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The app doesn't see "Album Artist" tag in .flac files

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Version Info ======================

Build: Poweramp build-959-uni full verified

Store: Play

Unlocker: build-302

Arch: 64

Skin: ActivityTheme_White

Device: samsung SM-F936B taro q4q q4qxxx [arm64-v8a, armeabi-v7a, armeabi]

Installer: ru.vk.store (1.4.0(175))

Android: 13 samsung/q4qxxx/q4q:13/TP1A.220624.014/F936BXXU2CWCC:user/release-keys ru_RU




I am using your player for about 8 years now and it is the best audio player for Android. I apologize in advance for my English, it is not my native language.


Since one of recent updates Poweramp stopped to see "Album Artist" tags in .flac files. It does not display this tag in lists or player interface, and even in "Info/tag" menu - tag's text field there is somehow empty! Although I certainly know that this tag is present in the files - it can be seen in Widows Explorer and in applications like Easy CD-DA Extractor. Poweramp itself has seen and displayed it until one of recent updates.


Note: this refers only to .flac files, the .mp3s are not affected.


Personally I think that this tag is important. For example, Ace Frehley's album "Second Sighting" is a part of Ace Frehley's discography, but his band performing this album by that time was called "Frehley's Comet". So I made it like that: for this album "Artist" was Ace Frehley, "Album Artist" was Frehley's Comet, and it was accurate. But now the second tag is gone.


One more thing: I don't know if it was a bug ar a feature, but setting "Album Artist" tag for an entire album different from its "Artist" gave some implicit benefits. For example, with above mentioned set, I could set different covers for some songs in album (for example, the singles), but still have the right album cover in album list. I set my library with account of this, and now it is falling apart.


Please fix this. Let Poweramp see .flac's Album Artist again:)


Thank you. Best regards, Eugene.

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Album Artist tags are indeed vital for separating tracks out into album groupings, especially if the Artist details change from track to track. Poweramp should be fine reading Album Artist details from FLACs (Vorbis tags) or MP3s (ID3 tags). Have you tried a FULL Rescan (in Settings=>Library) to force a re-read of all files?

While ID3 uses only the 'TPE2' tag for this purpose, Vorbis files use ALBUMARTIST, or sometimes ALBUM ARTIST or even ALBUM_ARTIST. Could the issue be a mismatch between those Vorbis descriptors? Do any of your FLAC files read as expected, or do they all fail to find the Album Artist details? Whichever, if you have at least one file that always fails, please could you temporarily upload it for checking? 


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1 hour ago, andrewilley said:

While ID3 uses only the 'TPE2' tag for this purpose, Vorbis files use ALBUMARTIST, or sometimes ALBUM ARTIST or even ALBUM_ARTIST. Could the issue be a mismatch between those Vorbis descriptors? Do any of your FLAC files read as expected, or do they all fail to find the Album Artist details?

This is exactly what I was thinking when I read the OP. With FLAC files, the correct tag should be ALBUMARTIST when used with proper tags (Vorbis). However there are some programs that are forcing in id3 format tags, which does not meet the standard. If this is the case, try using a different tag editor like mp3tag or Tagscanner that properly writes the header info.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@andrewilley thank you for the reply and sorry for my delay.


Sure, I can provide an example. I will upload one FLAC file from my library that was like all of other FLACs affected by mysterious glitch. Oh, and let me please call the moment when Poweramp for some reason stopped to see Album Artist tags in FLACs "The Event" to be short (hope it doesn't sound weird).


So, the attached File was ripped by myself from my own licensed CD by Exact Audio Copy program. I used Easy CD-DA Extractor program to set tags in this File. It has different Artist and Album Artist tags: "Artist" tag - Arjen Anthony Lucassen, "Album Artist" - "Star One". Before "The Event" I could see the "Album Artist" tag for it and all other FLACs in all lists and player interface.


But that's where the story started. A couple of weeks ago I added new web-release to my library, and like almost all the rest it had different Artist and Album Artist tags. It was Avatar 2's soundtrack. I have all soundtracks in my library with "Soundtrack (Movies)" as Artist, and their composer's name as Album Artist. So in list of albums, in track list of this album and in player interface It should have been displayed like "Simon Franglen - Avatar: The Way of Water", but for some reason (because mysterious "Event" has already happened sometime in past) it stubbornly showed me "Soundtrack (Movies) - Avatar: The Way of Water". I double-checked the files (all of them were FLACs) on my PC, and all their tags had been in place. I tried to re-upload them to my device with rescan of library, but nothing helped.


I thought, maybe there was some glitch in Poweramp? Let's full-rescan my library! And... well, that was the action that ruined everything. I believe (maybe I'm wrong, I am a poor programmist) that there is a some sort of "image" of music library stored somewhere in Poweramp data. Even since "the Event" happened Poweramp still has displayed all library correctly. But when I committed full-rescan I destroyed the old "image" and a new one was created, but IT WAS INCORRECT because since some moment ("the Event") Poweramp has already stopped to see FLACs correctly. So none of my FLACs has Album Artist tags in Poweramp library anymore. That's when I decided to start this topic.


As I mentioned earlier, the mp3's were not affected. By the way, it created a weird effect: after that infamous full-rescan some of my albums (especially hand-made compilations) that had FLACs and mp3's has divided into two: the first had only mp3's and was shown in album list correctly (Album Artist - Album Name), and the second was exactly the same, but contained only FLACs and was shown like Artist - Album Name!


I am sure that a month or so ago Poweramp has seen FLACs correctly, I added new releases and everything was fine. But then something happened (I got a few updates of Poweramp around that time - that's why I assumed that something in these updates caused all it), and now, with no settings or anything else changed, the same old files after full-rescan are displayed differently.


That's the story... maybe there is indeed some bug?..

01 - Lift-Off.flac

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@maxmp thank you for the reply.


I am not saying anything about "other tags", I am trying to understand why all Album Artist entries has disappeared from FLACs after recent full rescan. I am attaching 2 screenshots of Poweramp on my device: one of .flac file which I attached to my message above (Lift-Off.flac), and another of random .mp3 from my library. Tags which I'm talking about (Artist and Album Artist) are pointed by red arrows.


I filled "Album Artist" text field for both of these files on PC. They are not empty not for .flac one, nor for .mp3. But now as you can see on screenshots, the .mp3 is displayed correctly (Album Artist is filled with "Ayreon"), but for .flac it is for some reason empty.


This particular .flac file is attached to previous message. You can see yourself that it's "Album Artist" field is not empty (it is filled with "Star One"). But Poweramp does not see it, the field on screenshot is empty.


As I said, about a month ago Poweramp has seen it correctly and everything was fine. It somehow changed only recently and became evident after recent full rescan.


I tried even reinstalling the Poweramp app itself, and today I made another full rescan. No changes.



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I can't see anything wrong with that FLAC file. It contains an ALBUMARTIST tag (caps, no spaces) which reads correctly into Poweramp's Library (the song is shown in the 'Album Artists' category) and the detail is also shown in Info/Tags for that file:

  | 4)  Albumartist = Star One
  |     - Tag 'ALBUMARTIST' (20 bytes):
  |         0144: 41 4c 42 55 4d 41 52 54 49 53 54 3d 53 74 61 72 [ALBUMARTIST=Star]
  |         0154: 20 4f 6e 65                                     [ One]


Did this file come directly from your phone (i.e. the file found at the path quoted in PA's Info/Tags) or was it from an original/master copy on your PC?

If the file on the phone is the same as the upload, it should work.


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  • Solution

@andrewilley yes, I uploaded this example file directly from my phone where Poweramp is installed. And the screenshot above is made for that exact file and on my phone too.


I see on your screenshot that the file is being readed correctly on your device. But on mine it is still the same: ALBUMARTIST does not being readed, the "Album Artist" field in info/tags is empty. And all FLAC files are the same. On the other hand, .mp3s continue to being readed as they should be.


If this strange situation is exclusively mine (none else have reported anything like that) then apparently it seems that the problem is somewhere on my side. But I can't even closely understand what it is. I didn't change any settings and I don't have any ROOT rights to toy with app's data on my phone. Literally nothing (except a few updates) happened, but the app somehow stopped working as it used to be.


Well, again thank you for your replies!

Update: just reinstalled Poweramp from Google Play WITHOUT restoring it's settings from .Poweramp-backup file. I have just made first scan of library, no changes. I am running out of options. If it is not a bug in current version of Poweramp, than it is some glitch in the OS or file system of my phone. And than it is out of this topic.


One thing: I did not try to reinstall Poweramp unlocker app. But I suppose it couldn't affect anything about the subject of this topic?..


The current version of Poweramp on my phone:

Version Info ======================
Build: Poweramp build-958-ru-bundle-play full verified
Store: Play
Unlocker: build-302
Arch: 64
Skin: ActivityTheme_Black
Device: samsung SM-F936B taro q4q q4qxxx [arm64-v8a, armeabi-v7a, armeabi]
Installer: com.android.vending (35.6.11-21 [0] [PR] 528895992)
Android: 13 samsung/q4qxxx/q4q:13/TP1A.220624.014/F936BXXU2CWCC:user/release-keys ru_RU

Update 2:


I explored this forum and found .apk files of previous versions. I downloaded and installed this one:

And it is working perfectly fine!!!


Apparently I was not so wrong to start this topic in "report bug" section. Maybe there IS something wrong with current version?.. or maybe not, maybe it's some mysterious glitches only on my phone. Anyway, my problem is solved, although it didn't bring me any closer to understanding what that problem was.


Thank you all for your replies!!!

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In agree that the unlocker is unlikely to be related to this.

So to clarify how you are able to reliably reproduce this issue on your device:

  • If you do a clean install of PA build 945, only using Settings to choose your Music Folder permissions, then all of your FLAC files are read correctly, and you see all of the Album Artist details in the 'Album Artist' Library view, and the Album Artist tag also shows in Info/Tags for each song.
  • However if you do a clean install of build 957 in the same way, all of your FLAC files do not show any Album Artist information in either the Library or Info/Tags.

Hopefully that might give Max something to go on, as clearly you won't want to be stuck on build 945 for ever more.


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@andrewilley sure, I can provide some screenshots for clarification.

First. I made clean install (which means I chose "not to save app data" when deleting previous installation) of build 945 via .apk file from this forum. Then I chose Music Folder as was offered, and made only 2 changes in settings: Enable "Album Artist Label for Tracks" and "Album Artist Label for Albums" just to make Album Artist label visible in lists and interface. Then I set view of list of albums to "View as - List" (for visibility sake). I even don't apply any sorting. Then I see this:Screenshot_20230511_123708_Poweramp.thumb.jpg.f62b2aba32584641ce83aee37e5130ac.jpg

It is correct  - Album Artist is Ace Frehley where there is no specific name for his band (and "Album Artist" label is empty), and "Frehley's Comet" where there is.Screenshot_20230511_123719_Poweramp.thumb.jpg.5fb297f5caa694dfbe4a08b76806f28c.jpgScreenshot_20230511_124518_Poweramp.thumb.jpg.7edd58fac1053afe729953217fdc5f6b.jpg

And it goes on for all .flac files. Well, for all music files overall.


Now let me delete this build and install the current one from Google Play (958).


I will make the precise same actions: choose Music Folder, enable same 2 settings about "Album Artist Label" and change the view of list. And now I'll try to remake screenshots from above:Screenshot_20230511_130347_Poweramp.thumb.jpg.db7a642ca1cac8e8abbfe980659b0db0.jpgScreenshot_20230511_130352_Poweramp.thumb.jpg.01be4cb2d50cc6a1e689fbcb71e142fa.jpgScreenshot_20230511_130404_Poweramp.thumb.jpg.540a299426dd1437770b51e805133ec7.jpg

And this too goes on for all .flac files. Only .flacs, but all of them.


So I confirm both of your statements.

- In case of clean installation of PA build 945, all of my FLAC files are read correctly, and I see all of the Album Artist details in the 'Album Artist' Library view, and the Album Artist tag also shows in Info/Tags for each song.

- But in case of clean installation of build 958 (current on GP) in the same way, all of my FLAC files do not show any Album Artist information in either the Library or Info/Tags.

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I can't test build 958 as I think that's a regionalised Google Play variant for your locale; mine is 957.

Regardless of those Album Artist view settings by the way, the simplest way to see what songs don't have Album Artist tags would be to use the 'Album Artists' Library Category and look under 'U' for the Unknown Artist section. 


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@andrewilley Actually this is an interesting story. After your message I became curious which build it was when I first discovered this bug.


For many month now I've been updating many apps, Poweramp included, via my local app store (Rustore). So I went into version history and....Screenshot_20230511_161757_RuStore.thumb.jpg.ee7e7efd9c84512d6e6eacc65862ecb7.jpg

...it seems that I never used build 957. For me it jumped directly from 956 to 958. And I am sure that in March Poweramp worked perfectly fine, so, according to history, it was build 956. And since 958 the "bug" started.


So now I got build 957 here on forum. I installed it.... and IT WORKS FINE. Album Artist for FLACs is on it's place. I'll stay with this version for now.


This brings us to conclusion that the "bug" which is the subject of this topic first appeared in build 958 (it was in version that came to me via Rustore with update, and it was in version that I downloaded today from Google Play). And it continues in version 959 (which again came to me via update in Rustore).


But in build 957 everything is correct. I am testing it right now. All is fine, all as it should be. It is builds 958 and 959 that are "bugged".

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