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Separate albums with the same name and artist


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Hi,

Poweramp merges albums with the same name by the same artist in the Albums and Album Artists views, and I'd appreciate them being separated. For example, Peter Gabriel's first four albums are all self-titled. Using those views, I can select the merged album and sort that item view by year, but the secondary sort for it is unconditionally by title. With the right directory structure, the Folders Hierarchy view can work, but I generally prefer other views.

The files are tagged like:

Artist Name : Peter Gabriel
Track Title : Moribund the Burgermeister
Album Title : Peter Gabriel
Date : 1977
Album Artist : Peter Gabriel
Track Number : 1
Total Tracks : 9
Disc Number : 1
Total Discs : 1

My preference for separating these albums would be by year, but that conflicts with the idea of having a year sort option in the album item view. I'm not sure of a better option. Is it possible to separate these as a function of Poweramp rather than bending my tags to work with the player? I'd prefer to keep the album titles as they are in music databases like Discogs.

Thanks.

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You would need to adjust the tags, as you mentioned. As long as a set of songs has exactly matching Album Title and Album Artist tags, they will always be considered to be part of the same album as far as library lists are concerned. That is the whole point of the Album Artist tag. I would suggest making minor changes to the Album Title tags for each album's songs to separate them, if for no other reason than actually knowing what you are listening to. e.g:

    Peter Gabriel [1977]
    Peter Gabriel [1978]
    Peter Gabriel [1980]
    Peter Gabriel [1982]

or, perhaps better still, use the generally accepted subtitles for his albums:

    Peter Gabriel 1: Car
    Peter Gabriel 2: Scratch
    Peter Gabriel 3: Melt
    Peter Gabriel 4: Security

Andre

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To harp on it a bit more, I think Poweramp creates inconsistent expectations about year and artist albums. Being able to sort an album's songs by year suggests different values can exist within an album. However, being able to sort the list of artist albums by year, as well as the album item view showing a year at the top, suggests one value for an entire album.

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The only thing that associates several songs as being part of the general concept of being in an 'album' collection is if the Album and Album Artist tags match between those files. Individual songs can have any other tags they like - different genres, years, track artists, song titles, composers, artwork, etc. Those are all tied to each song.

Albums are not a physical entity per se, they are just a sorting concept created by several songs that are tagged similarly. So albums don't have Years or Genres of their own, but to make sorting lists easier PA picks these up from tags in one of the songs and applies that information to the whole album concept.

Andre

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My point was that albums don't exist in technical storage terms - unless you have one single large audio file that contains multiple songs (which can be separated again for listening purposes using CUE files). Otherwise, every song file is a separate entity in its own right, but you can manage your collection by using folders or by embedding common metadata 'tags' within the file structure to tell players how to categorise the music in intelligible ways that match with the old physical LP or CD structures.

It's a bit like photographs; you may have thousands of separate photos in a folder, but in order to manage them you arrange them into family, work, holiday trips, events, years, etc. But they are still technically separate files on the device's storage. 

Andre

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Yep, I got your point. Mine is that I disagree with the decision to invariably define the album concept in Poweramp by the uniqueness of Album Artist + Album tags. It means I can't let my tags exactly match the original media issue, but oh well.

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That applies to any cataloguing system though. If the same artist releases two albums with the exact same title, those albums will always be indistinguishable from each other unless you include some other detail to separate them. Check out Amazon's listings for "Peter Gabriel CD", they have to append some other information onto the main title line to allow you to distinguish which one you are buying.

The same problem would occur with things like the Various Artists "Now That's What I Call Music" collections if they didn't add a volume number to the title of each new release. Or if a book author released two books with the exact same title.

Some groups have tried to create unique identifier token for songs and thus albums - e.g. Musicbrainz and Apple - but unless there is one universally accepted standard which applies to every release ever made, that really doesn't help much.

Sadly, for now I think we are stuck with the simple approach of making sure that Album Title and Album Artist are unique values.

Andre

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Quote

If the same artist releases two albums with the exact same title, those albums will always be indistinguishable from each other unless you include some other detail to separate them.

Exactly. That's why this is a feature request for the option to include other details in Poweramp's album merge strategy. A few other Android players have this (Musicolet, BlackPlayer), but their implementations are flawed - they only work for the Albums top-level view, not Album Artists. Also, I prefer Poweramp's UI on the whole. My preferred other detail to use is Year.

 

Quote

Some groups have tried to create unique identifier token for songs and thus albums - e.g. Musicbrainz and Apple - but unless there is one universally accepted standard which applies to every release ever made, that really doesn't help much.

Right, there's not a standard simple key to ID album releases between metadata containers - I know why the composite approach is necessary.


 

Quote

Check out Amazon's listings for "Peter Gabriel CD", they have to append some other information onto the main title line to allow you to distinguish which one you are buying.

This isn't the case for all items - the Amazon Music entries for Rick Wakeman's "King Arthur" from 1975 and the 2016 re-recording are case-insensitively the same. As a platform, Amazon can standardize on ASINs, so it's a different situation.

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Yes, Amazon's ASIN is yet another 'standard' of course.  As Andrew Tanenbaum said, "the nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from; furthermore, if you do not like any of them, you can just wait for next year's model".

However PA's "composite approach", as you describe it, is to use both Album Title and Album Artist to create an Album library grouping entity. Prior to that, only Album Title was used, which caused all sorts of issues with titles such as "Greatest Hits" which could include songs by various artists. The world of music tagging has not even fully caught up with consistently populating the Album Artist tag though, let alone anything more complex.

Andre

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17 hours ago, khanfluence said:

Yep, I got your point. Mine is that I disagree with the decision to invariably define the album concept in Poweramp by the uniqueness of Album Artist + Album tags. It means I can't let my tags exactly match the original media issue, but oh well.

But if I were to strictly ask you to go pull out your Peter Gabriel CD, which one would you get? Without more detail you wouldn’t know which I was requesting. So by adding that extra detail in the Album line, this would help. No different than when an artist releases a different version, whether it be a remaster, deluxe version, etc.

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I can't express enough how useful it is to manipulate Poweramp with Unicode:

Peter Gabriel - Normal 

Peter Gabrieⅼ  - special ⅼ

Peter Gabrⅰel  - special ⅰ

Peter Gabriel  - special G

 These will show up as 4 different Peter Gabriel albums in Poweramp and you can keep your artist and album artist untouched.

It's not always perfect finding a direct letter replacement, like the G will look slightly different but you can't even tell the i and l are different.

Find more alternatives @ 

https://www.compart.com/en/unicode/U+2170

 

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1 hour ago, Absinthequ said:

I can't express enough how useful it is to manipulate Poweramp with Unicode:

Peter Gabriel - Normal 

Peter Gabrieⅼ  - special ⅼ

Peter Gabrⅰel  - special ⅰ

Peter Gabriel  - special G

 These will show up as 4 different Peter Gabriel albums in Poweramp and you can keep your artist and album artist untouched.

It's not always perfect finding a direct letter replacement, like the G will look slightly different but you can't even tell the i and l are different.

Find more alternatives @ 

https://www.compart.com/en/unicode/U+2170

 

Great advice. I have also used some creative ideas, like a second space, or alternatives sizes of spaces to differentiate Artists that have used the same name.

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6 hours ago, MotleyG said:

But if I were to strictly ask you to go pull out your Peter Gabriel CD, which one would you get? Without more detail you wouldn’t know which I was requesting. So by adding that extra detail in the Album line, this would help. No different than when an artist releases a different version, whether it be a remaster, deluxe version, etc.

That's a good functional argument, but I'd still prefer my tags to match the release.
 

5 hours ago, Absinthequ said:

I can't express enough how useful it is to manipulate Poweramp with Unicode:

Even if I was a fan of the idea, Poweramp doesn't map non-ASCII characters to ASCII when searching - I can't find "album\u2170" by searching "albumi" (see attachments). Thanks, though.
 

4 hours ago, MotleyG said:

differentiate Artists that have used the same name.

This problem is compelling to me. I feel more comfortable adding additional text (not disguised or anything) to Albums since Artists can conflict similarly. In the latter case, I'd probably add "(2)" without a second thought.

Thanks for all of the discussion.

Screenshot_20210521-220204.jpg

Screenshot_20210521-220213.jpg

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3 hours ago, khanfluence said:

Even if I was a fan of the idea, Poweramp doesn't map non-ASCII characters to ASCII when searching - I can't find "album\u2170" by searching "albumi" (see attachments).

Also you'd have to be very careful when crafting the new names to make sure they alpha-sorted the way you want. And it still wouldn't solve the issue that you have of the titles matching with the entries in other databases (Discogs, LastFM scrobbling, etc). Nor would you be able to tell them apart in lists either - although displaying the artwork would help with that if you know one cover from the others.

Although I can see all your points about ideally wanting to keep the album title as the exact name only, I think you'll need to follow the same general trend everyone else (Amazon, wiki, etc) and append either an identifying digit or the subtitles that have become accepted for these four albums (1: Car, 2: Scratch, 3: Melt, 4: Security). 

Andre

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