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  1. #1
    MrSinatra
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    TPE2 sort method needed

    hi, JimC suggested i try breaking this down here, and see if someone from slim would be interested in fixing this.

    THE FIRST ISSUE:

    on the settings -> music library page under 'compilations' one of the options is:

    1. "List albums by all artists for that album"
    or
    2. "List albums by band"

    it also has this in the infobox:

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

    the problem here is with the wording of all the above. it sounds like it may be talking about sorting (which may have been the intent, i don't know) but the point is that in practice this is just about labeling.

    it also is confusing and misleading about what its meant to do, and what tags its talking about, etc...

    SOLUTION:

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

    what i think is least problematic is:

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

    this methodology is flexible, meaning a second option can then be created for sorting as a wholly separate function. (the second problem i'll address)

    the infobox should then change to say this:

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

    that would remove a tremendous amount of confusion about what that option is intended to do, and how it does it.

    THE SECOND ISSUE:

    currently, mp3 users have NO WAY to sort their albums properly unless they use user defined Txxx fields. (i mean is it not dumb for these mp3 users to be able to denote the album by TPE2 but then have it sort out of place?)

    as JimC noted, mp3 is king in the marketplace.

    we can also safely assume most mp3 users do not use specialized tagging apps like foobar or musicbrainz.

    we can also safely assume the majority of mp3 users use WMP, winamp or itunes, or other similar apps.

    these apps have put into practice a "defacto standard" of using the TPE2 field in a mp3 as the apps "Album Artist" field.

    (this fact is actually already noted in slim's current infobox quoted above)

    so, a user could have his tags all done "properly" as far as most major apps are concerned, but SC7 won't respect that.

    the proposed option then would be a way to respect that. and i think thats just as fair as having SC7 respect the "defacto standards" of apps like FooBar who put user defined Txxx fields into mp3s for things like ALBUMARTIST.

    whats the best way to implement it? i have no idea, thats why i am posting here...

    however, i have suggested that perhaps SC7 could do this by using its own internal BAND field (which TPE2 already populates), to do the sorting, OR that at scan time TPE2 is mapped to both SC7s BAND and ALBUMARTIST tag directly (since these types of users won't have user defined fields for ALBUMARTIST).

    these are just suggestions, i realize this may impact various artists logic or other things i don't see.

    but the point is mp3 users need an option to sort by their file's TPE2 tag.
    Last edited by MrSinatra; 2008-04-18 at 13:35.

  2. #2
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    i am going to try approaching this from a different angle, and i hope this time someone from slim will address this issue, although i welcome anyones thoughts.

    i afterall put this here b/c JimC said i should.

    the reason i am so perplexed by all of this is that i can't understand how slim expects their product to work for people with mp3s who don't use user defined tags. this would be, as you know, almost all of the mp3 marketplace, as the majority of mp3 users don't use user defined tags.

    i think slim is great and so on, so i don't want anyone getting the wrong idea, but i do wonder how or why a music server was designed so as to not accommodate the most frequently occuring scenario first, and then go from there.

    in other words...

    mp3 is king. we all know that, JimC said so himself.

    user defined tags are a fantastic resource, no doubt, but they aren't a true standard, and they aren't commonplace. the vast majority of mp3 users do NOT use them. i am hardly alone in being in that group.

    the id3 standard is crap, granted, but it is what it is. surely the blame for the mess lies with it. but its the reality, its what in place.

    so given that, a defacto standard was created by most all apps, (surely the vast marketshare) to use TPE2 erroneously (if going by the id3 standard strictly) b/c they had no other alternative. TPE2 was the common tag they could appropriate and ensure cross app compatibility. this mutation was a result of naturally occuring evloution in the marketplace.

    these apps are just as victimized by the id3 standard as anyone else.

    but the defacto standard now exists, nonetheless.

    so given this reality, that mp3 is very common, and that user defined tags are not very common, and that slim did not, and has never, respected using TPE2 for sorting purposes, my question is:

    just how did slim expect the most likely scenario to be accommodated?

    it seems to me, slim never did expect them to be, and made a conscious choice to force them to have to either deal with it as is, OR use user defined tags to correct their sorting issues.

    it seems to me slim has decided up to this point, to rebuke what nearly every other app has adopted as a defacto standard, for reasons that i find bewildering and irrational.

    as i stated elsewhere, is slim trying to martyr itself for a cause, that being some ridiculous strict adherence to a broken standard?

    or does it want to do what all the other apps have done, and accommodate its users (and possible future users) by frankly, getting over it, and dealing with the reality?

    again, i am not trying to piss anyone off or have a religious flame war like mac vs pc, i am just trying to get slim to address the issue, and i do think there is room for an OPTION to allow users to do this, b/c without such an option, mp3 users without user defined tags HAVE NO WAY to get their collections to properly sort.

    thx for reading this.

  3. #3
    Former Squeezebox Guy andyg's Avatar
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    Is there a reason the TSOP sort order frame doesn't work for problem 2?

    For problem 1, part of the issue may be that even with the useBandAsAlbumArtist pref set, we still read TPE2 tags into the BAND role, instead of putting it into the ALBUMARTIST role. This might have been done so you could have BAND tags from other file formats be used in the same way.

    Do you have some sample files you could attach to a bug that might let everyone see the issue more clearly?

  4. #4
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    hi Andy, thx for replying.

    Quote Originally Posted by andyg View Post
    Is there a reason the TSOP sort order frame doesn't work for problem 2?
    TSOP? what tag is that?

    i don't see it in the list of official tags here:

    http://id3.org/id3v2.3.0

    i think its a user defined tag, if i had to guess.

    if so, i'm sure it does what you think it should, (meaning, for SC7) ...my issue however is that i don't use or expect i should have to use user defined tags.

    i want SC7 to work with normal tags, (normal meaning non user defined).

    Quote Originally Posted by andyg View Post
    For problem 1, part of the issue may be that even with the useBandAsAlbumArtist pref set, we still read TPE2 tags into the BAND role, instead of putting it into the ALBUMARTIST role. This might have been done so you could have BAND tags from other file formats be used in the same way.
    just so i'm clear, i'm not advocating how to change the current system. i don't know the best way to implement the change i am asking for. also, i am positive some people do in fact use the TPE2 field properly, (meaning, according to strict standard) and so they would need to have the current functionality available to them unchanged.

    however, what i am advocating is a new option, whose goal is to let users like me, use their TPE2 fields to sort their collection. if this meant that when the option was active, mapping the TPE2 to BOTH BAND and ALBUMARTIST, then fine by me.

    obviously there would be questions about VA albums, or albums with no TPE2 data, etc... but that could be worked out as we go. the main thing is to simply get SC7 as an option, to respect TPE2 for sorting.

    i don't want to get into how SC7 does it, or should do it... you guys are the [absolutely brilliant!] coders, i am just saying that this should be the goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by andyg View Post
    Do you have some sample files you could attach to a bug that might let everyone see the issue more clearly?
    i'm not really sure i understand what you mean here.

    let me just give you an example.

    all my billy joel albums have billy joel in the TPE2 field. however, his box set has one cd with one track with himself and ray charles on it, (denoted in the TPE1 field). b/c of that, SC7 calls this one CD a VA album (via its own internal logic) and sorts it with the VA albums.

    this happens to a lot of my albums, and its doubly frustrating since SC7 DOES use TPE2 to denote the album as by billy joel. so even though this one CD of the box set says "by billy joel" in the IE7 window, it still gets sorted under the V's.

    see what i mean? can i clarify anything more for you?
    Last edited by MrSinatra; 2008-04-25 at 13:03.

  5. #5
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    btw, issue one is just with the confusing documentation and intent of that option.

    issue two is about actual functionality, ie. sorting.

  6. #6
    Former Squeezebox Guy andyg's Avatar
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    TPE2 sort method needed

    On Apr 25, 2008, at 3:59 PM, MrSinatra wrote:
    >
    > hi Andy, thx for replying.
    >
    > andyg;295606 Wrote:
    >> Is there a reason the TSOP sort order frame doesn't work for
    >> problem 2?

    >
    > TSOP? what tag is that?
    >
    > i don't see it in the list of official tags here:
    >
    > http://id3.org/id3v2.3.0
    >
    > i think its a user defined tag, if i had to guess.


    It's an id3v2.4 tag. I guess 2.3 doesn't support sorting, but at
    least they did add a standard field for sort values.

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

    > if so, i'm sure it does what you think it should, (meaing, for SC7)
    > ...my issue however is that i don't use or expect i should have to use
    > user defined tags.
    >
    > i want SC7 to work with normal tags, (normal meaning non user
    > defined).


    Fair enough, maybe you can try moving to id3v2.4?

    > andyg;295606 Wrote:
    >> For problem 1, part of the issue may be that even with the
    >> useBandAsAlbumArtist pref set, we still read TPE2 tags into the BAND
    >> role, instead of putting it into the ALBUMARTIST role. This might
    >> have
    >> been done so you could have BAND tags from other file formats be
    >> used in
    >> the same way.

    >
    > just so i'm clear, i'm not advocating how to change the current
    > system.
    > i don't know the best way to implement the change i am asking for.
    > also, i am positive some people do in fact use the TPE2 field
    > properly,
    > (meaning, according to strict standard) and so they would need to have
    > the current functionality available to them unchanged.
    >
    > however, what i am advocating is a new option, whose goal is to let
    > users like me, use their TPE2 fields to sort their collection. if
    > this
    > meant that when the option was active, mapping the TPE2 to BOTH BAND
    > and
    > ALBUMARTIST, then fine by me.
    >
    > obviously there would be questions bout VA albums, or albums with no
    > TPE2 data, etc... but that could be worked out as we go. the main
    > thing is to simply get SC7 as an option, to respect TPE2 for sorting.
    >
    > i don't want to get into how SC7 does it, or should do it... you guys
    > are the [absolutely brilliant!] coders, i am just saying that that
    > this
    > should be the goal.
    >
    > andyg;295606 Wrote:
    >> Do you have some sample files you could attach to a bug that might
    >> let
    >> everyone see the issue more clearly?

    >
    > i'm not really sure i understand what you mean here.
    >
    > let me just give you an example.
    >
    > all my billy joel albums have billy joel in the TPE2 field. however,
    > his box set has one track with himself and ray charles on it. b/c of
    > that, SC7 calls it a VA album (via its own internal logic) and sorts
    > it
    > with the VA albums.
    >
    > this happens to a lot of my albums, and its doubly frustrating since
    > SC7 DOES use TPE2 to denote the album as by billy joel. so even
    > though
    > this one CD of the box set says "by billy joel" in the IE7 window, it
    > still gets sorted under the V's.
    >
    > see what i mean? can i clarify anything more for you?


    It would be good to get some files, perhaps:

    2 files from a normal Billy Joel album.
    2 files from the box set album.

    Basically I like to have the minimum set of files needed to reproduce
    the issue, rather than having to create my own files that might
    possibly use different tags.

  7. #7
    Senior Member radish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
    TSOP? what tag is that?

    i don't see it in the list of official tags here:

    http://id3.org/id3v2.3.0
    It's a standard tag in id3 2.4

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

    TSOP
    The 'Performer sort order' frame defines a string which should be
    used instead of the performer (TPE2) for sorting purposes.

  8. #8
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    i only have time for a quick reply...

    but this isn't going to work. 2.4 is not an official standard, and more to the point, the apps i am talking about don't support it. its merely exchanging one problem for another.

    more later, but i appreciate the dialogue.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Philip Meyer's Avatar
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    TPE2 sort method needed

    >btw, issue one is just with the confusing documentation and intent of
    >that option.
    >
    >issue two is about actual functionality, ie. sorting.
    >

    I think your terminology here is what is confusing things.

    What you really mean is grouping. You want TPE2 to be used to group songs to have the same album artist. This has no bearing on how the album, or album artist, is to be sorted.

    Without an album artist on all songs that have different artist performers, the album becomes a various artist album, and is thus the album is listed under artist="Various Artists".

  10. #10
    Former Squeezebox Guy andyg's Avatar
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    TPE2 sort method needed

    On Apr 25, 2008, at 5:33 PM, MrSinatra wrote:
    >
    > i only have time for a quick reply...
    >
    > but this isn't going to work. 2.4 is not an official standard, and
    > more to the point, the apps i am talking about don't support it. its
    > merely exchanging one problem for another.
    >
    > more later, but i appreciate the dialogue.



    I assume you're referring to this statement?

    "A follow on version, 2.4, is documented on this website but has not
    achieved popular status due to some disagreements on some of the
    revisions and the tremendous inertia present in the software and
    hardware marketplace."

    Regardless, 2.4 has been around for 8 years and they've already got
    the sort field you need and it's supported in SC, so why not use it?

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