Jump to content

Is There Any Program That Can Go Through My Music Library & Automatically Tag The Album Artist Category?


finalriches
 Share

Go to solution Solved by andrewilley,

Recommended Posts

Hello. New to the forum & somewhat long time Poweramp user. When I first switched to Poweramp I went through the long process of manually adding the Album Artist tag to any of my music that was missing that tag so everything would sort to my liking.  Well I'm trying to setup Poweramp for my father and he has a massive library of music that is missing that tag, and was curious if there was any program for Windows or Linux that could do this automatically?

 

Hopefully i posted this in the right place, and I really appreciate any responses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@drftr Album Artist tags are pretty-much essential if you have any albums where the Track Artist names vary. That very often happens with compilations, soundtracks, classical music, etc, but it can also occur when an odd track or two from one album features a collaboration artist or a duet. If you don't have the Album Artist tags set correctly, every song with a slightly different Track Artist tag will get separated out into a new little album of its own in Poweramp's lists.

While you can edit these tags within Poweramp on a one-by-one basis, I wouldn't recommend doing so for a whole music collection. Computer programs such as TagScanner (my preference) or MP3Tag are perfect for the task though, allowing you to import and view large numbers of audio files and see their tag contents in big sortable lists, where you can either cut'n'paste content manually or execute complex and/or conditional batch processes to do a load of files in one go.

Andre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, andrewilley said:

@drftr Album Artist tags are pretty-much essential if you have any albums where the Track Artist names vary. That very often happens with compilations, soundtracks, classical music, etc, but it can also occur when an odd track or two from one album features a collaboration artist or a duet. If you don't have the Album Artist tags set correctly, every song with a slightly different Track Artist tag will get separated out into a new little album of its own in Poweramp's lists.

While you can edit these tags within Poweramp on a one-by-one basis, I wouldn't recommend doing so for a whole music collection. Computer programs such as TagScanner (my preference) or MP3Tag are perfect for the task though, allowing you to import and view large numbers of audio files and see their tag contents in big sortable lists, where you can either cut'n'paste content manually or execute complex and/or conditional batch processes to do a load of files in one go.

Andre

👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use normalization in a different way to avoid these problems as they're different in each and every app. My artist for all compilations is Various Artists so that I can easily find them all. Then I add the artist to the actual song title, as in:

 

This Is The Song ~ I'm The Artist

 

For me this has the benefit that if an artist sings one single duet or so with someone then I simply add that name after the ~.

 

drftr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@drftr Well that's one way to do it I guess, but it would completely mess up the Artists list. In fact, you wouldn't really have one. And sorting and searching for all songs that featuring any particular artist would be very hard.

The standard way to do that, so it works on all apps, would be to have the Title tag named correctly as "This Is The Song", the Album tag set as "This Is The Album", and the Artist tag as "I'm The Artist" (or for duets, something like "I'm The Artist ; I'm The Duet Artist", which PA can tidily split out into two names for listing and sorting purposes). Then finally the Album Artist tag would be either one of the Artist names if that's appropriate, or "Various Artists" for compilations, to ensure that all the tracks are kept together tidily in Album listings.

Andre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember I use Artist in the normal way so it's always filled with the correct artist, except for compilations that I prefer to have isolated from the rest. The main reason is that I'm an album-listener only and had huge problems when iTunes f#d it up about a decade ago. I created my own system and have never wanted to go back, so I never have any work on filling out Album Artist and stuff. I simply delete the data.

 

Thanks for your suggestions though!

 

drftr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, drftr said:

Remember I use Artist in the normal way so it's always filled with the correct artist, except for compilations that I prefer to have isolated from the rest. The main reason is that I'm an album-listener only and had huge problems when iTunes f#d it up about a decade ago. I created my own system and have never wanted to go back, so I never have any work on filling out Album Artist and stuff. I simply delete the data.

 

Thanks for your suggestions though!

 

drftr

It’s your library, so you should manage it any way you want. If it works with your media managers and players, then you are set. But to really take advantage of the full browsing capability of Poweramp then the extra tags will help make the browsing optimal. But nothing is mandatory of course.

Most other players also benefit from having both Artist and AlbumArtist tags, on top of the usual Album, Title, Disc/Track, Genre, etc. If I didn’t have all of the tags in my library, then I wouldn’t expect to be able to browse for them. That only makes sense.

Personally, I still use iTunes to manage my home network, and my wife and kids are IOS users so that makes it even more necessary. But I have it set to not manage any of the tagging, or even the file locations. I manage that with mp3tag first as I add new music to my library, then have iTunes scan for it too. I am an Android user, and Poweramp is my player of choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About 90% of my listening is Album based, mostly picking out a random year to (re)live it. The other 10% is used for Genre, in which I list the country name, mostly for world music. This helps me a lot as I'm only travelling developing countries and often want to plunge into what their cultures have to offer.

 

Did you ever find a great Android tagger?

 

drftr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, drftr said:

Did you ever find a great Android tagger?

Nah, I do all my tagging on PC when I rip. For CDs I use dbPoweramp (not related to Poweramp). For vinyl I use Audacity for the initial transfer, then convert again with dbPoweramp. For all tagging I use mp3tag, including making any necessary changes to online purchases. I hadn’t done that much until recently, but with more music not releasing on CD now, I am using hi res sites like 7digital and ProStudioMasters to buy. Much easier to do with a keyboard and mouse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, MotleyG said:

Nah, I do all my tagging on PC when I rip. For CDs I use dbPoweramp (not related to Poweramp). For vinyl I use Audacity for the initial transfer, then convert again with dbPoweramp. For all tagging I use mp3tag, including making any necessary changes to online purchases. I hadn’t done that much until recently, but with more music not releasing on CD now, I am using hi res sites like 7digital and ProStudioMasters to buy. Much easier to do with a keyboard and mouse.

I know... Slowly preparing for a keyboard-less life though so I'm curious for what other people use. I have somewhere between 3,500 and 5,000 albums tagged so I should be good for a couple of weeks! It's mostly new productions that I would have to tag, think max 50 per year or so. Should be doable on a phone.

 

drftr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, @finalriches I'm glad you got this working on your computer. There is a slight learning curve to programs like TagScanner in terms of the specific way they handle things, but once learned there is a huge amount of power there. It can be a bit of a rabbit-hole though - as once you start tweaking, sometimes it's hard to know when to stop. :) I still haven't stopped in fact, I keep spotting odd tracks where I haven't de-capitalised "The", "Of", "A", etc within album titles for example, and the OCD in me comes out and I go back and tidy up the offending tag.

The rest of this thread is drifting a bit off-topic in places, but is very interesting nonetheless.

Personally, I would not consider doing any major tag editing tasks without a keyboard, a mouse, and a decently large screen to see, select, edit and move bulk content around. I have a 32" and a 28" monitor on my main Windows PC setup for example, with a high-res mouse and a separate stylus-based drawing pad for some types of graphic work. I do have a 17" laptop too, but if I was doing anything content-intensive I'd use its mouse rather than the trackpad; the pressure-to-click, and lack of separate discrete left/right buttons, on modern trackpads annoys me. Trying to do any sort of heavy text-based work on a 6.5" phone touchscreen though - or even a 10" tablet - without a physical keyboard just isn't an option for me, but I agree you can't always carry a lot of kit around with you in a backpack while globetrotting, so needs must.

I'm fascinated by drftr's approach to compilation albums though. It's not for me, but clearly you have fine-tuned your collection to work the way you want. I assume you have no potentially conflicting album titles (such as "Greatest Hits") so they still show up grouped correctly by Album - even though everything would be listed as being by that famous supergroup "Various Artists". :) I still can't quite see what functionality you actually gain by having the artist names appended to the end of the Track Title field though? Is it maybe something you have developed over the years - from before the Album Artist tag, and multiple separate Artist names, would have solved the problem for you - and it would now be too much work to change to current practice? Or is there some specific advantage of your method that you don't feel the regular Title / Album / Artist / Album Artist system can replicate for you? What did iTunes do a decade ago that broke things for you? (I never use iTunes, or iAnything in fact)

Andre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy... You're asking for a lenghty answer...

 

Greatest Hits from one and the same artist would be easy as they would simply carry the name of that artist, so it's only when you have multiple artists that the problem would arise. Luckily they wouldn't call those albums Greatest Hits, though I would be at risk if I had several different series of "Greatest hits of the 80s" or something. I haven't run into that situation as I hate compilations anyway 🙂 The only ones I collect are from historical jazz and world music recordings from, say, 80-100 years ago. But they mostly have very ecclectic titles to show off what they're about. If I would run into a single isolated problem then I would probably simply create something like "AlbumTitle ~ PublisherName".

 

The problems started when iTunes kept started doing something completely different with every single release. I'm probably talking 2000-2001-2002 here. I got so annoyed the way they threw albums with the same name in the same map, the way they handled AlbumArtist, the way they thought they could handle "the" and "a" in front of a name better than I could, etcetera, etcetera, that I told them to FO and I deleted all their crap that would work one month but not the next and completely normalized what I had at the time with the only information that I really needed. Apart from an iPod I also had a Zune player at the time, and I tagged it in a way that through both player menus I could do exactly what I wanted, and called the rest nonsense that might or might not change in the next release - I wouldn't know and I would no longer mind.

 

Last thing about compilations: Since I tend to listen to albums chronologically and simply pick out a year, I don't want compilations to mess up what I'm listening to as they often represent a decade or more, while I want to pick a single year as I feel that even across styles they often DO represent something communal. Not sure if you saw it from a screenshot I shared in another thread but I use a mix of the genre and year as a prefix to the album title, like "p1965 ~ Revolver". Obviously this started with the same crappy beginnings of music apps and players as in the app I could add the year but it never showed up in the player - totally useless. I solved it this way, so each album starts with a c(lassical), j(azz), p(opular), or w(orld), followed by the year, then a ~ and then the album name, possibly followed by [1] or [2] in case of more disks. But to recognize compilations of one single artist I would use "p0000 ~ Greatest Hits", while for compilations with multiple artists I use "p9999 ~ Greatest Hits". This way they never ever interfere when using Albums as an entry. And what year to ise for a compilation anyway? The first year? The last? The publishing date? It never made any sense to me. Like having a compilation with early sixties music being tagged with 2021 as it was released this year while there's nkt a single link with other music from 2021.

 

There was another thread about changing Genre / Album in to Genre / Artist / Album that I'm sure you'll remember. Since I'm going through my tagging here anyway I'll show you why I would really dislike that idea: My genres obviously are as simple as Classical, Jazz, Popular, and World, BUT the last one always has the addition of the country name the music is from, like "World: Afghanistan". This allows me when travelling in Afghanistan to click Genre, World: Afghanistan, and I have all relevant albums from my library right there. If there would be an artist name added between Genre and Album then obviously this would all of a sudden fail after 20 years as no other player is doing it that way.

 

So yes, it's born out of early software/hardware related problems, but after 2 full decades I still haven't had a single day that I thought it didn't work as intended. Just did a quick check and saw that I would have to re-tag 5,563 albums so I wouldn't be tempted anyway!

 

A lot of useless info here, but it shows there's different systems for many of us, and making a seemingly easy development decision within an app can lead to abandoning that app. Unless you can simply toggle on/off the change of course, but that would possibly ask too much from any developer, I absolutely understand that.

 

drftr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL, I think you started to lose me somewhere around "Oh boy..." :)

But I think it's safe to say that with 5,500+ albums, re-tagging is not even worth considering. I only have slightly more songs than that on my phone! And as you say, it shows everyone is different. Of course a later problem might be that you are using almost every tag in a non-standard way, so it could all break if something very sensible for the tag's normal defined purpose is ever implemented which clashes with your special usage. PA usually offers these as options though, unless it's very obvious there would be no adverse affects.

Years for compilations by the way: I don't always bother with the Year anyway (I've got a lot of older songs that would take too long to track down) but as a rule of thumb I would probably tag all of the songs on an album that has a specific purpose (for example a soundtrack, like Dirty Dancing or Pretty Woman) with the date of release of the album. Other collections, like "Best of the 70s" or "ABBA Gold" I might attempt to tag each track with its individual release year. I tend to listen to a lot of single tracks or Playlists, and rather less by full album. 

Andre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@drftr That truly is a unique method for tagging. While it works for you now, I do hope that future player and management tools don’t cause you grief with the variations you have used. But so far it seems to be able to keep you happy! I don’t know if I would want to take on the task of editing that many albums at this point.

Just to add my 2 cents regarding tagging years, I prefer to use the album release year including compilations. While they may be well outside of the original release by track (60’s compilations especially seem to get constantly released even today), the spirit of the release is still considered. Exceptions are albums that are rereleased, remastered, deluded, etc. In those cases I use the original album year, but in the Album tag append something like “[2021 Remaster]” or “[Expanded]” on the end of the title.

Also, for every track I have, compilation or otherwise, I include both Artist and AlbumArtist tags. This ensures full compatibility with every library management tool, streamer, and player that I have. And since the additional tags take inconsequential space, and storage is so cheap now, it isn’t something that impacts any tracks from that perspective. I’ve spent a decade plus managing this, so I don’t allow any manager, including iTunes, make any changes. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MotleyG said:

Also, for every track I have, compilation or otherwise, I include both Artist and AlbumArtist tags.

Same here. I went through every song in my collection at one point, and made sure AlbumArtist was set correctly in all cases. Even for singles (about 1000 of them) where I set both the Album and AlbumArtist tags to "(Singles") so they appear in a pseudo-album of their own, rather than showing up as 'Unknown Album'.

Andre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, drftr said:

OMG... You're abusing the tagging system! I would never do that... 🤣

 

Not really, just making sure I didn't leave the tags lonely and empty for singles, which would leave them floating around un-owned and un-loved. :)

The tags are actually used completely correctly as per spec, in order to place a number of songs into a collection album called "(Singles)". Album Artist is set to "(Singles)" to ensure correct grouping - although I could have just as easily used the old faithful "Various Artists", as the name itself is not really relevant just as long as it's consistent across all the songs.

I used the brackets around the name  intentionally by the way, so my special 'pseudo-album' gets sorted alphabetically at the top for Album or Album Artist sorting, making it easier to find rather than having to hunt all the way down to 'S' for it. I could have used square brackets instead if I wanted to force it to the end of the list as an appendix item. I also have several other special 'collection' albums which I imaginarily released on my own phantom music label :) such as "(Film Music)", "(TV Themes)", and even "(Disney)" (there's clue in my avatar photo!) for one-off tracks that don't belong in any other specific album.

Andre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, andrewilley said:

Same here. I went through every song in my collection at one point, and made sure AlbumArtist was set correctly in all cases. Even for singles (about 1000 of them) where I set both the Album and AlbumArtist tags to "(Singles") so they appear in a pseudo-album of their own, rather than showing up as 'Unknown Album'.

I use the Grouping tag to indicate Singles, Greatest Hits, Boxed Sets, Bootlegs, etc. This leaves the Album, Artist, and AlbumArtist tags open to be consistent in my case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...