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  1. #1
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    Retagging library - Various Artists problem...

    Hey guys,

    Returning to streaming music after a bit of an absence involving moving half way around the world for work...

    I recently decided to retag my FLAC library (about 12.000 tracks). All going well (using MP3TAG) until I got to Compilations. I wanted to tag these albums so that they appear in the artists view under "V" as "Various Artists" with the artist for each song retained and displayed on the SB3 screen. I do not want the albums or songs appearing in the individual artists (this is not a must - flexible).

    I tagged these albums as follows:
    - %artist% - retained for each track
    - %artistsort% - "Various Artists"
    - %albumartist%, %albumartistsort% - blank

    On the server side settings are as follow:
    - Group compilation albums together
    - List albums by band
    - TPE2 as albumartist

    This has resulted in Various Artists appearing both at the very top of Artists (before "A") and under "V". Although this is not a problem, after the Various Artists entry in "V" all the artists that exist in any compilation album are listed alphabetically (and these do not appear anywhere else under Artists). This is really upsetting me as I have no idea how to fix it.

    If anyone can help fixing it (as well any advice regarding tagging such albums) I would be very grateful.

  2. #2
    Senior Member w3wilkes's Avatar
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    Where you've set your Compilation things note that there is a "fill in the blank" item that says "When compilation albums are grouped together, they appear under "Various Artists"...". I have a similar setup to you only in the tags I have set "Album Artist" = "Artist" explicitly and then when it's a compilation I set "Artist" = the performer and "Album Artist" = "Various" (not "Various Artists").

    I think you have 2 choices to get what you want. The long way is to retag all "Various Artists" ro just "Various" or fill in the blank in the settings for compilations to be something like "Various Bands". I think either way will get you where you want to go.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member w3wilkes's Avatar
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    In addition to what I said in the prior post, I forgot to mention this... Do NOT set the Compilation tag. That way Squeezebox server will not give the album any special "Various Artist" treatment.
    Main system - Rock Solid with LMS 8.1.2 on WHS 2011 - 2 Duets and Squeeseslave
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by w3wilkes View Post
    In addition to what I said in the prior post, I forgot to mention this... Do NOT set the Compilation tag. That way Squeezebox server will not give the album any special "Various Artist" treatment.
    although even without Compilations tag set to 1, if there is even a single track on an album that has a different artist and there is no common ALBUM ARTIST, LMS will treat this album as a compilation. To avoid this, I always use ALBUM ARTIST on such albums. For example, album "7 Walkers" by band "7 Walkers" has one track with a second artist, Willie Nelson. If I didn't add "7 Artists" as ALBUM ARTIST, this album would show up as a COMPILATION.

    p.s. for my own stuff, I tell LMS to group compilation albums and I have it call them "Compilations" rather than "various artists".
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  5. #5
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stedes View Post
    I recently decided to retag my FLAC library (about 12.000 tracks). All going well (using MP3TAG) until I got to Compilations. I wanted to tag these albums so that they appear in the artists view under "V" as "Various Artists" with the artist for each song retained and displayed on the SB3 screen. I do not want the albums or songs appearing in the individual artists (this is not a must - flexible).
    I don't believe the last part is doable in LMS. If an artist appears on an album in any role, then that album will appear under the artist.

    I tagged these albums as follows:
    - %artist% - retained for each track
    - %artistsort% - "Various Artists"
    - %albumartist%, %albumartistsort% - blank
    Setting ARTISTSORT=Various Artists here is the mistake. ARTISTSORT corresponds with ARTIST, so that's why those ARTISTs are being sorted under V. A more common use of ARTISTSORT is to do lastname, firstname sorting. For example:

    ARTIST=Geri Allen
    ARTISTSORT=Allen, Geri

    There is a corresponding sort field for ALBUMARTIST, called ALBUMARTISTSORT, but it's not necessary to use either ARTISTSORT or ALBUMARTISTSORT when it's no different than the corresponding field. For example, Aerosmith will be sorted under A with or without ARTISTSORT=Aerosmith.

    On the server side settings are as follow:
    - Group compilation albums together
    - List albums by band
    - TPE2 as albumartist
    The 'Group compilation albums together' setting actually controls whether artists who appear _only_ on compilation albums appear in the artist list. When this setting is chosen they will not. When the alternative 'List compilation albums under each artist' setting is chosen, all artists will be included in the list. It's designed to let you declutter the artist list to some degree.

    This has resulted in Various Artists appearing both at the very top of Artists (before "A") and under "V". Although this is not a problem, after the Various Artists entry in "V" all the artists that exist in any compilation album are listed alphabetically (and these do not appear anywhere else under Artists). This is really upsetting me as I have no idea how to fix it.
    The "Various Artists" that you see listed first in the artist list is a special pseudo-artist that LMS creates as an album artist for compilations. It will always appear first, you have no control over that. You can rename it in the settings if you like, but that's it.

    As a rule, the best way to tag compilations is with a COMPILATION=1 field and with no ALBUMARTIST or ALBUMARTISTSORT fields. For example, a typical compilation track might be tagged:

    ALBUM=Slide Guitar Blues
    TITLE=Mojo Boogie
    TRACK=1
    ARTIST=Johnmy Winter
    ARTISTSORT=Winter, Johnny
    GENRE=Blues
    YEAR=1995

    The COMPILATION=1 field isn't strictly necessary except (due to a bug in LMS) on multi-disc albums, which won't be grouped properly unless it's used. I add it to all compilation albums to make it explicit.
    Last edited by JJZolx; 2012-08-01 at 07:43.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx View Post
    As a rule, the best way to tag compilations is with a COMPILATION=1 field and with no ALBUMARTIST or ALBUMARTISTSORT fields. For example, a typical compilation track might be tagged:

    ALBUM=Slide Guitar Blues
    TITLE=Mojo Boogie
    TRACK=1
    ARTIST=Johnmy Winter
    ARTISTSORT=Winter, Johnny
    GENRE=Blues
    YEAR=1995

    The COMPILATION=1 field isn't strictly necessary except (due to a bug in LMS) on multi-disc albums, which won't be grouped properly unless it's used. I add it to all compilation albums to make it explicit.
    I do exactly the same thing for my Compilations within LMS/SbS for my squeezeboxes. Only difference is that rather than leaving Album Artist blank, I add ALBUM ARTIST for tribute compilation CDs so they show up under the Artist listing. For example, a Bob Dylan tribute compilation I would add "Bob Dylan" as ALBUM ARTIST (even though Bob Dylan is *not* on the album). Otherwise, I leave ALBUM ARTIST blank for compilation CDs.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx View Post
    ARTIST=Geri Allen
    ARTISTSORT=Allen, Geri
    off topic, but I fondly recall a great performance by her at the Village Vanguard in NYC in the mid 1990s. At the time, she was unknown to me and I just happened to want to go to the Vanguard that night. A wonderful surprise (for me).....
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  8. #8
    Senior Member w3wilkes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJZolx View Post
    The COMPILATION=1 field isn't strictly necessary except (due to a bug in LMS) on multi-disc albums, which won't be grouped properly unless it's used. I add it to all compilation albums to make it explicit.
    Interresting. I do not use compilation=1 on anything. As I said my "Album Artist" = "Artist" explicitly except on compilations where I have "Album Artist" = "Various". My SBS settings are here attached (note the fill in the blank is blank so it takes the default of "Various Artists" which is not equal to my use of "Various" for compilations). I do not have the special group of "Various Artists" in any of my listings. All my compilations show under the letter V as "Various" and multi-disc "Various" albums show together as single albums with my setting of "Treat multi-disc sets as a singlealbum". I believe this is all because I've avoided having SBS recognize any of my "compilation albums" as compilation albums.

    Of course I'm back on 7.6.1 so the bug you reference may have been introduced since then.
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    Squeezebox Boom - "At Large" player around both home and cabin
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  9. #9
    Senior Member JJZolx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by w3wilkes View Post
    Interresting. I do not use compilation=1 on anything. As I said my "Album Artist" = "Artist" explicitly except on compilations where I have "Album Artist" = "Various". My SBS settings are here attached (note the fill in the blank is blank so it takes the default of "Various Artists" which is not equal to my use of "Various" for compilations). I do not have the special group of "Various Artists" in any of my listings. All my compilations show under the letter V as "Various" and multi-disc "Various" albums show together as single albums with my setting of "Treat multi-disc sets as a singlealbum". I believe this is all because I've avoided having SBS recognize any of my "compilation albums" as compilation albums.
    Right. What's happening in your case is that LMS is considering none of these albums to be compilations because of your use of the ALBUMARTIST field. Instead, they're seen as albums by someone named 'Various'. There's nothing wrong with doing that, but there is one disadvantage: The artists that appear only on tracks on these albums can't be kept out of the artist list. If you have someone like 'Laurindo Almeida', who appears only on a single track on the 'Ultra-Lounge 17: Bongoland' compilation album, he'll be seen when you browse artists, along with hundreds of other similar artists. Now, you may prefer that approach to artist listing, in which case there's virtually no difference.

    (One other disadvantage may be that many people prefer to have that 'Various Artists' pseudo-artist listed first among the artists, as it's a quick way to get to all of their compilation albums.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member w3wilkes's Avatar
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    Again Interesting. Here's a couple of screen snips from my music library (again, I'm on 7.6.1). The first snip is a "Various" Album Artist with many track "Artist"s. Note "Johann Sebastian Bach" as the first track Artist. Now note in the 2nd snip of the list by Artist that Johann doesn't show up, I believe he would have been between "Joe Purdy" and "John Cougar Mellencamp" if my alphabet training holds true. This seems to counter what was said. The one other disadvantage that was put in parens may be a disadvantage to some, but I think the OP didn't want the special "Various Artists" listing.
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    Last edited by w3wilkes; 2012-08-01 at 19:34.
    Main system - Rock Solid with LMS 8.1.2 on WHS 2011 - 2 Duets and Squeeseslave
    Cabin system - Rock solid with LMS 8.1.2 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)

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