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The ability to specify a list of characters ('/', ';') or keywords ("ft.", "w/") to use as separators would be a nice addition. This can be useful for non-english users too, so a user can specify mit for German or con for Italian.

Edited by Kundun
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8 hours ago, superluig164 said:

Just some input, could we have the option to use "/" as a separator if it does get implemented?

2 hours ago, Kundun said:

The ability to specify a list of characters ('/', ';') or keywords ("ft.", "w/") to use as separators would be a nice addition. This can be useful for non-english users too, so a user can specify mit for German or con for Italian.

Yes, the allowed separators (including whole words if you wish) would be user-configurable, just like Genres are at the moment:
image.png

Initially I resisted having "/" as one of the default separators for Artists, even though it is mentioned in the ID3 v2.3 tag specs, because of potential clashes with band names like "AC/DC". However someone suggested that there are actually so few such names in common use in the wild (just two or three in fact) that internally hard-coding them as whitelisted phrases would make much more sense. This is apparently the method Microsoft adopted. 

Andre

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/1/2020 at 7:12 PM, maxmp said:

To summarize a bit, following is planned (short term, next beta builds):

- additional optional Artists category, formed by splitting with user defined string (for example, “\”)

- same for Album Artists

- other categories are not affected, for example albums are still based on complete unsplit artist tag

- normal Artists/Album Artists categories still exist in Library  and can be used together with the new ones

Update:
- composers can be split too (via separate splitting option)
- the original (unsplit) Artists/Album Artists/Composers entries (in the appropriate categories) are shown or hidden based on user preference
- all these options are disabled by default and requires user to enter the split chars manually (and do the full rescan)

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1 minute ago, maxmp said:

Update:
- composers can be split too (via separate splitting option)
- the original (unsplit) Artists/Album Artists/Composers entries (in the appropriate categories) are shown or hidden based on user preference

I am no coder but I feel like since it is already implemented for genres that you could do it off artists also.

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1 minute ago, spaceguybob said:

I am no coder but I feel like since it is already implemented for genres that you could do it off artists also.

Artists/Album Artists grouping is used for Albums and many other places, where genre is just a meta info. This complicates things.

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Just now, superluig164 said:

How will splitting the album artist work, will it go in order?  For example if you have two album tags and two album artist, the first corresponds to the first, and the second to the second?

I think it would just show up on two different artist pages in the app and show that there are two artists with a comma in-between the names

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Just now, spaceguybob said:

I think it would just show up on two different artist pages in the app and show that there are two artists with a comma in-between the names

Yes for normal artists, but I mean for album artist.  I would want to be able to tag a song that's on two albums by two different artist.

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@superluig164 splitting does not change. If you have tracks with multiple artists (album artists, composers), extra artist (album artist, composer) entries appear in Artists (Album Artists, Composers) categories. It's still displayed as multiple artists everywhere. You can also navigate to separate artists (album artists, composers) from Info/Tags screen.

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Just now, superluig164 said:

Yes for normal artists, but I mean for album artist.  I would want to be able to tag a song that's on two albums by two different artist.

What's the point of album artist anyway? I haven't even seen it in the normal menu I only see it if I look for it in the tag editor.

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Just now, spaceguybob said:

What's the point of album artist anyway? I haven't even seen it in the normal menu I only see it if I look for it in the tag editor.

It's so that you can have an album by various artists for example, but still have the proper artist tag when looking at the individual song.

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1 hour ago, maxmp said:

- all these options are disabled by default and requires user to enter the split chars manually (and do the full rescan)

This does concern me from a user-experience point of view. I think existing users should be offered the split content option automatically, without having to enable assorted new extra category views or edit somewhat-geeky separator fields. This could be achieved via a one-time pop-up dialogue after the update is installed, saying that this feature is now available and offering "Enable Now (will trigger a one-off rescan) or "Not Now (can be enabled later via Settings>Library>Scanner)".

New installs should activate this feature by default though. It really ought to be pretty much transparent to the user, and effectively "just work" like Genres did.

To be honest, there are probably already too many Artist-oriented categories in the list as it stands (Artists, Albums by Artist, Album Artists). It would be much easier and simpler for users to have a simple enable/disable toggle in Settings, rather than forcing another four or five categories which would make a bewildering range of choices for users. If you want, there could be separate toggles for splitting Artists, Album Artists, Composers, and the existing Genres (for completeness) rather than just one master on/off switch?

For more advanced users, each tag should probably have its own underlying separator symbols list for ultimate tweaking - e.g. by default, Artists might be something like "//  /  \\  ;  feat.  ft.", whereas Genres might be a simpler "//  ;". Cases where text-oriented fields are already saved as duplicated metadata fields (such as multiple individual Vorbis ARTIST tags, or where ID3 v2.4 tags contain null-character separators as per the spec) should always be treated as separate items, as they were hard-coded to be used that way. Any special cases, like the previously discussed "AC/DC", should be whitelisted because the ID3 v2.3 spec originally suggested "/" should be used as a separator.

By the way, did you agree with my suggestion of using blob characters to visually indicate where a displayed line is comprised of individual separate items, rather than being one long string? Such as showing "Dancing in the Street" as being by "David Bowie  Mick Jagger".

But basically, once the user has agreed to this feature being activated via an initial prompt, the underlying process should be transparent and simply work, with no further intervention unless the user wants to make their own tweaks.

Andre

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4 hours ago, maxmp said:

@superluig164 splitting does not change. If you have tracks with multiple artists (album artists, composers), extra artist (album artist, composer) entries appear in Artists (Album Artists, Composers) categories. It's still displayed as multiple artists everywhere. You can also navigate to separate artists (album artists, composers) from Info/Tags screen.

I have no idea what you just said. Lol

If i have artist as "Tom; Bob" does it show the song under two separate artists "Tom" and "Bob" or is there a third artist with "Tom; Bob" or does it just show up under "Bob" and  "Tom" as "Bob; Tom".

The other question is how do you know who the actual lead artist is of the song? Do you still have the options to "see album artist instead of artist"? So if i had that same song with "Bob; Tom" tagged with album artist "Tom". Could i just see "Tom" both places it is split? 

Or am i way off? If i tag "Bob; Tom" in album artist, it splits the song under "Bob" and "Tom" in Artists instead of album artists category and you simply see the artist tag in Artists category.

So many ways this could be lol

 

Edited by Absinthequ
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I do think this is getting a bit overcomplicated.  Just split the artist like Genres are already.  For album artists, maybe something else needs to be done, but I don't think it is in the same realm as splitting artists.  

For album artists I suppose they should just stay together unless there are multiple album tags, in which case I would personally see it best to have them progress in order.  For example if you have a song on a collection as well as an album, you could put the album as "album; collection" and the album artist as "artist; various artists" and Poweramp would see that they're in the same order and associate them accordingly.  I think that's a good solution personally.  It still keeps Poweramp's library management miles ahead of others without having to explain some complex system.

And if you're wondering "what if an album is by multiple artists as a whole" well, just put them in the tag together.  Keeping individual artists separate isn't really necessary for albums, I don't think, since the album will be shown under all artists who have contributions under it anyway (based on the track tags.)

Edit: and go ahead and put some toggles in settings, if you want.  I think splitting artists should be standard behaviour, maybe options for album artist splitting are warranted though.

Edited by superluig164
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7 hours ago, Absinthequ said:

If i have artist as "Tom; Bob" does it show the song under two separate artists "Tom" and "Bob"

That would be my assumption too, as that's the most logical way to do it and presumably the simplest representation that users would expect to see. I do firmly agree with @superluig164 above that this ought to be as simple and transparent as possible for users - unless they decide to dig down into the Settings for themselves. So if the feature is activated - using a simple one-off update prompt to avoid any "Who Moved My Cheese!?" complaints in Play Store reviews, which I know Max is concerned about - then it should "just work" like Genres did.

A basic default list of common artist separators - such as  "//  /  \\  ;  feat.  ft." - should be provided (again, just like when Genre splitting was added). Avoid having comma, or words like "and", "&" or "with", included by default as those are too ambiguous with genuine band/orchestra names.

So for your example song that is ID3 tagged as being by "Tom ; Bob", or which has duplicate embedded Vorbis ARTIST tags or a  null-character separated ID3 v2.4 tag, then what I think users should see is:

  • If the Setting for 'Show Multiple Artists Separately' is ENABLED, then when looking through the Artists library Category list you would see a listing for the artist "Tom" and a different line for "Bob", but NO listing at all for "Tom ; Bob". Drilling down into either the Tom or the Bob item would show the same Tom or Bob artist name in the header at the top of the songs list, and the same song would appear in both of their lists. Looking further to the song line itself (either within the songs list, or in the subsequent player screen) the artist info should always be displayed as "Tom  Bob", i.e. both names visible and ordered in whatever sequence they originally appeared in the underlying metadata - so the first name shown in the tag data would always be shown first in the concatenated song info too.
     
  • If the Setting for 'Show Multiple Artists Separately' is DISABLED, then PA should behave exactly as it does at present. So when looking through the Artists library Category list you would see just one listing for "Tom ; Bob". Drilling down to see the individual song, it would be displayed with the Artist info verbatim too, so in the song list or player screen you'd see "Tom ; Bob". Note: if there isn't any combined tag to display (such as in a FLAC file with just two already-separated ARTIST tags) then PA should always show the tags concatenated into one item just as at present, but it should display a blob symbol between the two names (so "Tom  Bob") rather than inventing some regular ASCII text character such as a comma or semicolon.

The same general method should be used for Album Artist, Composer and Genre. Obviously Album Artist does need to be held internally in its original format to handle the technical task of grouping Albums correctly, but I don't see why users can see separate versions in the Album Artists list if they wish. Personally, I'll be leaving that one turned off anyway, as the general point of the Album Artist tag is to be a generic internal descriptor (an overall band name, or collection details such as "Various Artists") rather than usually being made up of multiple entries. No harm in allowing users the flexibility to view it their way if they want though, as long as it doesn't break core its functionality.
 

@maxmp While you are working on this, please could you display the 'Unknown Artist' entry at the END of any Artist lists, as a kind of final mop-up appendix entry, rather than sorting it under 'U' ? The same goes for any other Categories that feature an 'Unknown' item. Thanks.

Andre

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I think the big issue with it working exactly like genre is if you tag an album as artist "Tom; Bob" and it's really an album by "Tom" that features "Bob" for 30 seconds on that one song. Then i go to "Bob" and see an album listed there and it says the album is by "Bob". I think that will be extremely confusing and annoying as well. The reason i say that is: say you are a huge "Lil Wayne" fan (for example)  That guy has dozens of albums and he is featured on 100's of albums.  Your Lil Wayne section will have 100's of albums and you wouldn't be able to tell which albums are his and which are features because they're all going to say they are by Lil Wayne. Unless @maxmp changes the coding to only show the first split artist as the artist of the album. 

If you still have the ability to see "album artist instead of artist for albums" then maybe this is ok as you could still see that the album is actually by "Tom" and then drilling down to the song i can then see both artists like @Andrewilley pointed out. 

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23 minutes ago, Absinthequ said:

I think the big issue with it working exactly like genre is if you tag an album as artist "Tom; Bob" and it's really an album by "Tom" that features "Bob" for 30 seconds on that one song. Then i go to "Bob" and see an album listed there and it says the album is by "Bob". I think that will be extremely confusing and annoying as well. The reason i say that is: say you are a huge "Lil Wayne" fan (for example)  That guy has dozens of albums and he is featured on 100's of albums.  Your Lil Wayne section will have 100's of albums and you wouldn't be able to tell which albums are his and which are features because they're all going to say they are by Lil Wayne. Unless @maxmp changes the coding to only show the first split artist as the artist of the album. 

If you still have the ability to see "album artist instead of artist for albums" then maybe this is ok as you could still see that the album is actually by "Tom" and then drilling down to the song i can then see both artists like @Andrewilley pointed out. 

This is exactly the reason AlbumArtist tags exists. It defines the unique title of the Album by an Artist. And it ensures that libraries with the same Album names by different Artists are listed separately. (I have Big Ones, Faith, Fallen, etc. as examples)

And while there are still likely a few COMPLETE album collaborations that may see a need for splitting those tags as well, the much more common reality is the Artist tag needing to be split. This Artist list is where I would expect to find all those songs you mention by artists like Lil Wayne, Eminem, Dre, and others that often perform with other artists.

I would really love to see them individually in the Artist list, this would be incredibly helpful when selecting music to play. This is where I would expect to see the expanded list split out by the separator. Whether @maxmp can use different separators for Artist and Genres is far less important to me.

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1 hour ago, Absinthequ said:

I think the big issue with it working exactly like genre is if you tag an album as artist "Tom; Bob" and it's really an album by "Tom" that features "Bob" for 30 seconds on that one song

The Artist tag only defines the performer(s) of an individual song, it is not in any way an album identifier - indeed, there may not even be any album data accompanying the song at all, such as for Single releases for example (I have hundreds of songs tagged like that). So the multiple Artist tag is only saying that Tom and Bob are the dual performers on that song, not they have contributed to a whole album. If you don't consider them both to be important and worthy of indexing, either don't include both names in the tag, or maybe create some new indexable non-split phrase such as "Tom with a bit of Bob".

That's why the Album Artist tag was developed - in fact [gratuitous history lesson] it's a bit of a reworking of a pre-existing ID3 tag called TPE2 which was originally intended to be used for Band  / Orchestra / Accompaniment data. While I guess you could technically include all of the artists that perform on each track of an album in it, it is much more commonly used to store a single artist or a band name - or otherwise just a more general group identity such as "Various Artists" or an overall orchestra name. Whatever you put into Album Artist though, it must be exactly the same for every track which is considered to be part of the same album, as it is used in combination with the Album Title tag to group tracks together in the database.
 

I create a FAQ a few weeks ago to cover tags by the way, which may help (although I think most people here already know everything in it, it's really more of a new user tutorial):

Andre

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If i go to any website/populated list of Paul Simon i expect to see an album listed as "Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends". I should see the same thing when viewing an album list of Art Garfunkel. I should not see "Paul Simon - Bookends" or "Art Garfunkel - Bookends" anywhere,  ever. That's just bonkers. 

if it works like that. Many people will hate it and never use it. I couldn't use it. It's trading one defect for another (that is arguably far worse). I myself would end up with nearly a 1000 artists that have potentially 100's of albums that i could not differentiate between. 

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@Absinthequ Since ampersand ("&") is not a separator symbol, "Simon & Garfunkel" would never be split anyway. If you wanted them split, you'd need to manually change the Artist tag to "Paul Simon ; Art Garfunkel". There are tons of artists with more than one word that you don't want to split (such as "Adam & the Ants") and they won't be split unless you ask for them to be.

Andre

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You're too deep into how Poweramp currently works to see what I'm saying. I know it wouldn't separate with an &. The whole point is in the real world (outside of how Poweramp currently works)...  I should be able to tag any amount of songs or the entire album as Paul Simon, Art Gargunkel and Simon & Garfunkel (if i wanted) and then go to either solo artist and see an album listed with "Simon & Garfunkel" right there below the album title. I should not see "Paul Simon" listed as the artist under the album title of a "Simon & Garfunkel" album. That's not the artist the album belongs to. This would be a limitation of Poweramp and its multiple artist splitting capabilities as you do not see this anywhere else outside of Poweramp. Websites and streaming apps included. 

This is why i say you need to have the ability to see album artist tag instead of artist tag for albums. Because then you can tag album artist as "Simon & Garfunkel" and when viewing "Paul Simon" or "Art Garfunkel" the artist under the album title will show as "Simon & Garfunkel"

Edited by Absinthequ
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@Absinthequ I am not sure where you are going with your thoughts. The AlbumArtist tag wouldn't change, and I agree with that. In your example, this would always be "Simon & Garfunkel" for all of their albums. And in Poweramp or any other player the AlbumArtist is what should be displayed when looking at the Album. Poweramp has many user options to let you choose how you display these Artist and AlbumArtist tags depending on how you have tagged your library. I'm sure there are as many ways users have done this as have downloaded Poweramp! Personal preferences reign here.

The Artist tag on the other hand is where you could take some greater liberties, and list the following as a suggestion; "Simon & Garfunkel//Paul Simon//Art Garfunkel//any_other_reference". But the displayed Album and Song lists info should still reference the AlbumArtist. IF on the other hand you instead looked in the Artist library, and IF you had assigned say "//" as a separator, you would then see the same albums and songs just for those tracks with this Artist tag under "any_other_reference", also "Art Garfunkel", also again under "Paul Simon", and finally again under "Simon & Garfunkel".

I don't think this is as simple as any one user thinks, because there are so many ways of managing a library. Fortunately we have Poweramp that is already very flexible. I think once @maxmp makes this option open to us, we will find a way to make it work even more to our preference.

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1 hour ago, MotleyG said:

@Absinthequ I am not sure where you are going with your thoughts.

Me neither to be honest.

If you really want to split such a song into its two main contributors, as separate artist names, just edit the Artist tag to contain "Paul Simon ; Art Garfunkel". If you don't want them to be split (which would be the normal way to categorise their music) just use the general unsplit phrase "Simon & Garfunkel".  You could even use all three versions if you really want.

It is effectively no different to any other 'group' or band name. For example you could tag Yellow Submarine as being by "The Beatles" like everyone else does, or if you felt so inclined you could tag it as being by "John Lennon ; Paul McCartney ; George Harrison ; Ringo Starr". Personally, I'd stick with the band name, but you'd be free to make your own choices any way you want.

Album Artist is a different tag, and it is rather more of a technical feature for grouping disparate content into connected 'album' units in the database - but again it's up to you how you prefer to format it, just as long as that formatting is uniform across any tracks that are meant to be classed as one album. And if you particularly want to view the Album Artist name(s) instead of track Artist in the song listings or the player screen, there are already several options in Settings > Library > Lists that can achieve this.

Or if none of this appeals to you at all, just continue to use PA as it is now, the splitting feature will be optional. 

Andre

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