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Delimiters (symbols) for multiple artists / album artists


Zedniac
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15 hours ago, w3wilkes said:

I guess the repeat problem would happen if I selected to play both all Elton John and Leon Russell the Union album would be repeated.

I did say it wasn't a major issue. But if you bear in mind that, by default, when PA finishes playing one category (such as an Artist's songs) it then moves on automatically to playing the next one (next Artist) in order. That could easily cause tracks to repeat during the same session, and the more tracks you have with two/three/fours artists listed, the worse the issue becomes. I can't think of a sensible way to stop that happening though, and it wouldn't personally bother me very much to be honest - in fact I'd pretty much expect it to happen - but from past experience people do get upset about even their perception of the same track supposedly cropping up twice in Shuffled sessions for example.

I think the extra functionally would far outweigh me having to type a few extra replies explaining why the same track was heard twice anyway. :) 

Andre

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How do you guys foresee this listing all artists of the track?

Say your song is tagged Artist: Eminem; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg, Album Artist: Eminem

How do I see the second and third artist when viewing the song in any list? Obivously the song would show up in the Artist category for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. But how do you see all of the artists tagged in the song? It seems as if when viewing a song, you need to see the Artist tag "Eminem; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg" and see the album listed as the Album Artist tag "Eminem".

Another reason I can't see how multiple artists would work in both Artist and Album Artist tags at the same time. You would have to loose the ability to see all artists tagged in the songs. If you had the song tagged Artist: Eminem Album Artist: Eminem; Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, then again, it's the same scenario flipped. You need to only see the Artist tag for album, and Album Artist tag for song to see all 3 artists.

You have to do one or the other. If Poweramp split both, it would take some serious processing power to debug all of the duplicates when generating lists to make Poweramp not show 3 albums under each artist or album artist.

Edited by Absinthequ
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I would expect the song level views (and the player screen) to simply display all of the artists who are listed in Track Artist tag. The individual separated names would only be used for sorting and viewing at the Artist category level, searching, etc.

So for example, a song called "Cute Fluffy Kittens" by "Eminem; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg", in the album "Children's Classics" would always show in the player screen, and in song lists, as:

    Cute Fluffy Kittens
    Eminem; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg - Children's Classics

The artist details could even be tidied up a bit and shown as: Eminem, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg

Andre

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1 minute ago, andrewilley said:

I would expect the song level views (and the player screen) to simply display all of the artists that are listed as part of the Track Artist tag. The individual names would only be used for sorting and viewing at the Artist category level.

So for example, a song called "Fluffy Kittens" by "Eminem; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg", in the album "Children's Happy Songs" would always show in the player screen, and in song lists, as:

    Fluffy Kittens
    Eminem; Dr. Dre; Snoop Dogg - Children's Happy Songs

The artist details could even be tidied up a bit and shown as: Eminem, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg

Andre

I agree with this 100%. Who do you see the artist as when in an album list?

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1 minute ago, Absinthequ said:

Who do you see the artist as when in an album list?

Personally, I've always felt that when looking at an album name rather than a song title (such as in the top header block for an Album) the Album Artist tag should ALWAYS be displayed if present, with a fall-back to the artist(s) listed in the first track if there is no Album Artist tag. After all, that's rather the purpose of having Album Artist information, it's the artist or group who is associated with the album. I'm also perfectly happy for compilations such as "Now That's What I Call Music 547" to be listed as being by "Various Artists", which better describes the album than any of the individual artist names.

Andre

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1 minute ago, andrewilley said:

Personally, I've always felt that when looking at an album name rather than a song title (such as in the top header block for an Album) the Album Artist tag should ALWAYS be displayed if present, with a fall-back to the artist(s) listed in the first track if there is no Album Artist tag. After all, that's rather the purpose of having Album Artist information, it's the artist or group who is associated with the album. I'm also perfectly happy for compilations such as "Now That's What I Call Music 547" to be listed as being by "Various Artists", which better describes the album than any of the individual artist names.

Andre

I also agree 100% Album Artist tag should ALWAYS displayed if present.

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8 hours ago, Absinthequ said:

I also agree 100% Album Artist tag should ALWAYS displayed if present.

I think part of the complication is an unintended consequence of the way Poweramp has evolved organically over the past ten years or more. Features and options have been added piecemeal to tackle all sorts of needs and user-requests. However while everything was useful at the time, it has perhaps resulted in more complexity than might have been the case if the app had been designed from the ground up in one go.

For example, we now have master Library Categories for Albums, Artists, Album Artists, and Albums by Artist, plus a myriad of associated List Options for each one. Then there are all sorts of extra modifier options that have been added over time too (largely as a result of adding support for the Album Artist tag to an existing design) such as Join Albums, Album Artist Label for TracksAlbum Artist Label for Albums, and Album Artist Label for Album Artist Tracks.

I've seen these all things get added gradually over the years, and each once makes perfect sense in its own right, but when answering questions here in the forums I sometimes need to step back and try to see it from a new user's point of view, and when viewed as a overall whole the above examples do start to look unnecessarily complicated. Heck, even I sometimes struggle to remember exactly what each one is for. :) And adding a new separated Artist tag to the mix will probably make things more complex again.  

Andre

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just want to include my 1¢ in this discussion. I'm apart of a community which hoards A LOT of music and we have accustomed to a formal way of tagging music. Typically, the ALBUM ARTIST tag is not meant for multiple values. If that is the case, we use "Various Artists" or use terms like "Feat. Artist" in the title. Furthermore, I feel like that is a concern which can be handled at a later time if and when you want to implement multiple album artist tags.

For artist tags, my community has been creating a separate artist tag for every artist. This can be accomplished by using "\\" as the separator in mp3tag. I've been using MusicBee on PC for managing my library and artist search and recognition has worked flawlessly.

On a side note, on the latest Poweramp release, I can only see the first artist if "\\" is used for the artist separator in Mp3tag.

I certainly feel that implementing multiple artists for now would be greatly beneficial because the whole artists section is a mess for most tracks which have multiple artists

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There are plans for multiple Artist support in the future, but at the moment the dev's time is fully taken up with refining and updating EQ system (including make it available as a stand-alone app) which is due for release imminently. When added, it will allow user-defined separators as per the current Genre splitting, so your "\\" would be fine. I've seen that one used in the wild already, and I've already suggested that it be included in the default list alongside "//"  ";" and maybe plain "\" too.

I'm in two minds about whether Album Artist tags should allow multiple items at all. I can't see it would do any harm if people really want to tag their files that way, but personally I'm 100% with you in using "Various Artists" or similar in that field rather than multiple terms. That's rather the point of the existence of that tag to be honest, to provide one all-encompassing single descriptor which definitively ties various disparate tracks together to form one album. If it were to be implemented for the Album Artist tag, then the primary function of forcing tracks to be grouped together into a single album entity would have to check and match the whole tag contents, rather than any split values. 

Currently the Artist tag is not parsed at all, and is always treated as a single piece of text. If your songs are only showing the first artist name of a series of "\\" separated artists, is it possible that your tagging software is actually generating and inserting multiple embedded ARTIST tags? Repeated tags are supported in Vorbis tagging for example, but Poweramp currently only reads one from any given file. 

Andre 

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20 hours ago, andrewilley said:

There are plans for multiple Artist support in the future, but at the moment the dev's time is fully taken up with refining and updating EQ system (including make it available as a stand-alone app) which is due for release imminently. When added, it will allow user-defined separators as per the current Genre splitting, so your "\\" would be fine. I've seen that one used in the wild already, and I've already suggested that it be included in the default list alongside "//"  ";" and maybe plain "\" too.

I'm in two minds about whether Album Artist tags should allow multiple items at all. I can't see it would do any harm if people really want to tag their files that way, but personally I'm 100% with you in using "Various Artists" or similar in that field rather than multiple terms. That's rather the point of the existence of that tag to be honest, to provide one all-encompassing single descriptor which definitively ties various disparate tracks together to form one album. If it were to be implemented for the Album Artist tag, then the primary function of forcing tracks to be grouped together into a single album entity would have to check and match the whole tag contents, rather than any split values. 

Currently the Artist tag is not parsed at all, and is always treated as a single piece of text. If your songs are only showing the first artist name of a series of "\\" separated artists, is it possible that your tagging software is actually generating and inserting multiple embedded ARTIST tags? Repeated tags are supported in Vorbis tagging for example, but Poweramp currently only reads one from any given file. 

Andre 

Thanks for your response.

Yeah, the whole point of "Various Artists" is to indicate multiple artists who have collaborated on an album and would make sense, rather than having an album artist field consisting of more than one artist.

Yes, my tagging software (Mp3tag) uses the "\\" separator for multiple embedded ARTIST tags and it has worked really well with music managers like MusicBee. I really hope Poweramp will also support multiple embedded ARTIST tags alongside the normal separators.

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3 hours ago, MicroTechTon said:

Yes, my tagging software (Mp3tag) uses the "\\" separator for multiple embedded ARTIST tags and it has worked really well with music managers like MusicBee.

For MP3 files (i.e. ID3 tags), MP3Tag only writes one Artist tag, with both names contained within the same field, as the spec does not allow for two separate instances of the same tag type. For FLAC and some other formats that use Vorbis tagging, MP3Tag converts any Artist tag which contains "\\" into two separate instances of the ARTIST tag, one for each split name, which is permitted in the Vorbis spec (but not in ID3).

So for MP3 files you should see both names in PA, but for FLAC Poweramp will see only one ARTIST tag and ignore any other instances of the same tag name as it does not support multiple artists other than by putting them into one tag.

If this is a major problem in the meantime, I would suggest using MP3Tag to batch search and replace all "\\" with something else unique that the app does not re-process (perhaps "//"). Then you will see both entries as one long string in PA, but it would be very easy to batch replace them back again at some point in the future when multiple Vorbis ARTIST tags are supported in PA. 

Andre

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3 hours ago, andrewilley said:

For MP3 files (i.e. ID3 tags), MP3Tag only writes one Artist tag, with both names contained within the same field, as the spec does not allow for two separate instances of the same tag type. For FLAC and some other formats that use Vorbis tagging, MP3Tag converts any Artist tag which contains "\\" into two separate instances of the ARTIST tag, one for each split name, which is permitted in the Vorbis spec (but not in ID3).

 

Mp3tag can split Artist tags into separate, multiple fields. Even for mp3 files. But there are few players that display the extra tags and in some few cases even causes some conflicts.

You can use the Merge function in mp3tag to recombine these into a single tag again, using whatever delimiter characters you define. In this case all will be displayed in Poweramp as desired.

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On 11/8/2020 at 10:04 PM, MicroTechTon said:

Yeah, the whole point of "Various Artists" is to indicate multiple artists who have collaborated on an album and would make sense, rather than having an album artist field consisting of more than one artist.

I don't totally agree with this as this really comes down to personal preference. In the case of compilation albums like the Time Life series of 60's rock I agree that Various Artists is correct for Album Artist since each CD in the series is just a collection or songs by different artists for each year of the 60's. However using the particular album The Union which is a collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell I prefer this album with both artists with delimiter in both Album Artist and Artist tags. Of course this is a personal preference and you might choose to have Album Artist set to Various Artists in your collection for The Union. So I prefer to have the ability of multiples in both these tags. This does not preclude you from using your approach of The Union album having just Various Artists in the Album Artist tag. This is fully supported in the software I use to drive my multiple home stereo systems, a single PC music server that can drive multiple clients concurrently with separate streams and/or sync two or more clients with the same music and still allow other non-sync'd clients to play their own streams.

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33 minutes ago, w3wilkes said:

I don't totally agree with this as this really comes down to personal preference. In the case of compilation albums like the Time Life series of 60's rock I agree that Various Artists is correct for Album Artist since each CD in the series is just a collection or songs by different artists for each year of the 60's. However using the particular album The Union which is a collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell I prefer this album with both artists with delimiter in both Album Artist and Artist tags. Of course this is a personal preference and you might choose to have Album Artist set to Various Artists in your collection for The Union. So I prefer to have the ability of multiples in both these tags. This does not preclude you from using your approach of The Union album having just Various Artists in the Album Artist tag. This is fully supported in the software I use to drive my multiple home stereo systems, a single PC music server that can drive multiple clients concurrently with separate streams and/or sync two or more clients with the same music and still allow other non-sync'd clients to play their own streams.

I do agree that "Various Artists" is not universally ideal. I too use the Album Artist tag for compilations using the known assembler if it applies. For example, with so-called "Tribute" albums I use the known artist as the Album Artist.

This does come down to personal preference, as do all tagging methods. But since the purpose of the Album Artist tag is to keep complete albums intact, it is essential to ensure whatever tag you assign is identical for each album track. Otherwise the structure breaks for the album sorting.

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