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Use artist in album artist category when the tag is empty


k4in
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I'm trying Poweramp and so far I like it, I don't know if I'm not finding the option or is a new feature I think it should have, but this is a deal breaker for me as in the app right now if the album artist tag is missing it gets grouped under "unknown artist" instead of falling back to artist tag for correct sorting.

Let's say I have 3 albums of artist A, 2 of them don't have album artist tag but the 3 is a compilation with different artists per song (B C ... Artist) and album artist A. 

Basically I can't access to all the songs of artist A in artist or album artist categories.

At least my previous music player uses the artist tag when album artist is empty in the album artist view.

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I agree that where there are missing Album Artist tags would make lots of sense to fall back to showing any valid Artist tag, instead of putting the song in an Unknown group. The reverse version is also something to consider, although I think it's pretty unlikely for a file to contain an Album Artist tag but no Artist data.

@maxmp perhaps this could be included when you look at implementing multiple separate entries in the Artist tags? I don't even think it needs to be an option, it could just be the default.

Andre

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  • 2 months later...

Would really love this feature—Album artist tags are useful for albums that have multiple artists for different tracks—but it can be quite tedious to go through an entire library just to add redundant Album Artist tags when they are not needed. Many other music players automatically read the artist over when album artist is blank

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  • 7 months later...

@Sinj That's what the Split Artists feature is for. Set "feat." as one of your splitting terms, then you'd see all the Artist names separately in lists. Worth a try anyway.

Otherwise, just throw all your music into a batch tag editor on a computer and get it to copy the Artist tag to Album Artist for any files where Album Artist is empty. It might take a bit of setting up, but once done you can just set the batch running and leave it to finish. I did all of mine, and I now have almost nothing with empty Album Artist tags.

Andre

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4 hours ago, Sinj said:

And yeah, I thought about using "Mp3tag" or something to that effect to batch fix it, but I feel very, very bad about automating and potentially ruining my carefully curated collection. Then I'd rather do it manually. But I would prefer a software fix :)

While I can't rule out a software update happening at some point, this request has been around for a while now. It'd be much easier for you to fix your own files rather than expecting an audio player to plaster over the cracks for you. After all, PA is actually displaying the list absolutely correctly: where you are providing songs with no Album Artist tag, it is correctly reporting that the album artist for those songs is unknown.
 

I can't speak for MP3Tag, but in TagScanner setting up a batch process to fix your files takes just three steps:

  1. Drag your whole music folder onto the computer's TagScanner program icon and wait for it to scan through the subfolders and display all your song files. This might take a while with larger collections.
     
  2. Open the 'Generate' tab and set the parameters in the right-hand pane as follows:
    image.png
    That tells it to copy content from the Artist tag to the Album Artist tag. Do make sure you set the 'Existing Values' entry to Keep so it won't overwrite any existing Album Artist tags which may be present in your files.
     
  3. In the left-hand pane, select all the files that you want to process - most likely just select all. You can click Preview to check that you are happy with the results (and unselect any files you don't want to process) then click Generate and sit back while it does the task.
     

It really is that simple - and you can always make a backup copy of the original files first, in case you are worried it might go wrong. Then copy the new files back to your phone and do a FULL Rescan to update PA's database entries.

Andre

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@Sinj It's really pretty easy to do - and actually very satisfying to see all those fields properly filled in. :) With a big music collection you might have to let it run for a while loading/saving files though, but it'll just get on with it in the background.

Do make good use of that Preview feature though - I'm sure you'll come across an odd album where all the tracks are by the same artist except for one which has a guest collaborator. Obviously the Album Artist tag shouldn't ever have that one-track guest collaborator listed. That kind of one-off thing tends to stick out like a sore thumb when you scroll through the list though, and now is a good time to fix that. 

Andre

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is an old request but, to be honest, having an album artist for single artist albums doesn't make that much sense. Sure I could go and do what you suggested, but that would also mean reimporting all my music to the smartphone in its transcoded Vorbis format (from the FLAC sources).

Using Artist for Album Artist when Album Artist is empty should be a no brainer. I'm trying PA coming from GoneMad Music Player and I have 5,737 tracks from Unknown Artist in the Album Artist view.

And to the question: "Why not use plain Artists mode then, rather than Album Artists, if your music collection is not tagged that way?", the answer is very simple: Album Artist is properly used for compilations, etc. using Various Artists as Album Artist. Browsing by Artist means having an overly long list of artists that have a single song in a single compilation...

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6 hours ago, gorman said:

Using Artist for Album Artist when Album Artist is empty should be a no brainer. I'm trying PA coming from GoneMad Music Player and I have 5,737 tracks from Unknown Artist in the Album Artist view.

GoneMad also uses separate lists for Artists and AlbumArtists. This is the same distinction in Poweramp. If tracks do not have one or the other, then the database doesn’t have any way to reference back to the song.

Ultimately it is up to you how to tag your library. Even having duplicate values for these two fields hardly makes a dent in file size, especially with FLAC or other lossless formats. So personally I don’t see any reason not to include both if it enhances your browsing functionality.

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I agree with @MotleyG  insofar as I always populate the Album Artist tag in my files for album tracks - even if it's exactly the same as Artist. It just seems tidier and more accurate that way. It also removes any ambiguity when a particular track may not belong to any album at all - e.g. it's a one-off item or a single, for which the tag can genuinely be left blank (or in my case, I set both the Album and Album Artist tags to "(Singles)" for sorting purposes).

However @gorman is right that it would be nice to have the option to automatically fall back to Artist tag in the Album Artist list, as not everyone is so pedantic about curating their music metadata.

Andre

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5 hours ago, andrewilley said:

However @gorman is right that it would be nice to have the option to automatically fall back to Artist tag in the Album Artist list, as not everyone is so pedantic about curating their music metadata.

Thanks. Furthermore, my other point was that using Album Artist when all of an album is by the same artist is... I don't know, doesn't seem to be the reason why the Album Artist tag was created in the first place.
 

7 hours ago, MotleyG said:

GoneMad also uses separate lists for Artists and AlbumArtists. This is the same distinction in Poweramp. If tracks do not have one or the other, then the database doesn’t have any way to reference back to the song.

The difference is that GoneMad defaults to Album Artist being the same as Artist, if the Album Artist tag is unpopulated. I do not have hundreds of albums by "Unknown artist" in my Album Artist view. Which, once more, is useful to avoid having the list populated by tens of artists that maybe have a single track in a compilation.

 

7 hours ago, MotleyG said:

Ultimately it is up to you how to tag your library. Even having duplicate values for these two fields hardly makes a dent in file size, especially with FLAC or other lossless formats. So personally I don’t see any reason not to include both if it enhances your browsing functionality.

I surely am not worried about file size. I am worried about the imposed need to retag thousands of tracks. Especially when their source might be curated and shared with other people that do not condone tag editing for the sake of it (such as would be the case here).

I am all for tagging correctly music. I have been doing since 2003, due to Rio Karma DAP and Squeezeboxes in my home. Squeezebox server handles things as GoneMad does, by the way. Which is why I was surprised by Poweramp. It's been the first occasion where I found myself in need of retagging a music collection carefully tagged in the span of decades, by now.

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I guess my logic is that any track that is part of an album ought to have its Album and Album Artist tags populated. If it is not to be regarded as part of an album (for example a single) then it should not have Album Artist populated, and thus appear as 'Unknown Album' in the Album Artists category view. Or perhaps even not appear at all?

Andre

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On 10/7/2022 at 2:58 PM, andrewilley said:

I guess my logic is that any track that is part of an album ought to have its Album and Album Artist tags populated. If it is not to be regarded as part of an album (for example a single) then it should not have Album Artist populated, and thus appear as 'Unknown Album' in the Album Artists category view. Or perhaps even not appear at all?

Andre

No, I don't think that would be correct. At least up to a certain point in time when songs started releasing as real singles with streaming services. Before then singles had at least a B-side and, thus, I believe the general practice was to tag the album as "Song title (Single)" which, by the way, is very similar to what you were suggesting in this post here.

Furthermore, we could discuss tagging "philosophy" endlessly, I suppose (I even like those kind of discussions, tbh) but my idea is more based around convienience and what people are used to when coming from other systems/players.

What would be the negative point in having Album Artist default to Artist if the Album Artist tag is empty?

Because the positives are prettly clear, I suppose.

Edited by gorman
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I'm using the term "Single" rather loosely here, I really should say "individual song". Could be a single or any one-off item that has no album associated with it.

But as I said from the start, I agree with you that a fallback option would be a useful workaround for cases where song metadata is not complete and/or it would take a lot of work to fix.

Andre

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