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  1. #11
    Senior Member w3wilkes's Avatar
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    As you can tell there are several "opinions" on how to properly tag your compilations. The thing about it is that they're all correct as long as the whole library is tagged consistently to match up with your SBS settings on how to handle compilation albums.

    As a debt to history my compilations in my library are all tagged with Album Artist = Various. Back when I built my first server in 2003 the best wireless solution I could find was the SoundBlaster Wireless Music system. It was much like the Duet in that there was a separate controller / receiver, however the controller only did text for browsing the library. It also had server software like SBS that you could also control the player from. The issue with compilation albums was the server had ZERO direct support for compilation albums. I found that I could set Artist to the track performer and Album Artist to Various and the compilations would sort as they should under the "Various" album artist. The Soundblaster server software had no capability of any kind to play music on the PC so if I wanted to play my music on the PC rather than the stereo I had to use WMP. This same tagging methodology worked fine for WMP too so I was set.

    A couple of years ago when I upgraded to the Duet I found that my library fell right into SBS looking (sorting) just like it always had. With the SBS server set to "Group Compilations together", "List Albums by band" and "Treat TPE2 MP3 tag as "Album Artist" all my compilations only show under the artist "Various" with no "Various Artist" entry in the beginning of the browse by artist menu. This is what I was used to so I'm happy with the way I've got it.
    Main system - Rock Solid with LMS 7.9.3 Official on WHS 2011 - 2 Duets and Squeeseslave
    Cabin system - Rock solid with LMS 7.9.3 Official on Win10 Pro - 1 RPi 3 Model B/Hifiberry DAC+ Pro/PiCorePlayer and Squeezeslave
    Squeezebox Boom - "At Large" player around both home and cabin
    Headphones and car - Android phone/Bluetooth w/full library on MicroSD card - PowerAmp music player app (similar to Material Skin)

  2. #12
    MrSinatra
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    DoXer,

    there is a very simple solution that doesn't require you to do ANYTHING with your tags, (tags that are set that way by default by many major/minor apps).

    in SBS settings, go to this option:

    "When compilation albums are grouped together, they appear under "Various
    Artists" by default. You can change that name below."

    and put ANYTHING in that box EXCEPT:

    Various Artists

    ...and the things you tagged as TPE2=Various Artists will now show up. you could even just add a period to the entry, and it'll work, "Various Artists."

    see my bug 9523:

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

    alternatively, u can leave that option alone and add comp tags, or you can delete the TPE2 values, HOWEVER i advise against that since a lot of other apps need that info.

    pretty much EVERYTHING [current] uses TPE2 as ALBUMARTIST, and almost all of them fill in TPE2, (or can), when making rips.

    imo, it is insane that logitech, after years of being aware of this issue, REFUSE to address it. its crazy, but it is what it is. files made with winamp, wmp, and even now EAC, will be hidden from some views inside SBS if they have this incredibly common and sensible string that Gracenote, AMG, users, etc... all fill in for lots of different VA/comp CDs.

    also see here:

    http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15604
    http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=17031
    http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=17081
    Last edited by MrSinatra; 2011-06-03 at 10:32. Reason: fix bug url to go to correct bug, ugh!

  3. #13
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    You could add me to the me-too crowd in that I had the ALBUM ARTIST = Various Artists issue although admittedly the compilation tag was a bit haphazard as most of my software and devices never used it or filled it consistently (I think it may be mostly an itunes thing).

    I remember being a bit frustrated as I came out of using MediaMonkey on my computer and had separated Album Artist from the Track Artists (and using the Zune and an Archos device used Album Artist exclusively).

    My resulting solution, although not necessarily the best (I like Mr. Sinatra's last suggestion and might try it), was to use the Custom Browse and Custom Tag plugins to create two different menus, 1 for track artists and 1 for album artist. The reason I like this setup is that if I want to look for a specific song my a specific artist, I can look by song. However, I am typically an album oriented listener and prefer the simplicity of browsing by album artist.

    Lots of potential solutions; so it may be a bit of a bug, but at least there is flexibility to adjust it as you see fit (with a little effort).

  4. #14
    MrSinatra
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    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    You could add me to the me-too crowd in that I had the ALBUM ARTIST = Various Artists issue although admittedly the compilation tag was a bit haphazard as most of my software and devices never used it or filled it consistently (I think it may be mostly an itunes thing).
    think of all the people this would affect who might even be unaware of it. it certainly isn't obvious that its either happening, or how to fix it. its INSANE that logitech ignores this issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    I remember being a bit frustrated as I came out of using MediaMonkey on my computer and had separated Album Artist from the Track Artists (and using the Zune and an Archos device used Album Artist exclusively).
    indeed. WMP, winamp, etc... the list goes on and on of users likely to fall into this trap, but some people on here don't think anything should be done about it. insanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    My resulting solution, although not necessarily the best (I like Mr. Sinatra's last suggestion and might try it),
    which one do you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by emalvick View Post
    was to use the Custom Browse and Custom Tag plugins to create two different menus, 1 for track artists and 1 for album artist. The reason I like this setup is that if I want to look for a specific song my a specific artist, I can look by song. However, I am typically an album oriented listener and prefer the simplicity of browsing by album artist.

    Lots of potential solutions; so it may be a bit of a bug, but at least there is flexibility to adjust it as you see fit (with a little effort).
    i also need to try custom browse, as Erland was asking me to. but the idea that i should have to use a 3rd party add in to do something as obvious and simple as switch on the fly between browsing artists or albumartists is to me, ridiculous. SBS is nothing more than a music server, and it can't handle that? insane.

  5. #15
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    The only change I would make is that if the ALBUMARTIST is 'Various Artists' then I would mark the album a compilation. It would be the equivalent of COMPILATION=1. Make it case insensitive, but it must be that _exact_ string, not the string that can be set in SBS options for renaming Various Artists, and nothing from any other language.

  6. #16
    MrSinatra
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx View Post
    The only change I would make is that if the ALBUMARTIST is 'Various Artists' then I would mark the album a compilation. It would be the equivalent of COMPILATION=1. Make it case insensitive, but it must be that _exact_ string, not the string that can be set in SBS options for renaming Various Artists, and nothing from any other language.
    that would fix bug 9523, but i don't see why you would do it this way?

    the option i refer to above, where you can fill in the name of the VA category, should first of all display the default value, which is "Various Artists" (bug 17081) and if a user were to switch it, to whatever else, i think the logical thing to do would be to have your "auto comp=1" classification applied to whatever they switched it to.

    so if someone switched it to say "Soundtracks" then things with that as their AA would get the auto comp=1 classification, and things that had Various Artists as their AA tag would start showing up as well, b/c the option (for the category name) was renamed.

    so i don't see why you wouldn't have the comp=1 logic follow the entry in the option?

    but aside from that, i think there are better, fuller solutions, like bug 15604, and bug 17031, which mimics the existing "guess tags" option.

  7. #17
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
    the option i refer to above, where you can fill in the name of the VA category, should first of all display the default value, which is "Various Artists" (bug 17081) and if a user were to switch it, to whatever else, i think the logical thing to do would be to have your "auto comp=1" classification applied to whatever they switched it to.
    Do any of the applications referred to above ever apply a string other than 'Various Artists' to the ALBUMARTIST field of compilations? If not, there's no reason to recognize anything other than 'Various Artists'. The option in SBS should be used only for display (and sorting).

  8. #18
    MrSinatra
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx View Post
    Do any of the applications referred to above ever apply a string other than 'Various Artists' to the ALBUMARTIST field of compilations?
    the easy answer is yes, b/c the strings put into AA are only as good as the DB source (or user) that does it. in general, "Various Artists" is what is used most of the time by online DBs, but i can't say its the ONLY string used for comps.

    (of course, the 9523 bug wouldn't be seen on other strings, unless one changed the SBS category naming option to that string)

    also, other languages should be taken into account, if the strings provided cause the 9523 bug in SBS if SBS is run under that language.

    in other words, i think its wrong to focus on the string, but more precise to focus on the conflict. this bug is a bug that arises out of the conflict that happens anytime an AA string matches whats in the SBS naming option. it just so happens, that the conflict is a big deal, b/c the SBS default, and the online DB normal default, are one and the same, ie. "Various Artists"

    using your solution, a person would STILL run into this bug, if they changed the SBS option to "Soundtracks" and they had AA tags that said "Soundtracks" ...its the conflict thats the issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx View Post
    If not, there's no reason to recognize anything other than 'Various Artists'. The option in SBS should be used only for display (and sorting).
    well, i disagree with the first part as above, and i think i agree with the second part, but thats not how it works.

    also, people on here will no doubt make mention of niche cases, like things labelled "Various Artists" which have the same artists on every track, and aren't really compilations. so your logic wouldn't work for that either.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Philip Meyer's Avatar
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    "Various Artists" in Artists

    >Do any of the applications referred to above ever apply a string other
    >than 'Various Artists' to the ALBUMARTIST field of compilations? If
    >not, there's no reason to recognize anything other than 'Various
    >Artists'. The option in SBS should be used only for display (and
    >sorting).
    >

    There is no consistency - some compilations have "V/A", some "VA", some "Various". Not really an app thing, as the data tag can come from metadata providers, which themselves are not consistent (some are based on user submitted values). iTunes allows the compilation tag to be set, and doesn't need/put anything in Album Artist.

    I think it's a bad idea to put more guessing logic in the scanner - there should be a drive to remove hard-coded guesswork, not add to it. It would only perhaps "solve" the issue for some people, or perhaps only partially "solve", where users have various album artist strings denoting a compilation album, which would be even worse, as it would look like it's working, and perhaps mask that some albums are not displayed.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
    which one do you mean?
    I was referring to your mark as compilation while still filling a TPE2 type tag so that tracks might show up under a specific Album Artist (and perhaps not needing Custom Browse).

    i also need to try custom browse, as Erland was asking me to. but the idea that i should have to use a 3rd party add in to do something as obvious and simple as switch on the fly between browsing artists or albumartists is to me, ridiculous. SBS is nothing more than a music server, and it can't handle that? insane.
    I can see your point of view; but I also take the attitude that each person has their way of doing things, and the big advantage with SBS is that it provides the flexibility of plugins... While it may not have a feature I like, at least I am not bound to the feature I don't like.

    I've essentially given myself the ability to browse by artists or albumartists. Thinking back to the topic of compilations tag, a thing I always hated in my brief stint of testing ITunes (and IPODS)out for library management was how it automatically made albums compilations just because one track had a slightly different artist (a guest artist). That just soured my one the whole compilation tag item. While I left ITunes very quickly, I also felt the Compilation Tag was a bit redundant. Using ALBUMARTIST = Various worked for me in that role.

    One thing I have liked about SBS is that I can separate myself from the misuse of TPE2 and have a separate ALBUMARTIST tag with my ultimate intention to actually fill in that BAND field with band members (i.e. each band member in a jazz band, etc).

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