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wnshall
2008-12-04, 15:12
I think the wiki could use an entry explaining SqueezeCenter’s handling of compilation albums. I’m willing to take a crack at it, but I don’t understand it well enough yet to do a reasonable job. I’d like to pose some questions here and hope that the answers allow me to craft a first draft of a wiki entry. Then I’d invite everyone to review and edit it.

The clearest statements I’ve seen in the forums are from Philip Meyer:


When browsing artists, albums will be listed under their album artist.
If there is no album artist, and there are many performing artists on the album, the album will considered a compilation.
Compilation albums will be listed by default under "Various Artists".
Artists performing only on albums that have a defined album artist or on compilation albums can be configured to not be listed when browsing artists.




The ARTIST tag for each song on an album should represent the artist(s) that perform on the song. If there are different artists on songs, SC will treat this as a compilation album and will appear as a full album under Various Artists (unless there is an ALBUMARTIST tag present, in which case the full album will only appear under that artist).

But if you browse artist XXX and that artist performs some songs on compilation ALBUM YYY and performs a song on an album that has an ALBUMARTIST ZZZ, then albums YYY and ZZZ will be listed, and you would only see those songs (not the whole album).


What follows is my current understanding of the basic behavior and the effect of the three compilations-related settings in SC, along with some specific questions. I'd appreciate any any responses that answer my questions or can clarify my thinking.

SC always uses some “various artists” detection algorithm to identify albums with mixed artists. If it detects different track artists on an album it places that album under “Various Artists” (This name is configurable) in the Genre and Artist menus.

The “group comps together” setting controls whether comps are only listed under “Various Artists” in artist lists. If this setting is not chosen, then artist lists contain all artists on compilation albums as well as a “Various Artists” entry.

To illustrate, suppose album YYY has track one with track artist=AAA and track two with track artist=BBB. SC will automatically identify this as a “compilation”. If “group compilations” is NOT selected then the list of artists shown when browsing Genre or Artist will include AAA, BBB, and “Various Artists”. If “group compilations” is selected then artist lists when browsing will only include “Various artists”, unless artist AAA or BBB shows up on another non-compilation album in your library. No matter how “group compilation” is set, when you browse to artist AAA you will see all full albums as well as any compilation albums on which AAA appears. If you select one of these compilation albums you will only see the tracks on which AAA appears.

Q: does the presence of a second trackartist on a single track cause an album to be identified as a compilation? For example, suppose on Album YYY, track one has track artist=AAA and track two has track artist = AAA; BBB (or track artist = AAA and track artist = BBB – is there a difference?). Will SC automatically treat this as a compilation?
Q: Does the presence of a tag COMPILATION=1 override the VA detection and force an album to be identified as a compilation?
Q: Does the presence of a tag COMPILATION=0 override the VA detection and force an album to not be identified as a compilation? (In which case, under what artist would it be listed?)

This statement:


unless there is an ALBUMARTIST tag present, in which case the full album will only appear under that artist

seems to imply that the presence of an ALBUMARTIST tag effectively overrides the VA detection of SC and sets COMPILATION=0.

What is the role of the second compilation setting “List albums by all artists” vs. “List albums by Band”. I have read that it might be more helpful to think of this as “denote”, as in “denote albums by Band”. I notice that when “list by Band” is selected compilation albums appear in “various artists” as “ALBUM YYY by <Band>”, whereas if “List … artists” is selected, albums appear as “ALBUM YYY by various artists”. I think this means that this setting just controls whether albums are displayed “by <BAND>” or “by <artist>”. Does this choice have an effect elsewhere? Does it also control which artists show up when browsing Genre or Artist? (my guess: No.) How does it interact with the “group compilation” setting? (my guess: not at all.)

The third setting to deal with is the “use TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST” vs. “Use TPE2 as BAND”. TPE2 is “supposed” to mean BAND, but some tagging software appropriates it for ALBUMARTIST, and this setting allows SC to work with those cases. The preferred method is to use your tagging software to set a custom tag (TXXX ALBUMARTIST). Several apps/taggers support this, including SqueezeCenter scanner, FooBar, and Mp3Tag.

I realize there are a variety of complex cases where the behavior is complicated, but to start I wanted to sketch out the basic behavior. Any help appreciated.

-Steve

CatBus
2008-12-04, 16:26
I'd go at it like this:

The COMPILATION tag is used to determine whether an album is a compilation (various artists) or not.

If the COMPILATION tag is not available, SqueezeCenter uses the following logic to guess whether or not an album is a compilation: If all of the tracks on an album share the same ARTIST or ALBUMARTIST tag, then that album is considered to be a non-compilation. Every album that does not meet this requirement is considered to be a compilation.

I think there are also some exceptions for albums where all the tracks aren't stored in the same folder, but all of the exceptions to the above logic are pretty fringe cases, and you'd have to ask someone other than me.

Philip Meyer
2008-12-04, 17:21
>SC always uses some “various artists” detection algorithm to identify
>albums with mixed artists. If it detects different track artists on an
>album it places that album under “Various Artists” (This name is
>configurable) in the Genre and Artist menus.
>
Just to be clear, only when browing in Artist context will you see the "Various Artists" item. eg. "Browse Artists >", or "Browse Genres > {pick a genre} >".

>Q: does the presence of a second trackartist on a single track cause an
>album to be identified as a compilation?
Yes.

>track artist = AAA; BBB (or track artist = AAA and track artist = BBB – is there a
>difference?)
No difference. "AAA;BBB" is the same as having two ARTIST tags: ARTIST=AAA and ARTIST=BBB.

>Q: Does the presence of a tag COMPILATION=1 override the VA detection
>and force an album to be identified as a compilation?
Yes.

>Q: Does the presence of a tag COMPILATION=0 override the VA detection
>and force an album to not be identified as a compilation? (In which
>case, under what artist would it be listed?)
>
You shouldn't really ever need to set COMPILATION=0 to override VA detection. If you don't want an album to be a compilation/various artist album, set an Album Artist.

I'm can't remember exactly what effect it would cause if you had various artists, but set COMPILATION=0. I believe you would end up with many albums with the same name, one for each distinct artist.

I believe an example of when you may possibly need to set COMPILATION=0 is if you had two albums by different artists with the same name in the same source folder. Eg. Greatest Hits by Queen and Greatest Hits by The Rolling Stones, with all songs in one source folder.

>> unless there is an ALBUMARTIST tag present, in which case the full
>> album will only appear under that artist
>>
>seems to imply that the presence of an ALBUMARTIST tag effectively
>overrides the VA detection of SC and sets COMPILATION=0.
>
Yes.

>What is the role of the second compilation setting “List albums by all
>artists” vs. “List albums by Band”. I have read that it might be more
>helpful to think of this as “denote”, as in “denote albums by Band”.
>
As an example, a song by ARTIST=XXX;YYY, and BAND=ZZZ would appear as "album by XXX, YYY" if "List by all artists", or "album by ZZZ" if "List by Band".

>Does this choice have an effect elsewhere?
It is only used to describe how information is displayed. So, if you Browse Albums, sorted by Album name, you only see the name of the album. If you sort the albums list by album artist, it will display the album artist if there is one, otherwise the artist(s) or band(s) on the album.

>Does it also control which artists show up when browsing
>Genre or Artist? (my guess: No.)
No

>How does it interact with the “group compilation” setting? (my guess: not at all.)
>
Not at all.

>The third setting to deal with is the “use TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST” vs.
>“Use TPE2 as BAND”. TPE2 is “supposed” to mean BAND, but some tagging
>software appropriates it for ALBUMARTIST, and this setting allows SC to
>work with those cases. The preferred method is to use your tagging
>software to set a custom tag (TXXX ALBUMARTIST). Several apps/taggers
>support this, including SqueezeCenter scanner, FooBar, and Mp3Tag.
>
That's right. This option only controls how the scanner reads id3 v2.3 tags from files, whether it treats the tag as Band or Album Artist.

Phil

MrSinatra
2008-12-04, 18:31
be sure to post a link to the wiki page once you've done it, i'll definitely be interested to read it.

one thing to be aware of tho, there are a LOT of bugs filed right now concerning these various things, and unfortunately the current wording of the options doesn't help. (i'm the one who suggested using "denote" as its clear what that means, unfortunately, they haven't taken up that suggestion yet, and thats just one thing)

but with the new schema and so on, a lot of your work may become in need of an update.

slimkid
2008-12-05, 11:48
Q: does the presence of a second trackartist on a single track cause an album to be identified as a compilation? For example, suppose on Album YYY, track one has track artist=AAA and track two has track artist = AAA; BBB (or track artist = AAA and track artist = BBB – is there a difference?). Will SC automatically treat this as a compilation?


Depending on the rest of the scenario. In you case, it is a compilation. However, if every track has artist = AAA; BBB (or track artist = AAA and track artist = BBB, that's the same) then it won't be a compilation and it will be listed by both of them (by AAA, BBB)




Q: Does the presence of a tag COMPILATION=0 override the VA detection and force an album to not be identified as a compilation? (In which case, under what artist would it be listed?)

This statement:"unless there is an ALBUMARTIST tag present, in which case the full album will only appear under that artist "

seems to imply that the presence of an ALBUMARTIST tag effectively overrides the VA detection of SC and sets COMPILATION=0.



This is an area where an interesting combination can arise. ALBUMARTIST overrides compilation detection, but it does not set COMPILATION tags. For the most part it is ok. However, it does have its flaws.

For the following write up, please, differentiate between the tag and the role in SC (and bear with my language :) )

If there is an album artist and multiple artists, then those artists would be assigned a role of 'track artist'. That means they won't show in the artist list. Unfortunately, that also means that if somewhere else in your library, there is other album where that artist is main artist, those two won't see each other (you won't be able to link one to another either by clicking in the browser or drilling down in SB). For example (I must have already bored everyone with this example), album 'Genius and friends', where Ray Charles performs every track with somebody else, among others, Diana Krall. If you tag it with ALBUMARTIST=Ray Charles and every track with its respoective ARTIST, then those artists get the role of track artist and Diana Krall doesn't see her other albums, neither they see her in this one. Album is denoted 'by Ray Charles' and listed accordingly.

Way I found to remedy that is to force COMPILATION=0 manually in such cases. Album will still be denoted by album artist, but artists will be assigned the role of artist rather than track artists. Consequently they all will appear among the artists in your library.

Now, interesting situation arises if not all performers from that album are of interest to me and I don't want them among my other artists. I found out that setting COMPILATION tag to 0 for only those tracks with the artists that interest me, would assign to those artists role of artist, and everybody else on that album would still remain track artist. So far so god ,but ...

If it's only Diana Krall that I want to make special on that album, then, its fine. However, if there is at least one more (but not all) and if I set COMPILATION=0 for them too, then they come out with the artist role properly assigned to them, but the whole album becomes the compilation. It is still denoted by the Albumartist (Ray Charles) but is stored on Various Artist page (in Artists context)

So, I figured out, there are two COMPILATION entities, one for each track, the other for the album. COMPILATION for the track is a tag that can be understood as - this artist on this track should be assigned a role of artist or track artist. Then there is a COMPILATION for an album that is not a tag that you can set, but rather an indicator in the database (that one can manipulate), which determines whether the album is listed with individual artists or in Various Artist page.

So, in my prior example, if I want to make special Dianna Krall and Willie Nelson, I can do that setting COMPILATION=0 on their track only. As a result, that album will still be 'by Ray Charles' but listed under Various Artists context. What I did to remedy that is to set up a script that is automatically invoked at the end of the scanner process that would manipulate compilation field on albums table in cases where there is an album artist for the album otherwise considered a compilation. Simply, make it non compilation.

K

wnshall
2008-12-05, 12:10
While investigating SC's handling of compilations I found the following quirky behavior. I have an album where every track has ARTIST="Various Artists" and COMPILATION is not set. I set "group compilations" on the settings page. When I browse to Genre> or Artists> I see "Various Artists" at the top which contains all compilation albums. As expected, this album does *not* appear here. (Well, maybe you wish it would, but from what I understand of how SC handles compilations, I don't expect it to show up.) There is also an artists entry under "V" called "Various Artists", where I would have expected to find this album, but it doesn't appear. I noticed that the html query for the link to this "Various Artists" contains "album.compilation=1", which would seem to indicate that it's only asking for albums with artist="Various Artists" *and* compilation set. (The special "Various Artists" item at the top of the artist list also contains "album.compilation=1".) This behavior doesn't seem correct to me: the VA item at the top is the special one for compilations, the VA under v in the artist list should probably be for albums where the artist is VA, but aren't compilations, or else maybe should be omitted.

The quirky part is that if you set an alternate name for compilations instead of the default "Various Artists" (I used "Compilations") then you find an item at the top of the artist list called "Compilations" which correctly holds all compilations and you find an item called "Various Artists" under v in the artist list that does not contain "album.compilation=1", and so correctly displays albums with artist=Various Artists but aren't compilations. (I didn't check what would happen if there were an album tagged with ARTIST=compilation.)

Essentially, the "Various Artists" item under v in the artist list is acting as a subset of the albums appearing in the "Various Artists" item at the top of the artist list. Does this seem like the right behavior?

-s

MrSinatra
2008-12-05, 12:25
i submitted a bug for that.

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=9523

some other important bugs around these issues:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=9938

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=9872

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=9870

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

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8004

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

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=7698

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6658

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6629

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

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6208

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6189

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

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=4754

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=4624

and i am sure many more...

hopefully the new schema sorts out a lot of these issues, and therefore it might be wise to just do a basic wiki, and really get involved post new schema.

Philip Meyer
2008-12-05, 13:47
There is only a concept of a compilation album, not compilation tracks.

It's the combination of songs on an album that defines if an album is a compilation or not.

Tags are always entered against songs (obviously!). Any compilation tags on songs refer to the album, not the song, and similarly album artist tags really refer to the album, not the song.

It does not make sense to have differing values for compilation or album artist tags for songs on an album. An album is either a compilation or not.


Perhaps I don't quite understand, but if you want track artists to appear in the Browse Artists list, then isn't the solution to select "List compilation albums under each artist" instead of "Group compilation songs together"?

Philip Meyer
2008-12-05, 13:55
>Essentially, the "Various Artists" item under v in the artist list is
>acting as a subset of the albums appearing in the "Various Artists"
>item at the top of the artist list. Does this seem like the right
>behavior?

Yes, it sounds correct to me.

The "Various Artists" special SC artist appears under "V" and at the top of the list. Both are identical entries, and are configured to display compilation albums.

It is not correct to enter an artist of "Various Artists", that doesn't automatically denote that the album is a compilation; if all artists on an album are set to "Various Artists", the album is not a compilation, and thus is not displayed under the "Various Artists" album.

If you change the special name that is used for displaying compilation albums under, then your "Various Artists" artist that does not contain various artist albums will display the albums by the artist called "Various Artists".

If you were to set COMPILATION=1 on all songs, then it would be listed under "Various Artists" without changing the special name to "Compilations". Better still, tag the songs correctly to say who performs on each song, and it would automatically be listed correctly.

wnshall
2008-12-05, 14:37
>Essentially, the "Various Artists" item under v in the artist list is
>acting as a subset of the albums appearing in the "Various Artists"
>item at the top of the artist list. Does this seem like the right
>behavior?

Yes, it sounds correct to me.

The "Various Artists" special SC artist appears under "V" and at the top of the list. Both are identical entries, and are configured to display compilation albums.


But they are not identical. The "Various Artists" that appears under "V" only contains compilations that *also* have artist="Various Artists". In my test case several compilation albums (eg with different track artists) did appear under the first VA item but did not appear under the VA item at "V".

It would be perfectly reasonable if both VA items behaved the same, as you described, or SC could just omit the listing of VA at "V". Or, maybe it would be useful to list at "V" any albums that had ARTIST="Various Artists". These are not identified by SC as compilations (unless they have the COMPILATION=1) and actually will be invisible in the artist list with the current behavior (which excludes from the VA item at "V" any non-compilations.) It's true, as you said, that tagging an album with ARTIST="Various Artists" doesn't make it a compilation. On the other hand, people do tag this way sometimes and it might be nice if they showed up *somewhere* in the artist list (of course, they'll appear in album lists.)



Better still, tag the songs correctly to say who performs on each song, and it would automatically be listed correctly.

As always, this is the best advice.

slimkid
2008-12-05, 14:49
There is only a concept of a compilation album, not compilation tracks.

It's the combination of songs on an album that defines if an album is a compilation or not.

Tags are always entered against songs (obviously!). Any compilation tags on songs refer to the album, not the song, and similarly album artist tags really refer to the album, not the song.

It does not make sense to have differing values for compilation or album artist tags for songs on an album. An album is either a compilation or not.


Perhaps I don't quite understand, but if you want track artists to appear in the Browse Artists list, then isn't the solution to select "List compilation albums under each artist" instead of "Group compilation songs together"?

The problem is that using ALBUMARTIST tag sort of puts track artist in the back row. Manipulating COMPILATION tags on particular tracks resolves it. It has nothing to do with the concept of compilation album or any other concept. It just works and, if I'm not mistaken, that is what the OP wants to know.

K

Philip Meyer
2008-12-05, 15:13
>But they are not identical. The "Various Artists" that appears under
>"V" only contains compilations that *also* have artist="Various
>Artists". In my test case several compilation albums (eg with
>different track artists) did appear under the first VA item but did not
>appear under the VA item at "V".
>
Ah, I think I was mistaken. I went to Browse Artists > V section, and Various Artists was listed for me at the top. However, the "Various Artists" entry is the special one that appears at the top of any Browse Artists page. i.e. I don't have two "Various Artists", just the specil "Various Artists" that is listed on every page.

Compilations are listed under the special "Various Artists" entry. If you have compilation albums that also have an album artist, they are listed under both "Various Artists" (because it's still a compilation album), and under the album artist name.

Philip Meyer
2008-12-05, 16:07
>The problem is that using ALBUMARTIST tag sort of puts track artist in
>the back row. Manipulating COMPILATION tags on particular tracks
>resolves it. It has nothing to do with the concept of compilation album
>or any other concept. It just works and, if I'm not mistaken, that is
>what the OP wants to know.

That's right - compilation albums or albums with album artists will have track artists instead of artist roles. SC only lists artists that have artist role, and not track role, unless "List compilation albums under each artist" is selected.

So you can browse a list of all artists, or only artists with albums, but not a mixture, without manipulating the database content manually.

Messing about with the content of the DB manually isn't a great idea! Perhaps an alternative solution to your situation would be to add Diana Krall as an additional album artist for that one track (I haven't tried this, but I think in theory this would make both album artists browseable, and other track artists would not appear browsable).

The original question was:
> Q: Does the presence of a tag COMPILATION=0 override the VA detection
> and force an album to not be identified as a compilation? (In which
> case, under what artist would it be listed?)
Setting COMPILATION=0 does override VA detection; such that the album will not be a compilation, but instead be several albums, and each contributing artist will take a normal artist role, and thus each will always appear under the Browse Artist link. But that is unlikely to be what anyone wants, unless two albums have incorrectly been joined together ("The Greatest Hits" problem).

slimkid
2008-12-05, 16:30
...
Messing about with the content of the DB manually isn't a great idea! Perhaps an alternative solution to your situation would be to add Diana Krall as an additional album artist for that one track (I haven't tried this, but I think in theory this would make both album artists browseable, and other track artists would not appear browsable).
.....



Philip,

if you get back and re read the example I have presented, you'd see that I already have Diana Krall as an artist of her solo albums. She does appear in a list of artist with or without Ray Charles' album. The problem is that Dian Krall who sings on a track with Ray Charles doesn't 'see' Diana Krall solo artist. They have different roles (artist and track artist) and those roles don't lead to each other in browser links or drilling down in SB. So, all my exercise with the Compilation tags has a purpose to enable that, to equalize track artist and artist in visibility to each other, that is.

Actually, there is even inconsistency in this behavior (if COMPILATION is not set). Track artist can't see artist. Artist can see track artist but only on the first level of browsing. If you keep drilling down or follow the artist link further from the first level, then track artist's albums also disappear.

I understand that it might not make sense to you, but that is how it works, and that is how I use it to achieve desired behavior. If you have more elegant solution that achieves the same, I'm all ears (but please, try to understand the problem before reacting)

K

Philip Meyer
2008-12-05, 16:49
>Actually, there is even inconsistency in this behavior (if COMPILATION
>is not set). Track artist can't see artist. Artist can see track artist
>but only on the first level of browsing. If you keep drilling down or
>follow the artist link further from the first level, then track
>artist's albums also disappear.
>
>I understand that it might not make sense to you, but that is how it
>works, and that is how I use it to achieve desired behavior. If you
>have more elegant solution that achieves the same, I'm all ears (but
>please, try to understand the problem before reacting)
>
Your example wasn't clear to me initially, but I think I understand what you mean by "Track artist can't see artist" now, following your second example of compilation album track artists. I think in actual fact, I raised a bug similar to this a while back myself. See if this makes sense to you, and whether you think it's the same issue:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=7836


Essentially, when clicking on an artist link, I'd expect to always see all albums by that aritst, not just the albums where the artist appears with the contributing role selected.

eg. If you click a track artist, you only see other albums that contain that artist as a track artist (and not as an artist, album artist, band, composer or conductor).

CatBus
2008-12-05, 16:53
Perhaps an alternative solution to your situation would be to add Diana Krall as an additional album artist for that one track

No, you'd need to make Diana Krall the album artist for all tracks on the album. I run into this problem all the time in my collection and it's pretty easy to fix this way. As far as I'm concerned it's not a problem in SqueezeCenter, which simply doesn't have enough information to work with until you do this.

The downside is that ALBUMARTISTSORT is currently unsupported, so unless you have another track in your collection with both ARTIST and ARTISTSORT (but NOT ALBUMARTIST) defined for the particular artist, it will sort wrong. Argh.

slimkid
2008-12-05, 21:14
...
Essentially, when clicking on an artist link, I'd expect to always see all albums by that aritst, not just the albums where the artist appears with the contributing role selected.
...


Yes, I think you are right there. Interestingly enough, right now there's a thread going on where people consider a bug the fact that when artist has artist role in one album and composer role in other, then both albums are visible from that artist regardless of 'include composers in artists' check box. So, SC will make roles of composer and artist 'see' each other, but not artist and track artist. Go figure.

K

Philip Meyer
2008-12-06, 02:59
>Yes, I think you are right there. Interestingly enough, right now
>there's a thread going on where people consider a bug the fact that
>when artist has artist role in one album and composer role in other,
>then both albums are visible from that artist regardless of 'include
>composers in artists' check box. So, SC will make roles of composer and
>artist 'see' each other, but not artist and track artist. Go figure.

I am seeing the same effect, which I think is more evidence that 7836 is a bug, rather than desirable functionality.

In Music Library Settings, I have the Composer checkbox unticked, so artists that are only composers (or track artists) do not appear in the Browse Artists list.

I have one album "Piano Sonatas" where I have set the ARTIST=Ludwig Van Beethoven (tagged incorrectly - should just be a composer).

If I browse Artists > Luwig Van Beethoven, I see that album only, and not the albums where he appears as only a composer (which is correct).

If I browse to a song on an album, for which Beethoven is a composer, eg. "Browse Artists > Various Artists > Classical Chillout - Platinum > Für Elise", and then click on the "Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven" link, I do see all albums that he appears as an artist and composer.

So I feel there is an inconsistency.

Browse Artists should only list artist and album artists plus any extra checkboxes that are ticked in the Music Library Settings (which it does)
But browsing to an artist from an album or song, should always list all music that the artist has been involved with.

The internal mechanism of holding contributor roles should be transparent to the UI. So, there's no need to show "Track Artist:" labels, they are just artists. Track Artist contributor roles are exist just to determine whether artists should appear in the Browse Artist list.

There should really be additional menus to Browse Composers, Browse Conductors, Browse Band/Orchestras, rather than lump them all (conditionally) in the Browse Artists list. I use Custom Browse to provide those currently.

Philip Meyer
2008-12-06, 03:02
>The downside is that ALBUMARTISTSORT is currently unsupported, so
>unless you have another track in your collection with both ARTIST and
>ARTISTSORT (but NOT ALBUMARTIST) defined for the particular artist, it
>will sort wrong. Argh.
>
Yes, that is a little annoying. Same goes for Composer, Conductor and Band tags. They all need SORT tags too!

Philip Meyer
2008-12-06, 08:01
I started to look through that list of bug reports; many are already fixed, some have nothing to do with compilations. Some are controversial. I added comments on a couple of them.

In reality, there don't appear to be many bugs open about real confirmed issues with compilation tags.

MrSinatra
2008-12-07, 21:50
I started to look through that list of bug reports; many are already fixed, some have nothing to do with compilations. Some are controversial. I added comments on a couple of them.

In reality, there don't appear to be many bugs open about real confirmed issues with compilation tags.

i never said they were about "compilation tags" or even compilations, i said "these issues."

yes, some are closed, but sometimes they enlighten, which is good for a wiki article that is to describe behavior. i think most if not all help in that respect.

MrSinatra
2008-12-07, 22:35
>But they are not identical. The "Various Artists" that appears under
>"V" only contains compilations that *also* have artist="Various
>Artists". In my test case several compilation albums (eg with
>different track artists) did appear under the first VA item but did not
>appear under the VA item at "V".
>
Ah, I think I was mistaken. I went to Browse Artists > V section, and Various Artists was listed for me at the top. However, the "Various Artists" entry is the special one that appears at the top of any Browse Artists page. i.e. I don't have two "Various Artists", just the specil "Various Artists" that is listed on every page.

Compilations are listed under the special "Various Artists" entry. If you have compilation albums that also have an album artist, they are listed under both "Various Artists" (because it's still a compilation album), and under the album artist name.

i assume you mean if they also have comp tags? and it surprises me they appear in both places.

wnshall
2008-12-07, 22:44
Ah, I think I was mistaken. I went to Browse Artists > V section, and Various Artists was listed for me at the top. However, the "Various Artists" entry is the special one that appears at the top of any Browse Artists page. i.e. I don't have two "Various Artists", just the specil "Various Artists" that is listed on every page.


Well that's interesting, because that's not what I'm seeing. I get a "special" "Various Artists" at the top of each page, but *also* get a "Various Artists" item at the proper alphabetical place under "V". Further, as I described earlier, that second VA lists albums that are compilations and have ARTIST="Various Artists". However, if I change the default name (say to "compilations") then the "various artists" that appears under "V" lists all albums with ARTIST="Various Artists". You can see what the VA link is going to return by looking at the html -- it clearly contains a compilation=1 bit when you use the default name, and lacks it when you use your own name for VA albums.

Are you really not seeing this behavior? Why would that be? Or, rather, why would I be seeing something different?

-s

MrSinatra
2008-12-07, 22:59
Well that's interesting, because that's not what I'm seeing. I get a "special" "Various Artists" at the top of each page,

i'm guessing, so if i'm wrong tell me, but...

i would guess stuff in there is for your files that have TPE1 mismatches, or artist mismatches if they aren't mp3s.

they also may have comp tags, (or not). they also probably don't have TPE2 set, or TPE2 isn't being treated as album artist. (again, assuming mp3s)


but *also* get a "Various Artists" item at the proper alphabetical place under "V".

if you set TPE1 = Various Artists for ALL tracks, this is what i would expect, b/c SC would think the band is named "Various Artists."

how that plays into the bug i posted earlier, i can't say.

but SC wouldn't call it a comp if there was no TPE1 mismatch, even if its named "Various Artists."

interestingly, i have proposed making the current VA logic optional, and using comp tags OR user submitted string recognition instead, as they are foolproof.


Further, as I described earlier, that second VA lists albums that are compilations and have ARTIST="Various Artists".

there is a difference between compilations in reality, and compilations known as such to SC. they aren't necessarily the same.


However, if I change the default name (say to "compilations") then the "various artists" that appears under "V" lists all albums with ARTIST="Various Artists". You can see what the VA link is going to return by looking at the html -- it clearly contains a compilation=1 bit when you use the default name, and lacks it when you use your own name for VA albums.

without beng able to see your files its hard to say what is going on here.


Are you really not seeing this behavior? Why would that be? Or, rather, why would I be seeing something different?

-s

what is your file format?
what is in TPE1?
TPE2?
how is TPE2 treated by SC?
do you use comp tags of any kind?
what tag editor do you use?

wnshall
2008-12-08, 11:05
I don't want to beat a dead horse here -- I really don't consider this a huge deal, nor is it really a "bug" -- but I do think it's inconsistent or illogical behavior.



i'm guessing, so if i'm wrong tell me,

what is your file format?
what is in TPE1?
TPE2?
how is TPE2 treated by SC?
do you use comp tags of any kind?
what tag editor do you use?

I outlined the problem with most of the details in post #6 of this thread. To recap:
I'm using mp3's exclusively, I am treating TPE2 as BAND. I have "group compilations" set. I have several "Compilation" albums that have different track artists (as well as having COMPILATION=1 set) as well as a few albums that have ARTIST="Various Artists" (eg. TPE1). These files do NOT have a COMPILATION tag. I do not have the ALBUMARTIST tag set at all. I use a combination of iTunes and mp3tag to tag my files.

What happens is that artist lists have a special "Various Artists" item at the top that contains all the compilation albums, and also a "Various Artists" item under "V". This VA has nothing in it, because it returns all albums with artist="Various Artists" AND album.compilation=1. Since my albums with artist="Various Artists" do NOT have COMPILATION=1 set, they don't show up. In fact, they don't show up anywhere in the artist list.

If I tell SC to use a different title for VAs, eg "Compilations", then I get a "Compilations" item at the top of each artist page, and also get a "Various Artists" item under "V", but now this item lists any album with ARTIST="Various Artists" not restricted to album.compilation=1. I suspect that if I had an album tagged with ARTIST=Compilations, I'd find a Compilations artist under "C" and it would be restricted to ARTIST=compilations and album.compilations=1.

It's really no big deal. I can either tag those albums with ARTIST="Various Artists" with COMPILATION=1 (either via iTunes or mp3tag) or, better, tag the album with individual track artists (better because then I have more info about the tracks, eg Now Playing will show "Track Title by Track Artist" which is more informative than "Track Title by Various Artists".)

The only thing I would argue for is that the VA item that shows up under "V" should not be restricted to album.compilations=1 so that if one has some mistagged albums at least they'd show up somewhere in the artist list (the fact that they don't show up in the "compilation" VA at the top of the list would be your clue that something's wrong.)

-s

MrSinatra
2008-12-08, 11:59
i agree with what you are saying.

there is a similar, if not exactly the same scenario played out, IF it is TPE2=Various Artists. i'm not sure if it depends on how TPE2 is treated. but this is more serious imo, b/c thats how gracenote tags. its fairly reasonable for SC to blame TPE1 tags labelled "Various Artists" altho i still think they should address that, b/c as you said its not that uncommon...

BUT SC can't simply blame TPE2 tags labelled "Various Artists" and then walk away, b/c it goes against Gracenote and how a lot of apps handle comps.

it seems to me the solution is to make SC's "special case" a name not likely to be used by ANYONE, such as "Compilations, Various Artists, etc" or something like that. then the purists can change it back to "Various Artists" but SC will have the benefit of avoiding any user issues for those with "Various Artists" in their TPE1 or TPE2 tags.

wnshall
2008-12-08, 14:11
I've created a first draft of a new Wiki entry describing SqueezeCenter's handling of compilations. It's at:
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/Compilations

Please check it for accuracy and offer suggestions for improvement.

My idea was to structure it so that it starts with a basic description of how compilations work and enough info to get a new user up and running in most common situations, and then follow with discussion of more advanced settings and complexities. Currently, it doesn't have that much "advanced", "complex" material -- just a discussion of the second two compilation settings. We could certainly add info to that section. One thought would be to provide examples of tags and observed SC's behavior.

I thought about putting in some info on how lists are sorted, since that seems to be one of the issues raised in forum threads. However, it seems like these issues aren't strictly about compilations but more about how the TPE2 tag is handled (which of course can have an impact on how compilations are handled.) Sorting info could go in the article, or maybe someone should write an entry devoted to sorting.

-s

MrSinatra
2008-12-09, 19:18
first i want to say kudos.

second, i want to ask what do i need to do to edit it? or would you rather i suggested stuff here?

i think some more basic exposition is needed, and your examples should fall under a separate example category.

also, all your bug links have an extra character at the end which gives a 404 error.

but great work... let me know how to proceed.

erland
2008-12-09, 21:55
second, i want to ask what do i need to do to edit it?

Hit the "create account" link at the upper right corner of the wiki page and create a new account. After you have logged in with your new account, you will get an "edit" tab on top of the wiki page which you choose to make additions and changes to the page.

wnshall
2008-12-09, 22:20
first i want to say kudos.

second, i want to ask what do i need to do to edit it? or would you rather i suggested stuff here?


To edit any wiki page you have to log into the wiki (create an account if you haven't already done so.) Once logged in you will see an edit tab at the top of all wiki pages. It's easy to do.

In principle, as with any wiki, everyone is free to edit the page. So feel free to add/edit material. However, maybe it would make sense to make suggestions here to build consensus first.



i think some more basic exposition is needed, and your examples should fall under a separate example category.

Can you give an example of what basic exposition you have in mind? What more needs to be covered? Submit something here and I can enter it. I felt the examples help clarify the basic material in the first section and that's why I put them there. Why do they need a separate section?



also, all your bug links have an extra character at the end which gives a 404 error.

Fixed.

Philip Meyer
2008-12-11, 11:26
If everything you say is true (not that I'm doubting what you see - more that nothing else/other settings are causing the effect), then I agree that there is an inconsistency in some way that is due to incomplete tagging. It is not clear to me though what should happen in this situation.

I tried to repeat your issue a few days ago, and didn't get the same effect. However, I'm wondering if there's some kind of difference/inconsistency with scanning an album using new/changed music rather than a complete full scan? I changed an existing album and rescanned only for new/changed files. In fact, I think I did find an issue with this when experimenting a month or so ago, and raised a scanner error about compilation tags not being reflected in the database tables in this instance, if a rescan is performed.

I have subsequently changed most of my experimental tags back and done a full rescan to correct my library. I don't want/have time to do another full rescan for a while.

In the last full rescan, I did one more experiment. I set an mp3 album such that there were no ARTIST tags. I set TXXX ALBUMARTIST="Various Artists2" and ITUNESCOMPILATION=1.

After the full rescan, the album did appear only within my "Various Artists", and NOT under letter V - "Various Artists2". When I browse the album, it does list it as by "Various Artists2".

So, I think this would confirm that no matter what you have for Artist and/or Album Artist tags, if you set a Compilation=1 tag, it will appear under the SC Various Artists (or whatever name you configure) and the album artist name will be used to denote the artist, or "Various Artists" if there isn't any album artist tag for the album. This seems perfectly correct.

If songs on an album have all ARTIST tags set to "Various Artists", and there's no compilation tag telling it that it is a compilation, I would class this as incomplete tagging. If SC is not showing the album under any artist, I can understand why that would happen, and it is unclear where the album should appear in Browse Artists list (what artist it should be listed under).

I don't think it should be under the SC "Various Artists" artist if it isn't deemed to be a compilation; so perhaps a separate Various Artist entry (as a normal artist name, sorted under V) would be better, although confusing. The best outcome is by fixing tags.


One other thing I just noticed; if I Browse Artists > Various Artists, and sort the list of albums by artist, album, I get all "Various Artists" displayed, but the album names are not sorted - so "artist, album" sorting doesn't seem to work properly.