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Advanced album splitting

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I detailed this in a comment before, but I felt like it warranted its own post.

Basically I would like to be able to tag a song on multiple albums by putting the tags in sequentially.  For example:

"U Got Me" by Bossfight is on Bossfight's EP Next Wave, but is also on the Monstercat compilation album Monstercat Uncaged Vol. 6.  I would like record of both.  The way I envision this working is to split the album, track #, and album artist tags in order.  In this case:

Album: Next Wave; Uncaged Volume 6

Track #: 4; 13

Album Artist: Bossfight; Monstercat

Obviously as is with genre, we should be able to choose the separating character.  

The first item of each tag is associated with each other, so "U Got Me" is track 4 on Next Wave.  In theory, this could be expanded to any number of albums.  

On the now playing screen, I would imagine showing the first album would be sufficient, or maybe, for extra protection, prioritize the album with the same album artist as the song itself, if there is one.

These albums would of course be listed in all the places you would expect.  If I look at Bossfight's Artist view, I should see both his album and Monstercat's compilation, since a song by him is on both.  In the Album Artist view, I imagine Monstercat would appear as its own listing, where I could see all of the Monstercat compilation albums.

If you are questioning how an album with multiple artists would be handled, well, splitting them apart is not really necessary in the Album Artist tag.  As long as they are all the same.  If an album is by two people, it could be hard-coded in the tag with an "&" or the word "with" or something.  In the Artist view, since the individual songs have the artists separate, the album would appear, and the only place this might cause a problem is in Album Artist view, but I don't think that's a big deal, really.

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The multiple artists, album artists, and composers, split by user defined separators, is already available in dev. builds, and this will be in the next beta - to be released soon. 

Albums grouping is the same, based on (unsplit) album artist or artist tag (if no album artist in the tags).

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@superluig164 I'm a bit puzzled about this request. Tags are stored inside each song file, and those tags are not aware of any other potential instances of the same song of your device's storage.

As Max has said, applying multiple Artist, Album Artist, or Composer names to a single song will be supported very soon, and will be controlled by detecting separator characters within the relevant tags inside every audio file. I recently spent a cathartic couple of days going through my entire music collection in TagScanner to ensure all of my tag data is suitably compliant - I found a lot of variously mis-tagged files! I also added ReplayGain information throughout while I was at it. Well, we're in COVID Lockdown here, what else is there to do? :)

But your request seems to be related to situations where the same song name occurs in multiple albums. For example let's take ABBA's "Dancing Queen", which first appears on their studio album "Arrival", but it is also on the retrospective collection CD "ABBA Gold" and also a live version appears on "ABBA Live". And it's probably on a ton of other assorted collection albums too. All of these various instances will appear as separate entries in the All Songs list, as even though the Title and Artist tags may be the same the recordings could be different - album version, single release version, radio edit, live recording, etc.

I'm not sure what you are proposing to do differently with the tags embedded inside each such separate audio file though, and how you would expect all these separate files entitled "Dancing Queen" to be handled differently in PA?


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Ah, I think I see what you are asking. So you want a single physical file to show up a song listed within several different albums? To continue my example, if you had a file somewhere in your music folders called "Dancing Queen.mp3" you might want that songname to appear listed in the albums category as Track #2 of "Arrival" and also as Track #5 of "Abba Gold".

Not sure quite why you'd want to do that, other than maybe to save a tiny bit of duplicated storage. Unfortunately the ID3 tagging spec doesn't support multiple value in Album Title, Track#, Disc#, etc. And multiple items in Artist, Album Artist, etc would mean secondary and further artist name, not alternate naming for one track. Think of a case like "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News, for which the file could be listed as part of the band's album "Fore!" and also as part of the "Back to the Future" soundtrack album, which would need an Album Artist tag of "Various Artists"). Also, it's not uncommon for the precise version of a song to differ between different albums - 'Best Of' collections often carrying a shortened Single versions of a track which was longer on the original studio album for example.


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I just don't like the idea of having duplicate files.  It'll be the exact same song in my case because these are EDM songs.  If songs have variations I have no problem having both, but when they really are the exact same song, I don't want to have duplicates, especially because it screws with filenames.  I don't organize files into folders so now I have two songs with the same name and info.

Just because the spec doesn't technically allow for it doesn't mean it couldn't be made an option.  And as mentioned above, I wouldn't separate artists in the album artist tag.  I would just hard code it into the tag.

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20 minutes ago, superluig164 said:

Just because the spec doesn't technically allow for it doesn't mean it couldn't be made an option. 

Which would make the files (and thus Poweramp) incompatible with other apps using correctly written tags. You can't just decide to assign multiple track numbers to one file for example, ID3 tags just don't function that way. I can't think of a general use example where it would work reliably, especially with regard to the Album Artist tag which in many cases would need to be different for different albums.

One thought would be to make your compilation dance sequences using Playlists rather than albums, or you could use folders and symbolic links to the filenames. To be honest though, it's not a good idea to put a huge number of files into one folder anyway. Not only does that make them hard to manage, but there could also start to be performance issues. That's why subfolders were invented when computers moved on from low capacity DOS 5¼" floppy discs.

But at the end of the day it would be up to Max to decide if he thinks there would be enough real-world examples where breaking the official file specs like this would be useful to users in general.


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