Discussion:
[slim] Album Artist vs. Band (TPE2) tags
JimC
2008-04-10 06:59:53 UTC
Permalink
Amidst the noise in the now closed "Sort by Album Artist" thread there
was some good content. I'll paraphrase some of it, expand on it with
my limited knowledge, and hopefully allow the signal to continue.

Premise #1 - Tags, depsite everyone's wish to the contrary, are broken,
at least in the sense that their behavior varies by application and they
are not used consistently.

Premise #2 - SqueezeCenter supports more than one kind of file format
and, by extension, more than one kind of tag. To accomplish this, it
"normalizes" the tags according to specific rules that have been
established over time.

Premise #3 - For some set of users, the SqueezeCenter tag normalization
is perfect. For some other set of users, it is acceptable. For yet
another set, it is unusable. There may be other nuances, but these
sets seem adequate to capture the idea.

Premise #4 - General adjustments to the way SqueezeCenter normalizes
tags will result in changes to the sets described in #3 but will never
eliminate the problem that it does not work perfectly (or even
acceptably) for everyone. It would simply sort the members into
different sets.

Now on to the problem...

MP3 is the single most-popular file format used for digital music
today; sadly, it does not have an AlbumArtist tag. It does have a Band
tag (referred to as TPE2). Some, but not all, music library
applications use Band as AlbumArtist. If you use one of these
applications, you will have a certain expectation of how Band should
work.

SqueezeCenter is one of the application that does not map Band to
AlbumArtist. This is a result of wanting to support as many formats as
elegantly as possible, and other tag formats include BOTH Band and
AlbumArtist.

SqueezeCenter does respect the Band tag, but does not allow a sort on
that field. This creates confusion for some users, especially those
who use applications that consider Band to be AlbumArtist. These users
would like to see Band used the same way the ALBUMARTIST tag is used
inside SqueezeCenter.

So, how about we continue this dialog as a discussion where you can
share your opinions about how we can address the problem of normalizing
ALL the different tag formats in a useful way, with an eye not toward
solving just your particular individual needs (it's open source, you
can do that yourself), but works toward making sets 1 and 2 the most
likely result for any given user.

Please, chat amongst yourselves (but play nice).


-=> Jim
--
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"well, she wasn't all of that, but she sure was some of that." --
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 07:32:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimC
Please, chat amongst yourselves (but play nice).
absolutely, i feel i was doing just that, but mherger singled me out,
even though clearly it was not me to first be rude in that thread. any
honest reading of that thread would see snarly attacked me first for no
reason whatsoever. therefore i don't appreciate mherger singling me
out.

its also ridiculous that my SENTENCE was deleted/edited out, but none
of the rude things snarly said were. i mean COME ON, this is why you
guys shouldn't be casting yourselves in the censor role to begin with.

in any case...

JIM, since you summed it up more or less succinctly, here are my
questions for you:

1. are you saying that "List albums by Band" is NOT meant to sort?

(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is a
poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like
SORT than 'show albums as by...')

2. should SC7 not be able to sort via the data from a mp3s TPE2 tag?

if not, why not? why can't that be an "on" or "off" option?
(likewise, why can't such an option be added if need be?)

(it could simply use SC7s internal BAND tag, which is populated via
TPE2)

3. if no other data is in the mp3, why can't the TPE2 data populate
both the internal BAND and ALBUMARTIST SC7 tags?

4. just how am i supposed to get my tags to sort properly as is?

5. what is the point of giving us the option to "List albums by band"
if they are going to be sorted out of place? is that not stupid?

what i am asking for is for slim to acknowledge the reality of many
users mp3 tags and circumstances. i am hardly an anomally.

is slim just going to let this persist as is? in other words, does
slim acknowledge there is a problem here, and that it needs fixed?

this is what i want someone from slim to address.

thx.
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 07:48:00 UTC
Permalink
btw, the thread really ought to be called "sort by TPE2/Band/Album
Artist non-existent, please implement" as that is what the OP of the
now closed thread was requesting, (there is no band vs album artist
battle here i don't think)
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smc2911
2008-04-10 10:27:30 UTC
Permalink
I would also like to reiterate a comment I made early on in the closed
thread (before it became mp3 focused), which is related to
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=5108
(slightly edited)
For example, consider the following two compilations (all flac files)
ALBUM=Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage
ALBUMARTIST=Larry Levan
COMPILATION=1
and then each track has a different artist. I have no other albums by
Larry Levan.
ALBUM=On the Floor at the Boutique
ALBUMARTIST=Fatboy Slim
COMPILATION=1
and then each track has a different artist. I have a number of other
artists by Fatboy Slim.
On the Floor appears under Fatboy Slim when I browse artists for Fatboy
Slim. Larry Levan does not appear anywhere when I browse for artists,
instead the album appears under Various Artists.
I have settings to Group Compilation Albums together and Group Albums
by Band Thus, the behaviour seems to depend not just on the tags for all the
tracks on the album, but also on the existence or otherwise of *other*
albums by the same artist. A partial workaround (courtesy of JJ I seem
to recall) to get the Larry Levan album into the artists list is to set
COMPILATION=0, but then all the other track artists from the album show
up too. I voted for the bug 5108 (linked above) as a way to fix this,
but to my mind, it would make sense for Larry Levan to appear under
artists even with COMPILATION=1 just as Fatboy Slim does.
--
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smc2911
2008-04-10 12:05:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
btw, the thread really ought to be called "sort by TPE2/Band/Album
Artist non-existent, please implement" as that is what the OP of the
now closed thread was requesting, (there is no band vs album artist
battle here i don't think)If I understand correctly from the closed thread (which, admittedly, was
challenging at times!), when viewing Albums sorted by "Artist", it will
be sorted by ARTIST or (if it exists) ALBUMARTIST but *not* by BAND.
Since SC7 interprets TPE2 tags as BAND *not* ALBUMARTIST, this means
that the Albums will not, in this example, be sorted by the TPE2 tag.
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radish
2008-04-10 13:15:51 UTC
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there is no band vs album artist battle here i don't think
There needn't be a battle at all IMHO.

The question seems to boil down to: should SC treat TPE2 as BAND (not
sortable) or ALBUMARTIST (sortable)? Given the nature of ID3 it seems
an app has to decide one way or the other on this. Is there a reason
this can't be made an option? What cases wouldn't this solve?
--
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slimkid
2008-04-10 15:36:06 UTC
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Hi,

why not start with the thorough explanation how (internal to SC) BAND
and ALBUMARTIST should behave right now. I'd appreciate if somebody who
is responsible for maintaining that piece of functionality could explain
it. Or point me to the place on this site where that has been
documented. Especially in relationship to COMPILATION tag.

As said, I'm not looking for wishes, guesses and interpretations, but
rather to the piece of original documentation.

thanks,

K
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 18:33:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is a
poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like
SORT than 'show albums as by...')
The word "list" has nothing to do with sorting. There are many examples of sorted lists and unsorted lists. The alphabet is a list of letters. A "list of letters" doesn't mean the letters are sorted, but "the alphabet" is letters in a certain order. My shopping lists are always randomly ordered items.

However, I do agree ;) I suggested a different wording for this option many slimserver versions ago, and it was decided that the setting was obvious as it stood.

Phil
MrSinatra
2008-04-10 21:07:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is
a
Post by MrSinatra
poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like
SORT than 'show albums as by...')
The word "list" has nothing to do with sorting. There are many
examples of sorted lists and unsorted lists. The alphabet is a list of
letters. A "list of letters" doesn't mean the letters are sorted, but
"the alphabet" is letters in a certain order. My shopping lists are
always randomly ordered items.
However, I do agree ;) I suggested a different wording for this option
many slimserver versions ago, and it was decided that the setting was
obvious as it stood.
Phil
well, we can argue the semantics, but what point is there in that? i
think we both agree its confusing. (a shopping list is not comparable
to a music server whose job is to catalog and organize music btw)

here is what i would suggest:

the word list be removed. display is not a good word either, as that
also could imply sort.

what i think is least problematic is:

1. Denote all artists on an album
and
2. Denote albums as by band

this methodology is flexible, meaning a second option can then be
created for sorting as a separate function.

btw, the infobox currently says this:

"Albums that contain songs that are tagged with a band may be listed
under that band name or with the other artists for that album. The band
tag is also known as TPE2 and may appear as the "album artist" in some
software."

i would change it to:

"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what
artist an album is by. The firts choice uses TPE1 tags, the second
choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist"
in some other software)."
--
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-10 21:25:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what
artist an album is by. The firts choice uses TPE1 tags, the second
choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist"
in some other software)."
The first choice is ALBUMARTIST.

If this does not exist and the flag is set, use BAND

Else if not COMPILATION, return list of artists.

etc.
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 21:31:11 UTC
Permalink
i don't understand your point, you don't have much context to explain
what you are saying. and those are INTERNAL SC7 tags and users would
not understand the implication of that. can you please explain just
what you mean?
--
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-10 21:56:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
i don't understand your point, you don't have much context to explain
what you are saying. and those are INTERNAL SC7 tags and users would
not understand the implication of that. can you please explain just
what you mean?
That is what the code does. That is the context.

If you wish to change the help documentation, it should match what the
code does.

. getting-artist-for-album-display
. if ALBUMARTIST return ALBUMARTIST
. if bandtag and BAND return BAND
. if !COMPILATION and !VA return list of ARTISTS (on all tracks)

etc.

You said that TPE1 (track artist) was checked first. It is not.

ALBUMARTIST is.

Then BAND.

Then a variety of things dealing with VA stuff.

But the code checks ALBUMARTIST first. Then BAND.

It is not TPE2. This is only executed long after the file has been
scanned. It affects all formats, not just MP3: ie, FLAC has no
commonly used tag called 'TPE2' but this will affect FLACs that have a
field named 'BAND'.

Again, this section of code does not have access to the names of the
tags (TPE1 or TPE2, etc), so it must be discussed in terms of the
internal names of the tags. Saying it would return TPE2 is blatantly
wrong: it would return no such thing on WMA, FLAC, APE, OGG, WAv, AIFF,
etc. It returns the BAND field, regardless of what the original tag
name was.

Saying that it uses TPE1, therefore is wrong on two counts: the code is
cross-format and FLAC does not have a TPE1 yet is still subject to the
behavior of this code.

It is also wrong because TPE1/ARTIST is not checked first.
--
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JimC
2008-04-10 18:58:12 UTC
Permalink
...its also ridiculous that my SENTENCE was deleted/edited out, but none
of the rude things snarly said were. i mean COME ON, this is why you
guys shouldn't be casting yourselves in the censor role to begin
with...
Please. The sentence contained the something very close to the phrase:
"Yes, this is a personal attack." That's a direct violation of our
forum guidelines, and deliberately baiting the moderators here.
Removing that bit was really a very, very light bit of moderating.
1. are you saying that "List albums by Band" is NOT meant to sort?
(i gather you are, but i think that means at the very least "List" is a
poor word choice there for that option, as it sounds a lot more like
SORT than 'show albums as by...')
No, that's not what I'm saying. I was simply summarizing what I
understood the behavior to be. I don't use Band (because I find it
broken in some apps and unneeded in the apps I do use), so I don't
really have any opinion as to how it should behave.
2. should SC7 not be able to sort via the data from a mp3s TPE2 tag?
if not, why not? why can't that be an "on" or "off" option?
(likewise, why can't such an option be added if need be?)
(it could simply use SC7s internal BAND tag, which is populated via
TPE2)
As our programmers like to say "Contributions welcome." Tagging is a
mess... not just for us, but for any music manager. How tags are used
is a very personal thing, and one man's pleasure is another man's
pain.

I suggest that you open an enhancment request at
bugzilla.slimdevices.com and put your proposal in there.
3. if no other data is in the mp3, why can't the TPE2 data populate both
the internal BAND and ALBUMARTIST SC7 tags?
See above.
4. just how am i supposed to get my albums to sort properly tagged as
is? (in other words, not needing a MB workaround to get them to do so)
"Properly tagged" is in the eye of the beholder. I consider my files
properly tagged and TPE2 is used only sporadically. Stuff sorts fine
for me, so a change in behavior isn't needed as far as I am concerned.
That doens't mean how SC handles tags works for everyone, but tags
aren't handled consistently in any application.

You have a problem with the way SC handles the particular way you tag
your files. You want a different behavior and I've proposed a way for
you to get this request to our engineering team. During our regular
bug scrubs, we'll take a look at the request and the suggested
implementation and try to determine if/how/when it will be done.
5. what is the point of giving us the option to "List albums by band" if
they are going to be sorted out of place? is that not stupid?
what i am asking for is for slim to acknowledge the reality of many
users mp3 tags and circumstances. i am hardly an anomaly.
is slim just going to let this persist as is? in other words, does
slim acknowledge there is a problem here, and that it needs fixed?
Please reveiw premise #3 above. I don't disagree that you find
yourself in the latter set, but not everyone considers it to be
"broken". I suggest that you use the tools at
hand--bugzilla.slimdevices.com and these forums--to provide
constructive feedback and suggestions as to what you would like to see
so that when we are working on the scanner/tag handling, the engineers
can understand both the problem and the various solutions proposed.

Even better, you might want to see if one or more of the folks in the
developer forum would be willing to work on coding your suggestions as
a replacement scanner, as a plug-in or even as core functionality for a
future release.
--
JimC

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JJZolx
2008-04-10 19:40:07 UTC
Permalink
One thing about ALBUMARTIST is that it's an _album_ tag, whereas BAND is
more like ARTIST and can differ from track to track. So imagine:

TRACKNUMBER=1
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra

TRACKNUMBER=2
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Nelson Riddle Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra

Is this a compilation album? (I'd say No, but if you look at the BAND
field you might want to say Yes.) What is the album's BAND if we
wanted to sort albums by BAND?

If we were viewing tracks, say in a grid, like so many popular programs
use, then sorting by BAND makes sense. At the track level you can sort
by just about anything you like.
--
JJZolx

Jim
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JJZolx
2008-04-10 20:03:37 UTC
Permalink
As an option I don't understand the objection to using TPE2 as
ALBUMARTIST. If you don't want it used as such, then TPE2 should
remain mapped to BAND.

The current wording of the 'List albums by band' option, though, and
placing it under the heading 'Compilations' in the settings is
enormously confusing. My understanding has been that the mapping of
TPE2 is _all_ the option is supposed to do, but that's never been
verified. I don't honestly think anyone knows for sure at this point.
Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe that's
desirable, maybe not.
--
JJZolx

Jim
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slimkid
2008-04-10 20:27:59 UTC
Permalink
...Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe
that's desirable, maybe not.
No, it doesn't. And to everybody who is trying to justify that word
'list' doesn't mean sorted. Listing by band does so into already sorted
list (by artist), so it should be sorted equally.

Now I'm just starting to understand what's really going on behind the
scenes.

As stated earlier, give as clear set of rules and I'll adjust. No
problem - SC is my most important application and I'll adjust mu use of
tags to it. Just don't make me change it again and again and force me to
numerous recans just to try to figure out how it works using try and
miss method.

Talking about the partial rescan, it's not flexible enough to recognize
when the file has changed. It is based on the last update, and that's
not very useful, particulalry when one is doing constant updates to
tags. Probably should also consider, file size, archive attribute or
even checksum.

K
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JJZolx
2008-04-10 20:34:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by slimkid
No, it doesn't. And to everybody who is trying to justify that word
'list' doesn't mean sorted. Listing by band does so into already sorted
list (by artist), so it should be sorted equally.
What does 'list by band' mean (to you)? Include Bands in the artist
list? Display Band as the byline for an album?
--
JJZolx

Jim
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slimkid
2008-04-10 21:02:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
What does 'list by band' mean (to you)? Include Bands in the artist
list? Display Band as the byline for an album?
It means two things:
1 - in the 'by' part of album name replace artist with band
2 - place it that way in album listing among other albums alredy listed
by artist.

It doesn't mean place it randomly in otherwise sorted list.

Now, I'm beyond that. Simply replaced BAND with ALBUMARTIST tag in all
my flacs and now it sorts correctly (what I consider correctly).

But now, I have to figure out how ALBUMARTIST is going to work with
ARTIST in more complex scenarios (which is most of classical music) and
all that with COMPILATION.

I have already mention (in one of numerous threads) that there is a
real problem when combining ALBUMARTIST and ARTIST - ARTIST becomes
trackartist and somem strange things happen.

K
--
slimkid

The sound stage will open up, bass will tighten and the imaging will
improve. DVD performance will also increase substantially.

http://youtu.be/7iAj2aPdQnk
http://youtu.be/VvMNuuFSvN0
http://youtu.be/BDRhRv4q_SI
http://youtu.be/nlrpe8Ig5m8
http://youtu.be/dC9tGlwPln8
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vrobin
2008-04-10 20:37:24 UTC
Permalink
This suggestion may be naïve, but wouldn't it be possible to create some
sort of "tagging scheme" configuration, in the spirit of the format
transcoding configuration?

This "tagging scheme" would permit to create tag mapping on the fly.

It could be in a dumb way:
For every type of file (flac, mp3, m4a), or type of tag format (id3v1,
id3v2.x, vorbis comment) the user could map every given tag (standard
and evolved... and why not personnal tags) to a given known
SqueezeCenter tag.

Or in a more evolved way:
- Scanner record every tag found in every file of the user music
library, store them in the database (tag name/type not tag value)
- User is then prompted to map those dynamically found tags type to a
given known SqueezeCenter tag (a multiple "select box" with "found
tags", "squeezecenter tags" and "add" "remove" button could do the
trick.

In either case, it would be interesting to create default "tagging
scheme" for the basic user. "Pop/rock tagging scheme", "classical
tagging scheme", "itunes tagging scheme", "windows media player tagging
scheme", "picard tagging scheme". The user could then freely customize a
given pre-made tagging scheme.

I think it's important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as
"the good solution". So, giving the user the power to decide (or to use
multiple predefined settings) is the only way to get everybody happy.

Is this a dream?
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 23:02:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by vrobin
This suggestion may be naïve, but wouldn't it be possible to create some
sort of "tagging scheme" configuration, in the spirit of the format
transcoding configuration?
This "tagging scheme" would permit to create tag mapping on the fly.
For every type of file (flac, mp3, m4a), or type of tag format (id3v1,
id3v2.x, vorbis comment) the user could map every given tag (standard
and evolved... and why not personnal tags) to a given known
SqueezeCenter tag.
- Scanner record every tag found in every file of the user music
library, store them in the database (tag name/type not tag value)
- User is then prompted to map those dynamically found tags type to a
given known SqueezeCenter tag (a multiple "select box" with "found
tags", "squeezecenter tags" and "add" "remove" button could do the
trick.
In either case, it would be interesting to create default "tagging
scheme" for the basic user. "Pop/rock tagging scheme", "classical
tagging scheme", "itunes tagging scheme", "windows media player tagging
scheme", "picard tagging scheme". The user could then freely customize a
given pre-made tagging scheme.
I think it's important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as
"the good solution". So, giving the user the power to decide (or to use
multiple predefined settings) is the only way to get everybody happy.
Is this a dream?
excellent ideas!

can you program?

i could definitely see use in predefined templates but a custom
template would also be required.
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-10 20:59:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
As an option I don't understand the objection to using TPE2 as
ALBUMARTIST. If you don't want it used as such, then TPE2 should
remain mapped to BAND.
I objected to the "this affects all mp3 users" (which is clearly wrong,
it does not affect me at all, nor apparently does it affect JimC and
most likely a ton of others who do not use TPE2 for ALBUMARTIST) and
the insistence that following the specifications is somehow a
'workaround'.

If it is changed, it must be an option or lots of people will have
their tags break.

(And I also object to calling it 'Album Artist'.. it is not the name of
the tag, or the normalized tag, and it is confusing and misleading to
talk about it as such.)
Post by JJZolx
The current wording of the 'List albums by band' option, though, and
placing it under the heading 'Compilations' in the settings is
enormously confusing. My understanding has been that the mapping of
TPE2 is _all_ the option is supposed to do, but that's never been
verified. I don't honestly think anyone knows for sure at this point.
Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe that's
desirable, maybe not.
The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used
precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called
long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag
works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.
Post by JJZolx
From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and
it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it
returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.

Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the
only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.

This was most likely meant to be used for a case like this:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
Artist: JS Bach
TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet

To distinguish it from:

Album: Brandenburg Concertos
Artist: JS Bach
TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra

That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped
a ton of tags that are irrelevant to the illustration) would display:

Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)

which lets you distinguish between the two.

(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of
people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and
tastes.)

So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is
useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not
really the correct setting.
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 22:44:18 UTC
Permalink
jim, just to be clear i am using Snarly's convention of caps = SC7
internal tags.
Post by JJZolx
One thing about ALBUMARTIST is that it's an _album_ tag, whereas BAND is
TRACKNUMBER=1
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra
TRACKNUMBER=2
ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
BAND=Nelson Riddle Orchestra
ALBUMARTIST=Frank Sinatra
let me be clear...

i have TPE2 tags. i do NOT have Txxx user defined ALBUMARTIST tags.

so my mp3s have nothing by standard to indicate ALBUMARTIST.

and so SC7 has ALBUMARTIST as blank i'd imagine.

however, since i tag using programs like winamp, TPE2 is essentially
album artist as far as my mp3s are concerned (meaning outside of SC7
since thats the defacto standard)

in other words, i don't use TPE2 "properly" (by standard) and neither
do most people. but the reality is what it is, and most people are
ignorant of the standard b/c programs do in essence "lie" to them.

the point is a lot of us use it this way, and some of us don't so i
say simply give SC7 an OPTION that accomodates EITHER way.

that would keep it from being a problem for people who use the TPE2 tag
properly and don't want to use it to sort.
Post by JJZolx
Is this a compilation album? (I'd say No, but if you look at the BAND
field you might want to say Yes.) What is the album's BAND if we
wanted to sort albums by BAND?
various artists logic does not go by TPE2 as far as i know. meaning,
SC7 calls something VA if there is disagreement between TPE1 fields on
the same album. it might also use TPE2 if all the TPE2 fields
specifically say certain terms like "Soundtrack" or "Various Artists"
but i can't say that for sure.

point is, i am not looking for SC7 VA logic to start looking for
differentiation in the TPE2 field.
Post by JJZolx
If we were viewing tracks, say in a grid, like so many popular programs
use, then sorting by BAND makes sense. At the track level you can sort
by just about anything you like.
not sure what you mean here.
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 22:54:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
As an option I don't understand the objection to using TPE2 as
ALBUMARTIST. If you don't want it used as such, then TPE2 should
remain mapped to BAND.
exactly.

i would clarify that a bit, and say "as an option, i don't understand
the objection to using TPE2 as BOTH BAND and ALBUMARTIST."
Post by JJZolx
The current wording of the 'List albums by band' option, though, and
placing it under the heading 'Compilations' in the settings is
enormously confusing.
preach it! :)
Post by JJZolx
My understanding has been that the mapping of TPE2 is _all_ the option
is supposed to do, but that's never been verified. I don't honestly
think anyone knows for sure at this point.
as you can see from my posts, i've been trying to figure that out too,
BUT i also have written what it looks to me are the results of using it
one way or the other.

i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7 internal
tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currents only
affects how things are denoted when displayed.
Post by JJZolx
Does it also map BAND tags in Flac/Ogg/Ape to ALBUMARTIST? Maybe that's
desirable, maybe not.
i can't speak to that at all.
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 23:36:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by snarlydwarf
I objected to the "this affects all mp3 users" (which is clearly wrong,
it does not affect me at all,
it does affect you, as you both use user defined tags to get what you
want, (proper sorting) and that if it [the 'list albums by band'
option] was to sort by TPE2 tags, it would break your methodolgy.
Post by snarlydwarf
nor apparently does it affect JimC and most likely a ton of others who
do not use TPE2 for ALBUMARTIST) and the insistence that following the
specifications is somehow a 'workaround'.
following the spec isn't the workaround, using MB to make user defined
tags to get proper sorting is the workaround.
Post by snarlydwarf
If it is changed, it must be an option or lots of people will have their
tags break.
i completely agree.
Post by snarlydwarf
(And I also object to calling it 'Album Artist'.. it is not the name of
the tag, or the normalized tag, and it is confusing and misleading to
talk about it as such.)
i call it TPE2. some other programs call it Band or Album Artist.
yes, calling it Album Artist is wrong, but they do.

should TPE2 be used to to fill ALBUMARTIST? maybe. or maybe BAND
should be used as an option to sort by.
Post by snarlydwarf
The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used
precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called
long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag
works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.
i responded to Jim on this and i think i said the same thing
differently, essentially that VA logic is unrelated to TPE2 / BAND
tags, except possibly for certain words, (like soundtrack).

(thats assuming i am understanding you correctly)
Post by snarlydwarf
From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and
it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it
returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.
agreed.
Post by snarlydwarf
Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the
only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.
agreed, (afaik).
Post by snarlydwarf
Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet
Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped
Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)
which lets you distinguish between the two.
(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of
people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and
tastes.)
So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is
useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not
really the correct setting.
i just want to add one point to that... if those were tracks, and you
had group comps together AND list albums by band picked, then SC7 would
show BOTH TPE2 values; this gets unwieldy very quickly if your album has
a lot of differing TPE2 values, b/c they ALL are shown.
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kdf
2008-04-10 23:46:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7 internal
tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currents only
affects how things are denoted when displayed.
correct. The pref, 'useBandAsAlbumArtist' is only used in one place in
the code. When the $album->artists are requested, setting this option
means you get the BAND in the album listing "ThisAlbum by BAND (20xx)".
It has no other internal use aside from being in the list of contributors.

If you want BAND to have a different purpose, such as the ALBUMARTIST you
could add it to the %tagMapping in Formats::MP3.

I don't personally use BAND tags, but based on that pref's use in the
code, it works as advertised. However, it wouldn't take too much to
convince me that the wording in that pref is somewhat confusing.
Primarily, the mention of "album artist" would tend to increase the odds
of confusion.

Thing is, Album Artist is not the same thing as Band. Album Artist, as
mentioned before is a single performer name for an entire album, things
like "Original Cast of the Motion Picture", "People I've seen at the
Commodore" or "Various Artists". Band is a performer of a track, like
referring to Rush instead of Peart, Lee & Lifeson.

SC does not use BAND in any context of VA/compilation handling, except to
perhaps allow you to decide what is shown in the listing. See
Slim::Schema::Album::artists(). Only 4 places call this function:
AlbumQuery (for CLI), TitleFormatter (for formatted song string),
BrowsedbItemName (for playerUI browsing), and displayAsHTML (for web ui
album lists).

-kdf
MrSinatra
2008-04-11 03:58:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
Post by MrSinatra
i don't think it has ANYTHING to do with mapping. TPE2 is SC7
internal
Post by MrSinatra
tag BAND period. and no current option affects that. it currently
only
Post by MrSinatra
affects how things are denoted when displayed.
correct.
thx for helping with this.
Post by MrSinatra
The pref, 'useBandAsAlbumArtist' is only used in one place in
the code. When the $album->artists are requested, setting this option
means you get the BAND in the album listing "ThisAlbum by BAND (20xx)".
It has no other internal use aside from being in the list of
contributors.
so what you are saying is "list albums by band" is in the code as
'useBandAsAlbumArtist' but only for the one purpose of denoting the
Band field (instead of ALBUMARTIST) when displayed on a webpage.

right?

and other than that, BAND is just another "contributor" field one could
use for searching.

right?
Post by MrSinatra
If you want BAND to have a different purpose, such as the ALBUMARTIST you
could add it to the %tagMapping in Formats::MP3.
ok, good to know, but what i really want is for slim to provide the
option to conform to the market reality and defacto standard. besides,
i update slim a lot and don't want to edit that every time.
Post by MrSinatra
I don't personally use BAND tags, but based on that pref's use in the
code, it works as advertised.
i don't disagree it works as the code would have it work, i do question
though what purpose there is [for mp3 users without user defined tags]
in displaying the BAND field without also sorting by it.
Post by MrSinatra
However, it wouldn't take too much to
convince me that the wording in that pref is somewhat confusing.
Primarily, the mention of "album artist" would tend to increase the odds
of confusion.
indeed.

i think elimination of the word 'list,' using 'denote' instead, and
rewriting the explanation to what i put would be a very positive change
in the right direction. it may not be perfect, but its a lot better.
Post by MrSinatra
Thing is, Album Artist is not the same thing as Band. Album Artist, as
mentioned before is a single performer name for an entire album, things
like "Original Cast of the Motion Picture", "People I've seen at the
Commodore" or "Various Artists". Band is a performer of a track, like
referring to Rush instead of Peart, Lee & Lifeson.
agreed.
Post by MrSinatra
SC does not use BAND in any context of VA/compilation handling, except to
perhaps allow you to decide what is shown in the listing.
if you mean how it is denoted, you are correct.
Post by MrSinatra
See
AlbumQuery (for CLI), TitleFormatter (for formatted song string),
BrowsedbItemName (for playerUI browsing), and displayAsHTML (for web ui
album lists).
-kdf
thats beyond me, but i believe you.
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JJZolx
2008-04-11 04:37:26 UTC
Permalink
Sounds like the following is needed (my apolgies to Mr Sinatra if he
already stated this, but I gave up on trying to sift through all those
very long replies quite a while ago):

First, there's something we'd have to come to agreement on: There just
isn't a whole lot of use for _displaying_ BAND as the byline for an
album when you're not also sorting by that name. I can't see anyone
wanting/needing this behavior with Flac/Ogg/Ape files when they have
the ALBUMARTIST tag readily available.

So...

- We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be
equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the
'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3 Tags'
heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page. So the
option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for display
purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3 tag.


- When the option is set, map TPE2 directly to the ALBUMARTIST role.
When not set, leave it as BAND.


- Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested
(somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND,
VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.

I believe this is the approach suggested by Philip in 'bug 6490'
(http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490). It permits you to
maintain contributor roles of both BAND and ALBUMARTIST except when
needed for dealing with TPE2 tags.
--
JJZolx

Jim
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 04:57:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
Sounds like the following is needed (my apolgies to Mr Sinatra if he
already stated this, but I gave up on trying to sift through all those
i hope you at least read all my replies to YOU. i do apologize for
seemingly taking over the thread, but i think everyone deserves a
response (if there is a constructive purpose in my giving one) and i do
want this issue solved, in other words, i'm motivated to get this done
this time.
Post by JJZolx
First, there's something we'd have to come to agreement on: There just
isn't a whole lot of use for _displaying_ BAND as the byline for an
album when you're not also sorting by that name. I can't see anyone
wanting/needing this behavior with Flac/Ogg/Ape files when they have
the ALBUMARTIST tag readily available.
thats essentially my POV, altho maybe Snarly can show where it might be
useful?

but maybe not, since you'd already have other methods available to
you.

still i think this functionality is probably best left as is, and a
new, wholly separate second option is added to do the sort function.
Post by JJZolx
So...
- We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be
Post by JJZolx
equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the
'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3
Tags' heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page.
So the option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for
display purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3
tag.
- When the option is set, map TPE2 directly to the ALBUMARTIST
Post by JJZolx
role. When not set, leave it as BAND.
- Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested
Post by JJZolx
(somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND,
VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.
I believe this is the approach suggested by Philip in 'bug 6490'
(http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490). It permits you
to maintain contributor roles of both BAND and ALBUMARTIST except
when needed for dealing with TPE2 tags.
again, i would simply leave the function alone, meaning leave it as is,
and go for adding a second option:

either 1. sorting by SC7 BAND tag
or 2. at scan time, have SC7 map TPE2 tags to SC7s internal ALBUMARTIST
field.
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slimkid
2008-04-11 05:56:59 UTC
Permalink
Hi MrSinatra,

please, help me understand one thing about all this issue. You claim
that you can't use existing features regarding the BAND option. I
understand that ALBUMARTIST would work for you (I'm talking internal
tags). Now, from a limited number of mp3 files I have, it looks like it
is easy to include ALBUMARTIST tag into ID3V2.3 tags. So, what's
preventing you from doing it - convert your BAND tags to ALBUMARTIST (I
used mp3tag tool for that) and be done with it. What am I missing here?

K
--
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The sound stage will open up, bass will tighten and the imaging will
improve. DVD performance will also increase substantially.

http://youtu.be/7iAj2aPdQnk
http://youtu.be/VvMNuuFSvN0
http://youtu.be/BDRhRv4q_SI
http://youtu.be/nlrpe8Ig5m8
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 06:20:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by slimkid
Hi MrSinatra,
please, help me understand one thing about all this issue. You claim
that you can't use existing features regarding the BAND option. I
understand that ALBUMARTIST would work for you (I'm talking internal
tags). Now, from a limited number of mp3 files I have, it looks like it
is easy to include ALBUMARTIST tag into ID3V2.3 tags. So, what's
preventing you from doing it - convert your BAND tags to ALBUMARTIST (I
used mp3tag tool for that) and be done with it. What am I missing here?
K
i know its a lot of posts, but i already explained this.

i already have TPE2 tags. they already are the way i need them to be
if SC7 would only use them for sorting, and not just labeling.

i do not see why i must get yet another program and retag all my stuff
AND all new future stuff. its a pointless and unnecessary extra step.

if this were simply a case of "island sinatra" then i would do it, but
its not. a lot, if not the majority of the mp3 marketplace is in the
same boat i am in.

that being the case, SC7 should recognize and respect a "defacto
standard" that affects a lot of people, dare i say, the majority. its
no different than having SC7 respect the much smaller minority of mp3
users who use the Txxx user defined mp3 fields, but are still a defacto
standard, just of a different type (which are just as non-standard as
using TPE2 as the 'Album Artist' field).

people do download and try this SC7 stuff out, and if it doesn't work
as they believe (and i agree) they think it reasonably should, then
they'll ditch slim, with nary a complaint to anyone. that should be
avoided at all costs. i want slim to succeed. more purchasers make
this stuff cheaper.
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-11 06:33:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
i do not see why i must get yet another program and retag all my stuff
AND all new future stuff. its a pointless and unnecessary extra step.
You would probably want to anyway: to change TCMP (unless you went to
iTunes to change just that one tag), to add various sort options (ie,
ARTISTSORT: does WinAmp support that? As what tag?), and because its a
heck of a lot easier using mp3tag to change every track in an album (or
even a set of albums) than WinAmp.

Especially when as far as I can see, WinAmp does not provide for
setting artistsort or albumsort type tags at all.
--
snarlydwarf
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 06:38:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by snarlydwarf
You would probably want to anyway: to change TCMP (unless you went to
iTunes to change just that one tag), to add various sort options (ie,
ARTISTSORT: does WinAmp support that? As what tag?), and because its a
heck of a lot easier using mp3tag to change every track in an album (or
even a set of albums) than WinAmp.
Especially when as far as I can see, WinAmp does not provide for
setting artistsort or albumsort type tags at all.
this is what i am trying to say, i DON'T want to.

i do not use or need those tags! i don't need or use artistsort,
albumsort, or TCMP.

all i need is for SC7 to give me an option, one way or another, to sort
my albums via my existing TPE2 tags.
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JimC
2008-04-11 06:55:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
i know its a lot of posts, but i already explained this.
i already have TPE2 tags. they already are the way i need them to be
if SC7 would only use them for sorting, and not just labeling.
i do not see why i must get yet another program and retag all my stuff
AND all new future stuff. its a pointless and unnecessary extra step.
if this were simply a case of "island sinatra" then i would do it, but
its not. a lot, if not the majority of the mp3 marketplace is in the
same boat i am in.
that being the case, SC7 should recognize and respect a "defacto
standard" that affects a lot of people, dare i say, the majority. its
no different than having SC7 respect the much smaller minority of mp3
users who use the Txxx user defined mp3 fields, but are still a defacto
standard, just of a different type (which are just as non-standard as
using TPE2 as the 'Album Artist' field).
people do download and try this SC7 stuff out, and if it doesn't work
as they believe (and i agree) they think it reasonably should, then
they'll ditch slim, with nary a complaint to anyone. that should be
avoided at all costs. i want slim to succeed. more purchasers make
this stuff cheaper.
First, respecting the Txxx user defined tag IS NOT the same as mapping
an existing tag to a different use. That tag is mapped directly to its
intended use; it is not redefined to mean something else internally.
The TPE2 tag is also used exactly as it was intended--to display the
band information when appropriate (see Snarly's example for how that
works).

Have you suggested to the good folks at Apple that *their*
implementation of ID3 tags is not correct? How about ID3.org--have you
tried discussing with them the fact they didn't do a very good job of
defining useful tags for anything other than a standard,
non-compilation album? Seriously. Do you think they even care that
they've made this mess?

The mantra that SqueezeCenter should conform to some other
application's broken (i.e., not conforming to standards) implementation
is getting a bit strident. We may decide to do that, but I don't find
the argument that "itunes does it so you should too" to be very
compelling. Nor do I think this problem is a significant inhibitor to
our success at this point.

But rest assured I get the message that you want what you perceive as
the "majority" of MP3 files supported the way you think is correct.
You may stop flogging that horse now; it's long past deceased.

We're looking at what would make sense, given our current user base,
our target audience, our product requirements, and our resources. Once
I have all the information we need, we'll put together a proposal and
gather feedback on it. I'll make sure we get you involved in that
process as I'd like to see if we can reasonably accommodate your
request without creating an overly-complex user experience or breaking
things for other users.


-=> Jim
--
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"well, she wasn't all of that, but she sure was some of that." --
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 08:10:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimC
First, respecting the Txxx user defined tag IS NOT the same as mapping
an existing tag to a different use. That tag is mapped directly to its
intended use; it is not redefined to mean something else internally.
The TPE2 tag is also used exactly as it was intended--to display the
band information when appropriate (see Snarly's example for how that
works).
i understand that, i agree.

the point i was making is that Txxx tags are a defacto standard, but
not a true standard. yet, SC7 still respects it.

likewise, other software uses TPE2 as album artist. this is indeed not
a true standard. but it is a defacto standard. i think SC7 should
respect it.

PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND: mp3 users have no way, NONE, to get their CDs
to sort properly in SC7 using only standard tags! i think thats a huge
part of this, one that can't simply be ignored.

that means unless a user uses a Txxx type tag, it will be impossible
for them to get an album sorted properly that may or may not be a VA
album.

if it offends your sensibilities to have an option to map TPE2 to both
BAND and ALBUMARTIST, then allow a user an option to sort by BAND tag,
(which is already populated by the TPE2 field).
Post by JimC
Have you suggested to the good folks at Apple that *their*
implementation of ID3 tags is not correct? How about ID3.org--have you
tried discussing with them the fact they didn't do a very good job of
defining useful tags for anything other than a standard,
non-compilation album? Seriously. Do you think they even care that
they've made this mess?
why are you trying to fight the tide? i'm not some lone nut. there
are lots of people in this boat thru no fault of their own, people who
you have sold to or want to sell to. is your reaction to them
(assuming they even bother to complain if they don't like the results
after DL), going to be "blame apple and blame id3? go get another
program, learn it and retag your stuff with non-standard tags?"

i know this isn't slims fault, i never said or meant to imply it is.
all i am suggesting is it is to slims benefit to allow mp3 users to
sort by TPE2 if they want, (and as many programs have made them expect
will be the case). (i don't mean to say exactly how slim should
accomplish this, just that it should be a goal)

i mean, whats more important, SC7 and slim martyring themselves for a
point that is true but nonetheless unchangeable, OR making the product
flexible to account for an erroneous but widespread defacto standard?
Post by JimC
The mantra that SqueezeCenter should conform to some other application's
broken (i.e., not conforming to standards) implementation is getting a
bit strident. We may decide to do that, but I don't find the argument
that "itunes does it so you should too" to be very compelling. Nor do
I think this problem is a significant inhibitor to our success at this
point.
well, you conform to using Txxx tags that have a defacto standard. and
thats a smaller overall population.

did slim always conform to using Txxx tags? i'm asking that seriously,
b/c i don't know.

i agree its broken usage. but it is what it is. like i said, slim
offers mp3 users NO WAY to sort their albums using only standard id3
tags. should that not be a goal, especially since a defacto standard
using TPE2 exists in many apps?

and no doubt slim is successful. but there is always room to improve.
Post by JimC
But rest assured I get the message that you want what you perceive as
the "majority" of MP3 files supported the way you think is correct.
You may stop flogging that horse now; it's long past deceased.
i do NOT think its "correct." i agree its wrong. but it IS the
reality. it is the defacto standard.

how am i supposed to sort using only standard tags? that option is
what i want. if i can denote by it, i should be able to sort by it.

i'm not trying to exasperate you, just make my case. i'm sorry if how
i do it bothers you.
Post by JimC
We're looking at what would make sense, given our current user base, our
target audience, our product requirements, and our resources. Once I
have all the information we need, we'll put together a proposal and
gather feedback on it. I'll make sure we get you involved in that
process as I'd like to see if we can reasonably accommodate your
request without creating an overly-complex user experience or breaking
things for other users.
-=> Jim
i absolutely don't want to change current functionality, or make other
people have to switch up their existing info to fix this. i merely
want to ADD to the functionality, via a single option.

i guess ultimately i am confused why you would have a user like me have
the option to DENOTE my TPE2 / BAND info, but not sort by it... what
good is it for me to have things sort out of place? why is the first
possible, but not the second?

TPE2 is already in SC7 as BAND. is it an app killer to add an option
to then sort by BAND?

i hope you understand i only mean to argue for my point, not antagonize
you or anything else negative.

once again, please see my proposal i did per your suggestion:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=290178#post290178
--
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JimC
2008-04-11 06:35:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
Sounds like the following is needed (my apolgies to Mr Sinatra if he
already stated this, but I gave up on trying to sift through all those
First, there's something we'd have to come to agreement on: There just
isn't a whole lot of use for _displaying_ BAND as the byline for an
album when you're not also sorting by that name. I can't see anyone
wanting/needing this behavior with Flac/Ogg/Ape files when they have
the ALBUMARTIST tag readily available.
So...
- We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be
Post by JJZolx
equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the
'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3
Tags' heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page.
So the option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for
display purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3
tag.
- When the option is set, map TPE2 directly to the ALBUMARTIST
Post by JJZolx
role. When not set, leave it as BAND.
- Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested
Post by JJZolx
(somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND,
VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.
I believe this is the approach suggested by Philip in 'bug 6490'
(http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490). It permits you
to maintain contributor roles of both BAND and ALBUMARTIST except
when needed for dealing with TPE2 tags.
So here's the issue, as I see it (personally speaking--I'm still
waiting for enough info to make a professional call on it):

Band was never supposed to be used for AlbumArtist, but it's been
co-opted to this task by several applications. Given that, some people
would like SqueezeCenter to optionally normalize Band (TPE2) to our
internal ALBUMARTIST tag. That seems innocent enough a request, but
Post by JJZolx
The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used
precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called
long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag
works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.
From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and
it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it
returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.
Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the
only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.
Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet
Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped
Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)
which lets you distinguish between the two.
(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of
people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and
tastes.)
So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is
useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not
really the correct setting.
Which also seems reasonable enough (as well as a pretty apt description
of what actually happens).

I'm of the mindset--again, personally speaking--that the esoterica of
these kinds of tags are so user- and application-specific that we
really should not change much, in terms of the current behavior, but
should better document how tags are used to people can mash their tags
about in a fashion that works for them.

As I stated at the very beginning of this thread, SC's handling of tags
is either perfect, acceptable, or broken depending on your individual
use of tags, music collection, and expectations of the result. Any
change will likely just change the members in each of these sets,
rather than eliminate the "broken" set. Given that, I'm working
internally to gather as much information as possible to be able to
suggest the lowest impact changes to how things are handled.
Otherwise, we're right back here with a different set of users
complaining about the way it works.

However, I encourage the community to continue to debate this topic as
it is very informative, both to the team here and to other users.

Mr. Sinatra, I truly don't mean to be offensive, but just because an
application with a big market share (like iTunes) handles tags a
certain way doesn't make it the way all applications should handle
tags. We support more music tag and file formats than iTunes and can't
simply change things because a small, but vocal, group of forum posters
thinks we should. As someone suggested in an earlier message, you
might want to use an external tagging application to duplicate your
TPE2 tags to the Txxx AlbumArtist tag we already support.


-=> Jim
--
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"well, she wasn't all of that, but she sure was some of that." --
BKlaas' college buddy
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 07:05:49 UTC
Permalink
So here's the issue, as I see it (personally speaking--I'm still waiting
Band was never supposed to be used for AlbumArtist, but it's been
co-opted to this task by several applications. Given that, some people
would like SqueezeCenter to optionally normalize Band (TPE2) to our
internal ALBUMARTIST tag. That seems innocent enough a request, but
or, sort by SC7s BAND, or whatever method SC7 will allow so that
someone can use their TPE2 field in their files for SC7 to sort by.
Post by snarlydwarf
The code that uses that flag is Schema::Album::artist. It is used
precisely once, and makes no reference to TPE2, since that is called
long after tags are normalized. So, yes, any change to how that flag
works now would affect all formats that had a BAND tag.
From the comments, if there is no ALBUMARTIST assigned to an album, and
it is trying to figure out who to attribute it to for listing, it
returns the BAND. It is never sorted, it is only displayed.
Note this is only for listing. Unless I missed something, this is the
only place this is used, and only affects the HTML generation.
Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Duluth Harmonica Quintet
Album: Brandenburg Concertos
. Artist: JS Bach
. TPE2: Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
That set of tags (indent means 'these are tracks',... and yes I skipped
Brandenburg Concertos (Duluth Harmonica Quintet)
Brandenburg Concertos (Cleveland Symphony Orchestra)
which lets you distinguish between the two.
(And, yeah, yeah, Bach should not be TPE1/Artist, but for a lot of
people that tagging scheme makes more sense in their collection and
tastes.)
So there you have what the flag does... it is simply for display and is
useful to seperate similarly named works when 'albumartist' is not
really the correct setting.> >
Which also seems reasonable enough (as well as a pretty apt
description of what actually happens).
sure. i am not advocating changing the existing functionality of the
option as it currently exists.

i am talking about ADDING a second option to do sorting.

please see this thread in developers forum, which i wrote as per your
suggestion:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=290178#post290178

and allow me to repeat this from an earlier post in response to what
i just want to add one point to that... if those were tracks, and you
had group comps together AND list albums by band picked, then SC7 would
show BOTH TPE2 values; this gets unwieldy very quickly if your album has
a lot of differing TPE2 values, b/c they ALL are shown.
I'm of the mindset--again, personally speaking--that the esoterica of
these kinds of tags are so user- and application-specific that we
really should not change much, in terms of the current behavior, but
should better document how tags are used to people can mash their tags
about in a fashion that works for them.
i am not advocating changing current behavior, but rather adding an
option.

TPE2 already fills the SC7 BAND field, why can't that be an option for
sorting?

and i absolutely agree about better documentation.
As I stated at the very beginning of this thread, SC's handling of tags
is either perfect, acceptable, or broken depending on your individual
use of tags, music collection, and expectations of the result. Any
change will likely just change the members in each of these sets,
rather than eliminate the "broken" set. Given that, I'm working
internally to gather as much information as possible to be able to
suggest the lowest impact changes to how things are handled.
Otherwise, we're right back here with a different set of users
complaining about the way it works.
i personally do not believe that to be true. meaning i understand
sloppy coding of SC7 could lead to that potentially, but it is not a
NECESSARILY unavoidable outcome.

i think adding an option to a program that has many options is not an
impossible task.

i do not claim to know how to do it, or which way is best. but in the
developers forum i do suggest two possible way to achieve the goal.

i do not think you should lean to being against it without showing or
explaining how adding a new, wholly separate sorting option would break
everything. and i don't see why such an option would be impossible.
However, I encourage the community to continue to debate this topic as
it is very informative, both to the team here and to other users.
Mr. Sinatra, I truly don't mean to be offensive,
i promise you, i do not take offense to your comments, but i just want
to be sure you actually understand what i am proposing before you shoot
it down b/c i am not sure you do yet, which is not a knock in any way,
i'm just saying i'm not sure.
but just because an application with a big market share (like iTunes)
handles tags a certain way doesn't make it the way all applications
should handle tags.
and i never claimed it should.

i have been arguing here for an OPTION, not a mandate.

it just so happens that itunes, winamp, WMP, and many others have
co-opted the TPE2 band tag to serve the album artist role (in those
same apps). thats just the reality and it is a huge majority.
We support more music tag and file formats than iTunes and can't simply
change things because a small, but vocal, group of forum posters thinks
we should. As someone suggested in an earlier message, you might want
to use an external tagging application to duplicate your TPE2 tags to
the Txxx AlbumArtist tag we already support.
-=> Jim
i am asking for a new OPTION, and i am not asking to change or degrade
or revoke ONE SCINTILLA of current functionality.

i am asking to add ONE more piece of functionality.

considering the facts at play here, i don't see it as minority request.
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JimC
2008-04-11 07:24:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
i promise you, i do not take offense to your comments, but i just want
to be sure you actually understand what i am proposing before you shoot
it down b/c i am not sure you do yet, which is not a knock in any way,
i'm just saying i'm not sure.
and i never claimed it should.
i have been arguing here for an OPTION, not a mandate.
it just so happens that itunes, winamp, WMP, and many others have
co-opted the TPE2 band tag to serve the album artist role (in those
same apps). thats just the reality and it is a huge majority.
i am asking for a new OPTION, and i am not asking to change or degrade
or revoke ONE SCINTILLA of current functionality.
i am asking to add ONE more piece of functionality.
considering the facts at play here, i don't see it as minority request.
Here's the real problem: you think of this a simply an option, because
on the surface that's the simple way to see it. However, the
reality--as everyone has tried to point out--is that this isn't a
simple solution and handling it in the way you suggest may have all
kinds of unintended consequences. Tag handling is borked, mostly
because of these types of "simple" workarounds that have created a mess
of the intended use of the tags.

As I said in a separate message: we're gathering all the information we
need to understand this issue and address it. Once we're confident we
have some idea of what's going on, we'll put together a proposal and
let the community comment on it. Once that's done, we'll be able to
close on when/how it will be implemented.

No one is dismissing your request. We're not guaranteeing it will be
implemented exactly as you wish, but at least it's being considered.
Can we let it go at that--at least for now?


-=> Jim
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 08:21:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimC
Here's the real problem: you think of this a simply an option, because
on the surface that's the simple way to see it. However, the
reality--as everyone has tried to point out--is that this isn't a
simple solution and handling it in the way you suggest may have all
kinds of unintended consequences. Tag handling is borked, mostly
because of these types of "simple" workarounds that have created a mess
of the intended use of the tags.
i totally get that. please understand that its the GOAL i am arguing
for, i leave the implementation to brilliant coders like you and dean
and the rest of slim and the community. i just want to communicate how
this lowly 'user' sees it.
Post by JimC
As I said in a separate message: we're gathering all the information we
need to understand this issue and address it. Once we're confident we
have some idea of what's going on, we'll put together a proposal and
let the community comment on it. Once that's done, we'll be able to
close on when/how it will be implemented.
No one is dismissing your request. We're not guaranteeing it will be
implemented exactly as you wish, but at least it's being considered.
Can we let it go at that--at least for now?
-=> Jim
you're a scholar and a gentleman. thx.
--
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-11 08:15:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
- We clarify the option to mean: Use id3v2 tags' TPE2 (Band) to be
equivalent to AlbumArtist in Mp3 files. Move it out from under the
'Compilation' heading. I would suggest creating maybe an 'Mp3 Tags'
heading, or possibly a 'Scanning Options' heading or page. So the
option would no longer refer to using the BAND role for display
purposes. It would designate how to treat a certain Mp3 tag.
Shouldn't refer specifically to id3 tags.

There are two very separate parts of the system that we should be talking about:
1. The Scanner, for reading tags into the internal SqueezeCenter representation of a music library.
2. SqueezeCenter that reads the internal representation for display purposes.

I agree with someone else's suggestion that there should be a screen that allows specific file format tags to be mapped to a consistent internal representation. A "Scanner" settings page for configuring what tags the scanner should look for, and how they are mapped to things that SqueezeCenter understands. Only in this screen should it refer to TPE2, etc.

All other screens about the SqueezeCenter music library should use sensible names like Album Artist, Band, etc. From reading other threads, it looks like "List albums by Band/by other artists" option is working as intended, but has nothing to do with scanning or Various Artists/Compilation settings. It is a display formatting setting, so perhaps should be moved to Interface settings, or Advanced/Formatting settings page.

The intenal SqueezeCenter processing of Album Artist and Band should remain as-is. If someone wants TPE2 (BAND) to really mean Album Artist, that would be configured as part of the Scanner settings. They then wouldn't have any Band contributor roles, because the scanner would have put that data into Album Artist instead.
Post by JJZolx
- Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested
(somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND,
VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.
Disagree. If id3 TPE2 tag is mapped to SqueezeCenter "Album Artist" contributor role, there would be no need for this. You wouldn't have any Band contributor roles, because the scanner would have put that data into Album Artist instead.
MrSinatra
2008-04-11 09:19:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by JJZolx
- Permit sorting of albums by BAND in the manner suggested
(somewhere) previously. By using a hierarchy of ALBUMARTIST, BAND,
VA, ARTIST(s) when determining the album's primary contributor.
Disagree. If id3 TPE2 tag is mapped to SqueezeCenter "Album Artist"
contributor role, there would be no need for this. You wouldn't have
any Band contributor roles, because the scanner would have put that
data into Album Artist instead.
i'm not sure who wrote what ur responding to, but consider this...

what you're saying is true IF TPE2 is mapped to the internal SC7
ALBUMARTIST field. (and btw, the TPE2 field could be mapped to BOTH
BAND and ALBUMARTIST)

however, i think what the person was saying is that a sort order logic
could go progressively in that order if TPE2 filled the BAND field,
which it does, and if ALBUMARTIST was empty.

i know you said its never empty, and i'm sure you are right. so in
that case, if the option is turned on, BAND could be at the front of
the order instead.
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 23:38:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
and so SC7 has ALBUMARTIST as blank i'd imagine.
No, you misunderstand/haven't been reading.

Every album has exactly 1 album artist (main contributor). It is set when you scan the library. If you haven't defined a Txxx ALBUMARTIST tag, then the artist associated with an album record will be:
If the same artist contributor(s) appears on all songs of the artist, that artist(s) name will also be the album artist.
If there are different artists on songs on an album, the album artist will be the record meaning "Various Artists".

Eg. I have an album "No Pussyfooting" by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. That's two contributors to every track on the album. I also set the Txxx ALBUMARTIST to "Fripp & Eno". I see the album listed under "Fripp & Eno" as an artist. I also see it listed under Robert Fripp and also under Brian Eno, because I have other albums by those artists as solo performers.

In addition, the "list albums by band" *might* be intending to use BAND as album artist, such that at scan time, the album artist is set to the artist in the BAND tag, otherwise the artist of the songs, or Various Artists. I say might, because I don't know for sure how that option was intended to work. But the point is that after a scan, every album will have an album artist.

If you were to examine the content of the database, the following query would confirm it for you:

SELECT distinct(namesort)
FROM albums a
JOIN contributors c on a.contributor = c.id
ORDER BY namesort

would return all main contributors (album artists) sorted by album artist name sort order. Every album has a contributor.

I believe I would have no quarrels if "list album by band" caused the scanner to read a band tag and store it as the album artist, like rule 1 above. It should remain an option, as I consider the current implementation without "list album by band" to be correct. BAND is not ALBUMARTIST in my mind.

By the way, there is a description of the database tables available at http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?SlimServerDatabaseStructure

Phil
MrSinatra
2008-04-11 01:06:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
i'm sorry, but you'll have to bear with me... please define
contributors. TPE2 only? or what? do user defined tags get to be
contributors too?
I am trying to stay format agnostic, and also not mention how I want
things to work. I was just stating the facts.
Contributors are any type of artist role associated with a song. A
lead performer, band, composer, conductor, etc.
As far as I can recall, SqueezeCenter scanner only understands one
user-defined TXXX tag - ALBUMARTIST.
understood, (thx).

and that means SC7 has no reasonable method to sort all albums for
users who do not have user defined tags in their files.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
here is where you really start to confuse me. can you please use
snarlys convention of writing BAND or ALBUMARTIST in caps and without
the space when you mean SC7 internal tags? (not saying you didn't,
just making sure)
No.
interesting. Snarly seemed quite certain his convention was universal
in the forums here. maybe you guys should duke it out. ;)

please understand tho, that it seems to me in these recent posts, you
are the only one not using Snarly's convention, so it will be confusing
understanding your posts. i will continue to use it.
Post by Phil Meyer
BAND, etc, look like ID3 frame names, like TPE2. It's less confusing to
use lower case to represent how SqueezeCenter stores information in its
internal database.
Post by MrSinatra
now, above, when you say album artist tag in the songs, i'm sure you
realize id3 has no standard for that.
so you are talking about when someone with mp3s has used a workaround
to put such tags in there,
Post by MrSinatra
yes?
Yes - Txxx ALBUMARTIST is a user-defined tag, because there isn't a
defined standard. However, it is an adopted format that several apps
follow. I believe FooBar understands it, and a few other apps.
In the same sense, the BAND tag is NOT supposed to be used as album
artist. According to the standard it is meant to represent the band
that plays on a song, i.e. a contributor; a type of performer that
makes up the set of people/names that perform the song. Eg.
ARTIST=Buddy Holly, BAND=The Crickets. The fact that there is no
standard support for album artist meant that some apps miss-use BAND
for storing album artist. That is fact.
Other formats do apparently define a proper album artist tag as part of
their standard.
agreed on all fronts. but it should not be forgotten that a mp3 user
defined Txxx field is ALSO NOT by a standard, and is a lot less
common.

(at best, all you can say is that those programs, like FooBar, have a
"defacto" standard)
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
that means anyone not using a workaround is screwed right off the
bat.
Not sure what you mean by screwed. If you don't set album artist, you
get some albums appearing as compilations, because of a guest
performance on one track. Most people probably don't bother setting a
list of several artists on a song (not sure if that's standard anyway),
and won't be affected. eg. SqueezeCenter allows a separator for
defining multiple track artists (eg. ";").
what i mean is this:

if someone has mp3s and does not have user defined tags, they are
screwed right off the bat, b/c they have no way to get SC7 to work
right. this is inspite of the reasonable expectation they would have
b/c programs like WMP, winamp, and itunes use TPE2 in that way.

and i would argue that todays programs, like EAC (and the ones i
mentioned above) do by default in fact put several artists on one
track, (its automated). the problem then comes in when SC7 campares
tracks of the same album and finds those differences.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
right, and this happens in spite of the fact that many mp3 users have
set TPE2 to avoid this very issue.
Thus not following the standard.
right, and Txxx is not "standard" either.

the point isn't some esoteric religious type either/or mac/windows
argument; the point is this is the REALITY of many users setups, and i
would argue the majority of mp3 users (not on the forums, but in the
marketplace), have things this way, b/c most people by marketshare use
the programs i mentioned, and nothing else.

does SC7 not want to accommodate such users? leave them hanging?

why? why can't an option be employed?
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
but SC7 doesn't give an option to employ TPE2 the way most apps use
it.
I think there is an intention to allow SC to not follow the standard
like other apps that abuse the tag, but it appears to be broken.
where do you see such an intention? what specifically are you saying
is broken?

meaning, what makes you say that?
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
ok... but if an album has already been tagged VA when it isn't, this
doesn't matter.
Don't know what you mean. If it has been tagged as VA then it is VA.
If it is tagged VA and it isn't then the tag is wrong???
let me restate that, i wrote that poorly:

'if SC7 has already decided that an album is VA when in reality it
isn't, this doesn't matter.'

sorry for the confusion.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
i don't have these user defined tags like artistsort or albumartist
in
Post by MrSinatra
my MP3s, so as far as i know, those same named SC7 internal tags are
empty.
No. If you don't have any ARTISTSORT tags, all artists will have their
internal artist sort set the same as the artist name (except leading
articles are removed). "Paul Simon" would be sorted as "Paul Simon",
and "The Beatles" will be sorted as "Beatles". If ARTIST="Paul Simon"
and ARTISTSORT="Simon, Paul", it would be sorted under S.
ok... i understand ARTISTSORT will use my TPE1 tags as is.

but SC7 ALBUMARTIST will be empty, yes? and if it were not empty, and
if it used TPE2 data, then SC7 would have TPE2 data to use for
ARTISTSORT, (b/c it uses ALBUMARTIST data for that).
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
just to be clear, i have all those unchecked BUT when i did check
"Band/Orchestra" it made no difference, it only slowed down my scan.
So you want BAND to be ALBUMARTIST but you normally don't even bother
to have BAND ticked in the settings?
right, why should i? the scanner still scans TPE2 regardless. it
still makes it BAND internally, (but not ALBUMARTIST internally).
Post by Phil Meyer
If you have used BAND, you would then see the Band listed as a
contributor on a song if you navigate down to song information.
The contributor in BAND would be searchable.
ok, but none of that helps my sorting issue.
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 01:42:08 UTC
Permalink
the word "list" be removed. display is not a good word either, as that
also could imply sort.
1. Denote all artists on an album
and
2. Denote albums as by band
this methodology is flexible, meaning a second option can then be
created for sorting as a separate function.
"Albums that contain songs that are tagged with a band may be listed
under that band name or with the other artists for that album. The band
tag is also known as TPE2 and may appear as the "album artist" in some
software."
"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what
artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 tags, the second
choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist"
in some other software)."
The first choice is ALBUMARTIST.
If this does not exist and the flag is set, use BAND
Else if not COMPILATION, return list of artists.
etc.
i don't understand your point, you don't have much context to explain
what you are saying. and those are INTERNAL SC7 tags and users would
not understand the implication of that. can you please explain just
what you mean?
That is what the code does. That is the context.
If you wish to change the help documentation, it should match what the
code does.
i assume you mean the infobox, right?
. getting-artist-for-album-display
. if ALBUMARTIST return ALBUMARTIST
. if bandtag and BAND return BAND
. if !COMPILATION and !VA return list of ARTISTS (on all tracks)
etc.
so thats what the code looks like and thats what it does in actuality
is what you are saying, right?

keep in mind, i do not know how to write code, so the ! means nothing
to me.

and do you mean to say that the above is how it works when 'group comps
together' and 'list albums by band' are both chosen?
You said that TPE1 (track artist) was checked first. It is not.
ALBUMARTIST is.
Then BAND.
Then a variety of things dealing with VA stuff.
But the code checks ALBUMARTIST first. Then BAND.
when scanning you mean? or what?

i did not btw say it was CHECKED first, i said the first CHOICE refers
to the TPE1 tag. the second CHOICE refers to the TPE2 tag. please see
above as i requoted it in this post.

i think perhaps on rereading what i wrote, you won't object to my
suggested changes on this option.
It is not TPE2. This is only executed long after the file has been
scanned. It affects all formats, not just MP3: ie, FLAC has no
commonly used tag called 'TPE2' but this will affect FLACs that have a
field named 'BAND'.
i understand all that. but i don't see what i wrote as being confusing
on that point.

we agree that the option as is is for denoting the internal BAND tag.
my infobox explanation will get that point across to users without
steeping them in a technical discussion.
Again, this section of code does not have access to the names of the
tags (TPE1 or TPE2, etc), so it must be discussed in terms of the
internal names of the tags. Saying it would return TPE2 is blatantly
wrong: it would return no such thing on WMA, FLAC, APE, OGG, WAv, AIFF,
etc. It returns the BAND field, regardless of what the original tag
name was.
the infobox as is already does not get into such issues as "internal
SC7 tags." i'm pretty sure slim doesn't want it to.

the scanner does in fact populate BAND with TPE2 tags, so my
explanation is reasonable for a non-technical explanation. (again, the
current explanation ALREADY mentions TPE2)

and since it wouldn't change how it currently works, it wouldn't
confuse people like you who already have it the way they want. it
would be a transparent change.
Saying that it uses TPE1, therefore is wrong on two counts: the code is
cross-format and FLAC does not have a TPE1 yet is still subject to the
behavior of this code.
the infobox already mentions TPE2, i see no problem with mentioning
TPE1 as well, but if you like we could be more precise (in bold):

"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what
artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 *(or Artist)* tags,
the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or
"Album Artist" in some other software)."
It is also wrong because TPE1/ARTIST is not checked first.
indeed, good thing i didn't say that.
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 02:04:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort,
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
album it THINKS is VA)
Then one of the problems with TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping may be that
it's only being applied to compilations.
currently, TPE2 is NEVER mapped to ALBUMARTIST.

i however think one solution would be to allow for an option to do just
that.
Post by MrSinatra
That would be consistent with problems I've seen with how track artists
(the 'Group compilation albums together' option) are treated in artist
lists. This option really means "Suppress artists who don't have full
albums" and needs to apply to compilations and non-compilations
equally.
i have no idea what you are saying here. can you please explain what
you mean by also saying what options are specifically picked?
--
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-11 08:32:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
and that means SC7 has no reasonable method to sort all albums for
users who do not have user defined tags in their files.
I think you meant "sort all artists". SC does - it sorts by artist if there is not album artist.

If you want an option to sort by Band, then there should also be options to sort by Conductor, Composer, etc, as Band shouldn't be singled out as being different from any other contributor role.

I think when you talk about not sorting properly, you don't really mean "sort" at all. SqueezeCenter will always sort by the sort title of the artists (when there isn't an ARTISTSORT tag, the artist name is used as the sort title), but you don't tag songs with ARTISTSORT. You mean that you want a browse by band menu (as you have put an artist name in the TPE2 tag of all of your mp3 files)?

Nb. CustomBrowse can do a browse by band menu.

Phil
MrSinatra
2008-04-11 09:33:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
and that means SC7 has no reasonable method to sort all albums for
users who do not have user defined tags in their files.
I think you meant "sort all artists". SC does - it sorts by artist if
there is not album artist.
no, i specifically said what i said on purpose.

and what i said is true.

SC7 has no way to sort ALL albums reasonably using only standard mp3
tags.

that is fact.

the main issue, (and maybe the only issue?) is with albums that have
differing TPE1 fields. other programs hijack TPE2 to fix this. SC7
however, does not respect that. and i am just repeating myself beyond
that.

as i alluded to earlier, it make take some extra logic-programming to
have SC7 decode mp3 tags to get it to figure out what should be the VA
section or not, but thats the kind of thing that can be worked on as we
go i think.
Post by Phil Meyer
If you want an option to sort by Band, then there should also be options
to sort by Conductor, Composer, etc, as Band shouldn't be singled out as
being different from any other contributor role.
well i don't think so, for two reasons:

1. i don't think anyone has asked for that
and
2. probably b/c that is not a defacto standard in the mp3 population,
meaning most programs don't give you that option, as they do via TPE2.
Post by Phil Meyer
I think when you talk about not sorting properly, you don't really mean
"sort" at all. SqueezeCenter will always sort by the sort title of the
artists (when there isn't an ARTISTSORT tag, the artist name is used as
the sort title), but you don't tag songs with ARTISTSORT.
i do not use ARTISTSORT tags at all.

and SC7 does not sort by artists if an album has differing TPE1 tracks
on it. in that case, it uses its own internal logic to classify it as
VA.
Post by Phil Meyer
You mean that you want a browse by band menu (as you have put an artist
name in the TPE2 tag of all of your mp3 files)?
Nb. CustomBrowse can do a browse by band menu.
Phil
what is Nb? what is CustomBrowse?

yes, i have all my TPE2 tags organized to sort things where i want
them.

here's what i mean, and i thought it was the same:

when i browse artwork via artist, year, album, i want my albums to sort
via the info that SC7 calls BAND, namely the TPE2 tags in my files.

whats the difference between browse by band and sort by band?
--
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-11 17:30:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
SC7 has no way to sort ALL albums reasonably using only standard mp3
tags.
that is fact.
That is not what you meant. The Browse by Album menu sorts perfectly well.

The Browse by Artist menu will also sort perfectly well if you have only artist tags. As an added extra, you can override the default sorting by artist name by specifying an ARTISTSORT. As another added extra, you can use ALBUMARTIST tags to stop an album becoming a various artist album if you want guest contributors on an album.

Phil
Phil Meyer
2008-04-11 18:15:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
and SC7 does not sort by artists if an album has differing TPE1 tracks
on it. in that case, it uses its own internal logic to classify it as
VA.
Which for most people is normally the correct behavior. Most albums ripped from a CD with info obtained from an internet music source will have the same artist for each song, unless the album is specifically a various artist album.

For people who want to further refine their albums/song metadata, they can define different artists on an album, and set compilation=0, which will force one of the artists to be chosen as the album artist. Or the Album Artist can be overridden by setting an ALBUMARTIST tag.
Post by MrSinatra
what is Nb?
Short for "note:".
Post by MrSinatra
what is CustomBrowse?
One of a set of third-party plugins written by Erland, which provide different ways of organising/browsing your music collection.
Post by MrSinatra
yes, i have all my TPE2 tags organized to sort things where i want
them.
You don't mean sort. Or maybe you do, but you are wrong. If you truly mean sort by BAND, then songs with no BAND would not sort correctly.

What you mean is you have set TPE2 (BAND) to group all songs to appear under one artist on the album (which is not what TPE2 is meant to do, and not what the SqueezeCenter scanner does). If there were an option to do this for you, then the songs on the album would appear under that artist. That doesn't define a sort as such, the artist will be sorted by whatever sorting title attribute that artist may have. Eg. under "B" (not "T") if it where "The Beatles".

Every song appears on an album, and every album has an artist. The artist associated with an album is an album artist, and that is what the browse by artists list shows, sorted by the artist sort title.
Post by MrSinatra
when i browse artwork via artist, year, album, i want my albums to sort
via the info that SC7 calls BAND, namely the TPE2 tags in my files.
No you don't; that doesn't make sense. Every album has an album artist, and therefore you can create a list of artists from the set of album artists. But not all albums will have a Band, and not all songs on an album may have the same Band, so it's not feasible.
Post by MrSinatra
whats the difference between browse by band and sort by band?
If it existed, Browse by band would list all albums that have songs that have a band tag set. The list could be sorted by anything else you fancied; sorted by band would make most sense, but other sort ordering could be feasible.

Sort by band suggests some other list of things, of which they are sorted by band.


The way forward that makes most sense is to have another setting option for the scanner, to tell it to set Album Artist to the content of any TPE2 tag when the library is scanned. I suggest that this sets Album Artist only and not also the Band contributor for the song, but maybe people would want both. SqueezeCenter itself would remain exactly the same; you have a way of correctly setting Album Artist.


Phil
smc2911
2008-04-11 22:08:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
what is Nb?
Short for "note:".For the pedants, NB stands for "nota bene", Latin for "note well".
--
smc2911

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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 19:55:17 UTC
Permalink
i apologize for what will be a long post and multiple posts, but i want
to respond to everyone...
Post by MrSinatra
If I understand correctly from the closed thread (which, admittedly, was
challenging at times!), when viewing Albums sorted by "Artist", it will
be sorted by ARTIST or (if it exists) ALBUMARTIST but *not* by BAND.
Since SC7 interprets TPE2 tags as BAND *not* ALBUMARTIST, this means
that the Albums will not, in this example, be sorted by the TPE2 tag.
yes, that is correct. and this causes chaos for any album that has
even one track with differing TPE1 info on it, b/c it then becomes a VA
album.
Post by MrSinatra
There needn't be a battle at all IMHO.
The question seems to boil down to: should SC treat TPE2 as BAND (not
sortable) or ALBUMARTIST (sortable)? Given the nature of ID3 it seems
an app has to decide one way or the other on this. Is there a reason
this can't be made an option? What cases wouldn't this solve?
exactly.

we could be given the option to sort by BAND, [ie. the SC7 internal tag
already filled in by TPE2]. or, we could be given the option to let our
TPE2 tags fill in the SC7 internal ALBUMARTIST tags, (if no other info
is there to fill it).
Post by MrSinatra
why not start with the thorough explanation how (internal to SC) BAND
and ALBUMARTIST should behave right now. I'd appreciate if somebody who
is responsible for maintaining that piece of functionality could explain
it. Or point me to the place on this site where that has been
documented. Especially in relationship to COMPILATION tag.
As said, I'm not looking for wishes, guesses and interpretations, but
rather to the piece of original documentation.
exactly.

i have been asking for this in varying ways to varying degrees for a
long time now. most recently, i said a wiki project should be done:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=45876

i also have asked slim to say categorically how "List albums by Band"
is supposed to work:

http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6490

no answer as of yet.
Post by MrSinatra
- Integrate the custom Scan and Custom browse functionality into
SqueezeCenter so that users can specify what's in the menus
do you mean how the scanner works?
Post by MrSinatra
- Document that functionality with an explanation of concepts and some
how-tos.
- Provide some flexibility in mapping tags from a specific format to
internal names. (TPE2 = Band or TPE2 = Album Artist.)
or both.
Post by MrSinatra
Ceejay filed some bug reports (2696-2701) for enhancements for classical
music a long time ago based on threads to which he and I contributed.
Those enhancements got plenty of votes but no action. Erland's plugins
implement some of this functionality but it really should be thoroughly
integrated with SqueezeCenter itself.
You can go on with these fruitless arguments where everyone argues that
the way his first player s/w worked is the one true way or you can
enhance SqueezeCenter to allow each user to do things his preferred
way.
Bill
i'll have to check those out. i agree with your last statement. to me
this isn't about doing it any "one true way" but rather having the
option to do it many differing ways, which would be flexible to a lot
of users.
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 20:20:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
That's a good concise summary. I'll try to respond with a bit of
knowledge based on my investigations (which I did during SC7 beta
testing, and added to bug 6490).
Firstly, how contributors are scanned from tags and stored in database
i'm sorry, but you'll have to bear with me... please define
contributors. TPE2 only? or what? do user defined tags get to be
contributors too?
Post by Phil Meyer
The scanner finds all contributors for all songs, based on supported
A distinct list of contributors (contributors table).
A one-to-many link table between songs and contributors
(contributor_track table).
A single album contributor in the album table (album table, contributor
column).
An album record can have exactly one contributor, which is determined
1. If an album artist tag is stored on the songs, the album is not
flagged as a compilation and the album artist is stored as album
contributor.
here is where you really start to confuse me. can you please use
snarlys convention of writing BAND or ALBUMARTIST in caps and without
the space when you mean SC7 internal tags? (not saying you didn't,
just making sure)

now, above, when you say album artist tag in the songs, i'm sure you
realize id3 has no standard for that. so you are talking about when
someone with mp3s has used a workaround to put such tags in there,
yes?

in other words, a Txxx tag or user defined tag.

that means anyone not using a workaround is screwed right off the bat.
Post by Phil Meyer
2. If an album has songs by different artists, or a song has more than
one contributing artist, or the songs are tagged as a compilation, the
album is flagged as a compilation, and the album artist is "Various
Artists".
right, and this happens in spite of the fact that many mp3 users have
set TPE2 to avoid this very issue. but SC7 doesn't give an option to
employ TPE2 the way most apps use it.
Post by Phil Meyer
3. All songs on an album have the same contributing song artist, so that
artist is used as the album artist.
There is a sort order stored against each contributor (in the
contributors table). The sort order can be populated from sort tags.
Currently, the scanner only recognises ARTISTSORT associated with the
song artists. If no artist sort tag exists, it is set to be the same
as the name of the artist (minus leading articles, such as "The", etc),
so "The Beatles" will be sorted under "Beatles".
ok... but if an album has already been tagged VA when it isn't, this
doesn't matter.

i don't have these user defined tags like artistsort or albumartist in
my MP3s, so as far as i know, those same named SC7 internal tags are
empty.
Post by Phil Meyer
If there are any songs in the library with artists with an artist sort
tag, all uses of that distinct artist from the contributors table will
use the artist sort.
eg. if I have an album with songs by XYZ with artist sort ZYX, and
another album with various song contributors but an album artist XYZ,
this album will also make use of the same artist sort because it refers
to the same (distinct) artist contributor record.
you lost me a bit here, but i think it doesn't apply to me anyway.
Post by Phil Meyer
In Music Library Settings, there are options to include Composer,
Conductor and Band/Orchestra as extra contributors in the list of
artists. There is no standard tags for defining sort order on these
contributor types. In fact, ARTISTSORT is not a standard tag either
(in ID3v2.3 at least), but adopted by a few software applications.
just to be clear, i have all those unchecked BUT when i did check
"Band/Orchestra" it made no difference, it only slowed down my scan.
Post by Phil Meyer
Artists associated with at least one album.
Composers if enabled in Music Library Settings
Conductors if enabled in Music Library Settings
Band/Orchestra's if enabled in Music Library Settings
Any artist that has performed a song on a compilation album if "List
compilation albums under each artist" is chosen in Music Library
settings.
The list of artists are sorted by the artist sort stored against each
artist in the contributor table.
Phil
ok, but that doesn't apply to me. i choose the list albums by band
option b/c i want SC7 to both sort and display my TPE2 tags. right
now, it only does he latter (dispaly).

thx for this breakdown.
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 20:29:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
The sort problem that people are complaining about is when they set an
album artist tag, and that artist doesn't exist as a main/leading song
contributor elsewhere, so SqueezeCenter scanner doesn't find any
ARTISTSORT tag.
are we misunderstanding each other?

thats not what i'm complaining about i don't think.

i am complaining that TPE2 tags are ignored for sorting. the entries
do exist as BAND in SC7 and typically my tags will have TPE2 tags that
match TPE1 tags on another album, (so i have one album with Eric
Clapton as TPE2 that has some differing TPE1 artists, but i also have a
second album that has Eric Clapton as TPE1 artist on every track).

maybe i don't get how ARTISTSORT is populated?

but if TPE2 also filled the ALBUMARTIST tags, it would sort properly.
Post by Phil Meyer
It seems to me as if it would be possible for the scanner to support
another TXXX custom tag for ID3 called ALBUMARTISTSORT. This is
totally bespoke; it's unlikely to be supported by any other
software/mp3 player. I see no harm with that, other than the scanner
may be slower as it has another tag to detect.
i don't have user defined tags. my whole problem is getting SC7 to
sort properly with standard tags that aren't user defined.
Post by Phil Meyer
The scanner could perhaps detect any TXXX tag with a name in the format
<tagname>SORT, such as BANDSORT, TPE2SORT, etc, and set the contributor
sort accordingly.
Other file formats may define standards for sort tags. If so, the
scanner should support those too.
An alternative "fix" may be to create a plugin that corrects the
content of the contributor table as a post-scan action. A separate
mapping of artist names to artist sort names could be retrieved from
somewhere (eg xml file, text file, Squeezecenter wiki page, etc), and
the plugin would read this content and update the contributor table for
any matching artist name.
Phil
would it not be simpler to just give an option to sort by BAND?

or

when scanning, have the TPE2 field populate both BAND and ALBUMARTIST?
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MrSinatra
2008-04-10 20:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
It is not very clear what the intended behavior of "List albums by all
artists for that album/List albums by band" is/was. But it does
currently seem to be broken (or was, when I tried it a month back).
AGREED.
Post by Phil Meyer
I changed the option between "List albums by band" and "List albums by
all artists for that album", but I noticed no difference, even after a
complete rescan.
this might have something to do with your tags, as i gather you use
user defined ones?

i can tell you there IS a difference.

if i say "List albums by band" then it will use the TPE2 tag in my
files to say who the album is by.

if i do the other option, it will say the album is by various artists
(if its an album with some differing TPE1 tracks).

if its not differing artists, then it just uses the TPE1 tag to say who
the album is by.
Post by Phil Meyer
I think the word "List" confuses people into thinking it has something
to do with how the browse by album page is sorted (as in "display a
list of band tags only, sorted by band"). This was captured on bug
6490.
agreed. and why shouldn't it? how many people want to display an
album as by someone but then at the same time not sort them into that
same someone's place?
Post by Phil Meyer
I think the intention of this setting is "Treat BAND as album artist?",
and thus should be a checkbox labelled as such to be clearer.
it is pure folly at this point to guess at what the intention of the
setting was.

what is clear, is what the setting does currently. i just described it
above.

what is not clear, is how do people then sort to be in agreement with
how it is displayed? as far as i can tell, they can't without user
defined tags.

if i had to GUESS, i would think that logically, the setting was in
fact intended to do both. but clearly it only does half, (the display
part, and thats how it has been for years, since i started using SS).
Post by Phil Meyer
If this was the intention of the setting, with the current database
schema it would require a rescan after a change in order to change the
contributor associated with the album. There was a long term design
goal to do away with the need to do full rescans. Alternatively, if a
full rescan is required after changing a setting (a user is likely to
not change it often!), it would warn the user when applying the
change.
I would make the default for "Treat band as album artist" as unchecked,
as this then follows the ID3 standard, but users have the option to make
it work out-of-standard and similar to other (inferior!) software
packages (i.e. iTunes).
Phil
of course the problem is there IS NO OPTION to "treat band as album
artist."

but that would be one solution as you suggest, i would say if "checked"
it would mean TPE2 tags populate both BAND and ALBUMARTIST SC7 tags.

the other solution, is to offer an option of sort by BAND which already
gets TPE2 tag data.
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 22:00:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
Post by Phil Meyer
I think the word "List" confuses people into thinking it has something
to do with how the browse by album page is sorted (as in "display a
list of band tags only, sorted by band"). This was captured on bug
6490.
agreed. and why shouldn't it? how many people want to display an
album as by someone but then at the same time not sort them into that
same someone's place?
If you have both albums with and without band tags, how would they be listed and sorted by band? Only display items that have a band tag, or use the artist name if there isn't a band? Or list all of the NULL bands first?
MrSinatra
2008-04-10 22:12:58 UTC
Permalink
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort,
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
album it THINKS is VA)
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JJZolx
2008-04-10 22:23:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort,
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
album it THINKS is VA)
Then one of the problems with TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping may be that
it's only being applied to compilations.

That would be consistent with problems I've seen with how track artists
(the 'Group compilation albums together' option) are treated in artist
lists. This option really means "Suppress artists who don't have full
albums" and needs to apply to compilations and non-compilations
equally.
--
JJZolx

Jim
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-10 22:40:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
Then one of the problems with TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping may be that
it's only being applied to compilations.
There is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping.

It would be in Slim/Formats/MP3.pm if it was there.

There is a "show BAND if ALBUMARTIST isn't defined" option. But that
isn't the same as "TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping."
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-10 22:38:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort,
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
album it THINKS is VA)
Sure, eventually it may or may not display TPE1 if the file is an MP3.
If it is not an mp3, it will never display TPE1.

But that is not what you said.
Post by MrSinatra
"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what
artist an album is by. The firts choice uses TPE1 tags, the second
choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist"
in some other software)."
That does not describe what it does.

'useBand' unset (default):
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even
ARTIST)
2) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and
how compilations are grouped)

'useBand' set:
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even
ARTIST)
2) if BAND set, use BAND
3) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and
how compilations are grouped)

Describing this in help information as applying to TPE1, TPE2 or any
id3 specific name is wrong.

It applies, again, to all filetypes, even those that do not have TPE1
or TPE2 fields.

It also is incorrect in that it ignores the role of ALBUMARTIST, which
effectively overrides this setting if it is set.

As for: > (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
Post by MrSinatra
album it THINKS is VA)
Use of the 'COMPILATION' tag (or the non-standard iTunes TCMP) will let
it figure how you want it to handle a given compilation album.

(Ie, the Sonny Bono album above, I want it filed specifically under
Sonny Bono. On an album like "Original Jazz Masters" I might it listed
under VA.)

A decent tag editor lets me tell SC how to file these two albums, and
to handle them in entirely different manners.

Winamp/WMP/iTunes are not decent taggers. (Though, ironically, iTunes
would let you set the compilation flag as you desire, even if you think
it sucks for everything else.) Find a good tagger that lets you do
everything you need so you don't have to switch between taggers to
accomplish anything.

(How long would it be before you tossed the PC out the Window if Word
did Bold but not Underline and WordPerfect did Underline but not Bold,
so you had to keep switching between two pieces of software to write as
you wished? A good tagger should let you tag what you want, setting
sort orders, lyrics, as well as compilation, etc.)
--
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JJZolx
2008-04-10 22:19:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
If you have both albums with and without band tags, how would they be
listed and sorted by band? Only display items that have a band tag, or
use the artist name if there isn't a band? Or list all of the NULL bands
first?
It's not unlike the current situation with ALBUMARTIST.

The way it's done now is through the internal notion of a 'primary
artist'. If you look in the albums table you'll see a 'contributor'
column. It contains an id of one artist in the contributors table.
This is the artist used for sorting by 'Artist'. I'm not sure exactly
when this artist is arrived at - probably in one of the post-scan
passes. But it basically gives priority to the ALBUMARTIST, then to
ARTIST(s).

With this approach it's easy to see that changing the primary artist
because you want to favor the BAND will either require a full rescan of
the library or else the running of a lot of queries whenever the option
is changed.

The artist displayed, on the other hand, is arrived at a lot more
laboriously thorugh a series of queries. When there's no ALBUMARTIST
(or VA) then artists from every track in the album are queried. This
is why the browse album pages in the web ui (when showing artist names)
are so slow - displaying a page of 50 albums often entails running
700-900 or more SQL queries.
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JJZolx

Jim
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 21:34:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
i'm sorry, but you'll have to bear with me... please define
contributors. TPE2 only? or what? do user defined tags get to be
contributors too?
I am trying to stay format agnostic, and also not mention how I want things to work. I was just stating the facts.

Contributors are any type of artist role associated with a song. A lead performer, band, composer, conductor, etc.
As far as I can recall, SqueezeCenter scanner only understands one user-defined TXXX tag - ALBUMARTIST.
Post by MrSinatra
here is where you really start to confuse me. can you please use
snarlys convention of writing BAND or ALBUMARTIST in caps and without
the space when you mean SC7 internal tags? (not saying you didn't,
just making sure)
No. BAND, etc, look like ID3 frame names, like TPE2. It's less confusing to use lower case to represent how SqueezeCenter stores information in its internal database.
Post by MrSinatra
now, above, when you say album artist tag in the songs, i'm sure you
realize id3 has no standard for that.
so you are talking about when someone with mp3s has used a workaround to put such tags in there,
yes?
Yes - Txxx ALBUMARTIST is a user-defined tag, because there isn't a defined standard. However, it is an adopted format that several apps follow. I believe FooBar understands it, and a few other apps.

In the same sense, the BAND tag is NOT supposed to be used as album artist. According to the standard it is meant to represent the band that plays on a song, i.e. a contributor; a type of performer that makes up the set of people/names that perform the song. Eg. ARTIST=Buddy Holly, BAND=The Crickets. The fact that there is no standard support for album artist meant that some apps miss-use BAND for storing album artist. That is fact.

Other formats do apparently define a proper album artist tag as part of their standard.
Post by MrSinatra
that means anyone not using a workaround is screwed right off the bat.
Not sure what you mean by screwed. If you don't set album artist, you get some albums appearing as compilations, because of a guest performance on one track. Most people probably don't bother setting a list of several artists on a song (not sure if that's standard anyway), and won't be affected. eg. SqueezeCenter allows a separator for defining multiple track artists (eg. ";").
Post by MrSinatra
right, and this happens in spite of the fact that many mp3 users have
set TPE2 to avoid this very issue.
Thus not following the standard.
Post by MrSinatra
but SC7 doesn't give an option to employ TPE2 the way most apps use it.
I think there is an intention to allow SC to not follow the standard like other apps that abuse the tag, but it appears to be broken.
Post by MrSinatra
ok... but if an album has already been tagged VA when it isn't, this
doesn't matter.
Don't know what you mean. If it has been tagged as VA then it is VA. If it is tagged VA and it isn't then the tag is wrong???
Post by MrSinatra
i don't have these user defined tags like artistsort or albumartist in
my MP3s, so as far as i know, those same named SC7 internal tags are
empty.
No. If you don't have any ARTISTSORT tags, all artists will have their internal artist sort set the same as the artist name (except leading articles are removed). "Paul Simon" would be sorted as "Paul Simon", and "The Beatles" will be sorted as "Beatles". If ARTIST="Paul Simon" and ARTISTSORT="Simon, Paul", it would be sorted under S.
Post by MrSinatra
just to be clear, i have all those unchecked BUT when i did check
"Band/Orchestra" it made no difference, it only slowed down my scan.
So you want BAND to be ALBUMARTIST but you normally don't even bother to have BAND ticked in the settings?

If you have used BAND, you would then see the Band listed as a contributor on a song if you navigate down to song information.
The contributor in BAND would be searchable.
MrSinatra
2008-04-10 21:58:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimC
"Yes, this is a personal attack." That's a direct violation of our
forum guidelines, and deliberately baiting the moderators here.
Removing that bit was really a very, very light bit of moderating.
look, thats fine. but i see it as selective. does he have to say it
(as i did) to get corrected? is it not obvious how rude he was? as
his stuff is still there.

and i think you missed my point in WHY i said it. i said it b/c up
until that point, nothing prior i had said was meant in ANY way as a
personal attack, but he took many things as such, and without basis or
reason or grounds to do so. so i was demonstrating that THIS was a
personal attack, (so he'd know what one was) while the other stuff was
not. i still see no way he could take what i was saying personally,
(the non censored stuff), its ridiculous.
Post by JimC
No, that's not what I'm saying. I was simply summarizing what I
understood the behavior to be. I don't use Band (because I find it
broken in some apps and unneeded in the apps I do use), so I don't
really have any opinion as to how it should behave.
well thats a huge part of the problem.

can someone from slim please expalin how their option in their proram
is supposed to work?
Post by JimC
As our programmers like to say "Contributions welcome." Tagging is a
mess... not just for us, but for any music manager. How tags are used
is a very personal thing, and one man's pleasure is another man's pain.
i'm not a programmer, i'm a user who wants to use something that i have
a reasonable expectation will work reasonably.
Post by JimC
I suggest that you open an enhancment request at
bugzilla.slimdevices.com and put your proposal in there.
i have done bugs before. the problem is i can't even get an answer to
the question above.

in other words, is this issue a bug? or is it an enhancement request?
how can i know if i don't know from slim how the option is meant to
work?

and btw, i have voted for MANY bugs and enhancement requests related to
this issue, in other words, this stuff is already represented in
bugzilla.
Post by JimC
See above.
exactly.
Post by JimC
"Properly tagged" is in the eye of the beholder. I consider my files
properly tagged and TPE2 is used only sporadically. Stuff sorts fine
for me, so a change in behavior isn't needed as far as I am concerned.
That doens't mean how SC handles tags works for everyone, but tags
aren't handled consistently in any application.
u misread that. its "sort properly" not "properly tagged." i suppose
i could have written that better. my bad.

the point is it doesn't sort properly and i have no way to get it to,
with my tags remaining as is. and i think SC7 should fix this b/c my
tags are how a LOT of people do their mp3 tags. i daresay the
majority.

and i am not asking for SC7 to accomodate sloppy tagging. i am asking
for it to realize that many mp3 users don't use user defined tags,
(most i daresay), and do use TPE2 to perform the album artist function,
which while out of OFFICAL id3 standard, is regardless, the defacto
standard of most mp3 users.
Post by JimC
You have a problem with the way SC handles the particular way you tag
your files. You want a different behavior and I've proposed a way for
you to get this request to our engineering team. During our regular
bug scrubs, we'll take a look at the request and the suggested
implementation and try to determine if/how/when it will be done.
many bugs, some old, are already in place. i voted for them, and
commented on some.

and its not really how "i tag files" but stated much more accurately,
how winamp, itunes, WMP, and most large market share programs tag
files.
Post by JimC
Please reveiw premise #3 above. I don't disagree that you find yourself
in the latter set, but not everyone considers it to be "broken".
thats b/c if they are mp3 users they have found a workaround via user
defined tags. these are not part of the id3 standard either btw
(obviously).
Post by JimC
I suggest that you use the tools at hand--bugzilla.slimdevices.com and
these forums--to provide constructive feedback and suggestions as to
what you would like to see so that when we are working on the
scanner/tag handling, the engineers can understand both the problem and
the various solutions proposed.
thats exactly what i've been trying to do, off an on, for many years
now.
Post by JimC
Even better, you might want to see if one or more of the folks in the
developer forum would be willing to work on coding your suggestions as
a replacement scanner, as a plug-in or even as core functionality for a
future release.
thats fantastic, and i will post something in there.

just to be clear, i am not trying to be difficult, i GREATLY appreciate
your feedback and the feedback of others, including snarly, but i don't
understand the basis for lack of clear information from slim, or
resistence to the idea that there is in fact, a problem, and that its a
fairly large issue which should be addressed asap. thanks.
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 22:29:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
the point is it doesn't sort properly and i have no way to get it to,
with my tags remaining as is. and i think SC7 should fix this b/c my
tags are how a LOT of people do their mp3 tags. i daresay the
majority.
What doesn't sort properly for you is adequate for the majority already, otherwise there would have been a lot more noise by now.

There may not be a fault, just a different way that you want it to work.

A lot of rippers won't set any ALBUMARTIST or BAND tag, and thus sorting will be by ARTIST tag. This will be the majority of users. There may be some people that have badly sorted artists, but I daresay the majority don't bother with any sorting at all.

Most probably rip their albums and inherit whatever tags have been defined in freedb, etc. That probably means they have inconsistencies, spelling mistakes, etc. They certainly won't have any specific ARTISTSORT tags to do proper sorting. I recently ripped three Cranberries albums, and got "The Cranberries", "Cranberries" and "Cranberries, The".

How many people go into a record shop and look for "Phil Collins" albums under the P section? How many look for Phil Collins under P in SqueezeCenter? How many add an ARTISTSORT="Collins, Phil"?

Phil
MrSinatra
2008-04-11 02:27:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
the point is it doesn't sort properly and i have no way to get it to,
with my tags remaining as is. and i think SC7 should fix this b/c my
tags are how a LOT of people do their mp3 tags. i daresay the
majority.
What doesn't sort properly for you is adequate for the majority
already, otherwise there would have been a lot more noise by now.
i disagree. i think a lot of people just deal with it, meaning they
can see something is wrong but put up with it, or they can see
something is wrong and find a workaround.

in the marketplace, would you deny that the majority is made up of mp3
users?

out of that population, how many use a separate tagging program? not
even close to 50%.

most use winamp, WMP, itunes, etc... and this is how they work.
Post by Phil Meyer
There may not be a fault, just a different way that you want it to work.
well, if you can tell me how a MP3 user is supposed to get albums to
sort properly when there is no way to do it without a separate tagging
program and user defined fields, then i might agree.

i don't really care about fault and blame, i just want it fixed, added,
whatever so it'll sort by whats in my TPE2 field.
Post by Phil Meyer
A lot of rippers won't set any ALBUMARTIST or BAND tag, and thus sorting
will be by ARTIST tag. This will be the majority of users. There may
be some people that have badly sorted artists, but I daresay the
majority don't bother with any sorting at all.
i disagree. winamp, WMP and itunes all set that, [ie. tpe2, via
gracenote or some similar service i think. not sure if EAC does or
not].

in any case, autotaggers (in some of those apps) set it too. and those
apps allow you to manually edit the field as well.

and the question isn't who bothers with it and who doesn't, or concerns
with sloppy tagging. the question is should SC7 handle defacto
standards out there in a reasonable way?

i think its obvious it should.
Post by Phil Meyer
Most probably rip their albums and inherit whatever tags have been
defined in freedb, etc. That probably means they have inconsistencies,
spelling mistakes, etc.
again, thats not the question.
Post by Phil Meyer
They certainly won't have any specific ARTISTSORT tags to do proper
sorting. I recently ripped three Cranberries albums, and got "The
Cranberries", "Cranberries" and "Cranberries, The".
and again, thats not the point. with an editor you can clean up
sloppiness like that.

what we are trying to address is not sloppiness, but rather reasonable
expected behavior based on reasonable expectations.

thats where defacto standards come into play.

not sure what the point of this next section is, but i'll play
along...
Post by Phil Meyer
How many people go into a record shop and look for "Phil Collins" albums
under the P section?
none, and whats the relevance?
Post by Phil Meyer
How many look for Phil Collins under P in SqueezeCenter?
a lot of people, b/c thats how their tags are.
Post by Phil Meyer
How many add an ARTISTSORT="Collins, Phil"?
Phil
i have no idea, but i bet its not as many as you think it is.

its all besides the point...

my main point has been that SC7 should reflect the reality defacto
standard that is out there, (just as it does the user defined tags of
foobar, that are also a defacto standard).
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 03:20:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to sort,
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
album it THINKS is VA)
Sure, eventually it may or may not display TPE1 if the file is an MP3.
If it is not an mp3, it will never display TPE1.
we were talking about sorting, is that what you meant by display? i'm
just confused by this whole sentence. what do you mean it may or may
not display TPE1? i agree with the last line, please clarify the
rest.
Post by MrSinatra
But that is not what you said.
Post by MrSinatra
"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what
artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 tags, the second
choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or "Album Artist"
in some other software)."> >
That does not describe what it does.
keep in mind, i said CHOICE not CHECK. i think u were confused on that
score.

also, i have since offerred a revision for this explanation.

"You can choose what artist or tag information to use to show what
artist an album is by. The first choice uses TPE1 *(or Artist)* tags,
the second choice uses TPE2 tags. (TPE2 is also known as "Band" or
"Album Artist" in some other software)."

i think the part in bold covers non mp3 users and since this is just a
change to how the option and infobox is worded it would be completely
transparent to users like you who already have things the way they want
it.
Post by MrSinatra
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even
ARTIST)
2) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and
how compilations are grouped)
1) use ALBUMARTIST if ALBUMARTIST (again, not TPE1.. not even
ARTIST)
2) if BAND set, use BAND
3) (bunch of other stuff dependent on the compilation settings and
how compilations are grouped)
i think i follow that and i agree thats how it currently works, (the
list albums by band option, set or unset).
Post by MrSinatra
Describing this in help information as applying to TPE1, TPE2 or any id3
specific name is wrong.
well, maybe you should tell slim that, b/c they already mention TPE2
for the infobox. i agree with what i think is slims POV on this, they
do not want this option (list albums by band) or its infobox to be
steeped in a technical discussion. i think my explanation accomplishes
all worthy goals and ends without confusing anyone or changing anything
other than wording.

keep in mind, slim is not capitalizing band or even putting forth thats
the convention they are using, they just say Band, mention TPE2 and
album artist, and are extremely ambiguous.

no question though, that the option as it currently works regards the
internal BAND field.
Post by MrSinatra
It applies, again, to all filetypes, even those that do not have TPE1 or
TPE2 fields.
true, thus the revision.
Post by MrSinatra
It also is incorrect in that it ignores the role of ALBUMARTIST, which
effectively overrides this setting if it is set.
i was trying to stay close to what slim already had in place, making
only minimal but necessary corrections.

i agree with you though, but again thats for slim to figure out. (i
mean, this criticism of yours could apply to whats there now, right?)
Post by MrSinatra
Use of the 'COMPILATION' tag (or the non-standard iTunes TCMP) will let
it figure how you want it to handle a given compilation album.
(Ie, the Sonny Bono album above, I want it filed specifically under
Sonny Bono. On an album like "Original Jazz Masters" I might it listed
under VA.)
A decent tag editor lets me tell SC how to file these two albums, and
to handle them in entirely different manners.
Winamp/WMP/iTunes are not decent taggers.
i disagree. winamp lets me do what i want to do, and lets me edit all
id3 standard tag fields i want to edit.

i also don't want or need compilation tags, and i don't ever plan to
employ them.
Post by MrSinatra
(Though, ironically, iTunes would let you set the compilation flag as
you desire, even if you think it sucks for everything else.) Find a
good tagger that lets you do everything you need so you don't have to
switch between taggers to accomplish anything.
(How long would it be before you tossed the PC out the Window if Word
did Bold but not Underline and WordPerfect did Underline but not Bold,
so you had to keep switching between two pieces of software to write as
you wished? A good tagger should let you tag what you want, setting
sort orders, lyrics, as well as compilation, etc.)
see, this i think is where you just aren't understanding where i am
coming from.

winamp DOES do everything i want done. my tags are ALREADY exactly the
way i want them. its SC7 that is in need of an option, imo.

my tags follow a defacto standard, that is no less a defacto standard
than the way your tag editors set your user defined tags.

but this isn't a personal matter... it isn't just "what i want."

believe it or not, i am looking out for other users like me, as well as
slim who i want to succeed like crazy.

as it happens, i already use:

EAC (and lame)
Winamp
WMP
SC7

for various things.

adding another program just to add tags i don't need except to provide
a workaround to get SC7 to act in a reasonable way is NOT something i
want to do or plan to do.

moreover, i did not like foobar or mp3tag when i experimented with
them.

but MY feelings aren't the issue... i clearly represent a large
portion of the mp3 marketplace, (as someone could clearly use winamp
and nothing else) and i want such users who have reasonable
expectations of SC7 to get reasonable results without having to figure
out all this stuff, and then actually apply the knowledge via some
tagging app.

i don't see why i should have to defend this POV, it seems extremely
reasonable to me. i just want a sorting option that will use my TPE2
data, given the marketplace reality, whats wrong with that?
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 03:44:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by MrSinatra
and so SC7 has ALBUMARTIST as blank i'd imagine.
No, you misunderstand/haven't been reading.
trust me, i may misunderstand, but i read everything you or anyone
writes many times over before i reply to it.
Post by Phil Meyer
Every album has exactly 1 album artist (main contributor). It is set
when you scan the library. If you haven't defined a Txxx ALBUMARTIST
If the same artist contributor(s) appears on all songs of the artist,
that artist(s) name will also be the album artist.
If there are different artists on songs on an album, the album artist
will be the record meaning "Various Artists".
ok, so its not blank, got it.
Post by Phil Meyer
Eg. I have an album "No Pussyfooting" by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno.
That's two contributors to every track on the album. I also set the
Txxx ALBUMARTIST to "Fripp & Eno". I see the album listed under "Fripp
& Eno" as an artist. I also see it listed under Robert Fripp and also
under Brian Eno, because I have other albums by those artists as solo
performers.
ok, i believe all that.
Post by Phil Meyer
In addition, the "list albums by band" *might* be intending to use BAND
as album artist, such that at scan time, the album artist is set to the
artist in the BAND tag, otherwise the artist of the songs, or Various
Artists. I say might, because I don't know for sure how that option
was intended to work. But the point is that after a scan, every album
will have an album artist.
(i am keeping in mind u go by the opposite of snarlys convention)

well, i agree we don't know what the intention is or was. i have
beseeched slim to answer this, no dice yet.

what we do know, is what it does now in practice, from a user POV, and
i already went over that.

so if its intended, its broken. if it isn't intended, we need a
solution to the issue.
Post by Phil Meyer
If you were to examine the content of the database, the following query
SELECT distinct(namesort)
FROM albums a
JOIN contributors c on a.contributor = c.id
ORDER BY namesort
would return all main contributors (album artists) sorted by album
artist name sort order. Every album has a contributor.
I believe I would have no quarrels if "list album by band" caused the
scanner to read a band tag and store it as the album artist, like rule
1 above. It should remain an option, as I consider the current
implementation without "list album by band" to be correct. BAND is not
ALBUMARTIST in my mind.
By the way, there is a description of the database tables available at
http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?SlimServerDatabaseStructure
Phil
like i said, i think the current option (list albums by band) only
needs to be reworded.

i then also think a brand new and wholly separate second option needs
to be added.

how should the second option be implemented? i'm not slim, i don't
program, i can't say.

but i have suggested that the point of the second option should be to
sort.

and i suggested it could sort via internal BAND tags that SC7 already
gets from TPE2 tags (as well as other places) OR that it could tell the
scanner to populate the internal ALBUMARTIST field from TPE2 tags on
scan.

Phil, i'm feeling the love, you with me on that?
--
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-11 06:48:37 UTC
Permalink
that was to jim, and i agree there is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping,
but my question is where are you saying the "show band if ALBUMARTIST
isn't defined" option is?
Exactly where I said it was... in Schema::Album::artist, and it is only
used for -display-.

It is the flag you are going on about where you insist it means TPE2,
not BAND.

Again, at that point in the code, the scanning is long done. It is
displaying a web page or sending something to the SB3/SBC to display.

It has no concept of mp3, FLAC, APE, whatever: just the already parsed
tags, and it refers to BAND. Not TPE2. Hence why calling it TPE2 in
the help is wrong: it isn't. That is only for MP3, and the checkbox
affects -all- formats.
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 07:11:22 UTC
Permalink
Then you can have Buddy Holly appear in the B's instead of the H's...
And JS Bach in the J's. Sinatra? He's over in F's.
you assume two things:

1. that i don't want to use first names
and
2. that my tags aren't ALREADY "Sinatra, Frank"

since you don't know if either is true, you can't claim its a problem.
And you will continue to be baffled as to why some albums sort as VA and
some not. (ie, TCMP or COMPILATION type tags, which are easy to see and
delete... but not with WinAmp.)
you assume i have TCMP/Comp tags, when i already told you i don't. i
know i don't b/c if i did, i would have figured that out already by SC7
sorting something into VA that had no obvious known reason to be in VA,
(such as differing TPE1 artists on the same album).
--
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-11 07:29:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
since you don't know if either is true, you can't claim its a problem.
And you assume I care how you organize your music. If you want
Sinatra under the Q's that is your business. I think it would be truly
stupid and painful to navigate that way, but it is your library.
Post by MrSinatra
you assume i have TCMP/Comp tags, when i already told you i don't. i
know i don't b/c if i did, i would have figured that out already by SC7
sorting something into VA that had no obvious known reason to be in VA,
(such as differing TPE1 artists on the same album).
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
album it THINKS is VA)
That exactly describes the problem of having incorrect or missing TCMP
tags.

If you have an album that is being detected as VA because it has one
track with some-other-artist, the proper way to fix that is
COMPILATION=0. This forces the scanner to treat it differently. For
an example, see the 2nd post on this topic where I showed some of the
tags from a Sonny Bono tribute album, which I wanted attributed to
Sonny Bono as Album Artist and did not want to clutter up my 'browse
artist' with a bunch of bands I have no other tracks from.

If you want to make SC (and iTunes!) handle those correctly, you should
set the TCMP tag.
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 08:57:17 UTC
Permalink
And you assume I care how you organize your music. If you want Sinatra
under the Q's that is your business. I think it would be truly stupid
and painful to navigate that way, but it is your library.
always good for a laugh, huh? maybe i assume since you said "You would
probably want to anyway" but now u don't care! i'm heartbroken. but
enough about that... truly meaningless.

anyway...
Post by MrSinatra
you assume i have TCMP/Comp tags, when i already told you i don't. i
know i don't b/c if i did, i would have figured that out already by SC7
sorting something into VA that had no obvious known reason to be in VA,
(such as differing TPE1 artists on the same album).> >
(which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album or an
album it THINKS is VA)> >
That exactly describes the problem of having incorrect or missing
TCMP tags.
just b/c i think it makes more sense, the full context was:

"if the TPE2 tag was empty, then i would expect SC7 to use TPE1 to
sort, (which is what it does now with my stuff, unless its a VA album
or an album it THINKS is VA)"

so first of all, its not a problem by definition to not have a
nonstandard tag. nor is it necessarily missing. i did not find TCMP
on http://id3.org/id3v2.3.0

i also found no reference to the word compilation on that page.

secondly, since there's no reason i should necessarily have
non-standard tags, i totally understand why SC7 is putting albums into
VA that in reality don't belong there.
And you will continue to be baffled as to why some albums sort as VA and
some not. (ie, TCMP or COMPILATION type tags, which are easy to see and
delete... but not with WinAmp.)
you were incorrect. i am not baffled in the least. if SC7 would use
the BAND tag to sort, it would put these albums into the VA section.

there is an interesting question as to whether SC7 would still consider
it a VA album however.
If you have an album that is being detected as VA because it has one
track with some-other-artist, the proper way to fix that is
COMPILATION=0. This forces the scanner to treat it differently.
proper way? by what standard?

look, i appreciate the advice, but it applies to someone else. i don't
use itunes, and i don't use non-standard user defined tags.

i think if someone chooses the option of sorting by BAND, then on
scanning some extra logic might be needed to determine if the album was
VA or not if it had differing TPE1 tags. for instance, if the TPE2 tag
said "Various Artist[s]" or "Soundtrack" or "Original Soundtrack" or
maybe even user identified criteria to SC7, then it would be a VA album
that should be sorted in the VA area. otherwise it might still be a VA
album, but it should be sorted by the BAND tag.

again, i do not know the best implementation, i am just arguing for the
goal.

remember, half of such an option is "off" or in other words, not to use
it. in the off position, it wouldn't affect you or anyone else,
assuming it was properly designed. in the "on" position it might not
be perfect at first, but honestly i wouldn't expect it to be. like
everything else with slim, i would expect refinements/improvements
going forward.
For an example, see the 2nd post on this topic where I showed some of
the tags from a Sonny Bono tribute album, which I wanted attributed to
Sonny Bono as Album Artist and did not want to clutter up my 'browse
artist' with a bunch of bands I have no other tracks from.
If you want to make SC (and iTunes!) handle those correctly, you should
set the TCMP tag.
i am well aware everyone thinks i should just give in and use a tagging
app. but i don't think thats ultimately the proper solution.
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-11 15:06:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
so first of all, its not a problem by definition to not have a
non-standard tag. nor is it necessarily missing. i did not find TCMP
on http://id3.org/id3v2.3.0
i also found no reference to the word "compilation" on that page.
Yes, it is one of your "defacto standards". iTunes uses it, and iTunes
has more users than WinAmp, therefore Winamp should add support for it.

Sort of like some other tags misuse....
Post by MrSinatra
secondly, since there's no reason i should necessarily have
non-standard tags, i totally understand why SC7 is putting albums into
VA that in reality don't belong there.
And there is a mechanism for changing that.

Many unix commands support a '-f' option. It means "yes, I know this
is not what I am supposed to do, but I am the human and I am not making
a mistake, this is really what I want". -f is very useful.

In the same sense, forcing compilation (or decompilation) is useful.
Post by MrSinatra
now, if SC7 would use the BAND tag to sort, it wouldn't put these
differing TPE1 albums into the VA section
It would add all artists, even one-track-wonders to your artist list.
Post by MrSinatra
there is an interesting question as to whether SC7 would still consider
it a VA album however.
It would set the COMPILATION to 1, yes.
Post by MrSinatra
i am well aware everyone thinks i should just give in and use a tagging
app. but i don't think thats ultimately the proper solution.
If you choose to make your own life difficult, that is your choice.
--
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MrSinatra
2008-04-11 07:24:25 UTC
Permalink
that was to jim, and i agree there is no TPE2 to ALBUMARTIST mapping,
but my question is where are you saying the "show band if ALBUMARTIST
isn't defined" option is?
Exactly where I said it was... in Schema::Album::artist, and it is only
used for -display-.
right agreed. i just wanted to know where it was in the UI, meaning i
wanted to confirm its the "List albums by band" option you were talking
about, and it is. thx for the clarity.
It is the flag you are going on about where you insist it means TPE2,
not BAND.
thats what the SC7 infobox insists, and in fact while i agree it isn't
always TPE2 that fills this SC7 BAND field, it is in my case. and my
case is not some rare anomaly.
Again, at that point in the code, the scanning is long done. It is
displaying a web page or sending something to the SB3/SBC to display.
agreed.
It has no concept of mp3, FLAC, APE, whatever: just the already parsed
tags, and it refers to BAND. Not TPE2. Hence why calling it TPE2 in
the help is wrong: it isn't. That is only for MP3, and the checkbox
affects -all- formats.
again, i understand that. but i didn't write the current infobox, slim
did, so your complaint is with slim. i just tried to be minimal in my
changes, just doing what was absolutely necessary.

i know that my proposed wording is similar but i think most people
would figure it out fine, and the wording is all i would change, not
the functionality, so in practice, its transparent to you.

the fact is TPE2 does populate the SC7 BAND field if nothing else is
available. but if something else is available, SC7 will use that. and
i allude to that in my proposed wording when i say 'Band in some other
software' (paraphrased).

feel free to offer up how you would word it exactly. i'm sure my
wording isn't the best, i just know its better than what is currently
existing.
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-10 07:31:25 UTC
Permalink
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=4584 is my only tag
annoyance.

This doesn't sort right:

Code:
--------------------

TIT2 (Title/songname/content description): Needles and Pins
TPE1 (Lead performer(s)/Soloist(s)): Flat Duo Jets
TALB (Album/Movie/Show title): Bonograph: Sonny Gets His Share
TRCK (Track number/Position in set): 1/16
TYER (Year): 1991
TXXX (User defined text information): (ALBUMARTIST): Sonny Bono
TXXX (User defined text information): (ALBUMARTISTSORT): Bono, Sonny
TXXX (User defined text information): (COMPILATION): 0

--------------------


(And, yeah, Sonny Bono was actually a good writer... great album.)

(And, yes, I set compilation to 0 to force this to disregard the track
artists and file by albumartist only.)

(No, I do not want to buy any Sonny Bono albums to get it from
ARTISTSORT... scary.)
--
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Listener
2008-04-10 16:27:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimC
Amidst the noise in the now closed "Sort by Album Artist" thread there
was some good content. I'll paraphrase some of it, expand on it with
my limited knowledge, and hopefully allow the signal to continue.
Premise #1 - Tags, depsite everyone's wish to the contrary, are broken,
at least in the sense that their behavior varies by application and they
are not used consistently.
-=> Jim
Excellent summation, Jim. A suggestion for a resolution of the
problem

- Integrate the custom Scan and Custom browse functionality into
SqueezeCenter so that users can specify what's in the menus

- Document that functionality with an explanation of concepts and some
how-tos.

- Provide some flexibility in mapping tags from a specific format to
internal names. (TPE2 = Band or TPE2 = Album Artist.)

Ceejay filed some bug reports (2696-2701) for enhancements for
classical music a long time ago based on threads to which he and I
contributed. Those enhancements got plenty of votes but no action.
Erland's plugins implement some of this functionality but it really
should be thoroughly integrated with SqueezeCenter itself.

You can go on with these fruitless arguments where everyone argues that
the way his first player s/w worked is the one true way or you can
enhance SqueezeCenter to allow each user to do things his preferred
way.

Bill
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 17:30:09 UTC
Permalink
That's a good concise summary. I'll try to respond with a bit of knowledge based on my investigations (which I did during SC7 beta testing, and added to bug 6490).

Firstly, how contributors are scanned from tags and stored in database tables:

The scanner finds all contributors for all songs, based on supported tags for the file type, and stores:
A distinct list of contributors (contributors table).
A one-to-many link table between songs and contributors (contributor_track table).
A single album contributor in the album table (album table, contributor column).

An album record can have exactly one contributor, which is determined using the following rules:
1. If an album artist tag is stored on the songs, the album is not flagged as a compilation and the album artist is stored as album contributor.
2. If an album has songs by different artists, or a song has more than one contributing artist, or the songs are tagged as a compilation, the album is flagged as a compilation, and the album artist is "Various Artists".
3. All songs on an album have the same contributing song artist, so that artist is used as the album artist.

There is a sort order stored against each contributor (in the contributors table). The sort order can be populated from sort tags. Currently, the scanner only recognises ARTISTSORT associated with the song artists. If no artist sort tag exists, it is set to be the same as the name of the artist (minus leading articles, such as "The", etc), so "The Beatles" will be sorted under "Beatles".

If there are any songs in the library with artists with an artist sort tag, all uses of that distinct artist from the contributors table will use the artist sort.

eg. if I have an album with songs by XYZ with artist sort ZYX, and another album with various song contributors but an album artist XYZ, this album will also make use of the same artist sort because it refers to the same (distinct) artist contributor record.


In Music Library Settings, there are options to include Composer, Conductor and Band/Orchestra as extra contributors in the list of artists. There is no standard tags for defining sort order on these contributor types. In fact, ARTISTSORT is not a standard tag either (in ID3v2.3 at least), but adopted by a few software applications.

When browsing by artist, the list of artists will contain:
Artists associated with at least one album.
Composers if enabled in Music Library Settings
Conductors if enabled in Music Library Settings
Band/Orchestra's if enabled in Music Library Settings
Any artist that has performed a song on a compilation album if "List compilation albums under each artist" is chosen in Music Library settings.

The list of artists are sorted by the artist sort stored against each artist in the contributor table.

Phil
Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 17:47:39 UTC
Permalink
The sort problem that people are complaining about is when they set an album artist tag, and that artist doesn't exist as a main/leading song contributor elsewhere, so SqueezeCenter scanner doesn't find any ARTISTSORT tag.

It seems to me as if it would be possible for the scanner to support another TXXX custom tag for ID3 called ALBUMARTISTSORT. This is totally bespoke; it's unlikely to be supported by any other software/mp3 player. I see no harm with that, other than the scanner may be slower as it has another tag to detect.

The scanner could perhaps detect any TXXX tag with a name in the format <tagname>SORT, such as BANDSORT, TPE2SORT, etc, and set the contributor sort accordingly.

Other file formats may define standards for sort tags. If so, the scanner should support those too.


An alternative "fix" may be to create a plugin that corrects the content of the contributor table as a post-scan action. A separate mapping of artist names to artist sort names could be retrieved from somewhere (eg xml file, text file, Squeezecenter wiki page, etc), and the plugin would read this content and update the contributor table for any matching artist name.

Phil
snarlydwarf
2008-04-10 18:29:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
The sort problem that people are complaining about is when they set an
album artist tag, and that artist doesn't exist as a main/leading song
contributor elsewhere, so SqueezeCenter scanner doesn't find any
ARTISTSORT tag.
That is one problem (and, indeed, my only whine atm). The other is
that some people wish TPE2 to be identical to ALBUMARTIST. But I'll
ignore that one for now...
Post by Phil Meyer
It seems to me as if it would be possible for the scanner to support
another TXXX custom tag for ID3 called ALBUMARTISTSORT. This is
totally bespoke; it's unlikely to be supported by any other
software/mp3 player. I see no harm with that, other than the scanner
may be slower as it has another tag to detect.
Well it has another tag to skip over at the moment... I am not sure the
processing of the tag would be that painful, especially if it is not
present. If Present, well, assumedly someone wanted it processed so
the time it takes to process even repeated N times is a requested
action, so 'reasonable time' is permitted.

It is supported by Picard:
TXXX (User defined text information): (MusicBrainz Album Artist):
The Hellboys
TXXX (User defined text information): (MusicBrainz Album Artist
Sortname): Hellboys, The

of course that would have to be normalized back to just plain
ALBUMARTISTSORT, but that's true of lots of MB tags.

According to id3.org, iTunes has this tag as 'TSO2' (but then, that
would be tied to the whole "is BAND == ALBUMARTIST").
Post by Phil Meyer
The scanner could perhaps detect any TXXX tag with a name in the format
<tagname>SORT, such as BANDSORT, TPE2SORT, etc, and set the contributor
sort accordingly.
There is code sort of like that in Schema.pm.. it is just that by that
point the tags have already been parsed and 'unknown' tags discarded.
Post by Phil Meyer
An alternative "fix" may be to create a plugin that corrects the
content of the contributor table as a post-scan action. A separate
mapping of artist names to artist sort names could be retrieved from
somewhere (eg xml file, text file, Squeezecenter wiki page, etc), and
the plugin would read this content and update the contributor table for
any matching artist name.
There is a feature request for something like that, a way to normalize
all sorts of things (ie, "Elvis Costello", "Elvis Costello and the
Attractions" could be forced to be under one artist). I have mixed
feelings about that... but then I sometimes manually edit mysql tables
instead of waiting for a rescan.

"update albums set compilation = 0 where id=945;" is a lot faster than
a clear-and-rescan.

Nice documentation in your prior post, though.
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-10 18:23:56 UTC
Permalink
It is not very clear what the intended behavior of "List albums by all artists for that album/List albums by band" is/was. But it does currently seem to be broken (or was, when I tried it a month back).

I changed the option between "List albums by band" and "List albums by all artists for that album", but I noticed no difference, even after a complete rescan.

I think the word "List" confuses people into thinking it has something to do with how the browse by album page is sorted (as in "display a list of band tags only, sorted by band"). This was captured on bug 6490.

I think the intention of this setting is "Treat BAND as album artist?", and thus should be a checkbox labelled as such to be clearer.

If this was the intention of the setting, with the current database schema it would require a rescan after a change in order to change the contributor associated with the album. There was a long term design goal to do away with the need to do full rescans. Alternatively, if a full rescan is required after changing a setting (a user is likely to not change it often!), it would warn the user when applying the change.

I would make the default for "Treat band as album artist" as unchecked, as this then follows the ID3 standard, but users have the option to make it work out-of-standard and similar to other (inferior!) software packages (i.e. iTunes).

Phil
smc2911
2008-04-11 04:44:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Artists associated with at least one album.
There's the rub for me! This seems to exclude artists that appear only
as an ALBUMARTIST.
Post by Phil Meyer
2. If an album has songs by different artists, or a song has more than
one contributing artist, or the songs are tagged as a compilation, the
album is flagged as a compilation, and the album artist is "Various
Artists".My own view is that if the ALBUMARTIST tag exists for every track on an
album, it would be nice *not* to classify it as "Various Artists"
whether or not COMPILATION is set. Currently, if you have COMPILATION=1
and "Group Compilation Albums together", it's almost as though
ALBUMARTIST is ignored: the album just ends up under Various Artists.
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-11 09:14:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
My own view is that if the ALBUMARTIST tag exists for every track on an
album, it would be nice *not* to classify it as "Various Artists"
whether or not COMPILATION is set. Currently, if you have COMPILATION=1
and "Group Compilation Albums together", it's almost as though
ALBUMARTIST is ignored: the album just ends up under Various Artists.
I think ALBUMARTIST should prevent the album from being tagged as a compilation (compilation albums effectively sets ALBUMARTIST to "Various Artists").

I thought this was fixed (bug 3815 maybe?).

I haven't noticed any problems like that in my library, but I may have set COMPILATION=0 to be sure, because there was a problem with this in the past.

Phil
smc2911
2008-04-11 10:08:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
My own view is that if the ALBUMARTIST tag exists for every track on
an
Post by Phil Meyer
album, it would be nice *not* to classify it as "Various Artists"
whether or not COMPILATION is set. Currently, if you have
COMPILATION=1
Post by Phil Meyer
and "Group Compilation Albums together", it's almost as though
ALBUMARTIST is ignored: the album just ends up under Various Artists.
I think ALBUMARTIST should prevent the album from being tagged as a
compilation (compilation albums effectively sets ALBUMARTIST to
"Various Artists").
I thought this was fixed (bug 3815 maybe?).
I haven't noticed any problems like that in my library, but I may have
set COMPILATION=0 to be sure, because there was a problem with this in
the past.
PhilThe reason setting COMPILATION=0 doesn't work for me is that for albums
like my Larry Levan example (he's the ALBUMRARTIST) I want Larry to
appear in the artist list (despite not having any other Larry albums)
but I *do not* want all the other track artists to appear in the artist
list. The only way I know of to exclude artists is to set the "Group
Compilation Artists together" and set COMPILATION=1. At the moment I
seem to have only two options:

1. (COMPILATION=1) Larry isn't in the artist list, neither are any of
the track artists
2. (COMPILATION=0) Larry *is* in the artist list, but so are all of the
track artists

what I want is
3. Larry is in the artist list, the track artists are not.

I'm not at all precious about what is or is not a "compilation", I just
want to achieve #3. Note that were there just one other album by Larry
Levan, I would actually get the desired #3 by setting COMPILATION=1.
Maybe all of this would be solved by addressing
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=5108
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vrobin
2008-04-11 11:41:16 UTC
Permalink
The message I wrote earlier about some sort of "tag mapping
customization" seems to have been overwhelmed by
tpe2/band/albumartist/txxx messages.

Is the idea totally broken? or definitely too complicated ? or not user
friendly enough? and doesn't worth talking about it?

To answer MrSinatra, I can code, and I put a lot of free time working
on a metadata handling framework that begins to reveals itself useful
(for me at least... I must admit that is not *yet* a good definition of
"universal" :) ). This work -I aim this goal- would permit to adapt
tagging to any format and any existing software or softwares that are
yet to come (and little after, I plan to rule the world, but that's
another thread;) ).
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JimC
2008-04-11 17:08:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by vrobin
The message I wrote earlier about some sort of "tag mapping
customization" seems to have been overwhelmed by
tpe2/band/albumartist/txxx messages.
Is the idea totally broken? or definitely too complicated ? or not user
friendly enough? and doesn't worth talking about it?
To answer MrSinatra, I can code, and I put a lot of free time working
on a metadata handling framework that begins to reveals itself useful
(for me at least... I must admit that is not *yet* a good definition of
"universal" :) ). This work -I aim this goal- would permit to adapt
tagging to any format and any existing software or softwares that are
yet to come (and little after, I plan to rule the world, but that's
another thread;) ).
The idea isn't broken, and it may well be how this "problem" gets
solved in the end. However, it adds a layer of complexity to the
process and we're already being dinged for being too hard for the
average user.

What we need is the most sensible default rules (which I think we may
already have, Mr. Sinatra's opinions/issues notwithstanding), and a
reasonable method for changing those. I would really like to avoid
moving these types of settings to the SC interface, because they would
require a rescan; much better to do them upfront, if possible.

I'd love to see what you're working on, and would encourage you to
contribute it to the code base here. There are some pretty amazing
programmers (both here and in our community) that you would be able to
work with on the framework and on the code. My team and I would be
happy to provide input, as well, at least from a product
marketing/customer-centric viewpoint.


-=> Jim
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-11 18:34:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimC
What we need is the most sensible default rules (which I think we may
already have, Mr. Sinatra's opinions/issues notwithstanding), and a
reasonable method for changing those. I would really like to avoid
moving these types of settings to the SC interface, because they would
require a rescan; much better to do them upfront, if possible.
I think the simple way to keep both sets of users happy is to have a setting that affects the scanner. It would require a rescan if the setting was changed. But I feel that is okay, as a user would always want to use the same setting.

There are two types of possible users:

1. Those that want to use id3 TPE2 (BAND) as a contributor.
2. Those that want to use id3 TPE2 (BAND) to set the Album Artist.

That setting would affect the scanner; the scanner decides what contributor roles to set when songs are scanned and calculates the album artist when an album record is created. Nothing else need to change.

It may be possible for SqueezeCenter to work out dynamically whether to use BAND as an Album Artist, but that would seem to really complicate the software and would undoubtedly affect performance of building up the browse lists. I would have thought that a user would pick the setting one way or the other, and stick with it.

Keeping the change to the scanner is less risk. I suggest the default is (1), as then no existing users would be affected by the change, but users could change to (2).

The setting should be as clear as possible.

However, the installation wizard could suggest the correct setting based on a set of questions, such as "Do you use Band to represent bands performing on songs?". Maybe if the user answers yes to "Are you an iTunes user", then the setting (2) could be picked by default?

Phil
vrobin
2008-04-11 22:19:50 UTC
Permalink
The idea isn't broken, and it may well be how this "problem" gets solved
in the end. However, it adds a layer of complexity to the process and
we're already being dinged for being too hard for the average user.
Since I'm watching SqueezeCenter evolution, I learnt that any change
could be far more complicated than it seems at first sight, and I know
that "more simplicity" is now the leitmotiv of SC evolution. That's why
I think of the need of a predefined set of templates easy to use without
strong understanding of what lies beneath and set by default to the most
common behavior (ie present SC behavior). But for sure, the way I
describe isn't the easiest way to deal with the problem. It could (even
only partially implemented) be the only way to please everybody.
What we need is the most sensible default rules (which I think we may
already have, Mr. Sinatra's opinions/issues notwithstanding), and a
reasonable method for changing those. I would really like to avoid
moving these types of settings to the SC interface, because they would
require a rescan; much better to do them upfront, if possible.
To keep it simple, if the only thing is to deal with is this
BAND/ALBUMARTIST problem adding a single option like "emulate itunes
broken BAND tag behavior" tick box could do the trick... (that's the
user interface point of view, implementation is a different problem).
To be honest, I learned to use SC "as is" for basic pop/rock browsing
and to use Erland plugins for classical music... so I'm not really
concerned nor very knowledgeful about this TPE2/BAND/TPXXX problem :).
I'd love to see what you're working on, and would encourage you to
contribute it to the code base here. There are some pretty amazing
programmers (both here and in our community) that you would be able to
work with on the framework and on the code. My team and I would be
happy to provide input, as well, at least from a product
marketing/customer-centric viewpoint.
Since the beginning I have "open source" and "community" in mind.
There's no doubt I will publicly share most of my work (except for
restricted data connector like AMG). But as I need this work for my own
music, I want it quickly (ok, more than six months have passed since I
began to work on this:) ), and I'm not sure I want to spend the little
free time I have to work on this with dozens pages of arguments about
how to handle "band" and "album artist" ;).

I already talked here of tagging problems I had, and a little about
this "metadata framework" I'm working on, but SNR are sometimes too
high on forums to be efficient. Furthermore, everybody has its own
problems and its own little tools and tricks not wanting to change its
habits (the only true generic tools I know are Erland's wonderful
plugins).

As no software/hardware handle tags the same way, I decided that
metadata cannot be stored in standard tags and soon concluded that
metadata had to be kept away from media files.
I thought to a central repository holding all metadata, but I wasn't
pleased with this idea as music is moved, copied, transfered, renamed,
etc.
I've decided that metadata would be "album centric". Assuming that
every album is stored in its own folder (or set of subfolders like
disc1, disc2, etc), each "album folder" can easily contain a single xml
file with the corresponding metadata (it's looks like sfv files).

The concepts that guided me are:
- limit manual input to the minimum (only typing data at the
hierarchical level needed: album, group of tracks (work), or track
- store the data for what they really are, not for what they are going
to be in music files (handle composer as composer, not "album artist"
because you want to browse it)
- be versatile enough to adapt to different level of complexity
according to the user personnal needs
- keep tagging for the end of the process, so that it's always possible
to "batch retag" a full collection (when you change your mp3 hardware,
or your media management program)
- include some little tricks/automation to ease handling data like:
generic aliases (making data uniform by considering "Bach", "JS Bach",
"Bach, J.S." are the same and are all tagged "Johan Sebastian Bach"),
sort name guessing, opus and catalog extraction from classical work
titles, etc.

To be more practical, this "metadata framework" consist of:
- a complex data model defined with XSD (xml was my goal, but it could
be anything else from txt file, to sgbd, passing by yaml). This data
model can be used in a simple way (to represent data like in FreeDB:
album artist, album name, tracks name) or in a complex way (It is
designed to be compatible with AMG and Discogs data model... right now
I still have to check if it can also fit Amazon model)
- a Perl library to handle this data model in memory, and
serialize/deserialize it in xml files
- a set of DataSource plugins (to get data from Discogs, Amazon,
FreeDB, cduniverse, etc.) to fill xml
- a set of DataExporter plugins that can tag mp3 files, tag flac files,
print a report, etc.

Right now, I have beta versions of these four components (more a Proof
Of Concept needing perl coding to be used, than a real ready-to-use
tool, but I'm using it), and I'm working on some kind of graphical
interface to make it friendly and accessible before it's released. (you
can have to wait another six months as after having to learn perl again
in the beginning of this project, I now have to learn tk widgets tkx
programming:) ).
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bullgod
2008-04-13 12:31:46 UTC
Permalink
The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different to
the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing the
other, and more important problem: usability.

Please, please, please can the issue of which tags, which version of
tags etc but put aside for one thread. Can you please consider the
users' perspective we don't care if the tag is Band, AlbumArtist or
what ever. That is the angels on a pinhead issue. You are missing the
mote in your eye:

The fact remains that stated way of working:
-if the album is natural compilation multiple authors and there is
album artist it is listed under album artist.

Irrespective of whether this is Band tag, ALBUMARTIST it doesn't
matter, because this functionality is still broken!

Such an Album is still found under: Home->Artists->Various Artists
(albeit listed as by the album artist). And it is not listed under
Home->Artists->album artist. Where it is wanted.

For example:
My Favourite Band, creates an album called "Debut", all tracks are by
"My Favourite Band", the album by "My Favourite Band", but the last
track they are joined by "Guest Artist"

Currently album "Debut" is listed as being by "My Favourite Band". But
because of the last track this album is found under
"Home->Artists->Various Artists" - it's listed as "Debut" by "My
Favourite Band" - but it's in the wrong place. If I navigate to
"Home->Artists->My Favourite Band" album "Debut" is not there.

This is the real problem, not the internal representation of the band's
name.
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-13 15:30:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by bullgod
The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different to
the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing the
other, and more important problem: usability.
I'm sorry, but I disagree. I believe developers are very conscious of usability, and do a good job of catering for all people. I don't believe there is a big problem with usability. Whilst I sympathise with you about your problem (I'll try to help), it is a different problem to the one discussed in this thread.
Post by bullgod
Please, please, please can the issue of which tags, which version of
tags etc but put aside for one thread.
I'm afraid not - it's kind of fundamental. Whilst a user may not want to care about tags, if music doesn't have tags, they can't really hope for songs to appear in the library 100% how they expect. If some tags are set (automatically when you rip them), music may appear reasonably well in a library, but may need some tailoring to be perfect for how *you* want them to appear. This is likely to be the case for your problem.

It's likely that you
Post by bullgod
Can you please consider the users' perspective we don't care if the tag is Band, AlbumArtist or what ever.
From a users' perspective, you must appreciate that you need to set something in your tags for it to look correct in your library. If you don't then you shouldn't care if it doesn't work 100% how you want it.
Post by bullgod
-if the album is natural compilation multiple authors and there is
album artist it is listed under album artist.
I don't quite understand what you mean in that sentence.

The album is deemed to be a compilation album if not all of the artists on all songs are the same, and thus will appear as album artist="Various Artists".
Post by bullgod
Irrespective of whether this is Band tag, ALBUMARTIST it doesn't
matter, because this functionality is still broken!
Don't understand what you mean.
Post by bullgod
Such an Album is still found under: Home->Artists->Various Artists
(albeit listed as by the album artist).
If you are looking in Home > Artists > Various Artists, all albums listed in there are by album artist = Various Artists. You won't see any album artists within Various Artists.
Post by bullgod
And it is not listed under Home->Artists->album artist. Where it is wanted.
Then fix your tags! No other music library software that I have used will interpret this correctly either. In fact, most other software wouldn't let you have multiple artists. You must have tagged that song specifically to have two performing artists, so you must already know something about tagging. If you'd not set the guest artist, the album would have been detected with album artist = "My Favourite Band".

Actually, I suspect that you haven't actually defined two artists on the song, but one artist called something like "My Favourite Band and Guest Artist".
Post by bullgod
My Favourite Band, creates an album called "Debut", all tracks are by
"My Favourite Band", the album by "My Favourite Band", but the last
track they are joined by "Guest Artist"
That last track makes the software think that the album is a compilation album, because the last song isn't by the same artists as all of the other songs. That is why you need to set an albumartist tag. The scanner doesn't second-guess how you want that album to appear.
Post by bullgod
This is the real problem, not the internal representation of the band's name.
This is your problem, caused by the information in your song tags.

Phil
slimkid
2008-04-13 18:21:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different
to
Post by bullgod
the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing
the
Post by bullgod
other, and more important problem: usability.
I'm sorry, but I disagree. I believe developers are very conscious of
usability, and do a good job of catering for all people. I don't
believe there is a big problem with usability. Whilst I sympathise
with you about your problem (I'll try to help), it is a different
problem to the one discussed in this thread.
...
Hi Philip.

It does indeed look like this thread is becoming too broad to be
effective, and that there are a lot of various issues with tagging that
concern a customer. I'm deliberately not going to use a term 'average',
'typical' 'advanced' e.t.c., just a customer - person who doesn't need
to concern themselves with the internal workings of SC.

However, I'm assuming here that anybody with complex tagging needs
would be willing to separate tagging as a step in 'music obtaining
process', use dedicated tagging program and do some custom tagging.

While I'm sure that developers do their best to make very usable code,
they will do it within the bounds of their musical interests,
experiences and musical collections, probably do the testing the same
way and slowly drift off. Surely, there are people in SC's customer
base who's needs (or wants) are more complex than what the developers
could imagine.

So, how about creating some form of case study - a separate thread
(best in 'ripping/tagging' forum) that would discuss various tagging
scenarios and provide solution(s) to the best approach? Ideally, make
it a sticky and set up some rules how to present a scenario and how to
suggest a solution. Maybe make somebody powerful enough to go in there
from time to time and swipe the noise. If we find some scenario that
doesnt' have good solution, then raise a ticket or enhancement request.
I wouldn't mind making serious contribution there as I have a library of
a couple of thousands meticulously tagged classical tracks and there I
have encountered most of the real world scenarios one is likely to
hit.


Now, back to the internals of the code. There are two things that are
purely developers prospective/error (IMO) here that I could see going
through the code:

- scanner. Last time I mentioned that its functionality to recognize
changed tracks isn't good enough - does it solely based on file update
date vs last scan date. I suggested doing it also based on size,
archive attribute or checksum. Well, going through the code, surprise,
surprise - there's a comment there that states:

# When rescanning: we need to find files:
#
# * That are new - not in the db
# * That have changed - are in the db, but timestamp or size is
different.

A code following it handles timestamp but not size. So they even knew
that there was a problem but for some reason choose not to solve it.


- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically,
if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs become
trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on
one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or
drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that
might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes
little sense.


K
--
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The sound stage will open up, bass will tighten and the imaging will
improve. DVD performance will also increase substantially.

http://youtu.be/7iAj2aPdQnk
http://youtu.be/VvMNuuFSvN0
http://youtu.be/BDRhRv4q_SI
http://youtu.be/nlrpe8Ig5m8
http://youtu.be/dC9tGlwPln8
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-13 18:43:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by slimkid
- scanner. Last time I mentioned that its functionality to recognize
changed tracks isn't good enough - does it solely based on file update
date vs last scan date.
Is that not good enough? If tags or actual song data change, most tools that write the content back will cause the last changed timestamp to be updated.
Post by slimkid
- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically,
if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs become
trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on
one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or
drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that
might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes
little sense.
I always thought that the "track artist" contributor type was a little strange, or at least that artists performing on a song when there is no album artist should also be called track artists. Not sure why there is a distinction, but I'm guessing it is to do with whether a user wants to show all track artists in the browse by artist list, or to only show album artists.

Phil
slimkid
2008-04-14 01:41:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by slimkid
- scanner. Last time I mentioned that its functionality to recognize
changed tracks isn't good enough - does it solely based on file update
date vs last scan date.
Is that not good enough? If tags or actual song data change, most
tools that write the content back will cause the last changed timestamp
to be updated.
No it isn't good enough. Quite contrary. The most advertised tagging
program here, mp3tag, allows not to change a file update date
(preserves it, to be exact) when changing tags. Purpose of this would
be that, when using New Music option (one very useful and well though
of feature), album doesn't get to be included just because I changed a
tag; New Music playlist remains filled in chronological order of
ripping and adding to library.

Even file size wouldn't cut it as it looks (at least in flac) that some
tagging space is already allocated, so that file size isn't going to
change with updating tags.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by slimkid
- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically,
if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs become
trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on
one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or
drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that
might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes
little sense.
I always thought that the "track artist" contributor type was a little
strange, or at least that artists performing on a song when there is no
album artist should also be called track artists. Not sure why there is
a distinction, but I'm guessing it is to do with whether a user wants to
show all track artists in the browse by artist list, or to only show
album artists.
Phil
It works fine for not showing artists in the artist list if that is
their only performance. However, it also doesn't allow you to go
(following artist link, drilling down by tag) to other albums of that
artist if there are any. For example (I'm repeating myself, but this
was obviously missed before, and it clearly shows that the concept is
incomplete):

Album 'Genius Loves Company' by Ray Charles. Every track is performed
as duet with some other (fairly known artist). So, there is a track
with Diana Krall.
Now, I tagged it with Ray Charles as ALBUMARTIST for every track (the
whole album) and ARTIST on each track being the other performer. During
the scan, those artists are converted (assigned role) to trackartist
(that is not a tag per se, but a role and a literal in browser and in
SB menu). Album will be listed by Ray Charles (fine), maybe under
various artists too (fine), and none of the artists won't show in
browse by artist listing (that's also fine). However, I have a couple
more albums where Diana Krall is the artist (the only one, so albums
are listed by Diana Krall). Problem is that Diana Krall from Ray
Charles' album doesn't see her other albums if I browse by tag artist
(trackartist, that is) while listening to that track. Interestingly
enough, if I had another album where Diana is also a guest artist,
those two albums would see each other (and still none of big albums by
Diana).

Now, there is solution to this problem, but not suggested on this site
and not suggested in user documentation. I got to it analyzing the
code, so it doesn't qualify as targeted to the end user.

K
--
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The sound stage will open up, bass will tighten and the imaging will
improve. DVD performance will also increase substantially.

http://youtu.be/7iAj2aPdQnk
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JJZolx
2008-04-14 01:54:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by slimkid
No it isn't good enough. Quite contrary. The most advertised tagging
program here, mp3tag, allows not to change a file update date
(preserves it, to be exact) when changing tags. Purpose of this would
be that, when using New Music option (one very useful and well though
of feature), album doesn't get to be included just because I changed a
tag; New Music playlist remains filled in chronological order of
ripping and adding to library.
Even file size wouldn't cut it as it looks (at least in flac) that some
tagging space is already allocated, so that file size isn't going to
change with updating tags.
No way that's going to happen. There's no way to do it without
examining the tags in every file. Who wants a scan for new music to
take as long as a full scan, which is what would happen if every file
is examined in detail? Just do a clear/rescan if you're in the habit
of changing files without updating their mtime. If SqueezeCenter ever
gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a split
second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to do
a full scan without first clearing the database.
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Jim
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Pat Farrell
2008-04-14 02:10:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
If SqueezeCenter ever
gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a split
second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to do
a full scan without first clearing the database.
Clearly the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
folks to accept that.

The database should be the repository of data, some from the tags, some
from other sources.

There is no possible way to handle the rich data needs of a complex
library, especially for genres other than pop/rock/country with tags.

All of these many discussions/threads and confusion will go away when we
just stop thinking that the tags are the only source of data.

Its a relational database. It can do nearly anything. There is no hope
for a hierarchical tag based solution to do what we really need.
--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/
Pat Farrell
2008-04-14 02:23:24 UTC
Permalink
Sorry, typo alert
Post by Pat Farrell
Post by JJZolx
If SqueezeCenter ever
gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a split
second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to do
a full scan without first clearing the database.
Clearly the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
^^
Should have been
Post by Pat Farrell
Clearing the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
folks to accept that.
The database should be the repository of data, some from the tags, some
from other sources.
There is no possible way to handle the rich data needs of a complex
library, especially for genres other than pop/rock/country with tags.
All of these many discussions/threads and confusion will go away when we
just stop thinking that the tags are the only source of data.
Its a relational database. It can do nearly anything. There is no hope
for a hierarchical tag based solution to do what we really need.
The database should not be reset glibly. Its a data source. It needs to
contain data that is not in the tags.
--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/
JJZolx
2008-04-14 04:24:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by JJZolx
If SqueezeCenter ever
gets to the point where clearing the database (which takes just a
split
Post by JJZolx
second) is undesirable or unnecessary then add a third scan option to
do
Post by JJZolx
a full scan without first clearing the database.
Post by Pat Farrell
Clearing the database is already undesirable. We just haven't gotten
folks to accept that.> >
No. There's nothing in the database right now that can't be
destroyed and rebuilt from scratch with a library scan. At some
point in the future maybe this will not be the case - such as for
ratings. But even with ratings, developers are (wisely) devising
schemes that will survive a complete wipe of the database.
As to whether it's unnecessary... there are unfortunately still
situations that require it. Artwork problems immediately come to
mind. We still even have SD support telling people to uninstall,
delete everything, and reinstall, to fix some problems.
Post by JJZolx
Post by Pat Farrell
The database should be the repository of data, some from the tags, some
from other sources.> >
That might be nice. Like the plugin someone did to let you enter and
manage sort strings for contributors that lives in a database outside
of the tags. No need then for things like ALBUMARTISTSORT,
COMPOSERSORT, BANDSORT.
But when that day comes I'd imaging 'clearing' the database would
then just selectively clear it. Keep the data in the ratings table,
for instance, but delete all tracks and albums.
Post by JJZolx
Post by Pat Farrell
There is no possible way to handle the rich data needs of a complex
library, especially for genres other than pop/rock/country with tags.
All of these many discussions/threads and confusion will go away when we
just stop thinking that the tags are the only source of data.
Its a relational database. It can do nearly anything. There is no hope
for a hierarchical tag based solution to do what we really need.> >
Perhaps. I certainly don't see any movement in the software, though,
toward this end.
--
JJZolx

Jim
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Phil Meyer
2008-04-14 07:40:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by slimkid
No it isn't good enough. Quite contrary. The most advertised tagging
program here, mp3tag, allows not to change a file update date
(preserves it, to be exact)
I predominantly use mp3tag, which is configured to update the timestamp.

You should untick Mp3Tag Options > Tags > Preserve file modification Time when saving tags.
JJZolx
2008-04-14 02:04:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by MrSinatra
Post by slimkid
- concept and handling of 'track artist' contributor type. Basically,
if there is ALBUMARTIST defined for the album, then all ARTISTs
become
Post by slimkid
trackartists. There is no connection between the guy who is ARTIST on
one and trackartist on another album. It is not possible to flow (or
drill down) in SB menu system from trackartist to artist. Now, that
might be how the code works, but from real world prospective makes
little sense.
I always thought that the "track artist" contributor type was a little
strange, or at least that artists performing on a song when there is no
album artist should also be called track artists. Not sure why there is
a distinction, but I'm guessing it is to do with whether a user wants to
show all track artists in the browse by artist list, or to only show
album artists.
Strange. Inconsistent. Unnecessary. Take your pick.
--
JJZolx

Jim
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snarlydwarf
2008-04-14 02:27:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by slimkid
A code following it handles timestamp but not size. So they even knew
that there was a problem but for some reason choose not to solve it.
Most likely removed to speed up rescans and because it isn't as useful
as you would think.

Most taggers pad. This is true not only of mp3 tags but also flac: "By
default metaflac tries to use padding where possible to avoid rewriting
the entire file if the metadata size changes. Use this option to tell
metaflac to not take advantage of padding this way."

So it is very possible to change tags and not have the filesize change.
In fact, in many if not most cases (unless you write a ton of tags,
such as with Picard and all the MB tags), the file size won't change
due to padding.
--
snarlydwarf
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bullgod
2008-04-13 20:07:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
The discussion of tags and their interpretation is entirely different to
the main problem, there are too many developers here who are missing the
other, and more important problem: usability.
I'm sorry, but I disagree. I believe developers are very conscious
of usability, and do a good job of catering for all people. I don't
believe there is a big problem with usability. Whilst I sympathise
with you about your problem (I'll try to help), it is a different
problem to the one discussed in this thread.
Perhaps, but is this thread not the continuation of a thread that I
began?
Do you want me to start an other thread? As each time I do it get
hijacked by discussion of internal representation.
Look I believe there is a major problem of usability.
It has nothing to do with the internal representation of the band or
album artist, and every time I try to bring it up, the discussion
misses the point, and goes off on the matter of tags.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
Please, please, please can the issue of which tags, which version of
tags etc but put aside for one thread.
I'm afraid not - it's kind of fundamental. Whilst a user may not want
to care about tags, if music doesn't have tags, they can't really hope
for songs to appear in the library 100% how they expect. If some tags
are set (automatically when you rip them), music may appear reasonably
well in a library, but may need some tailoring to be perfect for how
*you* want them to appear. This is likely to be the case for your
problem.
OK. I will try to clarify, again. If it turns about to be a problem
with my tags I will accept that.
However I strongly, not very strongly believe that tags are not the
problem.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
Can you please consider the users' perspective we don't care if the tag
is Band, AlbumArtist or what ever.
From a users' perspective, you must appreciate that you need to set
something in your tags for it to look correct in your library. If
you don't then you shouldn't care if it doesn't work 100% how you
want it.
Yes, tags should be correct. Garbage in, Garbage out.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
-if the album is natural compilation multiple authors and there is
album artist it is listed under album artist.
I don't quite understand what you mean in that sentence.
I was paraphrasing a previous post where it was stated that:
if not all of the artists on all songs are the same, and thus will
appear as album artist.
Post by Phil Meyer
The album is deemed to be a compilation album if not all of the artists
on all songs are the same, and thus will appear as album artist="Various
Artists".
I know this is what it currently does.
Where is that specified and what is the mechanism for changing it?
What I'm asking for is for something different
because this is SO broken I don't know where to start, but I'll try.

It's also open to interpretation: then album might appear under
Home->Artist->Various Artists,
but there it is listed as being by the Album Artist. And if such an
album is listed as by Album Artist,
would not a more sensible place for it to appear be under
Home->Artist->Album Artist ?

Snip
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
Such an Album is still found under: Home->Artists->Various Artists
(albeit listed as by the album artist).
If you are looking in Home -> Artists -> Various Artists, all albums
listed in there are by album artist = Various Artists. You won't see
any album artists within Various Artists.
Not True. See attached image.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
And it is not listed under Home->Artists->album artist. Where it is wanted.
Then fix your tags!
No other music library software that I have used will interpret this
correctly either. In fact, most other software wouldn't let you have
multiple artists.
iTunes. I'm not talking about multiple artist tags, just multiple
artist in one tags. Nonetheless, iTune is still bright enough to list
and sort by Album Artist.
Post by Phil Meyer
You must have tagged that song specifically to have two performing
artists, so you must already know something about tagging. If you'd
not set the guest artist, the album would have been detected with album
artist = "My Favourite Band".
Actually, I suspect that you haven't actually defined two artists on
the song, but one artist called something like "My Favourite Band and
Guest Artist".
Yes! So? this is perfectly valid.
But here's the problem. Doing so makes the "Album Artist" almost
entirely pointless. And makes the album a Compilation. This is broken.
Post by Phil Meyer
Post by bullgod
My Favourite Band, creates an album called "Debut", all tracks are by
"My Favourite Band", the album by "My Favourite Band", but the last
track they are joined by "Guest Artist"
That last track makes the software think that the album is a
compilation album, because the last song isn't by the same artists as
all of the other songs. That is why you need to set an albumartist
tag. The scanner doesn't second-guess how you want that album to
appear.
I know! This is broken! It's not a question of second guessing! I have
explicitly told the software that this whole album it to be considered
as "My
Favourite Band" by setting the Album Artist on all tracks
Post by Phil Meyer
This is the real problem, not the internal representation of the band's name.
This is your problem, caused by the information in your song tags.
Phil
No. The problem is that SC doesn't cater for the situation where one
track
is different without making the whole album a compilation.

If I have 20 Albums by "My Favourite Band", How do I get to see all 20

listed under Home->Artist->My Favourite Band?
If there is one album there is one track list as My Favourite Band and
Guest Artist.

The only way to do this is by removing Guest Artist, from this one
track.
Is this really what is expected to be done, when a much more sensible
solution would be to acknowledge the Album Artist that I've taken pains

to specify in my tags.

Worse still is the effect on my classical collection where, every
soloist,
conductor, orchestra has to be removed before the album is listed under
the
Home->Artist->composer


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smc2911
2008-04-13 22:41:28 UTC
Permalink
If I understand correctly, it sounds to me as though bullgod's
requirements could be met with the following additional logic:

If every track has TRACKARTIST=Artist X (even if some tracks have
multiple TRACKARTIST tags) and ALBUMARTIST is not already set, then set
ALBUMARTIST=Artist X.

You'd want to exclude the extreme cases where there is more than one
artist that every track is tagged with.
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http://www.last.fm/user/smc2911/
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Nonreality
2008-04-14 00:19:39 UTC
Permalink
I've been using album artist to keep albums together and artist so that
I could see who is on the track. I started with Itunes, then went to
Media Monkey and I use mp3tag to correct everything. It was with mp3tag
that I discovered that I had to use band to see album artist. I didn't
know about mp3 standards, just didn't know that it was my job to find
out that my programs didn't use standards correctly. Now after
wondering why some of my albums end up as Various Artists and trying to
fix, I find out that one different track artist will make that happen no
matter what you have in album artist.

Someone earlier had said: As stated earlier, give as clear set of rules
and I'll adjust. No problem - SC is my most important application and
I'll adjust mu use of tags to it. Just don't make me change it again
and again and force me to numerous recans just to try to figure out how
it works using try and miss method.

This would have been nice and maybe it's there somewhere, but I can
only read and search so much. I think an option to have squeezebox
scan differently would be a good thing. I don't use Itunes anymore so I
don't use that switch but I think a lot of people organize by Album
Artist so they can keep the artist tag accurate to the song.

Anyway I'll adapt, but just need to know how to adapt the right way.
--
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*-If the rule you followed brought you to this, what good is the rule.-*
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Nonreality
2008-04-14 00:22:07 UTC
Permalink
Hey I just became a member instead of a junior member! Pops cork!
OK I'll leave now. :)
--
Nonreality

*-If the rule you followed brought you to this, what good is the rule.-*
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