBUMSORT. Btw, I added ALBUMSORT so that when browsing by album on my SBC it will sort them by artist/year/album just like the web ui, which I know is a feature you've been looking for.

ok, but its the same thing. SORT tags will override the VA logic just like ALBUMARTIST will. (so VA logic is not necessary for you)

thats very cool about the SBC, i didn't think you could over-ride how the SBC does it, (via tags).

personally, i'd like to see a SC7 global setting for these different UI's. so what i see in the webUI is what i see in the SBC.

but great to know you found a workaround.


Also, as Phil notes, the source folder is relevant. Certainly for dealing with VA and probably for dealing with common titles issues (eg, Greatest Hits). Some people have their tracks from compilation albums spread around under directories for the specific artist, and SC does not see them as coming from the same album.

yes, i'll comment more later, but this is a bit of a strawman... i never said differing foldering locations wasn't important for discerning albums from each other, (like greatest hits) i just said i didn't think that SC7 uses folder names to say that a CD in that folder is a VA album. if i am wrong on that, np, happy to admit it.

(i would like to know if a CD gets called VA and a comp just for being in such a folder, and what exactly the folder needs to be called to make that happen)

Philip Meyer
2008-05-07, 13:22
>tell me, why should a billy joel box set CD that has ray charles guest
>on one track (and thus is marked as such on TPE1) be called a VA album
>by SC7?

And exactly how do you enter guest performers in your TPE1 tag? There is no defined allowance for having guest performers in TPE1, due to the lack of any standard.

The official declared spec says:
4.2.1 TPE1 [#TPE1 Lead performer(s)/Soloist(s)]

So you should only put lead performers in the tag. Is a guest performer considered a lead performer? Most internet sources for automatically setting tags will typically not include guest performers. Guest performers are typically not tagged, unless YOU added them, in your own defined format.

Do you use a separator character? Do you enter several ARTIST tags? Or do you enter a single artist tag with something like "Billy Joel and Frank Sinatra"?

The official spec says that lead performers should be separated with "/". I think it says somewhere that there should be one single TPE1 tag, but several apps actually understand having several tags, or using a 0x00 byte to separate multiple artists (which is handy because iTunes only allows one TPE1 artist, but reads up to the 0x00, so it looks like there is only one artist and thus doesn't think an album is a compilation).

Some apps may read your additional guest artists, other will not. Some will see it as a compilation, others will not.

I'm just trying to demonstrate that it is very hard for an application to decide how to handle id3 v2.3 tags because there's lots of different interpretations made by applications.

You seem fixated on never needing to edit tags, but it's likely that you are adding guest performer tags, not adding album artist tags and not adding compilation tags. And then you complain that it's not doing the right thing, etc.

aubuti
2008-05-07, 13:27
ok, but its the same thing. SORT tags will override the VA logic just like ALBUMARTIST will. (so VA logic is not necessary for you)
I don't think so. VA worked fine before I added the ALBUMSORT tags, and I don't see how ARTISTSORT would override VA logic.


thats very cool about the SBC, i didn't think you could over-ride how the SBC does it, (via tags).
You're not really overriding it, you're just giving it different data to sort. The default data appears to be the ALBUM tag. For non-VA discs I populate the ALBUMSORT tag with ARTISTSORT+YEAR+ALBUM, and for VA discs I use ALBUM+YEAR.


i just said i didn't think that SC7 uses folder names to say that a CD in that folder is a VA album. if i am wrong on that, np, happy to admit it.

(i would like to know if a CD gets called VA and a comp just for being in such a folder, and what exactly the folder needs to be called to make that happen)
There's no special name required for the folder. I'm not an expert on this, but as I understand the typical case, if the tracks in a folder have (a) the same ALBUM tag and (b) the different ARTIST tags, it's treated as a VA album. If those same tracks are scattered around multiple directories, they are considered as separate albums, with the same name.

Philip Meyer
2008-05-07, 14:03
>I think the issue MrSinatra and some other users are seeing, is that
>COMPILATION needs to be set to 0, not 1. I've set the COMPILATION tag
>to 1 for all my VA albums, but I haven't set it to 0 for all the rest.
>Still, it's really simple to set it to 0 for all the other albums, in
>any of the tagging programs available, if SqueezeCenter would require
>this in some future release. So neither I can see the big problem with
>this.
But it shouldn't be necessary to set COMPILATION=0 in most cases. I think that's because there are guest performers and no album artist has been set. So setting an album artist (or allowing an option for TPE2 to be regarded as Album Artist), would fix that problem.

What is the effect of setting COMPILATION=0 when there are different artists on tracks? I'm not sure what that would achieve - probably just cause other "issues" for people. I'm guessing it would cause groups of songs to be split into several albums with the same name.

slimkid
2008-05-07, 15:36
But it shouldn't be necessary to set COMPILATION=0 in most cases. I think that's because there are guest performers and no album artist has been set. So setting an album artist (or allowing an option for TPE2 to be regarded as Album Artist), would fix that problem.

What is the effect of setting COMPILATION=0 when there are different artists on tracks? I'm not sure what that would achieve - probably just cause other "issues" for people. I'm guessing it would cause groups of songs to be split into several albums with the same name.

Actually, that is where SC is buggy. Two issues if COMPILATION=0 is not set:

- in artist view, album still goes under Various Artists, only listed by ALBUMARTIST. In album view, sort by Artist, album, it's sorted where V.. artists are.

- guest artists from such album don't see themselves on albums where they are main performers. I have already mention an example where Diana Krall performing on Ray Charles' album (as ARTIST) doesn't link to Diana Krall as sole artist on her album.

K

erland
2008-05-07, 22:18
But it shouldn't be necessary to set COMPILATION=0 in most cases. I think that's because there are guest performers and no album artist has been set. So setting an album artist (or allowing an option for TPE2 to be regarded as Album Artist), would fix that problem.

It was required with MrSinatra's mp3 files which was attached with bug 8001.



What is the effect of setting COMPILATION=0 when there are different artists on tracks? I'm not sure what that would achieve - probably just cause other "issues" for people. I'm guessing it would cause groups of songs to be split into several albums with the same name.
It didn't split the albums with MrSinatras files, but I can't guarantee that this won't happen in other cases.

I'm posting this here even though this is actually more developer related, but it feels good to have the discussion in a single thread since there already are some developers listening here.

I think the key code regarding all this can be found in two places:
1.
Slim::Schema::_postCheckAttributes:
- This is executed after each track has been read and created and its purpose is for example to split albums separated by directory (the Greatest Hit problem)
- This method also takes both the COMPILATION tag and ALBUMARTIST into account. The compilation flag ha three states (0, 1, not set) that is handled differently in some part of this code. In some places 0 and "not set" is handled the same way, in some places it isn't.
- The code acts on a created track object and creates or updates the related album and contributor(artist) objects, this also means that it stores albums with COMPILATION tags into the database as compilation or not compilation albums.

2.
Slim::Schema::mergeVariousArtistsAlbums:
- This is executed at the end of the scanning and as I understand its purpose is to change earlier created albums into compilation albums if they consists of more than one artist
- The mergeVariousArtistsAlbums code ONLY looks at albums where compilation is not set



By looking at this code, my opinion is that we have following things to take into account:
1.
If we want a checkbox to disable the "smart" detection logic which isn't based on the COMILATION tag, it should be enough to just select if Slim::Schema::mergeVariousArtistsAlbums should be executed or not. The mergeVariousArtistsAlbums is fairly simple, so I don't think this will have any side effect, but I haven't verified it.

2.
Any change in Slim::Schema::_postCheckAttributes will require A LOT of testing. This part of the code is IMHO really complex and it is also used whenever a track is written to the database, which will obviously happen during scanning but also when you access a music file that isn't in the database for example through Music Folder menu.
Due to all this, I would suggest that we try to stay away from changes that affects this part of the code, the risk of causing other side effects if just to large IMHO.

3.
The assigning of TPE2 to BAND happens in Slim::Formats::MP3, this is defined by the code line:
$MP3::Info::v2_to_v1_names{'TPE2'} = 'BAND';
This assignment can't easily be changed to map it to both BAND and ALBUMARTIST, so if we like to assign it to both I think we need to do the modification in Slim::Formats::MP3 in the getTag function. Should be fairly simple to do, but it might cause side effects in the Slim::Schema::_postCheckAttributes method mentioned above since it takes ALBUMARTIST into account in its logic. But since we don't introduce a new tag, just a tag that already is handled by SqueezeCenter for other formats, I don't think there is a big risk for side effects. The advantage of this solution (assuming it solves the problem), is that it will only affect MP3 files and there is no risk of causing side effects for other formats.



So, providing a patch for 1 or 3, would probably be pretty easy for someone that knows some perl programming. Implementing new advanced configurable detection logic for compilations is a lot bigger work than providing these two patches, so I think that kind of functionality can be postponed a bit if we find a solution to the "urgent" problem.

Finally, the easiest solution would of course be to just let users use the already existing logic with COMPILATION tags to override the automatic logic in the cases where it doesn't work correct. I think most users will have pretty few tags and no guest artists what so ever. So I suspect this issue is mostly seen by people that feel it is important that the tags contains as much information as possible and also completely correct information. Most users don't care about tags at all and will, as already mentioned earlier, probably just download tags from freedb or similar services where all tracks on an album in 98% of the cases is assigned to a single artist.

I can provide a patch for 1 and/or 3 if no one else wants to do it, this assumes of course that we have some kind of common agreement that a change is really needed and solution 1 and/or 3 would be good enough for the time being. Since I don't have a good library myself for testing this, it would also require that someone that either runs SqueezeCenter under linux/mac or is willing to run it under ActiveState perl under Windows is willing to help with the testing. I'm pretty sure no one at Logitech will touch this issue in the near future unless they get a someone verified patch to use. The main reason being that I think they have other more urgent bugs and enhancements to take care of.

So, what solution will be good enough ?

Philip Meyer
2008-05-08, 00:19
>> But it shouldn't be necessary to set COMPILATION=0 in most cases. I
>> think that's because there are guest performers and no album artist has
>> been set. So setting an album artist (or allowing an option for TPE2 to
>> be regarded as Album Artist), would fix that problem.
>>
>It was required with MrSinatra's mp3 files which was attached with bug
>8001.
>
But his files don't have album artists. I was saying it shouldn't be required if there is an album artist or all songs are by the same artist.

>> What is the effect of setting COMPILATION=0 when there are different
>> artists on tracks? I'm not sure what that would achieve - probably
>> just cause other "issues" for people. I'm guessing it would cause
>> groups of songs to be split into several albums with the same name.
>It didn't split the albums with MrSinatras files, but I can't guarantee
>that this won't happen in other cases.
>
For such a case, the album is ambiguous. There's multiple artists on an album, without a compilation tag or album artist tag.

SqueezeCenter library stores an artist id with each album record (ie. a single artist needs to be associated with the album), so I wonder what it has stored in this case? I thought it may make several albums, such that it had a single artist associated with each album record. It sounds like it has instead chosen an arbitrary artist and used that instead.

A possible issue in this state is that browsing by artist may not work as expected. eg. if the scanner records the first artist on the first song for that album as the album artist, Browse Artists would probably show the album as being by that artist.

I don't think it's the right thing to do to try to avoid setting compilation tags; it introduces another possible state for an album that needs to be handled 's which is likely to affect other things that use the data in the music library database.

I right thing to do is to make the album unambiguous by doing one one:

1. Set all artists on all songs to be the same.
2. Set the album as a compilation.
3. Set an album artist.

Another thing to consider with any changes to the scanner is whether it will cause a performance penalty in the scanning process. I think the suggestion to add an option to avoid guessing compilation tags would be okay in this regard, but any logic to determine complex rules (eg. something like "if more than 50% of songs are by one artist, make this artist the album artist and don't set the album as a compilation") would surely hurt scanning performance, which would annoy more people than it satisfy.

Phil

gregklanderman
2008-05-08, 10:06
>>>>> CatBus <CatBus.391qbb1210173601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> I'm not the one throwing around the phrase "standard tags" as if it
> meant something and refusing to use ID3 2.4 because it's only been
> around for a decade.

It's hard to keep track given the extreme volume and tedium of this
(and related) threads, but which tag are you referring to here?

For better or worse I have to defend MrSinatra here.. the TCMP tag
(aka COMPILATION) is in no id3 "standard" that I know of; it's an
iTunes invention AFAICT.

But contrary to MrSinatra's experience, I have never had to use it on
my library of ~18,000 tracks and ~1,400 albums. I have used
ALBUMARTIST for a few tens of albums. I'm running a locally patched
version of the server that treats TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST, and would like
to see SC support that interpretation as an option, however I do plan
to transition to TXXX ALBUMARTIST tags soon.

greg

gregklanderman
2008-05-08, 10:08
>>>>> MrSinatra <MrSinatra.3923ib1210190701 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> ok, but its the same thing. SORT tags will override the VA logic just
> like ALBUMARTIST will. (so VA logic is not necessary for you)

incorrect.

gregklanderman
2008-05-08, 10:25
>>>>> Phil Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk> writes:

> SqueezeCenter library stores an artist id with each album record
> (ie. a single artist needs to be associated with the album), so I
> wonder what it has stored in this case? I thought it may make
> several albums, such that it had a single artist associated with
> each album record. It sounds like it has instead chosen an
> arbitrary artist and used that instead.

> A possible issue in this state is that browsing by artist may not
> work as expected. eg. if the scanner records the first artist on
> the first song for that album as the album artist, Browse Artists
> would probably show the album as being by that artist.

I do understand that there is a single artist associated with each
album, however I haven't had any problems using multiple ALBUMARTIST
tags per album, and these albums appear under all of those artists
from "Browse Artists". I don't remember exactly, but I think the
row you refer to (album.contributor) is only used to decide whether an
artist is included in the "Browse Artists" list, not to decide which
albums to list under that artist.

Please nobody break the ability to use multiple ALBUMARTIST tags!

greg

Philip Meyer
2008-05-08, 12:31
>Please nobody break the ability to use multiple ALBUMARTIST tags!
Interesting. I've never thought of adding multiple album artists. What ends up in artist column of the album table for such an album?

I don't think I can see the need for multiple album artists, as I generally make a single album artist out of two names.

Eg. for "Page & Plant" - "No Quarter: Unledded" I have a single album artist "Page & Plant", with two artists "Jimmy Page" and "Robert Plant". I can see the album under "Jimmy Page", "Robert Plant" and "Page & Plant". But you are saying that SC works if I were to create ALBUMARTIST="Jimmy Page;Robert Plant"?

Do you use a separator character in one ALBUMARTIST tag, or several ALBUMARTIST tags?

slimkid
2008-05-08, 12:59
not only that multiple ALBUMARTIST work on album. One can actually mix and match various ALBUMARTISTS across the tracks of an album:

track1 - ALBUMARTIST = a; b
track2 - ALBUMARTIST = a; c
track3 - ALBUMARTIST = b; c

album is listed by a, b, c

very good feature that definitely shouldn't be discontinued.



...
I don't think I can see the need for multiple album artists, as I generally make a single album artist out of two names...


I'm not getting what you are saying - you don't see a need for it in your library or you don't see why somebody else would need it?

K

JJZolx
2008-05-08, 13:15
not only that multiple ALBUMARTIST work on album. One can actually mix and match various ALBUMARTISTS across the tracks of an album:

track1 - ALBUMARTIST = a; b
track2 - ALBUMARTIST = a; c
track3 - ALBUMARTIST = b; c

album is listed by a, b, c

very good feature that definitely shouldn't be discontinued.

Huh????

Of course you can put any damned thing you want in the tags. But ALBUMARTIST is an _album_ tag. Album tags should be consistent across all tracks in an album. The example you give would be like tagging different tracks in the same album with different album_replay_gain values. It's inconsistent and makes no logical sense. IMO, what you end up with should be not be well-defined by SqueezeCenter.

slimkid
2008-05-08, 13:39
Huh????

Of course you can put any damned thing you want in the tags. But ALBUMARTIST is an _album_ tag. Album tags should be consistent across all tracks in an album. The example you give would be like tagging different tracks in the same album with different album_replay_gain values. It's inconsistent and makes no logical sense. IMO, what you end up with should be not be well-defined by SqueezeCenter.

Huh????

the fact that you THINK it makes no logical sense, says only about your limited experience. I also fail to see the relevance of the analogy to album replay gain tag.

Good think is that above mentioned scenario works just fine and no further action is required (other than living it in place).

K

JJZolx
2008-05-08, 13:44
Good think is that above mentioned scenario works just fine and no further action is required (other than living it in place).

Because something works for the oddball way that you've decided to tag your files doesn't make it right. If it broke tomorrow you'd probably be the only one complaining and nobody else would notice or care. ALBUMARTIST is an _album_ tag. How can two tracks from the same ALBUM logically have two different ALBUMARTISTs? You're describing a property of the album, not the track.

You can easily accomplish the same thing by using multiple ARTISTs.

slimkid
2008-05-08, 14:10
Because something works for the oddball way that you've decided to tag your files doesn't make it right. If it broke tomorrow you'd probably be the only one complaining and nobody else would notice or care. ALBUMARTIST is an _album_ tag. How can two tracks from the same ALBUM logically have two different ALBUMARTISTs? You're describing a property of the album, not the track.

You can easily accomplish the same thing by using multiple ARTISTs.

so, in your opinion, it is not possible that album has 3 main artists where not all 3 participate on each track?

But to stop beating around the bush, I'm talking about the classical music, and I work hard to make the most of what SC has to offer. This one with multiple alubartists actually works fine. ARTIST tag is reserved for the composer, since COMPOSER tag does not have all the functionality.

If it happens one day that this doesn't work anymore, I'd like to think that it wold be because they came out with something better, and I'd adjust.

K

gregklanderman
2008-05-08, 14:27
>>>>> slimkid <slimkid.393zso1210279202 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> Huh????

> the fact that you THINK it makes no logical sense, says only about your
> limited experience. I also fail to see the relevance of the analogy to
> album reply gain tag.

> Good think is that above mentioned scenario works just fine and no
> further action us required (other than living it in place).

Gotta agree with JJZolx on this one - ALBUMARTIST is by definition a
property of the album. It is nonsensical to have different values for
different tracks.

The fact that SC uses the union of the ALBUMARTIST tags from the
album's tracks is one reasonable behavior (if I can infer that is what
it does from your example). But I would not necessarily expect that.

Why is this important to you anyway? Seems like you can get the same
behavior by tagging all tracks as "ALBUMARTIST=A;B;C".

greg

gregklanderman
2008-05-08, 14:30
>>>>> slimkid <slimkid.3941ez1210281301 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> so, in your opinion, it is not possible that album has 3 main artists
> where not all 3 participate on each track?

In this case, ARTIST should reflect the actual artists on each track,
and might differ by track. ALBUMARTIST should be set to the list of
artists under which you want the album to appear in "Browse Artists"
and should be the same for all tracks on the album.

greg

slimkid
2008-05-08, 14:47
Gotta agree with JJZolx on this one - ALBUMARTIST is by definition a
property of the album. It is nonsensical to have different values for
different tracks.


And, what definition would that be? Nonsensical in what way?



Why is this important to you anyway? Seems like you can get the same
behavior by tagging all tracks as "ALBUMARTIST=A;B;C".
greg

To be able to browse by artist (noted in ALBUMARTIST). If artist b doesn't participate on the track, I wouldn't want that track to be included in selection.

K

P.S. Arent't you the guy on this page who is advocating the use of multiple albumartists? :)

gregklanderman
2008-05-08, 14:50
>>>>> Phil Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk> writes:

> Interesting. I've never thought of adding multiple album artists.
> What ends up in artist column of the album table for such an album?

Hi Phil,

You mean album.contributor? Haven't looked at it in a few months, but
I believe it's set to the first ALBUMARTIST.

> I don't think I can see the need for multiple album artists, as I
> generally make a single album artist out of two names.

Right, I never do that, and in fact that's what I'm trying to avoid :-)

> Eg. for "Page & Plant" - "No Quarter: Unledded" I have a single
> album artist "Page & Plant", with two artists "Jimmy Page" and
> "Robert Plant". I can see the album under "Jimmy Page", "Robert
> Plant" and "Page & Plant". But you are saying that SC works if I
> were to create ALBUMARTIST="Jimmy Page;Robert Plant"?

Right. I would have ARTIST="Jimmy Page and Robert Plant" (or however
it actually appears on the album), and then add

ALBUMARTIST="Jimmy Page;Robert Plant"

to all tracks.

Perhaps a few more examples:

I have albums by "Neil Young", "Neil Young and Crazy Horse", "Neil
Young & Crazy Horse", "Neil Young with Crazy Horse", and "Neil Young &
The Bluenotes". Adding ALBUMARTIST="Neil Young" to all of them
collapses the "Browse Artists" display into a single "Neil Young"
entry, so I don't have to remember which way the artist appears on the
album in order to find it. But once I click through to a specific
album, the artist appears correctly as on the album.

For some artist collaborations, especially ones that only generated a
single album this is also useful. Examples are:

Redbird: ALBUMARTIST="Redbird;Kris Delmhorst;Peter Mulvey;Jeffrey Foucault"
Waz!: ALBUMARTIST="Waz!;Steve Tilston;Maartin Allcock;Pete Zorn"

So now I can find those albums both under the actual collaboration
name as well as the individuals and I don't have to remember the names
of all the one-off collaborations.

> Do you use a separator character in one ALBUMARTIST tag, or several
> ALBUMARTIST tags?

Currently I'm using a single TPE2 tag with ";" as a separator, and
have patched the server to treat TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST rather than as
BAND. But I plan to switch to "TXXX ALBUMARTIST" soon.

cheers,
greg

gregklanderman
2008-05-08, 14:55
>>>>> slimkid <slimkid.39431b1210283401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> And, what definition would that be? Nonsensical in what way?

"ALBUMARTIST" by definition pertains to the "ALBUM" - in fact, notice
how those are the first 5 letters.

"TRACKARTIST" (aka "ARTIST") pertains to the "TRACK".

greg

Philip Meyer
2008-05-09, 00:23
>not only that multiple ALBUMARTIST work on album. One can actually mix
>and match various ALBUMARTISTS across the tracks of an album:
>
>very good feature that definitely shouldn't be discontinued.
>
I doubt that was an intended feature. Sounds really wrong. ALBUMARTIST is for grouping all songs on an album to be by the same artist. You have declared different album artists on songs on the same album. I think you have a time-bomb waiting to happen.

Unless you don't actually have ALBUMARTIST tags because you've used some external tagging program that reports "Album Artist" but actually uses TPE2 BAND tag instead?

>I'm not getting what you are saying - you don't see a need for it in
>your library or you don't see why somebody else would need it?
>
I personally would expect ALBUMARTIST to reference exactly one artist name. I use ARTIST tags to denote who performs on the songs on the album, and occasionally add BAND tags to add additional information about performers on the album. I use ALBUMARTIST to ensure that the album is seen as a regular album and appears under one artist when browsing by artist.

I don't have a problem with people using ALBUMARTIST to contain multiple artist names; seems a valid thing to do as long as the same info is on each song.

I may find a case when I will use that feature; I haven't yet, and not sure if I will.

My only concern was that SqueezeCenter also stores a contributor (artist foreign key) within the album record. This can only be one artist, so what happens if I have two album artists?

Note that I have seen strange effects on an album where I only set ALBUMARTIST on one song, rather than all songs. I thought that it would only be needed on songs with guest performers, but my recommendation is to set ALBUMARTIST on all songs. Otherwise you seem to get the set of artists and track artists reported inconsistently (can't remember what the specific issues were, just remembered not to do it again!).

Phil

gregklanderman
2008-05-09, 07:50
>>>>> Phil Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk> writes:

> My only concern was that SqueezeCenter also stores a contributor
> (artist foreign key) within the album record. This can only be one
> artist, so what happens if I have two album artists?

As I said above, I was expecting multiple ALBUMARTIST tags not to work
knowing there is a single contributor on the album, however, it turns
out this field is only used for the fix to bug 3255, something about
getting the alphabar anchors at the top of the browse page correct.
I've noticed no problems.

I still can't imagine why anyone would want combinations of artists to
appear under "Browse Artists" but that of course is your choice. :-)

If you're interested in the history of this usage, see these bugs:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=616
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=4509

My thanks to Keith Briscoe for figuring out that ALBUMARTIST would
solve the problem; I was envisioning a much more complicated solution.

greg

slimkid
2008-05-09, 09:31
just FYI,

attached is slimserver database model. I'd like to turn your attention to contributor_album table.

@greg, no serious discussion can be based on the premisse "I don't use it and I don't see why anybody else would".

If you want to participate in the real world excercise, I can give you an example album and reasonable user expectations, so you could offer the alternative solution.

@philip, if this is ever broken, world won't come to an end. I can choose to:
- not upgrade any further
- keep old scanner (if possible) or customize it.
- customize the new scannner
- change my tagging scheme using newly introduced features


BTW, there's an issue with the VA that nobody is mentioning - even if there is unique ALBUMARTISTS and different ARTISTs for tracks, album will be considered a compilation and placed under Various Artists in artists view. In album view, it will be sorted among other 'V' artists. In both cases it will show 'by albumartist' correctly after the album name.

cheers
K

JJZolx
2008-05-09, 09:49
The way I use ALBUMARTIST and the way I believe it was intended is as a means of designating the artist(s) to which the album should be attributed. As an _override_ mechanism to the normal/original behavior of attributing the album to all of the artists that appear on the album.

I don't think I've used multiple ALBUMARTIST tags to date, but I could certainly see it and see that it would be perfectly valid. Using different sets of ALBUMARTISTs on different tracks of an album, however, I still see as inconsistent and meaningless.

The album.contributor column is used for sorting albums by artist (and, consequently, organizing the alpha pagebar). Its use in SquezeCenter is one of the reasons that sorting albums by band or composer isn't possible. There is only _one_ contributor by which albums can be sorted under the current implementation.

JJZolx
2008-05-09, 09:53
BTW, there's an issue with the VA that nobody is mentioning - even if there is unique ALBUMARTISTS and different ARTISTs for tracks, album will be considered a compilation and placed under Various Artists in artists view. In album view, it will be sorted among other 'V' artists. In both cases it will show 'by albumartist' correctly after the album name.

You're right.

IMO, designating an ALBUMARTIST should immediately override the normal VA determination and make the album a non-compilation. You can do this yourself with an explicity COMPILATION=0 tag in some file types, but it shouldn't be necessary.

slimkid
2008-05-09, 10:05
You're right.

IMO, designating an ALBUMARTIST should immediately override the normal VA determination and make the album a non-compilation. You can do this yourself with an explicity COMPILATION=0 tag in some file types, but it shouldn't be necessary.

Setting COMPILATION=0 works, but with the side effect that all artists for the album are listed in artist list.

I tried changing album.compilation to 0 in database after the full scan and it appears to do the trick, so it might be just a matter of changing the scanner code.

K

JJZolx
2008-05-09, 10:19
Setting COMPILATION=0 works, but with the side effect that all artists for the album are listed in artist list.

That, IMO, is a bug. I think those artists should be suppressed whether or not the album is a compilation. I think the problem is more historical than anything else - at one time any album that had more than one artist was considered a compilation no matter what. It was never foreseen that you could have non-compilations by using explicit COMPILATION tags or ALBUMARTIST.

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=5108

The example I always use is the Sinatra album called 'Duets', where Sinatra records each track with a different artist. This is obviously a non-compilation. It's a Sinatra album and you want it grouped with Sinatra, so the ALBUMARTIST is Sinatra. Currently for SqueezeCenter you must mark it explicitly with COMPILATION=0. Unfortunately, as you point out, all those guest artists will be listed in the artist list.

This is a bug that I really wish would get fixed. I think it would simplify a lot of things greatly.

slimkid
2008-05-09, 10:33
That, IMO, is a bug. I think those artists should be suppressed whether or not the album is a compilation. I think the problem is more historical than anything else - at one time any album that had more than one artist was considered a compilation no matter what. It was never foreseen that you could have non-compilations by using explicit COMPILATION tags or ALBUMARTIST.

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=5108

The example I always use is the Sinatra album called 'Duets', where Sinatra records each track with a different artist. This is obviously a non-compilation. It's a Sinatra album and you want it grouped with Sinatra, so the ALBUMARTIST is Sinatra. Currently for SqueezeCenter you must mark it explicitly with COMPILATION=0. Unfortunately, as you point out, all those guest artists will be listed in the artist list.

This is a bug that I really wish would get fixed. I think it would simplify a lot of things greatly.

You know, that is a tough call. In your Sinatra example, without COMPILATION tag set, all those other guys might be not significant enough to deserve a place in artist list. But problem is if some of them are, then even if there is a guest artist there who also has a separate album in your library, you won't be able to flow between those two albums based on that artist. Solution I found is to tag only those tracks with COMPILATION=0.

Then, what if, in classical music case there's an album where star soprano sings stuff from 5 famous composers. Soprano becomes ALBUMARTIST, composers become ARTIST, but I do want them to show in artist list and I want to be able to browse by that artist for other albums where they might participate. Setting COMPILATION=0 (for all tracks) solves is. So, in this case,it is desired behavior.

I almost see a need for ALBUMCOMPILATION tag :) :) :)

K

JJZolx
2008-05-09, 10:49
Solution I found is to tag only those tracks with COMPILATION=0.

Again, this is an album property, not a property of the track. If, for some reason it affects how SqueezeCenter treats the artists on the track then you're really just exploiting a side effect that could go away overnight.

gregklanderman
2008-05-09, 10:57
>>>>> slimkid <slimkid.395j4b1210350902 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> @greg, no serious discussion can be based on the premisse "I don't use
> it and I don't see why anybody else would".

SlimKid, you have misinterpreted (or misrepresented) what I wrote.
I counter that no serious discussion can be had with someone such
as yourself who is either incapable of reading simple English or
unwilling to make the effort to understand what has been written.

greg

gregklanderman
2008-05-09, 11:04
>>>>> JJZolx <JJZolx.395l7b1210353601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=5108

> The example I always use is the Sinatra album called 'Duets', where
> Sinatra records each track with a different artist. This is obviously
> a non-compilation. It's a Sinatra album and you want it grouped with
> Sinatra, so the ALBUMARTIST is Sinatra. Currently for SqueezeCenter
> you must mark it explicitly with COMPILATION=0. Unfortunately, as you
> point out, all those guest artists will be listed in the artist list.

I wonder why I don't see this problem.. I do this sort of thing all
the time. I have the different ARTIST tags on each track, then a
single ALBUMARTIST across all tracks, and no COMPILATION tags anywhere
in my entire library. And I do not see those auxiliary track artists
in the "Browse Artists" menu.

Running 7.0 out of svn from late February (r17707), will likely update
within the 7.0 branch this weekend.

How do you have your server compilation parameters set?

greg

slimkid
2008-05-09, 11:41
Again, this is an album property, not a property of the track. If, for some reason it affects how SqueezeCenter treats the artists on the track then you're really just exploiting a side effect that could go away overnight.

Oh, I'm well avare of that. It just works, just as different artists in albumartist work for what I want to achieve. And, if it at some point stops ... well, I'll have to find some other way.

K

Philip Meyer
2008-05-09, 13:04
>I still can't imagine why anyone would want combinations of artists to
>appear under "Browse Artists" but that of course is your choice. :-)
I don't do that for all artists, in fact not frequently at all. I do it when I want to put the full names of artists in the ARTIST tags, but the album is known by the combination of the names.

"Unleaded by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page" looks a bit messy, "Unleaded by Page and Plant" looks better. I can then click "Page and Plant" to only show albums by "Page and Plant", whereas if I clicked "Robert Plant", I get any solo and joint albums, etc.

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-05-09, 14:01
>I wonder why I don't see this problem.. I do this sort of thing all
>the time. I have the different ARTIST tags on each track, then a
>single ALBUMARTIST across all tracks, and no COMPILATION tags anywhere
>in my entire library. And I do not see those auxiliary track artists
>in the "Browse Artists" menu.
I imagine this is another case of someone thinking they have ALBUMARTIST tags, but actually they have used TPE2 BAND.

That would explain everything above.

JJZolx
2008-05-09, 14:28
I wonder why I don't see this problem.. I do this sort of thing all
the time. I have the different ARTIST tags on each track, then a
single ALBUMARTIST across all tracks, and no COMPILATION tags anywhere
in my entire library. And I do not see those auxiliary track artists
in the "Browse Artists" menu.

Albums tagged like this would be marked compilations, wouldn't they? Do they get grouped under the VA artist when you browse albums sorted by artist, or do they get grouped with the ALBUMARTIST? Single-track artists from compilations are correctly suppressed, but the same from non-compilations are not.

gregklanderman
2008-05-09, 16:39
>>>>> JJZolx <JJZolx.395wrz1210368601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> Albums tagged like this would be marked compilations, wouldn't they?
> Do they get grouped under the VA artist when you browse albums sorted
> by artist, or do they get grouped with the ALBUMARTIST?

These albums get grouped under the ALBUMARTIST.

See Phil's post re: ALBUMARTIST vs. TPE2.

How have you set the top 5 options on the settings tab which includes
the compilation settings as the 4th and 5th items? Sorry, I'm at work
and don't have it in front of me..

greg

JJZolx
2008-05-09, 22:09
>>>>> JJZolx <JJZolx.395wrz1210368601 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> Albums tagged like this would be marked compilations, wouldn't they?
> Do they get grouped under the VA artist when you browse albums sorted
> by artist, or do they get grouped with the ALBUMARTIST?

These albums get grouped under the ALBUMARTIST.

See Phil's post re: ALBUMARTIST vs. TPE2.

How have you set the top 5 options on the settings tab which includes
the compilation settings as the 4th and 5th items?

Well, I've figured out the difference, but the logic completely escapes me. These are all Flac files, no BAND tags, so the only option that's relevant is 'group compilations', which I have set.

If I take two such duet/guest-artist albums, each with an ALBUMARTIST, and mark one explicilty COMPILATION=0 and the other with no COMPILATION tag, then the former has the compilation column in the database set to 0, the latter set to NULL. Screwed up in its own right, but SC goes out of its way to then treat them the same when listing albums, so both get grouped correctly under the ALBUMARTIST when browsing albums.

The difference, and the apparent reason that the artists from the album marked COMPILATION=0 are being listed under browse artists, is that 'guest' artists from that album are given the role of ARTIST (1) while those from the compilation NULL album are given the role of TRACKARTIST (6). This must be how they're surpressed - simply by not retrieving TRACKARTISTs.

Does this make any bloody sense to anyone?

kdf
2008-05-09, 23:33
On 9-May-08, at 10:09 PM, JJZolx wrote:
>
> Does this make any bloody sense to anyone?

I'm thinking that anyone who had even ONE braincell willing to think
about this issue and actually make something happen..
lost that braincell in the three threads going on incessantly about
the same thing with the same points over and over.

if anyone comes out of this with a point, please do us all a favour
and make it...then kill anyone who keeps muttering on about the same
points.

-k

JJZolx
2008-05-09, 23:37
On 9-May-08, at 10:09 PM, JJZolx wrote:
>
> Does this make any bloody sense to anyone?

I'm thinking that anyone who had even ONE braincell willing to think
about this issue and actually make something happen..
lost that braincell in the three threads going on incessantly about
the same thing with the same points over and over.

if anyone comes out of this with a point, please do us all a favour
and make it...then kill anyone who keeps muttering on about the same
points.

Kevin, hitting the bottle a little hard tonight? ;-) Have fun...

kdf
2008-05-09, 23:50
On 9-May-08, at 11:37 PM, JJZolx wrote:

>
> kdf;300675 Wrote:
>> On 9-May-08, at 10:09 PM, JJZolx wrote:
>>>
>>> Does this make any bloody sense to anyone?
>>
>> I'm thinking that anyone who had even ONE braincell willing to think
>> about this issue and actually make something happen..
>> lost that braincell in the three threads going on incessantly about
>> the same thing with the same points over and over.
>>
>> if anyone comes out of this with a point, please do us all a favour
>> and make it...then kill anyone who keeps muttering on about the same
>> points.
>
> Kevin, hitting the bottle a little hard tonight? ;-) Have fun...

Just fed up Jim. I mean really. I got used to your kind of venom,
but this kind of trolling is another league altogether.
No one taking part is actually capable of DOING anything. gotta make
you wonder.

surely it's a sad thing that the effect anyone might want is wholly
lost. Even worse that other threads suffer as well. others like me,
who might be capable of actually making changes, have had to simply
delete entire DAYS of emails just because it's not worth filtering
individually.

But, if you'd like to write it off as something so banal as
drink...well, Jim...feel free to cough up code of your own to
compensate for those you've caused to walk away. Frankly, I'm starting
to value sleep far more than reading this crap, or even filtering it
out from the rest. The free gear isn't worth it.

Those who actually monitor the forum and actually CARE about the the
productivity of volunteer coders, take note. Some things go too far.

cheers,
-k

JJZolx
2008-05-10, 00:07
No one taking part is actually capable of DOING anything. gotta make you wonder.

This isn't a developer list. That no developers take part in this type of a discussion is fairly standard. I don't think that anybody expects them to.

I just learned something because of what someone else said and that's worth something to me. I think that's where the value lies - in figuring out the quirks, the bugs, and the general weirdness of how SqueezeCenter tries to deal with library cataloging.

kdf
2008-05-10, 00:18
forums.slimdevices.com> <FDF01C47-081F-40C5-86B0-192DDBF85161 (AT) deane-freeman (DOT) com> <JJZolx.396nmn1210403401 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.919.2)


On 10-May-08, at 12:07 AM, JJZolx wrote:

>
> kdf;300681 Wrote:
>> No one taking part is actually capable of DOING anything. gotta make
>> you wonder.
>
> This isn't a developer list.
right...list police, good call.

> That no developers take part in this type
> of a discussion is fairly standard. I don't think that anybody
> expects
> them to.
>
This is one thread of many that is all on the same subject. Claiming
that no one expects a solution is just avoiding accountability on your
part.

> I just learned something because of what someone else said and that's
> worth something to me. I think that's where the value lies - in
> figuring out the quirks, the bugs, and the general weirdness of how
> SqueezeCenter tries to deal with library cataloging.

ok, .... then keep it to one thread.
thanks,
-kdf

Philip Meyer
2008-05-10, 01:29
>No one taking part is actually capable of DOING anything. gotta make
>you wonder.
I am capable of doing patches, but there's little incentive - things are generally working for me (apart from a few minor issues that I've lived with for a long time), so I'd be trying to change something in a way that I don't use.

>From exploring this thread, I was hoping to come up with a list of things that were not quite right that everyone agrees should be changed. However, we always seem to go round in circles, and all of the various threads and bugs are now discussing the same issues.

erland
2008-05-10, 01:39
No one taking part is actually capable of DOING anything. gotta make
you wonder.

I'm not sure I agree if you really meant "no one", but if you change it to "most of the the people" I can agree...

But I do agree that this discussion back and forth where the same arguments is repeated all over again isn't really moving this any closer to a solution.

slimkid
2008-05-10, 06:58
if anyone comes out of this with a point, please do us all a favour
and make it...then kill anyone who keeps muttering on about the same
points.

-k

For the sake of efficiency, I'll skip over your insulting rant and get to two points I believe everybody here agrees:

- Artist View (Home->Artists): when ALBUMARTIST tag is present in file, then regardless of whether the album is compilation or not, it should not go into Various Artist area. It should be listed as <ALBUM> by <ALBUMARTIST> and be listed under ALBUMARTISTS in artist list (Home->Artists->ALBUMARTIST). Right now compilation albums, even though they are displayed as <ALBUM> by <ALBUMARTIST>, are grouped under Home->Artists->Various Artists.

- Album View (Home->Albums): When album is listed like <ALBUM> by <SOMETHING>, regardless of what that SOMETHING is, sorting should follow the general sorting rule of the list. If it is just by <Album>, then everything is OK, if it is by <Artist, Album>, than <SOMETHING> should be treated as artist and sort should effectively become <Something, Album>. Right now, compilations with albumartist are listed as <ALBUM>by<ALBUMARTIST> but sorted (ina case of <Artist, Album> sort) among albums whose artist start with 'V' or are 'Various Artists'.

I really hope these two chapters are right to the point.

@kdf, I believe you are listening to these discussions through eMail and are under wrong impression that this is coming from the developers forum. Actually, this is coming form the General forum, and I find your assumptions about capabilities of the discussion participants rather inappropriate and beside the point since there's no requirement to be able to code in order to engage into discussion.

K

Philip Meyer
2008-05-10, 08:39
>- Artist View (Home->Artists): when ALBUMARTIST tag is present in file,
>then regardless of whether the album is compilation or not, it should
>not go into Various Artist area. It should be listed as <ALBUM> by
><ALBUMARTIST> and be listed under ALBUMARTISTS in artist list
>(Home->Artists->ALBUMARTIST). Right now compilation albums, even though
>they are displayed as <ALBUM> by <ALBUMARTIST>, are grouped under
>Home->Artists->Various Artists.
>
Yes, I'd agree with that, although I think it's a bit clearer to think of the rule as follows:

"When the scanner finds and album with an album artist tag, set Compilation=No".

i.e. the fault is in the scanner that builds the library from scanning source files.

>- Album View (Home->Albims): When album is listed like <ALBUM> by
><SOMETHING>, regardless of what is that SOMETHING is, sorting should
>follow the general sorting rule of the list. If it is just by <Album>,
>then everything is OK, if it is by <Artist, Album>, than <SOMETHING>
>should be treated as artist and sort should effectively become
><Something, Album>. Right now, compilations with albumartist are listed
>as <ALBUM>by<ALBUMARTIST> but sorted (ina case of <Artist, Album> sort)
>among albums whose artist start with 'V' or are 'Various Artists'.
>
I found this para harder to interpret. I think it's generally covered by the first point though - if there is an album artist, the album should not be considered a compilation. This would fix the second problem (above)? i.e. there should never be an album with an album artist and a Compilation flag - they are mutually exclusive.

I think it's important to:
1. Work out what SC currently does. Perhaps document these rules in the wiki. This willl benefit everyone, esp. when yet another thread on the same problems comes along in the future!
2. Document any actual clear problems/bugs with these rules.
3. Keep additional enhancement requests separate from (2).

Phil

gregklanderman
2008-05-10, 12:04
>>>>> JJZolx <JJZolx.396i2n1210396201 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> writes:

> Well, I've figured out the difference

Jim, glad you figured out the issue - you should open a very specific
bug for this.

Btw, I didn't find this post offensive at all especially in relation
to some of the other posts by others in these threads. Also unlike
most of the rest of these threads we actually figured something out.

And I'm perfectly capable of making code changes, but like Phil,
things are mostly working for me, and I choose to focus the limited
time I have for SC on things I want. I do try to help out on the
forums a bit to clarify confusion over things I understand.

I agree it has been long and tedious, circular, and with several vocal
posters unwilling to actually listen to what others write. But
seriously Kevin, if you don't like these threads, just skip them.
Most mail readers should let you just delete the whole thread.
Posting your own venom doesn't really help.

greg

kdf
2008-05-10, 12:04
@kdf, I believe you are listening to these discussions through eMail and are under wrong impression that this is coming from the developers forum.
Actually, this is coming form the General forum, and I find your assumptions about capabilities of the discussion participants rather inappropriate and beside the point since there's no requirement to be able to code in order to engage into discussion.

K


I'm well aware of where it is coming from (I'm sure your point is much easier to write when you ignore certain bits of my post where I mention three threads). Given the core nature of this particular bit of logic, my statement that no one involved can do anything, stands. Even with the ability to merge code, it could not be done without full buy in from the people who actually make the decisions as to how it should work.

If you wish to keep it to one thread, then at least that's a small mercy for the rest of us. I think you misinterpret the desires of the OP. It is not a discussion for the sake of it. The whole idea revolves around trying to get a group together to lobby for changes to the VA logic. Be grateful for the participation of Erland and Phil. Even if you disagree with their points, it's your best chance of seeing a patch, thus the only chance of effecting change.

I'll now join the majority and go back to quietly ignoring this thread and it's sibling, hoping that it will all come to a reasonable conclusion soon.

gregklanderman
2008-05-10, 12:06
>>>>> Phil Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk> writes:

> Yes, I'd agree with that, although I think it's a bit clearer to think of the rule as follows:

> "When the scanner finds and album with an album artist tag, set Compilation=No".

> i.e. the fault is in the scanner that builds the library from scanning source files.

I don't think that's quite right; if I understood JJZolx having
ALBUMARTIST set and COMPILATION=0 is when things break. I have *no*
COMPILATION tags set, and it works for me.

greg

Philip Meyer
2008-05-10, 15:58
>I don't think that's quite right; if I understood JJZolx having
>ALBUMARTIST set and COMPILATION=0 is when things break. I have *no*
>COMPILATION tags set, and it works for me.

I was trying to say that if there is an album artist, then compilation tags should be ignored. i.e if there is an album artist and compilation=1, it shouldn't be considered a compilation album.

Here's another go at explaining things a bit further:

Guest artists on a compilation album have track artist role and thus are suppressed if "Group compilation albums together" is selected.

Should guest artists on an album that has an album artist be suppressed in the same way? I'm not sure there's a clear-cut answer to that question. If so, the album wouldn't be a compilation, so the label text should read something more generic like "Suppress guest artists from artist list".

If an album has guest artists and SC guesses that an album is a compilation and the user wants to override this, we think they should do so by setting an album artist. That would by result in Compilation=NULL, and track artist roles would be set for all artists. Thus the "Group compilation albums together" option would suppress guest artists.

However, some users have already overridden the logic by setting compilation=0 rather than setting an album artist, and as a result all artists have lead performer (1) contributor roles. If the scanner were changed such that compilation=0 were to always cause track artist roles, then what artist would you expect to find the album listed under? It wouldn't be a compilation, so wouldn't appear under various artists, and track artists could be suppressed and there wouldn't be any lead artists. I think that is why compilation=0 always causes artist (1) roles. The album would be listed under each individual artist (they are not regarded as guest performers). This isn't so bad for Browse Artists, but confusing for Browse Albums by Artist as the album is listed under one arbitrary artist.

It appears that at the moment the user has a choice:

1. Set an album artist and no compilation tag - guest artists can be suppressed from browse artists.
2. Set an album artist and compilation=0 - guest artists are never suppressed from browse artists.

I think we are agreeing that ARTIST tags should always be stored as track artist roles when there is an album artist.

MrSinatra
2008-06-04, 12:15
guys...

first, i've been away. i got married. but now i would like to revisit these issues.

so i am sorry i started these threads / topics and disappeared, but the wife, well, she wouldn't like me posting during "our time." ;)

in any case...

i think we have gotten somewhat off track here.

the original point of me posting this thread was to address whether the VA logic SC uses is actually a necessity.

i think its obvious it is not necessary. most people seem to use tags of some kind or another to get things sorted and classified the way they want them to be.

now that isn't to say some people don't use the VA logic. some do, and it works perfectly or near perfectly for them, (and they use it in a way that may or may not be how it was intended, but regardless, they like it). some even don't mind having to make tags that "undo" what the VA logic does incorrectly on a portion of their music.

so, getting back to the whole point of this thread:

i propose SC adds an option that allows users to disable or turn off the VA logic detection

i am adding the bug report here:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8324

even if you think VA detection logic necessary, i don't think you can argue against such an option. for many of us, it is in fact, not necessary, it leads to albums being classified as comps and put in the wrong place, and most importantly to the strength of the request, it adds unnecessary scanning time to library scans.

consider:

many people would have their libraries totally correctly sorted and labelled via their tags alone! the VA logic makes a scan take longer for no reason, its totally superfluous.

others, like me, suffer at the hands of the VA logic. but we can't turn it off.

surely an "on / off" option where VA logic is concerned is then justified? if only for the purposes of decreasing scan times? (although i would argue, it would help people like me as well).

thx.

JJZolx
2008-06-04, 12:23
first, i've been away. i got married. but now i would like to revisit these issues.

This thread is dead. Dead. Dead, I tell you. :-)

It's very clear by recent activity in bugzilla that there are very large changes planned for the database structure and how it will be used in future versions of SqueezeCenter. Targeted for 7.3, I'd guess we're looking at early next year at the very soonest. When _that_ design change goes into beta then it will be time to dig up this dead horse again.

egd
2008-06-04, 12:30
first, i've been away. i got married.As I say to all who succumb to this fate, myself included..."Commiserations, you can't be happy all your life". ;)

MrSinatra
2008-06-04, 12:37
Jim i appreciate the reply, but i don't see why this should have to wait for 7.3! ...or a whole new database schema.

my hope is that erland or phil or kdf or greg (or someone) will consider the worthiness of my bug report, and hopefully find it worthy, and implement the option.

but just waiting around in a vague hope that whatever the new schema is will happen to address this issue is not to me, acceptable or practical.

i have waited a long time [years] for slim to address how it handles files without user defined tags. waiting what could be months to years more is not something i want to do. granted, this issue (bug 8324) is not as important to me as bug 8001, but nevertheless, i would like to see both addressed sooner rather than later, and i don't see why either should wait for a whole new paradigm.

(and actually, while not as important to me, this bug 8324 should have a lot more support here {compared to 8001} b/c i would bet a lot of people here would appreciate shorter scan times)

mherger
2008-06-04, 12:46
> Jim i appreciate the reply, but i don't see why this should have to wait
> for 7.3! ...or a whole new database schema.

Because we rather concentrate on doing 7.3 right than wasting time fixing and breaking again the current logic.

--

Michael

Phil Leigh
2008-06-04, 12:51
Jim i appreciate the reply, but i don't see why this should have to wait for 7.3! ...or a whole new database schema.

my hope is that erland or phil or kdf or greg (or someone) will consider the worthiness of my bug report, and hopefully find it worthy, and implement the option.

but just waiting around in a vague hope that whatever the new schema is will happen to address this issue is not to me, acceptable or practical.

i have waited a long time [years] for slim to address how it handles files without user defined tags. waiting what could be months to years more is not something i want to do. granted, this issue (bug 8324) is not as important to me as bug 8001, but nevertheless, i would like to see both addressed sooner rather than later, and i don't see why either should wait for a whole new paradigm.

(and actually, while not as important to me, this bug 8324 should have a lot more support here {compared to 8001} b/c i would bet a lot of people here would appreciate shorter scan times)

To be pedantic, you have effectively filed an enhancement request to add a new user-configurable option. Nothing wrong with that, but it ISN'T a "bug"...

In the meantime you might want to focus your energy on:
1) being married - it's very time-consuming!
2) tagging your files in a suitably creative way so that your "bug" is less of a problem for you personally
3) recognise that apparently very very few users have the same issues that you have - or, at least, they don't attach the same importance to them that you do
4) preparing to be a beta-tester for 7.3. If JJ is correct and a whole new database schema is planned (and with all due respect to the designers, there is something really badly optimised about the current one - and I say this as someone who has implemented a commercial database which does 30 million updates a day and has over a billion rows of data in a single table) then it is going to need a good bit of in-field user testing...


PS Congratulations!

MrSinatra
2008-06-04, 13:00
> Jim i appreciate the reply, but i don't see why this should have to wait
> for 7.3! ...or a whole new database schema.

Because we rather concentrate on doing 7.3 right than wasting time fixing and breaking again the current logic.

Michael

i am asking this b/c i want to know, so please understand it is not to be argumentative...

but the VA detection logic seems to be its own separate process from the [or within the?] rest of the scanning process. is this not the case?

if it is, why is it such a burden or risk to simply allow people the option to turn it off if they don't want to use it?

kdf
2008-06-04, 13:52
Short answer is that it would need to be supported, and that's a lot easier to say (or request) than do. It's rather obvious with 7.0 - 7.3 all in the targets, that there is a lot on the go.

However, as unsupported goes, SC is, as always open source. Download the tar.gz version, install activePerl and remove this line from Slim\Music\Import.pm

Slim::Schema->mergeVariousArtistsAlbums;

It's around line 350 or so (plus remove the two lines before it). You'll probably find it isn't really shaving a whole lot off the total scan time (unless you have the majority of your collection falling into the VA category). No guarantees on the results, mind you, but at least you'll get a clear demonstration of just what you get by "simply turning off" the VA postscan.

-kdf

erland
2008-06-04, 21:49
However, as unsupported goes, SC is, as always open source. Download the tar.gz version, install activePerl and remove this line from Slim\Music\Import.pm

Slim::Schema->mergeVariousArtistsAlbums;

It's around line 350 or so (plus remove the two lines before it). You'll probably find it isn't really shaving a whole lot off the total scan time (unless you have the majority of your collection falling into the VA category). No guarantees on the results, mind you, but at least you'll get a clear demonstration of just what you get by "simply turning off" the VA postscan.

I've added a patch to the bug report based on this description, based on some simple tests it seems to work as expected. The default settings is the current behaviour where various artists albums are automatically detected. If automatic detection is disabled with the new option, the result is that various artists albums are only detected based on COMPILATION tags.

MrSinatra
2008-06-05, 13:13
erland,

thats awesome!

so my question to you is what happens on the slim developer side, or what is needed, to get this option incorporated into the nightly betas?

i really do believe some users will find this option very useful, especially infrant users but not limited only to them.

here's my next question...

does SC 'know' that an album is a compilation based on the internal ALBUMARTIST field?

meaning, lets say VA detection was turned off, and you had no comp tags at all of any kind, if the ALBUMARTIST field was populated by the string "Various Artists" then sure, it would sort the album there, BUT would it know the album was a compilation album, (based on the string data)?

and if it did not know this, what would be the drawback? (meaning, what is the drawback of SC not knowing a given album is a comp if it is in fact a comp?)

thanks again!

erland
2008-06-05, 16:15
so my question to you is what happens on the slim developer side, or what is needed, to get this option incorporated into the nightly betas?

Logitech regularly looks through bug/enhancement reports with provided patches and checks if the patch is good enough. If there is an enhancement, they also decide if they like to add it to SqueezeCenter and thus also manage the potential support issues later related to it. If they decide it's worth adding the decide which release they like to add it to. Usually critical bug corrections is added to the next fix release (7.0.x in this case), small enhancement is added to the next major release (7.1 in this case) and larger enhancements is added to a future release after the next major release (7.2 or later in this case). I suspect this is something that might be added to 7.1 or 7.2 if they decide they like to manage the support issues for this new option.

The only good way that end users can affect this decision is to vote on the registered enhancement request at http://bugs.slimdevices.com



here's my next question...

does SC 'know' that an album is a compilation based on the internal ALBUMARTIST field?

meaning, lets say VA detection was turned off, and you had no comp tags at all of any kind, if the ALBUMARTIST field was populated by the string "Various Artists" then sure, it would sort the album there, BUT would it know the album was a compilation album, (based on the string data)?

and if it did not know this, what would be the drawback? (meaning, what is the drawback of SC not knowing a given album is a comp if it is in fact a comp?)

I have no idea, but I'm sure someone has already mention how it works in a post earlier in this thread (or in one of the related threads). If I'm reading the code correctly, I think the only albums that will be considered compilation with the new option disabled is those with a COMPILATION tag. I'm not sure what will happen with albums with an album artist named "Various Artists".

If you like to help, you can verify how it works with and without the patch.

If you are using Windows, you will need to install ActiveState perl and run slimserver.pl manually to be able to use the patch after you have applied it. If you feel this is to complicated, it would also help if you could just verify how this work today (without the patch).

MrSinatra
2008-06-05, 16:48
Logitech regularly looks through bug/enhancement reports with provided patches and checks if the patch is good enough. If there is an enhancement, they also decide if they like to add it to SqueezeCenter and thus also manage the potential support issues later related to it. If they decide it's worth adding the decide which release they like to add it to. Usually critical bug corrections is added to the next fix release (7.0.x in this case), small enhancement is added to the next major release (7.1 in this case) and larger enhancements is added to a future release after the next major release (7.2 or later in this case). I suspect this is something that might be added to 7.1 or 7.2 if they decide they like to manage the support issues for this new option.

The only good way that end users can affect this decision is to vote on the registered enhancement request at http://bugs.slimdevices.com

right on. i can't imagine the support burden of an "on/off" option is too much. and more to the point, SC is the only app i have ever seen with such functionality as VA logic detection.

in other words, this kind of feature would be new to new users, and so for new users, it should probably be off by default. otherwise they may be confused, as i was, as to what the hell was going on at first. if anything, i think having it off for new users by default will lighten the support burden.


I have no idea, but I'm sure someone has already mention how it works in a post earlier in this thread (or in one of the related threads).

i'm guessing it does matter, but i can't remember why. i am hoping someone will explain why it matters if SC knows whether something is a compilation or not. i'm not saying it doesn't matter, i just couldn't explain why it does if someone asked me.


If I'm reading the code correctly, I think the only albums that will be considered compilation with the new option disabled is those with a COMPILATION tag. I'm not sure what will happen with albums with an album artist named "Various Artists".

right... it'll take some experimenting to see if certain strings in tags or folder names cause one to be considered a comp by SC. my guess is that SC won't look at strings or folder names with the VA logic turned off, but its just a guess.


If you like to help, you can verify how it works with and without the patch.

If you are using Windows, you will need to install ActiveState perl and run slimserver.pl manually to be able to use the patch after you have applied it. If you feel this is to complicated, it would also help if you could just verify how this work today (without the patch).

unfortunately i don't have the skills (or recently, the time) to figure out how to do perl and patch SC and so on... is it possible for you to send me the files that i could just copy over my existing files in my SC install to make this work? or am i just revealing how little i know?

as to how it works now, i will happily answer any questions on that score, but i don't know what you want me to say? i'll take a stab at it and if i am missing the point of your question just please ask for clarifications:

i have mp3s, and they don't use user defined tags. so, no album artist tags, no comp tags, no tags other than the ones in the 2.3 spec. (i posted a grouping of four such files to bug 8001)

therefore the problem is that whenever any album i have has a TPE1 mismatch on even one track, it gets classified as a compilation (or so i think) and it then sorts under Various Artists. (artwork {gallery} view, home -> albums -> artist, year, album)

in my case, about half of what the VA logic detects it detects correctly, and the other half is incorrect. it is my opinion that the marketplace majority of mp3 users, (especially potential customers to slim) are in the same boat. and therefore they will be turned off greatly by this unexpected behavior.

this all relates to bug 8001 as well, which i think is more important than this issue. would you be willing to provide a patch for that issue as well?

essentially, the most popular proposed solution to that is to simply provide another on/off option, and it would work thusly:

off: no changes to current scanner behavior

on: TPE2 will now populate the internal to SC7 field of ALBUMARTIST instead of BAND.

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8001

this fix would defintely require testing to see if it works as anticipated, but it isn't the only suggestion as to a possible fix, its just the one seemingly "most popular" at this time b4 anything has been actually tried yet.

thanks again for your efforts and please let me know what i can do, or clarify. thx!

erland
2008-06-05, 22:50
right... it'll take some experimenting to see if certain strings in tags or folder names cause one to be considered a comp by SC. my guess is that SC won't look at strings or folder names with the VA logic turned off, but its just a guess.

You don't have to check folder names, the only things that might need testing is how it reacts if album artist is set to "Various Artists" or if a track has a single artist tag set to "Various Artists".



unfortunately i don't have the skills (or recently, the time) to figure out how to do perl and patch SC and so on... is it possible for you to send me the files that i could just copy over my existing files in my SC install to make this work?

To be able to run SqueezeCenter on Windows without perl, it needs to be compiled to binary exe file. Unfortunately I don't have access to the commercial tools needed to compile it, so unless you can install and use ActiveState perl I think you will have to wait. If you are using Linux or Mac it would be easier since these use the non binary version already by default.



as to how it works now, i will happily answer any questions on that score, but i don't know what you want me to say?

I was thinking of the handling of when album artists is set to "Various Artists".



it is my opinion that the marketplace majority of mp3 users, (especially potential customers to slim) are in the same boat. and therefore they will be turned off greatly by this unexpected behavior.

I'm pretty sure the majority of the new SqueezeCenter users has tagged their music albums with a single artist. Most people doesn't spend a lot of time tagging, they just use the information provided by sources such as freedb.org which typical have a single artist per album.



this all relates to bug 8001 as well, which i think is more important than this issue. would you be willing to provide a patch for that issue as well?

Doesn't the provided patch also solve the problems in 8001 ?
When the new option is disabled, albums with several artists will never be considered a compilation album unless you have manually set the COMPILATION tags. As I see it this should also make sure the album is sorted according to the TPE2 tag since it's no longer a "Various Artists" album.



please let me know what i can do, or clarify. thx!
Learn how to install ActiveState perl (if you are using Windows) and help us test the patch provided.
See here for more information:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/StartingWindowsDev

Let us know when you have installed and successfully run your standard installation with ActiveState perl and someone can provide a modified version of SqueezeCenter which includes the patch for you to test. In this case we also need to know exactly which version you are using, the nightly release date or the official release number in case you are using an official release. The preferable situation would be if we could provide you with a modified version based on the latest nightly for 7.0.x or 7.1 or 7.2.

MrSinatra
2008-06-06, 10:46
You don't have to check folder names, the only things that might need testing is how it reacts if album artist is set to "Various Artists" or if a track has a single artist tag set to "Various Artists".

my tags don't have an "album artist" tag at all. thats a user defined tag and my files don't have user defined tags.

they do have TPE2 tags, aka band tags. a lot of software hijacks TPE2 to use AS the album artist tag, but they do so erroneously, and currently, SC7 gives no option to respect this defacto (if albeit erroneous) standard.

in any case, without being able to turn off the VA detection logic, and without getting SC7 to populate ALBUMARTIST with TPE2 tags, i can't really test what happens when the value is "Various Artists"


To be able to run SqueezeCenter on Windows without perl, it needs to be compiled to binary exe file. Unfortunately I don't have access to the commercial tools needed to compile it, so unless you can install and use ActiveState perl I think you will have to wait. If you are using Linux or Mac it would be easier since these use the non binary version already by default.

i guess i have to wait, b/c i just don't have the time to get into this aspect of it. i've never been good at programming. also, does it cost money? i do have a mac, but its the wifes and for now i'd rather keep SC off of it, (and i'm not mac savvy yet anyway).


I was thinking of the handling of when album artists is set to "Various Artists".

see first response. if i've missed the point or didn't understand, let me know.


I'm pretty sure the majority of the new SqueezeCenter users has tagged their music albums with a single artist. Most people doesn't spend a lot of time tagging, they just use the information provided by sources such as freedb.org which typical have a single artist per album.

the main reason i can't get people i know into SC7 and slim, is b/c of the limitations it has in handling "average" users, especially those users without user defined tags.

a lot of users get their mp3s from multiple apps, meaning multiple rippers, p2p, friends, etc... there is no SOP for tags, but my suggestions re: these bugs at least allow average users the chance to get sensible management of their files with the least amount of tinkering, and using apps they already use.

i can't stress enough how important i think that is. if slim wants people to buy into "their way" of doing things, imo, they need to meet the average user more than halfway.


Doesn't the provided patch also solve the problems in 8001 ?

without being able to test it, and see what it does in practice, i can't answer this. it might, and it might not. but i tend to think, guessing now, that it only helps, doesn't fully solve the issues.


When the new option is disabled, albums with several artists will never be considered a compilation album unless you have manually set the COMPILATION tags. As I see it this should also make sure the album is sorted according to the TPE2 tag since it's no longer a "Various Artists" album.

but i don't think it sorts via TPE2. i could be wrong, but i think it sorts via TPE1, (i am fairly sure of this), and when there is a TPE1 mismatch, that then gets it classified as a comp and VA album, but TPE2 has nothing to do with any of that at any point.

remember, TPE2 populates the internal to SC7 field of BAND, not ALBUMARTIST.

thats what 8001 is meant to address. b/c SC7 uses ALBUMARTIST to sort.

aubuti
2008-06-06, 12:04
i guess i have to wait, b/c i just don't have the time to get into this aspect of it. i've never been good at programming. also, does it cost money? i do have a mac, but its the wifes and for now i'd rather keep SC off of it, (and i'm not mac savvy yet anyway).
It's not as mysterious as you seem to think. ActiveState perl comes with an installer for Windows -- it's no more difficult than installing any other Windows program. It is free.

After you install it, you need to run SC by invoking slimserver.pl (or squeezecenter.pl, I'm not sure which it is at present) through the perl interpreter via the command prompt. This is also very simple, and described in http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/StartingWindowsDev

You don't need to know programming. kdf and Erland have already figured out what needs to be done. There are easy ways for you to apply the patch Erland wrote. I don't remember how to do that, so I would just use the brute force method and open the relevant files in a text editor (notepad, wordpad, etc.) and make the changes shown in the 'diff' view of Erland's post to the bug report (see http://bugs.slimdevices.com/attachment.cgi?id=3402&action=diff). Then save the files with changes and try it out. It might look like programming, but at this stage it's really just typing. Very careful typing. Actually, you can make most of the edits via copy&paste.

erland
2008-06-06, 17:05
i guess i have to wait, b/c i just don't have the time to get into this aspect of it. i've never been good at programming. also, does it cost money? i do have a mac, but its the wifes and for now i'd rather keep SC off of it, (and i'm not mac savvy yet anyway).

As already mentioned, it's free and it has an installer, so it's really not that complicated. When you have installed ActiveState perl and got it to run the slimserver.pl in your unpatched copy, I'll provide you with some files updated with the patch which you just can unzip in your SqueezeCenter installation.

The other alternative is just to wait until someone at Logitech has the time to verify it.



i can't stress enough how important i think that is. if slim wants people to buy into "their way" of doing things, imo, they need to meet the average user more than halfway.

I completely agree with you regarding this, I'm just not sure that the VA logic is an important part for average users. I do understand that it is an important part in libraries that looks like your, but I suspect your library has a lot more artists tagged on your albums than the library of an average user.

sander
2008-06-08, 10:10
I completely agree with you regarding this, I'm just not sure that the VA logic is an important part for average users. I do understand that it is an important part in libraries that looks like your, but I suspect your library has a lot more artists tagged on your albums than the library of an average user.

I've been following this thread with interest, since it was resurrected at least, and I'd like to chime in on what Mr. Sinatra's been saying as this has been a big gripe of mine for a while.

In general I would say SqueezeCenter is WAY too conservative on what an "album" is. The various artists behavior is compounded by variances in date being treated as separate albums. To me this conservative approach probably does effect more users than you think, because there are so many tagging errors and inconsistencies from places like freedb.org.

Erland, I would like to complement you on your constructive comments in this thread. I hope in the future Squeezecenter makes this change.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-08, 11:26
>In general I would say SqueezeCenter is WAY too conservative on what an
>"album" is. The various artists behavior is compounded by variances in
>date being treated as separate albums.
Do you mean YEAR tag? Are you sure? I haven't seen any strange effects with YEAR or DATE tags.

sander
2008-06-08, 14:21
Do you mean YEAR tag? Are you sure? I haven't seen any strange effects with YEAR or DATE tags.

Yes, I'm still running 6.5.2, I don't think things have changed since, but if you have an album with different year dates on the tracks it will appear as multiple albums one for each year. Apparently this is to accommodate the 0.0000001% of artists who release multiple albums with the same title and the users who can distinguish between these multiple albums solely by the repeating title when browsing. :)

To me the year tag refers to year of the track, whereas the prevailing thinking in tagging forum is that the year tag refers to the year of the album. I think ignoring the year of the tracks when grouping albums would accommodate both types of users, but I'm pretty sure this behavior endures in Squeezecenter.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-08, 15:52
>but if you have an album with different year dates on the tracks it
>will appear as multiple albums one for each year.
That definitely doesn't happen for me; I've never seen that effect before (currently on 7.2). I'm sure I've entered different years for songs on some greatest hits albums.

Of course, I mainly browse by Artist sorted by Artist, or Album sorted by Album, whereas perhaps you are trying to use some other browsing method.

I could understand the effect you are seeing if you are trying to browse albums ordered by year, because what year would an album be sorted under?

I just tried browsing "Syd Barrett - Beyond Rhyme Nor Reason":

Browse to artist = Syd Barrett, and sort the list of albums by "year, album". I see one album (says 1974 as the year - so it has taken an arbitrary song year as the year for the album).

All songs are listed on that album; they have different years on each song.

sander
2008-06-09, 17:12
I could understand the effect you are seeing if you are trying to browse albums ordered by year, because what year would an album be sorted under?

When I browse to an album that has different years in the tracks, it shows up as multiple albums regardless of whether I'm browsing through the Squeezebox or Moose.

An example is the Cinema of Serge Gainsbourg, some loving soul tagged each song with the year it was released. So the first 3 tracks have the year listed as 1959, the next two are from 1960, and so on.

In Moose this shows up under the artist but as multiple albums with the same name so there are a dozen Cinema of Serge Gainsbourg albums each clumped by year.

I tried to find the conversation which I was having in the tagging forums, but the archive is very small there. People there told me this was expected behavior as SqueezeCenter interprets the year tag as Album year, not Song year.

If this is a problem in my tagging or there is someway to get around this, like it sounds you have, I'd like to follow up in another thread. If you could help.

TIA

Philip Meyer
2008-06-09, 17:37
>If this is a problem in my tagging or there is someway to get around
>this, like it sounds you have, I'd like to follow up in another thread.
>If you could help.
>
I haven't got anything special in my tags, just standard YEAR tags for each song.

Point me at another thread or send me a PM, if you want to continue elsewhere.

MrSinatra
2008-06-20, 20:32
hi all...

reviving another old thread b/c the bug its about is due to be discussed at the next bug meeting.

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8324

first, lets get back on track.

the question posed by this thread is: "Is the VA detection logic necessary?"

i don't see how anyone could argue that it is NECESSARY. at best, its a convienence, at worst, a non-optional pita; but there is no reason to force it as a necessity on everyone. everyone does NOT need it, want it, or benefit from it. i certainly don't.

there is no question that it is also imperfect and not fullproof. and its also important to note that its an unexpected "feature" ...as i know of no other apps that have anything similar.

erland has submitted a patch to allow users to turn this off. i see no reason not to put it in (assuming the code is solid, and erland knows code).

the world didn't end when bug 8001 got implemented, and it solved a lot of issues for me and many other barbarians like me who have tags not by user design, but by mainstream app design. the issue is not a spec issue per se, but rather an issue of recognizing realities in the marketplace.

this option would further do that. if it were available to me, i would turn it off right now. at that point i could:

1. live with the consequences of SC not knowing such and such was a comp.

discussed here:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=48591

2. use some app or another to tag whatever albums i want as comps. (i would do this if i thought there was reason i wanted the album identified as a comp to SC) whats good about this, is i'd only have to tag those few albums i'd want tagged. also, as i added new ripped albums, i'd only need to worry about this for those few new ones i thought needed it.

all that is definitely better than trying to figure out and undo what SC got wrong.

3. suggest a new way for SC to "auto-detect" VA / comp albums. i really think the current VA logic is silly (from a design POV), altho i admit it works good for some people (in their estimations). however, what if we used new or different logic for the feature?

what if a user could define certain strings found in certain tag fields as being indicative of being a compilation?

for instance, what if upon scan SC found "Various Artists" in a tag, and the user had identified that string to indicate its a comp? the benefit of such a system is it would be foolproof. the user could define the string and the string would ID the comp.

---

anyway, if we can enact bug 8001, i see no reason not to enact this bug as well.

EDIT: this thread has some interesting posts on the behaviors of comp tags:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=299346&postcount=29

i don't claim to substantiate any of it, but i do take it on face value. it seems to me that one of the possible vagaries of auto detection is this weird outcome that not having a comp tag, and setting a comp to 0, have different consequences.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-21, 02:51
I can accept that there is no harm in having an option to turn off auto compilation detection.

>i really think the current VA logic is silly (from a design POV), altho i
>admit it works good for some people (in their estimations).
>
It's not silly. It works well, and will work correctly for the vast majority of the mass-market. An album is tagged as a various artist (compilation) album if it has different artists performing songs on the album.

The rules are quite clear, and the user has to do nothing to configure how it works.

I believe it only "goes wrong" (it's doing the right thing) when an album has guest artists without an album artist defined. Such an album is classified as a various artist compilation because there are various artists on the album. Such a problem can be fixed by:

1. Ensuring all artists on all songs are the same.
2. Adding an album artist tag.
3. Adding a compilation=0 tag.

I'm not sure if there are any side-effects of (3) - this is essentially what you are doing by turning off the auto compilation detection feature. That may lead to other problems in the library browsing.

If you are aware of other times SC gets compilation detection "wrong", please tell.

>what if a user could define certain strings found in certain tag fields
>as being indicative of being a compilation?
>
No way.

That would be less "foolproof" than the current auto-detection, and for more work for the majority of users. I have 118 compilation albums in my library; I would not want to add 118 album names into a list in one app. I cannot see any particular words that appear in the album names that should instantly flag the album as a compilation. eg. I have a few compilations that contain the words "Another Late Night" - but I cannot confirm instantly that all albums containing "Another Late Night" should be compilations.

There used to be a similar feature in SlimServer to avoid two albums with the same name being considered part of the same album. This was the "greatest hits" problem. There was a configurable list of album names that SlimServer would not join together into one compilation album. It didn't work well, and was removed.

Why don't you write a program that scans your library, searching for albums that have your strings, and sets a compilation tag in them. Then you scan your songs back into SC, with auto-compilation detection turned off.

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 05:15
I can accept that there is no harm in having an option to turn off auto compilation detection.

then thats the main thing. regardless of anything else, we agree on that, and so we agree it should not be a forced necessity on users, like me, who would rather not have it.

all i'm after, is the option to turn it off.



>i really think the current VA logic is silly (from a design POV), altho i
>admit it works good for some people (in their estimations).
>
It's not silly. It works well, and will work correctly for the vast majority of the mass-market. An album is tagged as a various artist (compilation) album if it has different artists performing songs on the album.

The rules are quite clear, and the user has to do nothing to configure how it works.

its the rules that are the problem. the reason it is silly, is b/c it assumes that any album with a single TPE1 mismatch is a VA / comp album. that is ludicrous. it further assumes all users will have "album artist" tags or "comp" tags, which is another ludicrous assumption, since neither is called for in the id3v1 or v2 spec, (and since thats not the reality in the marketplace).

the software simply should NOT assume by design all customers will have such tags, esp user defined tags.

additionally, afaik, TPE2 tags (when treated as ALBUMARTIST by SC) are not enough to defeat the comp classification. [sorting is one thing, but simply designating a comp classification is another. i am assuming my albums are still being classified as comps to the SC DB, even though they now sort properly] yes, thx to bug 8001 the TPE2 tags are now enough to correct the sorting, but neither TPE2 nor bug 8001 have any impact on whether an album is considered a comp by SC, (right?)

(i admit, i am assuming that last paragraph to be true. am i wrong about that? if TPE2 is treated as ALBUMARTIST internally by SC, does that in someway impact if an album is considered a comp or not by SC? if it does defeat the comp classification to SC, why does my SC still go thru a "merge VA" process at scan time?)

btw, with "treat TPE2 as album artist" enabled, how can i tell if SC thinks a given album is a comp or not? i don't see how to do that.

(i should also add i don't know if SC has any other VA detection logic. afaik, it only looks for artist / TPE1 mismatches. but does it have any other logic? does it look at any strings? folder names or locations? i don't know).

in any case...

you and i disagree on how many users would be affected, but is that even the point? majority or not, its still bound to be hundreds of thousands in the marketplace.

i happen to think the majority of audio users have mp3s, and don't have any user defined fields. and for identifying comps, afaik, TPE2 is irrelevant. (afterall, i see that people with explicit album artist tags still have to use comp tags quite a bit as well)

please correct me if i made any erroneous assumptions or conclusions.


I believe it only "goes wrong" (it's doing the right thing) when an album has guest artists without an album artist defined. Such an album is classified as a various artist compilation because there are various artists on the album. Such a problem can be fixed by:

again, i disagree. its not doing the right thing in any context other than its doing what its poor design told it to do, which is make the blanket assumption that ANY mismatch in TPE1 means its a comp.

thats just a bad assumption, period.

you might not see that as bad design, but i do. the idea that the marketplace is going to have by default album artist tags and comp tags is not a good one... and IF the marketplace DID have such tags in place, then whats the point of this auto detection logic in the first place? we'll just have to agree to disagree.


1. Ensuring all artists on all songs are the same.
2. Adding an album artist tag.
3. Adding a compilation=0 tag.

I'm not sure if there are any side-effects of (3) - this is essentially what you are doing by turning off the auto compilation detection feature. That may lead to other problems in the library browsing.

If you are aware of other times SC gets compilation detection "wrong", please tell.

its hard for me to answer this question b/c i don't know what effect the "treat TPE2 as album artist option" when enabled has on the VA auto detecting logic. since i can't turn it off yet, i am assuming that SC is still marking some of my albums as comps.

but i also don't know how to check if that is true. do you know how i can tell?

btw, do you agree with what these guys say here:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=48591

b/c if you do, it seems its important to identify if something is a comp even if ALBUMARTIST sorts it properly.



>what if a user could define certain strings found in certain tag fields
>as being indicative of being a compilation?
>
No way.

That would be less "foolproof" than the current auto-detection, and for more work for the majority of users. I have 118 compilation albums in my library; I would not want to add 118 album names into a list in one app. I cannot see any particular words that appear in the album names that should instantly flag the album as a compilation. eg. I have a few compilations that contain the words "Another Late Night" - but I cannot confirm instantly that all albums containing "Another Late Night" should be compilations.

i think you misunderstand me.

in my case, if i turned VA auto detection off, i would then have SC treat the string "Various Artists" as a string to definitely consider a comp.

that would be 100% foolproof, (meaning a comp would only be called a comp due to the users direct actions), unlike the current method which i have proven is far from foolproof and in many cases beyond the users direct control, (without having to get into user defined tags). my system would work with existing, by spec, tags, as is.

when i say foolproof, what i mean is whatever string you use is what it will call a comp. for a lot of users (with no user defined tags) "Various Artists" would appear in their TPE2 tags, and that would be all they needed.

that kind of "auto-detection" would be head and shoulders above what we have now.


There used to be a similar feature in SlimServer to avoid two albums with the same name being considered part of the same album. This was the "greatest hits" problem. There was a configurable list of album names that SlimServer would not join together into one compilation album. It didn't work well, and was removed.

well, this is different. totally.


Why don't you write a program that scans your library, searching for albums that have your strings, and sets a compilation tag in them. Then you scan your songs back into SC, with auto-compilation detection turned off.

very interesting idea.

i'll admit that the best course of action for me that i can see at this point is to treat TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST, turn the current VA detection off (which i'll hopefully be able to do soon), and then mark positively those albums i feel it necessary to mark with a comp tag.

but what i am trying to do is suggest a better way for SC to implement VA auto detection.

in other words, allow someone the option to enable or disable the current VA auto detection. but even if they disable it, allow them ANOTHER DIFFERING METHODOLOGY for VA auto-detection.

and that is to set however many strings they want for SC to use to say "ah, so if i find that string, its a comp, got it." it would be very similar to the "guess tags format" structure option in advanced -> formatting. and it would be foolproof. (and please, don't quibble with that term. of course stupid user error is not encompassed in what i mean when i say foolproof. it would be foolproof in that its not guessing).

thx.

htrd
2008-06-21, 06:29
I scanned this thread and decided it was really long enough without me adding to it. But, here I am anyway....



its the rules that are the problem. the reason it is silly, is b/c it assumes that any album with a single TPE1 mismatch is a VA / comp album. that is ludicrous.

You've made that statement several times in this thread. I assume the logic behind your statement is obvious to you, but it leaves me quite puzzled. Could you give some background please? What tags do you have? How did you get those tags? Why do those tags seem sensible to you? Why do you find the current logic ludicrous?

The current behaviour seems quite logical to me. In views which are broken down first by artist then by album I can choose to have these albums (albums with tracks with different artists) listed multiple times (under each artist) or once (under the "Various Artists" umbrella).

(The "guest artists" scenario described by Philip Meyer allows me to have it listed once, under the primary artist. Thats even better for those who can be bothered to set the funny tags.)


I believe these are synonymous:

1. any album with a TPE1 mismatch
2. an album with tracks with different artists
3. an album with "various artists"

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 07:02
I scanned this thread and decided it was really long enough without me adding to it. But, here I am anyway....

You've made that statement several times in this thread. I assume the logic behind your statement is obvious to you, but it leaves me quite puzzled. Could you give some background please? What tags do you have? How did you get those tags? Why do those tags seem sensible to you? Why do you find the current logic ludicrous?

mp3s. no user defined tags.

basically ANY TPE1 (artist) mismatch on an album was enough for SC to call an album a VA / comp. at least HALF of what it identified it identified incorrectly.

b4 bug 8001 was enacted, this meant all such albums of mine that weren't comps were sorted improperly.

as you can see in my last post, i am assuming that even though i have things sorting right currently, SC's still misidentifying some albums as comps that aren't comps (in the SC DB). i am waiting for someone who knows to confirm or deny if thats the case.

all my tags came from mainstream sources. i used EAC to rip, but WMP and winamp had roles in setting my tags as well.

regardless of how i got my tags, it isn't uncommon in the marketplace to find mismatches in artists for albums that aren't comps. thats just a fact. like i said to phil, majority or not, the numbers are significant.


The current behaviour seems quite logical to me. In views which are broken down first by artist then by album I can choose to have these albums (albums with tracks with different artists) listed multiple times (under each artist) or once (under the "Various Artists" umbrella).

(The "guest artists" scenario described by Philip Meyer allows me to have it listed once, under the primary artist. Thats even better for those who can be bothered to set the funny tags.)

i am not talking about those options or views. all i am talking about is how SC determines, (its logic), at the time an album is scanned, if it is, or is not, a VA/comp album.

this is an attribute in the SC DB. i am assuming it still gets set even if i treat TPE2 tags as album artist.


I believe these are synonymous:

1. any album with a TPE1 mismatch
2. an album with tracks with different artists
3. an album with "various artists"

they are not.

you can have an album with TPE1 mismatches that is not a various artists album. it is not a compilation just b/c one track has a mismatch.

for bug 8001, i posted 4 billy joel files to reproduce the issue. one track on his box set had him and ray charles on it. that was enough to have SC call it a comp, AND sort it under VA.

since bug 8001 is now resolved, it sorts properly, (by enabling the new option). but as to whther or not it gets classiified as a comp, well, afaik it does and this classification is mistaken.

(i think jjzolx like to give sinatra's duets as a similar example. clearly its got a lot of various artists on every track, but its a sinatra album and NOT a compilation)

andyg
2008-06-21, 07:39
Here's what the 'merge various artists' step of the scanner is doing:



Find all albums not currently marked as a compilation.
For each of those albums:
Get all tracks on the album with role = ARTIST (note: tracks with ALBUMARTIST don't have an ARTIST role, only a TRACKARTIST role)
Count the number of different artists on those tracks.
If count > 1:
Album is marked as a compilation
OR if the artist is 'Various Artists':
Album is marked as a compilation

Philip Meyer
2008-06-21, 07:57
>its the rules that are the problem. the reason it is silly, is b/c it
>assumes that any album with a single TPE1 mismatch is a VA / comp
>album. that is ludicrous.
No, it's not ludicrous. The vast majority of albums that have the same artist on every song are not various artist/compilation albums, and the vast majority of albums that have different artists on each track are various artist/compilation albums. I don't think there's any disputing that.

There may be a small number of albums where there are guest performers on some songs. For most people, these extra guest performers do not end up as artist tags, because tools that set the tags when ripping from disk usually don't have that information (just the main album artist as the artist for each track). If you go to the trouble of adding additional guest artist names in the songs, then why not go the extra distance to set a compilation=0 or albumartist tag?

>(i admit, i am assuming that last paragraph to be true. am i wrong
>about that? if TPE2 is treated as ALBUMARTIST internally by SC, does
>that in someway impact if an album is considered a comp or not by SC?
>if it does defeat the comp classification to SC, why does my SC still
>go thru a "merge VA" process at scan time?)
>
In my opinion, album artist should prevent an album being classified as a compilation. I can't remember what the SC scanner does; if it is tagging an album as a compilation and there is an album artist defined, then I would raise a bug on that.

>how can i tell if SC thinks a given album is a comp or not?
>
Compilation albums are listed under Browse Artists > Various Artists.

Alternatively, navigate to the album in the default skin, and it will say "Compilation: Yes"

>(i should also add i don't know if SC has any other VA detection logic.
>afaik, it only looks for artist / TPE1 mismatches. but does it have
>any other logic? does it look at any strings? folder names or
>locations? i don't know).
>
Not that I'm aware, other than Artist tag mismatches, or TXXX COMPILATION=1 or TXXX ITUNESCOMPILATION=1.

>i happen to think the majority of audio users have mp3s, and don't have
>any user defined fields. and for identifying comps, afaik, TPE2 is
>irrelevant. (afterall, i see that people with explicit album artist
>tags still have to use comp tags quite a bit as well)
>
And I disagree. The majority of popular music albums that exist in the world do not have guest artists, and thus should not have differing primary artist tags on their songs.

TPE2, if set, should really prevent an album being a compilation (need to check that).


>btw, do you agree with what these guys say here:
>
>http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=48591
>
>b/c if you do, it seems its important to identify if something is a
>comp even if ALBUMARTIST sorts it properly.
>
Yes, if an album is a compilation album, then if I were to print a list of "album by artist", I'd expect the artist to be the album artist.

For an album where all songs are by the same artist, the album artist is obviously the same.
For an album where songs have different performing artists, but an album artist tag has been set, the album artist is obviously the album artist.
For a compilation album (where songs on an album have different performing artists and no album artist tag is set), the album artist should be "Various Artists" (name is configurable via the SC "Music Library" settings page).

>in my case, if i turned VA auto detection off, i would then have SC
>treat the string "Various Artists" as a string to definitely consider a
>comp.
>
What tag would you put "Various Artists" into. Do you think it would make sense to have a single song with an artist name of "Various Artists"? If you are going to go to the bother of changing your artist tags to say "Various artists" instead of the actual performing artist, then why not instead just add a compilation tag instead?

>that kind of "auto-detection" would be head and shoulders above what we
>have now.
>
So instead of looking for COMPILATION=1, it would look for ARTIST="Various Artists"? You really think that's better?

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 14:53
>its the rules that are the problem. the reason it is silly, is b/c it
>assumes that any album with a single TPE1 mismatch is a VA / comp
>album. that is ludicrous.
No, it's not ludicrous. The vast majority of albums that have the same artist on every song are not various artist/compilation albums, and the vast majority of albums that have different artists on each track are various artist/compilation albums. I don't think there's any disputing that.

well, i dispute it. as i've said many times, half of what it identified it got wrong. its simply a bad design assumption.

u say "and the vast majority of albums that have different artists on each track are various artist/compilation albums." the first problem is SC says its a comp even if its only ONE track, (as opposed to "every" track as you put it).

the second problem is that for some albums, like sinatra duets, it IS every track, but its definitely NOT a comp.

my main point is that from a design perspective, this was bound to have problems with some people. now, people may not see it as a big deal, (and i'm not saying its a big deal), but what they can't do is deny that its far from being 100% reliable and they certainly can't assert its necessary.


There may be a small number of albums where there are guest performers on some songs. For most people, these extra guest performers do not end up as artist tags, because tools that set the tags when ripping from disk usually don't have that information (just the main album artist as the artist for each track). If you go to the trouble of adding additional guest artist names in the songs, then why not go the extra distance to set a compilation=0 or albumartist tag?

i admit i do not know how i got so many TPE1 mismatches on non-comps. i don't recall editing them all manually, but maybe i did. or maybe i did some, and winamp, WMP, etc... got the rest. (or maybe EAC said some of these were VA albums at the time of ripping, and the single mismatches were in place then, but this doesn't mean they are comps -> eg. sinatra / duets).

but regardless of how my tags got that way, its not that unusual for someone to have their tags that way, whether they did it manually or not. people put artists and guest artists in TPE1, and then use TPE2 for the main album artist. pretty common.

what i don't want to have to do though, is FIND and UNDO what classifications SC does. if i am going to add comp tags to those albums i want to add it to, i want to only have to add the tags as a positive ID and have that be a pro-active decision on my part.

and since i have TPE2 tags and bug 8001, there's no way i'm going to add separate and unnecessary explicit 'album artist' tags. remember i will still be adding music, i want the simplest, easiest system going forward, as well as dealing with what i already have.



>(i admit, i am assuming that last paragraph to be true. am i wrong
>about that? if TPE2 is treated as ALBUMARTIST internally by SC, does
>that in someway impact if an album is considered a comp or not by SC?
>if it does defeat the comp classification to SC, why does my SC still
>go thru a "merge VA" process at scan time?)
>
In my opinion, album artist should prevent an album being classified as a compilation. I can't remember what the SC scanner does; if it is tagging an album as a compilation and there is an album artist defined, then I would raise a bug on that.

yeah, i can't say for sure either, but based on my results, TPE2 treated as Album Artist DOES seem to defeat the VA logic IF TPE2 is present, and even if the TPE2 field says Various Artists.

in my case, i am only populating the SC ALBUMARTIST field by using the treat TPE2 as album artist option.

however, none of those albums with something in TPE2 got classified as a comp, raising the question of why would you need VA auto-detection as a stage at scan time then? and is it supposed to be defeated?



>how can i tell if SC thinks a given album is a comp or not?
>
Compilation albums are listed under Browse Artists > Various Artists.

Alternatively, navigate to the album in the default skin, and it will say "Compilation: Yes"

well, i don't have any comp tags, so my albums sort based on their TPE2 tag.

and when i go to "artists->various artists" it only shows TWO! albums as VA albums, even though i have a bunch that really are VA albums and that have "Various Artists" in the TPE2 field.

so that confuses me big time. as per Andys post, shouldn't at least the ones that are actually VA albums and that say "Various Artists" in TPE2 be identified as comps to SC?

why isn't it any longer identifying the TPE1 mismatches as comps? or the VA in TPE2 as comps? why is VA logic defeated just b/c it has data that populates SC's ALBUMARTIST field? (the two albums that DID get identified did NOT have anything in their TPE2 fields, but did have TPE1 mismatches).

also, i can't find a TON of my VA albums under "Home->Artists" but i do find them under "Home->Albums", including the 2 without TPE2 data that got ID'd that i did find under artists.



>(i should also add i don't know if SC has any other VA detection logic.
>afaik, it only looks for artist / TPE1 mismatches. but does it have
>any other logic? does it look at any strings? folder names or
>locations? i don't know).
>
Not that I'm aware, other than Artist tag mismatches, or TXXX COMPILATION=1 or TXXX ITUNESCOMPILATION=1.

is "TCMP=1" a valid tag?

in the post before yours, Andy says that if it finds the string "Various Artists" in album artist, then its ID'd as a comp.

i am going to ask him if he meant in the files tag, or in the field SC populates. its not my exp.

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 14:53
>i happen to think the majority of audio users have mp3s, and don't have
>any user defined fields. and for identifying comps, afaik, TPE2 is
>irrelevant. (afterall, i see that people with explicit album artist
>tags still have to use comp tags quite a bit as well)
>
And I disagree. The majority of popular music albums that exist in the world do not have guest artists, and thus should not have differing primary artist tags on their songs.

we'e talking past each other. its not about "the majority of popular music albums in the world." thats the wrong data set. the right data set is looking at all popular music albums that ALSO have artist mismatches on any one or more tracks.

in my exp, and i have about 25k tracks ripped, of those albums that DO fit the right data set, meaning they have an artist mismatch of some type, SC identifies the album as a comp INCORRECTLY half of the time.


TPE2, if set, should really prevent an album being a compilation (need to check that).

i think it does, based on what i see here. i'm not sure WHY it does that though? meaning why should it be defeated in such an instance?



>btw, do you agree with what these guys say here:
>
>http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=48591
>
>b/c if you do, it seems its important to identify if something is a
>comp even if ALBUMARTIST sorts it properly.
>
Yes, if an album is a compilation album, then if I were to print a list of "album by artist", I'd expect the artist to be the album artist.

For an album where all songs are by the same artist, the album artist is obviously the same.
For an album where songs have different performing artists, but an album artist tag has been set, the album artist is obviously the album artist.
For a compilation album (where songs on an album have different performing artists and no album artist tag is set), the album artist should be "Various Artists" (name is configurable via the SC "Music Library" settings page).

so...

if thats the case, then it seems to me you guys are saying on anything i want identiied as a comp, see if it has a TPE1 mismatch, and then just leave TPE2 blank. thats somewhat inelegant, but itsounds like it would work, and i wouldn't need to turn off auto detection OR set an explicit comp tag.

i'm not sure though it would suit me, b/c i don't think i wantall my comps to sort nder Various Artists. if i want soundtracks sorted under "Soundtracks" then in that case i'd need to put that in the TPE2 field and set the explicit comp tag. (i assume setting the comp tag wouldn't force it to then sort under Various Artists, or am i mistaken?)

regardless, i think there is worth in simply turning off the mis-match function, and looking for certain user identified strings.



>in my case, if i turned VA auto detection off, i would then have SC
>treat the string "Various Artists" as a string to definitely consider a
>comp.
>
What tag would you put "Various Artists" into.

TPE2.


Do you think it would make sense to have a single song with an artist name of "Various Artists"? If you are going to go to the bother of changing your artist tags to say "Various artists" instead of the actual performing artist, then why not instead just add a compilation tag instead?

i wasn't ever going to do that.



>that kind of "auto-detection" would be head and shoulders above what we
>have now.
>
So instead of looking for COMPILATION=1, it would look for ARTIST="Various Artists"? You really think that's better?

TPE2, not TPE1. and Andy says SC already looks for that string, i just need him to clarify where it looks for it. (i am guessing the DB, i just want him to say so)

anyway, some interesting things to consider here...

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 15:04
Andy, thx for this info, but can you please clarify:


Here's what the 'merge various artists' step of the scanner is doing:



Find all albums not currently marked as a compilation.
For each of those albums:
Get all tracks on the album with role = ARTIST (note: tracks with ALBUMARTIST don't have an ARTIST role, only a TRACKARTIST role)
Count the number of different artists on those tracks.
If count > 1:
Album is marked as a compilation
OR if the artist is 'Various Artists':
Album is marked as a compilation


is the above what i've been calling the VA logic detection?

is it true then it is only looking at whats populated in the DB by the files, not the actual tag data in the files itself, when it looks for tracks with the ARTIST role? (i am pretty sure the answer to both of those is yes)

but here's where i am confused...

are you saying that SC does look for a string ("Various Artists") in the DB, but the field it looks for it in is the ARTIST field?

in any case...

i don't see why this function should be mandatory? i can see where it could be useful, but i don't see why it shouldn't be optional.

btw, is it a bug that my TPE2 = Various Artists albums aren't showing up in my Home -> Artists list?

Philip Meyer
2008-06-21, 16:30
>well, i dispute it. as i've said many times, *half* of what it
>identified it got wrong. its simply a bad design assumption.
>
Half of what it identified for *you* may have been wrong. But even then, what do you mean by half? Half of your music collection, or of all compilation albums, or of all albums with album artists? I guess you are talking about half of the latter, which is probably less than 1% of your library.

>u say "and the vast majority of albums that have different artists on
>each track are various artist/compilation albums." the first problem
>is SC says its a comp even if its only ONE track, (as opposed to
>"every" track as you put it).
>
What about an album with only two songs, with different artists for each?

>the second problem is that for some albums, like sinatra duets, it IS
>every track, but its definitely NOT a comp.
>
This is one case where the right thing to do is to add an album artist. There is no alternative if you want the duet artists to also be tagged on the tracks.

>my main point is that from a design perspective, this was bound to have
>problems with some people. now, people may not see it as a big deal,
>(and i'm not saying its a big deal), but what they can't do is deny
>that its far from being 100% reliable and they certainly can't assert
>its necessary.
>
It is 100% reliable - it does everything it intends to do, based on the content of the tags.

>but regardless of how my tags got that way, its not that unusual for
>someone to have their tags that way, whether they did it manually or
>not. people put artists and guest artists in TPE1, and then use TPE2
>for the main album artist. pretty common.
>
Then with the option to consider TPE2 as album artist, the album won't be considered a compilation, so there won't be a problem?

>what i don't want to have to do though, is FIND and UNDO what
>classifications SC does. if i am going to add comp tags to those
>albums i want to add it to, i want to only have to add the tags as a
>positive ID and have that be a pro-active decision on my part.
>
It is easier to find compilation albums that should not be, rather than albums that should be compilations.

>however, none of those albums with something in TPE2 got classified as a comp...
That's correct - an album with an album artist should not be a compilation.

>...raising the question of why would you need VA auto-detection as
>a stage at scan time then?
>
For albums that have songs with different performing artists without a compilation tag and without a various artist tag.

SC would have to decide to do something to determine what artist to display the album under. What should it do? Guess one of the artists as being the album artist? Guess the album is a compilation? SC decides using simple clear-cut logic because there is no tag to tell it otherwise, that it should be a compilation.

Albums that are displayed in SC as compilations that you don't want to be compilations should have an ALBUMARTIST defined instead.

There should never be a need for COMPILATION=0 tags. I don't think that COMPILATION=1 should ever be required in tags either.

>and when i go to "artists->various artists" it only shows TWO! albums
>as VA albums, even though i have a bunch that really are VA albums and
>that have "Various Artists" in the TPE2 field.
>
>so that confuses me big time. as per Andys post, shouldn't at least
>the ones that are actually VA albums and that say "Various Artists" in
>TPE2 be identified as comps to SC?
>
No, Andy said "where ARTIST=Various Artists". That sounds crazy to me, but I guess someone asked for it to do that. i.e. someone deosn't want to put in different performing artists for each song, so puts the name of every artist on a compilation to be "Various Artists" so that it appears as an album by "Various Artists" and appears as a compilation.

I guess that if your TPE2 is being read as an Album Artist contributor role, that your compilation albums have an album artist string of "Various Artists", and would be found by Browsing to Artists > Various Artists (listed under the alphabar page link for "V" only - not the special "Various Artists" group at the top of the Browse Artists list.


>why isn't it any longer identifying the TPE1 mismatches as comps?
Because you have an album artist tag set. Your wishes have come true - that's what you wanted it to do by getting TPE2 to be interpreted as album artist. If you have TPE2 tags present on albums with differing track artists, they won't be detected as compilations, and will instead be listed under the album artist.

>the VA in TPE2 as comps? why is VA logic defeated just b/c it has data
>that populates SC's ALBUMARTIST field? (the two albums that DID get
>identified did NOT have anything in their TPE2 fields, but did have
>TPE1 mismatches).
>
Sounds like it is working fine.

>is "TCMP=1" a valid tag?
>
No. It's non-standard. This is what iTunes writes when "Part of a compilation" is ticked in iTunes. I said in my last mail "ITUNESCOMPILATION" - that was misleading. This is what it is called within my tagger "Mp3Tag", but it physically reads/stores it as an id3 frame called TCMP.

>in the post before yours, Andy says that if it finds the string
>"Various Artists" in album artist, then its ID'd as a comp.
>
No, he actually said "artist" not album artist.

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-06-21, 16:35
Forgot to mention that www.id3.org has some information on non-compliant tags set by apps: http://www.id3.org/Compliance_Issues

Plenty of iTunes, WinAmp and WMP non-compliancy issues listed which you may find useful.

Phil

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 22:10
>well, i dispute it. as i've said many times, *half* of what it
>identified it got wrong. its simply a bad design assumption.
>
Half of what it identified for *you* may have been wrong. But even then, what do you mean by half? Half of your music collection, or of all compilation albums, or of all albums with album artists? I guess you are talking about half of the latter, which is probably less than 1% of your library.

i don't mean to be rude, (sincerely), but i said exactly what i meant. ie. "HALF of what it [SC] identified [as a comp] it got wrong." the stuff in brackets was clear i thought from the context.

in other words, half of what it was calling a comp/VA album was incorrect.



>u say "and the vast majority of albums that have different artists on
>each track are various artist/compilation albums." the first problem
>is SC says its a comp even if its only ONE track, (as opposed to
>"every" track as you put it).
>
What about an album with only two songs, with different artists for each?

in such a case, if there is a mismatch, it WILL call that a VA album. i know this b/c that was the case with one of the 2 albums that was ID'd i mentioned in my previous post.

the code andy quotes shows this. one mismatch on one track (out of two or more) is enough to get the classification.



>the second problem is that for some albums, like sinatra duets, it IS
>every track, but its definitely NOT a comp.
>
This is one case where the right thing to do is to add an album artist. There is no alternative if you want the duet artists to also be tagged on the tracks.

ok.



>my main point is that from a design perspective, this was bound to have
>problems with some people. now, people may not see it as a big deal,
>(and i'm not saying its a big deal), but what they can't do is deny
>that its far from being 100% reliable and they certainly can't assert
>its necessary.
>
It is 100% reliable - it does everything it intends to do, based on the content of the tags.

and as i said, i agree it does everything its POOR DESIGN intends it to do. and so what? it is NOT RELIABLE in fufilling the objective of the goal of the function it is designed to do.

i mean if i want to design a car, and i make a blueprint, and the car is made EXACTLY to the spec of the blueprint, but breaks down every other time i use it, its hardly a successful design, regardless of how accurately it follows my blueprint!

how such a function should be ultimately judged, is in how well it accomplishes its goal, (or reason for existing in the first place). thats how i am judging it. (you are judging it based on if its doing what its code tells it to do, as if thats the ultimate goal, and it isn't).

yes, thx to bug 8001 i can now totally defeat it by setting TPE2, (something i now know, and thats as you know only very recently). but i shouldn't be forced to set TPE2 to do that, and i shouldn't have to have any and all comps just get generically sorted into one mass area called Various Artists (if i don't set TPE2).

i understand that turning it off and not setting album artist is problematic too however.



>but regardless of how my tags got that way, its not that unusual for
>someone to have their tags that way, whether they did it manually or
>not. people put artists and guest artists in TPE1, and then use TPE2
>for the main album artist. pretty common.
>
Then with the option to consider TPE2 as album artist, the album won't be considered a compilation, so there won't be a problem?

well, yes and no. and i haven't worked out all the ramifications yet, so this concept is till a work in progress...

basically, i now MUST use TPE2 to have it sort properly, AND defeat the VA detection logic. we now know (barring Andy saying different) that setting TPE2 will defeat the VA logic.

however, there seem to be issues with how my albums are being listed in Home->Artists as a result, and i don't know if setting comp tags will fix all this or not. i'm also not sure what related suppression issues there might be.

also what if i want comps in mor ethan just one massive comps area? i can see wanting to put some comps under VA, some under Soundtracks, etc...



>what i don't want to have to do though, is FIND and UNDO what
>classifications SC does. if i am going to add comp tags to those
>albums i want to add it to, i want to only have to add the tags as a
>positive ID and have that be a pro-active decision on my part.
>
It is easier to find compilation albums that should not be, rather than albums that should be compilations.

well, now that i know TPE2 will defeat the VA auto logic, this isn't as much of an issue at this point, or i should say that it isn't pending the outcome of other possible ramifications mentioned above.

at this point, i have to figure out these ramifications, and also decide if i want to set an explicit comp tag, or just remove TPE2 info from those albums i want SC to auto detect as comps.

but i think its easier to ID those albums i want known as comps, rather than figure out which ones it thinks are comps. how do i know for sure none of my albums are called comps by SC just b/c i don't see them listed under Home->Artists->Various Artists?

(and why aren't my albums with "Various Artists" in the TPE2 tag listed there? they aren't in the Home->Artists list? ...or at least, i haven't found them yet if they are. i know that it has to do with not being classified comps, but shouldn't i be able to see them somewhere in Home->Artists?)

MrSinatra
2008-06-21, 22:10
>however, none of those albums with something in TPE2 got classified as a comp...
That's correct - an album with an album artist should not be a compilation.

>...raising the question of why would you need VA auto-detection as
>a stage at scan time then?
>
For albums that have songs with different performing artists without a compilation tag and without a various artist tag.

right, (assuming you meant ALBUMARTIST tag). but it sounds to me like most advanced users will have both, (or at least one). so this is really an issue for unwashed barbarians, (like me).

in other words, another reason for it to be optional, is that a lot of people wouldn't ever need it, b/c their tags would never call for it.

it sounds convenient to just remove TPE2 tags for me to take advantage of the auto-detecting feature for those TPE1 mismatching albums i want it to ID, BUT doing so does have drawbacks, b/c the only place it will put such albums, regardless of what they are, is under "Various Artists" (or whatever i call that comp category in SC settings). so there is a flexability cost there.


SC would have to decide to do something to determine what artist to display the album under. What should it do? Guess one of the artists as being the album artist? Guess the album is a compilation? SC decides using simple clear-cut logic because there is no tag to tell it otherwise, that it should be a compilation.

Albums that are displayed in SC as compilations that you don't want to be compilations should have an ALBUMARTIST defined instead.

yes, it is all somewhat problematic... if there was no comp tag, no album artist tag, (or TPE2 treated as such), AND if VA auto detection was turned off, what would happen? would the albums be missing? its an interesting question.

by the same token, it is also problematic to assume they are ALL compilations just to avoid the issue.

yes, if the VA logic is on, it should populate the SC ALBUMARTIST field with "Various Artists" and call it a compilation.

but if it is turned off, i am thinking it should populate the SC ALBUMARTIST field with "Undefined" and NOT call it a comp. this would indicate to the user more info is needed.


There should never be a need for COMPILATION=0 tags. I don't think that COMPILATION=1 should ever be required in tags either.

well, what if i set a TPE2 tag, but i want SC to know its a comp? is there no scenario i might want to do so? (i don't have all ramifications straight in my mind yet)

like, say i put TPE2=Soundtrack and its a comp, so i put TCMP=1

wouldn't that sort it where i want it, AND tell SC its a comp?

(or does telling SC it IS a comp take priority over TPE2 for sorting purposes?)



>and when i go to "artists->various artists" it only shows TWO! albums
>as VA albums, even though i have a bunch that really are VA albums and
>that have "Various Artists" in the TPE2 field.
>
>so that confuses me big time. as per Andys post, shouldn't at least
>the ones that are actually VA albums and that say "Various Artists" in
>TPE2 be identified as comps to SC?
>
No, Andy said "where ARTIST=Various Artists". That sounds crazy to me, but I guess someone asked for it to do that. i.e. someone deosn't want to put in different performing artists for each song, so puts the name of every artist on a compilation to be "Various Artists" so that it appears as an album by "Various Artists" and appears as a compilation.

you are right. i rewrote that post several times b4 posting it and that slipped by, but i realized after i wrote that bit that Andy was talking about finding that string in the artist (TPE1) field. it sounds crazy at first, (which is why my first take was wrong, i read it too fast and assumed album artist); but i think a lot of early rippers and taggers did it like this, and of course a user COULD set it that way too. i imagine this bit is now well in mostly everyone's past, and should probably be expunged, (or optional ;)


I guess that if your TPE2 is being read as an Album Artist contributor role, that your compilation albums have an album artist string of "Various Artists", and would be found by Browsing to Artists > Various Artists (listed under the alphabar page link for "V" only - not the special "Various Artists" group at the top of the Browse Artists list.

no... i looked b4 that last post, and they AREN'T there. (that was my first guess too)



>why isn't it any longer identifying the TPE1 mismatches as comps?
Because you have an album artist tag set. Your wishes have come true - that's what you wanted it to do by getting TPE2 to be interpreted as album artist. If you have TPE2 tags present on albums with differing track artists, they won't be detected as compilations, and will instead be listed under the album artist.

right i get that... but what i am asking is why does simply having album artist info in your tags defeat the VA logic?

in other words, from a design perspective, if you are going to have automatic VA/comp logic detection, why would you let the presence of album artist tags defeat it?

couldn't it populate the SC COMP field without populating the SC ALBUMARTIST field? does setting the comp alone change where it sorts?



>the VA in TPE2 as comps? why is VA logic defeated just b/c it has data
>that populates SC's ALBUMARTIST field? (the two albums that DID get
>identified did NOT have anything in their TPE2 fields, but did have
>TPE1 mismatches).
>
Sounds like it is working fine.

yes, it is working as designed, but as above i am asking why classifying comps would be defeated en toto?



>is "TCMP=1" a valid tag?
>
No. It's non-standard. This is what iTunes writes when "Part of a compilation" is ticked in iTunes. I said in my last mail "ITUNESCOMPILATION" - that was misleading. This is what it is called within my tagger "Mp3Tag", but it physically reads/stores it as an id3 frame called TCMP.

but its valid in the sense that i can use it that way in the tag, right? thats what i meant. (i know its user defined/non-standard)



>in the post before yours, Andy says that if it finds the string
>"Various Artists" in album artist, then its ID'd as a comp.
>
No, he actually said "artist" not album artist.

Phil

right, i should have corrected that b4 posting. you're right though.

however, wouldn't it make sense, if you're going to have a VA auto detection feature enabled, for it to do this?

in other words, if it finds a string like "Various Artist" in TPE2 or an album artist tag, to then go ahead and classify it as a comp? doesn't that make sense?

erland
2008-06-22, 00:30
I really don't understand the reason to start this discussion again, but I guess I've probably missed something. No, I'm not trying to silence anyone, I just don't understand why you guys keeps spending energy on something that's already solved instead of doing something useful with your time.

1.
Bug #8001 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8001) makes MP3 files work as FLAC files, with the new option you can instruct SqueezeCenter to treat TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST. The result is that MP3 albums with a TPE2 tag will not be treated as compilations and will thanks to this be sorted under the TPE2 value instead of under "Various Artists".
The change of 8001 is part of the 7.1 nightly release, so you can try it already now.

2.
The patch provided for bug #8324 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8324) makes it possible to turn off the automatic logic that makes tracks with multiple TPE1 artists and to be treated as compilations. If the automatic logic is turned off, I believe an album will ONLY be treated as a compilation if it has a COMPILATION or TCMP tag. I believe TCMP(iTunes specific tag) is treated the same way as a COMPILATION tag.
I also believe that most people really doesn't need this patch, because the change in bug 8001 will solve everything.

3.
If none of the above doesn't solve the issue you can still override the compilation status by setting COMPILATION or TCMP tag to 1.


MrSinatra: I would really appreciate if you would try the 7.1 nightly release unless you have already done so, this way we get to know if it solves your problems or not.

The latest 7.1 nightly is found here:
http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/nightly/latest/7.1/

For some reason there isn't one available at the moment, so unless the above link works you can use yesterdays build found here instead:
http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/nightly/SqueezeCenter_7.1_trunk_v2008-06-21/


As a side note, I really can't understand why it would be acceptable to set TCMP but unacceptable to set COMPILATION. TCMP is not a standard tag, it's not even a standard MP3 frame, so in my world this makes it even less standard than a COMPILATION tag. Unless you consider everything Apple do as the standard of course. See here (row 6 in table) for more information:
http://www.id3.org/Compliance_Issues

Philip Meyer
2008-06-22, 01:15
>I really don't understand the reason to start this discussion again, but
>I guess I've probably missed something. No, I'm not trying to silence
>anyone, I just don't understand why you guys keeps spending energy on
>something that's already solved instead of doing something useful with
>your time.
>
I am trying to defend the rest of the world and avoid unnecessary alternative compilation detection mechanisms, as I can't see any problem with the current logic.

>The patch provided for bug '#8324'
>(http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8324) makes it possible to
>turn off the automatic logic
>
And it should be clear that by turning it off, there is no alternative to using a non-standard id3 tag to identify compilation albums.

>I also believe that most people really doesn't need this patch, because
>the change in bug 8001 will solve everything.
>
Yes.

>If none of the above doesn't solve the issue you can still override the
>compilation status by setting COMPILATION or TCMP tag to 1.
>
Yes, and it should never be necessary to set COMPILATION=0.

>TCMP is not a standard tag, it's not even a standard MP3 frame,
>so in my world this makes it even less standard than a COMPILATION tag.
Yes, I agree. iTunes was so wrong in doing that.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-22, 01:42
>in other words, if it finds a string like "Various Artist" in TPE2 or
>an album artist tag, to then go ahead and classify it as a comp?
>doesn't that make sense?

Absolutely not. A compilation album is when there are multiple artists on an album. If you have guest performers on an album and thus the album isn't really a compilation, then adding an album artist means the album is by a single artist, and thus the album is not considered a compilation.

MrSinatra
2008-06-22, 01:43
I really don't understand the reason to start this discussion again, but I guess I've probably missed something. No, I'm not trying to silence anyone, I just don't understand why you guys keeps spending energy on something that's already solved instead of doing something useful with your time.

bug 8324, with your patch, is about to be reviewed. so i revisited the thread.


1.
Bug #8001 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8001) makes MP3 files work as FLAC files, with the new option you can instruct SqueezeCenter to treat TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST. The result is that MP3 albums with a TPE2 tag will not be treated as compilations and will thanks to this be sorted under the TPE2 value instead of under "Various Artists".
The change of 8001 is part of the 7.1 nightly release, so you can try it already now.

right, i've been using it since the day it came out, i reported it worked well in the bug 8001 report.

however...

b/c of the exchange between Phil and I in the last few posts, we may have discovered a bug with it that also relates to this 8324 issue, in that i can't find my 'TPE2=Various Artists' albums under the 'Home->Artists' list.


2.
The patch provided for bug #8324 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8324) makes it possible to turn off the automatic logic that makes tracks with multiple TPE1 artists and to be treated as compilations. If the automatic logic is turned off, I believe an album will ONLY be treated as a compilation if it has a COMPILATION or TCMP tag. I believe TCMP(iTunes specific tag) is treated the same way as a COMPILATION tag.
I also believe that most people really doesn't need this patch, because the change in bug 8001 will solve everything.

i am not sure that 8001 does solve everything. aside from whatever bug i may have found, (that the auto detection might have a hand in causing), i think it does make sense to [optionally] turn off a feature you don't need. (remember infrant users!)

something else to consider is a situation where someone does not have TPE2 tags or album artist tags. they may want to turn the VA logic off, avoid the misidentifications, and then decide how to proceed based on what they see.

and lets not forget that mp3 is not the only file format affected by VA logic detection. as to how other formats are affected, i can't say, but i've seen people comment about that. and if u look in 8324, i put a link where a user says the VA detection hampers him.


3.
If none of the above doesn't solve the issue you can still override the compilation status by setting COMPILATION or TCMP tag to 1.

TPE2 as album artist does sort things right for me, and i could then add a comp tag if i wanted SC to know its a comp. (although i don't know if setting such a tag would then cause another "re-sort" to VA, since i have no comp tags. i need to experiment on that, but i am hoping & assuming it won't).

also, i could just remove TPE2 tags on any TPE1 mismatch albums i want SC to ID as VA/comp albums.

but is that really elegant? removing TPE2 tags that say "Various Artists" for example, to let SC do the VA logic on them? SC isn't the only app i use afterall.

i think there may be other ramifcations as well, i can't see em all yet though.


MrSinatra: I would really appreciate if you would try the 7.1 nightly release unless you have already done so, this way we get to know if it solves your problems or not.

The latest 7.1 nightly is found here:
http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/nightly/latest/7.1/

For some reason there isn't one available at the moment, so unless the above link works you can use yesterdays build found here instead:
http://www.slimdevices.com/downloads/nightly/SqueezeCenter_7.1_trunk_v2008-06-21/

already on it. besides noting it in 8001, its in my signature. :)

it did go a LONG way to solving a lot of my issues. now i'm left with a new, more minor bug, and a question of how to best identify comps to SC. yes, explicit comp tags are probably the best way. but i think having SC recognize the string "Various Artists" in the SC ALBUMARTIST field would be a good addition to the logic. (somewhat surprisingly, they already do this for the ARTIST field)


As a side note, I really can't understand why it would be acceptable to set TCMP but unacceptable to set COMPILATION. TCMP is not a standard tag, it's not even a standard MP3 frame, so in my world this makes it even less standard than a COMPILATION tag. Unless you consider everything Apple do as the standard of course. See here (row 6 in table) for more information:
http://www.id3.org/Compliance_Issues

i think you are making assumptions about my feelings on the matter that don't exist.

i don't use comp tags at all. i know very little about them. i don't really understand the difference between TCMP and COMPILATION. maybe you can explain it to me?

i also don't use itunes, and while my wife has a ac, i really don't do much with it.

all i know is my tags are four characters, like TPE1 and TPE2. so i would use TCMP as long as SC was cool with that. maybe not the best reason, but it just felt familiar. nothing more to it then that. (and i have yet to assign TCMP=1 to any albums yet, i have to find an app that will do it that doesn't irritate me to use)

Philip Meyer
2008-06-22, 01:51
>in such a case, if there is a mismatch, it WILL call that a VA album.
>i know this b/c that was the case with one of the 2 albums that was
>ID'd i mentioned in my previous post.
>
>the code andy quotes shows this. one mismatch on one track (out of two
>or more) is enough to get the classification.
It was a rhetorical question - I know that the logic would treat an album with two songs by different artists as a compilation. I was setting that as an example to show that you can't easily create a rule along the lines of "if only one track artist on an album doesn't match the other track artists, then it's not a compilation".

I believe that when there are different track artists on songs on an album, the album should either have an Album Artist or be a compilation.

Unless told otherwise, SC disambiguates the album by making it a compilation.

Some other rule could be attempted, I guess, like "if there are more than 4 songs, and 75% or more songs have the same track artist, then make that artist the Album Artist, and thus the album would not be a compilation. However, the logic is not as easy to explain to users; it's best to keep it as it is.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-22, 01:57
>we may have discovered a bug with it that also relates to this 8324 issue, in
>that i can't find my 'TPE2=Various Artists' albums under the 'Home->Artists' list.
>
I find this a strange thing to do. An album artist of "Various Artists" seems contradictory. Any artist name being "Various Artists" would be wrong in my opinion. Is it a compilation, or is it an album with guest performers?

As SC by default displays compilation albums under "Various Artists", and the compilation detection code apparently looks for strings containing "Various Artists", I suggest you try changing your TPE2="Various Artists" to something else to see if there is only a problem because of that specific artist name.

MrSinatra
2008-06-22, 02:01
>I really don't understand the reason to start this discussion again, but
>I guess I've probably missed something. No, I'm not trying to silence
>anyone, I just don't understand why you guys keeps spending energy on
>something that's already solved instead of doing something useful with
>your time.
>
I am trying to defend the rest of the world and avoid unnecessary alternative compilation detection mechanisms, as I can't see any problem with the current logic.

thats why we're talking about the issue in this thread. :)



>The patch provided for bug '#8324'
>(http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8324) makes it possible to
>turn off the automatic logic
>
And it should be clear that by turning it off, there is no alternative to using a non-standard id3 tag to identify compilation albums.

not exactly.

if u turn it off, and use TPE2 as album artist, you will get things sorted right. then what i've been proposing is a new user defined function VERY similar to whats in the VA auto detection already.

essentially a user could define to SC what strings in their tags SC should recognize to mean "COMP"

so, if i put in the string "Various Artists" to such a hypothetical proposed SC function in settings, and SC found that string in say, my files TPE2 tag, it would know to simply classify that album as a COMP in the SC database.

SC wouldn't be "guessing" it would be doing exactly what the user specified. and it would only affect the COMP field in the DB, it wouldn't have any role in populating the SC ALBUMARTIST field in the DB.

this would work with standard tags, and its very similar to how SC already looks for "Various Artists" string in a files Artist field.



>I also believe that most people really doesn't need this patch, because
>the change in bug 8001 will solve everything.
>
Yes.

i'm not convinced yet.



>If none of the above doesn't solve the issue you can still override the
>compilation status by setting COMPILATION or TCMP tag to 1.
>
Yes, and it should never be necessary to set COMPILATION=0.

and this is one reason why i'm not convinced yet... based on things i've read, a lot of people do set COMP=0 to undo what VA logic did b/c they would rather do that than use album artist tags to reverse it.



>TCMP is not a standard tag, it's not even a standard MP3 frame,
>so in my world this makes it even less standard than a COMPILATION tag.
Yes, I agree. iTunes was so wrong in doing that.

i guess i'm lost here. whats the beef? is it with non-standard tags, or just differences between differing comp tags? is it possible for my id3v2.3 tags to start with more than 4 characters? ie. TPE1, TPE2, TCMP?

MrSinatra
2008-06-22, 02:16
>in other words, if it finds a string like "Various Artist" in TPE2 or
>an album artist tag, to then go ahead and classify it as a comp?
>doesn't that make sense?

Absolutely not. A compilation album is when there are multiple artists on an album. If you have guest performers on an album and thus the album isn't really a compilation, then adding an album artist means the album is by a single artist, and thus the album is not considered a compilation.

i need to see what happens when i set a comp tag (re: where it then sorts).

but that issue aside, i basically agree with what you just said, i would personally do it that way probably.

BUT you and i are not the only users. what about people who do NOT want to set an album artist for an album like duets, and who don't want it called a comp, (b/c it isn't). they might have track:

1. Frank Sinatra / Bono
2. Frank Sinatra / Willie Nelson

and so on... and they simply don't want to suppress those results from the artist list. iow's, someone might not want duets to appear as if its by a single artist.

and i am not anticipating other scenarios, but i'm sure you can see there probably are other scenarios even if we can't see them, and other personal preferences that we might not share, right?

MrSinatra
2008-06-22, 02:34
>we may have discovered a bug with it that also relates to this 8324 issue, in
>that i can't find my 'TPE2=Various Artists' albums under the 'Home->Artists' list.
>
I find this a strange thing to do. An album artist of "Various Artists" seems contradictory.

why is it contradictory?

first of all, gracenote and [some] other taggers use this convention.

secondly, i use other apps besides SC. i need to group things with them as well.

using TPE2 to say "Various Artists" or "Soundtracks" or whatever for albums that actually are compilations seems to make a lot of sense to me, and apparently Gracenote and others as well. surely you don't think thats something i alone do?


Any artist name being "Various Artists" would be wrong in my opinion. Is it a compilation, or is it an album with guest performers?

would you prefer i had TPE2 say "Compilation"? why would you be against it anyway?


As SC by default displays compilation albums under "Various Artists", and the compilation detection code apparently looks for strings containing "Various Artists", I suggest you try changing your TPE2="Various Artists" to something else to see if there is only a problem because of that specific artist name.

now you've confused me. just in case i was unclear, i have no albums of any kind by some esoteric avant garde type band who cleverly named themselves "Various Artists." (not a bad idea for a new band name though :)

for the purposes of SC, i could just delete the TPE2 tags of "Various Artists" but like i said, SC isn't the only app i use.

the SC code only looks for "Various Artists" btw in the tags artist field, TPE1, not in TPE2.

the issue remains that even though my TPE2=VA albums are not identified as comps to SC, they can't be found anywhere in the Home->Artists list. is it your contention i should not be able to find them there? shouldn't they be under the SC ALBUMARTIST value? in this case, "Various Artists"?

erland
2008-06-22, 04:40
i don't use comp tags at all. i know very little about them. i don't really understand the difference between TCMP and COMPILATION. maybe you can explain it to me?

i also don't use itunes, and while my wife has a ac, i really don't do much with it.

all i know is my tags are four characters, like TPE1 and TPE2. so i would use TCMP as long as SC was cool with that. maybe not the best reason, but it just felt familiar. nothing more to it then that. (and i have yet to assign TCMP=1 to any albums yet, i have to find an app that will do it that doesn't irritate me to use)
TCMP isn't really a tag, it's a frame as I've understand it. I suspect the only application that is able to set it is iTunes.
So unless you are using iTunes I think you would be better of just setting the COMPILATION tag which can be set in any tagging software.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-22, 08:25
>i guess i'm lost here. whats the beef? is it with non-standard tags,
>or just differences between differing comp tags? is it possible for my
>id3v2.3 tags to start with more than 4 characters? ie. TPE1, TPE2,
>TCMP?
id3v2.3 tags are held in frames. A frame is named with four characters, like TPE1, etc. The frame names are defined in the id3 standard.

There is no frame designed specifically for compilation.

SqueezeCenter understands TXXX COMPILATION. TXXX is a frame that allows any user-defined tag to be stored. COMPILATION is the name of the user defined tag.

iTunes made up their own four-character frame name "TCMP". It isn't part of the standard; and could potentially cause some apps to have problems. Many apps can't read/write this tag.

Mp3Tag does read TCMP - it calls it "ITUNESCOMPILATION".

Phil

Philip Meyer
2008-06-22, 14:22
>would you prefer i had TPE2 say "Compilation"? why would you be
>against it anyway?

By setting anything in an album artist tag, you are stating that an album isn't a compilation album, so to call the album artist "Compilation" or "Various Artists" seems odd. Entering "Not a compilation" as the album artist tag would be more correct ;-)

I don't personally like fudging any data in tags. Artist tags should be proper artist names.

I don't personally like "Various Artists" appearing as an artist in the Browse Artist list. It's actually a bit of a pain for the SqueezeCenter code maintenance to support the special Various Artists menu too. I'd prefer it if there were a "Browse Compilations" mode.

Nonreality
2008-06-22, 15:16
>would you prefer i had TPE2 say "Compilation"? why would you be
>against it anyway?

By setting anything in an album artist tag, you are stating that an album isn't a compilation album, so to call the album artist "Compilation" or "Various Artists" seems odd. Entering "Not a compilation" as the album artist tag would be more correct ;-)

I don't personally like fudging any data in tags. Artist tags should be proper artist names.

I don't personally like "Various Artists" appearing as an artist in the Browse Artist list. It's actually a bit of a pain for the SqueezeCenter code maintenance to support the special Various Artists menu too. I'd prefer it if there were a "Browse Compilations" mode.What's wrong with putting Various Artists in the Album Artist tag if you are saying that you want this as the Album Artists name. I only use it for albums that are true Various Artists type albums. Ones that don't have any general artist theme to them. That was the way I could keep them together before SC, in Itunes and other programs. I'm not sure what else you would put there if you sort by that.

slimkid
2008-06-22, 19:48
1.
Bug #8001 (http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8001) makes MP3 files work as FLAC files, with the new option you can instruct SqueezeCenter to treat TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST. The result is that MP3 albums with a TPE2 tag will not be treated as compilations and will thanks to this be sorted under the TPE2 value instead of under "Various Artists".
The change of 8001 is part of the 7.1 nightly release, so you can try it already now.


Hi Erland,

sorry to abuse your time and patience, but could you just confirm what I think I understand (or assume) from all this:

If there is a unique ALBUMARTIST tag set for an album (mp3 and/or flac) and if there are different artists set in ARTIST tags, then:

- that album will not be a compilation.
- it will be listed and sorted by albumartist in 'album' view
- it will be listed by albumartist in 'artist' view
- other artists (from ARTIST tags) will not show in the artist list, unless there is already some other album by that particular artist
- if there are other albums or tracks by the artist participating in some of ARTIST tags, then it is possible to drill down by artist between other albums and tracks and this album (and vice versa)
- if there are other albums by the artist participating in some of ARTIST tags in 'our' album, then in 'artist' view, under that artist, our album is also listed and following the link, it will lead to only tracks performed by that artist.

Sorry for asking you all this, I know that I should have tried it, but it took me a couple of attempts to set 7.1 right in my system , so I just don't feel like going through that exercise again and failing and being without the music.

thks a bunch,

K

erland
2008-06-22, 22:59
Hi Erland,

sorry to abuse your time and patience, but could you just confirm what I think I understand (or assume) from all this:

I just did some tests based on MP3 files with TPE2 tags and no custom tags.



If there is a unique ALBUMARTIST tag set for an album (mp3 and/or flac) and if there are different artists set in ARTIST tags, then:

- that album will not be a compilation.

Correct!

If you have TPE2 tags in your MP3 files that you like to be considered as ALBUMARTIST, you will have to set the "Treat TPE2 MP3 tag as Album Artist" option in "SqueezeCenter Settings/Behaviour"



- it will be listed and sorted by albumartist in 'album' view

Correct!

For MP3 files, the setting "List albums by all artists for that album" no longer seems to have any effect if you have set the "Treat TPE2 MP3 tag as Album Artist" option. I suppose the reason is that TPE2 is considered to be Album Artist instead of Band when this options is active.



- it will be listed by albumartist in 'artist' view

Correct!



- other artists (from ARTIST tags) will not show in the artist list, unless there is already some other album by that particular artist

Correct!

The other artists aren't even shown if you have enabled the "List compilation albums under each artist" option.

The only place the other artists are shown is when you lists the tracks on an album or views the track details.



- if there are other albums or tracks by the artist participating in some of ARTIST tags, then it is possible to drill down by artist between other albums and tracks and this album (and vice versa)

Correct!
You will see both the non compilation albums and the compilation albums belonging to the artist. The compilation albums will be listed as "... by Various Artists", albums with TPE2 or ALBUMARTIST tags will be listed as "... by <Album Artist or TPE2 artist>".



- if there are other albums by the artist participating in some of ARTIST tags in 'our' album, then in 'artist' view, under that artist, our album is also listed and following the link, it will lead to only tracks performed by that artist.

Correct!
Although, I don't really understand the difference compared to the previous question.

I've verified all this from the web interface, but I'm pretty sure it behaves the same way in the player and controller interfaces.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-23, 11:38
>What's wrong with putting Various Artists in the Album Artist tag if you
>are saying that you want this as the Album Artists name.
Nothing really wrong with doing that. It's just a name after all.

However, I don't consider "Various Artists" to be an artist name; it's another miss-use of the tag. I'd never need to set the album artist to "Various Artists" because SqueezeCenter does that automatically when the album is a compilation album.

Setting the album artist to "Various Artists" may also lead to inconsistencies in SqueezeCenter, because it displays compilation albums as belonging to an artist called "Various Artists" automatically.

Most applications have a mechanism for indicating that an album is a compilation album. Even iTunes/iPod have a Compilation tag, and you can browse compilations. This doesn't involve having an album artist.


>I'm not sure what else you would put there if you sort by that.
Don't know what you mean exactly.

I wouldn't put anything in an album artist tag if there's not meant to be anything there. If all songs are by the same performing artist, there's no need to have an album artist. For a compilation album, songs will have different performing artists, and an album artist is not necessary, because it's a compilation; the software knows there are various artists, and the album is not owned by a single artist name.

As I said before, it would be better if there were a Browse Compilations, rather than Browse Artists > Various Artists (or whatever name has been entered in the Music Library setting "When compilation albums are grouped together, they appear under "Various Artists" by default. You can change that name below.").

When browsing albums, compilation albums should be displayed by "Various Artists" (or the configered alternative name). If sort by album artist is selected, it should sort by that name too.

BBear
2008-06-23, 13:17
Folks - could someone please explain to me why we need this TPE logic at all. Over the last 2 years I have been following the guidelines for ripping my music collection using EAC into flac files. These are stored in the recommended ARTIST\ALBUM or VARIOS ARTIST\GENRE\ALBUM structure. Until SC7.01 (I was fine with 7.0) multiple disc albums under the VARIOUS ARTIST directory would group together no problem. However, since 7.01 it seems this no longer happens: http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=7869

From reading 'some' of this thread it seems that this is all due to some new tag data being used for album artist?? What are we really trying to achieve with this. What was wrong with the logic in SC7.0. I'm really not trying to slow you all down but a simple explination would be nice (if anyone is feeling generous... I realise you guys all seem to be the experts shaping the future). For the humble (read simple) end user it feels like we are going backwards here.

Thanks for reading me :-)

MrSinatra
2008-06-23, 13:47
>What's wrong with putting Various Artists in the Album Artist tag if you
>are saying that you want this as the Album Artists name.
Nothing really wrong with doing that. It's just a name after all.

However, I don't consider "Various Artists" to be an artist name; it's another miss-use of the tag. I'd never need to set the album artist to "Various Artists" because SqueezeCenter does that automatically when the album is a compilation album.

Setting the album artist to "Various Artists" may also lead to inconsistencies in SqueezeCenter, because it displays compilation albums as belonging to an artist called "Various Artists" automatically.

Most applications have a mechanism for indicating that an album is a compilation album. Even iTunes/iPod have a Compilation tag, and you can browse compilations. This doesn't involve having an album artist.

but there is more to the universe than just SC. shocking, but true.

SC does set ALBUMARTIST in the DB as "Various Artists" automatically (assuming conditions are met), thats true, and it marks it as a comp too.

but if you use other apps too, this might not work for you.



>I'm not sure what else you would put there if you sort by that.
Don't know what you mean exactly.

I wouldn't put anything in an album artist tag if there's not meant to be anything there. If all songs are by the same performing artist, there's no need to have an album artist. For a compilation album, songs will have different performing artists, and an album artist is not necessary, because it's a compilation; the software knows there are various artists, and the album is not owned by a single artist name.

see above.


As I said before, it would be better if there were a Browse Compilations, rather than Browse Artists > Various Artists (or whatever name has been entered in the Music Library setting "When compilation albums are grouped together, they appear under "Various Artists" by default. You can change that name below.").

totally agree and excellent idea.

why does SC conflate an albums property, with how that album is named (named via album artist?)

what i would do, is if something seems like a comp to SC, and there is no album artist or TPE2 tag for it to use, it should then use the ALBUM name, and set the COMP field in the positive.

i know you wouldn't like that phil, BUT what i am getting at here is i think similar to what you are saying. browse the property, not the name.


When browsing albums, compilation albums should be displayed by "Various Artists" (or the configered alternative name). If sort by album artist is selected, it should sort by that name too.

i think there is a bug when doing Home->Artists->Various Artists.

and what do you mean 'if sort by album artist is selected?'

NigelC
2008-06-23, 13:55
I used to have my library and Slimserver set up just how I like it - Compilations were correctly listed under Various Artists and contributing artists did not appear in the main list of Artists. This seems to have changed, now that I've moved to SC 7

The problem occurs when an album with a main artist has some tracks where other artists contribute eg Santana's Supernatural with contributing artists Eric Clapton, Eagle Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill etc.

SC appears to treat this as a compilation, and lists the album under Various Artists, though it does show the Artist as Santana (probably because the Album Artist tag is set to Santana)

If I explicitly set the Compilation tag to 0, then SC stops treating it as a compilation. However, it insists on including each contributing artist in the artist list despite the setting of the option
List albums by band = Yes (and List Albums by All Artists for that Album = No) and also Group compilation albums together = Yes


I'm running SC 7.0.1 19705, on Windows Vista Home Premium.
All my music is in FLAC ripped using dbPoweramp (various versions over the last few years)

I have just re-ripped Supernatural using the latest dBPoweramp (V13 Reference) and this automatically sets Compilation=0 which is helpful. It also sets Album Artist = Santana

But SC still lists all of the contributing artists, which is not what I want.

So, how can I achieve the result I want (and used to have)?
and
Is this a bug or is it the intended behaviour (for some weird reason)?

(I know I could delete the contributing artist tags but that would be extra work and defeats the great metadata lookup in dBpoweramp)

(I did look at the WIKI page on tags, where it states that SC looks at the BAND tag rather than ALBUM ARTIST in Flac files. Could someone in the know confirm whether this is the case. I did try deleting the Album Artist Tag and setting a Band tag but it made no difference to my problem.)

Regards
Nigel

MrSinatra
2008-06-23, 14:07
Folks - could someone please explain to me why we need this TPE logic at all.

not sure what you mean by that. one thing is treat TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST which is fairly straight forward.

the other thing is a function SC has of VA detection logic.

i contend we don't need the second thing except as an option.


Over the last 2 years I have been following the guidelines for ripping my music collection using EAC into flac files. These are stored in the recommended ARTIST\ALBUM or VARIOS ARTIST\GENRE\ALBUM structure. Until SC7.01 (I was fine with 7.0) multiple disc albums under the VARIOUS ARTIST directory would group together no problem. However, since 7.01 it seems this no longer happens: http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=7869

ok...


From reading 'some' of this thread it seems that this is all due to some new tag data being used for album artist??

i don't follow you here. the only thing "new" is in using a MP3's TPE2 field to work as ALBUMARTIST, and thats totally optional, (and off by default).


What are we really trying to achieve with this. What was wrong with the logic in SC7.0. I'm really not trying to slow you all down but a simple explination would be nice (if anyone is feeling generous... I realise you guys all seem to be the experts shaping the future). For the humble (read simple) end user it feels like we are going backwards here.

Thanks for reading me :-)

i think your issue has little to nothing to do with any of this, but i could be wrong.

but what we are trying to do is figure out the best way for SC to handle scanning of albums that have no album artist data and that appear to be compilations.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-23, 16:03
>why does SC conflate an albums property, with how that album is named
>(named via album artist?)
>
>what i would do, is if something seems like a comp to SC, and there is
>no album artist or TPE2 tag for it to use, it should then use the ALBUM
>name, and set the COMP field in the positive.
>
>i know you wouldn't like that phil
>
I don't know, it seems like what you are suggesting is exactly how it works now?

If an album seems like a compilation (i.e. songs by different artists), and there is no album artist, then it is a compilation.


>> When browsing albums, compilation albums should be displayed by "Various
>> Artists" (or the configered alternative name). If sort by album artist
>> is selected, it should sort by that name too.
>
>i think there is a bug when doing Home->Artists->Various Artists.
>
I don't think so - works fine for me.

>and what do you mean 'if sort by album artist is selected?'
Isn't this how you usually browse your music in the webUI? Browse Albums, with "Sort By" set to "artist, album". That "artist" is the album artist.

Philip Meyer
2008-06-23, 16:52
>I have just re-ripped Supernatural using the latest dBPoweramp (V13
>Reference) and this automatically sets Compilation=0 which is helpful.
>It also sets Album Artist = Santana
>
I think you'll find that dbPowerAmp stores Album Artist in a band tag.

I have dbPowerAmp (don't use the ripper, only use it for converting FLAC to mp3 for transfer to portable music player).

I just tried ripping a couple of tracks in dbPowerAmp, and set the Album Artist to "Test".

I then loaded the songs into Foobar music player, and looked at the tag properties. It says it has stored the tags in id3v2 format. It reports the following:

Artist Name : Pink Floyd
Track Title : Careful With That Axe, Eugene
Album Title : Ummagumma
Date : 1969
Genre : Progressive Rock
Composer :
Performer :
Album Artist :
Track Number : 2
Total Tracks : 4
Disc Number : 1
Total Discs : 2
Comment :
<BAND> : Test

Note that "Album Artist" is blank, and a custom tag "BAND" has been used to store the value "Test".

FLAC tag format can support proper Album Artist tags, but id3v2 was written by dbPowerAmp. The tags were not readable in my usual tagging app Mp3Tag. It said the tag format was id3v2, but couldn't read the tags.

Maybe the tag format and mapping of fields to tags is configurable in dbPowerAmp - I don't know, this was using the default settings, as I've never used it before and haven't changed any configuration options.

I tried ripping to mp3 format too, and it stored id3v2 format tags. The "Album Artist" was stored in TPE2 (BAND).

You could confirm that SqueezeCenter is reading your tag as Band instead of Album Artist by browsing to a song in the webUI. It should list the tag information it has read. It will be saying Band: xxx instead of Album Artist: xxx.

>But SC still lists all of the contributing artists, which is not what I want.

You need to set an Album Artist tag that SqueezeCenter understands, or if you have SqueezeCenter v7.1 there is now a new option to treat TPE2 as Album Artist, instead of Band.